Govt wants no confrontation, political stability vital for economic progress: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani here on Wednesday said leadership across the spectrum should work for political stability, vital for ensuring that economic benefits reach the common man.Addressing parliamentary party meeting of Pakistan People’s Party and its allies including ANP, MQM, PML(F) and FATA members at the Prime Minister House, Gilani stressed that instead of political confrontation, egotism and stubbornness, decisions should be taken in national interest.He said the PPP government does not believe in political confrontation and desires to resolve issues through consultations.Gilani said problems facing the country are such that no political party single handedly can address them.Briefing mediamen on the meeting, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan said the Prime Minister underlined the need for collective wisdom and dialogue among parties to improve political environment.She said the Prime Minister thanked the coalition partners for their support and said the government in its remaining time will work on the unfinished agenda of providing economic relief to the masses.Gilani reiterated his government’s resolve to continue with the policy of political reconciliation and said it always accommodated other political parties after the split mandate which came in the election of 2008.While describing the unprecedented political and economic challenges the government faced during its three years, the Prime Minister said the government is answerable to the people and it wanted to accomplish the task of improving their living standards.Admitting that the rise in commodity prices and global recession affected people, the Prime Minister said the government raised wages of salaried class by 50 percent to ease their difficulties.The Prime Minister said the real struggle that lies ahead is economic stability, improving law and order, bringing in foreign direct investment and addressing concerns of international community on terrorism.The Prime Minister said macroeconomic indicators have improved, exports are on the rise, foreign remittances have increased and stock exchanges are attracting investment.The exports this year will rise by 26 percent to $ 22 billion, remittances will climb by 17 percent to $ 10 billion and foreign exchange reserves will cross $ 17 billion, he added.Fiscal deficit is also kept in check with cut in non-development expenditure along with steps to improve fiscal space in the face of import bill which expanded because of rising global oil prices, Gilani noted.

The Prime Minister said political reconciliation is vital component of government policy and said after elections PPP could have formed government in Punjab with the support of independent members but it did not go down the path of polarization in the spirit of Charter of Democracy.Dr. Firdous said Prime Minister told the members that the government always put a clear picture of national affairs before its allies, did not hide facts and set new trends of political tolerance.The Prime Minister who was elected to his office through a unanimous vote in the parliament did not discriminate between government and opposition in granting of development funds as a gesture to respect public mandate and give access to basic facilities to people of all constituencies, she added.The Prime Minister expressed his government’s resolve to continue struggle against the menace of terrorism calling it a cancer for society.He said a successful campaign was waged against terrorism and with the support of political parties and people, the back of terrorists was broken through a military operation in Swat and Malakand. The government then successfully rehabilitated the persons of these areas displaced during the operation.Gilani said the rehabilitation of flood victims will go forward as the international community will meet its financial pledges made when Pakistan was struck by the worst floods in its history.The parliamentarians  of coalition parties appreciated the Prime Minister for his vision to steer the country through difficult political and economic challenges.They identified various problems faced by people and offered suggestions for their resolution – APP