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Indo-Pak dialogue indispensable for regional peace: PM

Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani while emphasizing the need for resolution of outstanding issues between Pakistan and India has said that dialogue is indispensable for durable peace and stability in the region.

During meeting on the sidelines of SAARC Summit in Bhutan, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also agreed with our stance and expressed willingness to resolve all bilateral issues through talks, the prime minister said this in his monthly Radio address on Friday.

Describing his meeting with Indian counterpart in Trimphu as meaningful and useful, Mr. Gilani said during the meeting he made it clear to the Indian counterpart that the whole region is facing the menace of terrorism and that Pakistani nation , valiant Armed Forces and law enforcing agencies have rendered great sacrifices for peace in the region.

The Prime Minister expressed the hope that the talks between the two countries will prove result oriented and pave the way for resolution of all issues including Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan Armed forces are fully capable and prepared to defend the territorial borders and respond effectively to any aggression, he added.

About his visit to the United States to attend the Nuclear Summit, Mr. Gilani said he conveyed to the whole world that Pakistan’s nuclear programme is for defense and peaceful purposes. He also reminded that our nuclear programme is safe and secure.
Pakistan’s participation in the summit itself was an acknowledgement of the country’s nuclear status by the world community.

In his wide-ranging address, the prime minister highlighted government’s performance in difference sectors and steps being taken for the resolution of different problems, particularly the energy crisis.

The Prime Minister said the democratic government would keep its focus on the resolution of problems faced by the masses during the next three years. He said the elected government during the last two years has overcome all the major issues with the grace of Almighty Allah and cooperation of the nation and political parties. He also directed the Ministry of Finance to make the forthcoming budget pro-poor.

Ours is the first government which cooperated with the Public Accounts Committee which resulted in the recovery of 40 billion rupees, he said and congratulated Chairman of the Committee Ch. Nisar Ali Khan and its members on this achievement.

He said the country is facing several challenges including energy crisis, water shortage, unemployment and less investment and industrial production. The government has already taken several steps and would take more in the coming days to overcome these challenges.

Referring to the energy crisis, the prime minister said the government is making concerted and serious efforts to resolve this issue once for all. He said in the past it was the PPP government which initiated power projects to overcome the shortage of electricity in the country and this time Inshallah too, our government will take the nation out of darkness.

About the steps taken so far, Mr. Gilani said keeping in view the gravity of the situation an energy summit was recently convened in Islamabad, which was participated by all the stakeholders including the four Chief Ministers. The conference evolved short, medium and long-term strategies to cope with the energy shortage in the country and overcome unannounced load shedding. The steps approved by the conference saved 1000 MW of electricity, which helped improve the situation to some extent. He pointed out that four years and an investment of $ 1.5 billion are required to generate electricity of 1000 MW.

The Prime Minister said that electricity shortage is a national issue and its solution is not possible without cooperation of the whole nation. He said we are a living nation and know how to confront challenges. Pakistani nation has always surmounted all challenges collectively and expressed the confidence that it will support the government in its efforts to conserve energy.

Despite less rains, the country has achieved good wheat crop this year due to hard work of our farmers, he said and directed all the provincial and federal departments not to show negligence in the purchase of wheat from the farmers and ensure timely payments to them.

Speaking about recently announced new labour policy to improve the working conditions of workers, the Prime Minister said we have enhanced minimum wage of workers from six thousand to seven thousand rupees. To ensure its implementation, it has been made mandatory for the employer to make salary payments to their workers through banks. Similarly, he said dowry grant for daughters of workers has been enhanced to seventy thousand rupees and the facility will be available for all the daughters instead of previous two.

The Prime Minister said tripartite monitoring committees represented by laborers, owners and government officials, will be constituted at the district, provincial and federal levels to ensure implementation of the new labour policy.

Congratulating the nation over passage of 18th constitutional amendment, Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani said the amendment has purged the 1973 constitution of all dictatorial distortions. He said these reforms in the constitution have set a framework for the resolution of the problems of the masses. He noted that only the constitution provides solution to the problems and challenges faced by the nation besides ensuring political stability and economic and social development.

The Prime Minister said progress has been made in investigations into the assassination of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. In this connection, the United Nations inquiry commission has already submitted its report. He assured the nation that the assassins of their Shaheed leader will be brought to justice at all costs.

Referring to terrorism, Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani urged the people to cooperate with the government in fighting this menace. He said responsibility also rests with the common man to identify the suspected persons in their areas and inform the law enforcement agencies in this regard to completely wipe out the menace of terrorism. This, he said, will also result in the devoting our energies towards economic prosperity, education and resolving other issues.



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