Pervaiz Rashid meeting with MQM leadership in Karachi

Pervaiz Rashid meeting with MQM leadership in Karachi

ISLAMABAD (APP): Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid on Monday condemned the attack on media houses in Karachi and said law will take its course against the perpetrators of this act.

Talking to a private news channel, the minister said both the federal and the provincial governments will fulfill their responsibility to maintain law and order and peace in the city and the culprits of illegal act will be arrested and brought to justice.

"I am confident that both the governments will arrest the culprits, register cases against them and bring them to justice," he added.

He also hoped from the MQM leadership to distance themselves from those involved in illegal activities and cooperate with the law enforcing agencies in searching and arresting them.

"By cooperating with the law enforcing agencies the MQM will fulfill its responsibility and prove that it not only dislikes such incidents but also considers those responsible for this act, as criminals as they were involved in unlawful activities," he added.

The minister said he went to Karachi on direction of the Prime Minister to know about their demands and I conveyed them that they should call off hunger strike as the Prime Minister was ready to meet them on Thursday.

"I had asked them to come up to meet the Prime Minister along with the complaints, apprehensions and reservations so a strategy could be evolved for their redressal," the minister said.

"Our meeting with them was held in a friendly environment. Farooq Sattar, Nasreen Jalil and Kanwar Naveed Jamil were present there.

The MQM leaders agreed to meet the Prime Minister but did not announce to call off the hunger strike," he added.

He said the Prime Minister believes that all citizens of Pakistan are equal before the law and justice is right of every Pakistani.

The minister said protection of media ensures strength for a viable and transparent democracy and all the political parties believe in this concept despite all of their political differences. "Journalism and politics are integral parts of democracy and our constitution also guarantees independence of media."

When asked about this situation, the minister said, he was also astonished from this incident because it was already agreed to resolve their grievances as per the law and the constitution.

He said it is regrettable that when we were trying to resolve their issues democratically, the democratic right of media and people were trampled down in that manner.

He said the government has taken the notice of the present and the previous speeches of Altaf Hussain and the British government is continuously informed that one of their citizens by using their communication system talks against Pakistan.

The minister said he had a plan to visit Press Club and request to end hunger strike but all the time the MQM delegation had been insisting a prior assurance from the government stressing that when the actions start, they shall call off hunger strike.

The minister assured that the federal government and its institutions will fully support the Sindh government in its strategy to deal with this situation.

He stated that the government will employ all resources against those who have spoken against the state of Pakistan, our constitutional institutions and resorted to violence and attacked the media houses, no matter if anybody is in the country or abroad.

He said the British government would also be informed that one of their citizens was inciting people in Pakistan on violence by delivering fiery speeches. Earlier, when we lodged complaints with the British government they told us that there is independence of speech in their country. "But, this time they could not state like that because this very citizen was trying to create anarchy in Pakistan and incited people on violence. His speech made the people to attack media houses and posed threats to property and lives of our people."

Pervaiz Rashid said, when he came to know about these incidents he was astonished because the meeting with MQM leader was held in a friendly manner and they had agreed to meet the Prime Minister. "I still have the paper bearing their demands. When we had reached an understanding to evolve a strategy for addressing their grievances, there was no need of such an act."

He endorsed the stance of Sindh Chief Minister and said every state is responsible for protection of human rights of its people and Pakistan is a civilized state and its constitution guarantees rights to its people.

"We shall protect the rights of all innocent people, but those who commit a crime cannot be forgiven. The criminals will have to face the law," he added.