ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Muhammad Ali Durrani Sunday asked the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) to nominate its someone else in the party for the slot of Prime Minister as the constitution does not allow Benazir Bhutto to become Prime Minister for another term. “As the constitution does not permit Benazir Bhutto to become prime minister for third term, the PPP should bring forth its nominee for the top slot,” said the Minister while addressing a press conference at his residence.
The Minister announced to launch separate white papers on the performance of the governments of PPP, PML (N) and PML (Q). “I would soon launch three separate white papers on the performance of the governments run by the PPP, PML (N) and PML (Q). These white papers would be based on the reports issued by the above-mentioned governments and those issued by the International organizations on their performance. All the three parties have ruled the country for almost same period i.e. five years and these white papers would expose the performance of all the three governments. This would help the nation distinguish between the plunderers of their exchequer and those who served them,” said determined Durrani in a candid mood.
Terming the alliance of different factions of Pakistan Muslim League (Q) a historic achievement, the Minister said that this accord would pave the way for landslide victory of the PML (Q) and its allied parties in Sindh. “This election alliance would prove to be the ‘political demise’ of those politicians who use to play ‘regional cards’ harming the federation. I congratulate Pir Sahib Pagara, Ch. Shujaat Hussain and Shaukat Aziz on this historic achievement. This alliance would eliminate political ambiguity in Sindh Province. This coalition had defeated the PPP in Larkana in the recent local body polls and the same would foil the safe sailing of ‘traditional feudals of Sindh in the next general polls,” he said.
To a question on the recent wave of terrorism in NWFP, Minister Durrani termed ‘political tyrants’ responsible for the increase in extremist and terrorist acts. He remarked, “Poverty is the baseline for terrorism in Pakistan and those political autocrats who introduced ‘lifetime chairpersonship’ in their parties are liable to extremist behaviors in the country. Poverty and economic imbalance provide fuel to the terrorist and extremist attitudes and most of the people involved in the terrorist incidents have been from the poor and under privileged classes,” adding that the ratio of the people living under the poverty line had exceeded 37 percent in the year 1998.
He further said, “The PML government addressed this menace and brought down the ratio at 24 percent. Still a lot has to be done in this respect and we want to make all our citizens affluent and prosperous.” When asked to comment on the recent statement of Benazir Bhutto on the issue of terrorism, the Minister regretted the statement saying that it was inappropriate to give terrorism a political color for petty personal gains.
He said, “We have introduced the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) to address the extremist attitudes as this menace needed joint strategy and national agreement. The opposition parties should support the government initiative and they should not adopt the past tradition of confrontation.”
Elaborating the government initiatives to eliminate terrorist elements from NWFP and tribal belt, the Minister said that Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz had twice diverted the attention of MMA government towards increasing terrorism in the province.
He said the issue was also raised in the meeting of National Security Council and a cohesive plan was evolved to uproot this menace. He informed that the reinforcement of law enforcement agencies in the NWFP would be completed by this December and the security personnel would be equipped with latest gears, training and other resources added that we were confident that the situation would improve by January 2008 and the next polls would be held on time.
When the minister was asked whether the ruling coalition was mulling for delaying the general elections, the minister brushed aside the impression saying that the coalition parties were well prepared for the polls. To a question, whether the government was considering to withdraw the NRO, the minister said the PML (Q) government is a responsible entity and it stands committed with its political initiatives.
He said, “NRO was issued after the approval of the cabinet as we wanted to introduce the flavor of reconciliation in the political climate of the country. However, this is Bhutto who has deteriorated this environment by launching political attacks against the PML leadership. Perhaps she still lives in the era of political confrontation while PML government has the credit of introducing restraint and respect in the political landscape.” The minister further said that as the NRO was pending with the Supreme Court, it would be inappropriate to comment over the issue.-SANA