ISLAMABAD - Responding to PML-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharifs open letter, President Asif Ali Zardari has offered the major opposition party a share in decision-making on key issues confronting the nation including the Reform General Sales Tax. According to Presidential Spokesman Farhatullah, the President has once again extended hand of friendship to Nawaz Sharif and invited him to nominate senior party representatives to jointly take difficult decisions required to take our country forward. The presidential invitation has been extended in a letter addressed to the former prime minister in response to his letter of November 10 in which he had raised some issues and raised his concerns, Babar added. According to the Spokesman, this was just an acknowledgement as the President promised to send a detailed reply soon. The formal reply was delivered to Mian Nawaz Sharif at his residence in Raiwind, he added. The President in his letter also sought cooperation of the PML-N in the GST Bill 2010 reminding him that his partys nominee Ishaq Dar, former finance minister, along with all the Senators of all major political parties had unanimously recommended the RGST law with some 15 amendments. The Senate adopted those recommendations along with the Bill, and referred it to the National Assembly. We also hoped for your support in the National Assembly for the passage of this important reform measure, Babar quoted from the letter. A copy of the letter was also sent to the Prime Minister. Taking note of the PML-N leaders concerns about the Ehtisab (Accountability) Bill the President recalled the history of how the proposed bill passed through successive stages of legislative process before the PML-N protested that their amendments had not been fully incorporated in it. In this backdrop, the Chairperson of the Standing Committee has decided to reconsider the Bill and to deliberate upon the outstanding issues arising out of the dissenting note of the PML-N members, the President assured Mian Nawaz Sharif. Pointing out the need for the restructuring of the public sector enterprises (PSEs) for pursuing the economic reforms agenda the President sought Sharifs support saying, We will be grateful if your party facilitates the government in its restructuring plans for these entities, and extends support to our policy to promote public private partnership to protect Pakistans national interests. I am happy to note that you support the reform of Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) mentioned by the Finance Minister in his budget speech, the President said, adding, A Cabinet Committee on Restructuring of PSEs has already been formed and a comprehensive plan for restructuring of the power sector companies has been launched with the aim of bringing private sector into the management of the distribution companies. He said that the restructuring of the power sector companies would bring a saving in excess of Rs 250 billion in the financial year 2011-12. Outlining the plans for restructuring of the PSEs thus, A restructuring plan of Pakistan Railways has also been approved and work initiated to convert Pakistan Railways over a period of 3-4 years into a profitable organisation. Business plans are under preparation for all other loss making PSEs like Pakistan Steel Mills, Pakistan International Airlines, Trading Corporation of Pakistan and Utility Stores Corporation, with a time frame of 4-6 months for implementation, the President asked for the cooperation of the PML-N in pursuing the economic reforms agenda through the restructuring plan. Defending the policy of not giving indiscriminate subsidies the President said, A subsidy can only lead to the fiscal indiscipline that Ishaq Dar referred to as finance minister, and will contribute to inflation indirectly by increasing the fiscal deficit. The President shared the concerns expressed by Sharif over the increase in petroleum and electricity prices and urged the former prime minister to appreciate that POL prices in Pakistan are linked directly to international market prices, and are free of the government interference. President Zardari also dwelt on the genesis of the current power crisis to draw home the point the criticality of continuity in economic polices, the Spokesperson said. In my view the seeds of Pakistans current energy deficit were sown by the reversal of power policy in the aftermath of the end of BB Shaheeds second term in office (in 1996), the President wrote. According to the President, as a result of this policy 5,653 MW were added to the national grid in a record span of three years by allowing a uniform rate of US 6.5 cents per KW to the IPPs for a locked period of 20 years as compared to US 18 cents per KW nowadays. The failure of successive governments after the dismissal of ours to attract investment in this sector has created a supply shortage that will take time to clear. Today, unfortunately, there is no magic wand that can be waved to restore investors confidence and remove the deficit of 15 years, overnight. Had the democratic process been allowed to complete its natural course, Pakistan would have certainly been a beneficiary today, he said. Farhatullah Babar said that the President did not say explicitly that some elements may have been wishing to see the politicians divided and squabbling but borrowed a quotation from German poet philosopher Goethe to warn against 'divide and rule and calling for unity. Thanking Mian Nawaz Sharif for his letter of November 10 and saying that Pakistans major political parties were today saddled with a great burden of responsibility that forced them to work together and act as statesmen the Presidents letter opened with Goethes quotation, Divide and rule, the politician cries; unite and lead is watchword of the wise.