Rising above political interests must for national progress:President

President Mamnoon Hussain Thursday strongly condemned India’s aggressive attitude for its acts of aggression on the Line of Control and termed it the biggest hurdle in establishing peace and stability in the region.

Addressing the joint sitting of the Parliament at the beginning of the new Parliamentary year, he spoke at length about the country’s foreign relations, state of economy, pace of development and the need for rising above political differences to jointly work for progress and prosperity of the country.

The president while referring to ties with India said Pakistan desires resolution of all disputes through dialogue, but pointed;

it is regrettable that our sincere efforts have not been reciprocated in the same spirit.

He said the situation has been exacerbated by India by promoting subversive acts of espionage and disruption, as was evident from the arrest and confessional statement of an Indian spy.

He termed the issue of Jammu and Kashmir as part of the unfinished agenda of the partition of the sub continent.

Our Kashmiri brothers, sisters, sons and daughters of are protesting for their fundamental right of freedom for which they were being subjected to worst kind of atrocities, the president said.

Due to such conduct, India has become the biggest hurdle in establishing peace and stability in the region.

He reiterated Pakistan’s stance of political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri brethren and categorically stated that the only solution to the Kashmir dispute was holding of a plebiscite as prescribed under the resolutions of the United Nations.

He also spoke of Pakistan’s ties with China, India, Afghanistan, Central Asian States, Russia, Turkey and the Islamic world.

He said as declared by the Quaid, Pakistan would abide by the principles of moral support for the oppressed people of the world and would not harbour aggressive designs against any country.

He recalled that Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had declared that the foreign policy of Pakistan would be based on friendship, peace and impartiality with all nations, particularly the neighbours.

The president during his address to the joint sitting attended by the Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, governors of the four provinces, diplomats, services chiefs, also spoke of the tangible steps taken to include the marginalized classes in the development process.

He commended the steps being taken to bring Balochistan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in national mainstream and hoped that rising above their vested interests, all segments of society would participate in national reconstruction.

President Mamnoon Hussain said during the last few decades the country’s precious resources have been squandered due to directionless and non-deliberate policies.

I am thankful to Almighty Allah that now the nation perceives the sense of loss and has the passion of doing something about it.

He said raising above individual and parochial interests was imperative to attain higher objectives of national progress and prosperity.

He stressed large heartedness to ensure continuity of political process. The president attributed the root cause of political or economic

conspiracies, misgivings about national security and other intricate issues; to the events of the past, wrong decisions and policies adopted for short term objectives.

He said usually such state of affairs was blamed on political opponents to belittle them, and termed it the primary cause of most of the political problems that led to a halt in the process of development.

The President said ‘some short-sighted elements’ during different phases in history were responsible for weakening the relationship between individual and the state.

He stressed the role of leadership for safeguarding the rights of those who resorted to illegitimate means in despair when meted out unequal treatment by the state.

In such circumstances, it is the leadership which provides a sense of security to the common man through its broad vision and practical steps, he said.

The president said the government’s ‘Vision 2025’ programme was focused on stability of economy and the welfare of people and urged upon all political parties to declare it as a national plan through consensus.

He said no matter which political party was in power, the welfare of people need not hampered at any cost.

He mentioned that the country’s economic indicators were healthy as the growth rate remained at the highest level of 23 billion dollars with remarkable decline in inflation.

He said international monetary ranking institutions including Moody’s had given positive ranking to Pakistan and the World Bank had now included the country in the list of best-performing economies of South Asia.

He expressed satisfaction over the economic overview, however stressed that these successes would lead to real happiness only if contributed towards bringing respite in the lives of people.

The president pointed out that difference of opinion on the process of development and rights on the national resources among different segments of the society was not unusual and debate leads to paving way for reforms.

However, he said, at the same time it was imperative to stop chaos, emerging from difference of opinion through a well thought out strategy, so as to thwart efforts to make the process of development controversial.

He said commendable steps had been taken by the government towards providing healthcare facilities to the people, particularly the Health Insurance Scheme.

He said significant advancement had taken place in traveling facilities due to construction of new highways and improvement in mass transit systems including Metro and Green Line.

He said the government had allocated considerable funds for Azad Jammu and Kashmir, FATA and Gilgit Baltistan at par with other parts of the country.

He expressed satisfaction over provision of fertilizers and other agricultural input on low prices and urged upon the federal and provincial governments for a joint strategy to address challenges of climate change.

On electricity generation, President Mamnoon said the issue would be resolved permanently with start of recently set up electricity projects.

He said connecting Gilgit Baltistan with national grid would increase power production after completion of Bhasha, Dasu and Bunji dams.

He also recounted Pakistan’s sacrifices in war against terrorism and was hopeful of the success of operation Raddul Fasaad like Zarb-e-Azb to make Pakistan ‘a cradle of peace.’

He said extremism could be eliminated by reducing class difference and making higher education accessible to all, enabling country’s youth to play their role in building a new world.

He expressed satisfaction over the successful culmination of national census besides paying tribute to the brave workers who lost lives in some untoward incidents during the exercise.

The president was appreciative of role of media for restoration of democracy and resolution of social issues; however called for rectification of the issues surfaced consequent to the competition among media entities what he believed had been affecting the country on political and cultural fronts.

Source: Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage