Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid said on Sunday that the government would soon lift the ban on popular video-sharing website YouTube as it has developed software to filter controversial content.
Addressing senior journalists and intellectuals at the Aiwan-e-Iqbal in Lahore, the minister, however, refused to give a definite date for unblocking YouTube.
Turning to the ongoing militancy, Rashid said that there were two types of terrorists. “There are those who use weapons – and there are those who [seek domination] through ideas and beliefs,” he said. “Now it’s up to the media to decide whether it supports the state or the ideology of terrorists.”
He stressed that media houses should not highlight the extremist standpoint of those, ‘who want to create a state within state and impose their opinion and beliefs on others’.
The information minister said it was against the interests of the state to highlight nefarious acts of terrorists and keep them alive through media coverage.
He said terrorists believed that only their faith was true and the rest were false. Rashid urged the media to condemn terrorists as it was ‘their prime responsibility as an independent institution in a democratic country’.
He dispelled the perception that there was a ‘super-committee’ comprising the prime minister, interior minister and an adviser to hold talks with Taliban
“Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan is the focal person and the prime minister himself gets briefings on the progress of the government negotiating committee with the Taliban. Defence Minister Khawaja Asif also attends these briefing,” he added.
Regarding terrorist attacks by militants despite the ongoing talks, the minister said pro-dialogue Taliban had disowned these acts of terrorism. “Let the dialogue with the Taliban complete,” he said, adding that the government would take action against those who were not amenable to peace talks.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2014.
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