ISLAMABAD - President Dr Arif Alvi on Saturday said that he was carrying his duties as enshrined in the constitution of Pakistan. However, he said, holding a dialogue with the opposition parties was a prerogative of the Prime Minister.

In a private TV programme, the President said the Prime Minister decided the political issues as per his political acumen.

To a query, the President observed that further steps should be taken to control food inflation. “In my view, government has to focus on food inflation,” he added.

Dr Alvi further said that during initial months of the government, the Prime Minister made strenuous efforts to overcome severe financial challenges. To another question, he said all parties should be united for the country. The President opined that the government did not pass on burden of circular debt to public and continued with subsidies.

The president said efforts were made to strengthen economy. The traders and businessmen of Lahore and Karachi were unanimous in their views that government had fulfilled all its commitment. The construction sector was given a package even in Covid-19 pandemic so that economy could move on, he said.

Responding to another question, president Alvi said India was playing a spoiler’s role in the region including in Afghanistan. India had hegemonic designs and it had started skirmishes with China, he said.

He said a stable and peaceful Afghanistan was must for Pakistan and the region.

Pakistan could help in rebuilding Afghanistan, he added. The president expressed confidence that issue of Karachi islands would be resolved among all stakeholders amicably.

Meanwhile, scores of people have been booked by Secretariat police for staging anti-France protest, damaging public property and attempting to storm into French Embassy in Islamabad, informed sources on Friday. The First Information Report was registered on directions of senior bosses of police and was also sealed, they said. According to sources, Secretariat police have booked scores of people including Arshad Abbasi and others for holding anti-France rally in federal capital and damaging property besides trying to enter into French Embassy. “An FIR has been registered against them for staging the protest in violation of district government orders,” said a police officer. Dozens of protestors including Arshad Abbasi and some students were charged under multiple sections, he said. Raids are being made to arrest the accused, he said. A spokesman of Islamabad police confirmed that police booked protestors for holding anti-France rally and damaging public property.