PM reiterates commitment to strengthen bilateral relations with Afghanistan

PM expresses resolve commitment to provide affordable residence to people with ownership rights

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Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed Pakistan’s commitment to strengthen the bilateral relationship with Afghanistan, including trade and economic ties and people-to-people linkages.

Talking to Leader of Hezb-e-Wahdat-e Islami, Afghanistan Ustad Karim Khalili in Islamabad today (Tuesday), he underscored his longstanding position that there is no military solution to Afghan conflict and a negotiated political settlement is the only way forward.

He said the Afghan people had suffered gravely due to prolonged conflict in the country.

The Prime Minister reiterated Pakistan’s consistent support to the Afghan peace process, and underscored that the Intra-Afghan Negotiations process must be pursued with perseverance and patience for an inclusive and broad-based solution.

The exchange of views covered progress in the Afghan peace process and bilateral relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan says provision of affordable residence to the people with ownership rights is one of the top priories of the government and he also directed to complete the ongoing projects within the stipulated timeframe.

Talking to Minister for Housing Tariq Bashir Cheema in Islamabad today (Tuesday), he appreciated the progress on continuing projects for the federal government’s employees.

On the occasion, Tariq Bashir Cheema gave a detailed briefing to the Prime Minister about ongoing projects of the Ministry of Housing. Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the meeting of federal cabinet here on Tuesday.The meeting discussed various agenda items relating to development projects and other issues of importance, the PM office said.

The Federal Cabinet on Tuesday approved amendments in the relevant laws to enhance powers of the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) to ensure transparency.

Briefing the media about the decisions of the federal cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan here, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz said that after the amendment the purview of the AGP would also be extended to autonomous bodies which so far get their accounts audited from private firms.

He said that some of the audit paragraphs are about procedural issues which when reported create unnecessary sensation. He said that the functioning of AGPR would be digitalized and automated and issuance ofcheques would be done through automation and human involvement would be reduced to increase transparency.

The PTI government was vigorously working on institutional reforms as it had promised in its manifesto and the cabinet decided to share their details with the public soon, he said.

The minister said most of the institutions were following old and obsolete methods which compromise efficiency, transparency and accountability.

Shibli said that PM’s Adviser on Institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain informed the meeting that over 100 institutions of the federal government were either merged or abolished to reduce the burden on the
exchequer.

He said that the cabinet was informed that about 71000 posts from grade 1 to 16 which remained vacant for over one year would be abolished.

He said that after passage of 18th Amendment many ministries were devolved but the number of federal government employees have increased.

Shibli Faraz said the cabinet has formed an inter-ministerial committee, which will reveal the details of the individuals, mentioned in the Broadsheet scandal. He said former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and others influenced that inquiry to save their own skin and now the government under Prime Minister Imran Khan has decided to make those names public, after thorough scrutiny of the available material.

The minister said that the cabinet was briefed about the steps being taken to control smuggling of petroleum products in the country.

The cabinet was informed that illegal smuggling of oil causes Rs 180 billion losses to the exchequer and causes environmental pollution besides damaging engines of the vehicles.

He said that the cabinet was informed that crackdown has been started and so far 192 pumps have been sealed.

Shibli Faraz said that the Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his strong displeasure and annoyance over opening of fire by the police on a youth Osama Satti.

Minister for Planning Asad Umar raised the incident of the death of Osama Satti in police firing.

He said that the Joint Investigation Committee formed to investigate killing of Osama Satti has presented its report to the interior secretary, but the Prime Minister expressed the resolve that new probe would be arranged if family members of the deceased youth are not satisfied with JIT’s findings.

He said an inquiry will be organized to the satisfaction of Osama Satti’s family to take the culprits to the task.

He said that the cabinet discussed the legal steps so that in future no province could create shortage of edible commodities by not releasing its share as Sindh government did, which resulted in wheat crisis.

 

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