ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid has assured that appointments on the posts of Chief of Army Staff and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee will be made in accordance with the constitutional framework. He said the post of Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee is not vacant, adding that Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani was serving as acting CJCSC .He said making appointments on the key posts is the prerogative of prime minister, adding that the appointments would be made on these posts within 30 days prescribed time. He said the operation in Karachi was yielding positive results, adding that the operation would be continued till the restoration of peace in the city.
He said that whole nation is united on the matter of terrorism and government was bound to act according to the recommendations of the APC. He said that the Election Commission did not provide prescribed ink to staff of the commission during 11 May polls due to which the verification of votes through thumb impression was impossible, adding that due to this reason the whole process of polls could not be declared bogus.
Responding to the queries of media persons in Islamabad regarding the appointment of new military leadership, he said the post of Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee will be filled within thirty days as per the constitutional requirement.
When asked about talks with Taliban, the Information Minister pointed out that country is facing the curse of terrorism for the last fifteen or sixteen years, regretting the previous last governments did not make any serious effort to tackle this issue. It is for the first time that the present elected government has made a serious effort with consensus to resolve this issue. He said that the government was bound to follow the recommendations of the all parties’ conference, adding that the federal government has no differences with the Khayber Pakhtoonkhawa government. He Parvez khattak and Imran Khan were also present in the APC. He said that the whole nation is united on the issue of terrorism. He said it was necessary for the success of the dialogue process that the media should not hold debate on the dialogue process, adding that government will inform media about the outcome of the dialogue process.
Responding to a question, Pervaiz Rashid said the government is alive to the challenges and taking difficult decisions to steer the country out of these problems. We are neither resorting to political expediency nor turning back to the problems rather we are taking practical decisions to put things in order, he said. He said we have won seats in Gilgit Baltistan and the by-elections. We accept the mandate and opinion of the people and defeat on one seat of provincial assembly should not be misconstrued as if the people have given verdict against the government, he said.
About Karachi situation, the Information Minister said the situation is improving in the provincial capital and it will further improve in the days to come. He said that the law enforcement agencies will continue operation in Karachi until and unless it becomes peaceful city as big cities of the world are peaceful. He said it was the responsibility of the government to overcome crimes in country. He said federal government is providing every possible assistance to the provincial government in controlling the crimes, adding that the operation is in progress under the leadership of provincial government. He said that there is not caste of criminals they are only criminals.
Replying a question he said that the consultations regarding the chairman NAB appointment were underway, adding that it was nowhere written that the matter of appointment would be settled in five meetings between prime minister and opposition leader.
Earlier, addressing the meeting of Coalition on Safety of Journalist issues, Pervaiz Rashid said right to information bill has been prepared which will soon be presented before the Senate for approval.
He said there is consensus in the parliament on the issue of freedom of expression and right to information. He said the government believes in the freedom of media for further strengthening of democratic institutions.
He said we consider media as a watch dog of the interests of the society and is not afraid of its criticism. He said the security situation is not conducive for the journalists but the government on its part will take all possible steps for the protection and security of the journalists. He said it is the top priority of the government to resolve the issues faced by the journalists.
The Minister also called upon the media outlets to come up with a charter on the safety of journalists.
Speaking on the occasion, Director of United Nations Information Center Vittorio Cammarota said the world body has approved a plan of action for journalists which is aimed at providing safe environment to the working journalists.