Govt re-invites opposition for talks on electoral reforms

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary said that government and the opposition were getting along quite well and the consultation process on the appointment of two members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has begun, on Tuesday.

Fawad Chaudhary said that the Prime Minister will inform the opposition about the names of ECP members in the next few days. The names of the Prime Minister and Speaker of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir will be finalized.  

He was briefing to the media after the cabinet meeting held under the chair of Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday. The cabinet discussed the overall political and economic situation of the country besides the coronavirus situation. 

Fawad Chaudhry said that it was quite strange that AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider was making allegations of rigging while sitting in the PM office. “If rigging was held under your office then come to the technology, the electronic voting machine (EVMs) system. Our 49 points on electoral reforms are not a sacred document and opposition must bring their points as well,” he said.

Fawad Chaudhry said that the cabinet has approved the country’s first National Cyber Security Policy Ministry of IT Approves Cyber Security Policy after the Ministry of IT approved it. “Ministry of IT will work to prevent cyber hacking,” he added.

The federal cabinet also approved the National Advertising Policy and agreement for Dual Citizenship with Czech Republic. It also gave approval to the Pakistan Red Crescent Society to import five ambulances from Japan.

The cabinet also approved decisions of the Energy Committee, decisions of Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on July 21, Spectrum Auction for Next Generation Mobile Services.

Cabinet was apprised with two briefings on the coronavirus situation in the country. “It will be made mandatory for the people to be vaccinated in the ministries as well. If the issue of vaccination persists, the government may block SIM cards as well,” he added.

Fawad Chaudhry said the federal cabinet has set up committees to review the threat alerts to politicians and judiciary. The Prime Minister said that in order to collect taxes, it must be ensured that their tax money is being spent properly.

Sharing the details of security forces and budget being spent on the government officials and judiciary he said that 377 personnel have been deployed for the security of judges. “1400 million is being spent on the security of the judiciary, also, retired secretaries and IGs have police personnel.

“Prime Minister also ordered for the arrest of the killers of two PTI workers who were gunned down during Azad Jammu and Kashmir general elections held on July 25,” Fawad Chaudhry said.

The cabinet also prayed for four Pakistan Armed Forces soldiers who embraced martyrdom as their vehicle plunged into AJK riverine. The quick response force of Pakistan Army was deployed to maintain law and order in the AJK polls. 

Fawad Ch said that Dr Babar Awan briefed the cabinet on electronic voting machines. PTI is the government in by-elections.

He informed that the case of placing the name of alleged killer of Noor Muqaddam Muqadam into ECL was nor presented in the cabinet. The minister claimed that investigation into the matter has been going in the right direction.

The minister also said that Pakistan will inform the United Nations (UN) about the phone hacking attempt by India through Israeli spyware Pegasus.