Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that federal cabinet would take up today (Tuesday) the matter of 2,543 officers who had been receiving funds under the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP).

While talking to media persons in front of the Parliament House on Monday, the special assistant said, “It is very regretful for us and damaging for the image of the country that officers of grade-17 to grade-20 officers were receiving funds meant for the poor deserving people. She said that strict action would be taken against those officers who were involved in it.

Answering a question bout price hike in the country, she said that 2020 is a year of economic stability, development and relief for the people of Pakistan. She said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has put the country in right direction of economic development.

Answering a question about over-billing of electricity, the special assistant said that under the directions of the Prime Minister, the relief would be given to the consumers of electricity in next month and their over-billing would be adjusted.

About Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), she said that the MQM leadership is with the PTI government. She said that MQM has announced to separate from the cabinet and not from the government. She said that a government delegation led by Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Asad Umar met with MQM leadership. “We are thankful to MQM leadership who vowed to stand by the government. The PTI government wants to move forward by taking along all its allies to resolve the problems of the people," she said.

She said that the Prime Minister has given a package of Rs 162 billion to the people of Karachi to address their problems. “We will address all reservations of the MQM," she said.

Answering a question about former Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah of PML-N, she said that Rana Sanaullah should not involve the religion in politics. She said that a court has granted bail to him but he has not been declared as innocent. She said that trial of Rana Sanaullah is continuing in the court.

“If everyone picks up the Holy Quran to prove innocence then we should close the courts. The court has given him bail and it is not a certificate of innocence, the case is yet to be decided," she added.

The special assistant said those who filed cases against former president Pervez Musharraf have been maliciously exposed. She said that the previous federal government had written a letter to then chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary to constitute the Special Court, adding that Nawaz Sharif government formed special courts without the cabinet's permission. However, the court today (Monday) dispensed justice in the Pervez Musharraf case, she said.

Commenting on the viral image of Mian Nawaz Sharif, she said that those who raised slogans for honoring the votes are enjoying themselves in London. She said that different images of Nawaz Sharif are coming from London. She said that people want to know about the status of Sharif's platelets count.

Answering another question, Firdous Ashiq Awan said that she hopes that all the political parties including opposition would develop consensus for appointment of chief election commissioner and the members of the Election Commission of Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020