Gilani urges nation to stand united to confront challenges

PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday urged the nation to stand united to face the several challenges, the country was facing and to thwart all attempts to destabilise Pakistan.Addressing the lawyers convention organized by Peshawar High Court Bar Association (PHCBA) at the Peshawar High Court, he asked them to unite on a single point agenda for integrity, solidarity and sovereignty of Pakistan.“There is no danger to the country if the 180 million people of Pakistan stand united,” he said.Gilani, who is here on a day-long visit to the provincial metropolis, said the nation was resilient enough to face all sorts of challenges.

He said the government of Pakistan Peoples Party has always strived for the uplift of the masses and desires that all State institutions continue to work within their ambit.Commending the role of the legal fraternity during the historic judges’ restoration movement, supremacy of Constitution, rule of law and restoration of sustainable democracy, he said the lawyers, civil society and political forces had played a lead role against dictatorship and for restoration of undiluted democracy in the country.

He said Father of the Nation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was also associated with legal profession and the parliamentary democracy was the result of the matchless struggle under the dynamic leadership of Quaid-e-Azam.The Prime Minister said the challenges could be tackled through the Constitution, given by PPP Founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Shaheed. He said that it was the 1973 Constitution that had protected the country.“The Constitution, distorted during reign of dictators has been restored to its original form by the PPP government. The dictators despite their tall claims could not restore it”, he said.

Gilani recalled that Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto who had vowed to raise the national flag at the residence of deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. He said his government was committed to the independence of judiciary.He said as soon as he was nominated as the Prime Minister, he ordered that the judges be released immediately. He termed it a “major achievement”.Prime Minister Gilani lauded the sacrifices of the lawyer community and the workers of Pakistan Peoples Party and said these would not go waste.He said democracy was the only way forward for Pakistan and it has been proven time and again that no other system can work in the country.

He said he was also proud that his father was one of the signatories on the Pakistan Resolution signed at Lahore and he would not take any step that can damage Pakistan.Gilani, however urged the people to rise above their petty differences and stand united to protect the sovereignty and independence of the country.He pointed that the issue of provincial autonomy has been resolved and the people were now getting their due share for development and said they were also getting the royalty that can bring prosperity to the people. He said several departments have now devolved to the provinces under the 18th Amendment.

The Prime Minister pointed that the people who were earlier under the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas, have now been brought under the domain of the provincial government and draconian laws against the media have been withdrawn.The Prime Minister while referring to Gilgit Baltistan and Fata reforms, he said it would bring about positive changes in people’s lives.He said Kala Dhaka, a tribal area near Manshera district, was brought into national mainstream and was given a separate district status by the present regime.He said even the two-third majority governments in past could not bring constitutional amendments to restore the constitution in original form.   He said more legislation in light of public interests would be enacted.

He said his major achievement was that there was no political prisoner in the country and no person was either harassed or victimized during his tenure.Gilani said despite having no simple majority, his government managed to make major headway in many areas by pursuing the policy of reconciliation.Prime Minister Gilani said he was awarded an honorary degree of Ph.D from the Marmara University and he had done his Masters in Journalism and wanted that the media works freely without any problem.He openly challenged that the amount of tolerance his government had shown was not exhibited by any other government.

Gilani, pointing to the issues raised by the lawyers community said all matters relating to the Housing Society be resolved without any delay. He announced an amount of Rs 50 million for matters relating to the infrastructure development and providing to the lawyer community.He also announced setting up of a University of Information Technology at Peshawar for the future generation of the province.He directed the Chief Minister to take up the car parking problem of lawyers with administration of PHCBA for its early solution.He urged the lawyers to contact Governor KPK regarding their grievances.

Addressing the convention, Khawaja Muhammad Khan Ghara, President, and Secretary General of Peshawar High Court Bar Association, Ameen Ur Rehman Khan expressed their resolve to continue to espouse the cause of rule of law upholding of the constitution and independence of judiciary.
The lawyers convention was also addressed by Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Barrister Masood Kausar, the lawyers from across KPK attended the convention. – APP