Pakistan can’t dictate Taliban, can only advise: Fawad

Reiterates call for inclusive govt in neighbouring country


APP August 27, 2021
Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry. PHOTO: PID/FILE

BADIN:

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Friday said that Pakistan could not dictate Afghan Taliban, but only advise them on forming an inclusive government in the land-locked country.

“Pakistan wants peace and stability in Afghanistan. Prime Minister Imran Khan, earlier in his speech in Bajaur, had advised former President Ashraf Ghani to formulate a government based on consensus instead of holding elections. And now we have the same advice for the Taliban,” he said in an interaction with the office bearers of Badin Press Club.

Flanked by Inter Provincial Coordination Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza, Fawad said the Taliban sat on negotiation table with the United States “due to” Pakistan’s efforts, but unfortunately, Ghani “did not” show any interest in negotiating with the insurgents.

For boosting trade from Peshawar to Mazar-i-Sharif and Tashkent through trains and to reach Central Asian states via Afghanistan through trucks, peace and stability in the neighbouring country was crucial, he said while pointing out Pakistan’s desire to link the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with the European Union.

Such steps, which would further boost economic activity in the region that could only become possible with stability in Afghanistan, he added.

Read: Our side of the border with Afghanistan is secure: DG ISPR

About the proposed Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA), he ruled out possibility of compromising on the journalists’ rights and fake news. Other than that, the government would welcome any amendment in PMDA draft, he added.

Fawad said the working journalists should have the right to enforce their job contracts through media tribunals. An amount of Rs700 million has been released to media groups in the last three and a half months, but it was very unfortunate that some media houses were still not issuing salaries to their workers.

The office bearers of Badin Press Club briefed the information minister on Sindh government’s “injustice” to the area’s journalists. They also told him about the problems being faced by them.

The minister assured them of resolving their issues on priority.

He claimed that the Sindh government received a substantial share from the federation on the name of Badin and Ghotki’s gas royalty, while the Centre had also given an amount of “Rs1,900 billion to the province in previous years.”

Around 59 per cent of total taxes collected by the federation from across the country were transferred to the provinces, he said adding that people of Badin should raise voice for their rights (royalty).

Also read: China says Kabul attacks show Afghan security situation 'severe'

Endorsing Fawad’s stance, Inter Provincial Coordination Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza said that Badin with an impressive political background was still a backward region.

However, she lauded Badin’s media for playing an active role in raising regional issues. Fehmida said that the non-payment of salaries to workers was very unfortunate as the government had cleared the media houses’ outstanding payments.

The officials of Badin Press Club who called on the ministers included Tanveer Ahmed Arain, Shaukat Memon, Hameed Soomro,Dod Panhwar, Ashraf Memon, Swan Khaskheli, Malik Ilyas, Imran Abbas Khawaja, Ashfaq Memon, A Majeed, Khakoor Memon, Khalid Abbasi, Shafi Memon, Murtaza Memon and Noor Hassan Solangi.

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