ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira Thursday said that PPP had not given any guarantee to any country at the time of Musharrafs departure from the Presidency regarding his indemnity. Though friendly countries generally give advice on various matters but it is not binding on the government, he said in an exclusive interview with TheNation and Waqt TV. He categorically stated that Musharrafs departure from the Presidency was not under any arrangement as being portrayed by the media. Kaira said that PPP had expelled Musharraf from Aiwan-e-Sadr with the support of masses. When asked on recent visit of Interior Minister to Saudi Arabia immediately before former presidents meeting with Saudi King Shah Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Kaira said that it was a routine visit of a cabinet minister and was only a coincidence that Malik and Musharraf had visited Kingdom simultaneously. On the issue of the Blackwater, Information Minister clarified that the government had not and would never allow the said private security agency to operate in the country. He said that according to international law, diplomatic missions could appoint their own security at their missions and same was the case with the US embassy in Pakistan. He said that the government had never allowed Blackwater to establish its facilities and appoint its personnel in Pakistan. Some personnel of private security agencies of the US after taking clearance by the government are protecting the NATO trucks which transport supplies from Port Qasim to Afghanistan and nothing else, he added. Kaira said that no building comprising 15-20 acres could pose a threat to the sovereignty of a country. As the US is leading war against terror therefore its facilities and staff are more prone to terror attacks than other countries therefore they need more security to protect themselves, he stated. Brushing aside the impression that the incumbent PPP regime was working with the nod of the US, Kaira said that the history of PPP revealed that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto had refused to take American dictation. Our government promulgated Nizam-e-Adl despite massive criticism by the US and the West which speaks a lot about our independent approach in making national decisions, he argued. He said that he or his ministry did not believe in using different tactics to gag media and had never influenced media organisations in this respect because PPP believed in the freedom of information. To a question, he said that the ongoing debate in media about the events of the past started with Ch Nisar Ali Khans speech in the National Assembly in which he had crucified MQM. Then an unfortunate chain reaction started and reached peak with hype in media, he said adding that there was no conspiracy behind the move. Information Minister said that President, Prime Minister and the Federal Cabinet were of the opinion that they had conducted Musharrafs accountability by dislodging him from the Presidency. If some party wants Musharrafs trial, it should table resolution in the Parliament for which our permission is not needed, he added. The Information Minister, who also holds the portfolio of the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas, said that Gilgit-Baltistan Package announced by the present democratic government was a historic step that had fulfilled the long-standing demand of the people of the areas. The federal minister, who is also Governor-designate of Gilgit-Baltistan, said some elements were trying to find faults with the package without reading it. He clarified that he enjoyed more powers as minister for KANA than he would have as Governor of Gilgit-Baltistan and added that the power that he had as minister would now be shifted to a powerful and representative assembly. The minister also said that the package for NAs was approved after taking all stakeholders into confidence. He said it was an honour for the PPP that all major improvements for NAs were made during its rule. He said that first Northern Areas Council Legal Framework Order 1974-75 was introduced by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and further democratisation through Northern Areas Legal Framework Order 1994 made by Benazir Bhutto. The government has accepted political, legal and economic demands of the people of NAs (Gilgit-Baltistan) by empowering them through Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment Order, on the model of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, he said. He rebutted the notion that the decision would cast negative impact on Kashmir cause saying that the Hurriyat Conference had also welcomed the move, which indicated that it was not against Kashmir cause. He said that soon he would also brief the Kashmir Committee headed by Maulana Fazlur Rehman on the decision of self-governance of NAs. Kaira said the post of the governor would be a ceremonial one and the people there would now themselves be able to take decisions by choosing their representatives and rulers. He said empowering the people would enable them to fix priorities in their budget, use resources to their benefit and generate employment opportunities. I am working as an interim governor and after elections in Gilgit-Baltistan which are scheduled in mid-October, a permanent governor would be appointed, he added. Kaira said the decision would empower the Gilgit-Baltistan Council and Assembly to make laws. The subjects under which the Assembly shall now have power to make law have been increased from 49 to 61 while the Council shall have 55 subjects, he added. Regarding annual budget, he said a detailed item-wise budget would be presented before the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly as being practised in Pakistan and would be accordingly voted upon as suggested in article 56. The minister said the chief judge and judges of the Supreme Appellate Court would be appointed by the chairman of the council on the advice of the governor on the same pattern as it was being practiced in AJK. He said another step forward to empower the people of the areas was the establishment of Gilgit-Baltistan Public Service Commission and Gilgit-Baltistan Services. He said Auditor General Gilgit-Baltistan and Chief Election Commissioner would also be appointed. While commenting over the reaction of some elements, he said that some people indulged in criticism only for the sake of criticism, despite the fact that the steps taken were in the interests of the masses.