Anti-state long march to be dealt with iron hand, cabinet told

APP31-240522 ISLAMABAD: May 24 - Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairs Federal Cabinet Meeting. APP

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday was assured that any anti-State long march in the future would be dealt with an iron hand. Interior Minister Rana Sanullah informed the meeting that the May 25long march of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was ‘not a political activity, but a planned anti-State conspiracy’. He also apprised the cabinet that the long march in fact was an “armed attack on the State” in the garb of political activity, however, categorically stated that no law enforcement personnel at the venue was carrying any weapon. PM Sharif mentioned that he had directed the Interior Ministry and the law enforcement agencies not to carry any weapon at the venue of the long march. He constituted a five-member committee including Rana Sanaullah and Adviser on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira to chalk out a future plan of action to deal with such anti-State activities. The cabinet felicitated the nation on rejecting Imran Khan’s long march of May 25 and lauded the law enforcement agencies on performing their duties efficiently. The meeting took strong notice of Imran Khan’s call for a bloody march on May 25 along with the people carrying weapons. It was highlighted that PTI utilized the resources of the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa government by gathering armed groups in the KP House a day ahead of the long march. Also, the Chief Minister of Gilgit Baltistan attacked the police personnel. The cabinet expressed grave concern over the statement of Chief Minister KP Mahmood Khan who had announced to attack the State and the federal capital with full force. The federal cabinet also approved Rs2.44 billion for the Ministry of Religious Affairs for the facilitation of Hajj pilgrims which would bring down the Hajj cost by Rs150,000 per head. The meeting also nodded to initiating a process for the appointment of a member of the National Commission for Human Rights from the Islamabad Capital Territory. An approval to nullify the Railway Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2022 was granted which would allow the required amendment in the railway laws to bring in innovations and reforms. The federal cabinet approved the appointment of Irum Anjum Khan as Secretary Privatisation Commission, Abdul Khaliq Sheikh as Inspector General of Police Balochistan, Syed Zainul Abidin as Member Finance in NEPRA Appellate Tribunal, and Salman Aizada as Member Electric. The meeting also granted a one-time concession to the Chinese workers working on ongoing Chinese projects for the categorization of their visas. The cabinet also granted approval to the decisions of the Economic Coordination Committee including the import of 3 million tons of wheat, and a supplementary grant of Rs62.27 billion under the head of price differential claims of oil marketing companies and refineries for May 2022. A bridge financing for the Government of Punjab was approved for the implementation of the federal government’s Ramazan Package comprising 260,000 metric tons of wheat and low-priced flour.However, after the formation of the Punjab cabinet, the provincial government can also provide funding from its own expenditures. The federal cabinet agreed to keep up the subsidy under the PM Relief Package to provide flour, sugar, rice and pulses at the Utility Stores at reduced prices. An extension in the completion period of K-2 and K-3 power was also granted. The cabinet also gave a go-ahead to the Trading Corporation of Pakistan for the import of 200,000 metric tons of Urea from China on G2G basis; withdrawal of 2% additional customs duty on the import of palm oil; supplementary grant of Rs7.56 billion for Federal Directorate for Immunization, Rs107.84 million for the interior ministry, Rs50 billion for energy ministry and Rs24 billion for Poverty Alleviation Division.



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