Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf addresses during Iftar reception hosted by Sindh CM Syed Qaim Ali Shah in Karachi on Thursday. – Photo by APP

KARACHI: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Thursday said that the parliament is mother of all institutions as it has a mandate of 180 million people.

Speaking at an Iftar dinner hosted by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah in his honour at the CM House, he said that the parliament is representing 180 million people of Pakistan, whether their representatives are sitting in the government or on opposition benches.

Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan, Speaker Sindh Assembly Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, federal ministers Babar Ghauri, Syed Naveed Qamar, Syed Khurshid Shah, Dr Asim Hussain, Senator Raza Rabbani, members of Sindh cabinet, MPAs, coalition partners, and party leaders were also present on the occasion.

He said the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leaders have rendered great sacrifices for democracy and laid down their lives. Similarly, other political parties which are our allies also gave sacrifices for democracy, the parliament and for people's right, he added.

“When we see all of them (our allies) together today, it is great message of reconciliation as no message can be greater than this for democracy, the parliament and national institutions,” he said.

The prime minister said today the media is free in the country, judiciary is independent and strong because of stable democracy. This is possible only when democracy is strengthened due to consistency. “History tells us that these institutions cannot maintain their independence and strength in weak and unstable democracy,” he added.

Therefore, he said, all institutions must have their independence within their ambit and limits.

PM Ashraf said that he was proud to be a political worker of middle class and placed chairs, laid rugs, installed loudspeakers for party's public meetings and spent sleepless nights and hurled slogans.

He said PPP along with all political forces have reached here after a great struggle and sailed through this difficult period and tough conditions with the help of wisdom and experience of its leaders.

Ashraf pointed out that Benazir Bhutto has given them the vision of reconciliation as she believed that politics of reconciliation is needed keeping in view the present situation and the challenges facing the country. She was of the opinion that political forces should not confront each other.

The premier said no force should clash with any force if it is Pakistani.

He said democracy also requires patience and cited the example of President Asif Ali Zardari's restraint despite the propaganda and character assassination by sections of media.

The prime minister said when he pointed out the propaganda against him, the president said democracy and institutions are in the evolutionary stage and will gain maturity with the passage of time.

“Restraint is necessary for a bigger cause. We need to show patience for democracy. We have secured this democracy after great sacrifices and therefore we also have to protect this,” he noted.

Referring to the propaganda of opposition that the government would not last for more than a month, the prime minister said that the government is going through its fifth and last year.

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