Pakistan to recognise Taliban govt after consultation with regional players: Fawad

Pakistan hopes Taliban will not allow the use of their land against Pakistan and any other country, says info minister


APP August 17, 2021
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry is addressing a press conference in Islamabad on July 27. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD:

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Hussain has said that Pakistan will take a decision about recognising the Taliban government in Afghanistan with consultation with regional and international powers specially China, Turkey and the United States.

Briefing media about cabinet decisions on Tuesday, he lauded the peaceful change in Afghanistan, saying that Pakistan would not take a unilateral decision about recognising the new government and is in close contact with global powers in this regard.

“Pakistan hopes the Taliban will not allow the use of their land against Pakistan and any other country,” he said, adding that Pakistan remained committed to an inclusive political settlement which is the way forward.

“Pakistan firmly believes that Taliban will adhere to respecting and protecting human rights in Afghanistan.”

Also read: Taliban say they want peace, will respect women's rights under Islamic law

The information minister also said Pakistan had earlier asked former president of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani to establish a broad based government by including other stake holders in his government.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had also urged the former Afghan government to establish an inclusive government in Afghanistan, he added.

Fawad said at the very outset of the meeting, the prime minister felicitated the cabinet on completion of three years in government and stressed transforming the country on pattern of state of Madina.

The functions of sharing three years performance of the government had been postponed due to Ashura, he added.

The federal minister also said the prime minister had categorically told the cabinet that all stakeholders should be consulted for finalising electoral reforms as the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) was imperative for holding free, fair and transparent and dispute free elections.

The minister said the cabinet was told that the final decision about the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in the next elections would be made within the next fortnight.

He said the Ministry of Science and Technology had given a successful demonstration at the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) about EVM use.

Also read: No country more desirous of peace in Afghanistan than Pakistan: PM Imran

The federal cabinet approved revamping new local body election laws in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) within the next 120 days, he added.

Under which the number of union councils would be increased in proportion to population. On each 20,000 population, a new union council would be constituted.

The prime minister had also directed the concerned to expedite the finalisation of Islamabad master plan, the minister added.

The cabinet has expressed its indignation over the decreasing standards of sports in the country and empowered Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Fehmida Mirza for changing the infrastructure of sports in the country besides preparing a new sports policy. “The prime minister has directed to change the sports system altogether.”

Fawad said the government had no control over sports associations, adding that however their elections were not held usually on merit.

PM Imran has apprised the forum about the decisions taken in National Security Committee’s meeting held last day.

The cabinet lauded the efforts of Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood for introducing a uniform curriculum in the country. The uniform curricula will help to eliminate class differences in the society.

Also read: Willing to help Afghanistan achieve inclusive political settlement: COAS

The prime minister stressed that the 'Seerah' of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) should be taught to the students of grades eight and nine.

The cabinet was told that billions of rupees are being spent on the security and protocol of various personalities.

“The government is reducing the protocol expenditures. Prime minister has reduced the expenditures of prime minister house.”

The cabinet was briefed that Islamabad Police were incurring Rs 954 million per annum on the security of VIPs, Rs304 million over the security of judiciary. A sum of Rs454 million is being spent on the security and protocol of the minister and others in Islamabad.

Similarly, in Punjab, some Rs2,509 million was being spent on the security of VIPs. A sum of Rs427 million was being spent on the security of the Punjab chief minister and ministers. While a sum of Rs105.87 million was being spent on the security of former chief ministers and bureaucrats. Rs1,143 million is spent on the security of judiciary in Punjab.

The National Assembly speaker has saved Rs1.57 billion by returning it to the government. While billions of rupees were being saved by reducing expenditures of the president and prime minister under austerity measures.

The prime minister bears the expenses of his Bani Gala home.

The federal cabinet was also briefed about the anti-Covid vaccination of government employees, the minister said.

Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafquat Mehmood told the cabinet that some 86% teachers and staff of educational institutes had already been administered anti-Covid vaccines.

Over 97% staff of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had also been inoculated.

The federal cabinet had approved the lease and tenancy policy of Pakistan Post. The cabinet was apprised that Pakistan Post had some 4,257 properties.

The cabinet had approved Postal Service Lease Policy aimed at utilising government-owned policy. Some 21 properties would be leased out in the first phase.

The cabinet approved the appointment of Shazia Adnan as Intellectual Property Organisation Director-General. The cabinet reappointed WAPDA Chariman Lt Gen (retd) Muzammil Hussain, (WADPA) for another term.

The cabinet was of the opinion that Muzammil Hussain was supervising the construction of 10 dams and at this critical juncture his leadership must not be changed.

Responding to a question, Fawad invited concrete suggestions from stakeholders for improving Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA).

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