Pakistan awaiting strong government, envoy says

Pakistan's ambassador in Ankara said he is hopeful May elections will yield a strong government with better relations with neighbours

Pakistan awaiting strong government, envoy says

Pakistan's Ambassador to Turkey Muhammad Haroon Shaukat said Thursday Pakistan would have a strong government with better relations with its neighbours following a tough parliamentary election held earlier this month.      

Speaking at a panel discussion held at Ankara-based think tank Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), Shaukat presented a report on May 11 elections and the country's politics.      

"We live in such a compelling region. As you know, external powers have strategic interests in the region and the war in Afghanistan and problems between India and Pakistan brought terror, violence and radicalism to our country. All of those caused a bad reputation to Pakistan unfortunately and the western media had a great role in this," he said.      

He called Pakistan's recent general elections as "a milestone" in the country's history.      

"People in Pakistan made their decision openly and clearly this time. Democracy in Pakistan strengthened. With our newly elected Prime Minister Navaz Sharif, we expect a strong government. I hope that with the leadership of Sharif, Turkey and Pakistani relations will get stronger and brighter," he said.      

Turkish scholar and the author of the report, "A Guide to Understand Pakistani Politics," Salim Cevik said the report widely covered Pakistan's national, regional and religious parties and actors as well as the sectarian violence among Sunnis and Shiites, and the Taliban in Pakistan.      

Cevik said the three-decade-old war in Afghanistan left Pakistan with the Taliban issue and violence.      

"Violence based on sectarian tensions is not rooted in Pakistan and it is completely alien to the Pakistani history and culture. Violence and tensions in this geography have been misportrayed," Cevik said.      

Cevik said May 11 elections were a historic turning point for Pakistan as turnout was 60 percent.      

"Some regions in the country did not expect such high turnout. People queued up and waited for about six hours in order to vote despite the threats of Taliban. Prior to the Pakistani elections, Taliban handed out flyers to the public which included threat messages to prevent Pakistani citizens from voting," he said.      

Leader of Pakistan's Muslim League-N, Navaz Sharif, a former prime minister overthrown in a military coup in 1999, won May 11 elections.      

"For the first time, Pakistan's civilian government has successfully completed its five-year term. Both the completion of a ruling government's full term and these successful elections are important events for Pakistan in terms of democracy and positive improvements," Cevik said.      

Cevik said Sharif's election campaign promise to fix the country's economic problems was the main drive for voters to pick him.      

"This point of view will show itself in Pakistan's foreign affairs and the new government to be formed will take a stride forward to improve relations with India," Cevik said.      

Cevik also said Pakistan's economy was in need of a permanent solution which he said can only be solved if tax evasion is controlled and the rich are made to pay due tax.      

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Last Mod: 23 Mayıs 2013, 17:18
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