President Alvi urges lawmakers to 'end polarisation' and decide election date together
Pakistan President Arif Alvi on Thursday urged politicians to plug the burgeoning schism in the society by ending their differences and setting the date for general elections in the country.People can only be united if politicians are united, Arif said while addressing a joint session of the National Assembly and Senate at the start of the new parliamentary years.There is an urgent need for ending political polarisation in the country.
''There is an urgent need for ending political polarisation in the country. Politicians should sit together and take steps to end polarisation,” he said.
Talking about the importance of fresh elections, he asked the political parties to hold a dialogue to decide the election date. “If there is a difference of only a few months then [all parties] should sit together and decide the election date,” he said.
He also called for the continuation of the work on electronic voting machines (EVM) to ensure fair and free elections for the sake of stability. “How would stability come when you keep challenging all election results?” He also demanded that overseas Pakistanis — who, he said, send USD 30 billion to the country— should be given their voting rights.
Alvi called for working on the economy for which political stability was important.
''Pakistan should stand on its feet. We need hard work. We don't have oil reserves, but we have land and gold. We need to stand up. We reached a growth of up to 5.9pc and it shows we have capacity,'' he said.
President Alvi said that the biggest challenge for the country was to tackle the issue of the catastrophic floods that wreaked havoc across the country and rendered millions homeless.
He also said that Pakistan's contribution to global warming was not even 1 per cent, but the country was suffering the most. ''I want to commend agencies and the government for the way they worked. I believe they deserve commendation.'' He also talked about foreign affairs and appreciated the government for improving ties with the US, saying that the country had been a “good friend” to Pakistan.
''We have seen ups and downs but the US is a big market for our goods. We want to improve ties on mutual understanding. The government is striving for it and I commend this.'' Talking about India, he said, that Pakistan desired better ties with India but only after a resolution of the Kashmir dispute. He also criticized what he called ''cases of extremism'' in India.
Alvi said that Pakistan's stance on Ukraine was clear and the country expected ties with Europe to strengthen.
He also mentioned that situation in Afghanistan and said that Pakistan wanted peace in the war-torn country. ''We have a clear position that we want peace there. Taliban have promised that their soil will not be used against terrorism and we expect everyone to keep their word.” Attendance in the joint sitting of parliament was quite low and his own party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf boycotted the session. The lawmakers from the ruling alliance were also absent.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)