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PM to pay condolence visit to families of Hazarganji blast victims: SAPM Awan

Updated April 20, 2019

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Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan , addresses the media following a meeting in Banigala. ─ DawnNewsTV
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan , addresses the media following a meeting in Banigala. ─ DawnNewsTV

Prime Minister Imran Khan will pay a visit to the Hazara families on Sunday and offer his condolences over last week's Hazarganji suicide attack, according to Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan.

Awan, in her first media talk since her appointment earlier this week, said that the prime minister will be in Quetta tomorrow to "inaugurate a housing scheme and to condole [with the victims] of the unfortunate incident".

The newly appointed SAPM also announced that Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan is being given the additional charge of the minister of petroleum — a position held by Ghulam Sarwar Khan until the recent cabinet reshuffle.

She said that "a harmony is being created to bridge the disconnect between the people's expectations and the government's decisions, if there is any," adding that "this is number one on the prime minister's agenda now."

Awan said that "various ministries have been given a variety of targets to provide relief to the masses, especially in the month of Ramazan."

She said that the new finance and economic teams have been instructed to devise policies that are "aligned with the prime minister's vision and priorities".

Awan urged the opposition parties to "play their role and support the government in ridding the problems facing the people of Pakistan" but warned that "if they construe the government's oft-repeated desire for reconciliation as a sign of weakness then that would spawn problems."

The ministers whose portfolios had changed as part of the cabinet reshuffle, including former information minister Fawad Chaudhry, did not attend the meeting in Banigala today. When asked if Chaudhry and others' absence was a sign of their unhappiness, Awan clarified that "this was not a cabinet meeting but rather a spokespersons' meeting."

"Fawad Chaudhry is a member of the spokespersons' committee but he had informed in advance that he was not in Islamabad and was travelling to Lahore. He will be a part of the next meeting," she said.

Awan said that the media industry's concerns regarding the crisis it's facing "are valid", adding that "we are going to engage you (media) rather than confront you."

"When we go into the engagement strategy, there will be consultation. We will hear some, we will say some and then there will be a win-win situation where your well-being will be our prime agenda," she said.