Wednesday September 22, 2021

SIM blocking on the cards if voluntary vaccinations do not increase: Fawad

Major cities have been tasked to vaccinate 40% of their eligible population by August end, he says
Web Desk
July 27, 2021
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry addressing a post-cabinet press briefing in Islamabad, on July 27, 2021. — PID
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry addressing a post-cabinet press briefing in Islamabad, on July 27, 2021. — PID

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday said if voluntary coronavirus inoculations do not increase, then the option to block mobile phone SIMS is available.

The information minister, addressing a post-cabinet press briefing in Islamabad, said: "Major cities have been tasked to vaccinate 40% of their eligible population in August, however, the inoculation ratio is still low."

In a bid to inoculate maximum people, vaccination has been made mandatory in government corporations, he said.

Formation of 'threats assessment committee'

Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked that a "threats assessment committee" be formed to decide whether or not security be provided to government ministers and other important figures.

The information minister, addressing a post-cabinet press briefing in Islamabad, said "more money is spent on security for the judiciary than on government representatives".

Chaudhry said a detailed report on protocol provided to people was presented to the cabinet, which revealed that Rs700 million in total are spent on the security detail of the president, prime minister, cabinet members, ministers, governors, chief ministers, and other high-ranking government officials.

The minister said Rs2,529 million are spent on security detail in Punjab, while Rs998 million are spent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

For security arrangements for the judiciary, Rs1,400 million are spent in the three provinces excluding Balochistan.

Kashmir elections

Speaking on the July 25 Azad Jammu and Kashmir elections, he said that the prime minister belonged to PML-N, while the party had also appointed the election commissioner. "How can [they claim] rigging took place?"

"The PML-N leaders were addressing a press conference while sitting in the AJK prime minister's office; they should accept their humiliating defeat," the information minister said.

PM Imran Khan has ordered an immediate investigation into the death of two PTI workers during the July 25 elections and the arrest of the culprits at the earliest, he said.

The cabinet also prayed for the forgiveness of the four soldiers who were martyred while performing their duties during the elections — after a vehicle of the military's Quick Reaction Force (QRF) fell into a ravine in Laswa near Neelum Valley — the minister said.

The information minister said the federal cabinet members congratulated PM Imran Khan over PTI's victory in the Kashmir elections.

The prime minister appreciated the efforts of federal ministers Ali Amin Gandapur and Murad Saeed as well as Chairman Kashmir Committee Shehryar Khan Afridi for running a successful election campaign in AJK.

Cyber security policy

The federal cabinet has approved National Cyber Security Policy 2021 for data protection and prevention of cybercrimes, the minister said, after it was revealed that India had used NSO Group's spyware to target PM Imran Khan's number.

Fawad said the policy has been introduced keeping in view the enhanced significance of the cyber regime.

The federal government has cleared the arrears of all the private television channels, he said, lamenting that despite receiving the payment, some media outlets were not giving salaries to their employees.

The federal cabinet also approved, for the first time in Pakistan, digital advertisement. "In a first, the Press Information Department will be shifted to a digital format and become paperless."

Fawad saud that the cabinet has approved a policy whereby Pakistanis can be dual nationality holders if they wish to also hold Czech Republic citizenship.

It also approved a new policy for foreign investment in the country which is aimed at providing security to international investors and reducing international litigation against Pakistan's bilateral agreements.