Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry announced Tuesday the Federal Cabinet has decided to keep the ban on the proscribed organisation Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) intact.
Addressing a post-cabinet meeting press conference in Islamabad, the minister said a report was presented before the cabinet by a committee that had been tasked to review the decision.
The committee, in the report, informed that the decision to ban TLP was based on merit, as this proscribed organisation has been blamed for martyring police personnel, torturing them, and burning down places, he said.
Following the report, the cabinet decided to keep the ban intact, the minister said, adding that the Ministry of Law and Justice was working to get TLP's election symbol cancelled.
The cabinet has approved granting a 25% special allowance to the armed forces to bring their salaries at par with other departments, however, he said it was not applicable on Frontier Corps and Rangers for now.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has instructed to extend this facility to Rangers and FC as they were not included initially, the information minister said.
"We aim to make the elections transparent, and through the electronic voting machines, we will be able to achieve our goal," the information minister said.
On the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha, Saudi Arabia's government has decided to release 85 Pakistani prisoners and a special plan will fly from Pakistan to repatriate them, Fawad said.
"We are trying to bring back several of our imprisoned people — not involved in serious crimes — and the government is making strenuous efforts in this regard," he said.
The information minister, on the electoral reforms, said: "We aim to make the elections transparent, and through the electronic voting machines, we will be able to achieve our goal."
A detailed briefing was given to the cabinet on EVMS and I-voting, he said, adding that the machines were vital to ensure transparency in the next general election.
The information minister said the Opposition and the government had agreed on several points with regards to the electoral reforms, while efforts were being made to sort out the remaining reservations.
Shedding light on the COVID-19 situation in the country, the minister said 20 million people have been vaccinated so far — and over half a million people were vaccinated yesterday.
The minister said those (over half a million) were the most inoculations that the country had recorded since the beginning of the vaccination drive earlier this year.
Urging the people to observe SOPs to prevent the spread of the pandemic and to get them vaccinated, Fawad said cases in Karachi and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa increased in the last few days, while the situation in Punjab was under control.
Prime Minister has expressed concerns on the depleting green areas in Islamabad due to the unplanned expansion of residential societies and has directed several institutions, including Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Air Force, to remove fences from their properties to protect green areas, he said.
Fawad said PM Imran Khan also instructed the Chairman of Capital Development Authority to make the federal capital an encroachment-free area.
He said the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions presented a report on Afghan Refugees in Pakistan, adding the international community should extend maximum cooperation to bring peace in Afghanistan and resolve the issue of Afghan refugees.
Fawad said Asset Management Company is being established to manage the properties of the federal government.