President Dr Arif Alvi on Saturday said that in his personal capacity, he had been and still trying to bring stakeholders together on one table and resolve their differences by democratic means of discussion, consultation and deliberation, and to find mutually agreed upon solutions on major issues and matters to reduce the political polarisation in the greater national interest.
The president expressed these views during an interactive meeting with a delegation of Lahore-based journalists at the Governor’s House. The president said that keeping in view the heightened political polarisation in the country, he had been trying in his personal capacity to bring the stakeholders on one table and provide them with an opportunity to discuss and negotiate the possibility of mutually agreed upon solutions to issues and conflicts which may reduce political polarisation in the country.
He said that he would continue his efforts toward reducing the political polarisation, adding that his efforts had made some impact towards “reducing the distance” from extreme positions to some extent. He said that efforts had been made and would continue to be made within the framework of the constitution and laws of the land for bringing political stability to the country. Alvi said that the country needed strong and effective institutions and “every endeavour should be made for strengthening them” and enabling them to perform their respective functions in accordance with the constitution.
He said that all stakeholders may sit together and may decide upon a mutually agreed upon date for the next general elections – held in a free, fair and transparent manner – which he hoped would help reduce the political temperature. He further said that the stakeholders should also consider discussing the use of technology to bring efficiency, transparency and fairness in elections.
He said that the government and institutions should focus on a greater vision and mission, and should avoid getting embroiled into petty matters and issues of narrow scope. He stated that there was a need to “focus our time, energies and efforts” on embracing new and emerging technologies, developing out-of-the-box solutions to resolve issues and challenges and to develop capability to avail each and every opportunity to take the country forward on the path of progress and development.
He further said that issues like inflation, economy, improving service delivery and reducing political polarisation were pressing issues, which, in his opinion, needed to be addressed on priority.
To a question, he said that Arshad Sharif sent him a letter about threats to his life and he forwarded that letter along with his comments to the prime minister. He said that media was an integral part of the democratic dispensation and it should perform its functions freely without any intimidation or harassment under the relevant provisions of the constitution and laws.