Amid worst uproar, President Asif Ali Zardari Saturday said that the government has successfully met enormous challenges‚ established rule of law and assured supremacy of the Parliament.
“Pleas sit down, please sit down, please maintain sanctity of the house”, Speaker Fehmida Mirza screamed in an unsuccessful bid to quite down the PML-N led opposition lawmakers.
However with clipping voice, the President continued his speech.
Asif Ali Zardari said that the democracy is flourishing in Pakistan, pledging that ‘free’ and ‘fair’ elections will be held in the country.
In a wide-ranging address to the Parliament‚ a landmark fifth‚ and the first in country's history for a civilian elected President Zardari said the government has moved with speed and determination to strengthen the Federation by redressing imbalance between powers of the Centre and the provinces.
He said we have pursued the politics of reconciliation and harmony. He said we have worked hard to generate consensus. The President said the coalition government was formed to deepen democracy and all worked together to restore the 1973 Constitution.
He said as President‚ I surrendered my powers. And today‚ the Prime Minister‚ the Chief Executive‚ enjoys full authority as required by law."
He described it as "a shining moment for our parliament" and added history will remember this achievement‚ just as the nation remembers Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and the architects of the 1973 Constitution.
Mentioning the measures taken to balance the powers of the Centre and the provinces‚ President Zardari said the government abolished the Concurrent List and transferred 18 ministries to the provinces and enhanced provincial autonomy.
He said the Council of Common Interests was made fully functional and added this great transformation was achieved with complete agreement of all the stakeholders.
This shows complete unity of our nation in adopting legislation to make our country strong and democracy more inclusive."
The President acknowledged that while a lot more needs to be done‚ a strong beginning has been made. "We Pakistanis can be proud of our young democracy‚" he said and pointed the world can today see that the march of democracy goes on and "together we are creating history." President Asif Ali Zardari also vowed general election to be held in a free and fair manner during the new parliamentary year.
The President mentioned the 20th Amendment which he said ensures the independence of Election Commission and the selection of an impartial care-taker government through a process of consultation in the Parliament.