LAHORE: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, addressing the media at a press conference in Lahore, said that the era of martial law has ended. “There is no room for martial law in Pakistan.”
He said this in response to a question regarding a possible imposition of martial law in the country.
When the topic came to Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and theories about the Arsalan Iftikhar case being a conspiracy to get revenge, Gilani said, “We do not need to take revenge. We have good relations with them.”
“We respect the institution, if the chief justice cannot hear his own son’s case, then at least he can hear my son’s case,” said the prime minister.
Punjab allocates Rs10 billion for electricity
Commenting on the Rs10-billion allocation for electricity generation in the Punjab budget, Gilani said, “If Rs10 billion had been allocated every year, the situation (of electricity crisis) would have been much better.”
He further criticised the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz’s (PML-N) decision to discontinue the run-of-river power projects initiated by Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid (PML-Q) leader and former chief minister of Punjab, Pervez Elahi, saying, “If those projects were continued, Punjab would have been producing its own electricity by now.”
“Has anyone ever asked the provincial government how many megawatts they have added to the system?” he questioned.
“They haven’t added even 1MW. But we added 3,700MW,” he said.
Achievements of current government
Gilani was asked what achievements the government had under its name that would help them get re-elected.
“You know, I have never asked you to vote for me,” was Gilani’s first response. “I am just saying that no government has achieved as much as this government.”
“The first achievement is that we restored the 1973 constitution to its original state, which has made the institutions stronger,” said the prime minister.
“Secondly, we made smaller provinces stakeholders in the country’s resources and gave them control over their own province’s resources.”
Another achievement, according to Gilani, were the amendments in the Frontier Controlled Regulations (FCR) that would allow political activity in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
“We made amendment in the FCR for the first time in 111 years,” said Gilani. “We included Kala Dhaka into the settled area,” he said, which was an achievement that even “the British could not claim.”
Gilani further claimed that the numerous bills introduced for women and labour empowerment by the government were “unprecedented in the history of Pakistan.”
The prime minister said that the government had taken relations with neighbouring countries to “new heights.”
“The trade relations with India will benefit our economy,” he said.