PESHAWAR – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Minister for Information and Public Relations, Mian Iftikahr Hussain has said that it is the need of the hour to take serious measures to improve bilateral ties between Pakistan and the United States.  

He said they needed to dispel negative impressions prevailing in the masses of Pakistan against the USA, adding that the USA, Pakistan and Afghanistan should be on the same page to eliminate extremism and militancy and defuse the atmosphere of mistrust.

He expressed these views while talking to American Consul General, Robert a Reed, who called on him in Peshawar on Monday. Secretary Information, Azmat Hanif Orakzai and Public Affairs Officers of American Consulate, Tenny Paltechikor were also present on the occasion. In the meeting issues of mutual interest and overall situation of the province were discussed.

Mian Iftikhar said that restoration of peace in the province was a great challenge and the present provincial government has taken concrete measures to combat militancy and that’s why the leaders and workers of the ruling party are on the hit list on the terrorists. So far 750 workers of the party including two assembly members have laid their lives in this war against terrorism, he added.

The minister said that Pakistan was the frontline state in the global war against terrorism and has suffered a lot adding that if the role of Pakistan against terrorism neglected, then the situation would get worst therefore, Pakistan must be taken into confidence. “We are not fighting only for our region but for the whole humanity, and as such we need the support of the global community,” Iftikhar maintained.

Mian Iftikhar said that Fata has been turned into a practical battlefield and people of the area have been displaced which has made holding of general elections very difficult in the area. Talking about the upcoming general elections, he said, elections were of great importance not only for the country but for the whole world as well. He stressed on the point that general elections should be held in time, and if delayed it would be of serious implications.

Referring to the role of media in the war against terrorism, the provincial Minister said that despite limited resources, the government has prudently used media to isolate the extremists. He said the present government, while realising the role of media in the war against terrorism, has set up its own FM radio stations at Peshawar and Mardan, and FM radio stations will be set up in other districts of the province as well and similarly a satellite TV channel was also being set up.