LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday proposed a special charter “outlining the country’s development” path for 25 years and “addressing the problems of the masses” with broad consensus.
Such a charter, which Nawaz recommends be called Meesaq-e-Pakistan, is “the only solution to all the evils ailing the country”. Nawaz, who heads the mainstream Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, was talking to media persons after offering condolences to South Asian Free Media Association secretary-general Imtiaz Alam (Safma) upon the death of his mother.
The 25-year plan should recognise the supremacy of the constitution and parliament, according to Sharif. “The country will advance only if all the segments of society, including the civil society and the media, would stop thinking of themselves as ‘sacred cows’,” he said.
The agenda-setting should be made after taking on board all political parties, members of the judiciary, the armed forces, as well as civil society and media representatives.
“To achieve prosperity, it is essential that political forces honour the sanctity of the ballot and the mandate of the people,” he said. “I have requested the government to prepare a 25-year Meesaq-e-Pakistan, to address the problems of the masses. It is a unique event in history that the opposition is requesting the ruling party to prepare a 25-year agenda for the development of the country.”
Nawaz also spoke out in favour of developing national consensus on all important issues. “In these days of desperation, the nation is longing to listen to good news,” he said, adding that political forces should honour the constitution.
Speaking about Asma Jahangir’s election as Supreme Court Bar Association president through annual elections, Nawaz said: “She is a person who thinks positively. I am sure she would speak for the supremacy of law and constitution”.
In a reference to the unification of all Pakistan Muslim League factions, he asked, “Who is doing this?”
Nawaz said that he had met a number of senior journalists and had discussed several topics of national importance with them, including sustainability, social justice, economic prosperity, peace, eradication of terrorism, strong relations with the world, particularly India, and civil and military understanding.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2010.