Monday, April 19

We have no love lost for Musharraf, says Gilani

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has said the PPP government has no love lost for Pervez Musharraf, while the Army will have any link with the ex-General’s trail, and the law will take its course.
He was responding to questions of the mediamen here on Saturday (August 15, 2009) after he inaugurated the 225megwatt worth $225million Atlas Rental Power Plant completed in 19 months, which is also the first power plant completed under 2002 Power Policy.
When quizzed about demand of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif for trial of Pervez Musharraf, the premier said the matter would be taken into consideration as per law. “The Army has no link with Musharraf’s trial, because if the Parliament decided to initiate trial against the General, the Army will not hinder it. It is a wrong impression that either the PPP or the government has a soft corner for the former president,” he said, while adding that the government wanted to move ahead as per law, which was also true of Musharraf.
About the National Finance Commission, Gilani told the mediamen that it had been reconstituted, and an announcement would be made soon in this regard, and its meeting would be convened as well.
To a question about a letter received by the premier from Shahbaz Sharif about Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer, he declined to have got any such dispatch.
About Swat, he said the government's writ had been established in most of the troubled areas, while there were problems at a few places that would also be sorted out by the Army soon. “The Army will remain there till the restoration of complete peace,” he added.
About possibility of raise in power tariff following installation of new Rental Power Plants, Gilani was explicit in mentioning, “Power tariff is not going to be enhanced as these plants are being set up after thorough study and the government is committed to providing electricity to people at the lowest possible rates.”
When asked as to why the government opted for the RPPs, the premier said steps had to be taken to deal with an issue keeping in view all aspects. “The country is facing severe power shortage and the RPPs are the best option to bridge supply-demand gap in the shortest possible time for providing relief to the masses from loadshedding,” he added.
The premier referred to the challenges of terrorism, Indian threats following Mumbai incident and power shortage and said the government had been taking effective and prudent steps to deal with these and various other issues. He further said the government had overcome flour crisis and would also overcome the problem of hike in sugar prices.
The premier further added that the government with the support of masses had overcome various crises, and the problem of power shortage would also be resolved in the coming four to six months. “We are facing shortage of 3500megwatt, which will finished in the coming months,” he added.
To a query about expansion in US embassy in Islamabad, Gilani said somebody had filed a petition in court against the purchasing of land by US Embassy, but government would take up the issue when it would be pointed out.
Earlier, the PM inaugurated the power plant. Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf, Senior Provincial Minister Raja Riaz Ahmed and others were also present on the occasion.
In his address, Gilani said there were 40 power plants worth $3 billion while Direct Foreign Investment was in the pipeline to overcome the power crisis.
He said power crisis hit the masses and industry. There were 3500 MW shortfall and rental power plants would soon supply the power to national grid to meet this crisis. “Power generation is the first priority of the present government for which a cabinet committee has been constituted for overcoming the line losses and faults in the distribution system. The circular debt is already resolved and the government will use all available resources like coal, wind and solar energy for power production,” he said.
The PM said the government was promoting public private partnership and inviting global investors for a healthy atmosphere in power generation and added that no stone would be left unturned for the development of national economy.
The PM said the government had been working for political reconciliation in the country for political stability. He asserted that the government would mobilise all available resources and a policy framework necessary for investment culture in the country. “The prolonged dictatorship in the country has affected investment friendly atmosphere, but the present government will recreate congenial atmosphere for the investors,” maintained.
Earlier, in his address Chairman Atlas Group Yusuf Shirazi said his industrial group had completed 15 projects during the last 45 years and some three projects had been launched after every five years. He said Pakistan was a land of best professionals and workers, and the Group was at good terms with MAN Germany and after completing the first power plant, the next project would be started.
Raja Pervez Ashraf and MAN Diesel Powers Germany Executive Board Members Dr Stefan Spindler also spoke on this occasion.

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