ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said Sunday that people had rejected the negative politics of ‘dharna’ (sit-ins) and were only supportive of the positive one aimed at prosperity and development of the country.

“Public has come up with greater realisation and does not support such elements,” the prime minister told journalists here at the launch of PIA Premier, the luxury air service of the national flag carrier.

Prime Minister Sharif said Pakistan was in dire need of continuity of politics of negotiation, rather than agitation.

“Such attitude in politics can contribute to end poverty and illiteracy from the country,” he said.

He said his government believed in taking steps to make the country economically strong and facilitate the common man.

About the launch of PIA Premier, Sharif said the airline was coming out of the problems after facing financial crunch for long. It would provide a better service of shorter air distance with comparatively lesser air fare, he added.

Sharif expressed confidence that the PIA Premier would maintain the quality of service and help earn the airline big profit.

The premier saw off the Premier passengers of inaugural PK-785 to London at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, Sri Lanka’s Minister for Public Enterprise Hashim M Kabir, PIA CEO Bern Hildenbrand, PIA Chairman Azam Saigol, Chairman and CEO Sri Lankan Airlines Ajith Dias and Surendra Ratwatte, and former special assistant to the prime minister on aviation Capt Shujaat Azeem were present.

The prime minister took round of the aircraft, met passengers and appreciated the quality of services.

The cabin crew onboard - women attired in newly-designed burgundy-maroon coloured uniforms with green scarves and men in navy blue suits with green ties - exuded a fresh, trendy and welcoming look.

Earlier, the PIA CEO, in a briefing to the prime minister, said the project with new aircraft would be a ‘future gateway’ for the PIA’s financial success.

“With a hospitable crew, good food and excellent service, this is something we can compete with the world,” he added.

He mentioned the cooperation of Sri Lankan Airlines and collective team work of PIA management that helped launch of quality air service in short time, under the directive of Prime Minister Sharif.

PM’s Special Assistant Shujaat Azeem, during his tenure, had initiated the efforts to translate the vision of Nawaz Sharif for launching a premium service in PIA and had a contribution in the selection of new aircraft and new uniforms for cabin crew.

There will be six-weekly Premier service flights to London, three each from Islamabad and Lahore. Later, with addition of more aircraft, the service would be expanded to other destinations.

The aircraft is equipped with LCD screens and flight entertainment with 250 channels and flat bed service for business passengers.

Complimentary limousine service for PIA Premier Business Class customers will be given upon their arrival at Heathrow Airport. The service will be available within a radius of 25 km from Heathrow Airport.