ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb has said Pakistan Muslim League(N) will contest next election on basis of performance as it did fulfill promises by reversing decades-old threat of terrorism, achieving sustainable economic growth and overcoming acute energy shortages.
In an exclusive interview to APP during her visit to its headquarters, she said PMLN government was countering politics of other parties with its performance and Pakistan was changing and gaining stability on diverse fronts.
She said politics and performance were now interlinked and people would vote to the parties on basis of their performance.
Pakistan was passing through a defining moment, democracy was getting strengthened, development projects being completed and trust of people in democratic process was restored, she remarked.
She said Pakistan Muslim League(N) fulfilled the promises and commitments made in its manifesto.
Marriyum recalled that when the government came into power, consumers were suffering from energy outages of 16 to 17 hours per day but now there was a visible difference and improvement and electricity shortages were cut to three hours in cities and six hours in rural areas.
For the last two years, industry was being provided uninterrupted electricity after a gap of 14 years and this has a multiplier effect on the economy and job creation, she added.
The minister said army, law enforcement institutions and people of Pakistan were fighting war against terrorism for the last many years. In 2013, war against terrorism was fought without any counter narrative, she added.
That year, operation in Karachi was launched and National Internal Security Policy was announced, she said. After the unfortunate incident of Army Public School in Peshawar, National Action Plan was put into effect, she added.
In 2013, on average 2400 incidents of terrorism occurred while in 2017, 170-180 incidents happened, she recounted.
The minister said terrorists were on the run because of the world’s biggest counter-terrorism initiative, Operation Zarb-e-Azb. Later Operation Rudd-ul Fasaad was started to stop lawlessness.
She said the government stimulated the economy and put it on the trajectory of growth and all surveys and indicators were testimony to the fact that Pakistan was on the rise.
Pakistan was on the verge of default and bankruptcy in 2013 and the world was fearful about stability in the country, she said and added however Pakistan’s stock exchange was now the fastest surging in Asian belt.
The minister said the government met its another commitments by initiating Prime Minister’s Education Reforms Programme to raise standards of education.
Pakistan has been working its way to achieve 100 percent enrollment while Punjab with its 55,000 schools, achieved considerable improvement in different indicators, she mentioned.
The minister said the ‘one road one belt’ initiative of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a blessing for the country as it would not only achieve connectivity for Pakistan but also for the whole region.
“CPEC will connect with all the major economic hubs of the world. Not only we but the whole world has declared it a game-changer.”
Marriyum said those elements who wanted Pakistan to slide backwards were insecure about CPEC and people of Pakistan should not let these elements achieve their nefarious designs.
“Media should avoid controversies which are contrary to facts”, she said urging media to play a responsible role and avoid anything which could undermine CPEC. Those who were not well-wishers of Pakistan and region, wanted chaos to disrupt the smooth pace of work on CPEC projects, she added.
There were other issues to do politics and certain circles should avoid doing politics on matters of national interest, she said.
Earlier, Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb urged a more pro-active role by Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) in projecting soft and positive image of Pakistan across the world.
Chairing a high-level meeting during visit to the APP Head Office, she said that APP could make a sterling contribution towards presenting a true and soft image of Pakistan to the world by highlighting activities of sports, culture and tourism as well as mega projects like China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
She said that the national news agency should also come forward and play a role in presenting a counter-narrative against terrorism.
Marriyum Aurangzeb emphasized that history presented an irrefutable testimony to the fact that the development projects implemented by the present government during the last three and a half years had never been executed even during the last 50 years.
She said like PTV, APP was an old and important organization so it should strive to capture more place in the media through creative writings and features.
The minister said APP has its importance and relevance and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will play its role to ensure that the organization continues delivering on professional horizons as it has been doing in the past.
The minister said that opening of social media section and launch of Facebook and Twitter services as pilot projects were good initiatives of the organization but there was need to expand the same as the new generation had become digital.
She issued directives for formal launch of APP android application and social media desk.
The minister also appreciated the Video News Service of APP, observing that it could be utilized to produce documentaries of development projects.
She asked for up-gradation of the organization and capacity building of the staff to fulfill the changing dynamics of the profession.
Earlier, Managing Director APP Muhammad Masood Malik briefed the minister about the performance and functions of the APP.
He said APP was a credible organization which was transmitting news to the people in Pakistan and around the world through written content, photos, video footage and social media.
He informed the minister that APP has been providing news services in a number of languages including English, Urdu, Arabic, Saraiki, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi and Brahvi.
The MD said Video News Service launched in 2007 has been upgraded and APP has now modern video cameras and studios besides covering events live through its DSNG.
The minister also visited Central News Desk, Video News Service, General Reporting and other editorial sections. -APP