ISLAMABAD -  Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid has said that holding a protest march on August 14 would be against the spirit of Independence Day.

Talking to a television channel, the minister said that holding protest rallies and agitational politics would give a negative message that the parliament was divided. As mature politicians, political leadership should show a sense of unity, he said, adding that bringing masses on the streets may provide an opportunity to the terrorists to fulfil their nefarious designs easily.

Pervaiz Rashid said as far as “the opening of four ballot boxes” was concerned it was in fact a job of the election tribunals. Moreover he said that one ballot box was opened in Haripur, where PTI candidate was found involved in rigging. On the issue of delay in election tribunals decisions on rigging petitions, he said that PTI candidates themselves were to blame for this delay as their lawyers seek adjournments. “In the rigging case in Saad Rafiq’s constituency, Hamid Khan has sought 90 adjournments of the case which was a major cause of case lingering on so far. Similarly, he added that Jehangir Tarin was also not seriously following his cases.

Pervaiz Rashid said that Imran Khan was crying foul now as he knew that his government in Khyber Pakhunkhaw has failed to bring change in the province. Whatever Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif established in ten month’s time in shape of Metro bus in Lahore, the KPK government would take three years and will have to spend more money for a similar project in Peshawar. The KPK government failed to control diseases like polio and dengue in the province and Imran was trying to divert attention from these failures.

To a question, he said resignations from the assemblies would tantamount to running away from parliamentary politics. There was strategic alliance among Imran Khan, Tahirul Qadri and terrorists, he alleged. Imran Khan, he elaborated, plans to invade capital city, Tahirul Qadri hijacked a foreign airline’s plane in Lahore and the terrorists attacked Karachi airport and objective behind was to isolate Pakistan through cancellation of international airlines’ flights.

About Model Town tragedy, he said that victims of the incident would be provided justice. The Punjab government set an example by seeking resignation of its Law Minister. He said that Chaudhry Shujat should also have tendered his resignation after Lal Masjid tragedy but he did not and nobody asked for it.

On the issue of North Waziristan Agency operation, he said that several factors had to be considered before the launch of the operation including displacement of the people, dynamics of the region and political consensus.

Earlier, all the political forces backed the process of dialogue and the operation was started only after the option of peace through dialogue was fully exhausted, he clarified.

The minister said that elimination of terrorism was in the interest of the entire region. “Anybody who does not accept the writ of the state and wants to impose his agenda on gunpoint was a terrorist and will be eliminated.” Senator Pervaiz Rashid said the operation would continue till elimination of last terrorist. Success of North Waziristan operation will break the back of terrorists as their headquarter and nucleus will be destroyed, he added.  He said every IDP family was being provided sufficient amount per month so that they can meet their daily needs.

The Minister said when Musharraf derailed democratic system in 1999, there was no terrorism, unemployment and isolation at international level. When democracy was restored, the country was worst victim of terrorism, faced unemployment and isolation at international level.

He assured that the present government would hand over a stable and developed Pakistan to its successor regime.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the minister said that the historic passage of Protection of Pakistan Bill (PPB) would help eliminate terrorism, violence and sectarianism in the country.

He said the parliament had proved that the nation was united against terrorism and extremism. The unanimous passage of the bill from Senate, despite government’s insufficient numerical strength there, showed the seriousness and “maturity” of political parties’ regarding the issues of national importance. “Each and every member of the parliament have kept national interest supreme”.