Will work for better ties with India: Raja Pervez Ashraf

Pakistan Parliamentary Panel has elected a ruling party leader, also a former cabinet minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf as a new Prime Minister of Pakistan on Friday in a dignified ceremony.

After a huge controversial political struggle between President Asif Ali Zardari and the senior judiciary, causing exiting of former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani due to his conviction of contempt, Mr. Ashruf selection has made in wake to restore the government.

Earlier this week order to resign the Mr. Gilani was made by the Supreme Court after his refusal to ask Swiss authorities to reopen the graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

As a competitor, Mr. Ashruf also faced challenge with outgoing textile minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin who was firstly nominated by Mr. Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party, but after being arrested for having role in a drug import scandal, he left out from the race.

So, Mr. Ashruf was the second choice who has won with majority of Parliamentary panel votes of 211 to 89 along with full support of Mr. Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party.

Addressing his first speech in the National Assembly as the premier of this troubled, nuclear-armed nation of about 180 million people, source reported, Mr. Ashraf said, the economy, the power crisis and inflation were his main priorities.

“Our country cannot afford politics of confrontation at this time. We are standing at a critical juncture,” he added, “We can either move forward or lapse backward.”

During his less than an hour speech, Ashraf cleared that Pakistan always ahead to play remarkable role as an enabler and facilitator of peace in the world, and for that they would strengthen the dialogue process with its neighbours, including India.

“We want peaceful ties with our neighbours Afghanistan, Iran and India. We desire good relations in our region on the basis of the philosophy of peaceful co-existence,” Ashraf stated in a statement, as per source report.

According to source, paying tribute to Gilani for his work to ensure the supremacy of democracy and parliament, he said, “As my predecessor said, for Pakistan, Kabul is the most important capital in the world. And it is our firm belief that until there is peace in Afghanistan, there can be no peace in Pakistan.”

Moreover, New elected PM promised to strengthen the ties up process to solve all problems like the Kashmir issue, the Taliban and NATO –Afghan border supply lines reopen issue. Though he wants to do all these to boost foreign policy and handle the regional situation, but firstly he will have to face challenge in this nuclear-armed country’s politics for the next March 2013 election when his fate would be tested.

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