ISLAMABAD: The federal cupboard on Tuesday decided to block media insurance and interviews of politicians who are convicts or below-path prisoners and directed the Pakistan electronic Media Regula­tory Authority (Pemra) to fulfill its “duty” to discourage airing of such programmes via digital media.

A cabinet assembly, presided over with the aid of high Minister Imran Khan, additionally unveiled info of foreign visits of former president Asif Ali Zardari and previous top ministers Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, observing that the trio had made 245 overseas visits on which over Rs3.Five billion become spent.

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On the issue of the video leak associated with an alleged communique among duty court docket choose Arshad Malik and Nasir Butt, a near aide of Nawaz Sharif, the cabinet reached the realization that because the video turned into made public with the aid of Maryam Nawaz, daughter of Mr Sharif and a senior chief of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), therefore the onus to show the allegations towards the choose turned into on her and not the choose and the judiciary.

Onus to prove authenticity of decide’s video is on PML-N, observes cabinet

Addressing a post-cabinet meeting press convention, training Minister Shafqat Mehmood stated top Minister Imran Khan and participants of his cabinet unanimously determined that no convicted or underneath-trial prisoner ought to receive media insurance or must be allowed to give an interview. He quoted the top minister as pronouncing, “those who have plundered country wide wealth and taken the country at the verge of collapse must no longer be glorified. No democracy lets in interviews and media insurance of these who've been arrested on charges of corruption.”

He, but, said the government had no longer directed Pemra to shut down any private television channel as it became an unbiased body able to take its own selections.

Pemra suspended transmission of three private tv channels more than one days ago for airing an interview of PPP chief Asif Ali Zardari who is inside the custody of the country wide responsibility Bureau and dealing with a trial in a faux money owed / cash laundering case.

The authority also took off air an interview of the former president which turned into being conducted by means of anchor Hamid Mir on July 1, on the premises of the Parliament residence wherein the former had come to wait a countrywide meeting session after the house’s speaker had issued his production order.

The authorities is reportedly of the view that the production orders of Mr Zardari have been issued handiest to permit him to wait the meeting session and no longer for giving any interview to ‘undermine’ the judiciary and trial court docket.

The training minister stated the cupboard decided that Pemra would be asked why it become permitting some thing which did now not take region in any democracy.

Mr Mehmood said the production order of every other detained competition leader and PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif have been issued to enable him to attend the country wide meeting consultation however he summoned country wide responsibility Bureau NAB) chairman retd Javed Iqbal to a house committee meeting to grill him over the research being carried out in opposition to him (Mr Sharif) in a corruption case.

“when Shahbaz Sharif’s production orders had been issued, he summoned the NAB chairman who had arrested him. Wherein democracy do such matters take region,” the minister stated.

He stated ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) believed in freedom of the clicking as each the birthday party and the media had stood together during the previous’s battle for 22 years.

Video controversy

After a dialogue on the purported video of judge Arshad Malik who had convicted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the cabinet came to the realization that the onus to show the authenticity of the video tape changed into on Maryam Nawaz and now not the decide or the judiciary. “it's far the responsibility of the PML-N to get forensic audit of the video tape performed,” Mr Mehmood said.

“The PML-N has a records of attacking judiciary and the clean video leak is an try to make the selections of the accountability courtroom controversial,” he said.

The education minister claimed that former president Zardari made 134 foreign visits on which Rs 1.42bn became spent. Of the 134 visits, 48 had been personal tours, he said.

Nawaz Sharif as PM, he said, made ninety two overseas visits at a fee Rs1.83bn and 25 of them had been non-public visits.

during his 10-month tenure as top minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi made 19 foreign visits and Rs 259.5 million was spent on them, the minister said.

“on the other hand, high Minister Imran Khan has decided to live on the house of Pakistan’s ambassador at some stage in his coming go to to america,” he stated, adding that the contributors of the PM’s delegation could stay at a three-celebrity hotel.

Structural reforms

The cabinet also permitted structural reforms in all 441 institutions, departments and organizations running under the federal authorities.

Adviser to the PM on Austerity and Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain provided a file on restructuring of the institutions.

The cabinet accredited formation of committee -- comprising relevant secretaries, Shafqat Mehmood, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Shahzad Arbab, an adviser to the PM, and Kashmir Committee chairman Fakhar Imam -- to enforce the recommendations made within the report.

Dr Hussain said of the 441 institutions, it turned into endorsed that 43 have to be exceeded over to the newly fashioned body Sarmaya Pakistan for privatisation, 14 must be handed over to the provinces and Gilgit-Baltistan, 8 departments need to be dissolved, 35 ought to be merged with others, 17 ought to be restructured and 324 ought to be retained by the Centre.

The cupboard additionally decided to reduce fuel Infrastructure development Cess to offer alleviation to the farmers in provision of urea fertiliser.

PML-N response

Reacting to the cabinet’s disclosures about overseas visits of Nawaz Sharif, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb stated in a assertion that the ex-PM paid legitimate visits for the sake of the u . S . And “no longer for begging as is being finished by way of high Minister Imran Khan”.

She said $60 billion China-Pakistan monetary corridor was one of the outcomes of Mr Sharif’s visits. “Nawaz Sharif added the u . S . A .’s increase to 5.8 in keeping with cent and provided jobs to the adolescents at the same time as you [Imran Khan] are making younger humans jobless,” she introduced.

published in sunrise, July 10th, 2019