PM terms agitational politics uncalled for; invites for dialogue

BHAWALPUR: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Friday termed agitational politics uncalled for at a time when the country was on a path of progress, and invited those for dialogue who had given a call for protest.

Addressing a jam-packed gathering here at the Islamia University Bhawalpur after the inauguration of country’s first Solar Park project the Prime Minister said there was no justification for protests, particularly at a time when the country had embarked on a path of progress and development

“What is the need of the protest now?” he questioned and asked the gathering “are they against the progress of Pakistan, are they against the development projects in Pakistan, are they against measures to end corruption, against declining rate of dollar, end of load shedding?”

He said the people of Pakistan have sacrificed a lot and it was time that the country was allowed to move forward. He said the government was working on projects to build motorways, power plants while cutting down on expenses and there was no justification to agitate whatsoever.

“Why are you doing this? What are your motives?,” he asked.

The Prime Minister invited those who planned protest rallies to the PM House for dialogue and resolve issues amicably.

“Come to the Prime Minister House. Talk to me. Have tea or coffee with me, discuss your issues,” he said in an apparent reference to the PTI leader and recalled “I too visited you.”

He also dismissed the allegations of rigging in the general election and asked the people “where did rigging take place? Was there any rigging in Bhawalpur?” he questioned.

“This is not the way – that we will neither play nor let you play. You have been playing all your life. Exhibit the same sportsman spirit now,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister earlier performed the ground breaking of the country’s first ever Rs 15 billion 100 MW solar power park to provide cheap electricity and help the country meet its increasing energy needs.

The Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park will be expanded to produce 300 MW in second phase by 2015, while in third phase it will add another 600 MW with a total power generation capacity of 1000 MW by 2016.

The project will be completed by the Chinese company TBEA and produce electricity at a per unit cost of Rs 15. The Bank of Punjab is providing 75 per cent of funding for the project, while the remaining 25 per cent will be provided by the Government of Punjab. The project having 400,000 solar panels at a cost of US 131 million.

A 132 KV transmission line for 400 MW has already been installed, while another 220 KV line to carry another 600 MW will be completed in one-year time.

Prime Minister Sharif said his government would accomplish the task of meeting country’s energy needs much before the end of tenure of his government.

He said the solar power project in Bhawalpur will be operational in few months time and will reach its full capacity of generating 1000 MW in a little over two years time. He said the project reflected love of the PML-N government towards its people and commitment towards their future.

He said dearth of electricity in the past has pushed the country backwards and its entire industry and agriculture sector had suffered immensely. He said the people of Pakistan were suffering in all spheres of their life as they could not get clean drinking water, health facilities and businesses suffered as there was no electricity.

Prime Minister appreciated the performance of Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif and his team for their dedicated work and timely completion of various development projects.

The Prime Minister also noted his love for the people of Bhawalpur and reiterated resolve of his government to bring about a sea change in the lives of the people and to make it a modern model District.

He said the good news for the people of Bhawalpur was that new motorway project linking Lahore with Karachi will pass close to their city, while another motorway will link it with Multan.

Prime Minister Sharif said the government was undertaking projects for the progress of the country for next 25 years.

He mentioned the 2100 km long Pakistan-China trade corridor that will have industrial estates and development will take place along the entire route. He said Gawadar will be made into a most modern city and it will be a free port and will be a State like Dubai, Hong Kong or Singapore.

He recalled the recent power project that will produce 660 MW electricity, while another project at Gadani with ten units will produce 6600 MW electricity. He mentioned another project at Jamshoro will produce 1320 MW, besides several others at Rahim Yar Khan, Sahiwal, Jhang and Muzaffargarh will produce 2640 MWs in Punjab alone.

Prime Minister Sharif said under various projects China will help build different projects with 33 billion USD.

He said Pakistan has generation capacity of 23,000 MW and in next eight years another 21,000 MW will be added to the generation capacity. He said currently Pakistan was only producing 13,000 MW.

The Prime Minister also appreciated the remarks made by the Chinese ambassador who reiterated resolve of his government to help Pakistan in all areas.

He also appreciated the Inspector General of Police Punjab for ensuring safety of the Chinese project engineers and workers. He also directed to take special and effective measures for the security of Chinese personnel.