Unveils Coalition Government Agenda
for NAB; Pemra ordinance; FCR to go; judges to be restored; wheat
support price up; trade, student unions revived; minimum wage Rs 6,000;
militants asked to surrender; Army to quit civil departments in two
weeks; austerity drive launched
By Asim Yasin
ISLAMABAD: All black laws, including the Pemra Ordinance, promulgated
after November 3, and Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) in Fata would be
done away with, declared Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani here on
Spelling out the agenda of his government, after getting an
unprecedented unanimous vote of confidence from the National Assembly,
the prime minister also set a two-week deadline for the Army to call
back its officers from civil institutions.
The prime minister said, "war on terror is our own war". He
urged extremists to surrender and come to the negotiating table.
"The elimination of the menace of terrorism from the country is our
utmost priority," he added.
Gilani also announced 40 per cent reduction in the budget of the Prime
Ministerís House. He said the cabinet members would not use vehicles
of more than 1600 cc and travel in economy plus class only.
He said no unnecessary lighting would be arranged on public buildings on
festivities and no money would be spent on the renovation of government
buildings and residences.
He said the NAB would cease to exist and cases would be heard by the
judiciary. He said there would be no ban on trade and student unions.
He said concurrent list would be abolished in a year.
The prime minister also raised support price of wheat from Rs510 per 40
Kg to Rs625 per 40 kg.
He also announced formation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
to alleviate the alienation of various segments of society.
Gilani promised to restore the deposed judges and ensure independence of
the judiciary according to the Charter of Democracy and the Murree
The prime minister said that the new government had a vision,
determination, commitment and zeal to serve the nation with the help of
He said he government would do its utmost for the development, progress,
prosperity of the country, for ensuring rule of law and promoting
He said the government stands by the people and it would continue to
stand by them in the hour of miseries and hardships.
He announced an ambitious plan for rapid and sustainable development of
the country and the people.
The prime minister said that the nation was facing grave challenges but
terrorism and extremism were the major challenges that were threatening
the national integrity.
Lauding the decision of the Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez
Kayani to withdraw Army officers from the civilian institutions, he
hoped that it would boost the image of the armed forces. He said,
however, those Army officers whose presence in these institutions was
imperative would continue to work.
He said that every institution must work in its prescribed parameters
and it was the people who had the right to govern the country.
He called for withdrawal of Army officers from the civil departments
within two weeks.
Gilani said there was a need for coordinated reforms for the development
of tribal areas. He said to overcome terrorist activities there the
government would announce a special package for the socio-economic
development of these areas.
He said the people were facing challenges of price hike, unemployment
and poverty and the government was determined to resolve these issues on
He said the government would take steps to provide home to homeless and
education to each illiterate besides generating more and more employment
opportunities for the people.
He said the government would not tolerate unjustified division of
resources and take all measures to provide equal opportunities to the
people for their progress and prosperity. "It is unfortunate that
the country could not continue the journey of democracy smoothly that
gave rise to all these problems. However, now the government with the
support of all political forces would take concrete steps to make
democracy flourish that is vital for our development and
integrity," he added.
The prime minister turning to other issues said that people were facing
great hardships due to price hike, non-availability of atta, electricity
shortage that needed immediate attention but there was no forthwith
solution of these problems. However, he said major steps would be taken
to resolve these issues on priority and bring relief to the common man.
He said poverty was also a major problem being faced by the nation and
the government was committed to taking concrete steps to eradicate it
through generating more employment opportunities. He said that an
employment commission would be set up to resolve this issue.
He also announced to establish literacy and health commission that would
ensure provision of jobs to the educated youth at least for two years
after passing exams.
He said in 50 per cent of villages jobs would be provided to at least
one person of each poor family to improve their socio-economic
Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani said that the government would ensure equal
treatment to all the segments of the society and all parts of the
country and would protect their rights.
He said they would leave no stone unturned for the stability, integrity,
sovereignty and progress of the country, as they were the torchbearers
of freedom and brightness.
But he said that strong institutions were the guarantee for ensuring the
process of development and it was the obligation of all the political
parties to work for strengthening these institutions for a stable
The prime minister said the country was facing acute power shortage that
needed urgent measures to overcome it in the shortest possible time.
He said the country was facing 3330 MW shortfall of electricity that
would further increase to 4000 MW in near future.
He said the situation demanded immediate relief but it was not possible.
However, the government had decided to work on emergency basis to
install new power plants. He hoped that new units would start generating
2200 MW electricity by the end of this year.
He said the government would also launch austerity campaign to save
power and would save 500 MW electricity through it. He said that Pepco
had been asked to provide ten million energy saver bulbs to the people
on emergency basis.
Outlining the plans of his government for increasing the power
generation in the country, he said 5,000 MW electricity would be
generated through Thar coal that would be enhanced up to 20,000MW.
