ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf Tuesday said that democracy is the best type of government and a strong democratic set up could resolve all the issues and ensure progress and prosperity in the country.
Addressing a flag hoisting ceremony at the Convention Centre, the prime minister said, "The freedom movement is the best example of a democratic and constitutional struggle that proved to nations of the world that democracy is embedded in the blood of Muslims."
He added that all issues of Pakistan and the existence of the country are associated with democracy.
“On this day, Muslims of the sub-continent, under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam, succeeded in achieving freedom and Pakistan emerged on the map of the world as an independent and sovereign country,” said Ashraf while congratulating Pakistanis everywhere.
He said leaders like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto undertook an exemplary struggle for the restoration of democracy in Pakistan to ensure rights of the people and “lit the beacon of democracy by laying down their lives”.
"We are proud that we have made prominent achievements in the last four years,” he said, adding that with Allah’s grace and benevolence, the roots of democracy were strong in Pakistan today.
The prime minister said that it would not be undue to give credit of the success to the visionary leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari.
“It is a matter of satisfaction that the present democratic government has achieved important milestones for political, social and economic progress of our dear country which have propped the national economy,” said Ashraf.
Extending an offer of dialogue to all political parties for reconciliation and to hold fair, free and impartial elections, the prime minister hoped that the political leaders, by realising national responsibility, would cooperate with the government.
He said that the opposition has an important role in any democratic system and the government has given importance to its positive role.
"We are taking the opposition into confidence (for the next general elections), and for this we have taken a start from the consensus appointment of Chief Election Commissioner,” said Ashraf.
"We want impartial and transparent elections so the transfer of power takes place in a democratic way, which would be a big success for the continuity of democracy in the country."
He expressed hope that all political parties would fully participate in the next general elections and would play their role for the continuation of democracy.
Ashraf also said that the government has accepted all criticism with patience because it does not believe in confrontation.
"We are following the policy of reconciliation according to the vision of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed and our objective is to promote an environment of understanding and harmony in the country," he said.
"We want the opposition to, instead of criticising the government, come up with positive suggestions through constructive approach, so that the process of development can continue in the country," said the prime minister.
He said that the government believes in purposeful dialogue with the opposition on all issues of national importance, including the formation of a caretaker government, so that issues are resolved through consensus, and democratic values and mutual understanding are promoted in the country and the supremacy of democracy is ensured.