SIALKOT: President Asif Zardari said on Sunday that five years back in 2008, all opponents and critics of the Pakistan People’s Party-led government were busy in false predictions about the fall of the coalition government within six months, but they had all been proved wrong.
Addressing a large gathering of locals, businessmen and party workers at Koobay Chak, the village of Federal Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, near Sialkot here on Sunday, the president said the opponents would claim every six months that the government would be dissolved and it was under these circumstances that the PPP-led coalition government completed its five-year tenure, adding that we know how we sustained the democracy during those years.
President Zardari said the PPP-led government had successfully met all political challenges during the past five years.
President Zardari said it was for the first time in the history of the country when an elected government is completing its constitutional term, which was mainly because of the friendly and reconciliatory politics and successful policies of the PPP leadership. He termed it a great victory for democracy and the PPP in the country.
President Asif Zardari has said elections will be held on time after which power will be transferred to the next democratically elected government.
He recalled that earlier governments remained under threat by undemocratic elements and were removed from power prematurely which adversely affected the development of the country.
The president said that despite immense difficulties faced by the current democratic dispensation, “we have succeeded in planting the sapling of democracy which has strengthened its roots during the last five years.”
He expressed the hope that the next democratically elected government, whichever it be will, not have to face the same difficulties as were faced by this government and will be able to focus its energies and efforts wholly and exclusively for the development and prosperity of the country.
President said that loyal workers were the assets of the PPP, as the PPP was striving for providing and protecting the rights of the party workers.
The president appreciated the sacrifices rendered by the citizens of Sialkot for the defence of the country and said that the city is not only known for its sports industry but also for its sacrifices in the defence of the country.
Earlier, President Zardari inaugurated the Safe Mother Home and Old Age Home at Koobay Chak. Strict security measures had been taken regarding the brief visit of President Zardari.
Meanwhile, a joint delegation of the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Sialkot Dry Port Trust (SDPT) and Sialkot International Airport Limited (SIAL) had a meeting with President Asif Zardari at Koobay Chak on Sunday afternoon.
The delegation was led by SDPT Chairman M Ishaq Butt, SIAL Chairman Ch Ishfaq and SCCI President Sh Abdul Majeed. The delegation informed the president about the prolonged problems of power and gas shortage for the local industries. The delegates also demanded a regulatory authority to monitor charges at various ports in Karachi and use of scanners by the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF).
President Zardari assured the Sialkot businessmen about the early solution to their problems on priority basis. President highly appreciated the effective and positive role of SCCI in enhancing the national exports and strengthening the national economy.
Agencies add: The 25-room old age home has been constructed at a cost of Rs20 million for elderly women, who have no family support. It will be run on public-private partnership basis.
The Safe Mother Home has been completed at a cost of Rs80 million and comprises 50 beds. It has been constructed with Prime Minister’s discretionary funds and its expenditures will be borne by philanthropists.
Earlier, while explaining the salient features of the projects Minister for National Services and Regulations Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and Evacuee Trust Board Chairman Syed Asif Hashmi said the old age home with an initial facility to house 50 homeless old women was build at the cost of Rs20 million on public-private partnership basis.
Addressing party workers in Gujranwala, President Zardari said the grievances of disgruntled party workers would be redressed. He asked the party workers to start preparing for the elections.