Cabinet approves signing of CE Convention to facilitate Dr Aafia’s repatriation

Cabinet approves signing of CE Convention to facilitate Dr Aafia’s repatriation
Cabinet approves signing of CE Convention to facilitate Dr Aafia’s repatriation

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet Wednesday approved the signing of Council of Europe Convention on the transfer of sentenced persons to facilitate the repatriation of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, presently imprisoned in the US.

The Federal Cabinet met here under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at the Prime Minister’s office, said a press release. The Cabinet considered and gave its approval for signing of the Council of Europe Convention. On attaining accession to this Convention, the US Government will be requested under the relevant provisions for the repatriation of Aafia Siddiqui.

The Prime Minister directed the Interior Minister to “fast track” the process of signing the Convention as its signing would facilitate Aafia Siddiqui’s repatriation.The Cabinet was apprised that instances arise from time to time that Pakistani nationals sentenced to imprisonment by US Courts could not be brought back due to absence of any bilateral agreement or any convention to which both countries are signatories.Under US law, a person sentenced under federal law to a term of years may only be repatriated or transferred to the country of origin if the country in question is a signatory to a prisoner transfer treaty to which the United States is also a signatory. United States is a signatory to the Convention and Pakistan is not.

The Prime Minister took serious notice of the law and order situation in Karachi and directed the Interior Minister to make a comprehensive presentation in the next Cabinet meeting on the issue.The Cabinet also gave its approval for signing of Inter Governmental Council Resolution to CASA-1000 Transmission Project between Pakistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyz Republic. The Joint Working Group has prepared recommendations for development of the Project on the basis of Contractual Joint Venture and start negotiations on the standard terms and conditions in accordance with agreed commercial principles.

Signing of the Resolution by the Federal Minister for Water & Power was approved by the Cabinet.  The Inter-Governmental Council (IGC) consists of Ministers and Deputy Ministers of the four countries.The Cabinet considered and gave its approval for signing of Protocol to increase security cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey. The objective of the Protocol is to increase the current security cooperation between the Police Organizations of the Parties, including for capacity building and police training activities.

Both sides will cooperate, within the scope of this Protocol in the following areas to strengthen their organizational capacity in counter-terrorism; information technologies and telecommunication; training and train-the-trainer programmes; crime scene investigation and forensics; organized crimes; intelligence; operational, tactical and strategic level police management training; police aviation; police behavior training and contemporary approaches in policing; defence tactics, sniper and operational shooting; criminal investigations; traffic management and traffic control system; riot policing; crisis management systems; MOBESE systems; and prevention of radicalization.

The Cabinet considered and gave its approval for implementation of decisions of meeting of Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP). In the meeting of LJCP held on 4th June 2011, the Commission approved certain amendments in the Law and Justice Commission Ordinance 1979, National Judicial Committee Ordinance 2002 and repeal of Federal Court Act 1937. The Cabinet gave its approval to the amendments for introduction in either House of Parliament.

The Federal Cabinet considered and gave its approval to the amendment in the Federal Employees Benevolent Fund and Group Insurance Act, 1969 (Act-II of 1969). The amendment envisages incorporation of Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development in the composition of the Board in place of Ministry of Labour and Manpower.The Cabinet approved the amendments in the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Act, 1973. The draft bill will provide for establishment of Islamabad Bar Council which is a statutory requirement under the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Act, 1973.

The meeting approved in principle to enter into negotiations on an agreement on transfer of offenders between Pakistan and Maldives, Pakistan and Korea and Pakistan and China.The Federal Cabinet considered and approved for signing the negotiated agreement on Transfer of Offenders between Pakistan and Yemen, Pakistan and Azerbaijan and Pakistan and Republic of Turkey.

The Cabinet approved for signing of the Protocol between Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of Spain and the Ministry of Defence of Pakistan on Defence Cooperation. The Protocol envisages cooperation in military, defence industry and scientific-technological fields between both countries.The Cabinet accorded approval for signing of Financial Cooperation Agreement 2011 with Germany. The agreement will strengthen and intensify friendly relations through financial cooperation in a spirit of partnership and it will contribute to social and economic development in Pakistan. The agreement will also facilitate loans and financial contributions totaling Euro 67 million for developmental projects in Pakistan.

The Cabinet considered and gave its approval for signing of Cooperation Agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in the field of sports. The proposed agreement would provide an opportunity to share the experience, skills and techniques of sports between the two countries.The Cabinet also approved in principle to initiate negotiations with the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri-Lanka for signing of an MoU on cooperation in the field of sports.

The Cabinet considered and gave its ex-post facto approval, in principle, for the negotiations and singing of Protocol between the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China and the Ministry of National Food Security & Research of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on phytosanitary requirements for exporting mangoes from Pakistan to China.

The Cabinet was apprised that the export of Pakistani mangoes to China will not only accrue significant economic returns but will also attribute an authenticity to the Pakistani mangoes being complained by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of People’s Republic of China with respect to Plant Quarantine and WTO-SPS compliance.

The Cabinet considered Amendments in Service Tribunals Act, 1973 and formed a Committee to review and present its recommendations before the Cabinet. The Committee comprises Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization, Muhammad Ishaq Dar; Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Zahid Hamid; Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, Khawaja Zaheer and Secretary to the Prime Minister, Nasir Khosa.
The Cabinet considered and gave its approval for signing of the initialed draft Convention between Pakistan and the Czech Republic for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.