ISLAMABAD - Political observers and opposition on Monday reacted to the maiden speech by President Mamnoon Hussain to the joint session of Parliament, dubbing him more a loyalist of the ruling party than symbol of federation and arguing that his address was nothing except a heap of praise on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Soon after the president winded up his address, political analysts and legislators were of the view that the 13-page speech presented no future roadmap for the government but was rather full of praise for the party in power that had chosen him for the slot of the president.

The president being the head of state lauded the ruling party for its one-year performance in all sectors including economic initiatives, foreign policy and loan schemes amid thumping of desks by treasury benches, as joint opposition in the senate had boycotted the session in protest against the prime minister for not showing up at the upper house even once in the whole year.

“The president being symbol of federation should have talked about the state of affairs in all provinces. He did not mention the state of affairs in Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta or Lahore. He is symbol of federation and not mouthpiece of a political party,” said a senator of Awami National Party (ANP) who had boycotted the speech.

He lamented that Prime Minister Sharif had never showed up in senate during the last one year, adding President Mamnoon Hussain should have taken notice of the boycott by joint opposition in senate. He regretted that the head of state too was not concerned about federation.

Political observers said the president’s speech was against the expectations of general public and lawmakers but it satisfied the ruling PML-N that wanted him to do his job in wake of the ongoing political situation.

“He (the president) is handpicked of PML-N and I don’t think political parties take him seriously. He sings songs of the ruling party. The joint opposition in senate boycotted his speech because they are angry with the prime minister,” Imtiaz Gul, a political analyst, commented. He said the president on Monday looked more like a party supporter than being a head of the state, adding that his speech was nothing but reiteration of statements already issued by the ruling party.

Ali Akbar, a political analyst, said the president did not give any roadmap to the government for the next parliamentary year and instead highlighted the one-year performance of the party in power.

While the president’s speech was all praise for the PML-N, his maiden address to the joint session also revealed the internal bickering among institutions. “Our enemies are actively working to create conflicts among us, we need to maintain unity and confidence among our lines,” he added.