Pakistan: Parliament right forum for reforming system, institutions: Pervaiz

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Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid here on Friday said the government fully acknowledged the sacrifices of its citizens in the battle against terrorism.

Senator Pervaiz Rashid said this on the occasion of announcing a special support package for a teenage victim of terrorism Iftikhar Ahmed, who was rendered quadriplegic in a suicide attack in Peshawar last year. The minister said the government would continue to come to the aid of terror victims.

The minister emphasised the need for collective effort to deal with the menace of terrorism and extremism. He condemned the heinous actions of the terrorists, which have destroyed thousands of innocent lives.

He said the whole nation was standing by its armed forces that were fighting the war against terrorism to secure our future. Senator Pervaiz Rashid urged the people to provide aid through Zakat to all victims of terrorism, and all those charity organisations that assist people affected by terrorism, including internally displaced persons (IDPs).

He appreciated the efforts of Paraplegic Centre Peshawar for the treatment and rehabilitation of Iftikhar free of charge. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting along with Baitul Maal, arranged to provide 17 year old Iftikhar Ahmed with an electric wheelchair, a laptop and decided to bear all his education expenses.

Senator Pervaiz Rashid handed over the electric wheelchair to Iftikhar Ahmed and reiterated that the government would continue to monitor Iftikhar’s rehabilitation and would help him overcome all challenges faced by him and his family.

Iftikhar Ahmed was the victim of a suicide attack at a political rally in Yakatoot, Peshawar, on April 16, 2013 due to which he suffered a severe spinal cord injury and became a quadriplegic. The minister thanked Managing Director Baitul Maal Abid Sheikh for providing electrical wheelchair for Iftikhar Ahmed. The MD Baitul Mal thanked the information minister for informing about the child and said his organisation would give a stipend of Rs5,000 per month to him.

Meanwhile, Pervaiz Rashid on Thursday said parliament was the right forum to discuss issues for reforming the system in any institution. He said the present government has made a committee for electoral reforms and urged all the political parties, including the Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Awami National Party and others, to come forward with suggestion for reforming the system.

Senator Pervaiz Rashid said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was working independently in the country due to the struggle made by all political parties. To a question, he said all the political parties should work for making courts more efficient so that the problems of the people could be addressed without waiting for decades.

Giving example of an old woman waiting the decision of the courts in a land case, he said that an efficient system could help resolve the problem of the people. He said that there are applications in the election tribunal for addressing the complaints about last general elections. Pervaiz Rashid said the election tribunals had disposed of many applications and cases but still the decisions on some petitions are pending.

To another question regarding long march he said holding protest rallies was the right of any citizen under the democratic system but the call of long march given by the PTI was not the right decision during the NWA operation. He said PTI should focus on helping IDPs and other issues of KP areas. He asked PTI to bring suggestions at the forum of Parliament so that the reforms could be made in any institution.

He said 2013 general election was conducted in free, fair and transparent manner adding that the election was much better than the previous elections. He said that European Union, International Organizations and Observer teams including media had not reported any rigging or flaws in the previous election. He urged all the political parties including PTI to strengthen the democratic system and united work for resolving the matters of the people. We have accepted the mandate of the other parties in the last elections (2013) and the other parties including PTI should respect the mandate of the PML-N, he said.

To a question regarding security in the federal capital he said that strict security measures have been taken to avoid any untoward incident during the long march of PTI or Qadri. He said that PML-N did not wish to topple the government in the KP.

The Information Minister said that Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz government wanted to ensure rule of law in the country. He said supremacy of law would help resolve the problem of the masses. Pervaiz Rashid said that every person is equal before the law and Constitution of the country.

Replying to a question regarding Musharraf case he said that all the political parties, stakeholders, civil society and leaders of the national institutions wanted rule of law in the country and no one is exceptional under this law or Constitution. He said that military establishment is working according to the Constitution of the country.

SOURCE: The News, July 28th 2014: