ISLAMABAD, Oct 6: President Asif Ali Zardari has urged PPP leaders and ministers to vigorously respond to criticism of party and government’s policies by political adversaries.
“We have been elected by the people through a democratic and constitutional process and our legitimacy coupled with good governance should be the chief weapons to fight back the opponents,” he said while addressing top party leadership at the Presidency during a discussion on the current domestic political situation on Monday night.
The meeting continued till early Tuesday morning and was attended by about 30 senior party leaders, including Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Syed Khursheed Ahmad Shah, Dr Zaheeruddin Babar Awan, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Najmuddin Khan, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Faisal Karim Kundi, Sardar Aseff Ahmed Ali, Syed Sumsam Ali Bukhari, Mohammad Afzal Sindhu, Senators Nayyar Hussain Bokhari, A. Rehman Malik, Jehangir Badr, Mir Lashkari Raisani and Zahir Shah.
Briefing the media, President’s spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said that the president rejected criticism that the conditions in the Kerry-Lugar Bill undermined the country’s sovereignty.
The president said the bill was the first Pakistan aid legislation that did not require presidential certifications every year. “It only required certification by the Secretary of State that Pakistan was moving along the path of democracy, nuclear non- proliferation and drugs control.
”Who in Pakistan under the present democratic dispensation would disagree with these goals?” he asked.
”This was in contrast with the past aid bills that required presidential certification that Pakistan was moving towards restoration of democracy, human rights protection, nuclear non-proliferation and drugs control,” President Zardari added.
He said the bill acknowledged Pakistan as a critical ally and its profound sacrifices in the war on terror.
The language of the bill relating to nuclear proliferation had also been toned down. In the original bill, he said the wording was to “ensure access of US investigators to individual suspected”.
“This was changed to receiving cooperation ‘in efforts such as providing relevant information from or direct access to Pakistani nationals associated with such networks’,” he said.