Austerity policy to be strictly enforced: PM

F.P. Report
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said that the austerity policy he had announced a day earlier would be enforced strictly and no laxity in this regard would be tolerated.
The prime minister, chairing a meeting to review the implementation of the policy, said the “historic” decisions made to promote austerity and simplicity would have a far-reaching impact that also got applause from the public. He directed the formation of a monitoring committee to oversee the implementation of the decisions. The committee would meet at least fortnightly.
To be chaired by a cabinet member from a coalition party, the monitoring committee would comprise representation from all the allied parties. Other committee members would include Special Assistant to PM Jahanzeb Khan, Principal Secretary to PM and federal finance secretary.
The prime minister said the austerity measures would help save national resources; however, effective outcomes depended on the full enforcement of the policy. Federal ministers Rana Tanveer Hussain and Tariq Bashir Cheema, Advisor Qamar Zaman Kaira, State Minister Hashim Notezai, SAPM Jahanzeb Khan and relevant senior officers attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif highlighting the significance of long-standing cooperation between Pakistan and the United States underscored the need to make this partnership diverse and multidimensional.
He underlined that parliamentary exchanges between the two countries, as vibrant democracies, were vital to promoting understanding of each others’ perspectives at the political level. The prime minister expressed these views while welcoming a six-member US Senate delegation from the Democratic Party, which led by Senate Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer called on him here.
Other members of the delegation included Senators Maria Cantwell, Amy Klobuchar, Gary Peters, Catherine Cortez Masto, and Peter Welch. The prime minister highlighted that Pakistan and US celebrated 75 years of diplomatic relations last year, and that this diplomatic milestone presented an ideal opportunity to chart future course for Pak-US bilateral ties.
Pointing to the unrealized potential in the trade, investment and technology realms, he emphasized the importance of forging a more robust and mutually beneficial bilateral economic partnership. The prime minister recognized the important role that the vibrant Pakistani community played in serving as an important bridge between the two countries.
He thanked the US for its support and solidarity with the people of Pakistan during the 2022 floods and its participation in the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan. A number of issues of mutual interest and importance including the situation in Afghanistan, and deteriorating human rights situation and growing repression in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) were also discussed during the meeting.
The prime minister urged the US Congress to play its due role in raising its voice for the rights of the Kashmiri people and against the rising wave of anti-Muslim extremism in India. Senator Schumer, thanking the Prime Minister on behalf of the delegation, affirmed the desire to further strengthen Pakistan-US bilateral ties in various dimensions through continued engagement and wider co-operation.