KARACHI: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Sunday that there is no confrontation between the government and the army or judiciary. He also praised his cabinet’s performance and outlined some of his government’s ambitions for the coming year.
Briefing the media during his visit to the Quaid’s mazar, after presiding over the 100th cabinet meeting, Gilani said: “If anyone wants to send elected government packing then he has to follow the 1973 constitution.”
The prime minister also ruled out the chance of elections being held after March this year, while celebrating a century of federal cabinet meetings. “Since independence no elected government has completed the tenure of 45 months and this number of meetings,” he added.
Regarding the politics of number games in parliament he said: “I think no party can get the majority in the upcoming election as well. Every one will have to make an alliance in the future.”
Task force for energy crisis
Two different task forces, under the supervision of Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and Minister for Petroleum Asim Hussain, will be set up. These will be tasked with restructuring national assets in order to make them profitable and thus resolve the energy crisis.
Gilani said the government has also launched a programme to overcome the prevailing crisis in five sectors, including the railways, steel mills, loadshedding, gas loadsheding and PIA. “We will shift our priority to these sectors during the upcoming year,” he said.
Every department has been directed to submit a progress report within a month. “We will make public the performance of these departments,” Gilani said.
The prime minister was proud of the cabinet’s record. He said that 80% of the decisions taken in the 100 cabinet meetings have been implemented, while the rest would be acted upon soon. In addition, he said, cabinet meetings would be held in all four provinces.
Year for Balochistan
2012 has been declared the year of Balochistan, to show solidarity with people from the province. “There has been a sense of deprivation among the people of the province. We have to give priority on different issues of Balochistan,” he said.
Gilani said that free and fair elections would be held to avoid accusations of vote-rigging. Regarding Imran Khan’s rally, Gilani said “I do not have an idea whether it will be a successful event or not; the media should brief me on it.”
On inflation, the premier said the problem was international, and even America and other western countries were suffering. He added that the government will accelerate the Benazir Income Support Programme to provide more resources to those in need.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 26th, 2011.