–Education minister Shafqat Mehmood welcomes former president’s support, assures govt will reciprocate
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday said the government and the opposition should sit together and formulate a long-term plan to steer the country out of debt trap and the economic crisis.
The former president said he was speaking in the House as a member after over 20 years.
Offering support to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, he said his party wanted the present government to complete its five-year tenure. “We had extended support to the PML-N in the past and we are ready to extend the same support to the PTI,” he added.
He said, “We should all sit together and prepare a long-term plan for the next 20 to 25 years to bring the country out of the present crisis and for the betterment of the next generations. We want the PTI to be successful as it will also be the success of Pakistan and its people.”
“Weaknesses exist in democracies,” he said, adding that it was time that “we all sit together and stop undermining one another.”
“Despite weaknesses, democracy is the best system to take the country forward,” he added.
Zardari said the $3 billion aid was not enough to overcome the economic crisis facing the country. “The relief package the government has got will meet immediate requirements but it is not a permanent cure,” he added. “Debt is not the issue of Pakistan as if we get maximum economic output, the country’s economy will improve.”
“We have to collectively make Pakistan a strong country,” he said.
The PPP leader said dams were important and should be built, but first steps should be taken for conservation of water. The issue of clean drinking water existed in Karachi and his party’s government in Sindh was determined to address it.
Zardari said he as president had introduced the concept of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and developed the Gwadar deep-sea port with the objective to take the country to the road of progress and prosperity.
He stressed the need for exporting food items to China. He also highlighted his government’s achievements and said sugar and wheat were exported during their tenure. He asked the government to devise a policy keeping in view the growing population of the country.
Without mentioning the name of Shaukat Aziz, he said the ‘imported prime minister’ had no knowledge about the real issues being faced by the people of Pakistan. “Only we, who live in the country, have the knowledge of the real issues of Pakistani people,” he added.
PTI MINISTER WELCOMES SUPPORT:
Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood welcomed the statement of PPP Co-chairman, saying the spirit of cooperation would take the country forward. He said if the opposition extended cooperation, the government would positively reciprocate. In response to the opposition’s one step forward, the government would take two, he added.
He stressed for a “Charter of Economy” to address the national economic issues through consensus. He, however, said those, who plundered the nation, should not be pardoned and a joint resolution in that regard should be passed by the Parliament.