ISLAMABAD - President Mamnoon Hussain said on Thursday that Pakistan desires to resolve all outstanding disputes with India through dialogue but the latter was not reciprocating.

“Pakistan wanted to resolve all disputes with India through dialogue but sincere efforts are not reciprocated in the same spirit,” the president said while addressing the joint sitting of the Parliament, the last parliamentary year of the incumbent government.

The president was interrupted by opposition parties during his speech with heavy anti-government and anti-prime minister sloganeering, loud whistling and teasing comments that continued till the middle of his speech.

The House witnessed pandemonium as some of the opposition lawmakers, before boycotting the session, gathered around the speaker’s podium and raised anti-government slogans.

The president, ignoring the slogans, said that the situation has instead been ‘exacerbated by India’ by not properly reciprocating the overtures. "This is evident from the arrest and confessional statement of the Indian spy," he said referring the confessional statement of Kulbhushan Jadhav. While talking about the Kashmir issue, the president said that the solution to the dispute was holding a plebiscite under the resolutions of the United Nations.

"The only solution to the Kashmir dispute is holding a plebiscite as prescribed under the resolutions of the United States," the president said condemning the Indian aggression on the Line of Control (LoC) leading to huge loss of lives and property.

“Our Kashmiri brothers, sisters, sons and daughters are protesting for their fundamental right of freedom for which they are being subjected to worst kind of atrocities,” he said, reiterating Pakistan's continued political, moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiri people.

The president, amidst heavy sloganeering from opposition lawmakers, touched country’s foreign relations with other countries including China, India, Afghanistan, Central Asian states, Russia, Turkey and the Islamic world.

While talking about China, he said that Pakistan’s relations with China are “exemplary” as both the countries consistently enhance their bilateral cooperation in all fields.” The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would bring about prosperity in both countries and other countries of the region,” he added.

Hussain said that regional stability was linked to peace in Afghanistan and counted Pakistan’s efforts to bring a lasting peace to the war-torn country including facilitation through ‘Murree dialogue ’’ and supporting the Heart of Asia conference.

He also invited the Afghan leadership to improve border management system through mutual cooperation. He mentioned the substantive assistance Pakistan had been extending to the war-hit Afghanistan besides provision of educational scholarships to thousands of Afghan students. He vowed that Pakistan would continue to show such cordial gesture to its Afghan brethren.

The president also recounted Pakistan's sacrifices in the war on terror including sacrifices of the citizens and the armed forces and civil armed forces. He hoped that of the success of operations Raddul Fasaad will turn Pakistan into “a cradle of peace”.

The president also suggested stemming extremism by bridging the class difference and making the higher education accessible to all, enabling country's youth to play their role in building a new world.

While talking about relations with the US, the president said after many ups and downs in the Pak-US ties, Pakistan has established a fresh contact with the new US administration that would pave the way for further expansion of bilateral relations.

The president advocated for Pakistan’s strong credentials to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as the country was strictly committed to nuclear non-proliferation.

“Due to the negative Indian mindset, the SAARC summit could not be held in Islamabad last year which impeded the regional cooperation for progress and prosperity,” he said.

The president also urged the government, the opposition and all political forces to declare the “Vision-2025” a national plan to ensure the welfare of the public. "I earnestly desire that the government, opposition and all political parties should declare it (Vision 2025) as a national plan through consensus," the president said. “There is a need to focus on controlling the rising population to ensure the optimal use of resources,” he said.

The president said that "some short-sighted elements" during different phases in the country’s history weakened the relationship between public and the State.

He also urged the leaders to safeguard the rights of those who resorted to illegitimate means in despair, when meted out unequal treatment by the State.

He said that Parliament was the reflection of the thoughts of the nation and was also a source of guidance as every person in the country considers himself a stakeholder in the decisions taken by the august House. "Let's come forward and join hands to make this House a medium of achieving national objectives because our goal should be to have a Parliament envisaged by our forefathers especially Allama Iqbal who expounded the Pakistan ideology,” he said.

About declining trend in petroleum products, the president that the declining trend in petroleum products was passed directly to the general public.

“The development expenditure has also increased by three times in the upcoming budget.” He, however, stressed the need to pay attention to other fields including education and health.

The president also expressed the hope that the Ministry of Commerce would look for a permanent and effective solution to resolve the problem of the export sector which had been facing issues due to the decrease in prices in the international market.

He also lauded the three-fold increase in the budget for the Benazir Income Support Programme and highlighted the importance of devising a strategy to enhance capabilities of the beneficiary women through proper training.

The president commended the steps taken to bring Balochistan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in the national mainstream and hoped that by rising above their vested interests, all segments of society would participate in the national reconstruction.

He mentioned that the country's economic indicators were healthy as the GDP growth remained over 5 percent with the country having foreign reserves of $23 billion with a remarkable decline in inflation.

While talking about the power sector, he said the issue would be resolved permanently with the functioning of the undergoing electricity projects.     

He said that connecting Gilgit-Baltistan with the national grid would increase power production after completion of Diamer-Bhasha, Dasu and Bunji dams.

Lauding the role of National History and Literary Division for reviving educational and literary institutions, he said that an Endowment Fund has been set up to resolve the issues of poets, writers and artists.

He expressed his pleasure over the successful culmination of the national census besides paying tribute to the brave workers who had lost their lives in some untoward incidents during the exercise.