LAHORE, Nov 23 (APP): Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervaiz Rashid has asked US authorities to end drone attacks and urged the Taliban to resolve all issues through dialogue rather than violence. “Drone attacks are not acceptable to us in any circumstances and they must be stopped. People who use Pakistani soil to achieve their political or religious agenda are also not acceptable as they challenge our sovereignty,” he said while responding to media queries after a certificate awarding ceremony of women journalists of an electronic media training course on post-election reporting at a local hotel here Saturday. The information minister said that Pakistan was in dire need of peace at present as it could not afford war-mongering and violence. He said the world had brought an end to all wars after 1945 which turned them into developed nations and Pakistanis wanted a good future for their children which was possible through peace only. On the PTI protest against drone attacks, Pervaiz said that Pakistan was a democratic country and everyone had the right to protest, adding the PTI had the right to protest against drone attacks but it should not practice contradiction in words and deeds. He said Imran Khan’s double standards had become quite clear when he said the PTI government in KP would not protest against drone attacks but the PTI. “Imran Khan’s heart beats for the Taliban but his sword serves the US,” Pervaiz said, adding that the PTI chairman should refuse US aid if he wanted an end to drone attacks, once and for all as was practised by Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif who refused US aid. The minister said projects worth millions of dollars were being run with US aid in KP, adding that Imran Khan was surrounded by people who had allowed drone attacks and celebrated former dictator’s coup detat. About NATO supplies, Pervaiz said that our close friend Turkey was also part of it and how could Pakistan launch an assault on the forces of a friendly country like Turkey, adding that Pakistan could not leave alone millions of Pakistani expatriates working in Europe.

When asked about Gen Musharraf’s trial under Article 6, the federal minister said that the case was sub judice and the law would take its own course. On non-payment to PTCL pensioners by Etisalat, he said that there was a breakthrough on the issue and Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had a fruitful meeting with the Etisalat management some two weeks back and it would produce good results. Earlier, addressing the women participants in the electronic media training course, under the auspices of Women Media Centre in collaboration with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the minister said that society was divided on the basis of gender and all were responsible for maintaining discrimination on gender. He urged the women to play a role in overcoming the barrier and avoid isolating themselves. “Women are individuals in societies and individuals cannot be discriminated against on the basis of colour, cast or creed”, he said, adding that men and women were equal and nobody was superior to others. He urged the women journalists to play their role in bringing the truth to the masses as it the was ideal of all journalists. The information minister also gave away certificates amongst the course participants.APP/nkn/shq

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