ISLAMABAD - Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Senator Pervaiz Rashid, has said that holding of dialogue with anyone did not provide legitimacy to anybody for illegal activities.

While speaking to media persons on Friday, Pervez Rashid said the government was taking into consideration the demand by the Taliban committee to meet the prime minister, army chief and director general Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Rashid said the government was awaiting recommendations from its negotiators on the demand put forth by the Taliban committee, adding whatever recommendations are brought forward would be facilitated and implemented by the government. The federal minister said every possible help would be extended to government negotiators and helicopter services would also be provided in case there was a need to send the team for peace talks to Waziristan.

Furthermore, Rashid said talks were not unconstitutional as it was a form of putting a stop to unlawful activities. In this regard he referred to United States talks with Afghan Taliban and United Kingdom’s talks with banned Irish organisation IRA in Ireland.

To a question he said that international community has fully supported Pakistan initiative to hold talks with Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and they want to see Pakistan a stable and peaceful country.  About appearance of Musharraf in the special court, he said he would not comment on this as it was sub judice matter and the court will decide about his future.

About local bodies elections, he said that all political forces were interested in holding LG elections and the same were postponed due to some legal hitches. Earlier while addressing the participants of the course the minister said that in the past Pakistan remained an authoritarian state and role of information ministry was to cover the mistakes of the rulers.

However he said now Pakistan has become a democratic country and with democratisation of the country the role of the ministry has changed.

In his speech Director General Information Service Academy Khalid Sarwar informed that the academy was established in 1980 as an in-service training institution responsible for developing skills of the media managers of the Government of Pakistan. He said that in 1981 the ISA initiated its Specialized Training Programme for the probationers and so far 29 batches of Information Group officers have received training in this institution.

Meanwhile,Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid has said developed infrastructure and better traveling facilities can ensure increased economic activity in Chitral and other northern areas of the country. Addressing office bearers of Chitral Press Club after administering them oath he pledged to resolve issues of journalists from Chitral. He said the government will also take care for the needs of Chitrali people.

 The Minister pledged that State broadcastings will play more effective role in providing timely information and educating the Chitrali people. He directed his ministry officials to take measures for expanding Radio Pakistan’s outreach in the district and broadcasts in local language.