Interim govt will demonstrate by actions not by words: Kakar

Kashmir lies in our soul, for us Kashmir is eternal: PM Kakar

Caretaker prime minister chairs first cabinet meeting n Says full force of the law will be applied to those who infringed upon sacrosanctity of state's emblems on May 9 n Vows to implement former govt's commitments; ensure rule of law, financial discipline n Caretaker govt to assist ECP in holding free and fair elections n Solangi says we can’t afford selling petrol at low prices after buying at high prices.


ISLAMABAD  -  Caretaker Prime Minister An­waarul Haq Kakar Friday vowed to comply with the commit­ments made by the previous government on national and in­ternational levels with different forums, besides ensuring rule of law and financial discipline during the interim period. 

"We do not have perpetu­al mandate to serve the nation but during the given allocat­ed time we will try to lay foun­dation where we have sense of continuation of national and in­ternational commitments that the previous government has made with different forums," he said while talking to the cabinet members here during the first cabinet meeting of the caretaker government. 

With respect to a new initia­tive-Special Investment Facilita­tion Council (SIFC), launched by former government, the prime minister said the caretaker gov­ernment would fully support it. He said SIFC is ‘a dream comes true’ project as Pakistan was an agriculture country and rich with mineral resources. 

He said in fact SIFC was not a new idea but it was an old na­tional dream that was going to be materialised now. 

“Day has arrived when with the support of all institutions including Pakistan military leadership, we support, facili­tate, encourage, and realise this old national dream.” He said this initiative was not held by any institution but it was col­lectively owned by around 250 million people of the country. “We all own it and we will con­tribute towards it.”

During the meeting, he indi­vidually acknowledged the ser­vices of all the cabinet members saying “I am very proud that we have got one of the best team”. 

He hoped that the Almighty Allah would enable them to lead and steer this nation during the interim period. 

“With our utmost duty, may­be it is a month, two or three, or three and a half, whatever the allocated time is, we will demonstrate through our ac­tions not by our words,” he added. 

With regard to the econom­ic situation in the country, the prime minister said he was well aware of the huge econom­ic challenges but with an able team, the government would ensure the financial discipline. 

“We have a sense of sanctity of tax payers’ money. This mon­ey on which we are having to­day’s meeting, using resources or traveling, is paid by the peo­ple of Pakistan,” he added. 

He said either it was an or­dinary vender, shopkeeper, teacher, lawyer or any other person, all were contributing in this regard. PM Kakar said in this polarized environment, the government would try to differentiate between politics and law. 

He said the government would ensure that rule of order was not compromised in any way and the rule of order would lead us towards the rule of law. 

“We know the sanctity of the order that will be kept at any cost. Pakistan is owned and shared by all ethnicities, all creeds, and all religious back­ground,” he added. He high­lighted that the rigidity, be it in any form in the society, would be strongly discouraged.

He said rigidity might come in the garb of religion or secular­ism or in any other form, these extreme attitudes would be discourage and would be con­trolled by the law. 

He said the minorities would stay protected in this country and any attempt to harm them from a section of marginalized group of people would be re­sponded strictly by the state and the society. He said the mis­creants might be from us but we must have to divorce them and keep distant from them. He said Pakistan was created on noble principles and the country was the product of noble idea.

Speaking about the incident of May 9, the prime minister ex­plicitly expressed disappoint­ment and discomfort over the sabotage activities happened on the day. He said attack on the military installation was like the country’s immune system was attacked which could lead to­wards fatality. 

“We do not just condemn it but we also will ensure that jus­tice will be done and whosoever violated laws on those days will be treated according to law and there will not be any favour to anybody “, he added. On Kash­mir issue, the prime minister “It was the core issue which could not be ignored. “It lies in our soul, for us Kashmir is eternal.”

Following the cabinet meet­ing, caretaker PM Kakar said that his government would en­sure that justice is meted out to those behind May violence. “We will ensure that justice is met­ed out to those involved in the May 9 attacks. Full force of the law will be applied to those who infringed upon the sacrosancti­ty of the state’s emblems on that day,” he said on twitter. 

Meanwhile, Caretaker Feder­al Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi said on Friday that holding gen­eral elections was the responsi­bility of the Election Commis­sion of Pakistan (ECP) and the Federal Government would ful­fill its duty to assist the watch­dog in that regard. 

Addressing his maiden press conference as information min­ister, he said the entire caretak­er cabinet would try hard to ful­fill responsibilities under the oath and in accordance with the law and Constitution.

The minister spoke with the media to inform them about the first meeting of the Federal Cab­inet chaired by Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar. 

Murtaza Solangi said he had held a meeting with Chief Elec­tion Commissioner Raja Sikan­dar Sultan and apprised him about the commitment of the Federal Cabinet regarding assis­tance in holding free elections in the country and implement­ing the ECP recommendations for necessary transfer and post­ing of officials in that regard.

He said the cabinet decided that on the election day, the first vote would be cast by the care­taker prime minister and then by the ministers.

The minister said the coun­try would be ultimately run by the elected representatives of the people as was envisaged in the Constitution of Pakistan and the caretaker government would look after the affairs only till the elections.

He said that the cabinet de­cided to reduce the govern­ment’s spending in view of the prevailing economic condi­tions, and it was also the gov­ernment’s responsibility not to waste taxpayers’ money.

“ We cannot afford to buy pe­troleum products at high pric­es and sell them at low pric­es,” he said, adding as per the agreement with Internation­al Monetary Fund, the govern­ment could not subsidze com­modities.

Solangi said the state with its power stood with the mi­norities and no one would be allowed to victimize them in the name of religion, colour or caste. Islam granted spe­cial rights to the minorities and those responsible for the Jaran­wala incident would be brought to justice, he vowed.

Pakistan, he said, was a coun­try of 250 million people, who all had equal human rights.

The cabinet stressed on pro­moting Sufism in the coun­try to counter extremism, narrow-mindedness and intol­erance prevailing in the soci­ety, he added.

He said everyone expressed grief and sorrow over the Jaran­wala incident and steps were being taken to ensure protec­tion of the minorities.

The minister said Prime Min­ister Kakar emphasized on building infrastructure in the country.

Replying to media persons’ questions, Solangi said poverty and inflation were a reality and nobody could deny that fact. It was also a fact that hike in the petroleum products’ prices also caused inflation but the govern­ment’s hands were tied due to the IMF’s standby arrangement. 

He assured the media that the government would cut its ex­penditure to reduce burden on the national exchequer.

Answering a question about the ongoing legal cases against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leadership, he said the matter was sub judice. The govern­ment was not a party to those cases and the relevant institu­tions were performing their duties as per law.

To another question, he said the media and educational in­stitutions had to play an im­portant role in promoting tol­erance and harmony in the society to avert Jaranwala like incidents in the future. 

He said it was the responsi­bility of every government, in­cluding the caretaker setup, to take steps for strengthening the economy, and improving law and order situation.

Replying to a query, he said the caretaker cabinet com­prised only 16 members, be­sides a half dozen advisers and special assistants. Most of the cabinet members represent­ed their respective fields and hopefully they would prove their worth with their perfor­mance, he added. 

Murtaza Solangi reiterated that the caretaker government did not believe in any gag on the media and would take steps to ensure freedom of expression in the country.

Principal Information Offi­cer and APP Managing Director Muhammad Asim Khichi was also present during the press conference.

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