LAHORE: Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid on Sunday said he loved the media, as a powerful and independent media was vital for democracy in the country.
Talking to the media after a function at the National College of Arts (NCA) here, the minister said Geo News was awarded punishment by Pemra for a mistake; it faced the punishment and paid the fine. Now the matter should come to an end and we should move forward, the minister added.
He promised that Geo News will appear on its original numbers on cable very soon. The government is taking legal steps for the purpose and the courts are also taking measures in this regard, he said.
The minister said the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) had never been, and it would never be, party to any move against the Constitution and the law.About the statement of former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani regarding a deal with Pervez Musharraf, the minister said PPP leaders were divided over the issue, while the former president himself had denied making any deal.
The minister said statements about a safe exit for Musharraf by the PPP leaders were contradictory. The PML-N had already made its stance clear and, therefore, the debate on the issue should come to an end now.
Pervaiz Rashid said terrorists had taken the people of Waziristan hostage in their houses for the last 13 to 14 years, but the government would not rest until these people were rehabilitated in their homes in an environment free from terrorism. The information minister said governments had always fulfilled the needs of the defence forces and the people had always offered sacrifices to make the country’s defence strong.
Regarding the situation in Gaza, he said whenever there had been any instance of brutality in any part of the world, the PML-N government had taken a principled stand on the issue. He said the Palestinian ambassador has appreciated Pakistan’s stance and thanked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for the moral support Pakistan has extended to the Palestinians.
To a question, he said India’s defence spending had never been conservative and this was not a special instance. He said the people of Pakistan are brave and the government has everything in perspective, therefore there is no need to worry.
About Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s threat that if the government tries to sabotage the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s August 14 rally it may create a situation similar to the Model Town Lahore tragedy, he said he was at loss to understand how Shah Mehmood could foresee the future and predict that the government was planning any such activity. He said such statements which incite and encourage mob violence should not be issued at all.
About the martyrdom of three Pakistani soldiers, including a Captain, by Afghan forces’ firing, he said the matter had been taken up with the Afghan authorities and there would be no compromise on such issues and they would be sorted out through proper political channels.
APP adds: Pervaiz Rashid said it was a great achievement of the PML-N government that it had got the power generation machinery installed in only seven months. That machinery had been rusting at ports for the past seven years due to the negligence of the previous governments. The plant would start production with full capacity shortly, he added.
He said the government would explore all possible avenues to get cheap electricity for the people, adding that electricity could be purchased from some Central Asian States to meet the country’s needs.
To another question, the minister said: “The armed forces have been doing the rescue work in North Waziristan and soon people would return to their homes safe and sound.” Pervaiz Rashid said it was unfortunate that some elements were talking of revolution and revolt at a time when the armed forces were engaged in a military operation to purge the country of terrorists in the North Waziristan.
“These people want to create hurdles to the ongoing military operation in North Waziristan through their so-called revolution propaganda,” the minister said.Earlier, the minister inaugurated a painting exhibition at the Zahoorul Akhlaq Gallery at the NCA.
Addressing students, the minister said educational institutions like the NCA should be promoted in the country as these institutions promote peace and love through their artwork in the hearts and minds of the people.
He urged the need to change the mindset of the future generations through the message of art and culture against violence. The minister also gave away certificates to students whose artworks had been displayed at the exhibition.