ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Thursday directed only “authorized ministers” to speak about the issue of detained US diplomat Raymond Davis, if required as the matter was sub judice.Addressing the first session of the newly formed Federal Cabinet here at the PM Secretariat, Prime Minister Gilani welcomed the new members.“The entire nation will be watching our performance with hope and expectancy. I have always believed that holding of offices is a sacred trust which should be guarded at all costs.”He said that the Cabinet had been formed in consultation with coalition partners and enjoyed the confidence of the Co-chairperson of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Prime Minister Gilani said the Cabinet, though limited in number, faced greater challenges. He also shared his hopes and anxieties with the ministers before taking up the formal agenda.He hoped that the new Cabinet would work with “energy, zeal and experience” and live up to the expectations of the masses.He expreseed the hope that the Cabinet would leave no stone unturned in steering the country out of its difficulties.“We are all aware of the fact that the need to build a stable Pakistan has never been felt so strongly as it is being felt today.”He said that the government since 2008 had spent much of its time and energy in introducing structural reforms required for the supremacy of Parliament. These included sustainable macro-economic stability, balanced foreign policy, strong defence, elimination of terrorism, distribution of the finances for the provinces and the Federal Government, helping the agriculture sector and giving due rights to the people of Balochistan.
He said all these issues were progressing towards a logical conclusion and were being widely acclaimed.
“The manner in which we have tackled these issues reflects the wisdom and maturity of the country’s political leadership, Parliament and the Cabinet. These steps will draw the contours of our future history,” Gilani said.He said that during the remaining tenure the government would focus its energies towards addressing issues that have direct bearing on the life of common man.These included expanding coverage of Benazir Income Support Programme, a viable mechanism for price control especially for food items, that was being worked out in consultation with the provinces.He said that these also included improvement of law and order situation, enabling environment for economic development and infrastructure development in neglected areas of the country. All these would directly be beneficial to the general public.He said as public representatives he expected all Cabinet colleagues to interact with the general public, members of civil society, intelligentsia and media, and help the government where there was a room for improvement.
Prime Minister Gilani said that certain sections of the society expressed lack of confidence in the institutional ability of the government to handle matters of national importance. “We have to dispel this impression,” he said.“The government will like to provide all necessary support and platform for capacity building of the institutions so that there is no interference by any organ of the state in the domain of the other.”The Prime Minister said that his government had always followed the policy of reconciliation in the interest of the country.“But I would make it clear that it should not be considered our weakness.”Prime Minister Gilani said doors of the Cabinet were open to anyone who believed in the party’s policy and discipline.“It is late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s and Shaheed Mohtarma’s party, of which we are proud members.”“The party has made us what we are today. Let’s be guided by party loyalty, not adventurism and playing to the galleries,” Gilani said – APP