ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari delivered an emotional speech on Monday covering domestic and international issues right from Nato supplies to terrorism and ethnic problems.
Addressing the concluding session of first-ever summit on the subject of ‘Pakistan’s Leaders of Tomorrow’, an interactive session organised by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, he said the youth of the country, which was over 60 per cent of the population, wanted to see a peaceful, prosperous and progressive Pakistan.
Bilawal endorsed the government decision to close Nato routes and the Shamsi base in reaction to an attack on sovereignty of the country.
He hoped that parliament would demand foreign policy based on equality unlike the dictator before who took orders on phone and signed secret deals that compromised the national integrity.
“I am proud that our government shut Nato routes and Shamsi base in reaction to an attack on our sovereignty. Our parliament will demand foreign policy based on equality. Unlike the dictator before us who took orders from a single phone call and signed secret deals that compromised our integrity,” he said.
“We are equally outraged when our own citizens bring shame and dishonour to our country,” he said.
About the sacrifices of army in the war against terror, the PPP chairman said: “I feel the pain of our brave soldiers fighting on the frontlines risking their lives so our generation can live in peace.”
He said there were some politicians who bury their heads in the sand and pretend “this is not our war”, adding that he refused to engage in this ostrich politics because unlike them he knew what it is like to be a victim of terror.
He said the enemies within have blown up girl schools and were threatening the future of the Pakistanis.
“They blew up a school bus carrying innocent children whose only crime was to seek education,” he said.
The PPP chairman said he just returned from India adding every small step taken on this long arduous road to peace gives hope.
He said the people needed clothes and shelter and wanted to make the country a welfare state.
Bilawal said he prayed for the victims of the Siachin tragedy who stood guard on the highest and most treacherous battlefield in the world.
President Asif Ali Zardari said the cherished goal of a progressive and modern Pakistan could be achieved by harnessing the potential of the youth because they were the future of the country.
He said that there was a need to look inwardly to find solutions of the existing issues and problems, instead of pointing fingers at others.
The president said: “We all will have to work together to change ourselves so as to improve the image of the country.”
President Zardari said: “The amount of $54 billion external debt is not much if we look at the potential of the country to pay back it.” He said the real worry was the domestic debt.
He said: “We can benefit a lot through economic interaction with our neighbours, Central Asian Republics and Russia.” He said that future belonged to South Asia and Pakistan was its part.
The president said his message to the Indian government during his private visit to the country was “we have to learn to live with each other”.
About the problem of narcotics as debated in the summit, he regretted that it was not on the agenda of Nato in Afghanistan despite the fact that it was one of the main sources of funding terrorism. He said that he had been continuously urging Nato to put abolition of narco-trade on its agenda.