ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi, in his address to a joint session of the Parliament, recounted the accomplishments of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s (PTI) over the past two years.
The joint parliament session was called to mark the advent of the new parliamentary year. Prime Minister Imran Khan also attended present in the House. However, top opposition leaders Shehbaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari, and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari did not attend the session.
Opposition members protested and chanted slogans against the PTI government as National Assembly Speaker invited the president to speak. Later, some members of the opposition staged a walkout and held a press conference outside Parliament House.
President Alvi began his address by congratulating the House for completing two years, saying he was honoured to be speaking there for the third time. “We should look back on the past two years to see what has been done and what should be done,” he said.
The President also congratulated the people of Pakistan, politicians, and the armed forces for collectively fighting terrorism. “We all collectively fought terrorism,” he added.
He said, “Another achievement is that you provided shelter to Afghan refugees. We welcomed them with open hearts, and no politician or government spoke ill of them.”
Commenting on the coronavirus pandemic, Alvi said that there was a lot of fear mongering initially that the people will die in the streets. “Religious activities were banned across the Muslim countries, but we worked with our religious scholars and continued with prayers at mosques,” he added.
He also pointed out the Pakistan strategy to curb the spread of the deadly disease, saying, “Today, the world is giving our example. I don’t remember the last time I heard something like that.”
He also highlighted PTI government’s Ehsaas programme, introduced to provide cash stipends to those most affected by the fallout from the virus. “I commend the premier and the government for standing by their CIVOD-19 response despite criticism,” he remarked.
Commenting on the country’s economy, Alvi asserted that Pakistan’s current account deficit had reduced despite the pandemic. “Our ratings by Moody’s and Fitch have improved, showing us that they think the country’s situation looks good,” he informed.
Referring to occupied Kashmir, he said that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) took the matter thrice during the past year due to PM Imran’s efforts. “This is your victory,” he said.
The President also praised PM Imran Khan for his remarks on Israel, in which he stated that Pakistan would not recognise it until Palestine is freed.
“I always say that all institutions have the same goals. The government, Pakistan Army, the judiciary, and the media are on the same page,” he asserted.
“We want to urge the Pakistani youth to work hard and hold onto the lessons taught by our culture. Pakistan is at a tipping point,” he concluded.
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