LAHORE, Nov 30 (APP): Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan Wednesday said PPP government was taking all possible steps and supporting those initiatives that guarantee sovereignty, integrity and protection national interests. In a media briefing at Press Information Department (PID) Regional Office here, she said Pakistan People’s Party, after coming into power, had always strengthened the country’s institutions, instead of personalities.
“Today Pakistan direly needed
implementation of the vision and roadmap, given by Shaheed Zulfikar Ali
Bhutto, who sacrifised his life for dignity and sovereignty of the
motherland,” she added.
The Minister said President Asif
Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani were following the
footprints of their great leaders Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Mohtarma
Benazir Bhutto Shaheed.
She said it was evident from the
fact that recent Federal Cabinet meeting took the bold decision of not
attending the Bonn Conference, terming NATO’s action as attack on
Pakistan’s sovereignty and integrity.
“Our top priority is protection of
national institutions and interests, while upkeeping the sentiments and
wishes of the masses,” she added.
To question about the US response
to Pakistan’s viewpoint on NATO attacks, she said, “Our responsibility
is to plead Pakistan’s stance on the subject and to protect our national
All aspects would become clear
after the joint investigation and the Foreign Office would then inform
the media in this regard, she added.
To a question about Hamid Karazai’s
phone call to Prime Minister, she said Afgan President had appreciated
Pakistan for facilitating the Afghan team investigating the
assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani.
The Afghan President, she added,
also wished that Pakistan participated in the Bonn moot, however, the
Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani made it clear that nothing was supreme
than Pakistan’s national interest, sovereignty and integrity.
She said decision of not attending
Bonn Coference demonstrated that the government, Armed Forces, national
institutions and the people were on the same page.
Responding to a query, the Federal
Information Minister said that “you (mediamen) better know which
government had leased Shamsi airbase to the UAE in 1992,” adding, the
present government did not take such decision and step.
The PPP government had given
notices to the concerned quarters for vacation of the airbase, in order
to ensure national integrity and sovereignty.
Federal Information Minister Dr.
Firdous Ashiq Awan said that now the things were not that easy as were
in the past, but the previous regime, bowed down on a single telephone
call regarding war on terror.
She said the present democratic
government had active support of the people and it took decisions
keeping in view the aspirations of masses and country’s interests.
The international community, she
said, had now realised that Pakistan suffered a lot and rendered huge
sacrifices in the war on terror.
She pointed out that the
commitments, even the lip service made with Pakistan, were not
fulfilled, while trillions of rupees’ foreign investment could not reach
Pakistan besides other financial losses.
To another question, she said,
bilateral alliance was always based on mutual interest and respect, and
one-sided interest/action could not be termed as an alliance but an
engagement, in which they may threat or dictate.
This was negation of Pakistan’s
interests through unilateral action, and securities agencies and
institutions could not bear such breach of trust any more, she said.
“This is the saturation point,” she added.
Dr. Firdous Ashiq said Pakistan wanted to maintain relations with other countires on equal basis.
To another question, she said,
Pakistan government would hold dialogue with those Taliban and
militants, who surrender their weapons and follow the country’s
She said the Prime Minister had
given three-D initiative - (Dialogue, Development and Deterrence) to
counter with this challenge.
To another question, Dr. Firdous
said today media in Pakistan was enjoying freedom as a fourth pillar of
the democratic setup following the efforts of the PPP founding leader
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, for which they ought to be paid
The present PPP government was also playing an effective role in further strengthening a free media, she added.
She called upon the media to play
its effective role in Pakistan’s image-building in the comity of
antions and to eliminate terrorism.
The Minsiter said the people
criticising the President were totally ignorant that after the 18th
Amendment, the power of Command and Control Authority of Pakisatn
nuclear programme had been transferred to the Prime Minister.
These people were discussing sensitive matters in the public meetings for nothing but to have cheap political gains, she added.
Federal Information Minister said PPP has postponed its Foundation Day celebrations due to Ashura.
The Minister directed the PID
authorities to make arragnements for facilitation of the media, as the
government wanted to channelise the efforts for Pakistan’s image
building through PID.