Nawaz Sharif likely to announce populist measures



Lahore/Islamabad: PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif is expected to announce some populist measures, including steps to reduce power outages, in his first address after taking oath as Pakistan's Prime Minister on June 5.

As a first step, the new government would end "unannounced" power cuts and take other steps to tackle the energy crisis, sources in the PML-N said.

The issues to be taken up in Sharif's speech were discussed at a meeting of senior PML-N leaders and energy experts that was held in Lahore on Wednesday.

"The PML-N government will have to work night and day to rid the country of this menace," Sharif was quoted as saying at the meeting.

Some "difficult decisions" might have to be taken to address the challenges confronting Pakistan, he said.

The speech will outline the plan of action for the first month of the new government, sources said.

It will also include references to the government's plans to hold talks with militants and the situation in neighbouring Afghanistan.

PML-N spokesman Mushahidullah Khan said on Thursday that Sharif's maiden speech will cover all national issues, including the energy crisis, law and order, unemployment and the economic situation.

The speech will lay out a roadmap the new government will follow during the next five years, he said.

The PML-N chief will also touch on foreign policy issues like US drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal belt and regional peace.

PTI