ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Friday expressed resolve of his government not to indulge in any politics on issues of national importance including economy and security and to work selflessly to remove all the ills afflicting the country.
Addressing the participants of “Vision 2025 – Stakeholder’s Conference” here at the Convention Centre, the Prime Minister said” our vision aims at building a strong, enlightened, prosperous, and a peaceful Pakistan that ensures a sustained improvement in the quality of life of all its citizens.”
Over 1,000 professionals and experts from public and private sectors, business community, politicians, members of civil society, academia and media professionals, attended the Conference, convened to address challenges the economy was facing. It will propose practical solutions to overcome these obstacles. The event was attended by Federal Ministers, Chief Ministers, Members of Parliament, Diplomats, Representatives of private sector and Government.
Prime Minister Sharif said Pakistan direly needed unanimity at all levels, be it the civil society or institutions of the state; and consensus on national priorities, needs and goals.
He said though Pakistan has seen improvement in many areas, over the years, however there was still a long way to go.
He mentioned security concerns as an area that needed to be addressed to help bring in foreign investment into the country.
The Prime Minister said issue of security came up during his first visit to China, and the terrorist attack on tourists at Nanga Parbat was raised. He said there was a need to counter the threat and bring peace to the country.
Prime Minister Sharif said the country at the moment needed speedy justice and said it was his sincere desire that cases; particularly those relating to acts of terrorism be heard and decided within 14 days.He said there must not be any bail for those involved in cases of heinous crimes.
He regretted that court cases in the country drag on for decades,denying justice and causing suffering for the masses.
“It is my sincere wish to make Pakistan a citadel of peace, where its citizens feel secure and there are no threats to life and property, terrorism, dacoties and kidnapping for ransom.”
The Prime Minister also regretted the wrong use of loudspeakers at places of religous worship as it fanned extremism, sectarianism and terrorism. He said the misuse must be stopped and enforced strictly to stop any hate speech. All the four provinces need to take strict measures and if there was a need,they must undertake necessary legislation in this regard, he said.He said if all provinces award exemplary punishment to those responsible for fanning sectarianism,the situation would improve significantly. He said averting sectarianism and countering terrorism was vital for Pakistan as the country’s very existence depended on it. He said Pakistan was currently at the lowest tier in terms of security issues and extraordinary measures were needed to bring peace at all costs. “If needed we will take revolutionary steps to bring peace to Pakistan.” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister referring to the issue of load shedding said his government paid an amount of Rs 500 billion to help resolve the circular debt, and brought in an additional 1700 MW of power into the national system. He said measures were afoot to put an end to the issue of loadshedding permanently and mentioned the major projects that will generate an additional 17,000 MW of electricity and help meet the country’s industrial and domestic needs. He said work on both the Diamir Bhasha and Bunji dams will be taken up by his government.
The Prime Minister said that he will perform the ground breaking of a civil nuclear power plant in Karachi in collaboration with China on November 26, aimed at meeting the growing demand for electricity.
He mentioned the wrong steps taken to put the judges behind bars and said it led to the launch of a movement for the restoration of the judiciary. The Prime Minister said all those responsible for the ills afflicting the country need to be taken to task and be held accountable.
The Prime Minister regretted that despite witnessing a decline in poverty levels across the world, an increase was being seen in Pakistan, which need to be addressed urgently.
Prime Minister Sharif said that the federal government was desirous of maintaining harmony among all the federating units and did not believe in any interference in their affairs.
The Prime Minister pointed to the four Chief Ministers invited for the event and said for him Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak and CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif were equally important, as he sincerely believed that the system must work.
He also recalled the inking of Charter of Democracy with former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and said he still remained committed to it.
He said for him the interests of the country were always supreme.He said even when he was in opposition he served the nation with the best of his abilities and never played the role of a friendly opposition.
He said the government has initiated schemes for loans for the youth, of which half will go to the young women. He asked the women to explore new fields for income generation, apart from the traditional ones like dress making.
He said in the past the loans were only reserved for those who were in power, however now these have been opened up for the poor and the young educated youth, so as to allow them generate income independently. The Prime Minister appreciated the efforts of Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal and his team to organize this important Conference.
He said the preparation of Pakistan’s Vision-2025 was an important national task that required the widest possible participation.
Prime Minister said the objective of the conference was to seek ideas and recommendations for formulating this vision as a collective exercise to improve the economic condition of the country. The Vision 2025 programme and the 11th 5-year plan is scheduled to be finalized by December 31 and after its approval from the National Economic Council, it will be implemented from January next year.