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October 21, 2013

Things cannot get worse for Pakistan, says president

 
October 21, 2013

KARACHI: President Mamnoon Hussain has stressed the need to restore peace in Karachi for the sake of development and prosperity of the country. President Mamnoon visited the Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi on Sunday morning. He offered Fateha and laid a floral wreath at the Mazar.
Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad and Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah also accompanied the president. Talking to the media in Karachi later‚ President Mamnoon stressed the need to restore peace in Karachi for the sake of development and prosperity of the country.
He said the economy of Karachi was the lifeline for Pakistan. He urged all the stakeholders to come forward and play their role in making peace campaign of the government a success. The president said he was hopeful that Pakistan will improve as the country “is in such a bad state that it cannot get any worse”.
He said the Pak-US ties have improved and the prime minister, during his US visit, would raise the drone issue as they are proving to be counter productive in maintaining peace. He said the PM would also talk about the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan with President Obama.
In response to a question, he said the president has no political role and his basic job is to maintain harmony and coordination amongst the provinces and Centre.With regard to declining economic state and rising inflation, he agreed that inflation had risen in the country but this situation cannot be corrected in a day or two. “We have complete confidence in the capabilities of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar that he would be able to pull the country out of this slump,” he said. With respect to power shortages and inflated bills, he said the prices of electricity would be reduced soon after an increase in power production.
He added that the Pakistani people need to be patient as it will take time to control the issues of inflation and loadshedding. He stated that prices have increased as large amount of currency notes were printed

by the former government.
The president said that it will take between 3-3.5 years for electricity rates to go down, and projects to ensure lower rates were already underway. He said coal power generation projects will help the country’s economy.
Stressing to end the ethnic divide he said: “We are Pakistanis, not Sindhis, Punjabis or Balochis. We should end this ethnic divide.” Mentioning that he belonged to Karachi, Sindh, he said he would work for the benefit of entire Pakistan.
With regards to violations of ceasefire by India, the president said he believed that the upcoming elections in India were the cause behind the increased violence across the Line of Control.He said: “Election gimmicks by India’s opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in an attempt to gain favour of voters has kept their government occupied.”
He expressed the hope that the problem would resolve itself after the elections in India were over. “However, a strict warning has already been issued to the neighbour.” Karachi is not a colony of London, he said adding: “We live in an independent country, which is a blessing from God. We should shun negative talk and strive for unity, as unity is the key to a prosperous Pakistan.”

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