LAHORE - Rejecting the propaganda of international media regarding appointments in the armed forces, Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Pervaiz Rashid on Sunday said the decision in this regard would be taken by the prime minister at an appropriate time.
Responding to questions of reporters at the launching ceremony of a book by veteran journalist Saeed Aasi here at the Quaid-e-Azam Library, the minister said the international media had a penchant for spreading rumours about Pakistan. On the appointment of the National Accountability Bureau chairman, he said consultations between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Leader of the Opposition Syed Khurshid Shah were underway and the decision would be taken soon. The government had taken the political forces on board regarding the NAB chairman, he added. Answering a question, the information minister said the government had launched an operation against power thieves. He said ‘smart meters’ would be installed at all the grid stations in order to control power theft and their heads would be accountable for the electricity consumed as per record of the meters.
Earlier, speaking at the book-launching ceremony, the minister said the government was trying its best to overcome the energy crisis, strengthen infrastructure and make a peaceful and stable Pakistan despite the problems inherited from the previous regimes.
He said the raise in electricity prices was aimed at charging those who consumed over 700 units per month and it would not affect the consumers using up to 200 units. Had thermal power plants not been installed in 1996, electricity cost would not have been so high, he added. The minister said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government had initiated hydel projects like Neelum-Jhelum Hydel Project to produce cheap electricity. He alleged the Pakistan People’s Party government had closed its eyes to terrorism, power load-shedding and its cost.
Referring to the book’s title ‘Kab Raaj Karegi Khalq-e-Khuda’, Pervaiz Rashid said the recent elections in the country were a proof of the empowerment of the masses that elected their representatives through ballot. Pervaiz said Pakistan was created through the power of the masses. “Governments should come and go through vote as negation of this principle proves harmful for the country”, he observed. He said for the first time in the democratic history of the country the parliament and the government had completed their terms. He said the government formed with the power of gun created problems and the situation in Karachi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan was proof of it.
He said the recent general elections depicted accountability by the masses as a political party was rejected due to its mistakes. He said the rule of the masses had started and the same could be the fate of the present government if it failed to deliver and could not come up to their expectations. “What can be a more pertinent example of the rule of the people than the fact that the corrupt rulers would be sent packing by the voters in elections,” he added.
The minister said it was a prerequisite of democracy that governments should come and go through ballot, but this principle was mocked during the last 60 years as the country had to face dictatorial regimes. He said the PML-N government had been doing its best to get the country out of all the crises. It cut down government expenses by 30 percent soon after assuming the charge, he added.
The minister lauded the services of veteran journalist, poet and intellectual Saeed Aasi for the cause of democracy and strengthening journalistic values. He also acknowledged his long relationship with him.