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


Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has categorically said that Pakistan could not dictate Afghan Taliban but can only advise them on the formulation of 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 on Friday.

Flanked by Federal Minister for Inter-provincial Coordination Dr Fehmida Mirza, Fawad said that the Taliban sat at the negotiation table with the United States due to Pakistan’s efforts, but unfortunately, former president Ashraf Ghani did not show any interest in negotiating with the Taliban.

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

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

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

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

He 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.

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

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

The minister listened to their problems carefully and assured them of resolving their issues on priority.

He said that the Sindh government received a substantial share from the federation in 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 their voice for their rights (royalty).

Endorsing Fawad’s stance, Dr Fehmida Mirza said Badin, with an impressive political background, is still a backward region.

However, she lauded Badin’s media for playing an active role in raising regional issues.

She regretted that the non-payment of salaries to workers is very unfortunate as the government has already cleared the media houses’ outstanding payments.

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