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Federal cabinet placed names of 172 including Asif Zardari on ECL

Lahore : Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Thursday said the federal cabinet has decided to place the names of former president Asif Ali Zardari and others mentioned in the Joint Investigation Team (JIT)’s report regarding fake bank accounts and money laundering in the Exit Control List (ECL).

Briefing the media, he said, the Cabinet meeting,
chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, expressed its resolve to continue accountability process sans any discrimination.

Responding to a question regarding a statement
attributed to former president Asif Ali Zardari, that he (Zardari) does not take JIT’s report serious, he said the people who do not take ongoing accountability process seriously would soon admit their mistake. Now onward, each rupee of the nation would be accounted for. An accountability process would be continued without any fear or favour.

He said the federal cabinet has approved enhancing a
special seat for women each in the National Assembly and Senate from the federal capital. A constitutional amendment bill would soon be tabled in the Parliament in this regard.

He said the federal cabinet has accorded approval to
hold provincial assembly elections on 26 seats of erstwhile Fata before June 2019. It was a long cherished desire of Prime Minister Imran Khan to grant rights to tribesmen to bring them into mainstream.

He said the federal cabinet has expressed concern over sudden deterioration in law and order in Karachi in the context of the assassination of former MNA Ali Raza Abidi. Sindh government has been asked to provide security to the parliamentarians of PTI and MQM from Karachi. The federal government would provide Rangers security in case of failure of Sindh government.

The cabinet has decided to take up the issue of Altaf
Hussain’s inciting of violence speeches with the United Kingdom government. The Cabinet has also decided to raise the issue of reactivation of certain South African based gangs in Karachi with
South African government.

He said Cabinet has approved the appointment of Dr
Aamir Azim Bajwa and Dr Khawar Siddique as members of Pakistan Telecommunications Authority. The Cabinet has decided to expand the coverage of mobile phones in North Waziristan and evaluate the
possibility of extending mobile service to Makran division.

He said imported mobile phones could be got registered till January 15, with the payment of 10 percent customs duty. The purpose behind this decision was to encourage local mobile industry and
discourage undue imports of mobile sets.

He said the federal cabinet has appreciated the
services rendered by FIA in unearthing money laundering of billions of rupees.

The Cabinet has directed interior ministry to conduct
inquiry regarding faulty CCTV cameras in Islamabad and Karachi.
Millions of rupees were spent on installation of close circuit television (CCTV) cameras in Islamabad and Karachi under safe city projects, but majority of these cameras are either dysfunctional or not able to provide legible pictures.

The Cabinet has also approved service structure of
National Electric Power Regulatory Authority chairman, he said.

A special Task Force on Technology Driven Economy has been constituted to modernize research in Pakistan. Prime Minister will be the chairman while Dr Atta ur Rehman has been appointed its vice

Fawad Chaudhry said the federal cabinet has decided to establish Dar-ul-Hikmah at Prime Minister House. A combined think tank would do research work there and its recommendations would be implemented. In
the second phase, the Prime Minister House would be converted in to a university.

Responding to a question, he said the government would ensure security of NAB chairman and other officials of the anti graft watchdog.

The Cabinet has decided to reduce news print duty from 5% to 1% to provide relief to media industry. Pakistan has decided to float Panda Bonds in Chinese market. The modalities of bonds are being worked out right now.

He said the Cabinet has approved the appointment of
Farrukh Sabzwari as Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan chairman.

The Cabinet has also approved Rs20 million grant for Higher Education Commission. A plan is being finalized to revive functioning of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM). The dues of PSM would be paid by the
year 2019.

Responding to a question, he said the backbenchers of PML-N and PPP would vote in favour of positive legislation in the Parliament.

Responding to another question, he paid tributes to former prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and said current Zardari party has very little link with the erstwhile PPP.

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