ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Thursday reaffirmed Pakistan’s firm commitment to peace and stability, but vowed that any external aggression would be repulsed with full force.
The cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan hours before the joint sitting of parliament expressed the hope that sanity would prevail in the Indian government and leadership so that regional peace was not jeopardised.
“The cabinet reaffirmed Pakistan’s firm commitment to peace and stability while fully protecting its sovereignty, preserving its territorial integrity and responding with full force in case of any external aggression,” said an official announcement issued by the PM Office.
The cabinet praised the armed forces for their calibrated response to the Indian aggression which was designed to give a message that though Pakistan had the capability, it did not intend to harm innocent civilians or cause any undue damage.
The cabinet also lauded the prime minister’s address to the nation on Wednesday as that of a statesman.
Ministers, advisers praise foreign ministry’s efforts to highlight nation’s stance
The prime minister in his address to the nation had offered dialogue to India amid growing tensions with the arch rival.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi briefed the cabinet about his conversations with foreign ministers of China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran and other world leaders on the current situation, during which he highlighted that the Indian leadership was whipping up war hysteria for political gains.
The cabinet praised the efforts of the foreign minister and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs aimed at highlighting Pakistan’s principled stance and its efforts to de-escalate the situation.
The cabinet ratified the decisions taken by the Cabinet Committee on Energy and the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation in their meetings held on Feb 13.
Decisions taken by the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet during its meeting held on Feb 19 and the Cabinet Committee for Disposal of Legislative Cases in its meeting of Feb 26 were also ratified.
The cabinet granted exemption to the Federal Investigation Agency from the provisions of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority Rules 2004 for the expenditures of Joint Investigation Team formed by the Supreme Court to probe fake/benami accounts, for facilitating its day-to-day working, including hiring of foreign/local experts and for timely completion of the investigation.
The cabinet approved the signing of a framework arrangement amounting to $500 million with the Republic of Korea and signing of memorandum of understanding between the Committee on Financial Monitoring of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Financial Monitoring Unit of the Pakistan government concerning cooperation on the exchange of financial intelligence related to money laundering and terrorist financing.
The cabinet approved appointment of the chairman and directors of the Board of Directors of National Bank of Pakistan.
The cabinet also appointed Zubyr Soomro as the chairman of the National Bank of Pakistan.
Memorandum of cooperation between the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Pakistan’s Ministry of Law and Justice was also approved by the cabinet.
The cabinet also reviewed the progress made regarding disposal of state properties owned by various ministries/departments.
It was decided that the process would be expedited so as to ensure optimum utilisation of dead properties and to raise much-needed finances for projects of public welfare.
Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2019