Posted by: Administrator | 6 January, 2008

President to Pakistani Community in USA

President’s Address to the Pakistani Community in USA

24 September 2006, Washington

The Ambassador and my dear country-men, it is indeed an extreme privilege for me to be here with you sharing this occasion and able to talk to you. I am talking to the people who are all doing well and I wish you success and happiness and more success in this country you live in.

First of all, it is heartening that even if we come overseas, we are politically divided. If is very painful. Because there is not many countries which are divided on political basis. Secondly, saying not well for the country. I don’t know whether other countries do that or not. But we should not do this. We should not have political division. Second advice of mine is that we should think of our country. We must project our good and counter the bad against Pakistan. Also I want to say that we should cover the bad, if some-thing right is happening and wrong things were said. The true patriotism is that when we went overseas then we should cover Pakistan fully, whereas in our own country you can criticize. You should say good things about Pakistan. And counter those elements who are saying bad things against Pakistan. In particular, the Pakistanis who are not saying well for Pakistan. We should be proud of our country. There should be positive and think good for the country, feeling good about the country.

By the grace of God, Pakistan is doing well and Pakistan is progressing, Pakistan has the status. World knows what are the powers of Pakistan. I know there were some weaknesses within the country because if some country has the internal weakness then its projection becomes hard. Internally we are not weak now. So we should be proud of the country and should project our country.

We should be a peaceful citizen. Let us absorb ourselves part of the community which we have adapted. That doesn’t mean that we leave our culture and traditions. We should meet with the local people and should not think by meeting those people, we will become week and our culture will finish, this is sign of weakness. That we don’t have faith in ourselves. If we have faith let convert others to our thinking. We should not have any confusion in that. We should assimilate and this is your adapted country and you should be peaceful citizen of the country and there should be no room for extremism.

Now I will tell you about Pakistan, which you might want to listen. First of all I will tell you about the economy. Without money, no education, no health, no development is possible. Therefore the basis of the country is the economy. I will not go into the details but I want to tell that all macro-economic indicators of Pakistan are positive.

Our GDP has become doubled with the grace of God. It was 62 billion US dollars in the past now its 135 billion dollars. This is very big thing. Second important thing is that our per capita income has become doubled. World recognizes that our country have moved from low income category to middle income category countries. This is

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very good. Our exports have been increase by 125%. Remittances have been increased from one billion to 4.6 billion US dollars. It has increased four times. The tax revenue has increased 150 % over the five years from about Rs. 300 billion to Rs. 710 billion. And we have not increased the taxes but we have increased the

collection base and resultantly the PSDP which have been less than Rs. 100 billion is now Rs.415 billion. It has increased 4 ½ times and now we have enough funds to invest in any field. These are the basic economic factors due to which now we have much more to spend for maneuver and now we want to do whether it is a development project or social sector. What-ever it is we have lot of money for it. And Inshallah we will now carry on development of Pakistan.

Now my concern for stabilizing the economy for the future is in three major areas.

To reduce poverty and unemployment. It is a good thing to listen that poverty has already reduced from 34% to 24.3%. It was not an easy task to reduce it by 10%. I want to transmit the economic gains to the people, firstly poverty alleviation, unemployment control and inflation control. Secondly the quality of life is to improve i-e quality of life through electricity, gas and safe drinking water to the people by December 2007. We will try to provide electricity to every village even down to ten houses by Dec 2007. In the past ten years from 88-99 only 1100-1200 villages were being electrified but now in the last year 13000 villages were electrified and we will electrify all villages. And besides we are making arrangements for gas and safe drinking water. We are installing filtration plants. The plan is to put 28000 filtration plants down to every village having 100 houses so that safe drinking water is provided and water related diseases could be ended. This is the other quality of life improvement. And this project is also on and I monitor it. And by December 2007 we want to reach minimum, at least till union council and 6500 filtration plants will be installed and there are 28000 villages which we have to reach out. We are also involving private sector and if not by Dec 2007 then by Dec 2008 we will reach out to these villages with safe drinking water.

Last is quality of Human Resource, we are keenly observing our education and health. We want to improve that because this is in very bad shape. In the past 10 years one trillion rupees have been spent on development and except M2 motorway nobody can name any big project. That was the condition, and now what we are doing- Gawadar port in Rs.25 billion, Coastal Highway has also completed in Rs.15 billion, and I still have to inaugurate Meerani Dam, Subukzai Dam in Baluchistan. Both the dams are ready and I just have to inaugurate them and we are increasing the capacity of Mangla Dam due to it could store 30 million acres more water. There are many more projects like this which include road projects, canal projects, thal canal, kachi canal, a water project for Karachi so we are moving forward. I can name 20 major or mega projects which are on line and nearing completion. So this will bring real revolutionary change in development. Railway is dualizing the track from Karachi to Peshawar. They are modernizing the existing track so that speedy trains can move on it at 140 km/hr. We are doing every-thing to facilitate and improve the nation, to develop it. The obstacle, which we must remember is extremism and terrorism, unfortunately this is the obstacle in the way. Our national fabric has been destroyed in last 27 years. Unfortunately the extremists who are militants have come forward who are destroying what-ever we want to do i.e. a tolerant, dynamic and progressive society but these extremists are creating hindrances in it. So all moderates have to rise and recounted and counter this tendency of extremism and terrorism from within our society. I also wanted to brief you about Balochistan incident. Every-body is saying its own. I just want to say that this is not the issue of Baluchistan, it’s neither a Baloch issue nor my personal issue, and it is Pakistan’s issue. Has Pakistan to be a banana republic or a strong unified republic whose Government should have writ. This is our choice. Now here is the situation, that person was the cruelest dictator to his own people and he had been challenging Government’s writ for the last 30 years. How do you deal with such a man? He had displaced Kalpers and Masooris which are the sub-tribe of Bugties them selves. They are residing in Sindh and Punjab for the last 10 years. He had personal jails and blackmailed Government. He attacked Sui plant, railway tracks, gas pipe lines, power stations , killed Chinese, they threatened to not let pass the gas pipeline from Iran , not allowing the oil & gas exploration, what do you do in this situation. I could have leave the situation as it is but this is not the question. The question is our Pakistan. And the people who say that there is lack of facilities for Balochistan but today the budget for development of Baluchistan is far bigger than even Punjab. Rs.135 billion are being spent on it. All mega development projects are being constructed in Balochistan, Coastal highway, Gawadar Port, Meerani Dam, Subukzai Dam, and a road from Gawadar to Rato Dero linking it with Indus Highway, Quetta’s water scheme, a railway line from Gawadar to Kandahar. We have all development projects in Baluchistan. We have given Rs.10 Crore to each district of Balochistan. Rs.1.5 billion to Kohlo, special development fund to Dera Bugti. Because I feel that they were suffering so there is no reason to say that there is sense of deprivation in Balochistan. It existed in past. That is all that I have to say. Let me assure you that Pakistan is on the rise, if we sustained the economy, which we will, we will keep rising and developing. We have to control extremism and terrorism. We have to remove all these bad activities, irritants or obstacles in the way of development. We must do that and we will do that very boldly and courageously. We need your support. I need your support and we will keep moving forward. I would end by asking you to feel proud of your nation, feel happy that your nation is doing well. Always remember your roots, remember that where you came from.

Thank you!

Pakistan Zinda Bad!

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