Cabinet protest UK's decision to keep Pakistan in red list

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Federal cabinet on Tuesday while strongly protested against decision to keep Pakistan in the coronavirus red list and decided to raise the issue with British authorities.

Addressing a press conference after federal cabinet meeting on Tuesday, he said that the meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, described the reasons given by the British government as unsatisfactory. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on extradition of criminals was also discussed in detail.

Chaudhry said that Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan also spoke about Pakistan s coronavirus testing mechanism with Britain s chief medical scientist.

"We hope the British government will review its policy," he added.

He said that the present opposition is frivolous and incompetent, adding that they have no interest in electoral reforms and the politics of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) is limited to getting dates from the courts.

He said the party of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is in the hands of clowns, adding Bilawal Bhutto and Maryam Nawaz can become the prime minister only through rigging.

The minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed serious reservations on the process for acquiring land of poor people in Islamabad to distribute plots among bureaucrats, journalists, and judges.

Chaudhry said that the Prime Minister constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Planning Minister Asad Umar that will evolve a comprehensive policy to check exploitation of the poor people.

He said the policy will formulate a system so that lands of common people cannot be acquired to appease bureaucrats, journalists and judges.

The minister said that the government is pursuing a policy to turn SOEs into profitable organizations. He said as a result of prudent policies of the government, all State Owned Enterprises, except National Highway Authority, have become profitable. He said SOEs earned 31 billion rupees so far.

Fawad Ch said that the cabinet also approved a security plan for New Zealand s cricket team during upcoming tour to Pakistan. He said extra ordinary security will be provided to the visiting cricketers.

He said enforcement of Essential Services Act in Radio Pakistan was also approved. He said the government is also working on reviving the cinema industry for which import of foreign movies, except Indian films, will be allowed.

The minister said port charges on exports have been reduced by 50 percent. He said voluntary retirement and golden handshake scheme for the employees of Pakistan Medical Council also got cabinet s nod. It was approved to establish a joint security commission between Pakistan and Uzbekistan.

The cabinet approved funds for the payment of outstanding expenditure of Roosevelt Hotel in New York.

He said that the cabinet held detailed discussion on the electoral reforms to ensure free, fair, and transparent elections in the country. He said it is the first government, which is itself calling for electoral reforms, but it is unfortunate that opposition has no interest in this regard.

"Opposition s leading parties, including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan People s Party do not have any interest in making the electoral system transparent as they have never come to power without rigging," he said.

Chaudhry, however, said that Prime Minister Imran Khan and his government is committed to go ahead with the electoral reforms, including introduction of Electronic Voting Machines.