Pakistan committed to fight terrorism to ensure peace, stability in region: Dr. Firdous

Federal Information Minister Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that Pakistan is committed to fight terrorism and always supported steps to ensure peace and stability in the region.

China and Pakistan are working in close coordination, for peace in the region and both the countries have mechanism in place for intelligence sharing to stamp out scourge of terrorism and extremism, said Dr Awan in interviews with Chinese media upon her arrival here, after attending China-Eurasia Forum being held in Urumqi Sept 1-5.

Condemning the action of banned ETIM (East Turkestan Islamic Movement) in Kashgar, the information minister said that the foreign ministries of both the countries have already issued statements in this regard.

“They (terrorists outfits) keep on changing their strategies and actions,” Dr. Awan said. “So we must work in close collaboration and also change our actions, and that can only be done through close coordination and mutual understanding,” she observed.

Dr. Awan said that with better coordinated efforts, we can curtail terrorism adding China is already helping us and has always supported our efforts to eliminate the menace.

She pointed out that peaceful atmosphere in Pakistan is prerequisite for the stability in the region.

As the present government was concentrating at strengthening the economy, there is need to create an ideal environment so that the people of both the countries could reap the benefit from progress and development.

To a question about Pakistan and American relations after recent episodes, Dr. Awan said “Some communication gap was created due to Bin Ladin’s issue,” adding “but with time those relations are moving forward and keeping in mind our national interests, and there is no deadlock between us.”

She said the war on terror is not only in the interest of the U.S. and other parts of the world; it is also in the interest of Pakistan. She said Pakistan wants to protect its people as well as the world, but “not at the cost of our own security.”

“We have our own priorities” she said adding “we do not get dictations from other countries”.

“The international community including the U.S. must respect the sacrifices that Pakistan has made,” Dr. Awan said. “We want recognition for those sacrifices.”

“Islam has nothing to do with bloodshed. It is against extremism and terrorism,” Dr. Awan said adding the media should help improve the image of Pakistan and dispel any misperception about it.

The Information Minister said that strengthening of people to people contact between Pakistan and China is very important and media of both the sides can play a pivotal role in deepening the bond.

Dr. Awan said that we have taken various initiatives engaging media organizations of the two countries and in this regard, she added that a high-level official delegation from her country already visited China and held meetings with top Chinese officials for cooperation.

The minister pointed out that Pakistan and China are already exchanging media delegations on reciprocal basis and recently both sides sent their delegations to each other countries.