ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday disowned the statements made on the floor of the National Assembly by Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law Captain (r) Muhammad Safdar, when he launched into a virulent tirade against Pakistan’s persecuted Ahmadi community.Calling the Ahmadis, Qadiyanis and Lahoris the enemies of the nation, Safdar had said that the “enemies of the finality of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)” should not be inducted in the armed forces and key posts. During his speech, he had also called for reversing the name of ‘Professor Abdus Salam Centre for Physics’ to its original name.“Neither I nor Mian sahab (Nawaz) or the party is responsible for his views,” Abbasi said while talking to a private news channel, adding, “He (Safdar) should not have said what he said. No one in the party would agree with him.”“Being a parliamentary leader I will take up this issue with him,” the premier maintained. Abbasi, however, rejected the notion that Capt (r) Safdar’s remarks fell into the category of hate speech. “What he (Safdar) said was apparently in the flow of emotions.”“We should stay away from such statements, which create unrest in society,” said Abbasi, while agreeing that being a son-in-law of Nawaz Sharif he should have behaved more responsibly.The prime minister also said that people of Pakistan had rejected the way in which former premier Nawaz Sharif was ousted by the Supreme Court.“Democracy would flourish but it takes time,” he said. He, however, avoided agreeing that Sharif’s ouster was a danger to democracy. “Let history decide on the decision of the ouster of [Nawaz] Sharif,” he said.Abbasi said he was carrying forward the policy of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in accordance with the mandate given to him.Meanwhile, the premier chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy, which reviewed the progress of the transmission line project for Port Qasim, coal-fired power plants, Neelum-Jhelum project, hydel power projects, Trabela-IV and Golen Gol Hydel Power Project. The National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) managing director informed the meeting that work on all transmission lines had been expedited. “Transmission line to evacuate power from Port Qasim power plant would be completed ahead of the scheduled date of October 31, 2017. Similarly, transmission lines for Neelum-Jhelum and Tarbela-IV would also be completed before the projects start producing electricity. For Golen Gol HPP, 13MW electricity would be made available by December 2017. Moreover, in order to provide electricity to all the valleys in Chitral, two projects worth Rs 5.1 billion have been prepared and PC-1s are under process in the Planning Division.”The prime minister directed the Ministry of Power and PESCO to expedite approval of PC-1 so that all villages in Chitral could be electrified as soon as possible.The meeting was informed that the government of Iran was interested in providing 100MW electricity in addition to the existing arrangement for 100MW, which is renewed annually. For the additional 100MW, transmission line and grid station had to be constructed to meet immediate needs of Makran division, especially the Gwadar Port and industrial area, it was informed.The CCE approved the proposal and directed the Ministry of Power to make immediate arrangements for the purchase of additional electricity from Iran and to complete the spadework expeditiously. The prime minister also directed the Ministry of Power to expedite transmission line projects for connecting Makran division to the national grid on a priority basis.The meeting was informed that as per the latest projections, Pakistan would have surplus power starting in the year 2017-18. This surplus power would be further augmented during the subsequent years with the addition of new capacity from the Thar coal as well as upcoming hydel projects. Published in Daily Times, October 13th 2017.