Apparently, the good minister does not consider this nor this nor this to be stark contradictions to his bold statement. But of course! Violations of Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws are punishable just as violations of laws are in any other “democratic” nation. From the Online – International News Network:
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has underlined Islamabad’s participation in the Commonwealth platform after six-long years is a testimony that democracy in Pakistan has taken roots.
“In Pakistan there is complete freedom of speech and expression,” Shaukat Aziz expressed these views while talking at a press conference at the occasion of heads of the Commonwealth states moot on Saturday.
“There should have no suspicion in one’s mind about democracy in Pakistan, press enjoy unprecedented freedom, opposition has the right of criticism and over 25 private TV channels are currently operational in Pakistan,” he argued.
“We are desirous of cordial relations with neighbours, however Pakistan and India after resolving decade-old Kashmir saga can establish eternal peace in the region,” he noted.
He expressed optimism that they could settle host of issues from the platform of Commonwealth and this forum was key to bolster the living standard of millions of people.
The Commonwealth states had acknowledged steps taken for establishment of democracy in Pakistan and after six long years Pakistan was present there, he recalled.