LAHORE, Pakistan: State Minister for Water and Power Chaudhary Abid Sher Ali said the people have full confidence in leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and they will foil ‘Raiwind dharna conspiracy’ hatched by PTI Chairman Imran Khan.
He was talking to media after inaugurating the International Workshop on “Standardizing flood forecasting and warning approaches in trans boundary catchments” which was organized by UNESCO in collaboration with Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) and JICA at a local hotel on Tuesday.
The Minister said that people knew the mindset of Imran Khan and they watched the flop drama in Islamabad last year. He said that agitational politics had no room in the rising Pakistan, adding that such tactics would be buried in the ‘plains of Raiwind’.
In a lighter vein, Abid Sher Ali said that Raiwind has a sacred Tableeghi Markaz and PTI must send Imran Khan there for mental and spiritual healing through dua (prayer).
He termed the attitude of PTI Chairman towards the formation of Commission to probe Panama Leaks as “silly”, adding that Imran Khan adopted very poor policy for the judges earlier in past as well when election inquiry commission had declared his stance wrong. He said that no honourable judge wanted to make himself controversial due to harsh behaviour of PTI and its chief.
The Minister said that under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the country was moving towards achieving peace, development and prosperity.
He said that PML-N government launched a number of mega development projects, including China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Gawadar Free Port and power projects would be game changers in the region.
Abid Sher Ali said that Imran Khan wanted to stop this development through conspiracies, because he knew that PML-N would steer the country towards prosperity and people would reject him again in the next general election.
He said that peaceful protest was everyone’s right, adding that it would not be possible to stop PML-N workers if PTI adopted rough attitude against PML-N leadership.
To a question, he said that Imran Khan wanted to set up his own court and commission to get decisions according to his likings and will but it won’t be possible in the democratic era.
He said that some leaders of “Tanga parties” also started politics against the PML-N government and called it “another joke”. He said that Sheikh Rashid had been the member of Pervez Musharraf’s cabinet and he had a long time to prove allegations against PML-N leadership, but he (Sheikh Rashid) completely failed to establish anything against Nawaz Sharif, despite putting him in Attock Fort and prisons for a long time.
The minister said that PTI should wait and see people’s reaction in the next election, and compare development in Punjab with KPK.
“Imran had habit of ball tempering when playing cricket but Nawaz Sharif would hit his bouncer to the boundary”.
To another question, the Minister said that government has decided to convince traders to close markets till 8 pm to save energy. He said that loadshedding would be reduced this year due to various steps by the government.
He added that there would be 6 hours loadshedding in cities and 8 hours in rural areas while it would be increased in the areas where electricity theft ratio would be high.
He said that as an option, government would consider to install special meters in markets to charge according to the time of use which would cost more to the commercial consumers.
Earlier, addressing the workshop, the Minister appreciated UNESCO, JICA and PMD for organizing the event related to a very sensitive and chronic issue which the country has been facing since its birth in the form of floods. He said the gravity of the issue was increasing due to global warming and climate change.
He said that flood constitutes the biggest natural hazard in Pakistan entailing colossal damage to the lives and property. He said the floods of 2010 in Indus and 2014 in Chenab were the recent examples when the national economy faced huge loss to the infrastructure and human lives.
He said that after 2010 floods, Government of Japan in collaboration with UNESCO launched a project “Strategic Strengthening of Flood Warning and Management Capacity of Pakistan” under which first version of the model Indus-IFAS was completed and put into operation. In terms of its further improvement, second phase of this project is being started now under a competent team of scientists lead by Professor Toshio Koike. This workshop will be followed by one week training of the young professionals of various Pakistani institutions and Afghanistan.
He added that Government of Pakistan has very good relations with Japan and this project provides ample proof of these good ties.