ISLAMABAD – President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday said that he was grateful to have the biggest constitutional designation and he will fulfill his responsibilities to the best of his abilities.
Addressing the joint session of the parliament, he said that the institutions need to work honestly and the accountability institutions need to be improved as PTI-led government expressed resolve to build Naya Pakistan.
The president said that the state must ensure giving basic rights to the people of the country, adding that the masses want their issues to be resolved.
Alvi went on to say that we are a debt-ridden nation and we need debts to run our affairs but sthe government will take measures to tackle this situation.
Regarding water crisis in the country, he stressed the need to construct dams. He said that water is being wasted in the country, adding that we need to stop wastage of water and the government needs to devise a strategy in this regard as Pakistan is among the countries facing water scarcity.
“Balochistan and Sindh are facing drought and global climate change is impacting Pakistan severely,” the President added.
The President, in his maiden address, termed corruption an ill that had badly affected the national economy and plunged the country in a serious debt trap.
He said that Pakistan was facing gigantic challenges, both at the domestic and international fronts and the biggest was a very weak economy. The country had been spending a major share of its resources on debt repayment.
“The balance of trade is also unfavourable. There is a huge gap in the quantum of our imports and exports. The circular debt has increased to Rs1,100 billion over the past few years and the value of rupee has depreciated sharply in recent months.”
The present government, he said, had resolved to make a ‘New Pakistan’. “In my view, the concept of New Pakistan lies in promoting simplicity, discontinuation of unnecessary protocols and a corruption free system. We should keep in mind that we are a nation which is under the burden of debt,” he added.
Arif Alvi went on to say that it is also imperative that we also focus on power, energy and electricity related issues. The Power transmission system needs to be made more efficient, line losses reduced and theft of electricity be eliminated. He said the relevant authorities need to work for promotion of run of the river projects along with strengthening the transmission infrastructure so that the generated power can be fed into the national grid and the transmission system across the country made more robust.
Highlighting the significance of agriculture sector, the President said new government has promised the development of this sector in its manifesto. An effective and comprehensive strategy needs to be adopted to provide pesticides, fertilizers and other agricultural instruments to farmers and associated people in this sector.
Referring to the health and education, the President emphasized the need for bringing improvement in both the sectors. He said the parliamentarians and the media should promote awareness regarding mother and child health and benefits of small family.
He stressed for provision of more opportunities to the women folk saying no country can progress without empowerment of women.
Alvi said: “Our 60 percent of population comprises of youth and we have to create employment opportunities for them on merit basis, qualification and capacity so that they can earn their livelihoods. He said they need to be equipped with vocational training so that they can find suitable jobs. He added that provision of small loans to start new businesses have to be made easy.”
Today s joint session was the first formal session of the NA after election and swearing-in of the new Prime Minister, Speaker and the Deputy Speaker. Earlier, the session was scheduled on September 13 but it was postponed to meet again on September 17 due to death of Kulsoom Nawaz.
Earlier, former President Mamnnon Hussain addressed the joint session of Parliament for four times, Asif Ali Zardari addressed the joint session of parliament for six times during his tenure, while his predecessor General (retired) Pervez Musharraf made the address once during his tenure of eight years and 10 months.
Former Presidents General Ziaul Haq and Ghulam Ishaq Khan had the opportunity to address Parliament on five occasions.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, members of the federal cabinet and parliament, chief ministers, governors and the Ambassadors, diplomats, members of civil society and important personalities from different segments of life are attending the joint session.
Special passes had been issued for the auspicious occasion. All leading entry and exit points were strictly monitored and no vehicle was allowed to enter the federal capital without a thorough search.
Rangers personnel along with police was deployed to ensure foolproof security. It is to mention that the President had also summoned session of the Senate on September 18 at 11 am and of National Assembly at 10 am on the same day.