LAHORE - Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid has said that the government is pursuing the policy of non-interference in the affairs of others and not let others interfere in its affairs.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, he said, has the track record of not using defence institutions of the country in the interest of others. “I assure you that he will not use them to serve interests of others in future as well,” he told journalists at Meet the Press arranged by Lahore Press Club on Saturday.

Club President Arshad Ansari, PFUJ President Afzal Butt and senior journalists were present on the occasion. Is his address and later answering queries from the gathering, the minister said “the way we regard others interference in our affairs an offence, interference in the affair of others is also a crime”.

He said Pakistan neither interferes across the borders nor would it do it in future. Rather, even provocation of this kind is a sin in the eye of Pakistan, he said and added, those who cannot tolerate progress and prosperity want disturbance in the country; hence, they are levelling allegations of interference on Pakistan, he added.

On peace talks with Taliban, Senator Minister Pervaiz Rashid said time of truce between the two sides can be extended as the process was making headway as a result of interaction between Pakistan and TTP teams. “We must give peace a chance and time to the teams to reach that end. We must be positive about the outcome.” He also advised the internal elements not to do politics on terrorism and energy rather they should stand one on these issues.

The PML-N government mouthpiece supported trade with India as matter of opening up market of over a billion people to Pakistan and availability of Indian products to Pakistanis at cheaper rates which otherwise are reaching here en route Dubai costing the people too much.

Pervaiz Rashid said before the elections the PM gave the nation a policy of fostering better relations with the neighbouring states and through ballot the people endorsed that policy. He said Pakistan wants trade with the whole world as such no hurdle should come in the way of trade with neighbours. We have to watch our interests, he said with reference to trade ties with India.

The federal minister was positive about Pakistan’s adherence to Pak-Iran gas pipeline project but he admitted it was stalled at the moment due to absence of financial planning. He said the government is sticking to that project and will complete it. Alluding to the PPP government, the minister suspected it was insincere about implementing the project although it had struck accord with Iran at the fag end of its tenure.

“Had that government been sincere, it would have reached the agreement in 2008 to let the nation enjoy its fruit by 2013,” he said, adding that the previous government just wanted a plaque to carry it as a slogan in the election campaign when actually it did nothing; it even did not devise any financial plan to execute the agreement.

On the economic policies of the present government, he said the positive policies of the government have made the country stand again on its feet. Today, the wheel of industry is moving and no one is crying for food.

He said instead of wars, the government is evolving economic strategies which have earned it GSP+ status in the European markets in addition to bringing huge Chinese investment of $32 billion as well as from other countries.

He said good policies of the government have boosted up stock market and strengthened rupee against dollar which otherwise was being predicted to sour up at Rs125 per dollar.

The minister said through untiring efforts and marathon meetings the prime minister has successfully planned to overcome the energy crisis and till the next election, the PML-N would give the nation a far better Pakistan where there is no energy shortage and the country will have a thriving economy.

He said the prime minister from day one in the office said that Pakistan would be brought out of wars and near the peace and its economic policies would be devised on this theme. This is paying off today as the friends are resting confidence in Pakistan and are coming forward to liberally invest in this country. But even then some forces are hurling tirade which though is not a bad practice in democracy but that should not be on the vital areas like energy, terrorism and economy.

The minister directing towards media said that it was fourth pillar of the state which must be strong and solid as the state and media are part and parcel. However he called upon media men to serve the professional responsibly which does not mean they should shun criticising the government but doing so they must keep in mind the state interests which are common obligation of us all. He said government come and go but state must remain intact so its interests must always be given precedence.