Islamabad: The Federal Cabinet under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani met here today at Prime Minister’s Secretariat.
Before start of formal proceedings of the Cabinet meeting, Fateha for Late Mr. Hakim Ali Zardari, a seasoned politician, close associate of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, an Ex-MNA and Chairman of PAC was offered. The Cabinet also offered Fateha for all those who embraced Shahadat in the recent attack on PNS Mehran, CID Station Peshawar and District Administration Offices in Hangu.
The Prime Minister paid rich tribute on behalf of the Cabinet to those who sacrificed their lives during the terrorist attack at the Mehran Naval Base. As a nation, he said, “we are proud of the courage and valour with which the Jawans of Navy, Rangers and Police tried to defend the strategic naval installations and properties”.
The Prime Minister described that during his visit to the hospital, he was touched to see the spirit of our Jawans who remarked that it would have been better had they also embraced Shahadat. They even went to the extent of saying that if terrorists were bent upon suicide attacks they are ready for countering these with Shahadat, he mentioned.
The Prime Minister declared that with this kind of determination no force can ever demoralize us in defending our homeland. Nefarious designs of the terrorists, their collaborators will be foiled, he reiterated. He observed that the challenges confronting our country today, require greater unity among the people and leaders across the political divide.
In an especially convened meeting of the DCC, the Prime Minister apprised that it has been decided to make coordinated efforts to prevent and pre-empt acts of terrorism. He stated that the defence and law enforcement agencies have been directed to use all necessary means to eliminate terrorists and militants.
The Prime Minister also apprised the Cabinet that the security situation arising from terrorist attacks and the issues relating to regional security and stability came under review in the DCC, which expressed its full confidence in the ability of the Armed Forces, law enforcement and intelligence agencies to meet the threats to national
security. Let there be no doubt about our resolve to eliminate terrorism and militancy in the country, he reiterated.
The Prime Minister informed the Cabinet about his visit to China which was very important as it coincided with the 60th Anniversary of diplomatic ties between Pakistan and China. He observed that the visit reinvigorated an already cordial, multifaceted cooperation between the two countries, particularly in the areas of Strategic Cooperation, Defence, Trade, Economics, Investment, Science and Technology, Culture, Education and People-to-People Contacts. He informed the Cabinet that in-depth and detailed talks with President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and other leaders were held on issues of vital interest. The Chinese leadership reiterated its undiluted, unequivocal and principled support to Pakistan’s stance and strategy in the fight against terrorism, he added.
The Prime Minister stated that the Chinese leadership apprised him that even without Pakistan’s asking, the Chinese Vice Premier and State Counsellor for Foreign Affairs, who attended the recent China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington DC, had urged the US to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity; to recognize Pakistan’s sacrifices in the war against terror; and to help Pakistan in its fight against terrorism and extremism, and give it complete support. China has also called upon the international community to help Pakistan in its endeavours to combat Extremism and Terrorism, he informed.
The Prime Minister apprised the Cabinet about his affirmation to the Chinese leadership that Pakistan would never allow its territory to be used to attack any country and would continue to support international counter – terrorism cooperation. He added that he also emphasized Pakistan’s firm commitment to the one-China policy and assured extending support for the cause of China’s unification.
The Prime Minister observed that in these testing times it is imperative that we maintain unity among our ranks and not let despondency take hold on the minds of our people. I am sure together we will overcome the challenges we face today, he added.
The Cabinet took stock of the implementation of the decisions of the Federal Cabinet taken during the last three years. The cabinet was informed that so far, 83 meetings of the Cabinet have been held since 31st March 2008. The Cabinet reviewed the decisions pertaining to Ministries of Food and Agriculture, Foreign Affairs and Housing and Works Division. The Cabinet complimented the Food and Agriculture Minister for implementing 100% decision pertaining to his Ministry.
The Cabinet approved the decisions taken by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet in its meeting held on 7th May 2011.
A detailed presentation was given to the Cabinet by the Ministry of Finance on Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the country to oversee and discuss the trend of prices of essential commodities. Secretary Finance informed the Cabinet that nominal decline in commodity prices have been witnessed. International prices of oil have become stagnant and likely to decline in near future which is likely to ease pressure on our economy.
A report was submitted before the Cabinet by the State Bank of Pakistan as convener of the Committee to fix responsibility on the persons who caused losses to Industrial Development Bank of Pakistan (IDBP) because of imprudent lending and writing-off loans during the period 1971 to 2009.
The focus of the report was mainly on the write offs under various categories including incentives and settlement schemes introduced by the State Bank of Pakistan and the Federal Government from time to time some of which were initiated for the revival of sick industries.
The Committee identified and informed the Cabinet of the various reasons and problems resulting into bad loans and substantial write offs of the sample cases.
The Cabinet was informed that the restructuring decision of IDBP was taken in 2003, although SBP had recommended its liquidation but no decision has been taken so far.
After due deliberation and discussion Cabinet decided to start the process of the winding up the Industrial Development Bank of Pakistan (IDBP).
The Cabinet approved in principle to start negotiations between Governments of Pakistan and South Africa on the agreement for establishment of Joint Commission.
The Cabinet approved in principle to start negotiations between Governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan on an agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.
The Cabinet approved in principle to start negotiations for Visa Abolition Agreement between the Governments of Pakistan and Jordan for Diplomatic and Official Passports Holders.
The Cabinet approved in principle to start negotiations on the Agreement on Transfer of Offenders between Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
The Cabinet ratified MoU between Governments of Pakistan and Turkey in the field of Maritime Cooperation signed during Prime Minister’s visit to Turkey.
The Cabinet approved to initiate negotiations on Agreement on Promotion and Protection of Investment with Hungary.
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