KARACHI - President Mamnoon Hussain on Sunday urged all the political and religious parties, and segments of the society to support efforts for maintaining peace and security in Karachi.

“Economic prosperity in Pakistan is not possible without maintaining peace and security in Karachi being trade and industrial hub,” said the President while talking to reporters at the Quaid’s Mausoleum here.

He appreciated the Sindh government for carrying out operation against criminals in the port city and sought cooperation of citizens and media to make it a success. Mamnoon said that he was alive to his constitutional role and would make best efforts for harmony among the provinces and the federation, national unity and solidarity, besides working for the country’s prosperity and sovereignty.

Replying to a question, he said president had no political role but a fatherly one. The president’s basic responsibility was to maintain harmony between the federation and the provinces, he added. He said that he had flown to Karachi specially to pay homage to the Father of the Nation.

Mamnoon said he would work for the betterment of entire country, especially Sindh. He would visit the province frequently and meet the people; and he would support Sindh governor and chief minister in their efforts for the development and prosperity of the province, he assured.

He said the last government was responsible for the growing inflation as its wrong policies and decisions had damaged the country’s economy and its trade balance, causing serious financial problems. “During the last government, unfortunately a huge quantity of currency notes were printed to ease the financial pressure,” he remarked.

The present government has taken certain important and positive steps, due to which the inflation rate will soon come down, he said. He expressed his full confidence in the capability and commitment of Federal Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, who he hoped, would steer the country out of economic crisis under the guidance of Prime Minister Sharif.

He said it was not possible for any government to continue providing electricity to the people at low rate after purchasing it at high price. He said that the government had pledged to International Monetary Fund (IMF) to raise the power tariff by cutting the subsidy to power sector. He however urged the people to wait for some time for reduction in power tariff as many projects have been initiated in this regard.

Answering another question, the president said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his United States’ visit would raise the issue of drone attacks, which, he said, had proved counter-productive in the war against terrorism and caused hurdle in maintaining peace and security in the country. He said the Pak-US bilateral ties had seen many ups and downs in the past, but the same were now improving.

Mamnoon said the prime minister would discuss ways and means to increase bilateral trade and investment, and to enhance bilateral economic cooperation on a large scale. He would also talk on issues of mutual interest, including withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan.

When his attention was drawn to the violation of Line of Control by India, the president said Indian opposition parties were playing a provocative role to score political points as general elections were approaching there. However, he was optimistic about improvement in relations between the two neighbourly countries through dialogue and frequent interaction at different levels.

Earlier, he offered Fateha at the Mazar of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and laid a wreath before writing his impressions in the visitors’ book there. Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Chief Secretary Muhammad Ejaz Chaudhry, IGP Nadeem Baloch, Karachi Commissioner Shoaib Siddique, MPAs of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Shafi Muhammad Jamote and Ms Sorath Thebo, and senior leaders of PML-N including party’s Sindh secretary general Saleem Zia accompanied President Mamnoon after receiving him. The president arrived in a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) helicopter which landed near the mausoleum. A smartly dressed contingent of armed forces welcomed the president.