President says role of parliament vital in sustainable democracy

Islamabad: Parliament plays an extremely vital role in the continuity and stability of democracy, said the President of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain, addressing the joint parliamentary session here Monday.

He said this day is an extremely delightful and pleasant day of my life as I am addressing this honourable house for the first time. This interaction with all of you and my participation in this session is indeed a matter of honour for me. At this occasion, I congratulate all of you for the completion of the first parliamentary year.

He said in today’s world, among the standards used for identifying a democratic society and determining its status in the civilized and civilized societies, the role of democratic institutions – especially the importance of parliament and its functioning has great importance. “The parliament plays an extremely vital role in the continuity and stability of democracy, and you are very well aware of that.”

This fact is particularly appreciable that democratic forces and the civil society struggled and sacrificed for the restoration of democracy and human rights in our beloved country. You were also a part of this struggle and showed great patience and determination in all difficult times. With our experience and observations, we have realized that democracy is not the name of confrontation, conflict, opposition for the sake of opposition or revenge but the spirit of democracy is reconciliation, tolerance and mutual cooperation. It is the pinnacle of democracy to respect the opinion of majority, to give precedence to national institutions over individuals, and national interest to be given priority over the interests of the respective parties.

In this perspective, said the President, when we look at the last one year’s performance of this government, we observe a really encouraging, pleasant and satisfying view- and all the political parties and parliamentarians deserve a great tribute for this – from me and the entire nation. It is undeniably true that you have introduced a new dimension of democracy in our beloved country and have set an example which would remain exemplary for all future generations. In democracy, a parliamentary year has a key significance. Stability of democracy and its future is not possible without the support of the opposition. I am pleased that the opposition played this role amicably and guided the government on all issues. And for this they deserve felicitation.

He said this reality doesn’t require any clarification or explanation that nation associates lots of hopes to their elected representatives. This is natural and realistic as where there is a bond of confidence, hopes and aspirations are automatically pinned.

The people not only conveyed their political decision through their votes but also showed their confidence in you- so their expectations are justifiable that you have to play your role in meeting their expectation –for their development and prosperity, and you must remain active and alert politically for the country’s integrity and self reliance. In this connection, it is also fundamentally significant that you should remain proactive and whole heartedly willing to sustain your association and honest connection with the ideological essence of our beloved country.

The President said he feels very happy when he sees that the political understanding of our people is very vast and mature. Our people are very well aware of the fact that in the context of the current testing times, what are their and their government’s responsibilities. The people fully understand that how the changes appearing in the region can be countered effectively and how they should be dealt with. In this context, I would like to draw your and the nation’s attention towards some issues.

The realization of vision of progress and prosperity is impossible without economic and financial stability, and in this connection, investment is as important as irrigation is for a draught hit land. The efforts being made by the government in this regard are proving fruitful.

Pakistan is facing scourge of terrorism and extremism, and to put the country on way to progress, it is critically important to resolve this issue. For this, the government chose the option of dialogue.

Pakistan is a peaceful nation – based on this notion we wish and strive to extend and strengthen mutual relations with all countries, including neighbouring countries, on the basis of equality, mutual respect, reciprocal regard and honour. We are ready to promote friendly and constructive relationship with new leadership of India and Afghanistan. Recently, Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif participated in the oath-taking ceremony of newly elected Indian Prime Minister Narinder Modi. This gesture gained historical significance as the civilized world appreciated the spirit behind it. It also proves the fact that we are always ready to develop friendly relations with India. We also want solution of Kashmir issue on the basis of resolutions passed by the United Nations and as per the aspirations of the people of Kashmir.

The president said we want to further strengthen our centuries old ties with Iran. Recently, Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif made a visit to Iran which was meaningful and successful in true meanings. The leaders of both countries mutually agreed and stated that close and friendly relations between two countries were of great importance for the progress of people of both countries and for regional peace. The Iran Pakistan Gas Pipe line project will be competed for sure and this will further straiten the roots of our relationship.

He said we are all well aware of the immensity and depth of our relationship with our great neighbour China. We realize that Pak-China friendship is not merely a traditional diplomatic bond but in present times it has become a live metaphor of exemplary and eternal relationship between two neighbouring states. In reality, the whole global community realizes that Pakistan and China are like two bodies and one soul in the real sense..

We are grateful to the European Union for providing us excess to their markets. Our association with European Union is satisfactory. We view our relationship with America with great importance. Our ties are based on mutual respect and regard. Cooperation between US and Pakistan in the War against terror and for sustainability of global peace will always be remembered in the history, said the President.

The realistic and pragmatic policies adopted by the present democratic government for the development and prosperity of the country have enhanced our esteem and respect in the international community. Statesmen from different friendly states of Pakistan like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UK, South Korea, including Secretary General of UN Ban Ki Moon visited Pakistan and showed satisfaction in country’s development projects. On the other hand, World Bank and IMF have shown confidence in our economic efforts and have granted financial aid and concessionary loans. Encouragement from international community and confidence shown by the international monetary institutions are clear signs that we are heading in the right direction and towards the right target.

He said it is historically proven and evidenced that nations do not attain their History witnesses that none of the nation achieves its dreams and targets over night, and none of the nation writes its name in the page of history without hard work and enthusiasm. Those who do continuous hard work meet the success. Allah almighty says in Holy Quran “Lais Lainsaan ilaa Masa’a”, means – man gets what he desire.

So, hard work is prerequisite to sustain national identity and achieve development goals. We have to move forward under the guiding principles’ of father of the nation Quaid e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and follow the rules set by him – ‘Unity, Discipline and Faith.’

Collective struggle, mutual cooperation and reconciliation is very important for the advancement of our beloved country. It is the need of hour that we demonstrate the same level of enthusiasm and unity which we demonstrated during Pakistan movement. We should stand by together and create a strong and unbreakable bond. We have to move ahead and save ourselves from sectarianism, religious hatred, provincial biasness, linguistic differences, intolerance, terrorism and other inflammatory ideas.

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