ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Thursday vowed not to let anyone derail the democratic process, adding that numerous sacrifices had been given for upholding democracy in Pakistan.
He further said that the government would hold the general elections in accordance with the Constitution.
During Thursday’s session of the federal cabinet in Islamabad, PM Ashraf also condemned the recent militant attacks in Pakistan and reiterated the government’s resolve to combat terrorism in his opening address.
He said: “As a new year’s resolution, we reiterate to fight out terrorism and other evils with the blessing of Allah and support of patriotic forces of the country.”
The cabinet offered prayers for the late Awami National Party (ANP) leader and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa minister, Bashir Ahmed Bilour and all those who have lost their lives in recent terrorist attacks.
“With deep sorrow, the cabinet condemns the recent wave of terrorism in Pakistan and assassination of a great patriot, Shaheed Bashir Ahmed Bilour, 21 Levy personnel, polio vaccinators in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh, the attack on Bacha Khan Airport Peshawar, the recent explosion at Mastung killing 19 pilgrims and the blast in Karachi killing four people and injuring 45,” said the PM.
He also said that the world was aware of the losses sustained by Pakistan in the attacks – loss of 30,000 civilian lives, more than 5,000 armed forces personnel, as well as billions of dollars.
The prime minister said: “I feel that poverty and illiteracy are the major causes of terrorism, and eliminating unemployment and creating more jobs would greatly help prevent people from falling into the terrorists’ trap.”
He added that his government had implemented programmes such as the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) to eradicate poverty and unemployment.
Despite the troubled international economic scenario and militant threats, Pakistan’s capital market was growing, added the premier.
He further said that this reflected the coalition government’s sincerity in eliminating terrorism and militancy from Pakistan. The government had resolved to use all available resources to eliminate the problem. Therefore, the terrorists have increased their attacks to destabilise the government, he added.