ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet which met under Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday approved signing of agreements on the transfer of convicted persons with Saudi Arabia and China.
Surprisingly, the prime minister did not take the federal cabinet into the confidence about his Tuesday night meeting with Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar as sources said the issue did not come under discussion and the cabinet only completed its routine agenda, mostly technical in nature.
A number of political and human rights activists had in the past raised voice over the helplessness of the Pakistani prisoners in the foreign countries, particularly in Saudi Arabia. The issue had also been taken up by a number of parliamentary committees in the past in which the members had expressed their concern over the plight of the Pakistani prisoners in Saudi Arabia.
The cabinet, according to an official handout, also approved government-to-government agreement for rendering of services by the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to the government of Somalia for the development of Somali National Identification System.
Cabinet okays signing of accords on convicted persons with S. Arabia, China
The cabinet approved appointments of Ghulam Taqi Sajid as chairman Drug Court, Islamabad; District and Sessions Judge Mohammad Akram as judge Special Court (Control of Narcotic Substances), Rawalpindi; Fida Mohammad Wazir as managing director of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority; Abdul Aleem Memon as director general of the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority, and Mohammad Naveed as member (finance) of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority.
It has also been decided that the newly appointed member (finance) would also work as the PTA chairman for three months.
The cabinet also approved the Prevention of Smuggling of Migrants Act, 2018, suggesting a number of steps to stop human trafficking.
Earlier in the day, the prime minister presided over a meeting of the National Disaster Management Commission (NDMC) at the Prime Minister Office.
In the meeting, Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lt Gen Omar Mahmood Hayat presented an overview of the disaster management context of the country, evolution of disaster management authority, achievements made so far and the challenges faced by the NDMA in responding to emergency situations and taking measures for disaster risk reduction and effective response mechanism. He also apprised the participants of the contributions of the NDMA towards providing relief and rescue efforts during emergencies in various foreign countries.
The prime minister in his remarks said climate change coupled with various other factors had increased the frequency of disasters and, therefore, called for higher level of preparedness and institutional response to meet these challenges.
He said that past experience should be utilised to fine-tune disaster management strategies and put in place an efficient and effective mechanism in line with best international practices.
The meeting granted ex-post facto approval to the NDMC for compensation of Rs104.20 million to the persons affected by Indian security forces’ firing along the Line of Control.
The meeting approved the Pakistan School Safety Framework to serve as a model for the provinces to ensure safety and disaster risk reduction.
In order to overcome bureaucratic delays and improve efficiency and effectiveness of the NDMA, it was also decided, in principle, to place NDMA under the Prime Minister’s Office, instead of the Ministry of Climate Change.
Opposition leaders in the National Assembly and Senate, Syed Khursheed Shah and Sherry Rehman, respectively, Minister for Climate Change Mushahidullah Khan, Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, Adviser to the PM on Finance Miftah Ismail, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman and Azad Kashmir Prime Minister Farooq Haider also attended the meeting.
Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2018