PM Ashraf urges nation to shun despondency
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf Friday said that Pakistan had a bright future ahead and urged the nation for concerted efforts to make it strong and prosperous.
Addressing a gathering at a book launch regarding performance of the government, the prime minister asked the nation to shun despondency as desperation and hopelessness were a sin in Islam also.
“The entire nation must rise together irrespective of their religious and political affiliations, for the solidarity of Pakistan,” Prime Minister Ashraf told the large gathering.
The 378-page book, published by the Directorate of Electronic Media and Publications, titled “Reconciliation, Reforms and Revival” goes beyond the “official statistics” to include perspectives from external contributors.
Ashraf said the media in Pakistan was fully independent. “We take pride that it is playing an eminent and effective role as a watchdog,” he added.
He said that the record of the government bore testimony to the fact that it had in no way tried to influence or restrict media freedom.
“The media should avoid projecting things that lead to feelings of dejection and despair, about the future of Pakistan,” said the premier.
He urged the media to focus on factual reporting and to never compromise on accuracy of facts. “The government’s cause of concern arises when facts are compromised and opinions are presented as facts.”
He pointed out that in news reporting there was a constant struggle between speed and accuracy.
“My advice to the media is that accuracy should never be compromised at the altar of ratings,” he added.
In a candid speech, the prime minister asked the media, particularly the news channels, to even cut out parts, in which speakers voice their views against the country.
He urged all the political parties to join hands for the progress and prosperity of the country and face the challenges with unity.
He said that the government took difficult decisions to face the challenges when it came into power in 2008, adding that the country was now making progress in all fields.
He said that Pakistan, being a nuclear power and a determined nation, would foil the desperate attempts of a few people to malign the religion and the country.
PM Ashraf said that Malala Yousafzai had emerged as a beacon of light against a mindset, which would not be able to succeed in its nefarious designs.
He said that Pakistan, which was importing wheat in 2008 when the PPP took over the government, had now become a wheat-exporting country.
Highlighting political awareness among the people, the prime minister said that the common man was fully aware about the country’s politics now and understands the political changes.
Referring to various achievements of the government in the last four and a half years, he said that besides taking steps for the welfare of the farmers, workers and peasants, the government increased salaries of the government servants by up to 150 per cent.
Prime Minister Ashraf, while appreciating the efforts of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for compiling the achievements of the government in the last four years, urged to do their work honestly. They will reap benefit of this honesty, he added.
He said that the people would judge the performance of the present government while reading this book and make informed decisions.
The premier said that written things always had a solid footing and the book was evidence that these facts were based on truth. The book comprises achievements of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led coalition government, he added.
He said President Asif Ali Zardari handed over his powers to the Parliament, which were snatched by the dictators. Adding the dictators usurped these powers as they were afraid of the Parliament and lacked mandate.
However, it was a politician like Asif Ali Zardari, who had no fear of the democratically elected Parliament, he added.
Predictions and statements against the PPP started from the very first day, but despite all the odds the first ever democratically elected Parliament would complete its tenure, said Ashraf.
He said that economic conditions of the people had improved manifold with the measures taken by the present government for their welfare. “Though the people always complain of escalating prices of items of daily use, but it should be seen in the real perspective and it is better to compare the living standards of today, with those of a decade ago,” he added.
Earlier, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira handed over the book to the prime minister.