Punjab cabinet rejects Nawaz request for extension in suspended sentence

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar Tuesday presided over the 26th cabinet meeting at his office and made decisions for amendments to the laws.

The cabinet unanimously rejected an application, submitted by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for granting extension in a suspended sentence in the light of all aspects, ground realities and medical reports.

The cabinet was briefed that required medical reports of Nawaz Sharif were not provided despite repeated reminders by the medical board and the special committee, comprising provincial ministers Raja Basharat and Dr Yasmin Rashid. The committee was constituted on the directions of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Feb 11, 2020, which held its meetings on 19, 20 and 21 February.

Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader Attaullah Tarar attended the meeting on Feb 21, while Dr Adnan participated through video-link. The representatives of Nawaz Sharif, instead of submitting new verified medical reports, stressed that old medical reports should be treated as final. The report of the special committee was presented before the Punjab cabinet meeting, which unanimously decided to reject Nawaz Sharif’s application for granting extension in a suspended sentence.

The cabinet meeting also decided to amend sections 2(S), 21 and 38 of the Punjab Wildlife (Protection, Preservation, Conservation & Management) Amendment Act, 2007 to increase the amount of fines and sentences for illegal hunting in the province. It was also decided that fines and sentences would be further enhanced for poaching before hunting season, starting from November 01, 2020.

The meeting decided to grant permission for hunting of 62 surplus blackbucks, 21 Chinkara deer and 27 blue bull (Nilgai) in Cholistan desert.

The Punjab Occupational Safety & Health Amendment Health, 2019 was approved while amendment to the Punjab Fisheries Rules, 1965 was deferred.

The chief minister said that complaints of contaminated water had arisen due to fish farming in dams that also provide potable water. Therefore, the matter should be reviewed in detail by the health, irrigation, public health engineering departments and other stakeholders and final recommendations should be presented in the next meeting.

The meeting also decided to effectively implement necessary precautionary measures in the wake of the situation arising due to the presence of coronavirus in neighbouring countries. The chief minister directed the line departments to remain vigilant and the meeting was told that additional staff of the Health Department would be posted at airports.

The chief minister said that there should be no shortage of eatables being imported from neighbouring countries especially China and Iran. He directed Industries Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal to hold a meeting in this regard and adopt advance measures after a detailed review.

The chief minister said that the Punjab government adopted unprecedented measures to serve people and the wrong culture of the one-man show had been done away with. The decisions made with consultations yield positive results and the government would go to every extent to provide relief to people.

The timely decisions have helped in overcoming price-hike and the political, as well as administrative teams, should efficiently work to control prices because people cannot be left alone. It was essential to crush mafia wherever it exists, he added.

The meeting also endorsed minutes of 24th cabinet meeting.

Provincial ministers, advisers, special assistants, chief secretary and secretaries concerned attended the meeting.