ISLAMABAD: In view of the fresh spate of terrorist attacks in the country, the federal cabinet on Wednesday decided to revisit the National Action Plan (NAP) on terrorism devised in 2014 following the Army Public School carnage.

The cabinet strongly condemned former prime minister Imran Khan’s stance against Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and hoped the CEC would not come under any pressure to resign. The cabinet also decided to abolish all laws and rules made to “harass” government officials.

Meanwhile, two coalition partners — Balochistan Awami Party chief Khalid Magsi and Awami National Party leader Amir Haider Khan Hoti — regretted joining Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on his two-day official visit to Saudi Arabia commencing from Thursday (today), to perform Umrah on state expenses.

“Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has issued directives for revisiting the National Action Plan,” Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said at a post-cabinet meeting press conference.

The prime minister, she said, would soon coordinate with the Sindh government to get to the bottom of the extremely condemnable incident in Karachi. Besides reviewing the NAP, she said, an emergency meeting of the National Counter Terrorism Authority has also been called.

“The PM directed the interior ministry to work with all provinces to review the NAP and present a comprehensive plan to curb the recent rise in terrorist attacks in Pakistan,” she added.

During the cabinet meeting, the interior ministry gave a briefing in light of which a new security plan was considered regarding the safety of Chinese and other strategic partners working in Pakistan. It was decided that the interior minister would visit all the provinces which would help review security measures across the country, she added.

She said the cabinet decided to review the amended rules regarding bureaucracy, the purpose of which was only ‘harassment, politicisation and arm-twisting’ of bureaucracy.

“In this connection, a cabinet committee has been formed comprising Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarrar, Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman and Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique. It would submit a report in two weeks.”

According to Ms Aurangzeb, the prime minister was told by the power division that within the past two weeks, majority of off-the-grid power plants were brought back online and out of the 27 plants/units shut down by the PTI government, only seven units and three plants remained offline and those too would be fixed soon. She said fuel to the power plants would also be restored by May 7.

Currently, 18,727MW electricity was available with a shortfall between 500MW and 2,000MW, which would also be eliminated shortly, she added.

Criticising the ex-PM, she said when courts questioned the unconstitutional actions of his rule, Imran Khan attacked the judiciary.

“Now he is attacking the Election Commission to harass it not to reveal the truth about the PTI’s illegal foreign funding case that had been buried by the party for the past eight years,” she added.

Published in Dawn, April 28th, 2022

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