Pakistan paid millions in lawsuits during PML-N rule: Firdous

Updated 15 May 2019


Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan. ─ APP/File
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan. ─ APP/File

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet was informed on Tuesday that the country had paid over $100 million in international litigation during the last three years of the government led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

“For pleading these cases, the country requires another $10 million,” said Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting, in a post-cabinet meeting press conference.

Ms Awan said that over $100 million had been spent on different international lawsuits such as Reko Diq mining project in Balochistan, rental power project case of Turkish firm Karkey Karadeniz, Samjhota Express bombing case, Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav proceedings and Nizam of Hyderabad funds legal dispute.

She accused the PML-N led government of making faulty agreements and later failing to fulfil international obligations resulting in striking down of several international contracts. She said Prime Minister Imran Khan had taken cognizance of spending huge amounts on international legal proceedings and formed a committee headed by the law minister to review them so as to avoid them in future.

Cabinet approves appointment of Zulfi Bukhari as tourism chief, drug prices reduction

The cabinet approved the appointment of Minister of State for Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari as chairman of the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC). The decision was endorsed by the PTDC board.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government has laid emphasis on promoting tourism in the country and has announced multiple steps to facilitate foreign travellers such as relaxed visa policy regime and online visas to visitors from 175 countries.

The cabinet also approved reduction in drugs’ prices, Ms Awan said, adding that newly appointed Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Dr Zafar Mirza would hold a press conference soon and apprise the media of the steps taken to streamline the drug regulatory and pricing system.

She said the cabinet had also approved renewal of the Pakistan International Airlines Corporation’s licence.

Ms Awan said that despite release of Rs2 billion subsidy to the Utility Stores Corporation, the supply chain of the stores was severed and thus 100 per cent subsidy relief could not be transferred to the public.

The cabinet decided to devise a strategy in collaboration with the provincial governments to control the price hike in the country, especially during Ramazan.

The prime minister, Ms Awan said, also released a grant allocated for provision of counsellor services to Pakistani prisoners in different countries.

PM Khan also directed the authorities concerned to bring back all Pakistani prisoners languishing in Malaysian jails, she added.

Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2019