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President Mamnoon Hussain has says the successful completion of three years of democratic journey of the incumbent government is testimony to the political maturity of the nation.

He was addressing joint session of the Parliament in Islamabad on Wednesday.

The President said this is reflective of the fact that the system is capable enough to sustain crises and take the country forward on the path to durable progress and stability.

He said the government that ensures rule of law, economic development and provision of basic needs to the people can easily overcome all challenges including stabilizing democracy and reinforcing individual-state relationship.

The President said he is glad to note that both the government and opposition are aware of this reality and are formulating policies to strengthen democracy.

President Mamnoon Hussain said it is now responsibility of each individual, class and institution to earnestly contribute towards reinforcing this positive trend.

He said the government, be it of any political party, should formulate such policies that democracy can take roots and the people lead a prosperous life.

Enumerating three-year economic achievements of the Government, the President said 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.

He said these positive indicators will encourage foreign investors and accelerate our economic progress, which will be further boosted by China Pakistan Economic Corridor, He said such a welcome progress on the economic front is possible only through consistent and realistic policies.

The President said more steps should be taken to pass on the benefits of improved economic situation to the common man.

Referring to the welfare steps taken by the government, he said these 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.

The President said at this juncture of our history, we need national consensus and solidarity, the significance of which is even greater in the context of CPEC. He said there is no weight in the reservations expressed by certain quarters regarding the Corridor. He expressed satisfaction that concerted efforts have led to national consensus on the matter and apprehensions if any should be removed through dialogue.

President Mamnoon Hussain said the schedule of the CPEC clearly shows the project is not for the benefit of 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.

The President proposed that the nation should unite on the agenda of economic stability for continuity in policies in all situations. He hoped that political parties and other stakeholders will soon agree to this national agenda.

He also recounted the measures and projects launched by the government to address the energy crisis including  importance of LNG and electricity and construction of water reservoirs.

He said the dream of national development would materialize only when there is peace and conducive business environment. He expressed satisfaction that efforts to restore law and order in different areas particularly in FATA, Balochistan and Karachi have produced positive results. He was confident that the objectives of Zarb-e-Azb would be achieved by the end of the year, leading to internal peace and security.

He said the nation needs to fully stand by all law enforcement agencies to completely eliminate terrorism and lawlessness. He said a national monument should be built in memory of all those who have sacrificed their lives in the war against terror.

The President urged the government and the opposition to work in tandem to utilize potential of the youth and women.

Addressing the world community, the President said Pakistan's foreign policy is based on the principle of peace for development and peaceful neighbourhood.

He said the 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 is 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.

President Mamnoon Hussain said Pakistan is of the view that peace and stability in Afghanistan is imperative for peace in the region.

He said Pakistan has special relationship with the Islamic world including Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, other countries of Middle East and Central Asia.

He said a defence cooperation agreement has been recently concluded with Russia are 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.

The President said Pakistan strongly believes in nuclear security and has made state of the art arrangements for safety of its nuclear installations. He expressed the confidence that the nation will succeed in eliminating corruption.

He advised countrymen not to be despondent as Pakistan would soon regain its rightful status in the comity of nations.

The joint session was witnessed by provincial Governors, Chief Minister GB, members of the diplomatic community, services chiefs and senior officials.

After address of the President , the joint session was prorogued.


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