Intra-Afghanistan parleys be pursued for inclusive, broad based solution: PM

ISLAMABAD: Reiterating Pakistan’s consistent support to the Afghan peace process, Prime Minister Imran Khan has underscored that intra-Afghan negotiations process must be pursued with perseverance and patience for an inclusive and broad-based solution.
The Prime Minister said this while having a meeting with Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami Afghanistan leader Ustad Karim Khalili who along with a delegation called on him on Tuesday.
The exchange of views covered progress in the Afghan peace process and bilateral relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The Prime Minister underscored his long-standing position that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and that a negotiated political settlement is the only way forward.
Noting that the Afghan people have suffered gravely due to prolonged conflict in the country, the Prime Minister stressed that after the Afghan people, Pakistan is most desirous of peace and stability in Afghanistan.
The Prime Minister recalled his recent interaction with Afghan leaders and underlined that Pakistan’s message to all sides is to work together for a peaceful solution. The Prime Minister particularly underscored the importance of reduction of violence leading to ceasefire. He added that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan will open up new vistas of cooperation in trade and regional connectivity.
The Prime Minister also reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to strengthen the bilateral relationship with Afghanistan, including trade and economic ties and people-to-people linkages. He also assured the Afghan delegation of Pakistan’s continued support for human resource development through scholarships and socio-economic development projects in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that provision of affordable residence to the people with ownership rights is one of the top priorities of the government and he also directed to complete the ongoing projects within the stipulated time frame.
Talking to Minister for Housing Tariq Bashir Cheema on Tuesday, the Prime Minister appreciated the progress on continuing projects for the federal government’s employees.
On the occasion, Tariq Bashir Cheema gave a detailed briefing to the Prime Minister about ongoing projects of the Ministry of Housing.
Separately, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday asked Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Power Tabish Gohar to continue to perform his duties after the latter resigned from his post days back, according to a media report.
Tabish Gohar on Tuesday called on the prime minister, where the latter refused to accept his resignation and asked him to continue to perform his duties.
The sources privy to the details of the meeting said that the Prime Minister assured to resolve his reservations and said that mafias in the power sector would not be spared and action would be taken against them.
“The country and its power sector need experts of your kind to bring improvement,” the prime minister was quoted as saying during the meeting.
It is pertinent to mention here that Tabish Gauhar tendered resignation from his post on January 07 and sent his resignation to Prime Minister Imran Khan via WhatsApp. The sources said Gauhar, who served as chief executive officer of K-Electric before his stint as the PM’s aide, was unhappy over unnecessary interference in the power ministry.
Last year in October, the Prime Minister had appointed him as his aide on power. The Cabinet Division had issued a notification which said the premier “has been pleased to appoint Mr Tabish Gauhar as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Power with immediate effect”.
He resigned as director, chief executive officer and chairman of KE’s board in 2015, after working at the organisation for over seven years.
Meanwhile, the federal cabinet has decided to reveal facts to expose individuals involved in money laundering and making fun of the country’s institutions in light of the findings of UK law firm Broadsheet.
This was stated by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Syed Shibli Faraz on Tuesday while briefing the media persons about the decisions taken during the cabinet meeting.
Faraz said that the cabinet has formed an inter-ministerial committee, which will reveal the individuals, mentioned in the Broadsheet scandal. He said that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and others influenced that inquiry to save their own skin and now the government under Prime Minister Imran Khan has decided to make those names public, after thorough scrutiny of the available material.
The minister said that the cabinet also approved a bill to enhance powers of the Auditor General of Pakistan to ensure transparency. He said automation and digitization are being introduced in the working of the office of auditor general of Pakistan. He said issuance of cheques will be automated to prevent any kind of delay and fraud.
Syed Shibli Faraz said that the PTI government is vigorously working on institutional reforms and the cabinet has decided to make these reforms public soon.
Talking about negative impact of the sale of smuggled petrol in Pakistan, the minister said that a crackdown has been started against petrol pumps involved in selling substandard smuggled petrol, which poses hazards not only to the environment but also adversely impacts functionality of the vehicles.
He said the sale of smuggled petrol is inflicting a loss of around Rs180 billion to the national exchequer. He said so far 192 petrol pumps have been sealed for selling substandard smuggled oil. He said such petrol pumps have been directed to furnish records of their sale and purchase within one week. He said that 2,090 petrol pumps have been identified across Pakistan that are involved in selling smuggled petrol.
The minister said that Planning Minister Asad Umar during the cabinet meeting raised the incident of the death of Osama Satti in police firing and Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his strong displeasure and annoyance over opening of fire by the police on a youth. He said that the joint investigation team formed to investigate the killing of Osama Satti has presented its report to the interior secretary, but the Prime Minister expressed the resolve that a new probe would be arranged if family members of the deceased youth are not satisfied with JIT’s findings. He said an inquiry will be organized to the satisfaction of Osama Satti’s family to take the culprits to the task.
Faraz said the Prime Minister also instructed to formulate a policy in 15 days to address shortage of wheat and other food items in the country.
It is pertinent to mention that Broadsheet CEO Kaveh Mousavi has said that he was offered a $25 million bribe to drop an asset probe against the Sharif family. The UK-based asset recovery firm Broadsheet LLC was hired in 2000 by General Pervez Musharraf’s government to help recover assets stashed by past Pakistani rulers abroad. – TLTP

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