‘Govt committed to protecting human rights’

* Minister reiterates govt’s commitment to dialogue process with the TTP

ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid said on Thursday that the government was committed to rule of law and protecting human and minorities’ rights in Pakistan.
“The government is reviving the economy of the state by showing zero tolerance to corruption and ensuring transparency and fairness at all levels,” the minister told a delegation of Germany’s Lower House of Parliament (Bundestag), which was headed by Norbert Lammert, its president. He urged the delegation to take advantage of the investment opportunities in Pakistan, especially in energy, infrastructure and agriculture sector.
He said that Pakistan was a functioning democracy where media enjoys freedom, civil society plays its dynamic role and judiciary performs its functions independently. “We have a parliamentary democracy where executive authority is monitored by a vigilant opposition,” the minister added. Pervaiz Rashid said Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with Germany as both share the common values of democracy and plurality. He said that the government was working for the welfare of the people and was focusing on priority areas of economy, energy and education.
The information minister informed the delegation that after the passage of the 18th Amendment, most of the departments related to human rights are now devolved to the provinces for better implementation and coordination, however, legislative matters are to be dealt at the federal level. He assured the delegation that the government would make every effort to safeguard the rights of religious and ethnic minorities in Pakistan. Rashid reiterated government’s commitment to the ongoing dialogue process with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. 
He said that the government believes in consensus and all democratic forces in parliament are supporting the process of negotiations with the Taliban. The minister emphasised on the need for regular parliamentary exchanges between Pakistan and Germany, saying it would help in further promote bilateral ties between the two countries. Dr Norbert Lammert agreed with the information minister regarding the idea of regular parliamentary exchanges, noting that this would make the bilateral relations between the two countries more cordial. He also hoped for the success of government’s peace dialogue with the Taliban and hoped that democracy flourishes in Pakistan. The delegation included MPs Niels Annen, Marieluise Beck and Dr Hans-Peter Uhl, and Ambassador Dr Michael Koch.

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