Pakistan to recognize Taliban government after consultation with regional players: Fawad

ISLAMABAD, Aug 17 (APP): Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Tuesday said Pakistan would take decision about recognizing Taliban government in Afghanistan in consultation with regional and international powers specially China, Turkey and the United States of America.

Briefing media about cabinet decisions, he lauded peaceful change in Afghanistan, saying that Pakistan would not take unilateral decision about recognizing Taliban government and was in close contact with global powers in that regard.

Pakistan hoped Taliban would not allow the use of their land against Pakistan and any other country, he added.

Pakistan remained committed to an inclusive political settlement was the way forward, representative of all Afghan ethnic groups, he said.

He said Pakistan firmly believed that Taliban would adhere to respecting and protecting human rights in Afghanistan.

The minister Pakistan had earlier asked former President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani to establish a broad based government by including other stake holders in his government.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had also urged the former Afghan government to establish an inclusive government in Afghanistan, he added.

He said at the very outset of the meeting, the prime minister felicitated the cabinet on completion of three years in government and stressed transforming the country on pattern of state of Madina.

The functions of sharing three years performance of the government had been postponed due to Ashura, he added.

Fawad said the prime minister had categorically told the cabinet that all stake holders should be consulted for finalizing electoral reforms as the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) was imperative for holding free, fair and transparent and dispute free elections.

The minister said the cabinet was told that the final decision about the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in next elections would be made within the next fortnight.

He said Ministry of Science and Technology had given successful demonstration at the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) about EVM use.

The federal cabinet approved to revamp new local body election laws in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) within next 120 days, he added.

Under which the number of union council would be increased in proportion to population.
On each 20,000 population, a new union council would be constituted.

The prime minister had also directed the concerned to expedite finalization of Islamabad master plan, the minister added.

The cabinet has expressed its indignation over the decreasing standards of sports in the country and empowered Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination, Fehmida Mirza for changing infrastructure of sports in the country besides preparing a new sports policy.

Prime minister has directed to change the sports system altogether.

Fawad said the government had no control over sports associations, adding however their elections were not held usually on merit.

The prime minister has apprised the forum about the decisions taken in National Security Committee’s meeting held last day.

The cabinet lauded the efforts of Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood for introducing uniform curriculum in the country. The uniform curricula will help eliminating class differences in the society.

The prime minister stressed that the ‘Seerah’ of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) should be taught to the students of grade eight and nine.

The cabinet was told that billion of rupees were being spent on security and protocol of various personalities.

The government is reducing the protocol expenditures. Prime minister has reduced the expenditures of prime minister house.

The cabinet was briefed that Islamabad Police were incurring Rs 954 million per annum on security of VIPs, Rs 304 million over the security of judiciary. A sum of Rs 454 million are being spent on security and protocol of minister and others in Islamabad.

Similarly, in Punjab some 2,509 million was being spent on security of VIPs. A sum of Rs 427 million was being spent on security of Punjab Chief Minister and ministers. While a sum of Rs 105.87 million was being spent on security of former chief ministers and bureaucrats. Rs 1,143 million is spent on security of judiciary in Punjab.

The National Assembly speaker has saved Rs 1.57 billion by returning it to the government.
While billion of rupees were being saved by reducing expenditures of the president and prime minister under austerity measures. Prime Minister bears the expenses of his Bani Gala home.

The federal cabinet was briefed about the anti covid vaccination of government employees, the minister said.

Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafquat Mehmood told the cabinet that some 86 percent teachers and staff of educational institutes had already been administered anti covid vaccines.

Over 97 percent staff of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had also been inoculated.

The federal cabinet had approved lease and maintenance policy of Pakistan Post. The cabinet was told that Pakistan Post had some 4,257 properties. The cabinet had approved Postal Service Lease Policy aimed at utilizing government owned policy. Some 21 properties would be leased out in first phase.

The cabinet approved appointment of Shazia Adnan as Intellectual Property Organisation Director General.

The cabinet reappointed WAPDA Chariman Lt Gen (Retd) Muzammil Hussain, (WADPA) for another term.

The cabinet was of the opinion that Muzammil Hussain was supervising the construction of 10 dams and at this critical juncture his leadership must not be changed.

Responding to a question, Fawad invited concrete suggestions from stake holders for improving Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA).