KARACHI - Prime Minister Raja Perviaz Ashraf has said that 2013 is the year of elections and expressed the confidence that these would not only nourish democracy but also lay foundation for a sustainable political system in the country.

He was speaking at a ceremony to mark exhibition of photographs of South Asia Photo Journalists Association in Karachi on Saturday.

The Prime Minister said for the first time in the history of the country the democratic government would be completing its tenure. He said this would be routine in the international context but in Pakistan it is momentous.

He said the PPP government pursued reconciliatory policy as envisioned by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. The government has been following this policy to combat all kinds of challenges in a bid to strengthen democracy in the country. He said completion of tenure by the democratic government is a tribute to the vision of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.

The Prime Minister acknowledged the role of media in the development of the country as it not only builds image but also creates perceptions. It keeps a healthy check on the policies and measures of the government.

Ashraf said media and the government always work for the common good of the society. Their goal remains the collective well-being of the people. He said the PPP govt believes in independent and free media which is essential for strengthening democracy and institutions.

Earlier, addressing the inaugural ceremony of Al-Haj FAW Automobile Assembling Plant, Prime Minister Ashraf said that democracy is flourishing in the country and the negative elements that hampering the democracy should be ignored.

The prime minister said that there was no collision between any state institution and the government was about to complete its five-year democratic term.

He said that “we have to dispel the impression of having quarrels among our ranks other.

The prime minister said that the government was committed to adopt all possible measures for the development of automobile industry in the country.

He expressed satisfaction over the inauguration of the plant which gave jobs to 1500 people, adding that every Pakistani should play his role for the development of the country.

He said that the govt was ready to provide better opportunities to the plant, hopping that it would manufacture low price cars.

He said no country would touch the fruit of development without participation of the private sector and Pakistan had full potential to meet the demands of the private sector. “We could reduce the trade deficit by increasing our local industries”, he added.

He called for the adoption of latest technology in all industries to cope with the international demands. He urged workers and technicians to work devotedly for the betterment of the country.

He concluded his address by thanking china for its cooperation in setting up the plant and said: “Pakistan take great pride in friendship with China.”