CHAKWAL - Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has said that all politicians are in agreement that the democratic process should continue and all state pillars including the judiciary, the military and the media are supportive to it.

“Today [the] military leadership is [the] guardian of democracy,” he told a public gathering here on Saturday. He said, “There is no alternative to democracy; it is the voice of the nation and people love it. No-one will be able to harm it.”

The prime minister said the incumbent government was about to complete its five-year term with the help of its coalition partners. Holding elections is a national obligation and the government will fulfil this responsibility and hold the elections on time. He said he has recently talked to all the main politicians of the country and they all are unanimous that the democratic process should continue in the country and elections should be held on time.

The people enjoy democracy and no one can snatch this right from the masses, he said. “Only those will rule the country who will get the support of the masses through ballot,” he added. Raja said it was an honour for him that he was addressing a public meeting here on the birthday of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He said it was Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who gave political rights to the people and sacrificed his life for them.

He said the politics and democracy has been strengthened and now no one will be able to damage the political system and this message is from PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and other party leaders. This message is also from all the coalition partners of government and political parties that the democratic process should continue, he added.

The PM said in 1970 elections, the people from all over the country supported the PPP. He said Benazir Bhutto gave the message ahead of the 2008 elections that “we have to make Pakistan a strong country and take along all the forces to find the solution of all the problems.” He said President Asif Ali Zardari continued this philosophy and the PPP made a coalition government and ran it successfully.

Only the PPP can make a common worker a prime minister, the PM said. “I belong to Potohar and I am among my own people today, I began development work in the region since I assumed my post,” he added. He reiterated that there would be no delay in the elections as the government intended to hold them on time.

The prime minister inaugurated a number of development projects, including supply of Sui gas, Neela Interchange to connect the area with Motorway, construction and improvement of roads. He assured the local people that all their demands would be fulfilled. He said Gujar Khan and Chakwal would be treated at par with regard to the development projects.

Earlier, PPP Central Punjab President and Minister for Kashmir Affairs Mian Manzoor Wattoo, addressing the public meeting, said President Zardari had given importance to this area by appointing Raja Pervaiz as prime minister. He expressed the hope that the PM would change the fate of the area.

The prime minister said Chakwal is the land of brave people who defended the country, but they have been without gas. He announced to accept all the demands of the local people and assured them of taking practical steps for their fulfillment.

The prime minister hoped that the PPP would win the next elections with majority from Chakwal as it had improved its position here. He said it is a matter of great satisfaction and happiness that a number of development projects have been started in the area.

He directed the authorities concerned to initiate work on the development projects without delay, which were inaugurated by him before the start of the public meeting. He said Gujar Khan and Chakwal would be treated at par with regard to the development projects. He said Chakwal will prove to be a real fort of the PPP in the next elections.

Earlier, President Pakistan People’s Party Punjab and Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, addressing the public meeting, said President Asif Ali Zardari by appointing Raja Pervaiz Ashraf as prime minister had given importance to this area.

He expressed the hope that the prime minister will change the fate of the area with the start of development projects.

Earlier, the prime minister was presented a traditional turban when he arrived at the arena to address the meeting. He was given a warm welcome by the party workers and leaders when he arrived here amid slogans of Jiay Bhutto.