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Pakistan

Elections Amendment Bill 2022 to ensure fair elections: PM Shehbaz

  • Bill scraps electronic voting in elections, restrains overseas Pakistanis from participating in polls
Updated 26 May, 2022

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Thursday that approval of the Elections Amendment Bill 2022 will ensure fair elections in Pakistan, reported Aaj News.

Addressing a session of the National Assembly, he thanked the participants for paving the way for the bill's smooth sailing.

Earlier during the day, the National Assembly approved the Elections Amendment Bill 2022, which seeks to scrap electronic voting in elections and restrain overseas Pakistanis from participating in elections.

NA okays Election Act amendment that seeks to scrap electronic voting

The PM also said that the present government would rescue the sinking economy, blaming Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership for damaging it from 2018 to early 2022.

Recalling the prolonged sit-in held by the PTI in 2014, he added that PTI Chairman Imran Khan openly incited violence and attacked the parliament. Moreover, officials from law enforcement agencies were also attacked, he said.

“Due to the protest, Chinese President Xi Jinping had to cancel his trip to Pakistan,” he said. “We asked Imran Khan to end the sit-in for Xi’s trip but our requests fell on deaf ears.”

Call elections: Imran gives six-day deadline to government

As a result, the Chinese president cancelled the trip and deals with the country faced a delay of 7 months as the nation waited for Xi’s next visit to Pakistan.

“Now, there is no space for anarchy and protests,” he added.

Shehbaz said if the deals had been signed in time, the Karot Hydropower Project would have been completed one year earlier.

Talking about his visit to the project a day before, he stated that the Chinese company involved in its creation had agreed to provide free electricity until the rate of power transmission was decided on commercial operation date (COD).

“This will save Rs4 billion for the country and the money will be used for public well being,” he said. “We can use it to built educational institutions or install solar panels in Balochistan.”

Economy to improve only after IMF deal: minister

He lamented that PTI was once again resorting to protests while the government made efforts to keep the economy afloat.

Shehbaz outlined that in 1990, the Pakistani rupee was stronger than Indian rupee against the US dollar.

Against USD: Rupee recovers from intra-day low, closes marginally weaker at 202.01

“We created an independent economy and India copied us. Indian government also agreed that it copied our model,” he stressed. “Today, India’s IT exports amount to $200 billion while our IT exports stand at a mere $1.5 billion.”

He said the country was seeing 2014-like political instability once again.

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