ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet on Wednesday upheld its decision to allow import of upto five-year old vehicles to facilitate expatriates and to help reduce prices of the cars and other vehicles in the country. This was stated by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira while briefing newsmen on the decisions of the Federal Cabinet, which met here with Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani in the chair.He dispelled the impression given by certain elements that the government had withdrawn the decision under pressure of automobile industry. He added,”the people’s government does not come under pressure, but it believes in consultation. We are not dictators, that is why we believe in consultations and the reversal of petroleum price notification earlier this month was one such example.Media can write that the government has surrendered. As a nation we will have to get used to democratic traditions”, he added.As the Cabinet has upheld its earlier decision, the impression of pressure given by certain elements stands nullified, he added.The minister said that at the start, the Cabinet condemned yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Lahore and Karachi and expressed its resolve that the government would continue to fight terrorism and extremism till the menace is eliminated.Kaira said that the Cabinet paid homage to the brave policemen who lost their lives protecting the lives of others. The Cabinet expressed condolence with the families of all those who sacrificed their lives as well as sympathies with those. who were injured.Kaira said that the Cabinet decided to observe the Kashmir Solidarity Day on February 5, with complete devotion and commitment and called upon all the provincial governments, human rights organizations and media to help highlight the issue of Jammu & Kashmir.The minister said that the Cabinet took stock of the status of implementation of Cabinet decisions pertaining to Ministry of Information Technology, Ministry of Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs, Narcotics Control Division, Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources.It was mentioned that around 95 per cent of the aforementioned decisions had been implemented. Those decisions that remained pending, were subject to further negotiations between the relevant stakeholders.
The Prime Minister directed to fix the time-line for completion of consultation with stakeholders so that decisions could be implemented at the earliest, he added.
The Cabinet constituted a committee to be headed by the Minister for Interior on the pending item related to the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis regarding the signing of MoU with the UAE government.Responding to a question about reduction in the size of the Cabinet, he said that the Prime Minister had already announced that the Cabinet would be reshuffled soon. Moreover, he said that the matter related to Cabinet reshuffle and reductions was not discussed in the meeting but with the President.He told that the Finance Minister briefed the Cabinet on the ongoing process of consultations with political parties on economic issues. He said that as consultation in the parliamentary committee is going on, so there is nothing available in black and white. However he assured the media that all details of this committee’s final agreement would be made public.
“We would not hide anything from the media and general public.Every decision would be shared with the media and masses”, he added.To a question on war on terror he said that the federal government, provinces, Armed Forces, police and Rangers are jointly fighting the menace of terrorism. He said that this war cannot be won within days. No doubt we have broken the major networks of the terror groups but some splinter groups are still operative.He said that the Cabinet renewed its pledge to continue the war till complete elimination of the terrorists. This was every Pakistani’s war and not that of the government only.Kaira said that at present there is no proposal to impose ban on new recruitments in the federal government. He said that during next few days Finance Minister Hafeez A Sheikh would brief the nation about the real economic situation. “There is no doubt we face many economic challenges, but the situation is not as bleak as is being painted by certain people”, said the minister.He said that the Cabinet observed one minute silence over the sad demise of the father of Minister for Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti to share the grief with the bereaved family.The Cabinet also offered Fateha for the father-in-law of Minister for Interior Rehman Malik, who passed away recently – APP