Local polls will be non-party based: PM
* Says those disrupting law and order will be dealt with sternly
FAISALABAD: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said on Friday that the local council elections would be held on a non-party basis and people should support the candidates who promoted development.
The prime minister spelled out three basic principles for good governance — hard work, honesty and sincerity. Speaking to the union nazims after inaugurating gas supply to Samundari near Faisalabad, he said the cabinet had taken a landmark decision to reform the judiciary and police.
Shaukat Aziz said that the irrigation water crisis had been managed and the government was expecting 30-35 percent extra water for the coming Kharif crop.
He hoped that there would be a good wheat crop this season.
Mr Aziz said that unhygienic water was the root cause of diseases like hepatitis. “The government has taken special measures to provide potable water to people,” he added. He said that Samundari would also get clean drinking water while the government had also initiated a Rs 2.5 billion programme to control hepatitis.
Shaukat Aziz said Pakistan was now a strong country and no one could cast an evil eye on it, adding that Pakistan had been included in the top ten countries of Asia. The prime minister later told reporters that Pakistan wanted the Kashmir issue resolved in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiri people. He said President Pervez Musharraf would hold detailed talks with the Indian leadership on Kashmir and other issues during his Indian visit. Mr Aziz said that there were many complexities but the Pakistani and Indian leaders were committed to resolving the issue.
The prime minister said that peace in the region hinged on a solution acceptable to Kashmiris, Pakistan and India.
About Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians leader Asif Ali Zardari’s return to Pakistan, he said that the government would not restrict peaceful political activities, adding that those taking law into their own hands would be dealt with according to the law.
He said that the government was taking all necessary measures to keep Pakistan’s industry competitive after the WTO regime was enforced. He said that Pakistan Railways’ financial position had improved substantially and added that the department should use its land efficiently. He said the land sale could help generate funds for the improvement of Railway infrastructure. He said that work on Fasialabad-Multan Motorway (M-4) would be started soon and completed on a priority basis.
Inaugurating the third unit of the Sitara Group of Industries on Sheikhupura Road being set up with the assistance of a Chinese company, the prime minister said the beggar’s bowl had been broken and loans would no more be obtained by mortgaging the nation. app