PM says US told drone attacks "unacceptable" to Pakistan

Saturday, Jul 16,2011, 1:21:56 PM

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gillani on Friday [1 July] said during he next two years, the elected government of Pakistan People's Party would utilise all its resources to provide maximum relief to the common man to fulfill its promises made in the last elections.

In his monthly live online programme broadcast on Pakistan Television and other private hannels, he said, 80 percent of the manifesto has been implemented by the government and assured that the remaining 20 percent would be completed in the next two years.

Replying to a question, about the priorities of the government and implementation of the slogan of "roti, kapra and makan", the Prime Minister said, main emphasis during the first three years was on defence of the country, fight against terrorism, improvement in energy supply and strengthening of economic conditions in the country.

The Prime Minister said besides completing 80 percent implementation on the manifesto, the government had also completed 80 percent implementation on Charter of Democracy.

Gilani said with financial and monetary reforms, there has been improvement in the economic conditions of the country and the foreign exchange reserves have increased.

He said Pakistan has conveyed to the international community that it needed trade and not aid so that the future of the country could be established on strong footing with self-reliance.

Regarding improvement in the fiscal policies, the Prime Minister said the targets of revenue collection by the FBR have been achieved in the year 2010-11 and assured that these targets would also be met next year.

The Prime Minister said Provincial Autonomy Day should be celebrated by all and PML-N, which had a contribution in granting of rights to provinces, should not get uneasy on certain issues between Punjab and Federal governments. "We can sit in the Council of Common Interests to amicably resolve minor issues," he added.

He said Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto gave a unanimous Constitution of 1973, according to which concurrent list should have been abolished in 10 years, giving autonomy and rights to the provinces.

The issue of distribution of financial resources was amicably resolved through the 7th National Finance Commission Award approved by Chief Ministers and finance ministers in Gwadar Balochistan, he added.

He lauded work of Implementation Commission on constitutional reforms, headed by Raza Rabbani and said the constitutional reforms were put in place after consultation with all stakeholders and political parties including PML-N.

He said reason of separation of East Pakistan 40 years ago was that autonomy was not given to the provinces.

Gilani said the 18th and 19th Constitutional Amendments and NFC Award have resulted in relief for the common man and under a formula more financial resources were provided to the provinces.

During the current financial year, the federal government will spend 300bn rupees and the provincial governments will spend 730bn rupees on development projects, which will create new jobs and will bring more prosperity, he noted.

The Prime Minister said Benazir Bhutto introduced the policy of Independent Power Producers in 1994 to address the problem of energy shortages.

But after her government, the investors in energy projects faced cases and they left the country.

"So the credit goes to Benazir Bhutto otherwise the country would have been living in stone age," he said adding, "What would have happened if a previous government had sold power to India?" The Prime Minister said the government will devise a master plan in two months to tackle the issue of electricity and gas shortages and better manage supply of petroleum products.

"We have already added 2000 megawatts to the national power grid and work will continue on war footing to execute energy projects."

He said demand of electricity has increased because of expansion in population and business activity and electrification of more villages.

The Prime Minister said all available gas and electricity resources will be tapped through implementation of short, medium and long term projects.

This year, 2000 megawatts will be added to the power grid, work will continue on Diamir Bhasha dam, Thar coal and TAPI and a joint project with Iran, he said and added the country is facing power shortages due to wrong policies of the previous governments.

To a question about allegations of rigging in Azad Jammu and

Kashmir polls, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gillani said that Pakistan Peoples Party won almost all the bye polls held so far in the entire country and no one levelled such allegations in these polls.

He said that Kashmir polls is not a rocket science and all the political leadership knew graph of their parties. He said last time the PPP lost the polls in AJK as there was division in the party while the Muslim Conference was united, but this time the PPP was united and the Muslim Conference was divided.

The people of Kashmir voted for PPP on our manifesto while the foundation of the party was laid on the Kashmir issue as it is the root cause of our party. He said the PPP governments have internationalized the Kashmir cause.

The Prime Minister advised those who lost the polls in AJK to accept the defeat with a big heart. He said Prime Minister of AJK Sardar Atiq Ahmed Khan was facilitated to take part in contact group of meeting of the OIC on Kashmir in Kazakhstan to highlight the issue internationally. The Prime Minister assured the people of Kashmir that Pakistan would support them morally and diplomatically, adding, the international community is with Kashmiris and until the Kashmir issue is not resolved there will be no peace in the region.

About reorganization of the Election Commission, the Prime Minister said that on the directives of Supreme Court the Elections Commission was reorganized unanimously while appointments of judges was also made unanimously.

He said that all the political parties are united on it and there is no difference on it.

To a question of a woman caller about devolution of ministry for women development, the Prime Minister said, women represented 52 percent of the population, adding, the Women Division and related functions were placed in the Human Rights Division. He said the government is trying to make women community stronger so that they could work freely. He said that after devolution of women ministry to the provinces the Federal Government will honour all the commitments made with the international community in this regard.

To a question about North Waziristan operation and vacation of Shamsi airbase by the United States, the Prime Minister said: "We have conveyed to the United States that Pakistan would not compromise on its integrity and sovereignty and drone attacks are unacceptable to us as it affects our strategy in the war against terrorism." The Prime Minister said that the US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton was told that joint resolution of the Parliament is will of the people of Pakistan and the United States should respect it.

He said that western borders of Pakistan are in safe hands and our army is competent to defend it, adding, military action is no solution to the problem. He said the present government never allowed the USA to carry out drone attacks from Shamsi airbase, adding, the previous government allowed the US to use the base for reconnaissance purpose.

Prime Minister Gilani rejected the impression that dialogue process between the USA and Pakistan had been ended and said that strategic dialogue between the two countries is going on. About the law and order situation in Karachi, the Prime Minister said that law and order is a provincial issue, but the federal government is cooperating with the provincial governments in intelligence sharing.

He said that a core group of all the political leadership had been constituted to maintain the law and order situation in Karachi.

"I have already given instructions to the Interior Ministry to preempt any kind of law and order situation," the Prime Minister said.

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