Islamabad, January 30, 2013 (PPI-OT): Federal Cabinet meeting was held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf here today. In his opening remarks, the Prime Minister said that in the present political perspective, he, like Shaheed Leader Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, is a great believer in politics of consensus and reconciliation, the attributes constituting the essence of democracy.
He said that achieving consensus requires sacrifices, understanding, patience and commonality of purpose. Political leadership must be equipped with these qualities to ensure democracy and constitutionalism.
The Prime Minister said that the Government is fully committed to its political and constitutional obligations and believes in strengthening the institutions. With the collective wisdom of coalition partners democracy is gaining strength in the country. The National and Provincial Assemblies are completing their tenure successfully in the next few weeks.
He further said that the Nation is heading towards general elections. The Government is committed to hold free, fair and transparent elections in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. As our roots are in the masses, and we draw strength from their support, therefore, all the Colleagues in the Cabinet and the Parliament are requested to maintain effective contact with the people of their areas and constituencies.
He said that while the government is sincerely engaged in the efforts to strengthen democracy, anti-democratic forces and anti-state elements are also busy in creating situations that are not only detrimental to democracy but also to economic growth and stability. This is a very dangerous trend and there is, therefore, a strong need to rise against these disruptive forces so as to move forward.
He said that in hours of crisis, difficulties and challenges, vibrant and vigilant Nations respond according to the situation, analyze the factors leading to such events and come up with solution, thus converting challenges into opportunities.
He said that he intend to convey a message to the anti-democracy elements that we shall not succumb to their intrigues. We shall not let anyone derail the democracy. We gave and are ready to give any kind of sacrifice for the country and democracy.
He added that the demand to dissolve/ reconstitute the Election Commission of Pakistan is unconstitutional. Neither the Election Commission, nor its members, can be removed as their appointment was made in accordance with the Constitution.
He stated that as provided in the constitution, the care-taker set-up at the Centre and the Provinces would be formed in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the Law after proper consultation with all the stakeholders. The Government believes that continued political stability is a pre-requisite for achievement of economic well being of the country.
The Prime Minister prayed that may Allah Almighty give us the strength to face all the difficulties and challenges with courage that threaten the country and democracy.
The Cabinet considered and accorded its approval to Ombudsman Institutional Reforms Bill 2013 subject to vetting by the Ministry of Law.
The Cabinet considered and accorded its approval, in principle, to start negotiations on MoU to establish sister cities relationship between Tunis and Islamabad. Approval, in principle, was also accorded to signing of MoU on cooperation for environmental protection with the Government of Republic of Korea.
The Cabinet also considered and accorded its approval, in principle, for negotiation the MoU between the Governments of Philippines and Pakistan for Defence cooperation. Approval, in principle, was also accorded for signing of negotiated draft visa abolition agreement between the Governments of Pakistan and Jordan for the holders of diplomatic and official passports.
The Cabinet also accorded its approval, in principle, to start negotiations for visa abolition agreement between the Governments of Pakistan and Tanzania for the holders of diplomatic and official passports.
The Cabinet considered and according its approval, in principle, for initiating negotiation on the draft MoU between the Governments of Pakistan and United Kingdom and Northern Ireland for enhancing cooperation and coordination in the field of narcotics control.
The Cabinet considered and gave its approval, in principle, for initiating negotiation on the draft MoU between the Government of Pakistan and Mauritius on cooperation in combating illicit trafficking and abuse of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors.
The approval was also granted for initiating on the draft MoU between the Government of Pakistan and the Seychelles and on Cooperation in combating illicit trafficking and abuse of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and their Precursors.
The Cabinet also accorded its approval for signing of agreement between the State of Drug Control Services, Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Ministry of Narcotic Control, Government of Pakistan on cooperation in the fight against illicit traffic in drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors.
Ex-Post facto approval was also granted by the Cabinet for signing of an agreement on cooperation in the field of handicraft between government of Pakistan and Tunisia.
The Cabinet considered, discussed and accorded its approval of Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2012-15 (STPF-2012-15).
The Cabinet considered and gave its approval to Government to Government Cooperation agreement with the Government of Iran on the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Work along with Financing for the Iran – Pakistan Gas Pipeline Project (Pakistan Segment). A Committee consisting of Ministers for Finance, Law and Justice, Petroleum and National Resources and Governor State Bank of Pakistan was formed to further analyze the project.
The Cabinet considered and accorded permission to allow transfer of concession agreement Gawadar Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) to the China Overseas Port Holding Limited, People’s Republic of China and to amend the concession agreement and S.R.O’s accordingly.
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