PM vows to uncover ‘toxic letters’ reality

In Local
April 05, 2024


Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said the government was investigating the matter regarding the letters received by judges with suspicious powder.

“The government, with the sense of responsibility, will also probe this matter to uncover the reality,” the prime minister said while speaking with the participants of the cabinet meeting chaired by him.

The incident related to letters allegedly laced with a toxic substance that were received by the judges of the Supreme Court, the Islamabad High Court and the Lahore High Court.

The letters in the top court were sent to Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa, Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, and Justice Aminuddin. The letters were received at the Receipt and Issue (R&I) Branch of the apex court from where they were forwarded to the staff of the judges.

Like the earlier letters received by the IHC judges, suspicious powder was also found inside the envelopes and sent to the forensic lab. The letters sent by an unknown group threatened the judges of the Supreme Court for ‘rescuing evil’.

The letters were sent to the judges by two senders but their addresses were not mentioned.

With regard to the deal with the International Monetary Fund, the prime minister said the government was planning to enter a new programme with the IMF which he said, was very important to consolidate the country’s economy.

“With the new IMF programme, the international institutions will have more trust on us and we will be able to move forward on the agenda of development and prosperity with more confidence,” he said.
He said the finance minister was going to Washington this month with a delegation to participate in the IMF spring meetings where he will also discuss details of the new programme with the IMF.

He said although the terms of the new deal would not be so easy, the government will shift the burden of the tough conditions from the less privileged to the wealthier.

The prime minister hoped that after the IMF board meeting, the last tranche of the existing standby agreement worth $1.1 billion will be disbursed to Pakistan this month.

With regard to PIA’s divestment, he said the privatisation process of Pakistan International Airlines was on track and the schedule set for the process would be fully implemented.

He said that for the outsourcing of the airports, a Turkish company was arriving in Islamabad on April 6 which would negotiate the outsourcing process with the Pakistani authorities.

About digitization of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the prime minister informed that the consultants for the digitization process would be appointed by end of the current month.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said, he recently chaired a meeting of Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) in which details of various sectors including finance, investment, exports, Information Technology, agriculture, power and petroleum were discussed.

“After a detailed meeting, it was decided that I will personally review the sector-wise performance to solve out the problems faced by the sectors and to streamline the country’s economy,” he added.

Read SC probe sought into IHC letter issue

The prime minister pointed out that the government had fulfilled its due responsibility with respect to the inquiry of the matter of letter by the Islamabad High Court judges by forming an inquiry commission led by former Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani. Afterward, he said Tassaduq Hussain Jillani refused from the commission, subsequently the Supreme Court took suo motu notice of the letter.

With respect to the security of the Chinese workers and engineers, the prime minster said the government was evolving a foolproof system for the security of the Chinese workers.

The prime minister said the cabinet presented the finance division’s Fiscal Policy Statement for the financial year 2022-23, the Debt Policy Statement for the financial year 2022-23 and the Year End Government Performance Monitoring Report in the meeting.

The federal cabinet approved the submission of the above statements/report to the National Assembly under prevailing laws, he said.

The meeting was told that the cabinet, on the recommendation of Foreign Affairs Division, allowed former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi to receive the “King Abdul Aziz Medal Badge of Honor of Excellent Class” on behalf of the Government of Saudi Arabia and “Darjah Kepahlawan Angkatan Tentera” on behalf of the Government of Malaysia.

On the recommendation of Human Rights Division, the cabinet approved the appointment of the members of National Commission for Status of Women. Likewise, on the recommendation of Ministry of Human Rights, it approved the abolition of the National Commission for Child Welfare and Development, the National Child Protection Center and the Implementation of National Line of Action for Children, which are offices working under the Ministry of Human Rights.

All the employees of these departments who are civil servants would be included in the surplus pool of Pakistan, the meeting was told.

The meeting was also told that under the National Commission on Rights of Child Act 2017, the National Commission on the Rights of Child had been established therefore all other departments had become unnecessary as all the work related to these institutions is done by this commission. Keeping in view the austerity policy of the government, it has been decided to close these institutions, the meeting was told.

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