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Deadline won’t be extended, PML-N

PAKISTAN NEWS ISLAMABAD: The leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League-N is dissatisfied over inaction on the part of the government in implementing the party’s 10-point ‘reforms agenda’ and says that its 45-day deadline will not be extended.

Nawaz Sharif“The agenda must be implemented within 45 days at all costs because extending the date will not be in national interest,” PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif said at a meeting of his party’s senior leaders here on Thursday.

The meeting was held to review progress in implementation of the agenda after the deadline, which ends on Feb 23.

The members of a PML-N committee holding negotiations with the government on the matter briefed the party leaders on their meetings with a special committee, constituted by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to prepare a plan for implementing the agenda.

According to a PML-N spokesman, most of the senior party members were of the view that the government was not serious in implementing the agenda and was interested only in buying time.

However, he said, the party leaders were determined to give a tough time to the government and resolved to heighten pressure for fulfilment of its commitment of implementing the agenda.

Mr Sharif asked the committee, headed by Senator Ishaq Dar, to “pressure the government to make public the names of all those people who have got their loans written off on political grounds and recover the amounts from them”.

He asked the members of the committee to keep apprising the nation through the media of all the developments taking place at their meetings with government’s representatives.

The participants of the meeting were of the view that there were several points in the agenda which could be implemented within minutes, but the government had not taken any concrete step in this direction.

Amid a crisis after announcements by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement to quit the ruling coalition, the PML-N had announced the agenda and threatened to remove PPP’s ministers from the Punjab cabinet if the prime minister did not promise to implement it.

Prime Minister Gilani managed to persuade the MQM to stay on the treasury benches and called Mr Sharif on Jan 9 to express his willingness to implement PML-N’s agenda that includes removal of corrupt ministers, passage a new accountability law, reduction in the cabinet size, cut in non-development expenditure, steps to end power and gas loadshedding and appointment of honest men as heads of corporations and government departments.

US TEAM: A visiting team of US economic experts called on Senator Dar to discuss the economic situation in the country the reforms agenda.

According to a handout, the senator urged the United States to enhance wide-ranging and meaningful cooperation between the two countries on a long-term basis.

He termed the agenda a milestone towards achieving economic stability, exterminating corruption, strengthening the institutions and solving the problems of people. “Execution of this agenda can help reduce inflation and control prices,” he said.

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