Polls should be held on time: Pak PM

Team Udayavani, Jun 1, 2018, 8:54 AM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi today said polls should be held on time as neither the government nor the opposition are in favour of any delay in the upcoming general election.

Abbasi made a farewell address during the 14th National Assembly’s final session just hours before the end of five-year term of the parliament at midnight tonight. Not even a day’s delay will be acceptable, he said referring to the election due to be held on July 25.

He said free and fair elections were necessary for the survival of democracy in the country. Abbasi also said the democracy should continue at all costs as there was no alternative to democracy.

The current problems faced by Pakistan can only be resolved through a government which comes through the will of the people, said Abbasi.

He said timely holding of elections is a constitutional requirement and “we would not allow even a day’s delay in the conduct of polls”. He also proposed national dialogue to define the relationship among institutions and forge consensus on critical issues.

The prime minister said economy of the country has been revamped and a growth rate of about six per cent has been achieved. He claimed Pakistan has become an investment destination for foreign and local investors adding radical tax reforms have been introduced while the energy crisis has been overcome due to prudent policies of his government.

He said government initiated projects will ensure sufficient availability of electricity by 2030. He said 114 new gas discoveries were recorded in his tenure. 

He also said today gas is available to every consumer in Pakistan and that supply of gas will be made available by 2020 through the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline.

Abbasi said the government has brought a revolution in internal and regional connectivity. He said 1,700 kilometers long motorways have either been completed or in completion phase across Pakistan. He said western corridor will open up Balochistan.

He said merger of the tribal region with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is also a hallmark of the government. He also thanked Speaker Ayaz Sadiq and Leader of Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah for their leadership in running to business of the parliament.

Abbasi also said that the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has turned around the economy and was leaving the county in far better shape than it inherited in 2013.

The economy is better than it was when we came into power, in spite of all the challenges we faced both external and internal, he said.

Speaker Sadiq also delivered his farewell speech expressed satisfaction with the house and federal government’s five-year term.

He said this parliament passed 57 new laws, six finance acts, five Constitution amendments, three amendments (repeal) and 82 amendments were made in existing laws.

He said for the first time seven acts were passed in joint sitting whereas thirty private bills became laws during the tenure of this assembly.

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