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Zardari holds detailed, lengthy consultation with PPP central leadership.

ISLAMABAD, September 06, 2009 (Balochistan Times): President Asif Ali Zardari Monday night asked Party leaders and Ministers to vigorously respond to the criticism of the Party and government policies by our political adversaries. We have been elected by the people through a democratic and constitutional process and our legitimacy coupled with good governance should be the chief weapons to fight back the opponents, he said while addressing senior party leadership in the Presidency during a brain storming session on current political situation in the country. The meeting was which started late night Monday and continued till small hours of Tuesday, attended by about thirty senior party leaders including Senator Nayyar Hussain Bokhari, Makhdoom Muhammad Amin Fahim, Ch. Ahmad Mukhtar, Mr. Qamar Zaman Kaira, Senator A. Rehman Malik, Syed Khursheed Ahmad Shah, Dr. Zaheeruddin Babar Awan, Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, Mr. Najmuddin Khan, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Mr. Faisal Karim Kundi, Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali, Syed Sumsam Ali Bukhari, Mr. Muhammad Afzal Sindhu, Senator Jehangir Bader Senator Mir Lashkari Raisani and Mr. Zahir Shah, Briefing the media about the meeting Spokesperson to the President former Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the President and Party Co-Chairman also explained the salient features of the Kerry Lugar Bill and rejected all criticism that conditions ostensibly attached to it undermined the countrys sovereignty in any way. The President said that the Kerry- Lugar Bill was the first Pakistan Aid Bill that did not require Presidential certification every year. It only required certification by the Secretary of State that Pakistan was moving along the path of democracy, nuclear non proliferation and drug control. Who in Pakistan under the present democratic dispensation would disagree with these goals, he asked. This was in contrast with the past aid bills that required Presidential certification that Pakistan was moving towards restoration of democracy, human rights protection, nuclear non proliferation and drugs control. He said that the Bill acknowledges Pakistan as a critical friend and ally and also the profound sacrifices it has made in the war on terror. The language of the Bill relating to nuclear proliferation had also been toned down. In the original bill the wording was to ensure access of US investigators to individual suspected. This was changed to receiving cooperation in efforts such as providing relevant information from or direct access to Pakistani nationals associated with such networks, he said. The Bill authorizes $1.5 billion per year primarily for economic assistance to Pakistan for five years extendable to ten years. It supports Pakistan s struggle against extremist elements and recognizes it as a major non-NATO ally in the battle against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Farhatullah Babar quoted the President as saying the Bill authorizes assistance to Pakistan for expansion of rule of law, building of democratic institutions and investment in people, including those displaced in ongoing counterinsurgency operations. It also authorizes assistance for capacity building of government institutions and promoting sustainable economic development. These are also the goals to which Pakistan government subscribes. The Bill makes assistance to Pakistan contingent upon significant efforts to prevent terrorist groups, from using its territory to launch attacks against coalition forces in Afghanistan or cross border attacks into neighbouring countries. The President said that Pakistan was against nuclear proliferation, was committed not to allow its territory for exporting terrorism and wanted to be on the path to democracy. Further, no one wanted anyone to subvert the countrys political and judicial institutions and processes, he said. He said that the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) did not come under the purview of Kerry-Lugar Bill. The hype about adverse conditions allegedly attached to the Bill was unfounded and was aimed only at undermining his position, the President said. Farhatullah Babar quoted the President as saying that the passage of the Kerry Lugar Bill, the setting up of a multi donor multibillion dollar Trust Fund for sustained financial support to Pakistan, the appointment of International Energy Coordinator for assistance in energy projects, the setting up of Special Fund by the Asian Development Bank for energy projects were some of the positive outcomes of his recent visit to US, UK and Italy. Besides, the American power giant General Electric announced to visit Pakistan this month for setting up wind power projects in Pakistan in the coastal areas of the country. Farhatullah Babar said that taking stock of the current political situation and challenges the meeting also deliberated upon a deliberated and calibrated response to each political challenge. The meeting denounced attempts to malign Party leadership. It reposed complete trust in the leadership of Co-Chairman and President Asif Ali Zardari and vowed to defend the Party leadership through thick and thin.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Oct 6, 2009
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