Political turmoil to weaken democratic institutions; encourage extremists: Khurram Dastgir


ISLAMABAD Aug 9 (APP): Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan on Tuesday said political anarchy in the country will weaken democratic institutions, hamper implementation of National Action Plan and provide space to extremist elements.

Speaking in a private news channel program, the minister said, Parliament provides as fortress to deal with challenges facing the nation but when we disown our elected parliament it encourages anti-state elements.

“Let me quote to the successes of Zarb-e-Azb. It was a unanimous decision by the political parties but when the operation was gaining successes, there was a continuous narrative that it was not success of the Parliament or elected political government,” the minister said.
“Let us be clear that if the government or the Parliament is to be discredited for any failure, then they should also be credited for successes on economic or security fronts,” he added.
He said there should be an understanding between political parties that despite their differences, they should stand firm for democracy and democratic institutions.
“Unless and until we shall not endorse credibility and legitimacy of each other, there will remain a question mark on legitimacy and credibility of democracy,” Khurram said.
He rejected the impression about non-implementation of National Action Plan and said, action are underway through the NAP as law enforcing institutions have registered around 15000 cases against speeches fanning hatred.
He also mentioned to improve intelligence sharing among law enforcing agencies, tightening security at Pak-Afghan border, agreement on changing curriculum at religious seminaries, jailing 1500 people on hate speeches and arresting 600 shopkeepers on selling hate material.
The minister said, terrorism incidents had declined to 70 percent as compared to 2012, casualty rate has declined by 50 percent. “Till the time, the government has effectively worked on the issue that could disrupt implementation of NAP. After success on these issues, the government is now focusing on banned outfit and choking terror funding.”
He said India and people who have taken refuge in Afghanistan are behind the terrorist attacks. Furthermore, there is also a group within the country, working against constitution and the parliament and killing our people.
Khurram Dastgir called for collective efforts by the political parties and the state institutions to fight terrorism and quoted the examples of recent meeting of National Security Council for evolving a consensus strategy for rooting out this menace.