Raja asks PML-N to lend govt a hand
* PM urges PML-N to avoid politics of confrontation in NA for sake of democracy
* All institutions should play their role within their constitutionally defined ambit
LAHORE: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Friday invited opposition parties, particularly the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to cooperate with his government to appoint new chief election commissioner (CEC) in order to hold independent and transparent general elections.
Raja made these remarks while addressing PPP Punjab members at the Punjab Governor’s House. The prime minister is on a two-day visit to Lahore, which is his first tour to the city since assuming the office of prime minister.
“The opposition should come forward for the selection of CEC which is vital for the smooth and reliable electoral process ahead.”
Expressing the government’s commitment to end load shedding across the country, he said that initially his government was trying to reduce unscheduled power cuts and “hopefully this will be ended soon”.
He said that power shortfall had been reduced a great deal due to the recent initiatives by the government.
Raja also appreciated gestures of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s government for according him warm welcome by sending a team to receive him at airport. He also urged the PML-N to avoid politics of confrontation in the National Assembly for the sake of democracy.
The prime minister rejected politics of confrontation amongst the institutions and political parties, saying that it was detrimental to the cause of democracy including the opposition. He said that all institutions could play their positive role by working within their constitutionally defined ambit.
The prime minister advised all institutions and political parties to avoid “leg-pulling” of their opponents. He added there would be no problem if everyone works within his/her domain.
Raja said that his government was not in favour of politics of confrontation and, therefore, “all institutions and political parties should pay respect and honour mandate of others because all governments, including federal and provincial, are enjoying mandate of the people of Pakistan”. “I hold the governments of Punjab, Sindh, KP and Balochistan in high esteem and respect their mandates,” he added.
He also assured PPP workers that he would continue to follow former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s mission and her policy of politics of reconciliation.
The prime minister said that he fully respected the Punjab government’s mandate and it was also equally “valuable” for the PPP-led government in the Centre. However, he said, that next general elections would be held on their scheduled time and “the PPP will win them with majority”.
He said the PPP-led government has completed record development projects during the past four years, saying that restoration of the 1973 constitution, passage of the Aghaz-e Haqooq-e-Balochistan and provincial autonomy are salient achievements of the present government.
The premier said that democracy is the best antidote to the problems like terrorism, energy crisis, poverty and intolerance in the country. He said the PPP has always worked for strengthening of institutions.
Raja said that although some people were surprised on his selection as prime minister, they should remember that it was an historical moment when an ordinary political worker became a PM. Raja also paid tribute to former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani for his services for the country and the party.
Some of the party members highlighted different issues facing the country as well as the people of Punjab.
The PM will address a session of PPP members of the Punjab Assembly today (Saturday) and have a meeting with lawyers from the People’s Lawyers Forum (PLF). kashif hussain/app