Federal cabinet takes up crucial issues today

Published: May 31, 2018
PM Abbasi chairs cabinet meeting PHOTO:ONLINE

PM Abbasi chairs cabinet meeting PHOTO:ONLINE

ISLAMABAD .: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is all set to head the final cabinet meeting today (Thursday) to take a host of major decisions, including the upward revision of the prime minister’s salary, hours before the federal government’s tenure comes to an end.

A few days ago, the cabinet had approved doubling the president’s salary to Rs846,550. The matter requires parliamentary approval.

It is not yet known what raise has been proposed in prime minister’s salary, but officials confirm that it is a part of the cabinet meeting’s agenda.

Govt wants to double president’s salary

Recently, the PM and his aides faced embarrassment after they approved honorarium equivalent to three-month basic pay for ‘all federal government employees’ while the finance ministry termed the decision impractical.

The notification about the honorarium for federal government employees was issued by Secretary to PM Fawad Hasan Fawad.

According to sources, the cabinet is also expected to decide on a number of other crucial matters, including how to proceed against two retired generals and the formation of a court against the third one.

Some in the government favoured devising a plan to move against former army chief Gen (retd) Aslam Beg and former director general of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen (retd) Asad Durrani in addition to constituting a special court against former military dictator Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf.

Senior officials believe the government should not shy away from proceeding against the three generals.

However, a few senior PML-N leaders think that the government should avoid ‘digging deep’ into the Asghar Khan case because “pushing the matter would embarrass PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif because of his direct involvement”. They insist that the matter should be left for the next government to decide.

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A senior government official said that most cabinet members did not favour ‘touching’ the Asghar Khan case. However, he said, they supported the idea of forming a special court against Musharraf to dispel the impression of any disagreement between the federal government and Sharif over Musharraf’s trial.

A few days ago, PM’s spokesman Musadik Malik had said in a TV talk show that the cabinet would soon approve the formation of a trial court against Musharraf. This has not been done so far.

The cabinet’s previous meeting on Tuesday had skipped devising any plan to try former generals Beg and Durrani, contrary to what the federal government had told the Supreme Court a few days ago.

On May 8, the top court had allowed the federal government a week to outline action against Beg and Durrani keeping in view of its landmark verdict in the Asghar Khan case.

On April 7, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had proposed new composition of the special bench, led by Lahore High Court Chief Justice Yawar Ali, in Musharraf’s trial, but the federal government had not yet issued a formal notification in this regard.

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