President office is political but actions are neutral: Kaira

LAHORE: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira on Saturday said office of the president is political by all standards but its actions are neutral and impartial.
“The President, National Assembly and Senate are part of parliament and parliament owes its existence to a political process,” he said.
Talking to senior journalists, during a meeting at the Governor House, Kaira said how could a president be asked not to be political when he was elected through a transparent political process.
The Information Minister said politics was a noble cause, but it had become a fashion to use it in negative sense due to long dictatorial regimes. He called for an end to this practice of maligning politics and political personalities.
To a query, he said the recent court decision had vindicated PPP’s stance that agencies were used against it to rig elections in the past.
Expressing utter surprise on the PML-N spokesperson’s recent statement, Kaira said the PPP never raised finger against anyone, despite the fact that PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif was suspected of being hand in glove with the agencies.
“Statements by the PML-N has preempted this process but it cannot change political perspective”, he responded.
The minister said Tehreek-e-Istaqlal leader Asghar Khan was a party in the case, but one thing was evidently clear that some political parties were the product of agencies and had been doing politics with their help.
About the court decision, he said the verdict was just an initial reflection of the misuse of the government machinery for election rigging.
The federal information minister said FIA would investigate the politicians who received money as directed by the Supreme Court. He assured that the investigation process would be fair and free.
The information minister said the PPP would contest the next general elections under the slogan of consolidating country’s economy, boosting Pakistan’s image internationally and ridding the country of the structural problems.
Counting the government’s achievements, Kaira said the PPP-led government had given 150 percent pay raise in salaries of the government servants, raised the tax-net of the country from mere Rs. 800 billion to Rs. 2,000 billion, purified the Constitution of ambiguities and restored it to its original form and awarded Rs. 900 billion to the provinces under the NFC.
The information minister said the PPP would bag success in the next general elections through its people-friendly initiatives, urging senior journalists to play their role in this regard.
To another query, Kaira reiterated the PPP government’s stance to continue politics of reconciliation, adding that the PPP was criticized for its reconciliation policy but it was trying to get rid of bitterness of the past. He said there was no political prisoner in the country during the PPP’s four and a half years rule.
Regarding Kalabagh Dam, he said it was only possible after consensus among the four provinces, adding that other dam projects, including Bhasha-Diamir, Neelum-Jhelem and Dashu, could be started to meet the energy needs of the country.
“If political parties with two-thirds majority in parliament and the dictators could not start the Kalabagh Dam, how could the PPP-led coalition government do it without consensus,” he added.
About the North Waziristan Operation, the minister said operations were not solution to all issues, urging the need to change the mindset to overcome security situation in various areas.
Kaira said the PPP government improved the security situation in the country, gave ownership to the Pakistan Army’s war against terrorism and made the people stand by the armed forces.
On a question about medal of democracy, Kaira said the award was not bestowed on an individual but awarded to the then military chief.-APP

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