Islamabad June 1 (TNS): While giving a scant heed to the deafening “go Nawaz go, and sham shame” sloganeering of opposition parties, President Mamnoon Hussain in his address to the joint sitting of the parliament has urged political forces to get united to take the country forward.
The joint session of the Parliament started at 11.50 am today after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Army Chief Gen Qamar Zaman Bajwa, Naval Chief Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah and Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, among others, turned up to witness the joint proceedings of Parliament.
As the president started making his speech, the joint opposition lawmakers, as planned, stood from their seats and raised full-throated slogans to disrupt the president’s speech. But the president ignored all their hue and cry and continued his speech by saying that politicians should shun their differences and work for the development of the country. the opposition lawmakers left the house after they raised slogans almost for 10 minutes.
“Difference of opinion is the beauty of democracy, but public issues must not be politicised in Parliament for pretty gains,” the president said. He said that difference of opinion was natural but it should not preclude national development.
“Parliament has emerged as a symbol of national unity,” he said amidst desk thumping by treasury benches while advising political forces to rise above personal interests.
He said that individuals and groups employ destructive and undesirable means if they were denied rights continuously. While referring to the CPEC project, the president said that the multi-billion dollar project will open new horizons for development.
The president said that work was under progress to bring FATA into the mainstream and the reconciliation approach with disgruntled elements in Balochistan has yielded results.
“History will remember this parliament. Forwarding-looking nations make an investment on long-term schemes to provide opportunities to their youth. I urge the government to work for further creating opportunities for them.”
While reposing confidence in the policies of the government, he said that the bold policies have brought the country out of financial crisis within 4 years.
“The economy is witnessing an upward trend. World giants including Moody’s have recognised Pakistan’s economic performance. “We are going to become the 25th largest economic power in the near future,” he said while sharing figures that the GDP witnessed 5 percent growth in the last one year.
While talking about declining exports, the president urged the Commerce Ministry to take experts in the loop to take their suggestions to boost exports. He said that marketing should be strategized a new to maximise exports.
The president urged the government to take measures to bring poverty down.
He also called for women empowerment.
The president also called for setting up new hospitals and health units in far-flung areas of the country. He lauded the health card scheme of the government.
Mamnoon also said that the transportation sector has witnessed a remarkable progress in the form of new roads and metro and green bus projects.
The president also urged the government to protect agriculture from global warming.
While talking about the energy crisis, the president urged the government to take full advantage of the hydel power potential of Gilgit-Baltistan by making the investment in energy projects including the Diamer-Basha dam to link the region to the national grid.
He also called to make the tourism sector fully purposeful to attract tourists and to cash in on the potential.
The president called for the resolution of the Kashmir issue in the light of the UN resolutions. While condemning Indian brutalities in Indian-held Kashmir, the president vowed Pakistan’s unflinching political, diplomatic and moral support to the Kashmiri brethren.
While taking about the Indian stubbornness, he said that Indian scuttle the Saarc summit in Islamabad. “Pakistan wants to make the forum more strong to help bring the regional countries closer.
The president said that Pakistan valued its relations with Chian, the US, the EU, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Russia, African and South Asian countries and other Muslim countries. He said that the relations with Turkey have turned into strategic one while Pakistan was working to furthering its relations with Russia.
While condemning the recent suicide blast in Kabul, the president said that the government and the people of Pakistan stand by their Afghan brethren in this time of grief and sorrow. He said that Pakistan was working with full conviction to bring stability to Afghanistan by participating in different forums, suggesting ways and means to help end the decades-old conflict in the country.
He lauded the sacrifices of the armed forces and civilian forces against the menace of terrorism and added that the operation Raddul Fasasd will take the fight to its logical conclusion.
He urged intellectuals, writers, academics, civil society, educational institutions to present counter-narrative to get the country rid of the menace of terrorism. He urged to revisit the curriculum to make it more viable.
While lauding the role of the media, the president cautioned that TV channels were deviating from their responsibility and duty by resorting to sensationalisation for cheap ratings.
After the president’s speech, NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq prorogued the sitting till June 17.
While talking to reporters outside the parliament, the prime minister said that those making fuss will continue to do so but we will continue our work as per the wishes of the people of the country