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Aitzaz praises first ever peaceful power transition in Pakistan

August 27, 2013
PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan addressing a press conference along with former federal minister Qamaz Zaman Kaira at People's Secretariat. — Online photo/File
PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan addressing a press conference along with former federal minister Qamaz Zaman Kaira at People's Secretariat. — Online photo/File

ISLAMABAD: Leader of the Opposition in Senate, Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan on Tuesday congratulated President Asif Ali Zardari and both houses of the parliament on a peaceful and democratic transition of power, the first in Pakistan’s history.

Taking part in the debate on the last presidential address to the joint sitting of parliament, he said for the first time in the country's history, the president was constitutionally completing his five-year tenure in a respectable and democratic manner.

Asif Ali Zardari is the first elected president of the country who is completing his five-year term on September 9. He also has the distinction of addressing joint sittings of parliament six times.

Senator Ahsan said despite reservations, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leadership accepted results of the recently held general elections for the noble cause of continuation of democracy and peaceful transition of from one democratically elected government to the other.

The PPP government was the first in Pakistan's history to complete a full five-year term and transfer power at the ballot box. But after a rudderless campaign, the party lost badly on polling day in May.

President Zardari was credited with wheeling and dealing to keep the PPP in power for its full term – helped by the army chief of staff keeping to the sidelines and the opposition's unwillingness to force early elections.

Aitzaz Ahsan, in the upper house of parliament today, also urged the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to implement its electoral manifesto and promises made with the people, including raise in the basic salary for labourers to Rs15,000, end of power loadshedding, stoppage to drone attacks, elimination of terrorism among others.

The PPP leader said the raise in the estimated cost of Nandipour power project was not justified.

Referring to the registration of a case against a private news channel, he said the government should have shown tolerance.