ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid said on Saturday killing of innocent people in terrorist incidents was beyond reason and such attacks should be condemned by everybody.
Talking to a private news channel, he said terrorism was an issue for all Pakistanis and not just for media as even today educational institutions and places of religious worship were not safe.
The minister said the attack on the staff of a television channel in which three people were killed was a tragic incident.
These people were performing their professional duties and were not among those who are policymakers or responsible for drone attacks in Pakistan, he added.
He said, “Media men lead their lives peacefully, covering events like earthquakes and conveying information to people.”
The minister said it was responsibility of the government to protect people and the prime minister had instructed him and the interior minister to hold meetings with representatives media organisations to discuss ways and means to protect journalists.
He said attacks like these had never occurred in Pakistan and journalists in the past had complained that they were not allowed to work freely. There were some restrictions then, but now the country had a free and independent media and there were no more complaints.
“Now the Pakistani society and journalists are facing another kind of threat i.e. terrorism and we have to see how to make Pakistan a safe country,” he added.
The minister said the issue of terrorism was inherited by the government as this problem had been continuing for a long period. The government has been doing its best to tackle the problem, he added.
He appealed to the perpetrators of attacks to spare journalists, schools and places of worship. He said that dealing with terrorism was the top priority of government.
“We have to take the nation along on the issue. There has been a consensus among political parties for holding dialogue. The option of talks is not exhausted and efforts continue in this direction,” the minister said.
Even the government was criticised for not having successful talks, he said.
“We will request Imran Khan and Munawar Hassan to convince these people to stop playing with the lives of those, who have nothing to do with this matter.”
These leaders too should ask the terrorists what was the fault of innocent people killed in attacks, he added.
He mentioned that due to steps of the government, many terrorists had been arrested, huge amount of explosives recovered and laws further strengthened to prosecute those elements.
The minister underlined the need for unity against terrorism and said the nation and media were determined to stand up against the menace.
“This is a war between those who want chaos and those who want peace,” he said.
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