ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has made it categorically clear that confrontation with the judiciary isn’t an option with the government and ‘I am hopeful that some middle way could be found.’ The country that is already facing enormous challenges needs harmony among all institutions. Holding of elections can give strength to Parliament, which should become strong like the media and the judiciary. One or two polls under the democratic dispensation would make the country a stable democracy. Referring to his appearance in the Supreme Court tomorrow (Wednesday) he said: ‘I have always maintained that disappointment is a sin.’
In his maiden interaction with senior journalists of the twin-cities here at the PM House at iftar dinner he said that the power supply situation would ease out gradually as a result of the government efforts. ‘I have asked my colleagues not to talk in terms of deadlines on any subject, especially power supply, as I have been a victim of jab for such a statement,’ he added.
The Thar-coal project would go a long way in production of power and the government would continue to develop it. The project has already proved its utility and ‘I will visit the site later this week to watch the project and work so far done on it,’ he said.
The prime minister who was flanked by federal ministers Qamar Zaman Kaira, Syed Samsam Ali Bukhari and federal secretary information and broadcasting Chaudhary Rashid Ahmad, parried a query pertaining to the possibility of an alliance between the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) and an ally of the government. ‘It’s too far-fetched an idea,’ he remarked with a broad smile. Prime Minister Raja didn’t rule out the possibility of developing an understanding with the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) saying ‘We had been partners in the federal as well as provincial governments’. He appreciated the attitude of leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Chaduhary Nisar Ali Khan and said that he had a pleasant conversation with him on telephone the other day. Had the PML-N continued to support the government, we would not have tried to seek any other party’s support. He said the government has kept all political parties on board because it is the essence of the reconciliation policy of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.
Raja Pervez Ashraf disagreed with his predecessor Yusuf Raza Gilani’s remarks that if another prime minister is sent packing it could disintegrate the country. ‘I don’t think so. Such an action wouldn’t have any bearing on the solidarity of the country’.He said that he is putting in his best efforts for creating an atmosphere conducive for holding the general elections in a peaceful, fair and transparent manner.
In his informal address he said that strengthening of Parliament through free and fair elections is crucial to overcome challenges facing Pakistan. Parliament should be strengthened and the way for it is holding of free, fair and transparent elections. “We are moving towards elections and appointment of an impartial Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) has sent a positive message to the world.” If Parliament is sovereign and vibrant, Pakistan can undoubtedly move on the path to progress and prosperity. He said judiciary is independent and media is free and now all national institutions have to work together to make Pakistan strong.
The prime minister urged media to guide the nation with its wisdom and power of pen and said media is free and strong and in its presence there is no possibility of rigging in election. The media has a responsibility to project a soft image of Pakistan and nobody should go to the extent of saying that existence of Pakistan is in danger, he added.
He said media has assumed great power and even stock exchange index drops with one headline or television report, so media should ensure that only facts are reported as it is the basic right of the people. The government is ready to bear criticism patiently but it also wants that its side of the story should also be told, he stated.
The prime minister said that the media is an important pillar of the state and like other sections of society has struggled hard and made sacrifices to earn its freedom. The democratic forces also played their role for the freedom of the press and now nobody could even think of putting restraints on the media, he observed.
He said that the political parties are patriotic and all of them want that elections should be free and transparent. He said democracy is the only time-tested system through which the world has made progress otherwise countries like the United States and Europe should have adopted another way of governance.