He said Wapda had been directed to prepare feasibility studies and
drawings of major dams for quick start on these projects. "The
government would also invite investment for Kaiti Bander power project
to increase power supply.
On water sector, the prime minister said the government would pay
attention to watercourse lining and construction of small dams on
emergency basis to save water and generate power.
He announced to launch national saving scheme and said initially
expenditures of the Prime Minister House were going to be slashed up to
40 per cent and he hoped that all other institutions would follow this
step. He said the government had decided to say goodbye to the VIP
He also announced to begin PM question hour in the National assembly
during which he himself would answer the questions.
He said in order to ensure transparency and promote accountability media
would be given approach to the activities of the Parliament and its
committees and steps would be taken to live telecast the proceedings of
He said in order to provide residential facility to the common man the
government would launch a programme to construct one million houses
He said a five-marla scheme would be launched in rural areas besides
flats and 80 meter houses would be built in the urban areas.
He said a policy would be introduced to regularize kachi abadies and
steps would also be taken to provide better residential facility to the
government employees and a house would be given to each employee on his
or her retirement.
He said the government would also focus on the improvement of health and
education services besides improving environment and would promote CNG
buses in this regard.
He said that a Madrsa Welfare Authority would be set up to ensure equal
syllabus in Madaris and ensure audit in these institutions.
He said provision of justice was the basic responsibility of the state
and all possible measures would be taken for ensuring independence of
He said the government would ensure rights of the federating units and
ensure provincial autonomy given in the Constitution adding that
strengthening of federating units was of vital importance for integrated
national development process.
He said the PPP had already tendered apology from the people of
Balochistan for highhandedness against them and would take all possible
measures to redress their problems.
The prime minister said that agriculture is the backbone of the national
economy and situation demanded revolutionary steps to improve this
sector and enhance national produce and improve socio-economic condition
of the growers. He said steps would also be taken to ensure frequent
supply of wheat at normal prices and maintain adequate stocks. He said
that the government would get tough with those involved in hoarding and
He said that steps would also be taken for the provision of cheap
agricultural inputs to the farmers besides launching crops insurance
The prime minister said that steps would be taken to curb the menace of
corruption and introduce laws to ease out the people from pressures
He said labour laws would also be reviewed and these would make as per
International Labour Organization (ILO). He also announced repeal of IRO
He said that cases of those government employees who were terminated
during the past years would also be reviewed.
He said that minimum wage for the labourers would be fixed at Rs6,000
He said that minorities are integral part of society and they have equal
rights, and the government would ensure their social, economic and
religious rights and would give them representation in all walks of
He said that those public servants who had become disabled during their
services would be eligible to get full benefits of retirement and
announced to lift ten years service condition on them.
The prime minister said that they were beginning a new era of democracy
and development and announced to take along all political forces
including all APDM components. "The government will also take along
the opposition in this new journey and will eliminate political
victimization," he said.
Turning to foreign policy, the prime minister said Pakistan believed in
the policy of live and let live with peace, coexistence and tranquility
and intended to have better relationship with all the nations with
dignity and honour on the basis of reciprocal equality. He said the
government would further enhance its relations with the United States
and the Europe. "We will promote brotherhood and peace with the
neighboring countries," he maintained.
He assured the Kashmiri brethren that their sacrifices would not be got
wasted and emphasized to accelerate the dialogue process to resolve the
issue. "The CBMs will only be beneficial when the Kashmir issue is
resolved according to the aspirations of the Kashmiri people and under
the set international principles," he added.
The prime minister declared China as time-tested friend and said
Pak-Chine friendship was deeper than the oceans and higher than the
Himalayas and Pakistan would further strengthen its deep rooted ties
On Afghanistan, the prime minister said that Pakistan wanted peaceful
and developing Afghanistan and would make all out efforts to restore
peace there as peaceful Afghanistan was in the interest of Pakistan.
He paid glowing tributes to the Quaid-i-Azam for his leadership who made
unprecedented legal struggle for achieving independence.
He also paid glowing tributes to late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who embraced
Shahdat for protection of the country and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto for
sacrificing her life for the cause of democracy in the country.
"All those who rendered great sacrifices for the country and
democracy are the national heros," he added.
The prime minister thanked Almighty Allah who gave him opportunity to be
elected and got unanimous vote of confidence in the sacred month of
He also expressed gratitude to all the political leaders including
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Asif Ali Zardari, Mian Nawaz Sharif, Asfandyar
Wali, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Altaf Hussain, Munir Orakzai, Pir of Pagara,
minority members, independents and the opposition for extending full
support to him in obtaining unanimous vote of confidence form the House.
He expressed his determination that he and his government would come up
to the expectations of the nation and make Pakistan a true democratic
and welfare state.
After the speech of the prime minister other prominent leaders from the
political divide expressed their views. Madam speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza
prorogued the NA session indefinitely.