PM vows to curb terrorism‚ poor economy

NEW YORK: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said his government is determined to resolve the challenges of terrorism‚ law and order‚ and poor economy.

He was addressing a large gathering of Pakistani-Americans at a reception hosted in his honour by the Consulate General of Pakistan in New York.

He said the wrongs done to the country under dictatorial rule would be fixed and the government has drawn an elaborate plan to step up economic development through a series of projects in infrastructure‚ energy‚ educational fields‚ and intra-regional economic corridor.

The Prime Minister said the Motorway project would be completed right up to Karachi; dams would be built to overcome nagging blackouts and provide smooth supply of power to the industries that would open up jobs.

Amidst resounding applause, the Prime Minister said he and his party had weathered some very difficult times but had now been returned to power through ballot. “Every Pakistani should be proud of the unprecedented transfer of democratic power that has recently taken place in Pakistan,” he said.

“We are determined to face off the challenges, which are big and difficult, as they have accumulated over the years — we have to improve the law and order, we have to curb terrorism — for which we will hold dialogue as the priority way, improved security environment will help bring investment in to the country and bolster growth.”

He cited his interaction with the Chinese and Turkish leaders and said economic corridor from Khunjrab to Gawadar and then establishment of road linkage between Pakistan, Kabul and Central Asian countries onward would also help spur trade and economic activity in the country. The government also intends to connect Abbottabad and Islamabad with a tunnel, he added.

“I know we will have to arrange finances for these projects but we will be steadfast in pursuit of our development plans,” he said.

In the regional context, he expressed his desire for regional peace,including with neighbouring countries Afghanistan and India.

He said he raised the issue of US drone strikes in his UN address as well as in a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry as such operations on Pakistani soil were in violation of thye country’s sovereignty and they were counterproductive.

Earlier, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Masood Khan presented a welcome address on behalf of the community.

The reception was attended by Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security Sartaj Aziz, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi , Secretary Foreign Affairs Jalil Abbas Jillani and Pakistan’s Consul General in New York Faqir Asif Hussain.