ISLAMABAD - Federal Information Minister Pervez Rasheed has advised Chairman PTI Imran Khan to advocate Taliban’s case, saying that PTI leader has been fighting for Taliban and the “time has come for Imran Khan to come forward and represent Taliban in peace dialogue process with government of Pakistan.”

Talking to media on Monday Pervez Rasheed said the government is optimistic for better outcome of dialogue process with Taliban. The senator said the government is focusing on Taliban groups, which are interested in peace and dialogue process, adding that Taliban have formed their committee after their Shura meeting to represent all groups included in Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The present government is committed to taking every possible step for the restoration of peace in the troubled areas of the country and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif himself is monitoring peace process from the day one.

Pervez Rasheed said neither the government nor Taliban have set any conditions for talks. Answering a question about mass grave discovery in Khuzdar, the minister said that Balochistan government has already ordered judicial inquiry.

Earlier the government of Japan handed over studio video recording and editing equipment, outdoor/field recording unit, video projection and display unit to Lok Virsa management worth 49 million yens (approx. US$ 0.6 million).  At the handing-over ceremony held at Lok Virsa, Senator Pervez Rashid was guest of honour and Hiroshi Inomata, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, inaugurated the newly equipped studio and handed over it to Lok Virsa management.

At the ceremony, Hiroshi Inomata stated that the Lok Virsa Museum has been playing a significant role in the preservation and promotion of the Pakistani folk and traditional culture over the years. “We, Japanese people, also adhere to our cultural norms and values even in this age of scientific and technological development,” added Ambassador Inomata.

This is the third grant in aid assistance for Lok Virsa provided by the government of Japan. The first grant provided in 1987 was utilised to install the present studio, control room and other related facilities in U-Matic Format at the National Institute of Folk & Traditional Heritage in Lok Virsa.

In 1994, the government of Japan provided the second grant to upgrade the installations to the Betacam/analogue type ones. At this time, the installations are to be further upgraded to the digital/high definition quality ones. The end of the project is to promote collection, preservation and dissemination of cultural heritage in Pakistan. The Japan’s grant in aid assistance has contributed to the development of the archives in Lok Virsa, which have assisted the research activities of more than 120,000 students, researchers and scholars on yearly basis.