Kaira rules out confrontation with any national institution

Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said on Saturday that the PPP leaders and workers have made great sacrifices for the restoration of democracy in the country and any attempts to derail it would be foiled.

Talking to newsmen after the inaugural ceremony of FM 98.6 Radio at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) here, the minister said the government is implementing all decisions of the Supreme Court. “The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government has no confrontation with any national institution.”

He said the government is obeying the SC verdict on the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) except a minor portion of it relating to Swiss cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, who had immunity in this regard.

To a question, Kaira said that a section of the press is engaged in spreading rumours against the present government. “I am not blaming the whole media as media has played a very positive role for the restoration of democracy in the country.” He said the credibility of this section of the press is at stake as the people are well aware of its tactics.

To another question on the statement of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, Kaira said that Nawaz Sharif had earlier stated that his party would not support any unconstitutional move and the government respects his viewpoint. “The government will welcome constitutional moves to change the present set-up through parliament but any unconstitutional move will be challenged,” he added. He maintained that any party or group claiming to have majority in the Parliament could change the government.

To a question on MQM chief Altaf Hussain’s statement, the information minister said that the parliament is the only platform that could change the present set-up. “MQM is only our ally in the government as it has not merged into the PPP and its leadership has its own point of view,” he said.

Condemning Dr Aafia’s sentence, the minister said that the government has engaged a reputed lawyer with the consultation of her family to contest the sentence. “We have an extradition treaty with the US and we will try our best to use it to negotiate her return to Pakistan,” he added.

To a question on imposition of flood tax, he said that some taxes are being levied by the provincial governments while the federal government is also considering generating additional funds for flood relief through additional, one-time tax. “The international community is asking us to generate revenue first on our own,” he added. All decisions on imposition of taxes will be taken in consultation with the business community, Kaira said.