ISLAMABAD (APP): President Dr Alvi on Monday said that owing to the government’s prudent policies, Pakistan had achieved significant progress in diverse areas including economy, human and social development, information technology, foreign policy and defence.
Addressing the joint session of parliament, he mentioned an increase in exports from the US $ 23.7 billion in the fiscal year 2019-20 to the US $ 25.3 billion in 2020-21; workers’ remittances recorded at the historic US $ 29.4 billion, vibrancy in the stock market, improvement in ease of doing business and enhanced investors’ confidence as some of the government’s achievements.
The President said that with 18% growth in revenue collection recorded at Rs. 4,732 billion in 2020-21, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has registered an increase of Rs. 160 billion revenue collection as against the target during the first two months of the current fiscal.
He said that with the record sale and purchase of 2.21 billion shares in one session in May 2021 alone, Pakistan’s stock market got the distinction of the best market in Asia and 4th in the world.
The President further said that Pakistan, which had got 28 points of improvement in the World Bank’s ranking of ease of doing business two years back, has also won the confidence of overseas investors through a 60% increase in the Business Confidence Index (BCI) in the survey of Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI).
The President said that enhanced revenue collections and workers’ remittances indicated full confidence in the government’s policies.
The president said the government had passed laws to protect the rights of special persons and women as well as to eliminate sexual crimes.
He said unfortunately, some cases of sexual crimes were reported from different parts of the country but the government made legislation to curb the evil which needed to be enforced.
The president said besides the government, it was also the societal responsibility to help stop the crime by being watchful against such elements.
He said the refusal of property rights to women still pervaded in some parts of the country which was unfortunate for a Muslim country as Allah Almighty had guided the followers in detail on the subject. He again urged society particularly Ulema to play a role in awareness and counter the societal traditions.
President Alvi said considering the risks posed by global warming to Pakistan, Imran Khan launched Billion Tree Tsunami in KP and later countrywide 10 Billion Tree Tsunami as well as Clean and Green Pakistan Program to help steer the country out of the challenge.
Coming to the democratic system, the president said the electoral reforms were essential which could not be achieved through the commotion.
He said the Electronic Voting Machine would ensure transparency, voters’ privacy, and swift results as it also featured a counter to calculate votes. Moreover, the government is also taking measures like i-voting to grant voting rights to overseas Pakistanis.
Touching the subject of foreign policy, the president said India had been committing genocide of Kashmiri people as well as targeting Indian Muslim minorities.
He said Imran Khan, who had called himself as Ambassador of Kashmir, exposed the real face of India globally. He said Pakistan always strived to maintain friendly ties with the world which was also manifested by the prime minister in his maiden speech. But it was construed as Pakistan’s weakness by India, he added.
Moreover, Pakistan’s gesture of releasing captured Indian pilot in 2019 was also taken as the country’s weakness, he added.
President Alvi asked India to end its atrocities in IIOJK and abide by the UN resolutions.
He also assured the Kashmir people that Pakistan was committed to its stance and thanked China, Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan for supporting Pakistan’s stance on the issue.
He told the House that the fascist ideology of RSS was a threat to regional peace and that India had also been involved in sponsoring terrorism in the region.
Moreover, he said the repeated incidents of uranium sales were deadly for regional security but unfortunately, the world media was keeping mum on it.
About Afghanistan, he said, since the beginning, Imran Khan called for a political settlement in Afghanistan and opposed the military solution.
He said even after decades of war and spending trillions of dollars, peace could not be revived in Afghanistan.
Calling the Taliban’s announcement for amnesty was encouraging, he urged the world community not to leave the Afghan people in the lurch rather make efforts to avert a humanitarian and economic crisis.
President Alvi said Pakistan had been playing a humanitarian role in Afghanistan with its flag carrier PIA being at the forefront for evacuation.
He said the world should acknowledge that Pakistan’s stance on Afghanistan had proved correct and suggested the world follow Imran Khan’s political acumen in other matters too.
The president said that different regional fora like Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) should be utilized for the promotion of regional linkages. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said, would further strengthen the linkages among the regional economies.
The president said peace in Afghanistan would be a good omen for all the neighboring countries.
He said Pakistan attached high priority to its ties with China that had played a vital part in the economic development and prosperity of Pakistan.
Expressing his confidence, the president further said that ill designs of certain elements in the region to harm these time-tested ties were doomed to fail. “I want to remind India that the friendship bonds between Pakistan and China will grow further,” he added.
The president also thanked all the brotherly Muslim countries for supporting Pakistan including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Iran, etc.
The president said the Pakistani nation had proved its mettle in trying times. “Never consider yourself as weak,” he said and enumerated five basic characteristics of the nation’s strength.
He said the nation on the basis of its intellect, developed a nuclear deterrent within a period of seven years after India conducted nuclear tests during 1974.
Pakistan very generously hosted 3.5 million to 4 million Afghan refugees on its soil for decades. The countries which had been championing the cause of human rights even did not accept refugees and let them drowned in the Mediterranean.
The president also paid rich tributes to the sacrifices of the armed forces, law enforcement agencies, civil forces, and the nation that had jointly defeated the scourge of terrorism.
During the Covid 19 pandemic, the nation had contributed with huge donations and the prime minister took decisions on the basis of compassion that they would not impose complete lockdown and save the livelihood of the poor segments of society.
The government opted to enforce smart lockdown on the basis of data and rolled out the Ehsaas program, he added.
The president said by the mingling of all these qualities with honest leadership, the result would be a shining, rising, and smiling Naya Pakistan’.
The president also thanked the media and ulema for creating awareness about the pandemic, adding mosques were kept open during the pandemic.
The president also highlighted the need to discourage the trend of fake news which had brought destruction in the world.
Referring to certain Quranic verses, the president urged the nation to seek guidance from these teachings and exercise caution over fake news.
The president also emphasized the importance of family and school systems where training was imparted to the young generations.
He also called upon the media to meet its responsibility in this regard and work for the training of society, adding mosques and pulpits were very important pillars of society.
The president appealed to the whole nation especially the political leadership, ulema, media, and young generation work collectively to face the social, economic, and security challenges.
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