THARPARKAR/Karachi - Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Thursday said parliament was the mother of all institutions as it had a mandate of 180 million people. Speaking at an Iftar dinner hosted by Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah in his honour at the CM’s House, he said parliament was representing 180 million people of Pakistan, whether their representatives sat in the government or on opposition benches.
He said PPP leaders had rendered great sacrifices for democracy and laid down their lives, adding that other political parties “which are our allies also gave sacrifices for democracy, parliament and for people’s right”.
“When we see all of them (our allies) together today, it is a great message of reconciliation as no message can be greater than this for democracy, parliament and national institutions,” he said. Ashraf said the media was free today and the judiciary was independent and strong because of a stable democracy.
“This is possible only when democracy is strengthened through consistency. History tells us that these institutions cannot maintain their independence and strength in weak and unstable democracy,” he added.
“Therefore, all institutions must have their independence within their ambit and limits.” Earlier, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf visited Tharparkar to oversee the Thar coal project. Addressing a gathering there, Ashraf said the government had no clash with any institution, adding that no one understood politics better than the Pakistan People’s Party. Ashraf said he would accept the decision of the people.
He announced full support of the federal government for the ambitious Thar Coal project, aimed at helping the country meet its energy shortage.
The prime minister also announced an amount of Rs 200 million for development projects, including provision of electricity, in the area, besides announcing the setting up of an IT centre to impart basic computer education to children of the area. The prime minister, who was earlier given a detailed briefing by Dr Samar Mubarakmand about the gasification project to generate electricity from coal, announced a month’s salary as bonus for all those working on the project.
The prime minister said the completion of the project would attract investors from around the world and generate massive economic activity. Ashraf said the current project was the outcome of years of devoted work and had been a success. He praised Dr Samar Mubarakmand for working on the gasification project without drawing any salary.
He said initial estimates put 2 billion barrels of diesel in one block only. The coal reservoirs, he said, could be used to produce urea fertilizer, diesel, electricity and gas. He said three companies were currently working in the area, while many other international organizations were keen to join hands. Ashraf said the people of Thar had the first right to the coal reservoirs and their right had been strengthened after the passage of the 18th Amendment.