ISLAMABAD: Minister for Defence Khwaja Asif on Friday said that consultations over the appointment of a new Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief were ongoing, while progress had also been made against those involved in the on the Naval Dockyard.
While speaking to Express News anchor Javed Chaudhry in his programme Kal Tak, Asif said that consultations were continuing and a new Director General ISI will be appointed at the right time.
9 suspects arrested in connection with Naval dockyard attack
Earlier on Friday, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif revealed that as many as nine suspects have been arrested so far for their alleged involvement in an attack on the Naval Dockyard in Karachi on September 6.
The defence minister said that such an attack was not possible without inside help.
"Nine suspects have been arrested while further efforts are in place to arrest those who have managed to flee abroad," Asif reiterated during the show on Friday evening.
He added that three of those arrested were Navy officials. Two others, who had managed to flee Pakistan by crossing into Afghanistan, were believed to include one commissioned and one non-commissioned officer.
Asif added that there was evidence of foreign involvement in the September 6 attacks.
Tax increased, consessions removed but tariff remains the same
Asif, who also holds the portfolio of water and power, admitted to an increase in power bills by up to 40%.
He explained on Friday that the increase was not due to any increase in tariff, rather due to changes in taxes and removal of slab concessions which were previously being exploited.
“Rise in electricity bills of consumers could be because concessions, previously afforded, have now been eliminated,” he said, claiming that the tariff was last increased in October 2013.
Asif further explained that inflated billing could be the result of increased taxes or possible reading mistakes by officials and due to increased power supply in recent months.
He added that a committee under an expert was studying the reasons behind the inflation of bills.
This committee will present its report to the prime minister on Monday.
Criticising Islamabad protests
In response to a question regarding the continuing sit-ins by PTI and PAT in the federal capital, the defence minister said they were causing huge financial losses to the national exchequer but the government was exhibiting maximum restraint in handling them just because of the presence of women and children. "Pakistan’s image in the international world has been badly damaged, just because of PAT and PTI,” he alleged. He blamed the protesters for disrupting law and order situation of the federal capital, prompting postponement of the Chinese president’s visit. “We are here to provide electricity and were to sign agreements with China to generate cheap electricity,” he said, but lamented that “now the president is not coming and we’ve lost 10,400MW.” He said the protesters had presented unconstitutional demands which could not be met, adding that they were willing to do politics of bloodshed but the government's policy of restraint had frustrated them.
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