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APP
September 23, 2020

Enemies trying to damage Pakistan, institutions: Shibli

National

A
APP
September 23, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz on Tuesday said enemies are trying to damage Pakistan and its institutions, including the armed forces, by fomenting chaos and confusion.

Addressing a press conference here to brief about the decisions of the weekly cabinet meeting, he said Nawaz Sharif is a three-time prime minister but now he is talking against institutions like the Election Commission and courts to destabilize the country. To a question, he said the government is not concerned about the All Parties Conference (APC) of the opposition. “We did not create hurdles for the APC,” he said, adding that Nawaz is now healthy and strong. He is a proclaimed offender and is involved in money laundering and corruption, he added.

The minister said the opposition tried to blackmail the government on the legislation related to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and when it failed, Nawaz in a final attempt made a speech from London. To a question, he said debate on religious issues should be avoided as people are sensitive about them. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan is clear that strict punishments should be handed to rape offenders. A discussion was held on making laws against rape according to Islam to punish criminals involved in the heinous act. Adviser to Prime Minister Shehzad Akbar, he said, would come up with a law to effectively stop the crime of rape, ensure punishment, protect identity of the victim(s) and undertake use of the latest technology, he explained. There were loopholes in the law against rape which made it difficult to give punishment to the accused, he added. The incidents of rape are on the rise and the media is also reporting more cases.

The minister said for the prime minister, the energy sector and tax collection are priority issues. Different presentations were given to the cabinet on the energy sector and purchase of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) by power plants, he said, adding that negotiations were undertaken for the privatization of regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) based power plants.

The minister said the circular debt has risen to Rs 2.1 trillion and different sectors of economy suffered due to it. Electricity prices rose due to agreements done by the past governments. Serious and practical negotiations were held with power companies to review agreements and give relief to electricity consumers, he added.

He said briefings would be given to the media on the issues of power projects and reasons for the current energy prices in coming days. The cabinet endorsed the decisions of the Economic Coordination Committee on wheat import and import of cars for disabled persons during its meetings held on September 9 and 16.