ISLAMABAD The Government gurus looked helpless when confronted with an array of some straightforward queries by vocal journalists dragging the Ministers into a reality check. A joint press conference here on Tuesday conducted by Federal Ministers Qamar Zaman Kaira and Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo organised to reflect Governments policy regarding Diamir Bhasha Dam in the wake of killings of two innocent protestors at the hands of law enforcers turned into a 'trial stage for the Ministers who had to remain on defensive throughout the occasion, as media grilled them on different political issues pertaining to NABs role in Swiss cases, Tarbela and Mangla affectees, Shaukat Tarins resignation and construction of Kalabagh Dam. Some days back, the law enforcers had opened indiscriminate fire on the civilians who were protesting for compensations against their lost lands as a result of construction of Diamir Bhasha Dam in Chilaas, Gilgit-Baltistan. The Government, as usual, formed a 'committee to probe the matter, which did not bode well with the journalists present on the occasion. The briefing was arranged to shed some light on the committees efficiency for medias 'kind attention that unfortunately backfired Why your Government makes decisions when forced to do so amid protests and rallies? a charged journalist asked Wattoo, who had to start the press conference without Kaira, the latter was supposed to join the former a few minutes later. As the Minister was about to shower endless praises on the committees presumed 'achievements another fumed journalist went a step ahead to say, Tarbela affectees have been wandering from pillar to post for the last sixty years, are we going to see Bhasha Dams affectees in Supreme Court too? Just like we saw you moving court during sugar crisis? A visibly irked Wattoo replied, Please update yourself, I never moved court in the first place, it was the other party that did so not me, mind you, and now Bhasha affectees would be offered 'handsome compensation why would they be moving court by the way? he asked. As the Minster was waiting for the same journalist to hit back, Kaira stepped in to rescue 'beleaguered Wattoo and face the music, thanks to his timely arrival Kaira said that Diamir Bhasha dam was a national issue and those protestors who had lost their lives in firing incident would be offered Rs 500,000 each. He said that Government had allocated Rs 5 billion for the establishment of Gilgit-Baltistan Council to deal with the issue while the particular committee that had been formed in this connection would make a final decision by 1st of March. But the reporters who found themselves in quite a disagreement with Ministers explanation, struck back with one of them asking that Government was offering compensation at Rs 800,000 per kanal while affectees were demanding up to Rs 1,300,000 per kanal. He termed the ages old habit of Government to hand over any such matter, which it wanted to put in abeyance, to a committee as a customary norm to keep the issues lingering and lingering. Form a committee and then wait for the ages for the outcomes, smart move Minister? was the query. Believe you me, we would solve this matter in a jiffy by amicable means and not by litigation, I assure you the results would be coming soon, Kaira assured. Smart as he seemingly is, the Information Minister wisely dodged another direct query questioning the reasons of Finance Minister Shaukat Tarins stepping down. He is with us and he would always be, the Minister replied citing some personal reasons for Tarins ouster from office. About Mangla Dams affectees, who too had moved court in quest of justice, Wattoo said that PM had approved Rs 5 billion for them and the amount would be disbursed soon. Mangla issue would be addressed very soon, everything has been settled regarding Bhasha Dam as well, he added without giving any details of 'everything that was 'settled. When questioned about Governments intentions to pursue Swiss courts cases with NAB passing the buck on Attorney General to write a letter to Swiss authorities not later than Wednesday (today), Kaira responded in submission, We would follow the SC directives as they are. You guys talk high about your so-called performances but remain tight-lipped on core issues like Kalabagh Dam, why? A blunt colleague journalist asked Kaira. Country is more important than issues, if some issues are threatening its integrity, it is better not to discuss them, he replied. The same journalist wondered if the compensation cheques of Rs 500,000 each, given to both the victims families who were killed by the police in protests would ever be honoured. Our governments cheques are never dishonoured Kaira concluded proudly.