Completion of three years of democracy shows system is capable to sustain crisis

President Mamnoon Hussain says that successful completion of three years of democratic journey is testimony to the political maturity of the nation. He was addressing joint session of the Parliament in Islamabad today. He said this is reflective of the fact that the system is capable enough to sustain crises and take the country forward on the path of durable progress and stability. Mamnoon Hussain said "government ensures rule of law, economic development and provision of basic needs to the people easily overcome challenges, succeed in stabilizing democracy and reinforce the relationship between an individual and the state. Both the government and opposition are cognizant of this and are formulating policies in the light of this philosophy to strengthen democracy. It is now responsibility of each individual, class and institution to earnestly contribute towards reinforcing this positive trend. Government, be it of any political party, should formulate policies in accordance with the tested principle so that democracy can take roots and the people may lead a prosperous life."

Economic achievement

President notes that tax system and collection has improved, foreign exchange reserves increased, GDP has steadily expanded and this year growth has been 4.7%. He said, "budget deficit stands reduced, inflation controlled and the rupee stabilized. These positive indicators will encourage foreign investors and accelerate our economic progress, which will be further boosted by CPEC. Such a welcome progress on the economic front is possible only through consistent and realistic policies. More steps should be taken to pass on the benefits of improved economic situation to the common man."

Welfare development

Mamnoon Hussain said, "welfare steps include business opportunities and technical training for youth, comprehensive programme for poverty alleviation, PM's health insurance, subsidy on essential consumer goods, special package for farmers, educational facilities and stipends for underdeveloped areas and provision of laptops to talented students."


About CPEC, the President said at this juncture of our history, we need national consensus and solidarity and its significance is even greater in the context of CPEC. He said, "there is no weight in the reservations expressed by certain quarters regarding the Corridor. Expressed satisfaction that concerted efforts have led to national consensus on the matter and apprehensions if any should be removed through dialogue. Schedule of the CPEC clearly shows the project is not of benefit to any particular government, political party or group of politicians but purely a national project. It is responsibility of the nation to remove every internal and external obstacle in the way of its implementation. Nation should unite on the agenda of economic stability for continuity in policies in all situations. He hoped political parties and other stakeholders will soon agree upon this national agenda."

Steps taken to minimize energy crisis

The President also recounted the measures and projects launched by the government to address the energy crisis including LNG and electricity import and construction of water reservoirs. He said, "dream of national development would materialize only when there is peace and conducive business environment." 

Efforts for maintaining law and order

President expressed satisfaction that efforts to restore law and order in different areas particularly in FATA, Balochistan and Karachi have produced positive results. He said, "objectives of Zarb-e-Azb would be achieved by the end of the year, leading to internal peace and security. Nation needs to fully stand by all law enforcing agencies to completely eliminate terrorism and lawlessness. National monument should be built in memory of all those who have sacrificed their lives in the war against terror." He urged the government and the opposition to work in tandem to utilize potential of the youth and women.

Message to Global Community and Foreign Policy     

Addressing the world community, the President said Pakistan's foreign policy is based on the principle of peace for development and peaceful neighborhood. He said, "main cause of tension in the region is Kashmir issue, which is an unfinished agenda of the partition of sub-continent. As long as the issue not resolved in accordance with wishes of Kashmiri people and UN resolutions, the problems of the region will remain unresolved. He also urged India to reciprocate Pakistan's sincere overtures for dialogue. He said, "Pakistan is of the view that peace and stability in Afghanistan is imperative for peace in the region. Pakistan has special relationship with the Islamic world including Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, other countries of Middle East and Central Asia. Defence cooperation agreement has been recently concluded with Russia and under another agreement, Russia is likely to invest two billion dollars for laying Karachi-Lahore gas pipeline." He particularly referred to Pakistan's cordial relations with China, USA and the European Union. He noted with satisfaction that the next SAARC summit will be held in Pakistan in November this year. He said Pakistan strongly believes in nuclear security and made state of the art arrangements for safety of its nuclear installations. He expressed the confidence that we would triumphant in our resolve to eliminate corruption. President Mamnoon Hussain advised countrymen not to be despondent as Pakistan would soon regain its rightful status in the comity of nations.

Drone strikes threat to sovereignty and security of the country: COAS

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif says US drone strikes are regrettable and must stop as they are a threat to the sovereignty and security of the country. He was speaking informally to the media at a reception after attending President Mamnoon Hussain’s address to a joint session of Parliament. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a national project and must be completed at any cost. He said the security situation in Karachi and Balochistan is improving. Border management with Afghanistan is also improving, and now the responsibility lies with Afghanistan as there are fewer check posts on the other side. Army Chief, said, “Operation Zarb-e-Azb is underway across the country and failure is not an option for us. Successes gained so far in the operation would be consolidated. We have to maintain the victories of Operation Zarb-i-Azb. Terrorists will not be allowed to re-enter into areas cleared in South Waziristan and North Waziristan.”

Editorial (Khaleej Times)

Build trust for peace in Syria

The Al Nusra Front and Al Qaeda remnants have been hit hard by the Russians in Idlib. At least 60 people were killed in the rebel held areas in the northwest of the war-torn country. Both these terrorist organisations are excluded from a partial cessation of hostilities brokered by the United States and Russia to pave way for peace talks. But Russian and the Syrian security forces have played foul, again. Reports say most of the casualties were civilians, and the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has expressed concerns over it. It said a public park and a hospital were hit. Russian aircraft targeted several adjoining areas, which led to collateral damage. Such precision-less operations provide the militants with an opportunity to not only regroup but also seek sympathy from the victims.

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