10 per cent raise in salaries a joke with people, says Ahsan

Opposition will adopt common strategy over E-voting issue

LAHORE - Terming 10 per cent increase in government employees salaries a joke with people, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) General Secretary Ahsan Iqbal has demanded at least 20-25 per cent raise. 

Addressing a Press conference at PML-N Secretariat Model Town on Saturday, he accused the government of holding back main points of the budget and planning giving mini-budget after mini-budget.  Former Interior Minister forecast that the government will increase the prices of electricity and petroleum products.  He said the Opposition will give a detailed response on the government’s claims in the budget on Monday.

He accused Prime Minister Imran Khan of giving NRO to Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadav.  “For the first time a law had been passed with the name of an Indian spy. PML-N condemns this unacceptable law which was passed ignoring Opposition protests. This is a black mark on the face of the Parliament”, he said while raising the question that if this was the job of the Parliament. PML-N used to pass laws after developing consensus, he said.

But, the government first bulldozed the ordinance, then the rules and regulations and passed the laws, he stated. He said no attempt was made to reach a consensus on PML-N proposals which means that the PTI wants to steal the next elections by e-voting. 

He said Imran Niazi knows that the people will bury the incompetent PTI in the next elections, that is why he is looking for a back door into power corridors by cheating the people of Pakistan. 

This, he said, will set a precedent for every future government to do all it can to close the door to free and fair elections. 

The government has already made the upcoming elections controversial, he said.  He claimed that the pilot project on e-voting and overseas voting was called off because it lacked privacy and these machines can be tampered with.

Ahsan Iqbal accused the government of doing constituencies demarcation on the basis of voter registration rather than population.  Voter registration is low in the backward areas, which is why they are being excluding them from the electoral process, he said. This, he said, will benefit the urban and developed areas. 

“What does Fawad Chaudhry know about the voting machine, I am an engineer, I know more about technology. If e-voting was a solution, countries like the United States and the United Kingdom would have adopted it. 

 Opposition is not against overseas voting but we say that those living in France are aware of the problems of backward areas”, he said, adding, these are sensitive issues, that require consultation with the Election Commission and the Opposition. 

PTI have lost eight elections and they know that now the funeral is coming out that is why they are looking for the back door, he stated.

He warned that if there is an attempt to steal the next elections, the people will guard their vote. 

He said PML-N will work with all the Opposition parties to come up with a common strategy to thwart this attenpt to steal the elections. 

Talking about the Railways, he said PML-N had approved the ML One project but it has not been launched in three years.

“This government has given far less resources to the Railways than PML-N. We have the largest development and defence budget of our time. Till yesterday they used to taunt us with Kalbhushan but today let’s see who is and was the protector of Pakistan. 

All our options are Constitutional and democratic, we will not adopt any undemocratic approach. PDM is  launching a public campaign again from July 4”, he said. 

Ahsan said that Imran Khan might dissolve the Assemblies himself and hold elections. PML-N is fully prepared for the electoral process which has been gauged from eight by-elections, he said.


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