KARACHI, March 22 Former federal information minister Sherry Rehman has said the present challenges being confronted by the country call for conciliatory politics and unity among all democratic forces.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Association of Television Journalists Pakistan office on Sunday afternoon, Ms Rehman drew the media`s attention towards the threat of terrorism looming large over the country, which had particularly taken the northern parts into its grip.

Referring to the global economic recession, she said thousands of people had already been rendered jobless in various countries due to the meltdown and Pakistan could not escape from its negative impact.

In reply to a question, she said it was a tragedy that strong democratic institutions did not exist in the country. She made it clear that it was not President Asif Ali Zardari but a few ministers who interfered in the working of her ministry. In this situation, Ms Rehman said, she was left with no option but to resign. She said she only resigned from the ministry because of the principles she was committed to, adding that she hadn`t parted ways with the PPP.

In their brief speeches, senior journalists Imran Aslam, Ahfaz-ur-Rehman and Habib Khan Ghori welcomed the politics of principle, saying that Ms Rehman`s resignation was unprecedented. They said she represented new blood in the field of politics who kept committed to principles rather than clinging to power, adding that this trend augured well for democracy and democratic institutions.

Earlier, ATJP President Javed Saba and Secretary Faisal Aziz welcomed the guests and presented the ATJP `Freedom Award` to Sherry Rehman, Imran Aslam, Ahfaz-ur-Rehman and Habib

Khan Ghori in recognition of their contribution to the freedom of the media.