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Monday, March 14, 2011

PM takes Cabinet into confidence on political situation

ISLAMABAD, March 14 : Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Monday took the federal cabinet into confidence on overall political situation in the country and his Sunday's announcement regarding Saraiki province.

Briefing media persons after the meeting, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the prime minister shared his views with the participants about implications of new province.

She said the prime minister told the meeting that the Pakistan People's Party would not become part of any adventurism in Punjab and would instead play role of a constructive opposition to promote and strengthen democratic process.

Replying to a question, the information minister said in line with policy of politics of reconciliation the PML-N leader Mian Nawaz Sharif was given due protocol by Pakistan High Commission in London and later President Asif Ali Zardari telephoned him to inquire about the health of his wife. She said the PPP believes that political confrontation should be avoided in greater
national interest. She said all political parties should respect each other's mandate.

Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan further said President Zardari would address the joint session of the parliament on 22nd of this month. She expressed the hope that the opposition would uphold democratic traditions and decency on the occasion.

To another question, Firdous said the PPP does not believe in confrontation with institutions. She said after the judgment is given by the court it becomes a public property and Sindh Assembly or people of the province were well within their right to express their reaction as per right of expression and speech.

She said the prime minister asked cabinet members to take part in television live shows so that issues confronting people are thoroughly debated and steps taken to resolve them.

The Secretary Finance gave a detailed presentation to the cabinet about price situation especially with respect to basic commodities, which would also be shared with the media.

The meeting was informed that the rate of inflation which stood at 15.16% in December last year has come down to 12.9% but there was need to bring it further down. It was told that among other things, the reasons of inflation included overall global recession and shortage of commodities caused by floods.

The cabinet was also informed that the borrowing from State Bank has come down from Rs375 billion to Rs80 billion, representing 79% reduction, which is a healthy indicator.

The cabinet approved initiation of technical negotiations with China for acquisition of conventional sub-marines to strengthen capabilities of Pakistan Navy. It also approved a plan for strengthening of National Electronic Complex to meet needs of defence and social sectors.

It ratified agreement regarding aid worth 1.5 billion dollars from the United States under Kerry-Lugar Bill.

The cabinet approved recommendations of its committee and delisting of PIA's Roosevelt Hotel in New York from the list of entities to be privatised.
The meeting was told that two C-130 aircraft were ready to leave for Japan
to carry relief goods and they are waiting for clearance in this regard.

Prime Minister Gilani said Pakistan would provide every possible assistance
and cooperation to Japan to mitigate sufferings of Japanese people affected
by earthquake and Tsunami.

The cabinet expressed satisfaction over implementation status of its
decision with respect to Ministries of sports, statistics and states and
frontier regions while report of the water and power ministry was deferred
at the request of the minister.

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