BISHAM - Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Saturday urged opposition parties to shun differences and come forward to hold free, fair and transparent elections in the country.
“Election is the only process to reach the power corridors,” the prime minister said while addressing a function after inaugurating 72MW Khankhwar hydro power project in Bisham town of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Ashraf said he did not have differences with any opposition party and all should make collective efforts for holding free and fair elections.
He said a consensus chief election commissioner had been appointed because “we do not want any hanky panky in the polling process”. The PM said he had never made any effort to manipulate the elections, rather “we are victims of conspiracies”. The prime minister said the present government would remain in power until God wanted to.
“Some people have been giving time and dates for the departure of the government, but all such speculations fizzled out with the passage of time,” he added. He said no effort should be made to destabilize the government and collective efforts were needed to steer the country out the crisis. The prime minister said he was sincere in establishing cordial relations with the opposition parties.
He regretted that dictators ruled the country for more than 10 years at a go but no one stopped them from their unconstitutional actions, but an elected government was unnecessarily being targeted. He said all hydro power projects, including Neelum Jehlum, Dober, Kohala and Dasu, would be taken up for overcoming the energy crisis.
“The future of the country lies in increasing hydro power generation,” he said, adding that work on the Thar Coal project had already been initiated. The prime minister said several investors had left the country due to undue criticism of independent power producers (IPPs). Ashraf said power crisis would have worsened if the IPPs were not put in place. He said the government was focusing on hydropower generation projects to produce inexpensive and environment friendly power.
The PM said the demand of power was increasing eight to 10 percent annually and this challenge could only be met by plugging the demand and supply gap.