Islamabad: Socialist International has invited Co-Chairman PPP President Asif Ali Zardari to deliver a keynote address at their Congress in September this year which the President accepted.
The invitation was extended today during President’s meeting with Mr. Luis Ayala, Secretary General of Socialist International who called on him at Bilawal House Karachi.
Briefing about the meeting Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar said that during meeting, the President called upon the Socialist International which has a large membership among the members of the European Parliament, to stress upon early operationalization of Pakistan-specific EU trade package, the Autonomous Trade Preference, announced by the European Union in response to the economic challenges faced by the country owing to the toll of war on terror and the destruction caused by the unprecedented floods of 2010.
The President said that Pakistan greatly appreciates the European Union and its member states for their commitment to help the country reviving and stabilizing its economy through trade. He said that despite immense economic difficulties, we have opted for trade over aid to stabilize our economy from the shocks of ongoing war and that of the natural calamities.
He said that economic stability was essential for strengthening of the democracy and the international community needs to assist the democratic dispensation in bringing about socio-economic development of the people of Pakistan.
The President said that socio-economic development would help defeat militancy and also advancethe goals of freedom, justice and peace.
Discussing various steps taken by the present government, the President said that PPP’s Government in line with the vision of its founder Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and her great daughter Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto has taken a number of steps that are meant for the real empowerment of the downtrodden people of this country, especially the most vulnerable segments of the society.
He said that in line with our manifesto, we have empowered our women not only politically but also economically so as to save them from all kinds of exploitation. He said that the flagship program of the present government, the BISP program, with all its components was serving the poor women of the country and enabling them to support themselves financially besides taking care of their health, work and education issues.
He said that besides women, the Party have also focussed on the labour class by empowering them and making them a share holder in state-run enterprises. He said that reinstatement of the sacked workers, regularization of contract labour, giving 12 percent shares in state-run enterprises to the workers, giving state lands free of cost to poor women in the command areas of the new dams were some of the major achievements of the democratic government.
The President said that the PPP which also a member of Socialist International is continuing its forward march on the path of empowering people and for their progress and development despite economic and other challenges.
Discussing regional situation, the President reiterated Pakistan’s principled stance of support peace efforts in the neighbouring Afghanistan saying that we believe that peace on our side and in the region was invariably linked with the peace in Afghanistan. Therefore, we will continue to support every effort for peace, stability and development in Afghanistan, the President said.
Mr. Luis Ayala, Secretary General of Socialist International, thanked the President and Co-Chairman PPP for meeting and appreciated the Party’s achievements in empowering the most vulnerable segments of the society. He also lauded Pakistan’s role in war against terror and its efforts to support peace activities in Afghanistan. Mr. Ayala assured the President of continued support of Socialist International in its quest for getting more trade in the European markets.
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