In parliamentary address, President Zardari calls for steering country out of 'political crisis'

In parliamentary address, President Zardari calls for steering country out of 'political crisis'

Islamabad (Web Desk): President Asif Ali Zardari has called for a meaningful dialogue, parliamentary consensus and fostering an atmosphere of mutual respect and political reconciliation to do away with the polarisation and overcome the challenges pervading the country.

Addressing the joint session of the Parliament on Thursday amid protest by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) lawmakers, the president called for taking positive steps, saying harmony among institutions is the need of the hour to pave wave for the development of the country.

“In my considered view, it is time to turn a new page. The challenges we face are not impossible to overcome. They just require the fundamentals of meaningful dialogue, and parliamentary consensus. We can effectively tackle our challenges and foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and political reconciliation,” the president said.

President Zardari said having given away his powers to the parliament, his role was as a unifying symbol of a joint, robust federation, where all people and provinces should be treated as equal before the law.

As a new beginning, he said the country needed to build its strengths by investing in people, focusing on public needs, and harnessing its resources to create pathways to inclusive growth.

“We have little time to waste. The country needs us to move on from the polarization so common now to contemporary politics,” President Zardari remarked and sought joint House’s role in rebuilding public confidence in the parliamentary process.

Calling for resetting the political atmosphere and reflect “more light than heat”, the president emphasised reforms, to promote good governance and turning challenges into opportunities.

Sharing his vision for future, President Zardari urged the political leadership to prioritize the specific needs of marginalised community and under develop areas, underscoring the need to move forward on the path of inclusive growth.

“Pakistan needs to revitalize its economy. Our primary objective should be to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

He urged the government intensified its efforts in implementation comprehensive ease of doing business reforms and simplifying regulations to provide an enabling environment to both domestic and foreign investors.

President Zardari commended the establishment of Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) to attract investment in key sectors of the economy, describing it as a step in the right direction.
The joint session was convened by the president under the powers provisioned in Articles 54 (1) and 56 (3) of the Constitution.

Chaired by National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, the joint sitting was attended by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Aseefa Bhutto and other members of the National Assembly and Senate while in the galleries were provincial chief ministers and parliamentarians, diplomats, and representatives from political parties.

Asif Ali Zardari was elected to office on March 9, becoming the only Pakistani president to assume the role twice.

Thursday’s address to the joint sitting of the National Assembly and Senate was his seventh.

President Zardari addressed the joint session of the parliament six times during his previous tenure as the country's head of state from 2008 to 2013.