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September 13, 2019

Country in dire straits: president

Top Story

September 13, 2019

ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi said on Thursday that the country is going through the toughest economic era as the present government inherited the most difficult economic situation and deficits.

He said the previous rulers caused irreparable loss to the country by indulging into rampant corruption and they are now being made accountable.

Addressing a joint session of the Parliament, the president said the Indian designs in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) are threatening the global peace. He said that the United Nations should send observers to the occupied valley to ascertain the seriousness of the situation. The president condemned the use of pellet guns and violent tactics by Indian security forces.

President Alvi also spokeagainst the vicious acts such as rape of Kashmiri women, highly criticising the human rights violations in the occupied valley. He said the entire nation is standing beside its Kashmiri brethren in their hour of need and will not tolerate genocide against them.

The president said that the primary purpose of the government is to make Pakistan a welfare state. The opposition members started protest during the president’s speech. The president, referring to the protesting lawmakers, said that they can continue to protest but should also listen to him at the same time.

“The world will have to realise that today, a Hindu extremist mindset has taken over India and it will have to confront these fascist policies,” President Alvi said.

He said the religious extremism of RSS is fast reshaping the face of India of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru and the same change has made the lives of minorities and moderates of India unsafe. “We believe that the events transpiring in India have once again proven the veracity of the vision of founding fathers of Pakistan and Two-Nation Theory,” he said, telling the world that India has been overpowered by RSS’s fanatic mentality.

The opposition lodged a strong protest during the joint sitting of both the houses of Parliament and displayed portrait size pictures of the detained legislators including former president Asif Ali Zardari, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Khawaja Saad Rafique and Rana Sanaullah on their seats in a protest for not issuing their production orders for the joint sitting of the Parliament.

As soon as President Alvi came on dais for presidential address, the opposition started protest over the issue of production orders.

The opposition also raised the slogans of ‘Go Niazi Go’ and gathered at dais of the speaker. As the opposition was protesting, the PPP legislator Agha Rafiullah tried to move towards Prime Minister Imran Khan, but the PTI legislators stopped him.

The opposition also raised placards which read, “Black laws of NAB unacceptable”. The opposition tore the copies of the presidential speech of President Alvi. As the opposition gathered around the speaker’s dais, the members of treasury benches came around Prime Minister Imran Khan’s seat and made protective circle around him. Opposition also raised slogans against the government on its economic policies and also raised the slogans of “release the speaker” for not issuing the production orders of the detained parliamentarians.

The president during his speech also maintained that Pakistan wanted friendly relations with neighbouring countries, making it clear that the country’s nuclear assets are a deterrent to the aggressive designs of enemies. He said the government and whole Pakistani nation stand with their Kashmiri brethren and will continue diplomatic, moral and political support until the realisation of their goal of independence from India.

The president said unilateral actions taken by India in IOK last month have received a strong response from government and people alike, saying that India has not only contravened the international laws but also destroyed the spirit of the Simla Agreement.

The president said the unilateral and illegal Indian steps were unanimously condemned by joint session of the Parliament, while Pakistan took a number of measures in response, including downgrading of diplomatic ties, renewing the bilateral relations, suspending trade and raising the issue at all international forums.

Arif Alvi observed that it is a great diplomatic victory of Pakistan that this issue was discussed at the UN Security Council despite all Indian attempts to stop it. “It reflects that Occupied Kashmir is not India's internal matter but an unresolved issue between the two countries,” he said.

The president warned that this issue could endanger the regional peace and security, if not resolved according to the wishes and aspirations of Kashmiri people. He said all international forums, including the OIC strongly condemned the illegal steps of India in IOK and demanded that all restrictions be lifted and the issue be resolved according to the UNSC resolutions.

He said the UN Human Rights Council gave a unanimous statement that the issue be resolved according to UN resolutions. “We thank all the friendly countries that have supported our stance on Occupied Kashmir,” he said.

Arif Alvi appreciated the successful visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to the US which led the US President Donald Trump to offer his mediation on Kashmir. He said IHK has become the most militarised zone in the world. “India despite its suppressive tactics cannot choke the voice of freedom of Kashmiris. The RSS followers and Indian government is subjecting the Kashmiris to same treatment as the Nazis did in 1930s,” he said.

President Alvi said 180,000 additional troops deployment in IOK is a source of concern. “Illegal detainment, rape and use of pallet gun as weapons against the innocent people are trampling the human rights of Kashmiris,” he said, adding that incumbent Indian government is trying to change the demographic composition of IOK and wants to repeat the genocide episode of massacre of Muslims in Bosnia.

He said India is continuously violating the Line of Control by shelling on innocent population. He said such irresponsible and aggressive actions can lead to dangerous situation in South Asia. He urged the Indian leadership to not take the situation to an irreversible end.

Arif Alvi said Pakistan has been acting with restraint and patience. However, he said, this should not be misconstrued as our weakness. He said India used Pulwama incident to put blame on Pakistan without any proof. He said Indian subsequent aggression in February this year was responded befittingly by Pakistan, downing two Indian war planes. A captured Indian pilot was returned as a goodwill gesture.

Arif Alvi said India has always been involved in creating troubles inside Pakistan and has supported terrorism inside the country. One such proof was the arrest of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav who admitted his role in such activities.

The president also felt proud over the way the armed forces have proved their mettle to the world by fighting a long, arduous war against terrorism, saying the sacrifices rendered by our armed forces for the protection of the country are unmatched.

“I salute my meritorious and brave armed forces and assure that the whole nation stands with them shoulder to shoulder in the security and defence of the motherland,” he said.

He observed that the establishment of National Internal Security Committee and National Intelligence Committee is auspicious. “In past, due to certain bad decisions, we incurred the curse of extremism and our biggest political mistake was to get involved in others’ wars,” he said.

The president also noted that it is the success of Pakistan’s narrative that today the world accepts that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. “We want peace in Afghanistan through Afghan-owned and Afghan-led political dialogue. Lasting peace in Afghanistan will open new trade routes for the region and we will always work with sincerity in this regard,” he said.

Calling upon Ulema to come forward and play their role in fighting social evils, he said that Islam highly values mosque and it is not merely meant as a place for offering prayers, but it has also been used as a centre for the training, betterment, spiritual purification and reformation of the individuals. “Masjid-e-Nabvi is its living example and even today mosque is the best platform for the reformation of the society,” he said.

The president also requested Council of Islamic Ideology to effectively use the pulpit of the mosque to create awareness among people about women’s right to inheritance, cleanliness and hygiene, water conservation, environment and tree plantation, and human health.

Lauding performance of the government, he observed that in the short duration of one year, 52 cabinet sessions were held, which reflects that the government is proactive and dedicated to the discharge of its responsibilities. “I am pleased that the prime minister, taking personal interest, is watchful of the performance of every ministry,” the president noted.