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Wednesday October 27, 2021

Overseas Pakistanis' voting rights always on PTI's agenda: Fawad Chaudhry

Federal minister says that the PM's office will never do something that would taint the army's reputation

By Web Desk
October 12, 2021
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry addressing a press conference in Islamabad on October 12, 2021, after a federal cabinet meeting. — YouTube/HumNewsLive
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry addressing a press conference in Islamabad on October 12, 2021, after a federal cabinet meeting. — YouTube/HumNewsLive

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry Tuesday said that the votint rights of the overseas Pakistanis always remains on the  PTI-led government's agenda in the Cabinet meetings.

Speaking during a post-cabinet press conference in Islamabad, the minister said matters related to electoral reforms, the issue of the electronic voting machine (EVMs), and the voting rights of overseas Pakistanis, among other issues, came under discussion during the cabinet meeting. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

"No cabinet meeting goes without the mention of overseas Pakistanis' right to vote," Fawad said. "The government will ensure that overseas Pakistani are given the right to vote [in the next general election]."

The government has also approved the facility of providing an online power of attorney to overseas Pakistanis, he said.

Fawad also talked about the economic affairs of the country and said that Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin is in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

"Tarin is in the United States right now to speak to the IMF, and he will continue to perform his duties in line with the law and the Constitution of Pakistan," he said.

Shedding light on the issue of Afghanistan, the information minister said that the government has decided not to charge any visa fees from Afghan citizens.

"We have also decided to issue business visas to Afghan traders," he said, adding that the government wants to encourage Afghan citizens to opt for legal means to enter Pakistan.

Fawad said that the government has also decided to grant the facility of online visas to foreign employees working on the projects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

On the issue of Balochistan, the federal minister said that the government wants peace and stability to prevail in the province.

"The governor of Balochistan has briefed the premier about the ongoing political situation there," he said.

The minister also talked about the formation of the Rehmatul-lil-Alameen Authority and said that aside from local ones, the government also plans to have some foreign Islamic scholars on board.

He said the government has approved the formation of a PEMRA Council of Complaints in Islamabad and thanked the electronic media of Pakistan to "seriously report" on the issue of national security as well as the appointment of the DG ISI.

Fawad added that the government has also decided to introduce new policies related to utility stores, police, transport logistics, the issue of admissions to medical colleges, and the real estate sector of the country.

Civil-military relationship

The federal minister said that during the meeting, the issue of the appointment of the Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (DG ISI) was also discussed.

"A long meeting took place between PM Imran Khan and the army chief last night," Fawad said, adding that the government shares "an ideal relationship with the military."

"The prime minister shares a very close relationship with the army chief," Fawad said. "The Prime Minister's Office will never take a step that would hurt the reputation of the army."

He said that the government will adopt a legal procedure to appoint the DG ISI and will ensure all constitutional requirements are fulfilled in this regard.

"It is the prerogative of the prime minister to appoint the DG ISI," he said.