President Alvi lauds PTI govt’s ‘prudent’ foreign, economic policies

Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi said on Monday that owing to the government’s prudent policies, Pakistan 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 increase in exports from US $23.7 billion during fiscal year 2019-20 to US $25.3 billion and in 2020-21; workers’ remittances recorded at the historic US $29.4 billion, vibrancy in stock market, improvement in ease of doing business and enhanced investor’s confidence were some of the government’s achievements.

The President said with 18 per cent 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 year. He said 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 best market in Asia and 4th in the world.

The President further said two years back Pakistan had obtained 28 points of improvement in the World Bank’s ranking of ease of doing business.

Pakistan has also won the confidence of overseas investors through 60 per cent increase in the Business Confidence Index (BCI) in the survey of Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI), he added.

Dr Alvi said enhanced revenue collections and workers’ remittances indicated full confidence in the government’s policies. The President said the government made legislation to protect rights of special persons and women as well as to eliminate sexual crimes. Unfortunately, some cases of sexual crimes were reported from different parts of the country but the government came into action to curb the evil which needed to be enforced, he added. He said

beside the government, it was also the responsibility of society to help stop the crime by being watchful against such elements. He said, in some parts of the country, the refusal of property rights to women is still prevalent which is unfortunate for a Muslim country as Allah Almighty guides in details on the subject in the Holy Quran. He again urged the society particularly Ulema to play role for awareness and counter such traditions.

President Alvi said considering the risks posed by global warming to Pakistan, Prime Minster Imran Khan launched Billion Tree Tsunami project in KP and later countrywide 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project 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 are essential which could not be achieved through commotion. He said the Electronic Voting Machine would ensure transparency, voter’s 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 is committing genocide of Kashmiri people as well as targeting Indian Muslim minorities. He said Imran Khan, who called himself as Ambassador of Kashmir, exposed the real face of India globally.

He said Pakistan always strives 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 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 Kashmiri people that Pakistan is committed to its stance and thanked China, Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan for supporting Pakistan’s stance on the issue.

He told the House that fascist ideology of RSS is a threat to regional peace and that India is involved in sponsoring terrorism in the region. Moreover, he said the repeated incidents of uranium sale were deadly for regional security but unfortunately, the world media is keeping mum on it.

About Afghanistan, he said, since the beginning, Imran Khan called for 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 Taliban’s announcement for amnesty as encouraging, he urged the world community to support the Afghan people in lurch and make efforts to avert humanitarian and economic crisis.

President Alvi said Pakistan has been playing humanitarian role in Afghanistan with its flag carrier PIA being at forefront for evacuation. He said the world should acknowledge that Pakistan’s stance on Afghanistan is proved correct and suggested the world to follow Imran Khan’s political acumen in other matters too.

Meanwhile, Opposition members of the two houses boycotted the presidential address after raising their voice for solidarity with the media having sit-in outside the Parliament House to oppose the establishment of the Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA) and electronic voting machines, Geo News reported.

Journalists, on the other hand, were forbidden to enter the press gallery of the Parliament before the commencement of the session. In response, the Parliamentary Reporters Association (PRA) members staged a protest inside gate number 1 of the Parliament House.