ISLAMABAD, Jan 31: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said on Thursday that the country’s future was with democracy alone and all political forces must stand united to thwart any attempt to derail it.

Addressing a gathering at the inauguration of the Gujar Khan campus of the Virtual University at the Convention Centre, the prime minister said “no-one can blackmail, threaten or coerce us to abandon democracy”.

“Anyone who loves Pakistan must not become a block for the democracy,” he told the gathering.

Prime Minister Ashraf said all backdoor channels leading to power had been blocked and the key to power rested with the people’s decision through vote.

He said democracy was the only solution to the country’s problems and the PPP would protect democracy at all costs.

He warned that no-one should dare to think that the PPP government was weak and urged all democracy-loving people to stand united and work for the future of a strong democratic country.

“We will render all sacrifices and protect democracy at all costs,” he said adding that the military leadership, judiciary and media would also stand by political forces to thwart any move against democracy.

The prime minister regretted comments made by some ‘pseudo-intellectuals’ on TV channels and said those harbouring the notion that democracy would get derailed must get rid of this idea.

He said political parties and the people of Pakistan must realise that it did not matter who was in power, if the government had been elected by the will and votes of the masses.He said the general election would be held on time, in a few weeks in a free, fair and transparent manner.

It is a moment of satisfaction for PPP and allied parties that the parliament was nearing completion of its five-year tenure.

He said the history was witness to the sacrifices of PPP leaders who laid their lives for democracy.

Secretary Ministry of IT Dr Zafar Iqbal Qadir and Rector Virtual University Tajdar Alam gave an overview of the projects of the ministry and the university.

The Virtual University currently has 220 campuses and is providing education to 100,000 students across the country.

The ministry of IT has also set-up 11 software parks, catering to the needs of 1,500 companies, while another software park will be established in Islamabad soon.—APP

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