President emphasises austerity, eradicating corruption in maiden address to Parliament

President emphasises austerity, eradicating corruption My Country
President emphasises austerity, eradicating corruption My Country

President emphasises austerity, eradicating corruption My Country

ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi stressed on austerity and eradicating corruption in his maiden address to a joint session of the Parliament as lawmakers from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) staged a walkout from the session.

“The government is determined to practice austerity and end VIP culture in the country,” said President Arif Alvi.

Stressing on the significance of overseas Pakistanis, Alvi said expatriates want to play a role in the country’s progress and urged them to contribute towards the betterment of Pakistan.

Referring to the construction of dams, the president reiterated that the construction of water reservoirs is the top priority of the country and talked about better irrigation techniques to mitigate wastage of water.

“Agriculture is the backbone to our economy and we promise progress in this sector. A comprehensive policy will be brought into effect as there are limited resources and ample population.”

Education

Stressing on the importance of education and lauding the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government’s efforts in the sector, the president maintained that educational facilities and institutions need to be further strengthened. “We will derive policies to facilitate people from Fata and we shall do it as soon as possible. The educational structure of K-P should be implemented in all provinces.”

“Students enrolled in madrassahs should be assimilated with mainstream educational institutions,” the Alvi added. “We will have to invest in human development, implementing similar educational standards for the two can help achieve this goal.”

Poverty is the main cause of stunted growth among children, the president added. He also commented on the development of Balochistan and other far-flung areas.

‘Crucial to empower women’

President Alvi said its crucial to empower women for national progress. “We need to provide education and job opportunities to women. Without their empowerment, no nation can progress. Our women are exceptionally hard workers.”

“In line with our norms, women should be free to participate in jobs and opportunities.  We will provide vocational training to women and are also deliberating small and easy loans.”

He also brought the lawmakers’ attention to the current climate crisis faced by the country. “Areas in Sindh and Balochistan are suffering greatly due to droughts.”

The president also said that economy is one of the most prevailing issues of the country as the scourge of corruption has plagued it. “Our balance of trade is ebbing. Last year, our trade deficit was Rs36 billion – the highest in Pakistan’s history.”

‘Value our relations with Russia’

Commenting on Pakistan’s international relations, the president said, “The foreign ministers of China, United States, Turkey and Iran visited us and we have improved relations with these countries. We uphold CPEC, as it will strengthen ties between the two countries and provide us economic opportunities.”

“We value our relations with Russia very much,” said the president and reiterated that peace in Afghanistan was vital for Pakistan’s prosperity.

The president also addressed the Kashmir issue briefly saying that it is important to resolve and improve ties between India and Pakistan. “We will keep continuing our efforts regarding Indian-occupied Kashmir. We will take all necessary steps and not deprive them [Kashmiris] of their rights.”

During the maiden address, he also lauded the armed forces for their efforts in combating terrorism. “We have the most successful and experienced army in the world. The world needs to look up to us.”

The first joint session of the PTI government was chaired by Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser. Lawmakers, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, arrived at the venue for the first presidential address.

The session began with a moment of silence and prayer for the late Kulsoom Nawaz.

Previously, the session was to be conducted on September 13 but witnessed an inevitable delay as former premier Nawaz Sharif arranged for the funeral of his wife Kulsoom Nawaz.

The session was the scheduled for today.

According to the Article 54(1) of the Constitution, the president may summon either one House or both Houses of the Parliament in joint sitting to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit and may also prorogue the same.

According to constitutional provisions, the president has also to address a joint session of Parliament at the beginning of the first session of the NA after general election as well as the first sitting of the NA every parliamentary year.

The joint session scheduled on Monday will be the first formal session of the NA after election and swearing-in of the new prime minister, speaker and the deputy speaker.

President emphasises austerity, eradicating corruption My Country