Islamabad: Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf Thursday said the country’s future was with democracy alone and the political forces must stand united to thwart any attempt to derail it.
Addressing a large gathering at the inauguration of the Gujar Khan campus of the Virtual University here at the the Prime Minister said “no one can blackmail, threaten or coerce us to abandon democracy.”
“Anyone who loves Pakistan must not become a block for the democracy,” he told the gathering that raised slogans of Zinda hae Bhutto, Zinda hae. Prime Minister Ashraf said all backdoor channels leading to power had been blocked and said now the key to the power rested with the peoples’ decision through vote.
The Prime Minister said democracy was the only solution to the country’s problems and said Pakistan Peoples Party would continue its tradition of protecting democracy at all costs.
The Prime Minister warned that no one should even dare to consider the PPP government as weak and urged all democracy loving people to stand united and work for the future of a strong democratic country.
“We will render all sacrifices and protect democracy at all costs,” the Prime Minister said and added that the military leadership, judiciary and the media would also stand with the political forces to thwart any attempt against the democracy.
The Prime Minister lamented the comments of the ‘pseudo- intellectuals’ on television talks shows and said those, harboring the notion that democracy would get derailed, must get rid of this idea.He said the political parties and the people of Pakistan must realize that it does not matter that who was in power, but what matters was that the government had been elected by the will and the votes of the masses.He said the general election will be held on time, in next few weeks time, and will be conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner.The Prime Minister said it was a moment of satisfaction for PPP and allied parties that the parliament was nearing completion of its five-year tenure. He said the history was witness to the sacrifices of the leaders of PPP, who laid their lives for democracy.
The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction that the campus of the Virtual University would be established at the land of extraordinary people who have to their credit the highest number of awards of valiance including Nishan-e-Haider.He appreciated the hardwork of Ministry of Information Technology and all others who made the project a reality.
Raja Ashraf said Pakistan Peoples Party always strived for the promotion of education in the country. He mentioned that Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who laid the foundation-stone of democracy in this country had always highlighted the importance of education for development.He said President Asif Ali Zardari and Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was also following the footsteps of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto to give awareness among people about their rights.He said the trickle-down effect of literacy to common man was possible only with the setting up of educational institutes and universities even in small towns. The Prime Minister congratulated the people of Gujar Khan on the new campus.
Secretary Ministry of IT Dr Zafar Iqbal Qadir and Rector Virtual University Tajdar Alam gave an overview of the projects of the Ministry and the university.The Virtual University currently has 220 campuses and was providing education to 100,000 students across the country.The Ministry of IT has also setup 11 software parks, catering to the needs of 1500 companies, while another software park will soon be established in Islamabad soon.
The event also saw the launch of the National ICT Scholarship Program, under which 5000 students will be provided admission and tuition fee, boarding and lodging, besides a stipend to help them pursue undergraduate degrees in Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) disciplines.