ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid has ruled out any link between the visit of Saudi foreign minister and Pervez Musharraf’s high treason case.
Rashid said that Saudi Arabia will invest in energy sector of Pakistan. The information minister said that Pakistan is no more an isolated country, as the international community now considers it as part of the solution, and not the problem. Talking to newsmen after attending the launching ceremony of book “Biting the Sliver Bullet” by Rana Athar Javed, he said after six long years a Saudi dignitary had come to Pakistan. “Saudi Arabia is our benefactor and it has always stood by us in difficult times. Now when Pakistan has been facing an energy crisis, Riyadh has come forward to help us,” he added.
Rashid said that in the past our region witnessed confrontation, but times have changed and an era of cooperation has begun. “There were times when New Delhi used to attach preconditions for talks with Islamabad, but now they have come to the negotiating table.” The minister said now the international powers and the regional countries all think on the same lines to end confrontation in the region, which is a good omen, he added. Replying to a question, he said the Saudi foreign minister had categorically stated that the trial of Musharraf was Pakistan’s internal matter.
On the statement of MQM’s Altaf Hussain regarding a separate province for the Mohajirs, Pervaiz Rashid said the government believed in the supremacy of constitution and it was up to the people of Sindh to reject or accept such calls. He said the Pakistan Muslim League-N government would soon form consultative bodies having representation from both private and public sector to bring reforms in agricultural and industrial sectors.
He said the issue of local government elections was sub judice and there was need to implement the court’s directives before holding the local government elections. The minister said Pakistan supported an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led solution of the Afghanistan conflict. Pakistan had suffered badly in the Afghan war and the international community should recognise its sacrifices, he added. Rashid said for over a decade Pakistan had been a key US ally. Pakistan had lost more soldiers than the total number of combined US and NATO casualties in the past 12 years in Afghanistan, he noted.
Like Afghanistan, he said, the ordinary civilians in Pakistan had borne the brunt of the conflict and there has been a massive displacement of its tribal population from the Afghan bordering areas. The minister said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan should keep in mind that rigging allegations against his party’s candidate from Abbottabad had proved correct. The minister, in a statement, said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman who was making hue and cry about “NRO 3” about Pervez Musharraf, had been a supporter of the dictator at the time of the so-called referendum in his era. He said that instead of criticising good work being done by the Punjab government, Imran Khan and his party should focus on improving their government’s performance in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
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