ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira on Thursday said the Parliament and the Constitution were the only ways to resolve all the issues. Briefing the media after attending the federal cabinet meeting chaired by the prime minister, he said “Solution of all the problems rests with the Parliament and Constitution and there is no other method to cope with the national issues. Kaira said Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf in his opening remarks said that extremism, militancy and intolerance were the challenges, which were the matters of high concern for the nation since long.“Asnew year’s resolution, we reiterate to fight out terrorism and other evils with the blessing of Allah and support of patriotic forces of the country,” he said.
The cabinet condemned the current wave of terrorism and assassination of a great patriot Shaheed Bashir Ahmed Bilour, 21 Levy personnel, anti-polio vaccinators in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh, attack on Bacha Khan Airport Peshawar, the recent explosion at Mastung killing 19 pilgrims and the blast in Karachi killing four people and injuring 45.
The minister said the cabinet offered Fateha for Shaheed Bashir Ahmed Bilour and all those who had lost their lives as a result of terrorists’ cowardly acts.
He said that the sacrifices of all those who had embraced martyrdom, would never go waste and a time would definitely come when these terrorists would be defeated.
The prime minister apprised the cabinet that the world knew that Pakistan had lost 30,000 civilian men, women and children, more than 5,000 armed forces personnel and billions of dollars in war against terror.
The minister said that poverty and illiteracy were the major root causes of extremism and terrorism and absorption of our unemployed people in gainful employment would greatly help circumventing them falling into the trap of the terrorists.
He said the government was implementing programmes such as Benazir Income Support Programme to address the issues of poverty and unemployment.
“Notwithstanding the difficult international economic scenario and terrorism threats, our capital market is growing and KSE 100 Index has crossed 16,000 units, which shows corporate profitability and investors’ confidence,” he said.
Kaira said this reflects our coalition government’s sincerity in eliminating terrorism and militancy from the county’s soil. “We have resolved to use all available resources to crush it, therefore the terrorists have increased their attacks to destabilize the government.”
He said that the coalition government was going to complete its tenure and heading towards elections.
The government considered elections as “trust” which would be conducted in accordance with the Constitution, he said.
The PPP-led coalition government would not let anyone derail democracy in the country as countless sacrifices have been made for it, he said adding the parliamentary system would be further strengthened. Kaira said the cabinet reviewed status of implementation of its decisions pertaining to Human Rights and Industries Divisions.
The cabinet approved the decisions taken by the Economic Coordination Committee meetings held last month.
The minister said the cabinet considered and accorded its approval to the ratification of mutual agreement between the State Archive and Administration of China and the National Archives of Pakistan for the year 2012-13.
The purpose of this agreement was to encourage relations in the field of archives between the two countries, on the basis of mutual interest and reciprocity, he said.
He said a presentation was given to the cabinet on the consumer price index in the country to oversee and discuss the trend of price of essential commodities.
The cabinet expressed satisfaction that consumer price index remained in single digit during the month of December 2012, the minister added.
The cabinet also discussed and accorded approval to the Amendments in the Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design Act, 2011.
The cabinet also accorded its approval to start negotiations on Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the Field of Disaster Management between the Civil Defence of the Republic of Cuba and National Disaster Management Authority Government of Pakistan.
The cabinet also approved signing of MoU between the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Kyrgyz Republic and NDMA, Pakistan on Disaster Prevention and Elimination.
Both the countries will benefit from mutual collaboration, share experience and offer assistance to each other during mutual disasters.
The cabinet approved ratification of MoU on Defence Cooperation between the government of Italian Republic and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
The cabinet also accorded Ex-post facto approval of signing of the agreement on Defence Cooperation between the Government of the Federal Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Government of Pakistan.
The cabinet also accorded its approval for signing of agreement between government of the Kingdom of Thailand and the government of Pakistan on mutual exemption of visa requirements for the holders of diplomatic passports.
The cabinet approved signing of MoU by National Language Promotion Department and the Academy of Persian Language and Literature (Farhangistan-i-Zuban-o-Adab-i-Farsi), Islamic Republic of Iran.
The cabinet approved the ratification of SAARC Agreement on multilateral arrangements on recognition of conformity assessment and SAARC agreement on implementation of regional standards.
The cabinet approved the Annual Report of the National Economic Council (NEC) for the financial year 2011-12.
The cabinet also gave ex-post facto approval for signing of joint declaration on cooperation between Pakistan and EFTA member states.
The cabinet approved the draft agreement between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of Pakistan on joint Inter-Governmental Commission on Economic Cooperation.
The cabinet approved ratification of agreement for cooperation in the legal field between the Government of State of Qatar and the Government of Pakistan.
The cabinet asked the ministry of production and the provincial governments to ensure timely payment of product to sugarcane growers and collection of crop from the fields to enable them sow new crop.
The cabinet also directed the ministry of production to ensure implementation of government’s plan to open 1,000 Utility Stores with one each at all union councils.
The cabinet also considered the policy guidelines under Section 21 of OGRA Ordinance, 2002 and after in-depth discussions decided to form three members committee to finalize policy guidelines.
The committee includes, Minister for Law and Justice Farooq H. Naik, Minister for CAD Nazar Muhammad Gondal, Rana M Farooq Minister for Climate Change Saeed Khan. The Committee will submit its report within three days.