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Wednesday May 05 2021
Web Desk

Relief for masses on the way, says PM Imran Khan

Web Desk

  • Cabinet approves two ordinances related to electoral reforms.
  • One allows ECP to use EVMs, the other grants ECP authority to take steps to ensure overseas Pakistanis have the right to vote.
  • PM Imran Khan says no compromise over blasphemy laws.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday assured members of his cabinet that the upcoming budget 2021-22 will provide relief to the masses. 

The premier also reportedly said special emphasis would be made on development projects keeping in view the public needs.

This was said during a meeting of the cabinet where other important decisions were also taken. The cabinet approved two ordinances relating to electoral reforms, among them one that allows the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to use electronic voting machines (EVM). 

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry held a press conference after the meeting to announce the approval of the two ordinances, adding that these will be beneficial for transparent elections in future. 

"The election commission has been given the authority to use EVMs in elections," he said. "It [ECP] has also been granted the right to take steps to ensure overseas Pakistanis get the right to vote."

The minister said the government's electoral reforms consisted of four parts, including use of EVMs, e-voting for overseas Pakistanis, biometric verification and legislation. He said EVMs had been developed and the government has unveiled its legislation agenda for the purpose, while work was underway on biometric and e-voting mechanism.

Chaudhry expressed hope that PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif and PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari would both welcome the decisions. "They both said the ECP should lead these initiatives," he added. 

Turning his guns towards the Opposition, Chaudhry said a "minor" leadership had been imposed on Pakistani masses. "Maryam and Bilawal wake up each day, check the headlines to see what Imran Khan has said and decide that they have to speak out against it no matter what," he added. 

No compromise on blasphemy laws, says PM 

Reacting to the European Parliament's resolution seeking a review of Pakistan GSP Plus status review, the prime minister held discussions with the cabinet on how to tackle the issue. 

As per a report in The News, minister of state Ali Mohammad Khan was of the view that the government should give a strong response to the European Parliament. 

To this, the prime minister said there would be no compromise on blasphemy laws and asserted that "we do not make decisions under any pressure, as the Holy Prophet (Peace Bu Upon Him) is above all for every Muslim".

However, at the same time, the prime minister cautioned the cabinet members to be careful while discussing the issue as the government was looking into the matter on its own and independently.