Budget, May 9 top agenda in PM-COAS meeting

Published June 13, 2023
In this file photo from November 30, 2022, Chief of Army Staff Gen Syed Asim Munir calls on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at the PM Office in Islamabad. — APP/File
In this file photo from November 30, 2022, Chief of Army Staff Gen Syed Asim Munir calls on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at the PM Office in Islamabad. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: For the first time after presentation of the federal budget 2023-24, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir on Monday met Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at the PM House.

Interestingly, soon after the meeting, the National Assembly passed a resolution seeking the trial of May 9 rioters — who were involved in attacks on military and state installations — “without any delay” and under the Pakistan Army Act, 1952.

Although there was no official word about the meeting but sources close to the prime minister told Dawn that the COAS called on the PM.

The COAS has also said recently that there will be no mercy for the planners, instigators, abettors and perpetrators involved in the May 9 mayhem and that they will be tried under the army and official secrets acts.

Shehbaz promises all-out support to Sindh govt for cyclone response

The PM-COAS meeting is also believed to be significant in the backdrop of the presentation of the recent fiscal budget.

PM backs budget

Prime Minister Shehbaz also said in his tweets that despite the constraints imposed by domestic and global circumstances, the budget 2023-24 promised to turn things around and has outlined a clear path for the purpose.

The prime minister said the measures for the uplifting of information technology, agriculture, solarisation, youth development and other sectors were proposed after thorough deliberations.

“They are aimed at incentivising innovation and entrepreneurship of our talented youth and boosting the productivity of agriculture and attracting investment in the agro-industry.”

At the same time, the prime minister said the government was working on a solarisation initiative to replace the costlier sources of power generation by harnessing the vast solar power.

Cyclone Biparjoy

Later, the prime minister talked to the CM Sindh on telephone and issued directive for chalking out a joint strategy of federal and provincial departments to ensure safety of people, fishermen, ships, coastal infrastructure and areas of Badin, Thatta and south-eastern parts of Sindh.

“I just spoke to CM Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah and discussed the preparations to deal with the cyclone. I commend the Sindh government for the arrangements it has made under the leadership of the chief minister,” the prime minister said in his tweet.

“I assured the Sindh government of complete support of the federal government. God willing, we will be able to overcome this situation with the support of the people,” he added.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2023

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