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PM wants change in production order rules

Top Story

July 3, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that production orders for members of parliament involved in embezzlement and corruption related cases should not be issued.

The prime minister has tasked the Ministry of Law and Justice to redraft the law on production orders for lawmakers for consideration of the parliament. Addressing the federal cabinet meeting here at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Tuesday, the premier asked for an equal treatment for all prisoners in his “Naya Pakistan”. All prisoners should be given an equal treatment and no inmate should receive preferential treatment during confinement. He said production orders are like slap on the face of common prisoners.

“Those involved in corruption related cases cannot be labelled as political prisoners, hence, their production orders should not be issued as suchprisoners do not deserve any kind of concession,” the prime minister said, and questioned that which heart patient eats Pa’ay and Hareesa.

The federal cabinet that had its meeting under the prime minister approved abolishing of prize bond with the denomination of 40,000 rupees to check black money. The cabinet decided that Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) will not be privatised. It will be revamped with new vision and approach. The PSM being a national asset will be run on public-private partnership basis.

The cabinet formally approved Haj Policy 2019. Special Assistant to the PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan flanked by Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Dr Noorul Haq Qadri, in a media briefing after the cabinet meeting said the prime minister has directed to make Haj-2019 scandal-free and provide all possible facilities to the intending pilgrims. She said Imran Khan will himself inaugurate Haj flight operation and for the first time Pakistani pilgrims will leave Islamabad airport after completing all formalities of immigration for a hassle-free journey to the holy land.

Firdous Ashiq Awan announced that the cabinet approved the ‘Islamabad Capital Territory Senior Citizens Welfare Bill 2019' to ensure that the neglected elderly persons are looked after by the state.

"There is no greater tragedy than the fact that the ones who raise half a dozen children are not taken care of when it's their turn," she said as she provided details of the initiative. "In view of these societal gaps we see, the challenges that the society faces nowadays, and the fact that our social fabric is being destroyed, the prime minister has approved this bill (for legislation)," she explained. She said that the proposed law will work to safeguard the fundamental rights of senior citizens and ensure their uplift and protection within society. Furthermore, she said, a senior citizens’ council will be formed which will begin its work in Islamabad with the creation of an old age home. "For the past 12 years, I have been running an old age home in Sialkot which stems from my 'addiction' to social work. I am happy that the prime minister and I, along with the cabinet, are just as 'addicted' to social welfare and the need to serve people," she said.

Dr Firdous also announced the cabinet's decision to create a centralised data bank to record the information of children who are kidnapped or missing. "The prime minister has a soft corner for the National Child Protection Commission, and the cabinet today accorded approval to the National Commission on the Rights of the Child,” she said.

The cabinet approved procedure for work visas with North Korea, and appointment of Zubair Gilani as new chairman of Board of Investment (BoI). Dr Firdous also informed the media that in the cabinet meeting, in the presence of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) chairman, the prime minister directed the Authority to create a new master plan for Islamabad.

"The CDA, an important institution and pillar of the capital, was tasked with creating an organised structure," she said, adding: "1960 was the year in which the first law was made and the (currently in use) master plan is from that year."

She said the prime minister gave strict orders that the Authority make a new master plan to address the issues regarding expansion in the capital, haphazard growth of housing colonies, shortage of residences, load on CDA due to not being able to distribute work, garbage, maintenance of buildings, supply of clean drinking water and green belts which were taken over and their misuse.

She further informed the media that an audit of the Authority shall be done as it is an institution which is "tangled up in red-tape". The PM’s special assistant said the PSM will be run on public-private partnership basis. The SAPM said that it is prime minister's vision to forge a partnership with overseas Pakistanis. She said the prime minister has directed establishment of facilitation counters for overseas Pakistanis at all airports.

Noorul Haq Qadri said for the first time Saudi Arabia is extending e-visa facility to Pakistani Hujjaj. He said this time 200,000 Pakistani pilgrims will perform Haj and the government has made excellent arrangements for their transportation, food, and accommodation. He said a sum of Rs25,000 to Rs58,000 will be returned to Pakistani pilgrims under government Haj Scheme as the government has successfully saved amount from excellently bargaining in transport and accommodation matters. He said latest model air-conditioned buses have been hired for the transportation of Pakistani Hujjaj. He said food of Pakistani taste will be provided to Pakistani pilgrims.

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