KARACHI: Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Sunday said his party's stance on writing the letter to the Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari had already been made clear by the Pakistan People’s Party.
Talking to journalists, he said there was no difference between him and former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, but his government did not want confrontation with any institution and he would work in accordance with the Constitution and law.
The newly elected prime minister first visited Larkana and paid tributes to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto’s graves and later also visited the mausoleum of Qauid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah where he also talked to the media.
The PM said anarchy would not be in the country’s favour and would lead it towards destruction, and harm the unity of Pakistan. “Only a democratic set up and parliament can save the country,” he said, adding that the government had decided to hold transparent, free and fair elections which would be in favour of all political parties.
About the restoration of Nato supplies, Ashraf said parliament was supreme and the government would take decisions in the light of parliamentary decisions. He said Pakistan wanted relations with the US and other countries on the basis of mutual respect and equality.
The newly-elected prime minister also faced questions about the energy crisis and the deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi. He said priority would be given to resolving the energy crisis and the maintenance of law and order in the country. He said Karachi was the economic jugular vein of the country and efforts would be made to restore peace to the port city. He said the senior adviser on interior was with him and he held a meeting with the governor and chief minister, and all political forces would be taken on board for durable peace.
The PM pledged to resolve all issues in line with the policies of reconciliation envisioned by Benazir Bhutto and adopted by President Zardari. He said in order to strengthen democracy and parliament, the opposition would be taken into confidence to resolve the challenges facing the country. He said any conspiracy against democracy would be disastrous and the people would not accept it. The PM said parliament would complete its tenure according to the constitution.
The PM will visit Nine-Zero today (Monday) and meet with the MQM leadership to thank them for supporting him in the election. He will also visit the Kingri House.Addressing PPP workers in Garhi Khuda Bux, PM Raja said Sindh was his motherland and he was proud of it. He paid rich tribute to the Bhutto family for rendering sacrifices for democracy. He said all institutions had to work within their constitutional limits. He also paid thanks to coalition partners for electing him as prime minister with a huge majority. The prime minister said that the time had come to face and overcome the challenges faced by the country. “Yusuf Raza Gilani is no more a prime minister, but there is no hindrance in the continuity of democracy,” he added
He said the supremacy of parliament was in the best interest of the country. He said gigantic efforts would bring about positive results to reduce the menace of loadshedding and steps would be taken to control electricity theft and run state affairs with good governance.
PM Raja laid wreaths at the graves of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, and offered fateha. Syed Khurshed Ali Shah, Mian Manzoor Ahmed Watto, Qamar Zaman Kaira, MNA Ramesh Lal, Rahman Malik, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Manzoor Wassan, former MNA Khalid Iqbal Memon and others also laid wreaths. Later, PM Raja wrote comments in the visitors’ book.
PM Raja, who was born in Sindh, surprised the people when he talked to them in Sindhi in Larkana and Karachi. He also discussed the law and order situation with the Sindh governor and chief minister, and directed them to take steps to control the situation.