ISLAMABAD - The government on Thursday reiterated its commitment to rule of law and protect human and minorities’ rights saying Pakistan was a functioning democracy where media was free and judiciary was independent.“The government would make every effort to safeguard the rights of religious and ethnic minorities in Pakistan,” said Information Minister Parvaiz Rashid in a meeting with Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag who called on him along with a delegation here. “Pakistan is now a functioning democracy where media enjoys freedom, civil society plays its dynamic role and judiciary performs its functions independently. We have a Parliamentary democracy where executive authority is monitored by a vigilant opposition,” he added. Responding to a question regarding human rights, the Minister informed the delegation that after the passage of 18th amendment, most of the departments related to human rights are now devolved to the provinces for better implementation and coordination, however, legislative matters are to be dealt with at federal level.The Minister informed that the government is working for the welfare of the people and is focusing on priority areas of economy, energy and education. The government was reviving the economy of the state by showing zero tolerance to corruption and ensuring transparency and fairness at all levels, he added. During the meeting, talks with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan TTP also came under discussion and the minister said that his government was committed to the ongoing peace process. While talking about the decision of giving peace another chance, the minister informed the delegation that the government had held consultations with the leadership of the country and the issue was discussed both inside and out of the parliament (All Parties Conference). He said that the government believes in consensus and all democratic forces in the Parliament had supported the dialogue process with the Taliban.The Minister emphasized on the need for regular Parliamentary exchanges between Pakistan and Germany as it would help in further promoting bilateral ties between the two countries.He urged the delegation to take advantage of the investment opportunities in Pakistan, especially in energy, infrastructure and agriculture sector. Dr Norbert Lammert agreed with the Minister regarding the idea of regular Parliamentary exchanges, as these would make the bilateral relations between the two countries more cordial. He also hoped for the success of peace dialogue with Taliban and wished that democracy may further flourish in Pakistan.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 02-May-2014 here.