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Weak people leave country after seeking apology: Zardari

08 April, 2012

LAHORE: President Asif Zardari assured Punjab industrialists on Saturday that from now onward they would not have to face any loadshedding. He also declared PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif his elder brother "though he, unfortunately, did not honour the relationship", according to the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association office-bearers and sources.

Flanked by Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khosa, the president in separate meetings with media persons, the legal fraternity and party members at the Governor House said he always considered Nawaz Sharif his elder brother but unfortunately he didn't honour the relationship. He said his stance over the Hafiz Saeed issue was not different from the governments. He said that like other leaders of the country, he was also offered to leave the country after signing a deal, but he preferred staying here because Pakistan was his homeland. He also said weak people leave the country after seeking an apology, but he was the son of the soil.

The president said he had transferred all powers to parliament and the parliamentary committee would decide the issue of Nato supplies.

The president also held a meeting with the People's Lawyers Forum and received a shield "for his contribution for the restoration of Constitution". The lawyers also presented a shield to Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khosa. The governor also received a shield on behalf of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.

Meanwhile, the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association group leader Gohar Ejaz told a press conference that President Zardari assured them during the meeting that all industrial feeders would be exempted from loadshedding. He also ordered the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) to increase gas supplies to industry from four to five days a week.

Two federal ministers Naveed Qamar and Firdous Ashiq Awan were also present on the occasion.

The president met a cross section of business leaders at a luncheon at the Governor House. APTMA Central Chairman Mohsin Aziz, Punjab Chairman Ahsan Bashir, Saarc Vice-President Iftikhar Malik and others were among the guests invited to the meeting.

Agencies add: President Zardari called for broad-based political consensus on national economic policies, owned by the business community, for their continuity regardless of which government was in power. He said after having achieved a consensus on political reforms it was time to work towards a consensus on economic reforms as "we cannot afford politicisation of the economic policies of the country".

Briefing the press on the meeting, spokesperson for the president Senator Farhatullah Babar said Asif Zardari advised the government to consider exemption of express feeders of industries in the Lahore region from loadshedding.

Federal Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar said industry would soon be exempted from power loadshedding. Briefing the media about the meeting of business leaders with President Zardari, he said from Monday industrial units which had their own feeders or where there was no load of other consumers other than the industry would be exempted from loadshedding.

Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan also said that President Asif Zardari had assured the business community about the resolution of their problems. She was briefing the media about the meetings.

Earlier, lauding the role of the legal fraternity, President Zardari said lawyers had always remained at the forefront in the fight for democracy, establishing rule of law, constitutionalism and the independence of judiciary.

While commenting on the government's achievements, the president listed the 18th, 19th and 20th constitutional amendments, the NFC Award, provincial autonomy, Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan, giving rights to the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan, poverty alleviation through the flagship programme BISP, reinstatement of sacked workers, regularisation of contract labour, giving 12 percent shares in state-run enterprises to the workers, plans to give state lands free of cost to poor women in the command areas of new dams as the major achievements of the democratic government.

Meanwhile, President Zardari assured a visiting delegation that the PPP-led government will strive to resolve the issue of proprietary rights of the tenants of Okara farmlands.

He said that he was aware that the tenants had been agitating for their proprietary rights for the past several years and a resolution had eluded them but the present government, like other seemingly intractable issues, will resolve this one also amicably in consultation with all the stakeholders.

End.

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