No more toppling of elected govt: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Saturday delivered his farewell address to the nation, a couple of hours before the dissolution of National Assembly on completion of its five-year term. In a recorded speech aired on state-run media and private TV channels, the Prime Minister thanked all the national institutions for their contribution towards helping the democratic government complete its Constitutional term. The outgoing PM praised the armed forces and law enforcement agencies for their valor with which they defended the national frontiers and established the government’s writ in terror infested parts of the country. “Pakistan’s interest precedes all other considerations,” he asserted. He said as a result of sound economic policies pursued by the government, Pakistan’s exports crossed $25 billion mark while its Stock Exchange hit new records. “We supported the idea of trade against aid.” Speaking on Pakistan’s foreign policy, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said ‘we don’t harbor any hostility against other countries and believe in peace and prosperity for all’. Pakistan’s present foreign policy, he said, is the one framed by the outgoing government’s Parliament and reflects the aspirations of the nation. “We strengthened Pakistan’s global standing,” he added. “We devolved powers to the provinces and strengthened the Election Commission for holding free and fair elections in the country.” He said the outgoing government raised salaries by 135 percent and regularized services of 300,000 daily wages and contractual employees besides reinstating a large number of government servants. The premier said in his meeting held earlier today with the four chief ministers a consensus was evolved to hold elections for both national and provincial assemblies on a same day. He said the door to enter into power through might has been permanently shut and now no one can topple a democratically elected government. “It is our resolve that free, fair and transparent elections are conducted in the country,” he maintained, ruling out the possibility of any kind of rigging in the elections in the presence of what he termed ‘independent judiciary and strong media’.

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