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Zardari’s recommends lifting Governor Rule; supports PML-N return in Punjab

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Governor Rule Lifting recommended:
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday announced to recommend the lifting of Governor’s Rule in Punjab and said the PPP will support the candidate of PML (N) in the provincial assembly.

“I wish to announce that we will recommend the lifting of Governor’s Rule in Punjab”

the President said while addressing the joint sitting of the parliament here. President Zardari said Pakistan Peoples Party will support the candidate of PML (N) whoever he might be.

About 17th Amendment
The President said that a parliamentary committee would be constituted to review the 17th Amendment and 58-2(B). He said:

“I propose to form a parliamentary committee for reviewing the 17th Amendment and 58-2(B).”

President Zardari said the above committee be formed without any further delay.

About Charter of Democracy:
He also proposed to form a committee to review Charter of Democracy (CoD) for its implementation. President Zardari said the supremacy of parliament was a dream of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and the government has taken steps to fulfill her dream.

Baluchistan Issue:
The President said he visited Balochistan yesterday and met with cross section of the people in the province. He said he was urged to form a parliamentary committee to address the issues of Balochistan.

“I urge the parliament to form the parliamentary committee to resolve problems of Balochistan,”

He also spoke in favor of giving Balochistan people the autonomy they have been demanding for the last 60 years. He announced Rs47 billion plan for development of Balochistan.

Economic crisis and terrorism:
He said the country is passing through a severe economic recession as the global meltdown has badly affected country’s economy. The president vowed to root out terrorism and extremism. The President said the present government inherited a number of problems including war against terrorism and economic challenges.

“Difficult decisions had to be taken in the wake of the global economic meltdown, In this regard I congratulate the Prime Minister.”

He said the rate of inflation has registered a decline and hoped that it would be brought down to a single digit by the next year. The value of rupee has improved as well as the foreign remittances.

People from all walks of life have welcomed his recommendations.

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  1. Text of address of President Asif Zardari
    ISLAMABAD: Following is the text of address of President Asif Ali Zardari to the joint sitting of parliament here on Saturday at the Parliament House:


    Madam Speaker! Honourable Members of the Parliament!


    I am thankful to Allah, to be standing here today to address at the beginning of the second year of the Parliament. Six months ago, soon after you elected me as President, I had the privilege of addressing this august House, to mark the beginning of its first year.

    Seldom before, a President had the honour of addressing the Parliament, twice in six months. I wish to thank you, for the honour shown to me.

    Madam Speaker!

    I wish to congratulate, all the elected Members of the Parliament, on completing the first year of the Parliamentary calendar.

    I also wish to congratulate, the newly elected Senators, the Chairman and Deputy Chairman on their election.

    Madam Speaker!

    I would like to begin by stating that Parliament is the source of all political power. We hold the Parliament in the highest esteem. Supremacy of the Parliament has been a dream of our leader,

    Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto

    The Charter of Democracy flows from her belief in the Supremacy of the Parliament. About six months ago standing here, I had called upon the Parliament, to form an all parties committee, to revisit the 17th amendment and Article 58?2(b).

    I am conscious of the fact that 6 months is not a long time. I urge you, Madam Speaker, to constitute a committee of all political parties to propose amendments in the Constitution in the light of Charter of Democracy. The amendments should be finalized without any further delay.

    Madam Speaker!

    The government at the very start inherited many problems. These were problems of an ailing economy, growing extremism and militancy and a judicial crisis. Significant progress has been achieved in different areas during the last one year. But much more needs to be done. A heavy national agenda awaits you.

    It is the agenda of protecting democracy, fighting militancy, healing the wounds, and building infrastructure. We have to root out terrorism and extremism.


    Madam Speaker!

    The world is passing through a severe economic recession. Economic slowdown has impacted all countries. When the government took over it faced a situation of near economic meltdown due to problems inherited and also due to global recession. It inherited massive shortfall in energy, dwindling foreign exchange reserves and rising inflation.

    Difficult decisions had to be taken for economic stability. A home grown economic reforms program was developed. I appreciate the Prime Minister for taking difficult decisions.

    The decisions were difficult. But they were necessary. The reforms program has started showing results. Inflation has declined, from over 25% in August 2008 to 21 %. Hopefully it will be brought down to single digit by next year. Since the second quarter, there has been no net borrowing, from the State Bank of Pakistan.

    The rupee recovered some of the value it lost in October 2008. In the first 8 months of the financial year remittances have grown. Foreign exchange reserves stood at 6.4 billion dollars in November last. A week ago they were over ten billion dollars.


    Madam Speaker

    Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had a dream and vision. It was the vision of reconciliation. Reconciliation is the only way forward. We must not remain hostage to the bitterness of the past. We need to bring together the federating units in a spirit of mutual accommodation. Yesterday I visited Balochistan and met a cross section of the people. They feel deprived and neglected. Let us not give an excuse to our enemies to exploit the deprivations of the people of the province. A lot needs to be done. It can be done. I have the mandate from the Governor, Chief Minister and MPAs of Balochistan to urge the setting up of a Parliamentary Committee. The Committee comprising of all political parties should recommend measures for addressing the long standing issues of Balochistan. The Committee may seek guidance from the work done by a previous Parliamentary Committee.

    An enabling environment needs to be created to facilitate the return and rehabilitation of displaced persons in Balochistan who fled their homes recently.

    Ways and means may be explored for the voluntary return of exiles and grant of general amnesty to the political prisoners. These are issues which need to be discussed in the Parliament.

    I urge the Parliament to frame Balochistan policy which is sustainable and acceptable to the people of the province. Give them the autonomy they have been demanding for 60 years.


    Madam Speaker!

    The government has taken special measures to address the financial problems of Balochistan. Just yesterday I announced on behalf of the government a development package of 47 billion rupees for Balochistan. It is a matter of great satisfaction that the Gwadar Port project has become operational. The completion of the project has advanced our strategic interests, created jobs and generated economic activity in the remote areas of Balochistan.

    The federal government has decided to pay 17 billion rupees the Balochistan government owed to the State Bank of Pakistan. The province was paid 6 billion rupees in budgetary support and payment for gas royalty.


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