ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid Saturday has maintained that the dialogue and the demonstrations could not go together.

“The political mercury must fall to a ‘favourable degree’ if PTI wants the government to reconsider the dialogue process,” the minister stressed.

Rashid made it clear that the government was serious in sitting down with the PTI leadership but only in an appropriate environment.

Pervaiz Rashid said that the television channels by giving regular coverage of an insignificant event at Islamabad's D-Chowk were portraying a wrong picture of the country.

"TV screens have been giving a prominent coverage to D-Chowk and a few dozen people present there for the last four months, giving the impression to the world as if this was the entire Pakistan. This is mere deception. It is regrettable that a very bad image of the country is being portrayed in this way," he said while speaking at the concluding session of three-day Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists FEC here at the National Press Club.

He said a political party, who had had no representation in the Senate and had just 9% representation in the National Assembly, was getting undue coverage in television news and talk shows, whereas those having 91% representation were being ignored. The minister said geographically Pakistan was a big country and its population was around 180 million, adding that the presence of just a few dozens at D-Chowk showed that the people had rejected the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief's call for protest. The event at D-Chowk was just a show of a political party, which had no past or sacrifices for democracy, he added.

He said due to the situation created by sit-ins in the capital, the Chinese President, who was to sign contracts of around $46 billion dollars with Pakistan, cancelled his visit to the country and went to India instead.

Similarly, he said the Emir of Qatar too wanted to come to Pakistan to sign agreements for investment in various sectors of development and cooperate for the elimination of energy crisis. Pervaiz Rashid said at a time when political parties in Pakistan were struggling to get rid of then dictatorship, the PTI chief was engaged in entertaining people while that was the right time when the country needed the slogans of revolution and freedom.  

The minister said today politicians, traders, industrialists, vice chancellors of different universities, religious scholars as well the journalists were facing security threats. He asked the media to help the government and national security institutions in uprooting the menace of terrorism in the country. "Terrorism is deep rooted in our society, but the state is determined to uproot this evil at every cost. But this task is achievable only with the cooperation and support of media," he added.

He said the elimination of terrorism could be achieved in a shorter time if media expressed full solidarity with the national security institutions and go side by side with them to combat the evil by exposing nefarious designs of terrorists, their facilitators and masterminds of terrorist activities. He said there was a need to form a `united front' comprising politicians, journalist organizations, lawyers' community, civil society members and national security institutions for economic revival and elimination of terrorism.

"The solution of economic issues is directly linked with the solution of terrorism issue. Unless there is peace and stability in the country we will not be able to revive our economy," he maintained. The minister also assured media-persons to resolve all their issues, including their safety, wage board award and endowment fund.