ISLAMABAD - Information Minister Senator Pervaiz Rashid Wednesday said all political forces were supporting military operation in North Waziristan with full democratic will and this must be highlighted internationally that thousands of Pakistanis had lost their lives in the war against terrorism.

He further said that Pakistani armed forces were fully capable to defeat the extremists and destroy their hideouts.

Pakistan has highly valued its relations with the United Kingdom (UK) and would like to enhance the level of cooperation in areas mutually beneficial to each other, said the minister in a meeting with British High Commissioner to Pakistan Philip Barton. Media could be an effective tool in boosting bilateral relations, he added.

The minister underlined the need to counter the extremist narrative by education and sensitizing the people about the nefarious designs of the terrorists.

Responding to a question regarding Pakistan Protection Ordinance, PPO, Pervaiz Rashid said the government was taking all political forces on board and all decisions were being taken with consensus. The British High Commissioner assured his government’s support to Pakistan in the ongoing war against terror and wished that democracy might further flourish in the country.

Later, talking to the Chinese media delegation, Pervaiz Rashid said Pakistan and China are tied in a unique bond of friendship, which is based on mutual trust and convergence of views on all regional and global issues. He said Pakistan and China are close friends and strategic partners and their friendship is valued as all weather and time tested. High level visits by the top leadership of both countries are reflective of the desire to further enhance the existing brotherly relationship between the two partners, the Minister stressed.

He said that the democratic government of Pakistan believes in freedom of expression and is fully committed to the development and promotion of independent and responsible media. He said that Government considers media as an important partner in the development of the country and welcomes constructive criticism as democracy and independence of media are mutually connected.

Rashid said that the frequent exchanges of media delegations between both countries would provide an opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences and best practices. The Minister also emphasized on carrying out fruitful exchanges and cooperation in the field of art, culture, literature and publications as it would not only help in understanding each other’s culture but would also establish cultural linkages between the strategic partners.

The Minister also directed the concerned officials of the Ministry for early implementation of the existing MOUs between China and Pakistan particularly in the field of Information & Culture.