Nobody can manipulate general election: PM Raja Ashraf
12 December, 2012
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Tuesday said with the elimination of a large number of bogus votes, the hopes of those desiring to manipulate the results in the forthcoming general election had been quashed.
Addressing the workers of the Pakistan People's Party from Rawalpindi Division at the Prime Minister's House, Prime Minister Raja said, "We have entered the election phase and every step had been taken to ensure free and fair election in the country." He said the democratic government for the very first time in the country's history was nearing completion of its five-year tenure, which is unbelievable for some. They are perplexed how this has been made possible, he added.
He said the government braved several major challenges since it assumed power and attributed this success to the politics of reconciliation and what he termed the wise leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari, saying it helped the nascent democracy run its course. He said the PPP had 124 seats when it required 172 to form the government, the PPP decided to take a course that was in the interest of the nation. It decided to form alliances and share power even in Sindh where it could have formed its own government.
He said the PPP leadership made alliances in keeping with the national interest and as part of its policy of reconciliation. There is no such precedent in Pakistan's political history; political culture earlier was beset with leg-pulling or punishing political opponents when in power, he said. Raja asserted that not a single politician has been arrested nor any pressure has been brought to bear on any political party. We have tried to maintain good working relations with all political parties, he added.
He said when the government came to power it was facing several problems, including high inflation and low foreign exchange reserves, besides confronting the issue of terrorism and extremism. He recalled that when the PPP took power, Ishaq Dar was the finance minister, and he felt then that the financial situation was so grave that it would be difficult to steer the country. The country was importing wheat and had foreign reserves sufficient for only a few weeks. The PML-N had left the government.
All this has been possible due to the political acumen and wisdom of President Asif Ali Zardari. He said, "It is easy to issue critical statements against the government at the breakfast table." He said militants who then were reported to be hiding around the Margalla Hills had been pushed back with the support of people and the army. He said they were now restricted to small pockets, and added that the world was praising Pakistan for its efforts in this regard, he added.
Raja said that in accordance with the vision of Benazir Bhutto and due to the political acumen of the president, the country overcame difficult challenges. Prime Minister Raja said the government had ended the politics of vengeance in the country and taken onboard all political parties on important national issues.