Cabinet condemns Israeli bombardment of Gaza

Ministers okay appointment of new NAB Dy chairman, prosecutor general

Our Correspondent October 12, 2023
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar chairs meeting of the federal cabinet in Islamabad on October 11, 2023. PHOTO: PID


The federal cabinet on Wednesday strongly condemned the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip and demanded an immediate cessation of air raids and the lifting of the blockade to facilitate the delivery of essential relief items to the civilians.

The cabinet, which met here with Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar in the chair, approved the appointment of former Lahore High Court (LHC) judge Sohail Nasir as deputy chairman and Syed Ehtsham Qadir Shah as prosecutor general, accountability, of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Speaking at a post-meeting news conference, Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi said that the ministers also approved a proposal for hiring the Consortium for Financial Advisory for the privatisation of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

The information minister said that the federal cabinet called for an immediate halt to Israeli bombardment of civilian areas of Gaza, and demanded lifting of the blockade of the enclave for the provision of relief items to the civilians.

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“The forum strongly condemned Israel's bombardment, particularly targeting civilians in Gaza besides expressing concern over the volatile situation stemming from Israel’s illegal occupation, oppression of Palestinians for decades and blatant violations of the Security Council resolutions,” Solangi said.

During the cabinet meeting, the prime minister directed all the federal ministers to undertake only essential foreign visits. Solangi said that the prime minister directed the ministers not to undertake any foreign visit that was unnecessary.

Among the decisions taken during the meeting, Solangi said, the cabinet approved the appointments of Justice (retd) Sohail Nasir as NAB deputy chairman and Syed Ehtesham Qadir as NAB prosecutor general accountability.

The cabinet approved the receipt of the ‘PLA Commemorative Award Medal’ awarded by China to Brig Shahid Amir. The ministers also approved the extradition of two Pakistani citizens, who were wanted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait.

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Besides, Solangi said, the cabinet ratified the decisions taken in an Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) meeting on October 3 and a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) on January 21 and 28.

Responding to a question, Solangi said that no action was being taken against those Afghan citizens who had Proof of Registration (POR) Cards, those residing in Pakistan for the last 40 years and those who had Afghan citizen cards, which had been verified by the previous Afghan government.

“The deadline of October 31 for voluntary return is only applicable to those individuals who did not possess any legal document,” the minister said, adding that thousands of illegal residents had started returning to their countries.

Responding to another query, he said that elections would be held as per the schedule to be issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). He added that the elections history of the country suggested that polls were held in extreme cold and hot weather.



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