Says China is Pakistan time-tested friend
Ijaz Kakakhel Islamabad
In a joint session of both national assembly and senate address, President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday called on politicians to end growing polarization in the country and decide on an election date by coming together.
“People can only be united if politicians are united,” he said, highlighting that eliminating differences was the “need of the hour”. The joint session of the National Assembly today was called in line with articles 54(1) and 56(3) of the Constitution.
The session was sparsely attended, with the majority of MNAs missing from both benches. Those in attendance were seen freely mingling and talking amongst one another while the president was speaking.
The president congratulated lawmakers for completing the fourth year in the national assembly and entering into the Parliament’s fifth year. The president also extended his wishes to Pakistan for completing 75 years of independence.
Meanwhile, Jamaat-i-Islami Senator Mushtar Ahmed chanted slogans calling for MNA Ali Wazir’s production orders to be issued, even as the president continued speaking. He later staged a protest in front of the NA speaker’s rostrum with Senator Tahir Bizenjo and MNA Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali.
At the outset of his address today, the president expressed that the biggest problem Pakistan was facing today were the catastrophic floods that wreaked havoc across the country and rendered millions homeless. “I want to felicitate the Pakistan Army for helping victims while sacrificing their lives. The federal and provincial governments, PDMA (Provincial Disaster Management Authority), and NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority) all worked hard on the ground. I thank all of them.”
Dr Alvi pointed out that if the relief work was not done on time, the human and economic losses from the floods would have been higher. Pakistan’s contribution to global warming was not even 1 per cent, but the country was suffering the most, he said. “I want to commend agencies and the government for the way they worked. I believe they deserve commendation.”
The president said that the disastrous floods had damaged crops spread over acres and underscored the need for crop insurance. “Agriculture is our economic backbone. We must look towards countries that are progressing in this sector.
“The Netherlands is 19 times smaller than Pakistan but it progressed so much on the agricultural front, and my country should have progressed more in this field. If we adopt a scientific approach, Pakistan can beat the world,” he stated. Dr Alvi also said that the recent floods had, once again, raised the demand for building dams.
Going on, the president lauded the nation for fighting terrorism. “The way we tackled Covid should also be commended.