LAHORE: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Saturday that Pakistan’s grave issues of terrorism, law and order and economy must not be used for political mileage.
Speaking to reporters at the 37th Export Award Ceremony, the prime minister said the committees formed by the government and Taliban for peace talks are working properly.
He said both the committees were in contact and the nation was being taken into confidence through media.
The prime minister said that both the committees were holding dialogue in an amicable manner and committee members were also in constant liaison with the media.
He appreciated the role being played by the private sector to put the country on the road to progress and prosperity. He said the nationalisation of industries in the 1970s was a major setback as this step had badly damaged the country’s economy.
Nawaz Sharif said that during his previous tenure as PM, banks were privatised and they are now running successfully. He said that challenges being faced by the country, including terrorism and extremism, are due to faulty policies. He said that all segments of society should move forward with unity to resolve problems related to economy, terrorism and law and order situation.
He said the government is working day and night to overcome these problems.
The prime minister said that during his recent visit to the United States, he had clearly conveyed to US officials that Pakistan only wants trade, not aid. He said a business advisory council will be set up which will recommend ways to boost the country’s exports and solve problems facing the business community. The PM said he will personally attend meetings of this council to know about the problems directly.
The prime minister said Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir has been given a target of doubling the country’s exports. He said the issue of energy shortage is affecting the national economy, adding that resolving this crisis will take time and the government is taking all-out steps in this regard. He said work on various mega and small power projects is in progress in different parts of the country. He said the Lahore-Karachi Motorway project will be completed during the tenure of his government.
“Had motorway projects of the previous PML-N tenures started, today there would have been a huge network of motorways up to Karachi, Balochistan and KP and hence trade and business activities would have increased substantially in Pakistan,” he added.
Nawaz Sharif said the country’s GDP growth was scaling up and revenue collection has improved substantially. He said the government has devised an effective policy for maximum supply of electricity and gas to the industry, and added that industry was being supplied more electricity and natural gas this year against the previous one.
The industrial sector, he said, would not only jack up the export volume but also create employment opportunities. Electricity supply to the industry, especially power looms
in Faisalabad, has ended unrest among the industrial labour, he added.
“The PML-N government is fully aware of its responsibilities. We are using all avenues from where we can get electricity, as I believe in actions and not in mere promises,” he said.
“The government is focusing on speedy completion of all energy projects including Gaddani Power Project, Diamer-Bhasha dam, Bunji and Dasu dams, civil nuclear power projects, Neelum-Jehlum Hydropower Project and more,” he added.
The prime minister said that gas shortage should have ended during the last five years but unfortunately, it continued to persist until the PML-N government came to power.
Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan could get optimum benefit from the GSP-Plus (Generalised System of Preferences) status by keeping the industrial wheel on the move, as a vibrant industry would increase resources which would help ensure Pakistan’s development and nation’s prosperity.
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