Shehbaz warns against politics of sit-ins

PM visits under-construction Karot Hydropower project; meets engineers and workers

APP May 26, 2022

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif urged the people on Wednesday to reject the politics of sit-ins and immorality because that had inflicted huge loss to the national economy in the past and could jeopardise the country’s future.

Addressing the engineers and workers at the under-construction Karot Hydropower project, the prime minister recalled how a sit-in in Islamabad in 2014 caused the postponement of the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“A sit-in is being planned again. We should not divide the nation through sit-in. What message are you giving through the sit-in,” the prime minister asked, without mentioning the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which began its long march towards Islamabad on Wednesday.

At that time, he said, the political party was requested to suspend its sit-in for three days but they were adamant not to change their mind. “Had the visit of the Chinese president taken place in 2014, the Karot power project would have been completed a year ago,” he added.

The prime minister said that the government was trying to improve a bad economy and inflation which it inherited from the previous government. “By reducing the oil prices, the previous government had laid a ‘landmine’ for this government,” he added.

During the visit, Shehbaz reviewed progress on the 720 megawatt power project, which is part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The project faced delays because of the coronavirus pandemic and related issues.

Criticising Imran Khan, Shehbaz said the previous prime minister had enough time to drag the opposition to a tight corner and create divisions in society but he could not “find some time to visit this gigantic project”, control inflation, poverty and unemployment.

He thanked the Chinese and Pakistani workers, departments and ministries concerned for taking utmost interest in completing the project. He also thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Quaid Nawaz Sharif and the Three Gorges Company for executing the project.

He particularly thanked the Three Gorges Company head for agreeing to supply free-of-charge electricity to the national grid till the finalisation of commercial operation dates, which save Rs4 billion. He described the gesture unprecedented.

Also read: Experts raise red flag for economy

“This is the China-Pakistan friendship and iron brotherhood... This is the passion to serve which everyone should have … The only solution is to work hard and learn from past mistakes and reject the sit-ins to achieve the lost grandeur,” Shehbaz remarked.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz met a delegation of the Balochistan National Party (BNP), comprising Science and Technology Minister Hassan Baloch, State Minister for Energy Hashim Notezai, Senator Qasim Ranju and party Secretary General Jahanzeb Hussain.

During the meeting, the prime minister discussed the overall political situation. The BNP leaders expressed full support for the government’s policies. Shehbaz said that the government along with its allies would work with dedication and commitment to implement the agenda of public welfare.


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