President Alvi praises PTI govt's feats amid opp protest in Parliament
President Arif Alvi while addressing a joint sitting of parliament on the completion of third parliamentary year of the National Assembly counted the feats of the PTI government and congratulated the members of parliament at the start of the new legislative year, reported 24NewsHD TV channel
The President expressed the wish that democratic values and a "tradition of tolerance" flourished in Pakistan.
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Arif Alvi commenting on the Afghanistan situation said that Prime Minister Imran Khan for the last 20 years maintained that there was no military solution in Afghanistan.
Arif Alvi emphasised to the new government in Kabul that Afghan soil should not be used against any country. "Pakistan wants from the new Afghan government to strengthen the Afghan people and run the country as per the guidelines of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)," he added.
Arif Alvi commenting on the potential of Artificial Intelligence said, "The Pakistani nation is no less than any other nation in the world when it comes to intelligence. I have full confidence in our IT experts that they will be able to use their intellectual potential to overcome today's cyber defense and security challenges."
He said, “The world is currently going through the fourth industrial revolution and this revolution is not just a revolution of material progress but an intellectual revolution.”
He said that because of the scourge of corruption and the wrong priorities of the past, we have not only lagged behind in development but also lagged far behind the world in all indications of human and social progress.
Alvi said, "People are paying tax in such large numbers shows complete trust in government policies.”
He congratulated the government for devising and implementing laws and procedures to address the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
He said the government had given a big construction package to people from the lower segments and the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme was started. "Not only has there been speed in financial activities but also opportunities for livelihood have been created," he added.
He further said that the 2.77pc growth in the agriculture sector, and lauded a government initiative to provide skills training to youth under which he said 1.7 million youngsters had been provided opportunities.
Dignities in the joint parliament session
COAS Qamar Javed Bajwa and chiefs of the Air Force and Navy also attended the joint sitting.
The meeting was also attended by ambassadors of different countries including ambassadors of Germany, Netherlands, Hungary and Switzerland.
Opposition’s protest and walkout
During the session, opposition parties held a protest in the house and chanted slogans against the PTI government especially for inflation and unemployment.
The opposition members chanted slogans including ‘Media Ko Reha Karo’ (unlock the media) against the government.
Later they walked out from the joint sitting to record their protest.
In the session, some of the parliamentarians displayed placards with the writings like “Chheen Raha hai Kaptan—Rooti Kapra Aur Makaan”.
Journalists face oppression in the session
The journalists deputed to cover the joint session faced dictatorial restrictions and oppression during the coverage of the joint session of the parliament as the government locked them in the gallery and cafeteria to avoid their protest.
Anyhow, the members of the Parliamentary Reporters Association (PRA) staged a sit-in outside the Speaker’s Chamber and chanted slogans against the chair for restricting journalists.
When President Arif Alvi completed his address and was leaving the Parliament House, the parliamentary journalists also shouted for their rights of expression and against the proposed Pakistan Media Development Authority (PDMA) Bill.
The RPA’s reaction to restrictions
The PRA also claimed that the government barred the journalists to cover the joint session in two phases, in the first phase, all journalists covering Parliament were barred from issuing cards and in the next phase, the press lounge was locked
The PRA strongly condemned the Speaker’s act to lock the journalists and said the press galleries were not closed even during the military dictatorship eras.
Opposition’s reaction on journalists’ issue
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokesperson Maryam Aurangzeb strongly condemned the closure of journalists in the cafeteria of the parliament and press lounge.
The PML-N spokesperson said that the threats were also being made that the PRA would be thrown out from Parliament if it tried to do anything.
Parliament security was divided into four zones and irrelevant persons were not allowed in the Red Zone.