BAHAWALPUR: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday warned the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to stay “within limits” and stop threatening and harassing government employees or action will be taken against it.

Addressing his party workers here, the prime minister said NAB must perform its duties responsibly. “They (NAB officials) barge into houses and offices of innocent people and harass them without looking into the authenticity of cases,” the premier said.

Nawaz said the NAB officials dishonour people in unlawful cases, cause hindrances and harass and terrify government officials. “I have brought this issue to the NAB chairman’s notice. He must take corrective measures or the government will initiate necessary and legal action,” he warned.

In his address, the prime minister pledged to strengthen and empower local governments to resolve public issues. “People have pinned great hopes on their local representatives and they will be fully empowered to serve the masses,” he added.

Nawaz pointed out that the country was faced with multi-dimensional challenges, including terrorism and energy crisis, saying his government was trying its best to provide basic facilities to the masses.

“The duration of loadshedding has been reduced across thecountry as the government has launched several projects to overcome the energy crisis,” the premier said. He said lying was justified when there was a threat to one’s life; however, he had never lied. He said he did not believe in politics based on lies; however, politicians these days tell nothing but lies. “It is not in accordance with the democratic norms that people elect a leader and another party topples his government,” he added.

He said that running a government in Pakistan was not a bed of roses but thorns. He criticised the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) saying sarcastically that the nation knows what it did for the betterment of the people in its tenure. He said around 10 years back, Pakistan was witnessing the worst kind of power outages.

Nawaz said continuity of policies was vital for progress and the country saw an unprecedented development during all his tenures. The PM regretted the previous governments failed in their duty of serving the masses. He said it was nothing less than criminal negligence of the previous governments, who failed to address the issue of loadshedding or increase the power generation capacity in the country.

Nawaz, while referring to his exile by a former dictator, said a person whose homeland is everything to him could never think of spending seven years abroad. He said the trend of ousting elected governments should end. “The mandate to rule is given by the people, not somebody else who ousts an elected government,” the PM said. He said this practice should end now. He said the party that had put forth a seven-point agenda could not even build a motorway.

The prime minister said work on three projects for production of electricity through gas was in progress, which would produce 3,600 megawatts of electricity after completion by the next year. He said China is an all-weather friend and it is investing a massive amount of $46 billion which is the biggest in the history of the country.

The PM said recently the government had made an agreement for the purchase of gas costing billions of rupees with the Qatar government, which would be provided at concessional rates due to our brotherly relations. Nawaz lauded the support extended by China in a number of development projects across the country. He said the completion of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would be a game-changer.

Nawaz said it was his government that had initiated the landmark deal with China for the production of the JF-17 fighter aircraft. He said he was desirous of linking Pakistan with the Central Asian Republics and said the network of motorways would connect all the remote areas of the country.

The PM paid rich tributes to the late Mumtaz Jajja. Nawaz said he had a special affection with the people of Bahawalpur and announced Rs600 million for a lake that would supply fresh water for the city.The event was attended by Minister for Information Pervaiz Rashid, Minister for Inter-Provincial Harmony Riaz Pirzada and Minister of State for Education Balighur Rehman
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