ISLAMABAD Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira has displayed an unlimited and patient capacity to show the righteous course his government was pursuing and that all perceptions to the contrary were factually incorrect. He said this while giving an exclusive interview with the Nawa-i-Waqt Group (TheNation, Nawa-i-Waqt and Waqt News) here on Thursday. Detailed interview would be telecast on Waqt News Saturday at 7:30pm. When questioned on the wide public perception that his government was subservient to the US, he deflected the issue by citing the past history of the PPPs foreign relations under Z.A. Bhutto. He asserted that in this era it was impossible to stand alone but the government only listened to the US when it was good for the people of Pakistan. On this, when he was asked how drones were good for Pakistan, he simply disowned the policy and said it was part of the legacy left by the previous government. However, he seemed to have no answer as to why his government had not rescinded any part of the Musharraf policies vis-a-vis the US. When asked why this democratically elected government had not renegotiated the alliance terms with the US, he immediately said his government was not into blackmail policies - thereby equating renegotiation as blackmail He did not deny the present leaders - civilian and military - acquiescence in the drone attacks but said that they had asked the technology be given to them so that the drones could be used by this government, which had legitimacy. While he kept asking for any example of where his government had succumbed to negative US pressure, he refused to take on the drones issue except to respond: We are already fighting people within the country; should we now start a fight with the US? Kaira also kept citing two examples of the defiant stance his government had taken in relation to the US: on the Iran pipeline issue and the civil nuclear deal with China. He also made a strange assessment that Pakistan was now recognised as a legitimate nuclear power by the international community When asked why President Zardari was giving mixed and confusing signals on Kashmir, Kaira gave a most interesting response. First he asserted unequivocally that there can be no movement on trade until the outstanding conflicts like Siachen, Sir Creek, water and most importantly the core issue of Kashmir were all resolved. Despite it being pointed out that the Afghan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreements minutes of negotiations contained a clause allowing a possible backdoor entry to India through Wagah, he categorically denied this and said there was no way there could be movement on this till Kashmir was resolved. On the seeming contradictions in President Zardaris statements on the Pakistan-India relations, he explained that this was not the case - instead, depending on the forum or context, the President emphasised different aspects of the relationship for instance trade in an economic context when the political context was not relevant But at the end of the day, Kashmir was the core issue and needed resolution. He also stated that it was not simply a matter for resolution bilaterally but also keeping in mind the wishes of the Kashmiri people. On being quizzed about the absurdity of having a formal signing of the minutes of negotiations of the APTTA, he was nonplussed but simply digressed as to how the transit trade agreement - which has yet to be formally signed - was harmful for Pakistan. Nor did he agree that allowing Afghans to transport all manner of goods to India through Wagah - he insisted Afghanistan only had fruits to export not the valuable resources like lithium which have been discovered - meant a concession to India under US pressure. When asked what was the greater threat for the government: judiciary or the media, he retorted that both were pillars of the state and as such the government has no fear from and should not fear any pillar of the state. There were other challenges for the government such as the economy, energy, population and employment and challenges to the federation. When it was pointed out that the people felt there was an invisible, at times even visible, conflict between judiciary and the government because of the seeming non-implementation of the SC decisions, he said that it was simply an erroneous perception and peoples mindsets had to be altered. According to him, the government was implementing all SC decisions including those on the NRO and only on the Swiss banks issue was there a problem. In any case it was their right to file a review petition before the SC. According to Kaira, because they had all come through a long process of struggle, they were still in a mode of struggle even though they were now in power. In fact according to him, the societal mindset was still in a struggle mode. Also the parameters of inter-institutional workings were still unsettled. As for the PPP-PML-N relationship and the CoD, Kaira insisted the PPP had fulfilled most of its commitments and there had been no betrayal of Nawaz Sharif. He pointed out that it was BB herself who had persuaded Nawaz Sharif to contest elections and even now the PPP wants Nawaz Sharif to come into the mainstream and into parliament. Kaira categorically denied that his party had anything to do with his disqualification issue. According to Kaira, on the CoD and restoration of judges, in Murree Zardari had asked Nawaz to let the existing judiciary under Dogar remain while the other judges were restored. Even on the move against Musharraf, Kaira insisted that it was on Sharifs demand that Zardari, before he came to the Presidency, took up the anti-Musharraf refrain in Governors House Lahore. Nawaz insisted that ousting Musharraf was the first priority and everything else would be taken up later. Yet, according to Kaira, when the coalition got together on the impeachment motions preparations, Nawaz laid down conditionalities such as the restoration of the independent judiciary. It was interesting to note here that despite Kairas protestations of PPPs support for Nawaz, he immediately turned the guns on him when asked why Zardari was using the Presidents office and Presidency for party purposes, and asked why no one was looking at the use of Punjab House by Mian Nawaz Sharif when his brother was CM. He was not prepared to concede that the Presidents office and CMs office are two very different positions - one requiring an apolitical posture while the other being a political position. Kaira also insisted that President Zardari, on his forthcoming visit to London, would not be addressing a PPP function but a Pakistani community one - so it was okay to use state funds, as he was the President. On the extension of the COAS for a full term, and on being told of generals who had been changed during the course of wars, he insisted that was only when they were being punished and his government wanted to appreciate General Kayani. He simply maintained a silence on the coincidence of the extension coming after Clinton pleading Kayanis case and the visit of the NATO Secretary General. He defended the militarys operations in FATA saying no indiscriminate killings had taken place by the Army and Air Force despite statistics of massive civilian deaths put forward by locals and the HRCP. Finally, on his Information Ministry, while he expressed disaffection with its structure and inefficient functioning, he felt it was necessary and there was a logic to having this Ministry. All in all, with his unremitting defence of his government, all one could ask him at the end was why if, as he implies, his government is so effective and doing all the right things, people appear so frustrated and disgruntled.