PM vows short-term steps to cut inflation, poverty ahead of next polls

Gov’t committed for progress & prosperity of Baluchistan: PM

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Islamabad: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that next general election in the country will be held within 15 months and his goal meanwhile would be to address the challenges of inflation and poverty.

“My vision is to rebuild Pakistan and try my best to decrease poverty and cut the budget of government sector to ensure austerity,” he said in an interview with Turkish state-television TRT, during his three-day official visit to Ankara.

PM Sharif said his government ahead of elections would take short-term measures to address the problems faced by the general public.

However, he stressed that if the people’s will brings his party to power in next election, a full-fledged development agenda would be launched to deal with issues such as unemployment and poverty.

The prime minister said the global skyrocketing prices of fuel had compelled his government to increase the cost of oil and gas.

Asked about the political situation in Pakistan, he said for the first time in the country’s history, a no-confidence vote had succeeded.

“This is a constitutional and legal transition which has been provided in the Constitution. It is a big step forward, rather a quantum jump,” he said.

From this point onward, he stressed that this would be an acceptable norm in Pakistan that if a majority of parliamentarians feel to have a particular government, they should be allowed to vote freely under the law of land.

He pointed that previously the similar situations witnessed martial laws and military interventions.

“But now, this has changed the entire ballgame and must be supported,” he said.

The prime minister said Pakistan and Turkey were pursuing the roadmap of regional cooperation with immense understanding and unity existed between the two leaderships.

Terming his Ankara visit as “phenomenal”, he said the people-to-people bond between the two nations was grounded in history.

He mentioned the pre-partition time where the Muslims of Indian sub-continent supported the Turkish movement.

“The relationship between our forefathers has become a permanent brotherhood for the days to come,” he said.

On Pak-Turk defence ties, he said Pakistan desired joint collaboration in military projects and added that the launch of MILGEM warship was in line with the same vision.

On setting the target of achieving $5 billion trade with Turkey, he said the objective was to expand the scope of trade and investment in diverse fields for the benefit of two nations.

On Turkey’s anti-terrorism steps against YPG/PKK terrorists in Syria, he said since Pakistan had been a big victim of terrorism, it supported the Turkish leadership on its efforts to eradicate the menace.

PM Sharif emphasized on a trilateral arrangement among China, Pakistan and Turkey to join the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

“The participation of Turkey in CPEC will translate into regional economic prosperity of the region,” he said, adding that he had proposed the same to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Meanwhile to another official commitment in Pakistan, Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif says government is committed for the progress and prosperity of Baluchistan. Addressing the inauguration ceremony of Gwadar Eastbay Expressway and groundbreaking of seven other development projects in Gwadar today, Shehbaz Sharif emphasized the need to work on war-footings for the development of the city terming it vital for the bright future of the country.

A component of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, the 6-lane Eastbay Expressway would connect the Gwadar Port with Karachi through the Makran Coastal Highway.

Addressing the ceremony, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the government has increased oil prices again with a heavy heart as it believes that anymore burden on the poor masses would be unjust and it is now time for the elite class to sacrifice and play their part in this noble cause.

The Prime Minister said he has called a meeting tomorrow to urge the billionaire elite to come forward and sacrifice for the poor masses by contributing their resources. He said this will start from me, ministers, advisors, federal and provincial secretaries and government officers.

Shehbaz Sharif said anticipating the success of vote of no confidence against it, the previous government reduced the oil prices to trap the incumbent government.

He said over 90 percent of oil is imported, how the government could provide subsidy on imported oil through loans.

The Prime Minister said the government has announced a relief package of two thousand rupees per month each family under Benazir Income Support Program to mitigate the impact of the oil price hike. He said solar panels are being provided to 3200 families in Gwardar with the cooperation of China to meet energy needs and address the problem of power shortage in the city.

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