Govt to seek fresh mandate from people in 2013 polls: PM

Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf

Muzaffarabad: The government will seek fresh mandate from the people in the 2013 elections on the basis of its performance in this tenure, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said on Wednesday.

Addressing a public meeting at Athmuqam in Azad Kashmir, Ashraf said, “We are moving towards general elections and no one should have any doubt or fear that election will not be fair and impartial because we believe in public’s verdict and will recognise their decision.”He said the PPP believed in serving the people and those talking of a revolution had no programme or manifesto. Ashraf said successive dictators had attempted to eliminate the PPP but failed as the party enjoyed the support of the masses. “There is only one way to come into power and that was the power of vote,” he said.

The prime minister said some people were talking about the appointment of the election commissioner and were saying that there would be rigging in the elections. However, he contended that the issue was addressed with the consensus of the opposition and an impartial personality was selected for the post. Ashraf said the PPP and its allies were working towards holding transparent and impartial elections, adding that President Asif Ali Zardari was implementing the vision of Zulfikar Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto to make a concrete democracy‚ parliament and to have fair and transparent elections.

Kashmiris: The prime minister assured the Kashmiris that Pakistan would continue to extend diplomatic, political and moral support to the people of Kashmir until the resolution of the core issue in accordance with the UN resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.On relations with the neighbouring countries, Ashraf said it was the government’s policy to continue to improve relations with its immediate neighbours such as Afghanistan, Iran, China, India and Sri Lanka.

On ties with India, he said Pakistan was pursuing a policy of cordial relations with India and initiatives in this regard were also appreciated by Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz during his recent meeting with him in Jeddah who had described improvement of relations between the two countries as a good omen which would be beneficial to the people of both India and Pakistan. About Afghanistan, he said, “It is our utmost desire that the Afghan problem is addressed in accordance with the wishes of the Afghans and we are ready to help them in this way.” – PT