Speaking at the inaugural function of first CCV cable and Aluminum Alloy plant in Lahore, the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abassi made an offer to the opposition for replacing the recently elected Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani. He is of the view that horse trading was at work in the election of Chairman Senate.
Chairman Senate Sadiq Snjjrani has been democratically elected to the high office of this August House with an impressive majority vote of the opposition political parties. Although PML-N is the largest majority group in the upper house but it could not muster enough support from its allied political parties to elect its candidate, Senator Raja Zafrulhaq for this top slot. The authors and framers of the unanimously adopted 1973 Constitution of Pakistan envisioned the creation of Senate to provide equal representation to all the federating units of the country in line with the true concept of democracy and strengthening the federation. The controversial remarks of the Prime Minister run contrary to provisions of the Constitutions that pertain to the creation of Senate, and election of its Chairman. The remarks violate the spirit of cohesion among the provinces and are synonymous to the parochial election slogan of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 1993, “Jag Punjabi Jag theri Pag no lag gia dag.” “Wake Punjabi, Rise up Punjabi your image has been stained.” This sort of political angling will unfortunately put the soul of Quid-i-Azam I in a perpetual displease. The founder of the nation warned the people against the tendency that fan provincialism in his speech to the students at Islamia College Peshawar in 1948. The leadership of PML-N claims to be the custodians of the legacy of Quid-i- Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah who achieved Pakistan for the Muslims of the subcontinent.
It is a good omen that the slot of Chairman Senate went for the first to the Province of Baluchistan. The Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abassi and Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq hail from Punjab and the President Mamnoon Hussain belongs to Sindh. Election of Sadiq Sanjjari as Chairman Senate will mitigate the sense of deprivation in this small province which has witnessed repeated waves of insurgencies inflamed by the Baloch separatist organizations using the deprivation of Baluchis as a propaganda tool. These organizations have the support of India and some other powers. Hence sweeping statement against the election of Chairman Senate may provide propaganda material to the insurgents.
The Prime Minister claimed that GDP growth rate is 5.6 percent which will go up to 6 percent next year and the government has injected 10000 megawatt additional power into the distribution system. The economic growth figure is expenditure led numbers game and is not income led growth assessment which is near to ground realities. The massive increase in the percentage of population living beyond poverty line, 0.5 human development Index (HDI) and alarming rate of unemployment cast a big question mark on performance of the present government on economic front. Former governor of State Bank of Pakistan Dr. Ishrat Hussain and independent economists believe that a growth rate below 7-8 percent is not a matter of satisfaction for country with a population of 220 million which grow at the rate of 3.1 percent per year.
The assertion that enough electric power is available in the system and load-shedding is done in areas where pilferage is taking place is not true. Likewise, the assurance is also not correct that there will be no load-shedding in the upcoming summer in the areas where power stealing is non-existent and line losses are not more than 10 percent. From 1st March a load-shedding of four hours is carried out in urban areas wherefrom the recovery of electricity bill is 100 percent and line losses are minimal. The contention that the one who performs is disgraced in courts and Nawaz Sharif will run the affairs of the party from prison, if convicted, is a debatable issue. Respect of judiciary is mandatory for all irrespective of his or her political or social status.