PTI’s 5-year performance will silence opp: PM

Imran optimistic electoral reforms bill will sail through joint session

Our Correspondent November 16, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party emerged as the single-largest party after clinching 26 direct seats in July 25 elections. PHOTO: TWITTER/PTI


Prime Minister Imran Khan has stressed that his government’s five-year performance will “bury” the politics of his opponents, saying that all his policies focused on the future of the country instead of winning the next election.

“From day one, they [opposition] wanted to topple my government because they fear that their ‘political shops’ will be shut after [PTI’s] five-year performance,” Premier Imran said while addressing a groundbreaking ceremony of dualisation of Lillah-Jhelum road on Tuesday.

The prime minister was accompanied by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and others.

PM Imran said past rulers made polices and built projects such as Metro Bus, which were only aimed at winning the next elections.

Hailing the performance of his government, the premier said for the first time in the country’s history, his administration was undertaking long-term projects to tackle the challenges of climate change and water crisis.

“We are building mega dams … planted 2. 5 billion trees and in the coming years, 10 billion more trees will be planted,” he added.

On introducing the electronic voting machine (EVM), PM Imran wondered why the opposition parties were opposing the use of technology in the elections.

He said this latest technology was being used across the world in the elections but “I wonder why the opposition parties [in Pakistan] are afraid of technology”.

His statement comes as the stage is all set for a decisive battle between the treasury and the opposition benches over the electoral reforms bill, among other things, in the joint sitting of parliament summoned on November 17 (today).

To a question on the crucial parliament session, the PM expressed his confidence of coming out on top, drawing parallels to "a sportsman wanting to always win on the field".

The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which landed in hot water last week after its allies expressed reservations whether the next general elections in the country should be held through the EVM, has finally won back their support on electoral reforms after PM Imran met them on Monday.

During the pandemic, he said, the prudent policies of the government had acclaimed global recognition in line with the decisions of the National Command and Operation Centre. "I am proud of our team that has helped the country sail smoothly through the challenge of the century."

The prime minister said the Economist Magazine ranked Pakistan as the top country in the world which handled the Covid-19 pandemic in the best possible way despite limited resources. He also quoted a World Bank report on how poverty in Pakistan had been reduced during his government’s tenure.

However, the premier admitted that people were facing difficulties due to high inflation, saying that due to Covid-19, the entire world was facing the same problem.

PM Imran also assured that his government was making all-out efforts to ease the woes of the masses, saying: “Like I saved the country from corona[virus], I will also reduce inflation.”
Member of the National Assembly from Jhelum Fawad Chaudhry said Lillah-Jhelum road would connect Grand Trunk road with motorway.

For this, Fawad said, the traffic from Kashmir will not need to pass through Rawalpindi to go to Lahore and Karachi.

Also read: PML-N keeps attacking judiciary: PM Imran

“This would make Jhelum and suburbs a periphery of Islamabad and would promote development.”

He mentioned that the government of PM Imran in three years had helped revive the industries and also facilitated the farmers.

Chief Minister Buzdar said the Lillah-Jhelum road would provide business and trade opportunities to the people, particularly of north Punjab.

He mentioned that under the District Development Programme, around 103 projects worth Rs11.3 billion were being carried out in Jhelum, adding that the Punjab government in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank would construct four roads of 5,006 kilometres in length.

Separately, chairing a meeting on Sialkot-Kharian-Rawalpindi Motorway, Premier Imran termed the project a game changer, saying that it will ensure transportation of goods and services in the region.

The meeting was attended by Communications Minister Murad Saeed, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Adviser on Finance Shaukat Tarin and senior officers concerned.

"Our aim is to build better and cost effective road infrastructure to spur economic activities in the country," he said.

Earlier, the prime minister was briefed that the National Highway Authority (NHA) was not only building more new roads but also working hard to ensure best quality and cheaper rates.

He was informed that 27 new road projects of 1,753km had been initiated by the governments.

It is worth mentioning that a four-lane road was being constructed at a cost of Rs170 million per kilometre as compared to Rs370 million per km during the previous government's tenure.

Moreover, the recently launched Sialkot-Kharian Motorway was also being built at a cost which was Rs100 million per km cheaper than the cost of Sialkot-Lahore Motorway built by the previous government.

The prime minister directed the authorities concerned to take all necessary measures to build quality infrastructure at minimum possible cost to save valuable financial resources of the country.

Presiding over another high-level meeting on the development of agriculture sector in the country, PM Imran said that with the commitment to fully benefit from the true potential of the sector, the government was striving to enhance the country's produce in the coming years with the help of farmers.

Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, Adviser on Finance Shaukat Tarin, Punjab Provincial Minister for Agriculture Syed Hussain Jahania Gardezi and senior officers concerned were present in the meeting which was also attended by State Bank of Pakistan Governor Reza Baqir through video-link.

Besides assistance of farmers in agricultural planning, provision of quality seed, modern agricultural machinery and soft loans were among the government's foremost priorities, he added.

He appreciated the banking sector's financial programme for development of the agriculture sector in Gujranwala and Okara districts.

He directed the authorities concerned to focus on providing facilities to the farmers in reducing the basic cost of agricultural production and enhancing productivity of their crops. (With input from app)






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