Pakistan

PML-N confident to win Punjab by-polls: Saad

Written by The Frontier Post

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Railways and Aviation Khawaja Saad Rafique on Wednesday expressed the confidence that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidates would win all the 20 Punjab assembly seats in the by-polls on July 17.

“Voters are politically mature enough and we have full faith in their wisdom as they are fully aware of the prevailing situation,” he said while responding to a question during a news conference along with Advisor to the PM on Kashmir Affairs Qamar Zaman Kaira.

The country was passing through a critical financial phase, due to increasing inflation, but there was a roadmap to get out of it by stopping the incompetent people from coming into power again, who had brought the nation at the verge of default and bankruptcy, he added.

He viewed that the public would support that party which whenever took the government’s reins, the wheel of national economy started moving at a fast pace, besides building motorways and setting up universities.

“Everyone knows the leaders who had laid the foundation of a modern Pakistan by establishing a vibrant infrastructure, which is compatible with rest of the world. The people have not forgotten that who had introduced the reforms in transport and health sectors,” Saad said.

The minister hoped that the incumbent government would soon be able to overcome inflation and bring it down with its prudent policies.

He clarified that the Punjab government had earmarked the required funds in the annual budget for the payment of electricity bills of the common man consuming up to 100 units per month, setting aside the impression that the facility was just for a few months.

Saad said the PTI leaders should focus on providing such a facility in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, where their party was in government instead of criticizing the relief-oriented measures of the coalition government.

He said the government had also reduced the railway fares by 30 per cent to facilitate passengers during three days of Eid-ul-Azha.

Earlier, Saad Rafique extended gratitude to the leadership of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and its workers for announcing unconditional support for the PML-N candidates in the Punjab by-polls. “Kaira Sahib has said that the PPP along with other coalition parties will actively work in the by-elections (for the support of PML-N candidates), which reflects that we have a common cause to steer the country out of the current crises.”

He said when all the coalition partners in the multi-party alliance of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) realized that the country was at the cusp of default, they decided to step in and move a no-trust motion against Imran Khan in the National Assembly, who was a threat to the national security.

He said a question was being frequently asked by the public that as to why the PML-N and its coalition partners took responsibility of all the blunders of the Imran-led government, which was already dragging itself towards its ouster. The option of early general election was quite easy for the coalition government, but saving the country was more important than the party politics, he added.

The main reason behind the formation of current government was that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was not ready to negotiate with an interim set-up, he said. “We cannot push the country towards default only to save our politics.”

Saad said the coalition government had not only negotiated with the IMF, but also with other financial institutions. “We put our politics at stake and while showing loyalty to the country, took the burden of all the mistakes committed by the Imran-led government on different fronts.”

He said the incumbent government knew that the challenges were huge and tough, and though it was a race against the time, but it was making all-out efforts to bring the country back on track.

He said Imran Khan while in power was bent on ruining the state institutions, which was another reason for which the current government was formed. Imran had a clear plan in that regard.

Imran Khan with the help of some elements in the government departments wanted to roll back the parliamentary system by bringing him again into power with a two-third majority using electronic voting machines in the next general election, the minister added.

He [Imran], Saad said, also wanted to make the independent state institutions subservient to him, which was evident from the brutalities unleashed by him against his political opponents and dissenting voices.

It was necessary for them to dethrone Imran Khan, as had he and his cronies remained in power they would have further ruined the economy and state institutions, he added.

The minister expressed the hope that the people of Punjab would vote for the PML-N candidates and give the party an opportunity to protect the national security.

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The Frontier Post