KARACHI – Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has warned against wrapping up the democratic system at the fag end of government’s five-year term, saying those who are trying to impede the path of elections, will have to face the public fury.

Addressing a meeting of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) in Karachi Saturday, the prime minister said that democracy was taking roots in the country after lots of sacrifices and no one would be allowed to impede its path.

He said that the general elections would be held on time in a free, fair and transparent manner as enshrined in the Constitution. “We are moving towards a democratic transition by holding elections and it is the resolve of the government to set the best example by performing the job peacefully.

Holding elections is the responsibility reposed in the government by the people and it is committed to follow the constitutional procedure in this regard, he added.

The prime minister said that democracy was getting mature and for the first time a civilian government was completing its five-year constitutional term. This will further strengthen the parliamentary system in the country, he added.

He said the coalition government believed in consensus and it had taken into confidence its partners on various issues in the best national interest. The premier asserted that consultation among various stakeholders before taking final decision was always good and beneficial to everyone.

He said that only a strong democratic government could resolve law and order situation.

He advised the businessmen should also form consensus while dealing with matters of mutual interest, taking on board all stakeholders before drawing any conclusion.

He said that individual decisions would neither serve anybody’s purpose nor in the favour of the country.

PM Raja said that instead of shifting responsibilities to others, ‘we should play our roles in best capacity to achieve collective goals.’

He lauded the Karachiites for paying highest taxes, adding that taxpaying culture should be spread across the country.

He said: “It is the duty of every citizen, whatever he does, to create a prosperous atmosphere in the country so we could excel in all realms of life.”

He said the people of Pakistan are key to a peaceful, democratic and sovereign parliament.

The prime minister said the traders and industrialists of Karachi are role model and trend setters of the country and ‘we are proud of our noble citizens’.

He said that there were hundreds of TV channels in the country airing contents of their choice and the government was facing their criticism with patience. He said ‘we have independent judiciary’.

If any businessman has left the country, he would come back because Pakistan is our country and the prosperity of our businessmen is tantamount to the prosperity of our nation, he said, adding, ‘we have to make our system more supportive and facilitating for investors.

The prime minister said that the major setbacks to the country were terrorism and the energy crisis but the government would overcome these challenges with people’s support.