President Dr Arif Alvi says the government and whole Pakistani nation stand with their Kashmiri brethren and will continue its diplomatic, moral and political support until the realization of their goal of independence from India.
He was addressing joint session of the parliament at the beginning of the second parliamentary year of the National Assembly under the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government in Islamabad on Thursday.
The president said unilateral actions taken by India in Occupied Kashmir last month have received strong response from government and people alike. He said India has not only contravened the international laws but also destroyed the spirit of the Simla Agreement.
The President said the unilateral and illegal Indian steps were unanimously condemned by joint session of the parliament. He said the government took a number of measures in response including downgrading of diplomatic ties, renewing the bilateral relations, suspending trade and raising the issue at all international forums.
Dr Arif Alvi said it is a great diplomatic victory of Pakistan that this issue was discussed at the UN Security Council despite all Indian attempts to stop it. It reflects that Occupied Kashmir is not India's internal matter but an unresolved issue between the two countries.
The President warned that this issue could endanger the regional peace and security, if not resolved according to the wishes and aspirations of Kashmiri people. He said all international forums, including the OIC strongly condemned the illegal steps of India in Occupied Kashmir and demanded that all restrictions are lifted and the issue resolved according to the UNSC resolutions. He said the UN Human Rights Council gave a unanimous statement that the issue be resolved according to UN resolutions.
Dr Arif Alvi appreciated the successful visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to the US which led the US President Donald Trump to offer his mediation on Kashmir. He said Occupied Kashmir has become the most militarized zone in the world. India despite its suppressive tactics cannot gag the voice of freedom of Kashmiris. The RSS followers and Indian government are subjecting the Kashmiris to same treatment as the Nazis did in 1930s.
He said 180,000 additional troops deployment is a source of concern. Illegal detainment, rape and use of pellet gun as weapons against the innocent people are trampling the human rights of Kashmiris. He said incumbent Indian government is trying to change the demographic composition of Occupied Kashmir and wants to repeat the genocidal episode of massacre of Muslims in Bosnia.
The President said Pakistan wants to make it clear to India that genocide of Kashmiris will not be tolerated at all. He urged the international community that any such attempt will seriously harm the regional and international peace and security.
He said India is continuously violating the Line of Control by shelling on innocent population. He said such irresponsible and aggressive actions can lead to dangerous situation in South Asia.
He urged the Indian leadership to not take the situation to an irreversible end.
Dr Arif Alvi said Pakistan has been acting with restraint and patience. However, this should not be misconstrued as our weakness.
He said India used Pulwama incident to put blame on Pakistan without any proof. Indian subsequent aggression in February this year was responded befittingly by Pakistan, downing two Indian war planes. A captured Indian pilot was returned as a goodwill gesture.
Dr Arif Alvi said India has always been involved in creating troubles inside Pakistan and has supported terrorism inside the country. One such proof was the arrest of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav who admitted his role in such activities. He was trialed and sentenced to death by a military court. The issue was taken to International Court of Justice by India which shows that India knows his role as spy.
The President called upon the world that India has been overpowered by RSS' fanatic mentality. He said the secular face of India is fast changing. This has once again emphasized the vindication of the vision of father of the nation Quaid-e-Azam and the two nation theory. He said the purpose of establishment of Pakistan was to provide freedom according to golden principles of Islamic welfare state. This was the same concept before the eyes of Quaid-e-Azam.
The President said mosque has a special place in an Islamic society. He said mosque and manbir is the best place for social reformation. He urged the Ulema to come forward and play their role in ridding the society of all evils.
The President said Prime Minister Imran Khan in his first address had vowed to develop Pakistan on the pattern of state of Madina and practical steps are being taken in this regard.
He said the government inherited a weak economy with huge trade deficit and balance of payments issues. He said the steps have been taken to correct the course of economy and these are yielding results.
On agriculture, the President said the government has launched agriculture emergency program to enhance the production of vital crops. The program also includes better water preservation, livestock farming, chicken farming and easy access to markets.
Dr Arif Alvi said protection of basic human rights is responsibility of any state. He said access to justice, provision of health, education and employment are important aspects of this responsibility. He said a number of laws have been introduced to facilitate people.
The President appreciated the role of judiciary for swiftly disposing of cases and establishment of modern courts.
Dr Arif Alvi said the Ehsaas program launched by the government will be the largest in social protection. This program will help various segments of society. He urged the government to ensure transparency in these programs. He said women are given equal partnership in Ehsaas program to increase women empowerment.
The President said a society cannot progress unless its citizens are healthy, both physically and mentally. He said Sehat Sahulat Program has been launched which will benefit 15 million people. He appreciated the establishment of shelter homes launched by government and urged to expand it nationwide.
