Posted by: Administrator | 13 October, 2006

Efforts to make Pakistan Moderate Enlightened Islamic Welfare State

Efforts being made to make Pakistan moderate enlightened Islamic welfare state

2005 Islamabad, Jan 10: President General Pervez Musharraf Monday said efforts were in hand to make Pakistan a moderate and enlightened Islamic welfare state as envisaged by the founding fathers of the country. The President made these remakes in his wide-ranging address at the concluding session of the 5th National Security Workshop at the National Defense College here. Expressing his deep sorrow over the recent tragic incident at Gilgit, the President said that we shall not allow the extremists to take the society hostage. He stated that the vast majority in Pakistan were peace- loving and moderate people, who need to stand up and play their rightful role to neutralize the extremist elements who are in minority.

The President spoke of the geo-political environment and its impact on Pakistan. He said that by the Grace of Allah Almighty Pakistan faced no external threat and was trying for the resolution of disputes with India so that we could have durable peace in the region.

President Musharraf dwelt at length on the interplay of various elements of national power, namely diplomacy, economy, defense and domestic environment. He highlighted how Pakistan has gained diplomatically over the past few years due to its enhanced stature at the international level. From a nearly isolated country, Pakistan is now seen as a country that can play an important role in international politics, he added.

Talking about economy, he outlined the various actions that have been taken for the revival of the economy and said that the focus of the Government was now on translating the fruits of macro-economic gains for poverty alleviation and benefit of the masses. In this regard, the President highlighted measures that had been initiated to reduce poverty in the country, which include, sustainable economic growth, development projects in the rural area and urban areas and targeted interventions through micro- finance and Zakat. He stated that it was unfortunate that in the period of 1988 to 1999 there were no major projects to show for the Rs. 887 Billion that had been spent in the Public Sector Development Programmes. The President said that compared to that there were 16 major projects relating to infrastructure, irrigation, ports, water reservoirs etc visible on ground with allocation of approximately Rs. 300 Billion in the PSDP during the last five years. Concluding his discussion on the elements of national power, the President underlined the importance of domestic environment, which had a direct bearing on the national security.

The President emphasized the importance of the National Security Workshops as it provided the participants with an opportunity to understand the perspective of national security firsthand. He said that he was delighted to note that politicians from both coalition and opposition parties and other important members of the civil society were participating in the workshop. He said that with such broad spectrum representation and a good gender mix, National Security Workshop was a good forum to develop understanding between various segments of the society on issues of national importance.

The President’s address was followed by a lively question- answer session. The President also distributed certificates among the participants of the workshop. Chairman Senate, Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee, Federal Ministers, Ministers of State, Parliamentarians and other senior government functionaries as well as participants of the National Defense and Armed Forces War Course were present on the occasion.

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