ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Tuesday the state cannot survive if the constitutional order is not respected and the rule of law not enforced.
“We will have to take the course of constitutional order and abide by the laws of the land because all the roads to a strong and unimpeachable national defence emerge from adherence to the constitutional order and rule of law,” the prime minister said.
Addressing participants of the National Security and War Course at the National Defence University, the prime minister said a strong state has to be built on discipline and orderly compliance of its constituents. He said Pakistan has to pursue this path if it wants to be recognised as a respectable part of the comity of nations.
“While shaping our future, we will have to keep in mind the mistakes of our past,” Sharif told the participants who included federal ministers, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and chiefs of the armed forces of Pakistan.
The prime minister said that discipline of a state was a product of its constitution and was exercised through fearless implementation of its laws while ensuring the fundamental principles of equality before the law, equal treatment before the law and due process of the law.
Dwelling on the challenges and opportunities, the prime minister said the greatest challenge was law and order and internal security, which had multiple dimensions, including terrorism and extremism, instability in Balochistan, turmoil in Karachi, and sectarianism.
He appreciated the armed forces, security agencies, police and public servants for their resolute fight against terrorism.
“We are eternally grateful to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while defending us and our values. May their souls rest in eternal peace!”
“I am proud of the courage and resilience of the people of Pakistan, as they continue to bravely weather the challenging times,” the prime minister said.
Nawaz Sharif said that another formidable challenge was revival of economy. He said that immediately after taking over, his government has taken a number of steps to put the economy on the path of stability.
These, he said, included the signing of a new standby arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), clearing of the so-called circular debt, and meeting energy shortfall through measures ranging from efficient use of existing resources to expanded production.
The prime minister said work was now in progress on the 11th Five Year Plan and a perspective plan known as Pakistan Vision 2025. Its priority objectives included sustainable economic growth, fixing the macro-economic imbalances, employment generation to absorb the youth bulge, and creation of an investment friendly climate, he added.
He said Pakistan came into being as a result of the long democratic struggle.
“It is a matter of profound gratification that democracy is a defining feature of today’s Pakistan,” he said and pointed out that the peaceful, dignified transfer of power from one elected government to another, following the May 2013 elections, testified to the maturity of political culture. This historic democratic transition was reinforced by the active support and vital contributions from an independent judiciary, free media, and a dynamic civil society, he added.
“As we move forward, it is imperative that we organise our national life in accordance with the Islamic principles, the democratic ideals, and the Quaid-i-Azam’s vision,” the prime minister said.
He said that ascendancy of constitutional order and rule of law were a mandatory requirement of national security.
“Only a constitutional order and rule of law can provide for an institutional balance, which can strengthen the state and the society.”
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