–Govt urges media, nation to actively highlight Kashmir issue ahead of Modi’s address in UNGA session on Sept 27
–Cabinet approves Christian marriage, violence against women bills
–Govt sanctions Pak-Turkey Strategic Economic Framework to forge stronger cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey
ISLAMABAD: After knocking at the United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) door for the resolution of Kashmir dispute in the wake of the Indian move to strip the occupied region of its special status, Pakistan has decided to move the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the unilateral move that has put the regional peace at stake.
Pakistan is hoping to woo global powers after the successful UNSC moot wherein four of the five permanent members, excluding France, endorsed Pakistan’ stance that Kashmir was an internationally recognised disputed territory.
“Pakistan has decided to approach ICJ over occupied Kashmir issue after considering all legal matters,” said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
He said Pakistan would soon step up the campaign over Kashmir at the international front. The Law Ministry will soon issue all details regarding Pakistan’s decision for approaching ICJ on the issue.
CABINET MEETS TO DISCUSS KASHMIR, OTHER BILLS:
Meanwhile, the federal cabinet in its weekly meeting decided to actively highlight the Kashmir issue and sought the nation’s support — especially the media — in highlighting the situation in occupied Kashmir ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 27.
Briefing the media about the decisions taken by the federal cabinet, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan said that an in-principle approval had been granted by the cabinet to take the issue to the world court.
She said that the case will be presented with a focus on the violation of human rights and genocide in occupied Kashmir.
A panel of lawyers of international repute would be engaged to pursue the case on behalf of Pakistan at the United Nations’ top court, Firdous added.
A decision by the court would be an advisory only. However, if both countries agreed before-hand, the ruling would become binding.
Firdous said that Prime Minister Imran will address the UNGA on Sept 27 after the Indian PM’s address.
She urged the media to aggressively pursue the agenda of shedding light on the plight of Kashmiris.
During the meeting, the prime minister informed the ministers about his telephonic conversation with US President Donald Trump, she added.
“The prime minister informed President Trump about Indian plans of the genocide of Kashmiris to change the demographic composition of the occupied region,” said Firdous.
She said the PM had urged President Trump to convince the international community to play its role, constitute a fact-finding mission and stop India from its brutalities in Kashmir.
Replying to a question on the extension of General Qamar Javed Bajwa as the army chief, she said Gen Bajwa has a pivotal role in the Afghan peace process.
PAK-TURKEY STRATEGIC ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK:
Moreover, the cabinet approved Pak-Turkey Strategic Economic Framework to forge stronger cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey.
Firdous said Prime Minister Imran Khan will head the high-level cooperation committee from Pakistan side while Turkish side will be headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The framework has nine joint working groups that will be headed by the minister of economic affairs from Pakistan side. All sectors of the economy will be covered by joint working groups and 71 actionable items have been included in these.
The items include free trade agreement, technology transfer, capacity building, and defense cooperation. This framework will help connect Pakistan with Central Asia, Russia, and the West.
According to Firdous, the prime minister told the cabinet about the challenges faced by the government when it came into power.
“The PM said the economy that was almost collapsed at the time of the PTI’s coming into power, but the government revived it and now it was in a sustainable. The current account deficit has been brought down by 30 per cent and in one year it reduced from 19.8 billion dollars to 13.5 billion dollars,” she told reporters.
The meeting also took into consideration the investment-friendly policies to encourage foreign investors, especially overseas Pakistanis.
The cabinet discussed measures to give confidence to businessmen and to ensure business-friendly environment. It discussed the procedural challenges in the working of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) that could deter businessmen from taking decisions.
The cabinet endorsed the decisions of the committee on privatisation in its last meeting.
The cabinet accorded approval of five billion rupees to give interest-free loans to poor and homeless people.
The prime minister also directed to ensure merit and transparency in the disbursing of loans. He said a mechanism and detailed strategy be made to launch the scheme across the country.
The cabinet accorded approval to Christian Marriage and Divorce Bill and a bill against domestic violence and protection of women.
The cabinet also discussed salient challenges and achievements of the government during its first year. Various ministers presented proposals and suggestions of public welfare being launched by their ministries, she said.
The prime minister directed that government’s grievances cells and Pakistan Citizens Portal should work together and share information to avoid duplication.
The cabinet also discussed measures to increase plantation in the country. The cabinet directed the concerned ministry for provision of solar stoves in hilly areas where the gas facility was not available.