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No one has right to humiliate ministers, says Fawad

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday expressed disappointment over the treatment meted out to him in the Senate.

While briefing media after a meeting of the federal cabinet in Islamabad, he said no one has right to humiliate ministers.

“We should actually apologise in the Senate for why we asked where the poor people’s money was spent….where funds to the tune of 4.2 trillion given to Balochistan government were spent…….Who is responsible for economic terrorism,” asked Fawad.

He questioned how the House can be run without ministers, adding that they cannot perform their tasks if the attitude of the Senate chairman did not change.

He said Defense Minister Pervaiz Khattak has been tasked to look into the issue and present a report.

Fawad said it was strange that when the PTI leadership talks about corruption and rights of the poor, the privilege of the House members is violated but privilege of the people is not breached by loot and plunder of state resources.

Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani earlier today imposed bar on Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry from attending Senate session over his failure to tender apology to the upper house of Parliament.

The minister further said the cabinet discussed the issue of tenure safety of senior bureaucrats in detail.

A suggestion has been made that federal secretaries should be provisionally appointed for a period of six months at a ministry and after successful completion of that period, their appointment will be extended for two and half year. During this period they will not be transferred or removed from their positions, he added.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan firmly believes that bureaucracy should be free from any political interference.

The minister said the appointment of bureaucrats should be linked with their performance and not political connections. He said the cabinet has decided to form a cabinet committee headed by Shehzad Arbab, to look into the affairs of tenures of bureaucrats and present its suggestions to the cabinet.

Other members of the Committee will be Defense Minister Pervez Khattak, Railways Minister Shaikh Rasheed Ahmad, and Prime Minister’s Advisor on Institutional Reforms Dr. Ishrat Hussain.

The minister said the cabinet took decision about the rehabilitation of 193 state-owned enterprises by deciding to set up Sarmaya Pakistan Company. The prime minister will head the Board of Governors of this company while three ministers will be its members and top professionals from various fields will be hired to become part of Board of Governors.

It will look into the affairs of all State Owned Enterprises and will give suggestions to cabinet for running these on professional lines.

Fawad said the cabinet also discussed the case of Afsheen Baksh, a Danish woman of Pakistani descent, whose two daughters were forcibly brought to Pakistan against the ruling of a Danish court. It has been decided that a barrister will do preliminary inquiry and then final decision will be made regarding the minor girls’ stay in Pakistan or repatriation to Denmark, as we respect the decisions of foreign courts.

He said the cabinet also decided that all Pakistani prisoners incarcerated abroad will be given legal assistance as looking after their interests is responsibility of the government. He said the government is also committed to bring Dr. Aafia Siddiqui back to the country and all necessary efforts will be made in this regard.

He said the cabinet decided to defer the budget of National Technology Council till its approval by Economic Coordination Committee.

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