Dispelling speculations: New army chief to be named at appropriate time, says Rashid

Information minister says govt has received no direct signals from TTP about change in their stance on peace talks.

APP November 09, 2013
Information minister says govt has received no direct signals from TTP about change in their stance on peace talks. PHOTO: NNI


The appointment of a new army chief is the prerogative of the prime minister, who will make the decision at an appropriate time, says Information Minister Senator Pervaiz Rashid.

Speaking at a reception hosted by the Parliamentary Reporters Association, the minister said the post of army chief was an important one and speculations were not in national interests. He, however, welcomed difference of opinion and told the audience that the government welcomed constructive criticism.

There is complete coordination between civil and military leaderships, he said, adding that completion of constitutional term by the previous government, general elections in May, transfer of power and presidential elections were its manifestations.

Responding to a question, Rashid said he was in favour of live coverage of the National Assembly proceedings and during his tenure as PTV chairman he had televised the NA question hour live. Furthermore, he said the government was considering launching a special TV channel for live coverage of parliamentary proceedings.

About the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, the minister said that despite media reports to the contrary, the government has not received any direct signal from the TTP about a change in stance. “As far as the government is concerned, peace talks are still on,” he added.

Moreover, Rashid said no third party would be allowed to sabotage or create hurdle in the peace process between the government and the TTP, which, the minister said, has shown sincerity about the dialogue process.

Asked about the issue of blocking the Nato supply routes, the minister said he was sure the K-P chief minister was an intelligent man and he would not take any actions that fall beyond the purview of his post. Addressing criticism about Nawaz Sharif’s absence from National Assembly sessions, the minister said the prime minister is sometimes unable to attend due to his busy schedule. The premier’s team of ministers, however, is always available to answer questions in the house, he went on to say.

The minister blamed the previous government for the state of national economy. The incumbent government inherited a ruined economy, he said, adding that the government had to pay Rs600 billion in circular debt, as well as, pay off IMF loan installments. The minister also blamed the PPP-led previous government for failing to meet tax collection targets and a massive Rs245 billion budget deficit.

Speaking about the Karachi operation, the minister said improvement in the city’s law and order situation was testament to the success of the operation.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 9th, 2013.


A J Khan | 8 years ago | Reply

This man constantly lives in denial

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ


Most Read