ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Sherry Rehman said that the in-camera session for the Parliamentarians is a new chapter in the democracy of Pakistan. “The ongoing briefing session for the Parliamentarians is a step towards strengthening the democratic system as it is aimed at taking public representatives on-board on the most important challenge the country is currently facing,” said Sherry Rehman while talking to the media on the second day of the in-camera session for elected leaders on the issue of terrorism threat. The minister said that it is unfortunate that in all these years when Pakistan has faced an extremist challenge well before September 11, not once has the political leadership and public representatives been taken into confidence over the threat.
“This is a major reason why the country has been unable to achieve its objectives in the battle. This is not a single individual’s or a single institution’s war. It is the country’s war and civilian/political leadership must take the lead over pakistan’s position in the ongoing situation,” Sherry Rehman said.
She said that public involvement in the war is critical to the nation’s success against terrorism.
“The threat cannot be shrugged off through suggestions advocating pulling out of the global battle against these non-state actors. We cannot expect these terrorists to retire if we halt miliary operation against them,” the Information Minister said.
She said the fact is that Pakistan was facing an extremely serious and complicated challenge in these extremist groups that are well networked and have a well-financed presence. They are committed to their agenda of taking over our country to destruction and the only policy option we have is to fight them. Their presence is a threat to our very stability.
Federal Information Minister pointed that in-camera briefing for the parliamentarians is a strong endorsement of the significance of public representatives’ role in the ongoing efforts against terrorism. “It is a step in the direction of strengthening a democratic structure where public participation in national decisions is key to the resolution of challenges facing the country. The military naturally gave an operational briefing as that was their mandate. The government will also be giving a national security briefing in the larger strategic context,” the minister said.
Replying to media queries about general comments on the in-camera meeting, Sherry Rehman said that it is premature to jump to conclusions about the outcomes of the briefing since it is an ongoing session.
“Surely, this effort is directed at involving the elected leadership into the formulation of the national security plan to address the issue of terrorism. Our government has a very clear policy direction and we have been mandated by the public to fight against these elements for our country’s security, yet we invite all political forces to come forward and support the government to take on the challenge that threatens our very stability, The Information Minister said. “This is Pakistan’s war and every Pakistani has an obligation to fight for the country’s security,” she added.-APP