ON BOARD PM’s PLANE - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif observed on Tuesday that talks are the only way to settle the persistent disputes between arch rival India and Pakistan.

He was talking to reporters onboard his plane after returning from China, on his special plane. The PM said the disputes between Pakistan and India can only be settled through mutual understanding and sagacity.

Referring to the comprehensive dialogue, he said it is just a beginning to normalise the relations between the two countries.

“We have already wasted 65 years and not want to see the next 65 years go waste in the same way”, he added

He further said the former Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee had visited Lahore in 1999 and as a result Lahore Declaration was issued and it was agreed upon to resolve the issues through talks, however, it did not happen later on.

Continuing, he said during the last two and a half years Pakistan showed restraint to the provocative actions of the Indian government as it responded negatively to every good gesture.

Referring to the Pak-China ties, the Prime Minister said that China is Pakistan’s most reliable ally, adding, China Pakistan Economic Corridor (ECPC) will not only give a boost to friendship between both the countries but will open a vista of progress and development for the entire region.

To a question, he said that emerging of PML-N in the recently held Local Bodies elections is proof of the fact that people of the country have completely admired the policies of the incumbent government, adding, LB polls were infact the mid-term polls and the masses had expressed their full confidence on the government by casting vote in its favour. He said that the people who were elected in the LB polls will help in solving problems being faced by the people at local level.

He said that his party in the beginning had opposed the idea of holding of LB elections on party basis because it often becomes a source of problem at the local level.

However, ultimately the government had to hold the polls on party basis.

To another question, the Prime Minister recalled that he had said that the ‘Dharna’ staged by a political party would not cause a dent on democracy and the country will move ahead on the road to progress and prosperity, adding, what he had predicted, came true later on. Regarding the situation in Karachi, the Prime Minister said that the ongoing operation against terrorism will definitely meet to its logical end.

He said that after coming into power his government with the cooperation of Sindh government had initiated operation with the mutual consensus of all the political parties to wipeout terrorists from the face of the province. He said that the operation has brought significant success so far. He vowed to turn Karachi metropolitan into a cradle of peace.

He said that the country will progress swiftly if Karachi is returned to its normalcy.

He said that his government is keen to improve the law and order situation in Karachi and his endeavour will go on.

To another question, the Prime Minister said no government had worked to improve the condition of the Motorway which was constructed in 1992 and now its repair work is underway through a consortium and after completion of the repair work, the motorway will turn out to be a modern throughway.

He said that motorway is a national asset and the previous governments should have worked to maintain its condition.

To yet another question, the Prime Minister said that roads are being constructed from farm to markets in Punjab and similar roads are being built in Sindh to facilitate the growers.

Responding to a question, had his government not dismissed in 1999 in an unconstitutional way, the motorway would have been completed from Peshawar to Karachi and Gwadar and the country has been linked through a network of roads with Central Asian States. He said that a plan is underway to construct motorway to Jalalabad onward to Kabul and linking of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kirghistan and Kazakhstan through it