We do not need any lecture on democracy: PM
By Our Correspondent
DASU: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf while referring to the government’s critics said that it did not need any lessons on democracy. The prime minister laid the foundation stone for the Rs2 billion, 63-km-long Thakot-Dasu road and vowed to continue development work for the masses and the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), despite opposition. Addressing a gathering after the ceremony, Raja announced a 40 percent raise in the “Hard Area Allowance” for Kohistan. He also directed WAPDA chairman to immediately fulfil the promises made to the local people and warned of swift action in case of non-compliance. The prime minister directed repair of local schools by the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Agency (ERRA) and promised increase in quota of the area in medical and engineering colleges. Raja was earlier briefed about the Thakot-Dasu road, which will be constructed in 30 months and provide an easy access to the 4,320MW Dasu Power Project, besides serving as an alternative route to the Karakoram Highway. The prime minister strongly dismissed criticism against the developmental projects of the government. “We will not stop serving the masses or stop developmental work as it benefits them.” He also rejected the criticism against the Benazir Income Support Program and said it was a service for the poorest of the poor and will not be allowed to end. He said the people of Pakistan will continue to support this programme, through the power of the ballot. Raja said BISP will continue and will further expand. He told those who were criticising it that the government will raise the disbursement amount to Rs 5,000 and even Rs 10,000. Prime Minister Raja said the government did not have time to indulge in mudslinging or counter the propaganda of the critics, as it was busy initiating developmental projects for the masses. “There is no need to teach us what is democracy and how to serve the masses,” he said while referring to the critics on television talk shows. “We are not among those who run away, we will stand up and fight the critics and prove that the people of Pakistan see the PPP as a sign of hope that will not shy from any sacrifice in serving them,” Raja asserted. He lauded the work of MNA Mehboobullah Jan for initiating the arduous task of constructing 29 roads in a difficult terrain. He accepted all the demands put forward by Mehboobullah Jan and said he understands the problems he raised. The prime minister also raised slogans of “Jeay Bhutto” and asked the gathering to vote for the PPP so that the developmental projects could continue. Prime Minister Raja said the beautiful and serene surroundings of the area served as an attraction for the tourists from around the world, besides an important link to the Central Asian Republics. He said it was his desire to meet the people of Kohistan, who were ardent supporters of the PPP. He said he too was an ordinary worker of the PPP and believed in the vision of its leaders Zufikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto. Raja also noted that the PPP had begun its current tenure in very difficult times.