No demand from army for resignation of ministers

* Pervaiz Rashid says ‘jobless remnants of dictatorship’ are spreading rumours to create gulf between army and govt * Army functioning within ambit of constitution

ISLAMABAD: The speculations about a rift between the civilian government and the army appeared unending when Federal Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Minister Pervaiz Rasheed on Friday rejected anything of this sort between the two.
“It is handiwork of certain forces who want to create a gulf between them, and malign the state institutions to achieve their nefarious designs,” the minister told newsmen after opening a 10-day annual folk festival, explicitly declaring that the army was functioning within its constitutional ambit. 
Rasheed, however, refuted the reports that the military had sought resignation of any Cabinet member. 
At present, two federal ministers – Khawaja Asif and Khawaja Saad Rafique – are in the limelight, as their bashing of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf is believed to have caused uneasiness within the army ranks. That is what has been transpired from the statement of Army Chief General Raheel Sharif in the recent days. 
But a soft-spoken Rasheed said the army was engaged in the country’s defence, so any misadventure on part of this institution was out of question. Instead, he insisted that those who had been rendered unemployed after the end of the era of dictatorial regimes were spreading rumours to create differences between the government and the military. “They should look for some other work as they could no longer benefit from their rumour-mongering”, he remarked. 
Rasheed also paid tribute to the armed forces for making sacrifices for the homeland, saying the nation was proud of their sacrifices and that no patriotic force could point finger at them. He also noted that the armed forces were performing duties in very tough and difficult conditions just to protect the frontiers. 
Responding to a media query about Pervez Musharraf, the minister said the matter was in the court and the government would accept whatever verdict it delivered. 
Speaking about the state of economy, the minister said the country’s economy had strengthened due to positive policies of the government which, according to him, was evident from the upward trend in the stock market as well as strengthening of rupee against dollar. “The government is also committed to eliminating energy crisis and inflation,” he added.
In reply to another question about power theft in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Rasheed said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan himself was against this practice because he had launched the justice movement in the province. He remarked that bitter pills had to be swallowed for betterment, saying now electricity would only be provided to those paying their bills. 
Commenting on the folk event, the minister said it proved that now the bad news was decreasing and good news was starting to surface. “The holding of folk events is a testimony that terrorism incidents are on the declining end.” 
He also invited the citizens to come and visit the stalls at the event that was the reflection of the folk culture of the country.
Earlier, the minister inaugurated the Folk Festival at Lok Virsa, and a painting exhibition being organised by the Film and Publication Directorate at Lok Virsa Museum.

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