President Asif Ali Zardari has called for adopting a holistic approach and prudent financial policies to put the country on the path of development.

Adressing the Professor Waris Mir Memorial Seminar in Lahore on Tuesday, the President said that different sectors of the economy, especially the agricultural sector, needed to be developed along modern lines. He added that the government was planning to tax agricultural income as per the International Monetary Fund’s conditions, however, the provincial governments would be leading the initiative to tax large land-holding farmers in accordance with their profitability and expenditures.

A large number of journalists, academicians, political workers, and members of the civil society attended the event. Speaking on the occasion, the President highlighted that the media had given power to the people by amplifying their voices, however, recent years had also witnessed a grouping in the media.

He cautioned that a strong religious lobby in the world was manipulating and managing perceptions aiming to sow divisions in Muslim societies. He said that he was a supporter of the freedom of press and had always tolerated harsh criticism from the media. He said that societies needed to be careful against agenda-driven information.

The President highlighted that one had to face trials and tribulations in life, however, one needed to stay steadfast in the face of challenges. He paid rich tribute to the political struggle and sacrifices of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed for democracy, saying that Pakistan People’s Party had a history of facing pressures and assassinations, however, continued its struggle for the cause of democracy in Pakistan. He said that assassination attempts and political pressures could not deter us from our mission as we firmly believed that life and death were in Allah’s hands. The President also paid rich tribute to the services and contributions of Late Professor Waris Mir towards democracy and journalism.

He also appreciated Faisal Mir and Hamid Mir for taking forward the legacy of their father. Senior Journalist Hamid Mir, while speaking on the occasion, called for putting an end to the culture of political victimization and upholding the 1973 Constitution in its true spirit.

Senior Journalist Sohail Warraich paid tribute to the services of the late Professor Waris Mir for journalism and democracy. Appreciating the political wisdom and the reconciliatory role of the President, he said that the country was in dire need of political reconciliation and the President could play an instrumental role in addressing the political and economic issues faced by the country.