LAHORE: Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid has said the country has achieved the current progress because of harmony among political forces and state institutions.
Addressing Meet the Press programme here at the Lahore Press Club held under the aegis of Punjab Assembly Press Gallery Saturday, he said all foreign visits undertaken by the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) were as per the government policy.
The COAS foreign visit after that of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was to further advance the government’s point of view on military matters and get it implemented from his other counterpart, he said while answering a question.
To another query, Pervaiz Rashid said after general election 2013, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had allowed Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) to form government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa although the latter did not enjoy majority in the provincial assembly.
Similarly nationalists were asked to lead government in Balochistan, he said adding all that was the outcome of harmony among the political leadership and the heads of national institutions had also played their due part in that regard.
Today’s Pakistan was far safer and peaceful than that of 2013 because political harmony and maturity helped take better decisions (in national interest), he added.
Replying to a question, the minister said the ruling Indian party had been rightly punished by the masses for its intolerance and narrow-mindedness as Prime Minister Modi was booed by Indian crowds during his all foreign visits.
About cricketing ties with India, he said Pakistan wanted to play a cricket series against that country, but it was not possible unless the hatred wave there subsided and it was recognised internationally that the rising intolerance had been controlled.
About the PTI, Pervaiz Rashid said rigging allegations by the party leadership had died their natural death though its leadership was least willing to abandon the tendency. Similar result patterns in the recently held by-elections, Judicial Commission’s verdict and the Local Government (LG) polls had proved beyond any doubt that the general election 2013 were fair and transparent.
The PTI, he said, had been left no option but to give up its rigging mantra. The politics of allegations had adversely affected the PTI’s popularity, he added.
To a query about Karachi, the minister said the operation in the mega city would continue at all costs till the elimination of last criminal as assured by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. “No one would be allowed to use politics as a shield against crime.”
Condemning the attack against a private TV channel in Faisalabad, he said the culprits would be apprehended and brought to justice. The government, he added, would take steps for the security of other institutions as well.
The minister said the attackers of the national security institutions and the media houses represented the same mindset. The fourth pillar of state would be defended and supported by the government.
He said the Zarb-e-Azb operation was continuing to eliminate terrorism from the country.
Regarding the implementation of the Wage Board Award for journalists, Pervaiz Rashid said talks with newspaper owners were in the final stage. The government, he added, had alternate plans if the discussions remained inconclusive.
Lahore Press Club Secretary Afzal Talib presented a bouquet and a souvenior to the Information Minister.