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Govt decides to go tough on opposition


ISLAMABAD:

A day after the 11-party Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) held its power show in Karachi against the incumbent government, Prime Minister Imran Khan has vowed to bring all corruption cases to their logical conclusion, saying that the opposition will no longer get any concessions and lawbreakers will be dealt with strictly.

“There will be no compromise on the rule of law,” Premier Imran said while chairing a meeting of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Political Committee on Monday.

The meeting discussed the political situation in the country with PM Imran briefing the party leaders on the guidelines.

Sources said that it was decided in the meeting to give a stern response to the opposition’s statements against the institutions.

“The government will not be blackmailed,” said the prime minister, directing emergency measures to bring back deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif from London.

Meanwhile, addressing the awards ceremony on Monday for outstanding performance in the Green Pakistan campaign, the prime minister said, “We are not aware of our strength … youth are our greatest asset.

“No one knows more than I do how much passion there is among the youth in Pakistan to give alms and volunteer for charitable causes.”

The PM vowed to reduce the gap between the people and the government.

“Allah Almighty has blessed Pakistan with many blessings. I saw the destruction of forests in Pakistan with my own eyes. In Lahore, 70% of the trees were removed in the name of development,” the PM said. “The level of pollution has increased dramatically.”

Describing the lost beauty of Peshawar, the PM said that in the past, Peshawar was called the city of flowers. Planting 10 billion trees and cleaning up cities are our key goals, he added.

“Garbage is everywhere in Karachi too. All the garbage of Karachi is being dumped in the sea. Groundwater is also polluted. We are on the brink of environmental catastrophe.”

He said that the deputy commissioner, who will work, will get benefits and the one who does not work will be punished.

“We have one million Tiger Force. We will mobilise volunteers and reward those who work hard.”

According to official documents available with The Express Tribune, PM Imran at the last cabinet meeting expressed displeasure with his economic team over not publicising the incumbent government’s economic achievements through the media, directing them to ensure their presence to dispel the opposition’s negative propaganda.

PM Imran noted that the government’s achievements in the economic field were tantamount to not being publicised through the media.

He said that the government’s stance did not come in response to false claims about the economy on TV talk shows by the opposition, which led to misunderstandings among the people about “our economic policies”.

PM Imran tasked Finance Adviser Hafeez Sheikh and his economic team with ensuring their presence at TV talk shows to prevent negative propaganda and show the real picture to the people.

Further, chairing a meeting to review availability and prices of daily commodities, especially wheat and sugar, on Monday, PM Imran called for taking all administrative measures to ensure availability of daily commodities, besides controlling their prices.

He also desired further strict action against elements indulged in hoarding.

The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Industries Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister for Kashmir Affairs Ali Amin Gandapur, advisers, special assistants, State Bank of Pakistan Governor Reza Baqir, Utility Stores Corporation managing director and senior officials. The chief secretaries attended the meeting through video link.

The meeting was apprised that the government of Punjab had increased release of wheat from 16,000 tonnes to 20,000 tonnes on a daily basis, which would be further increased to 25,000 tonnes in a couple of days.

The Sindh chief secretary informed that the provincial government would start formal release of wheat within the next few days. About 85,000 tonnes of wheat was procured for the period from October 16 to 31 for which challans were being deposited.

The Punjab chief secretary said that flour mills were made to immediately release flour without storing it for long periods.

The meeting was further apprised that full scale crackdown against hoarders was continuing under the prime minister’s direction and it would be further accelerated.

It was told that proposals over fixation of wheat support price had been received from Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the federal government. The Sindh government was urged to give suggestion in this regard within the next couple of days so that the support price for wheat could be announced.

The prime minister directed for ensuring sufficient supply of wheat and sugar at utility stores and in this regard, the Punjab chief secretary assured supply of wheat to the utility stores considering its demand.

The meeting was further apprised of the progress over arrival of imported wheat and sugar. A detailed briefing was also given over various administrative steps for controlling prices and elimination of hoarding.

In the drive against hoarding, complete help was being sought from the Rangers, customs, police and special branch.

The Punjab chief secretary apprised that on the previous day, 475 tonnes of sugar and 30,000 tonnes of ghee were recovered, which were being hoarded. (With additional input from app)



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