Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, the head of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), on Friday agreed that militancy posed the most serious threat to national security and that a holistic approach was needed to address the issue.
The two leaders met in a rare meeting in Punjab capital of Lahore for the first time in eight months and agreed that the militants should not be allowed to impose their agenda on the people through guns and bullets, according to a joint statement.
They were of the opinion that the problems faced by the country were too stupendous to be resolved by any one political party or state institutions and required the collective efforts of all political forces and parties.
The two parties, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and the PML-N, reiterated that dialogue and discussions were the essence of the democratic process and that the doors to meaningful and result oriented dialogue should always remain open.
They reiterated to remove from the Constitution those undemocratic clauses that had been inserted into it by successive dictatorships without reference to the will the people.
They expressed the hope that the parliamentary committee set up to review the constitution will complete its task in the shortest possible time and propose suitable amendments in it.
The two parties expressed the view that the situation in southwestern Balochistan needed to be addressed urgently and seriously. Political dialogue and development of the province should be pressed into service to remove the sense of alienation of the people of the province.
They expressed the view that the parliament should play a more proactive role in visibly meeting the aspirations of the people of Balochistan.
They also agreed that more of such contacts and meetings will help push forward the process of democratization of the constitution and to find solutions to the problems faced by the country particularly national security, economic and energy crisis, price hike and unemployment compounded by the military dictatorship.