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December 2, 2018

Pakistan to be part of world Halal meat market: PM

Top Story

December 2, 2018

LAHORE: Chairing the Punjab cabinet meeting here, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said Pakistan would play its part in the international Halal meat market, as he was told by the halal meat companies in Malaysia that they want to invest in Pakistan.

The prime minister said a big crackdown on money laundering was on the cards that will not spare those involved in this illegal practice, bringing colossal financial losses to the country. He expressed displeasure at the Punjab government’s failure in properly highlighting the first 100-day achievements of the PTI government in the media. Imran warned the ministers against backing any corrupt bureaucrat.

The Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Iftikhar Durrani, senior officials and members of Punjab cabinet attended the meeting. The sources said as the meeting commenced, the premier asked why the walls of Governor House have not been demolished yet. The chief secretary told the prime minister that the officials were waiting for orders at which the prime minister instructed the provincial government to go ahead with the demolition.

Tussle between two govt officials comes to surface: The hallmark of the meeting was criticism of DG Public Relations Punjab by spokesman for the chief minister Shahbaz Gill. Most of the time was spent on discussing the director general’s performance. When Imran Khan expressed unhappiness over the provincial government’s failure in highlighting its performance through the media, it was Shahbaz Gill who blamed the DGPR for this. He told the meeting that the party had not been able to highlight its achievements properly just because of the official’s slackness who also had association with the previous government. The name of another senior official of the DGPR also came under discussion for his alleged involvement in a scam involving millions of rupees. The DGPR is associated with the Ministry of Information which is now headed by Minister Fayaz-ul Hassan Chohan. Two participants of the meeting, including the Information Minister Fayaz-ul-Hassan Chohan and Special Assistant to the PM Iftikhar Durrani, categorically rejected Gill’s views and defended the DGPR. Durrani termed DGPR Amjed Bhatti a competent official. Rubbishing Gill’s allegations, Chohan said ‘best coverage’ had been given to the party so far. He was quoted as saying that under Mr. Bhatti the PR department is ensuring maximum coverage of the Punjab government’s initiatives. Gill also had a heated argument with Mr. Bhatti around a month ago and the ongoing tussle between the two came to surface in the meeting chaired by the prime minister. Some senior PTI members and provincial ministers were displeased with Shahbaz Gill believing that instead of projecting the chief minister he was busy projecting himself due to which the chief minister has become a sitting duck. When contacted, Shahbaz Gill denied this allegation and said he was performing his duty. “This is really ridiculous; if someone thinks I am being projected in the media, it means I am performing well in projecting the chief minister,” said Gill while talking to The News. Gill said it was his job to defend the chief minister and he was doing it well.

Imran asks ministers to work with officials of good repute: Sources also stated that during the meeting, the prime minister said some complaints were heard against some ministers who wanted to post officials of their choice. Imran, according to sources, said though he had no proof so far, in case any bureaucrat was found involved in corruption, the minister who used his influence for the posting will be held responsible. He also directed the ministers to evolve a mechanism for encouraging officials of good repute.

Ministers unhappy: Some of the cabinet members invited the prime minister’s attention towards the problems faced by the sugarcane growers due to the delay in commencing the crushing process. Insiders said Minister for Industries Mian Aslam Iqbal highlighted the issue first followed by Chaudhry Zaheer-ud-Din and Faisal Hayat Jabona who second his views. Imran was told that under the law the crushing season has to start before or by November 30 every year but to date the growers had not been facilitated. Imran told them that he will have a meeting on the issue very soon and also directed effective measures for resolving this problem.

PM takes notice of price hike: The prime minister directed his ministers to take immediate action against the elements responsible for the price hike. He also told the ministers that their prime target and priority should always been the common man’s welfare. He said the country could only be turned into a Medina-like state if this feeling developed in the people sitting in the power corridors. The premier said a major change had come to surface in the Punjab after three decades and its people had faced a real tyranny in the previous tenure.

APP adds: Contradicting a statement that appeared in a section of the press, Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood said no building at the Governor House, Lahore was being demolished and only an iron fence was being installed in place of the boundary walls in order to attract the visitors. He said not only an art gallery, but also a museum was being set up to further enhance the beauty of Governor House, said a press release. A botanical garden would also be set up at the Governor House, he added. The minister said the Governor House at Nathia Gali was being converted into a hotel while appropriate changes would also be made to the Governor Houses in Karachi and Peshawar to make them accessible to visitors.

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