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ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Tuesday approved new rules to tighten the noose around banned outfits in the country and block their financial assistances.

“The cabinet accorded approval, in principle, to Anti-Terrorism (Freezing and Seizure) Rules, 2018,” said a cabinet decision shared with the media.

The decision was taken three days after President Mamnoon Hussain promulgated an ordinance that amended the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, with regard to proscription of terrorist individuals and organisations to include entities listed by the United Nations Security Council.

A source privy to the cabinet meeting said the decision to allow seizing and freezing of terrorist assets would help ensure blocking of bank accounts of terrorist individuals and organisations.

In a separate decision the cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, instructed the officials concerned to expedite the process for filling up the vacant positions of organisation heads.

Process for filling up vacant positions of organisation heads to be expedited

The meeting expressed satisfaction over the existence of surplus installed capacity in the power sector. It said the government was committed to ensuring uninterrupted power supply to consumers.

The federal cabinet also directed the government functionaries concerned to make the New Islamabad International Airport operational.

The meeting also approved signing of an inter-governmental agreement between the energy ministry and the Ministry of Oil and Gas, Sultanate of Oman, for supply of Liquefied Natural Gas and POL products on government to government basis.

Approval for signing of an inter-governmental agreement and Letter of Intent on Cooperation in the field of Liquefied Natural Gas between Pakistan and Italy was also granted.

The cabinet decided to remove Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) retired Air Marshal Asim Suleiman, the source said.

It has been reported that the entire senior management of the CAA has expressed no confidence in the director general over his alleged abusive behaviour.

Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2018