LAHORE - Information Minister Pervez Rashid has said that army and civilian government are on the same page on the national issues and former is not interfering in improving bilateral ties with India.

Speaking to media persons at Alhamra here on Saturday, the minister said army understands national interests and it stands with the government on protecting the same. “The army never intervened to sabotage Pakistan-India relationship and I am sure it would not do it in future too,” Pervez said to a question.

With reference to former military president’s visit to Agra, India, he said what Pervez Musharraf did in that visit was his personal act for which he had to later feel sorry before the Indian PM in Colombo.

The senator minister said, “It’s better to hold hands than touch the knees”. He said “we have to move forward” putting bitter past behind for a better future of the generations of Pakistan and India.

Pervez Rashid said Pakistan respects decision of the Indian people who elected Narendra Modi as their next prime minister. He said Modi has to rule and frame policies for five years and “we have to go with him” to promote ties.

To a query on recent military action against terrorists in tribal areas, he said those who acted against the national security would be paid back in the same coin. Dialogue would be made with those who want talks and peace while those who did not give up terrorism would be treated with iron hands, he maintained.

Lashing out at cable operators, the information minister said it was not cable operator’s domain to cut off broadcast of any channel. He said the government would take action against cable operators who banned particular channels and added that Pemra was looking into this matter.

On PTI weekly protest, Pervez said that “gathering of 10 people” is not a protest but a picnic party. He said Imran Khan is controlling KPK government sitting in Bani Gala, and he advised PTI chief to hold protest rallies in Peshawar and Abbottabad rather than in Faisalabad.