Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Tuesday said that the government was ready to hold talks with Baloch leaders but the talks must take place under a constitutional framework, DawnNews reported.

Addressing a session of the Senate in Islamabad, Prime Minister Ashraf stated that Balochistan was the government’s first priority.

He added that true representatives were the ones elected by the people and therefore the Baloch leadership must participate in the elections.

Furthermore, he said it was due to democracy that a man like himself, who came from the middle class, had become the country’s prime minister. He added that countless sacrifices had been made in order to uphold democracy.

He assured the Senate that the government was fully aware of the challenges faced by the country, adding that, neither was the government negligent nor was it evading its responsibilities. He also said that it was the duty of the parliament to resolve the various issues and address the challenges.

The prime minister said the country had been enduring the torment of terrorism for a long time, adding that, the attack on Malala Yousufzai, the teenage peace activist, was a manifestation of the same mindset.

Moreover, the premier said that restoring the Constitution, the implementation of the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award and the passage of the 18th Amendment were some of the major accomplishments of the current parliament. He added that the sustaining democracy was imperative for the country’s progress.

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