Situation critical, tough steps to be taken, says PM Nawaz
21 January, 2014
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Monday said the country was facing a critical security situation and the federal government had decided to take extraordinary measures to effectively deal with this situation and take the political leadership into confidence in this regard.
He said this while chairing a federal cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office here.Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan briefed the cabinet about the internal security policy and dialogue process with the Taliban.
Referring to the government-convened All Parties Conference (APC), Nawaz said its decisions had been endorsed by all political parties.
"The APC also endorsed the stance that economy and security of Pakistan would not be played upon for gaining political mileage," he recalled and said majority of political parties had displayed maturity in this regard.
"A number of developments have taken place thereafter and the government is closely following them. We will keep political parties informed of these developments and take them into confidence," the premier added.
He said illegal movement at the porous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan needed to be curbed and directed the interior minister to take up this matter with his Afghan counterpart and evolve a joint strategy in this regard.
"We will do whatever possible to restore peace, alleviate poverty and put the country on the road to progress. We have to establish the rule of law and create a society based on equality, justice and mutual respect. We are not going to compromise on this at all," said Nawaz.
The cabinet was given a comprehensive briefing on the Internal Security Policy draft and after extensive discussion it was decided to incorporate suggestions and proposals into the policy given by the cabinet members.
The draft policy will be brought before the cabinet for further deliberations in the next meeting.The premier was all praise for the important role being played by the media and law enforcement agencies in the war against terror.
The cabinet also noted with satisfaction that the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) had crossed the record level of 27,000 points evidencing the business community's confidence in the economic policies of the government.
"Pakistan has a great potential; if there is peace and security, the country can achieve significant economic progress and development in a short time," he added.The cabinet approved the signing of a number of MoUs including ex-post facto approval for an MoU with M/S Norinco International (People's Republic of China) on energy and mass transit projects and approval for an MoU with India for Trade of Electricity.
According to the MoU signed between the Government of Pakistan and M/S Norinco International (People's Republic of China), it's agreed that both sides shall pursue cooperation in the fields of mass transit, energy particularly solar energy projects in different provinces of Pakistan, setting up of industrial cities along the motorways, solar irrigation projects and road sector projects.
The MoU contains a provision allowing the Government of Pakistan to identify any other sector in which it requires technical, financial, and managerial assistance, knowledge or expertise of M/s Norinco.
The cabinet also approved the signing of an MoU between Pakistan and India for trade of electricity. The Ministry of Water and Power has initiated negotiations with India in this regard. The World Bank has undertaken to finance feasibility study of the project.
The federal cabinet approved the signing of an MoU with the EXIM Bank of Turkey for a Credit Line of $300 million for Pakistan. The credit line will be utilised for promotion of trade between the two countries.
The cabinet also approved an agreement on economic and technical cooperation between China and Pakistan for interest-free loan of RMB100 million for a period of 20 years including 10-year grace period. The loan will predominantly be used for education purposes.
The cabinet considered and approved the negotiated/signed agreement on waiver of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic, special and official passport between Pakistan and Kuwait and also gave approval for ratification of the agreement.
The cabinet gave approval for signing agreement on re-admission of persons residing without authorization between Pakistan and Turkey and also accorded approval to ratification of the agreement.
The agreement will strengthen cooperation between the two countries to combat illegal immigration and establish procedures for identification and safe and orderly return of persons who do not otherwise fulfill the conditions for entry to, or reside on the territories of Pakistan or Turkey.
Approval for signing the negotiated extradition treaty between Pakistan and Kuwait and approval for ratification of the extradition treaty was also accorded by the cabinet.The treaty provides for extradition of any person who is accused or convicted of an offence which falls under the jurisdiction of the requesting party.
The cabinet also considered and accorded approval to negotiations/signing of bilateral implementing protocol on readmission of persons residing without authorization between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the United Kingdom. All re-admission cases of illegal immigrants with the EU member states are dealt with under the said agreement.
Approval for ratification of an agreement on transfer of offenders between Pakistan and Turkey was also accorded.Under the agreement, a person sentenced in the territory of one contracting party may be transferred to the territory of the other contracting party in accordance with the provisions of this agreement in order to serve the sentence imposed on him.
Approval in principle to enter into negotiations on an "agreement on transfer of offenders" between Pakistan and Nigeria was also granted by the cabinet. Approval in principle to enter into negotiations on an agreement on re-admission between Pakistan and Norway was accorded by the cabinet.
The proposed agreement will strengthen cooperation between the two countries to combat illegal immigration effectively and establish procedures for identification, safe and orderly return of persons who do not otherwise fulfill the conditions for entry to, or residence on the territories of Pakistan or Norway.
Approval in principle to enter into negotiations on an agreement on re-admission of persons residing without authorization between Pakistan and Ukraine was also given by the cabinet. The cabinet also approved the signing of Friendship and cooperation protocol between the Greater Ankara Municipality and the Capital Development Authority (CDA) of Islamabad.
The cabinet accorded approval for initiation of negotiations between the SBP and Polish Financial Supervision Authority (PFSA) on signing of an MoU on banking supervision. Approval in principle was also accorded to start negotiations on an MoU between the supreme audit institutions of Pakistan and the Supreme Audit Court of the Iran on cooperation on auditing in public sector.
The cabinet also gave permission in principle to start negotiations with the Government of the Republic of Iraq for entering into an agreement concerning the organization of Pakistani Manpower Employment in the Republic of Iraq.
The agreement provides for sending Pakistani manpower to Iraq. Approval was also accorded to start negotiations and signing of an MoU on recognition of certificates pursuant to Regulation I/10 of the International Convention on Standards of Training Certification and Watch-Keeping for Seafarers between Pakistan and Jordan. The MoU will enhance cooperation between maritime administrative bodies in both countries on security, safety and protection of maritime environment and control of vessels.