President Asif Ali Zardari has said that parliament had been strengthened and attempts to separate Pakistan’s provinces were foiled and forged unity among them by giving them their due rights.

Addressing the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa Provincial Assembly on Monday, the first by a President, Zardari said the completion of five years by the KP assembly was an example of maturity and patience. He prayed and hoped that future generations of Pakistan would continue on the path of democracy as this was in the interest of the country and the rest of the world. He said revolution in the country would only come through democracy and to preserve the democratic system was in the larger interest of the country.

He said that the Pakistan Peoples’ Party has taken revenge from the killers of the Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto by strengthening democracy.

President Zardari eulogized the sacrifices made by the people of Khyber Pukhtunkhaw in the fight against terrorism and said that common people, political workers and the Army have made tremendous sacrifices against terrorism.

“Khyber Pukhtunkhaw has everything except peace,” president regretted.

He said it was the power of the parliament that forced General (r) Pervez Musharraf to shed his uniform and ultimately leave the country.

“We believe in tolerance and reconciliation,” he said.

President Zardari said he learnt politics from ZA Bhutto, Bacha Khan, Khan Abdul Wali Khan, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and jail also taught him a lot. “We gave provincial autonomy because we believe in indigenization of the provinces”, he added.

He said he had handed over powers of his office to the parliament in order to empower it. Provinces are stakeholders in Islamabad and it derives powers from provinces in return, he said. He vowed to defeat the internal enemies of the country.

He condemned the attack on Qazi Hussain Ahmad citing that a mind set and ideology was bent on destroying Pakistan.

“A particular mindset is bent upon destabilizing the country and we will continue to our fight against this mindset till we defeat it,” Zardari said adding it was the same mindset that assassinated Benazir Bhutto.

Speaker Pakhtoonkhwa Assembly welcomed the President and said assemblies were completing their tenure for the first time in the history of Pakistan due to wise and conciliatory policies of President Zardari.

Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti in address said President Zardari has always listened to the grievances of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa with great attention and had always been cooperative.

He said amiable atmosphere in the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa assembly must be an example for the others. He thanked the President for addressing the assembly and applauded his policy of reconciliation.

Opposition leader Akram Khan Durrani said that the President had established a new tradition by addressing the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa Assembly.

Earlier upon arrival in KPK, President Zaradari was received by Khyber Pakthunkhwa Governor, Barrister Masood Kausar and Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti. 

Federal Minister for Communications, Dr Arbab Alamgir Khan, Khyber Pakthunkhwa Pakistan People President, Anwar Saifullah Khan MPA, Federal Minister for SAFRON Engr Shaukat Ullah, Khyber Pakthunkhwa Senior Minister Rahimdad Khan, Health Minister, Syed Zahir Ali Shah, Speaker KP Assembly Kirmatullah Khan, Senator Sardar Ali Khan, MNA Asma Alamgir Khan, and others senior PPP leaders and officials accorded warm welcome to the president.