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Wednesday, November 30, 2022
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EditorialPresident's lacklustre address

President’s lacklustre address

President Dr. Arif Alvi addressed Parliament in a joint National Assembly session. Alvi was made president of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan when the PTI came to power. In the session, he addressed an almost empty house as most of the members of the National Assembly boycotted the session. Since the change of government in April, there have been talks of removing the PTI president. However, the impeachment process is long and complicated and may not be worth the effort, even though PPP leaders are calling for it.
While the ministers have their grudges against the PTI, it was well out of place for what they did while the president of the country was addressing them. Calls for impeachment are also unnecessary as it is not required. The country’s head of state is no longer a position of power; it is more symbolic than anything else. The decorum should be maintained and the office should be respected regardless of who is in it. Therefore, such behaviour should be avoided in the future, and the president’s call for unity should be heeded.
The head of state stressed the fact that political parties in Pakistan need to be united and fight the real threats in society. He stated that the need of the hour is elections, and they can only take place when all stakeholders sit at the table and make joint efforts for the betterment of the country. Moreover, the catastrophic floods were also talked about by the president. He pointed out that the country has lost a lot of infrastructure and that people are in need of help. Where due, he gave credit to the current government and the armed forces for their efforts in providing relief to the affected people.
On the economic front, he mentioned the need for agricultural insurance as he said that it is Pakistan’s backbone and the primary source of income. The devastation caused by the floods will be borne by the farmers and, consequently, the country as a whole, as shortages and imports will drive up prices, and many small-scale farmers will have to resort to other means of income or become a burden on the government.
While talking about Pakistan’s foreign relations, he talked about the strengthening of relations with the US, even though his party leader Imran Khan has time and again called the US an interferer and a state that is on the lookout to destroy Pakistan. Moreover, Alvi stated that Pakistan’s relationship with China is of utmost importance and must work towards making it even better as it is the regional leader.
He also put forward the idea that overseas Pakistanis must be given the right to vote and that electronic voting machines must be used so that there is transparency in that process.
The President was greeted with an almost empty assembly, and while he was talking, all the members of the assembly ignored his address. Some members even protested in front of the podium.

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