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Govt working on projects to resolve energy crisis: Gilani

May 28, 2012


Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. – File Photo by Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday said the federal government had added more than 3500 megawatt electricity to the national grid and was working on long, medium and short term projects to resolve the energy crisis.

Speaking during an interview on a private news channel, he said the government initiated the Diamer Bhasha Dam project, Mangla Dam upraising project, CASA 1000, electricity imports from Iran and India and the Thar Coal project to increase energy resources.

He said there will be no unscheduled loadshedding in the country from now on.

The prime minister said the Punjab government did not add even one megawatt to the national grid.

When asked about long hours of loadshedding and participation of Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif in protests, the premier replied that someone should ask Shahbaz Sharif who had stopped provinces from generating electricity.

“It has never happened before that the provincial government has taken part in protests against the federal government,” he added.

The prime minister said there was no restriction on dual citizenship for legislators in the Constitution and he was in favour of expatriate Pakistanis to get the right to vote and become members of the parliament.

The prime minister said more than 300 councillors, mayors and members of the House of Commons and House of Lords in Britain were Pakistanis.

“There should be a debate on the issue of dual nationality and parliament should decide the issue and legislate because now the world has changed,” the prime minister added.

He said that expatriate Pakistanis should not be deprived of the right to become members of parliament and voters in Pakistan.

He said there is no article in the Constitution      that Pakistanis cannot hold dual citizenship or become legislators and bureaucrats.

The PM said the law and Constitution were not made for individuals and one had to look at the situation in the country and the world.

“What will happen if Britain revoked the citizenship of Lord Nazir Ahmed?” he asked.

Gilani said Pakistani citizens all over the world had the right of dual citizenship.

Replying to a question, he said according to the law, Dr Shakil Afridi should be given the right to defend himself in the higher courts.

He said Dr Afridi was wrong in what he had done but should get justice through the regular courts.

On the issue of Pak-US relations, the prime minister said talks are continuing between the two countries on the reopening of Nato supply routes.

The prime minister said the relations of countries could not be based on an incident but on solid grounds.

About reports of expensive shopping done by him during his UK visit, the prime minister responded that those reports are the biggest joke of the year.

He said Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani will attend a meeting to discuss the missing persons issue on Tuesday.

The meeting will also be attended by federal and provincial representatives along with the heads of law enforcement agencies, he added.

Gilani admitted that the number of missing persons was once again on the rise.