Lahore, Dec 15: Former premier Nawaz Sharif, while announcing the election manifesto of his party, has said that every effort would be made to resolve the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, in accordance with the provisions of relevant UN resolutions. He further said that the Kashmir issue would be solved in consonance with the aspirations of the people of the territory for their inherent right of self-determination.
The foreign policy will be reoriented in such a manner that there is greater commercial and economic content in our ties with friendly powers, he added. Sharif, invited PPP Chairperson Benazir Bhutto and JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman to ink a joint pact making a pledge that none of them would give protection to unconstitutional steps of President Pervez Musharraf at any cost.
He said that Pakistan today stood at a crossroads. "The beginning of the 21st century marks a new landmark in the history of human civilisation. If we act together, a new history can be written. It is time to look forward and harness the nation"s positive energies," he said.
Sharif said his party would seek national reconciliation, dialogue as well as consensus on the future agenda for Pakistan.
The party believed that besides politicians, the judiciary, the bureaucracy, businessmen, media, professionals, ulema, farmers, workers, youth, women and civil society were the stakeholders of Pakistan"s future, he added.
Sharif claimed that frequent military interventions had done a colossal damage to the integrity and solidarity of the country.
As a consequence, Pakistan had failed to achieve political stability, sustained economic growth and a clear sense of national solidarity, he said.
"The three main pillars of a sustainable democratic order are: a sovereign parliament, an independent judiciary and an independent election commission. All the three institutions have been greatly weakened in the past eight years," Sharif maintained.
"In these eight years, the Army has been in control of almost all the vital economic sectors of the country and most important positions have now occupied by retired or serving Army officers," The Nation quoted Sharif, as saying.
He strongly denounced the draconian measures taken by Musharraf to curb democratic as well as Press freedom, saying that to justify the military takeover and forestall the emergence of strong political alternatives, the military regime had been vigorously pursuing a systematic campaign to malign politics and politicians.
Sharif said that Musharraf had totally failed to materialise any point of his seven-point agenda, which it announced in October 1999.
"There has been a sharp increase in prices, unemployment and poverty. Governance and law and order are at their worst in Pakistan"s history," he added.