President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday addressed the joint session of the parliament’s fourth consecutive year amid protest and boycott of the opposition parties, Geo News reported.
The President addressed the joint session below article fifty six of the constitution.
Chief Ministers and governors of all the provinces except Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif besides military chiefs of 3 militia attended the joint session.
Jamate-e-Islami, JUI, PML-N, PML-Q and Muslim League (Like Minided) boycotted the address of the President. They conjointly recorded their protest.
President Asif Ali Zardari, in his address vowed to uphold supremacy of the Constitution and also the Parliament and to not allow anyone usurp powers of the Parliament.
Referring to the restoration of Constitution, he said it showed that if all political parties rise higher than politicking, they’ll deliver.
"Let us strive to keep our egos aside. Let political forces stop challenging each other, merely for political point-scoring. It only weakens democracy in the long run," the President said.
He said it was the task of the leadership to unite; not divide. "We believe in reconciliation, and not confrontation."
President Asif Zardari commended Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani for pursuing the policy of reconciliation and consensus, given by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.
"We have achieved consensus on constitutional reforms," the President said and called for building consensus on resolving issues like energy shortage, circular debt, taxation reforms, restructuring of public sector entities and documentation of the economy.
President Zardari interspersed with applause, congratulated the members of Parliament, and all the political parties, both in the government and in the opposition, for the unanimous passage of the 18th and 19th Constitutional Amendments.
He said that returning power from dictators to the people was at the core of promises made with them and that "rarely in history has a leader abdicated power by his own free will."
The President started his address with a strong condemnation, on behalf of the people of Pakistan and on his own, for the deliberate desecration of the Holy Quran by a fanatic in Florida.
"We condemn this act in the strongest possible words. It is a serious setback, to the efforts at promoting harmony among civilized communities throughout the world."
President Zardari called upon the House to adopt a resolution urging the United Nations to address this issue for the sake of harmony and peace in the world.
Zardari strongly reacting to the acts of terrorism in the country, expressed the resolve "to fight the militants to the finish".
"We cannot permit the use of our soil for terrorist activities against any other country. We will not," he said and expressed the resolve for a modern and moderate Pakistan – the Pakistan of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
"We will not back down," the President said and pointed "we have no other option except to win … Win we will. And soon InshaAllah."
The President also paid tribute to all martyrs, who had laid down their lives in fighting the militancy and the extremism.
The President also recounted the problems the country was facing, which he said, if not addressed through collective wisdom now, would be inherited by the future generations.
He called for building a national consensus on these issues and to collectively take "tough decisions".
"I invite all political parties for a national dialogue; sooner rather than later," the President said and read out a quote from the last book of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, just days before her assassination:
"It is time for new ideas. It is time for creativity; it is time for bold commitment. There has been enough pain. It is time for reconciliation."