LAHORE: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira has stressed the need for intellectual dialogue for strengthening democracy and democratic institutions in the country.
“Decades of dictatorial regimes in the country have promoted intellectual anarchy and tendency to impose ideas through coercion,” said the minister while speaking at an Iftar dinner which he hosted for media representatives at a local hotel on Thursday.
The information minister said that it is unjust to compare democracy with dictatorship as democracy consolidates societies and countries, while dictatorial rules weaken the foundations of a country.
Kaira said it is ripe time to ponder whether absence of democracy causes bad-governance or democracy becomes the cause of it.
He said holding of non-party elections in 1985 was the greatest tragedy in the political history of the country, adding that non-party elections strengthened clans and weakened political parties.
He said the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led democratic government has tried to resolve fundamental problems of the country and it has made serious efforts to democratize the constitution of the country besides other achievements to bring relief to the masses.
To a question, Kaira said the parliament is supreme most institution of the country, while the PM office is the most powerful office in a democracy, stressing that weakening of the office of the prime minister would weaken the system.
Stressing further on supremacy of the parliament, the minister said that only the parliament is synonymous with democracy, adding that all other institutions co-existed in the absence of democracy, but it is the fruit of an electeed parliament that the country has democracy today.
He said no dialogue, regarding the apex court, had taken place within the party, adding the PPP has always respected the courts.
On the question of Swiss courts, Kaira said the PPP-led government has no objections in writing to the Swiss court but some constitutional impediments barred it from doing so. He said the president enjoys immunity under the international laws.
When asked about launching a military operation against militants, the minister said the government launched operation in Swat as well as Waziristan with the will of the people, adding that the government would start operation against the enemies of Pakistan wherever they would set their footholds. He said the government would not initiate any actions at the behest of others.
About impending constitutional crisis, he said that the comments are personal opinion of the former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.
The dinner reception was attended by PPP leader Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, PPP Lahore President, Federal Minister Samina Khalid Ghurki, PPP Labour Bureau Chairman Ch Manzoor Ahmed, Advisor to the president Naveed Chaudhry, large number of party workers, lawyers, intellectuals, columnists and senior journalists.