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Democracy should continue to grow for the strength of the country; Arif Alvi

An undeclared boycott by the ruling alliance Muslim League (N), People’s Party and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam

 First 33 members and then only 14 members were present during the speech of the President of Pakistan

BY   MASHAL BALOCH

STAFF WRITER

ASSOCIATED PRESS SERVICE

ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi has said during the joint session of Parliament that democracy should continue to grow for the strength of the country. President Arif Alvi

President Arif Alvi has urged the political leadership to do away with political polarization and promote unity as espoused by founding fathers to exploit the true potential of this great nation.

He said this is the election year but a decision regarding the election date has to be decided by the political parties through dialogue.

Regarding freedom of expression, he said an independent and free media is utmost necessary for a vibrant democracy.

The President also appreciated the government decision to investigate the recent leaked audios of various leaders.

Arif Alvi stressed need for construction of dams to avert devastating floods in the country saying this will also help store water for use in difficult times.

He appreciated federal and provincial governments, NDMA, PDMAs and the armed forces for their timely response to the flood relief activities.

He expressed satisfaction over the international focus on the floods in Pakistan, saying the UN Secretary General visited Pakistan to see the ground situation.

Referring to the losses inflicted by floods on the agriculture sector, the President suggested a crop insurance scheme for the farmers to compensate for their losses.

The President said special focus should be given to bring improvement in the health and education sectors.

Referring to the importance of the cyber world, he said that we need to improve our policies in this regard to ensure cyber security of important institutions.

The President was appreciative of the initiative taken by BISP to deal with the issue of malnutrition.

Touching upon the foreign relations, the President said Pakistan and China enjoy all weather strategic partnership. He said the CPEC is a clear manifestation of the strong bond that exists between both the countries.     

The President said our relations with the United States are also heading in the right direction. He said Pakistan wants relations with the US on the basis of mutual respect and dignity. He appreciated the efforts made by the government to improve relations with Washington.

Arif Alvi said Saudi Arabia has always stood by Pakistan in difficult times. He said every Pakistani is also ready for the protection of Haramain Sharifain.

He also highlighted Pakistan’s strong bonds with United Arab Emirates and Turkey.

Regarding Afghanistan, he said Pakistan desires peace in the country which has seen many difficulties in the past forty years.

He was confident that Pakistan will soon come out of the FATF.

The President stressed for resolution of Kashmir dispute in line with UN Security Council Resolutions. He said Pakistan will always stand with their Kashmiri brothers and sisters.

He said Pakistan wants good relations with India but it will have to end its persecution campaign in illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir and move towards resolution of this lingering dispute.

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