Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said democracy took firm footing in the country during the last four years of the incumbent government, as it achieved significant targets in economic and social sectors. Addressing the flag-hoisting ceremony at Jinnah Convention Centre held here in connection with the Independence Day, here, he detailed on the success story of the current government, saying the foreign remittances exceeded 13 billion dollars. Pakistan Movement proved that the democracy is the best form of government, for which Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto laid down their lives, adding democracy entrenched in the country during the last 4 year of the present government. Elaborating on the government’s stance over terrorism, the Prime Minister noted the terrorism is a menace and the government is resolved to eradicate it from the country before long. Apprising the nation of the government’s handling of Balochistan issue, the PM Raja stressed youths of the province are being given thousands of jobs and full-fledged efforts have been made to bring the offended leaders of the province towards table-talk. Balochistan issue, he furthermore observed, is the result of past governments’ mistakes and the people of this province are patriot and the government will recompense their deprivations. The democratic government began Aghaz-e-Huqooq-e-Balochistan as it wants to resolve the issues in the province; hence, a five-member committee has been formed for the purpose, the Prime Minister asserted. The Prime Minister noted the democratic government is intent to overcome the overwhelming energy crisis in the country and for the purpose, it is seeking to tap into the non-traditional sources to augment the power generation to meet national requirements. A committee, he informed, has been constituted for equitable distribution of power among all provinces, highlighting that criminal dereliction of duty was committed by neglecting Tharcoal. Pakistan economic boom is hinged on the Tharcoal development, he emphasized. The democratic government, he asserted, took up steps to safeguard the rights of minorities and it commenced to mark August 11 as the national day of minorities. Quota has been fixed for the minorities in government jobs, he added. The Prime Minister Ashraf remarked that it is the first time in the history that laborers have been given shares, adding the democratic government took up many more steps for laborers. Measures have been taken up for the prosperity of in farmers’ lives, the PM underlined boasting that it is due to the better policies of the government that the country is exporting wheat today. The government, he said, initiated Benazir Income Support Program for the underprivileged; this program is taking care of 6 million families across the country, adding the program is intended to empower the women and the poor, as women empowerment forms the core of government priority. As many as 24 bills were adopted by the present National Assembly for the welfare and well-being of women, the Prime Minister Raja maintained adding free of cost land was doled out among 6000 woman tillers. Meantime, subsidy worth Rs.4 billion is being given at Utility Stores. He said the provinces were given autonomy through 18th Amendment and financial resources of the provinces were enhanced. The democratic government highly values the positive role of the opposition and for the free and fair elections; accordingly, the opposition is being taken into confidence, he said. The government led by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is acting upon the reconciliatory policy cranked up by late Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, Raja asserted adding the government seeks consultations over all issues including formation of caretaker government and for the purpose, the government has invited all political stakeholders. Raja hopes that all political parties and their leaders will support the government in pursuit of their national obligation. The Prime Minister noted it is the PPP that took up the very first step for the rights of southern Punjab and longstanding demand of the people here will soon materialize. Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said the restoration of NATO supplies is significant in efforts being made against terrorism, adding the government preferred written agreements instead of word of mouth pacts with the US. The government, he stressed, restored the bilateral ties with the US on the parliamentary recommendations. The government, he remarked, seeks to resolve all outstanding issues with India through negotiations, adding peace and stability in Afghanistan is vital for the regional peace. PM Raja said it has been made abundantly clear to the US that its missile strikes stand in violation of national sovereignty and that Pakistan will never compromise on its sovereignty. “We want amicable relations with all state institutions including judiciary. And, it is expected that all institutions will function by sticking to their designated gamut of responsibilities,” he added. Prime Minister Pervez Ashraf said the credit goes to the present government for giving provincial autonomy to the federating units through 18th amendment. Concurrent list has been abolished and through National Finance Commission Award more resources have been given to the provinces. He said identity has been given to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and internal autonomy to Gilgit-Baltistan.