Gilani sees conspiracy to scuttle Senate election [DAWN]

LAHORE: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said the Senate elections will be held on schedule even though conspiracies are being hatched to get them stopped.

Talking to reporters before inaugurating the Business Express at Lahore railway station on Friday, he said the possibility of early general elections could be discussed after the presentation of the fifth budget by his government.

“So far, I am the longest serving, consensus prime minister and presentation of fifth awami budget by a government will be an unprecedented event.

“Six months ago, I had pointed out that conspiracies were being hatched to delay Senate elections. Be patient and wait for some days, all these conspiracies will be exposed.

Senate elections will be held according to schedule. Any person or party interested in snap polls should talk to me after presentation of the budget,” he said.

Replying to a question about contempt proceedings in the Supreme Court, the prime minister said he had all the respect for the apex court. “I will appear before the court as and when summoned.” He said confrontation had neither been on the agenda of the government in the past nor any such move was planned.

The prime minister said it was the responsibility of a regulatory authority to adjust prices of petroleum products in accordance with the international market rates.

However, the government supported a resolution against increase in the prices, arranged a meeting of the finance minister with leader of the opposition and requested the National Assembly speaker to constitute a committee to discuss the issue.

The decision of the committee will be implemented.

Replying to a question, he said he had facilitated the Punjab government in combating the dengue outbreak and had also sought the help of the World Health Organisation’s representatives in Davos for curbing the disease in future.

He refused to comment on the scandal relating to the medicines which caused the deaths of cardiac patients and said an inquiry was already under way.

APP adds: Addressing the ceremony held to mark the introduction of Business express, Railway Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour appealed to the prime minister to help resolve the crisis faced by his department.

He praised the Four Brothers company for introducing modern facilities in the train.

The minister said 100 locomotives could have been repaired if Rs11.1 billion of a bailout package approved by the federal cabinet had been released.

He said railway was not a profitable business organisation but a welfare department which provided economical means of transport to poor people.

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