Appointment of COAS, CJCSC to be as per constitution: Pervaiz
09 October, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Pervaiz Rashid said on Tuesday that appointment to the posts of chief of army staff (COAS) and chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJSSC) would be made by the prime minister in accordance with the constitutional framework.
Speaking to reporters, he said that as per the constitution, the government has 30 days after the retirement of the CJSSC to appoint his successor and the constitutional requirement will be fulfilled in this connection.
He requested the media not to carry speculative news items about the appointment of army chief and CJCSC as "it is not in the national interest".
Asked about talks with Taliban, the information minister pointed out that country was facing the curse of terrorism for the last 16 to 16 years but the previous governments did not make any serious effort to tackle this issue. "It is for the first time that the present elected government has made a serious effort with a political consensus to resolve this issue," he added.
He said the nation would be apprised about the outcome of dialogue with the Taliban.
Responding to a question, Pervaiz Rashid said the government was alive to face the challenges and it was taking difficult decisions to steer the country out of these problems."We are neither resorting to political expediency nor turning our back to the problems, rather we are taking practical decisions to put things in order."
He said the PML-N candidates had won in several constituencies in August by-elections."We accept the mandate and opinion of people and defeat on one seat of provincial assembly should not be misconstrued as if people have given verdict against the government."
About Karachi situation, the information minister said the situation was improving in the city and it would further improve in the days to come. To a question, the minister said the operation in Karachi will continue till restoration of complete peace. He said the federal government was providing all-out assistance to the provincial government for maintenance of law and order.
Separately addressing a meeting of Coalition on Safety of Journalist, the minister said that right to information bill has been prepared as the government believed that freedom of media was imperative for further strengthening the democratic institutions.
He said the bill would soon be presented before the Senate for approval. There was consensus in parliament on the issue of freedom of expression and right to information, he added. He said the PML-N and all other parties support efforts of all stakeholders to protect rights of journalists as enshrined in the constitution.
"We consider media as a watchdog of the interests of society and are not afraid of its criticism," he said, adding that the security situation was not conducive for the journalists but the government on its part will take all possible steps for the protection and security of journalists. He said it was the top priority of the government to resolve issues facing the journalists.