Responding to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan’s recent allegations against him, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Friday that he had never claimed to eliminate power outages within six months.
“I never said I would eliminate power load-shedding in six months, however, I said we will definitely try to end it within our government’s five-year tenure,” the premier said, while suggesting that the power crisis would end by 2018.
The prime minister was addressing the ground-breaking ceremony of 1180MW Bhikki Power Plant in Sheikupura on Friday.
Earlier, the PTI chief hit out at the premier, calling him out for failing to end load-shedding within six months after coming to power as promised.
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The prime minister criticised the politics of the PTI chief, claiming he was putting obstacles in the way of the government’s efforts to provide relief to the country’s poor farmers. “People will not like your politics as you have deprived poor farmers of relief packages at a time of crisis,” PM Nawaz warned.
The prime minister went on to say that the Bhikki power project was made with a cost of Rs55 billion instead of its proposed cost of Rs95 billion.
“Any corrupt government would have taken advantage of the proposed cost and would not have toiled to save the hard-earned money of poor people,” he said, adding that the current government has initiated a new culture in the history of Pakistan.
The prime minister said his government was earnestly interested in pulling back the country from darkness, which he blamed previous governments for and added that they “did not plan anything to improve the situation”.
The prime minister also lamented that the complete responsibility of the country’s power crisis has been put on the shoulders of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which according to him was “inappropriate”.
The premier went on to advise Imran to play a positive role in the country’s politics instead of playing the politics of agitation. “Burning electricity bills on containers will not help but playing a positive role will,” he said.
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Meanwhile, in a startling revelation, Nawaz claimed to have completed the motorway project in the 90s through his “personal funding”. “The current government after coming to power in 2013 started a project of re-servicing the motorway,” he said, questioning as to why previous governments did not pay any heed to its repair and maintenance.
The prime minister directed the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) and the minister for water and power to provide maximum relief to people by reducing electricity prices, claiming that inflation was at its lowest in the country.