President sees unity, shunning of political chasm, keys to overcome economic, post-flood challenges

ISLAMABAD, Sep 14 (APP): President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday while stressing upon the need of unity among the political leadership, said that Pakistan could no longer afford any political conflict, considering the economic situation and the damages caused by the recent floods.

During an interview with Dunya News Tv channel talk show programme hosted by Karman Khan, the president said that as constitutional head of the country, his doors were opened to all political parties to reach to an agreement and stressed that there should be ‘some give and take’.

The president suggested that holding of next elections as agreed by all the political stakeholders could be a solution to the current economic issues faced by the country. Any party, or the current coalition parties, if emerged successful could form the next government with the public mandate, he added.

To a query, the president underlined the need for holding of consultations by all the political forces for future course and cautioned that any conflict could damage the country at this critical juncture.

He said that ego and misconception should be shunned for the sake of negotiations. There would be a historic stigma, if the people of Pakistan could not unite in such a challenging situation.

The president said that the current economic situation worsened by the floods was a big issue and for an economic stability, they were required to overcome the political differences.

The president said that discussion should be held by the politicians for developing of a consensus over the issues like holding of elections. The country was confronted with serious issues of price hike, inflation and the devastation left behind by massive floods.

He said the present government was doing its efforts to overcome the issues, but these efforts must continue. “It is not a zero-sum game”, he said, adding that one issue was linked with the other.

The president replying to a question said that he held discussions with the different stakeholders. It was the government and the opposition who would sit together and sort out things.

“It is the requirement of political maturity that all the political parties should sit and discuss the elections and agree on fundamentals of a charter of economy,” he added.

Expressing his optimism, he said that he hoped for a positive outcome as he had trust in the political leadership of the country.

The president further elaborated that when people talked to each other, there was always ‘a way out’.

“People should talk about the real issues,” he said, adding “for the future of Pakistan, people should eschew ego and personal grudges and remove misconceptions.”

To a question, the president said that he was continuing his efforts in this regard.

About Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan’s willingness to negotiate, he said that it was a time to present a united face to the world.

He expressed the hope that prime minister’s reaction would be positive, adding that he had regularly discussed different national issues with the former.

Affirming his point of view, he said certain proposals were on the table and insisted that negotiations should be held.

He said that he had full confidence that they would come out of the current crisis because, all the political leaders had realized that with unity, they could move ahead.

To a query, he said that he was optimistic about the confidence-building measures and had trust in the leadership of the nation. The nation was waiting for an agreement for a future way forward, he added.

In the past, Pakistan had emerged out of many crises when the politicians sat together and sorted out differences. Otherwise, he said, history would blame them if they failed to handle such crises.

He also stressed upon the continuation of policies for economic stability.

Responding to another question, he said the economic weakness also impacted different sectors of the country.

Lauding the sacrifices of the armed forces, he said in every calamity, whether it was an earthquake or recent floods, they had played a significant role.

In the war on terrorism, the armed forces rendered huge sacrifices, he added.

About the role of social media, he said that it should not be misused for sowing seeds of differences as certain elements spread misconception.

The president also underscored the need to overcome the tendency of fake news.

About Pak-US ties, he said Pakistan wanted good ties with all the countries based upon mutual respect and dignity.

The president said that he had signed a number of bills sent by the government while placing objections on a few ones. He admitted that he had good communication with the government.