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Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry Thursday confirmed that name of Co-Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Asif Ali Zardari is on the Exit Control List (ECL), saying the federal cabinet has reviewed as many as 172 names on the ECL and sent 32 cases for review to a committee. Addressing a press conference after the cabinet meeting, the information minister said, "Zardari has a solid place in the ECL." He said that within the six months of this government, Pakistan is being acknowledged in the world and has received phenomenal success in the realm of foreign policy.
"Pakistan has become a significant player in the Middle East. After a span of as many as 12 years, a United Arab Emirates official visited the country. Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman's Pakistan visit will vindicate Pakistan's position in the Middle East," he said. He added that the Saudi Crown Prince will be visiting the country soon.
Chaudhry said that Prime Minister Imran Khan holds the vision to put Pakistan on a strategic position between China and India. "Our relations with the US are improving. It's the first time that the US is following Pakistan's point of view. Pakistan played an important role in the dialogue between Washington and Taliban," he said. "PM Imran believes dialogue is the only solution to war," he added.
He also confirmed the approval of Hajj Policy 2019 by the cabinet, saying among other important decisions of the federal cabinet, the Hajj Policy was also approved to facilitate the pilgrims, he added.
He said under the new policy, direct Hajj flights will be launched from Quetta for the first time. The information minister said the intending pilgrims will be provided biometric system facility at local level to expedite the processing of Hajj applications.
The minister said about 184,000 Pakistani pilgrims will have the opportunity to perform Hajj this year. He said a quota of 10,000 pilgrims has been reserved for elderly citizens while another portion of 500 Hujjaj has been fixed for low-income people.
He said e-visa facilities are being provided to 175 countries. He said citizens of 98 countries can take advantage of business visa facility. He said the process for journalist visa for Pakistan will be made easy. The minister said a supplementary grant has been approved for Prime Minister's Youth Training Programme. He said Karachi Infrastructure Development Company will now function under the Cabinet Division. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan will directly monitor the development activities in Karachi.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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