ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid on Monday accepted the challenge given by Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf leader Asad Omar regarding live debate on national electronic media on the issue of formation of judicial commission to probe alleged rigging in general election of 2013.
Talking to media persons after attending a conference organized by Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) here, he welcomed the PTI leader’s offer and said that PTI should nominate its participant or participants, and PML-N would nominate similar number of participants for the debate.
He said that as Information Minister he would ensure live coverage of the debate on national media.
He said that as PTI leadership has given offer for the debate, he was ready to assist party’s Information Secretary Shireen Mazari in making arrangements for the debate.
The PTI should decide when, where and on which TV channels live debate should be covered and he would work as assistant to Shireen Mazari.
He hoped that Asad Omar and PTI leadership would respond positively to his offer as this was true democratic attitude to have debate on issues, whether that may be held in Parliament or on media channels.
He said after the debate, the matter should be left to the people to decide whether PTI’s stance was right or the government viewpoint on judicial commission was rational.
To a question about Imran Khan’s statement about more protests, he said that comment on such statements could be made after the live debate.
He said that present crises being faced by the country were result of faulty policies of past governments and the present regime under the sagacious leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has formed consensus policy to eliminate terrorism from the soil of Pakistan.
He said that the government knows how to tackle the crisis and in the past it also faced challenges and all crises would be overcome and by the time of next general election, Pakistan would be free from all types of crisis.
Earlier addressing the participants of the conference he said that the French Magazine by publishing blasphemous material has not only hurt the sentiments of the Muslim Ummah but followers of other religions also openly condemned the magazine for damaging the inter-faith harmony in the world.
He said life of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) was a beacon of light for all the Muslims and during his life time, he never became angry about the persons who misbehaved with the Holy Prophet (SAW).
He said that the Holy Prophet not only went to inquire the health of the old woman who used to throw garbage on him, but also set an example by helping her during illness.
Pervaiz Rashid said that as followers of Islam, we should also follow the path of the Holy Prophet (SAW), and adopt a method of protest which should reflect the teachings of Islam.
The message of Holy Prophet was for followers of all religions including Christians, Sikhs, Hindus etc and he taught that all past prophets were sent by Allah Almighty, he added.
The minister said that Muslims not only demand that nobody should be allowed to do blasphemy against our Holy Prophet (SAW) but we are against anything sacrilegious against any religion. He said that if we adopt such stance followers of all other religions would support our stance.
He said in France tens of thousands of newspapers, magazines and books are published and except for a few like Charlie Hebdo, majority of them do not publish such sacrilegious material.
In Europe and France itself, several books have been published about the life and teachings of the Holy Prophet (SAW) and those converting to Islam have been reading those books published in English, French and other European languages.
He cited the example of conquest of Makkah Mukkarma when the Holy Prophet declared the home of his worst enemy as Darul Aman, though it was very easy to behead him, but he was pardoned.
The statement of the Pope, he said, was worth appreciation and we are thankful to him, but the Pakistan Ulema Council should meet the Vatican City’s representative in Pakistan and also send a request for meeting the Pope himself.
He said that people from other faiths should also be included in the delegation to visit Vatican City and convince the Pope to join hands against elements hurting religious sentiments of various faiths.
Pervaiz Rashid said united alliance against such elements was also necessary to avoid clash among various religious faiths and we should take lead in uniting the people of all faiths and make the world cradle of peace and tranquillity where followers of all faiths can live peacefully.
He assured that the government of Pakistan was ready to cooperate with PUC to reach the destination of a world free from blasphemy of any faith, and nobody should have the audacity to indulge in any such obnoxious activity in future.