Prime Minister to visit China on November 7: Asif

Water, Power and Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said here on Sunday that protection of constitution, parliament and democracy was top on agenda of all political parties. The political parties were united to protect democracy from derailment and for supremacy of constitution, he added.

Talking to Business Recorder, he said people belonging to all walks of life, including members of civil society, were also united in support of parliament, while only two parties were bent upon destabilising the state machinery through long march and Dhrana (sit-ins). Asif said that there are no chances of holding mid-term elections, adding that it was constitutional and discretion of prime minister to hold mid-term polls in the country.

He said that the sit-ins were posing serious threats to national economy and export which is a serious blow to national exchequer, but unfortunately the leadership of both political parties were not realising the gravity of the situation. Apart from this, many foreign dignitaries have postponed their visit to Pakistan due to sit-ins and protests and, as such, many agreements which were to be signed during their visits were also postponed, he deplored.

About the installation of fast electricity meters, the minister termed it `a sheer propaganda of anti-government elements’ just to hoodwink the masses, saying a detailed inquiry had already been ordered in this regard.

The minister disclosed that Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif will visit China on Nov 7 and, hopefully, several agreements, including those pertaining to electricity, will be signed and discussed with Chinese counterpart.

The PML-N led government will fulfil its responsibility and commitments for bringing out the country out of energy crisis and government was making strenuous efforts to minimise the loadshedding and bringing betterment in the system by reducing line losses, he added.

The government with a view to ensuring provision of electricity was taking revolutionary steps, he said, adding that the duration of loadshedding has been reduced as compared to previous years.

He said that provision of electricity to industrial sector was top on agenda, enabling its production wheel in full motion.

The minister urged the people to forge unity so as to foil conspiracies against the derailment of democracy and strengthening of democratic institutions in the country. He also urged the people to demonstrate complete unity and brotherhood during the Muharram in Sialkot as it was in past, adding that people should keep an eye on anti-social elements and suspected persons during the holy month in and around Sialkot.