FAISALABAD: Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan said on Tuesday the entire country was facing a chaos-like situation due to a case in the apex court about the Punjab elections date.
He said a forensic audit of a recently leaked audio conversation between two women should be carried out to clear the situation.
Addressing the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) workers at Chardaywalla village here, he said some people were claiming that the purported conversation was a private talk between two housewives.
“How come it could be called private talk if the women were discussing a most sensitive and important issue of the country,” the minister said. He said this issue should be handled wisely. He said controversial elections in 1971 had divided the country, and the controversial elections in 1977 caused eruption of terrorism in Pakistan.
He said one woman in the leaked audio was clearly supporting a political party and urging the superior court judges to announce a favourable verdict. Therefore, it could not be called a private and personal conversation, he added.
The rejected the allegations that the PMLN was trying to avoid elections, and added that it was only a propaganda by the opponents. “We are fully prepared to participate in elections, but our demand is that the electoral process for all assemblies must be held simultaneously for economic stability in the country,” he added.
Meanwhile, speaking at a public gathering at Nathu Chak Aminpur Road on Tuesday, he said the PTI promoted hatred and politics of victimisation during its four-year rule in addition to inflicting irreparable loss on the national economy.
He said that during the PMLN tenure, flour was available at Rs 35 per kilogram, sugar at Rs 50-kg while dollar was available for around Rs 110-112. He said former premier Imran Khan reached a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which triggered an unrestrained inflation.
“We are trying to meet the harsh conditionalities, agreed to by the previous PTI government,” he added. He said the IMF was demanding that all subsidies must be eliminated and electricity, gas and petrol should be provided on its actual cost. Such steps were causing price-hike in the country and PTI was responsible for it, he added.
The interior minister said, “We are demanding same day election to all assemblies, as if polls would be held in parts, it would be damaging for the federation of Pakistan.” He said: “We have been demanding full court bench to hear the election petition, but a nine-member bench constituted in the beginning was reduced to a three-member bench till reaching a decision.”
The PML-N leader said: “Our demand is very clear, that the elections should be held in a fair and free manner so that the outcome could be acceptable to all parties,” he added. He said “we are optimistic that the Supreme Court would make decisions in the best national interest”.
About development works in his constituency, he said Wapda and gas companies were under the administrative control of the federal government and he had already directed those departments to accomplish all ongoing projects on top priority basis. He said that a survey had also been ordered to supply gas to far-off rural areas. However, it would be done subject to its availability in the country.
Rana Sanaullah said that offices of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and Passport had been established in his constituency to provide facilities to people at their doorsteps. He said The PML-N government in Punjab remained in power only for two months, during which the provincial budget was prepared and presented.
The federal minister said: “The government is focusing on the main roads and, in the second phase, the link roads would be repaired.”
He said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government paid no attention to roads, “but the incumbent government allocated Rs 2.5 billion for construction of bypass from Sargodha Road to Sammundri Road via Jhang Road”. A new 55-kilometre road is also being constructed with an estimated cost of Rs 920 million, while Aminpur Road has also been competed with Rs 230 million, he added.
He said the total amount spent on uplift projects in his constituency was around Rs 4.5 billion, which was sufficient to complete all development projects. He said Faisalabad was commonly known as a mega village, but the PMLN had the credit to transform it into a modern city by constructing hospitals, universities, overhead bridges, underpass, express ways, and many more.
He said the PTI government failed to serve masses. Its leadership indulged in minting money through transfer and postings and people must recognise their true face and reject them in the upcoming elections with their vote power.
He criticised Imran Khan and said he had no political acumen as he was not ready to talk with his political opponents, and hence he was not capable to be elected as a leader even for a community. He said that former speaker National Assembly Asad Qaisar had contacted the government for negotiations, but later Imran Khan suspended him.
The assemblies would complete their constitutional tenure in August, after which elections to all assemblies would be held simultaneously at the set time, under a caretaker setup throughout the country, he added.