ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed determination that government, leadership and people of Pakistan will fully stand by Kashmiris in their right to self-determination.

Giving briefing to media on cabinet meeting in Islamabad today, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan said the Prime Minister took the cabinet into confidence regarding his yesterday’s speech and the steps being taken by the government to internationalize the injustice and plight of Kashmiris to the world in an effective manner.

Dr. Firdous said the cabinet endorsed the Prime Minister’s decision to choose the sacred day of Friday to observe it as national solidarity day with Kashmiris. The cabinet hailed the steps being taken by the government on highlighting the Kashmir issue and the recently set up focal group on Kashmir comprising members from both treasury and opposition.

The cabinet members assured full support to the Prime Minister on his upcoming address to the UN General Assembly next month.

Referring to public welfare steps of the government, the Special Assistant said the Prime Minister was briefed that token system has been introduced in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to facilitate the public on first come first serve basis.

Federal Minister for Aviation informed the cabinet that Civil Aviation department will introduce a system that will work in coordination with Meteorology Department to give timely information to people and especially farmers regarding weather conditions.

Minister for Communications Murad Saeed apprised the cabinet that services for disabled persons have been introduced in intercity public buses.

Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar informed the meeting that a decision has been made to turn all economic support from abroad into grant in aid, rather than loans.

Prime Minister directed to speed up the process of completion of public development projects. He urged the cabinet members to make distinction between project planning and project implementation. Imran Khan also emphasized to arrange and manage human resource well in time so that projects are not delayed unnecessarily.

Prime Minister also directed the human rights ministry to arrange capacity building trainings for transgender community in coordination with civil society so that they could earn a respectable living.

The cabinet expressed its concern on rising online crimes, including child pornography. Prime Minister Imran Khan directed the law ministry to give exemplary punishments to those involved in such heinous crimes, so that it has a deterrence effect.

Prime Minister agreed with suggestion of interior ministry to set up a state of the art center for drug rehabilitation in Islamabad, so that addicts are rehabilitated in society.

Ministry of IT shared the projects with the cabinet for increasing capacity building of youth, increasing international IT exports, and talent hunt programmes.

Law Minister Barrister Farogh Naseem apprised the cabinet on development of Imran Khan Legal Aid Helpline which will help poor, destitute and displaced persons across the country to access to speedy justice.

Minister for Religious Affairs Noor ul Haq Qadri informed the cabinet of all the initiatives to facilitate the Hujjaj. He said 700,000 people apply for visits to Iran, Syria and Iraq annually and the Ministry is facilitating to increase their numbers. A policy draft in this regard will be presented to the cabinet soon. The Minister for Religious Affairs further told that a 70-year Mandir will be rehabilitated in Sialkot while a Gurdwara closed for decades in Peshawar has been opened again.

The Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad informed the cabinet that rail ticket prices have been reduced to half for persons who are 65 year old while four free tickets will be given per annum to persons above 75 years of age. He said 3.7 million liters of diesel has been saved with effective measures to stop its pilferage. The Minister said steps are also being taken to facilitate disabled persons for train travel.

Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood told the meeting that earlier Pakistani products were being sold worldwide with tags of different countries. The Commerce Ministry is now working on legislation to protect Pakistani brand name.

Advisor on Institutional Reforms Dr. Ishrat Hussain informed of various measures which have resulted in improved performance of public sector institutions. It was told that heads of 30 organizations have been appointed on fair and transparent manner.

The cabinet was also informed of measures to register home-based workers with EOBI after setting up a new database. Similarly, a database of overseas Pakistanis will also be set up. A special police station for overseas Pakistanis has already been set up in Islamabad to help resolve their grievances and issues.

The cabinet was also apprised that bill payment deadline of gas bills will be increased to a fortnight to give people sufficient time for bill payments.

Radio Pakistan