Referring to Education, the President said government has taken all stakeholders on board in the preparation of National Education Policy Framework which is a positive step. He said NAVTTC and other institutions are being made functional so that standard of technical and professional training can be improved.
The President said Pakistan is the second largest Asian country in terms of youth population. More than sixty percent of our population consist of youth. He said various projects are underway under Prime Minister's Successful Youth Program. The President expressed satisfaction that Pakistan ranks among top ten fastest growing software freelance markets, according to Forbes.
Terming overseas Pakistanis as country's asset, the President said he would like that hurdles in transmission of money through banking channels should be removed to enhance remittances.
Dr Arif Alvi said climate change is one of the most complicated global issues. The rise in global temperature and as a result the melting of glaciers is adversely affecting our country. He said to grapple with its consequences, the government has initiated Clean and Green Pakistan Program, under which 10 billion trees will be planted in five years.
On the issue of water, the President said in addition to construction of new dams, we will also have to stop the water wastage.
He said the country has been facing energy crisis since the last decade. The government immediately focused on this sector to reduce energy losses. He urged the government to focus on reducing the rates of electricity for the benefit of masses.
Referring to tourism potential of the country, the President said Online Electronic Visa Regime has been introduced for 175 countries, which will effectively promote tourism. He also commended the opening of Kartarpur Corridor in this regard.
The President said we are proud that our valiant armed forces have proved their mettle to the world by fighting a long, arduous war against terrorism. The establishment of National Internal Security Committee and National Intelligence Committee is auspicious.
Dr Arif Alvi said Pakistan is desirous of friendly relations with all its neighbors and all countries on the basis of impartiality, equality, mutual trust and shared interests.
He said it is success of our narrative that today the world accepts that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. He said we want peace in Afghanistan through Afghan-owned and Afghan-led political dialogue.
Referring to Pak-China relations, he said these are based on ideal friendship and mutual trust. The President said China Pakistan Economic Corridor is beneficial for both the countries besides having capacity to bring prosperity in entire region.
On Pak-US relations, the President said these ties are of historical and pivotal importance. During the last few years, these relations witnessed a downturn due to trust deficit. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan's recent successful visit to Washington reversed this trend and started a new phase in relationship.
He said relations with Saudi Arabia are of paramount importance. He said people of Pakistan have strong feelings of devotion and respect for the custodian of the Holy Mosques.
The President said relations with Iran are also witnessing an upward trajectory. He said Prime Minister's visit to Iran also reflects that Pakistan desires to further enhance bilateral ties with our brotherly neighbor.
Dr Arif Alvi said we are grateful to Turkey that has always stood with us in difficult times.
He said Pakistan attaches great importance to tis relations with Russian Federation and we have been cooperating in various fields of economy, defense and culture which should further grow with time.
The President said Pakistan wants closer economic, trade and investment ties with Europe and European Union. He termed recent agreement on Strategic Engagement Plan a welcome development.
Dr Arif Alvi said Pakistan is playing a vibrant and proactive role in UN and other international and regional organizations like ECO and SCO. He said our brave soldiers will continue to play their positive role in UN peacekeeping missions, as always.
The President said the incumbent government from day one has been endeavoring to formulate policies to materialize the projects of progress and welfare of the country. He said in the short duration of one year, fifty two cabinet sessions were held, which reflect that the government is proactive and dedicated to discharge of its responsibilities. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan is keeping an eye on the performance of every ministry.
Dr Arif Alvi said there is no denying the fact that future of our country depends upon democracy. Only through the stability of the democratic institutions and the strength of federal units democracy can flourish and strengthen. He termed the recent elections held in erstwhile tribal areas last as yet another steps towards the democratic process in the country.
He regretted that corruption remained rampant during the previous eras and unjust decisions were taken. Ignoring accountability, he said, the rulers irreparably harmed the national economy. To deal with these challenges, the government had to take hard decisions in Budget 2019-20. Tough actions like tax reforms are important for the economic betterment. The President said FBR has introduced reforms to bring more people into tax net. The President wished that FBR is further reformed and the tax filing made easier for the ease of tax filers.
On institutional reforms, the President said the incumbent government has initiated this process to bring further improvements in civil institutions to make them at par with the international standards. Dr. Arif Alvi said corruption is capable of destroying any society by weakening its foundations. He said the accountability of those who plundered national wealth and resources continues.
The President said media is considered as the fourth pillar of the state. Present government has been encouraging media to perform its positive and constructive role. The President stressed that in the current situation, media will have to responsibly play its role, which should be based on truth and national sentiments.
In conclusion of his address, the President urged all citizens of the country to participate collectively in government's efforts to establish a modern welfare state like Madinah.
The joint session of the parliament has been now prorogued.