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Federal govt initiates process to engage disgruntled Balochs

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The federal government has formally initiated the process of engaging disgruntled Balochs, aimed at curtailing insurgency and not giving India an opportunity to carry out terrorist activities in Balochistan.

Briefing the media about the decisions taken at the Federal Cabinet meeting held in Islamabad on Tuesday, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Chaudhary Fawad Hussain said that the government has formally started working on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision of reaching out to estranged Baloch people, who are not involved in anti-state activities and hoped that it will bring harmony and tranquility to Balochistan.

The minister told that Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the concerned authorities to provide 3G and 4G internet services in Gilgit-Baltistan, Balochistan, and merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to integrate the population with the vibrant digital domain. He said that these services have already been provided in all the tribal districts.

The information minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan is of the view that the provision of faster internet service is vital for educational and other activities; hence, people cannot be deprived of this for a long time.

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Fawad Chaudhary said that the Federal Cabinet was also briefed about Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and the right to franchise for overseas Pakistanis through electronic voting.

The minister said that it was also informed that the electronic voting system will be ready by 15 July and that the Ministry of Science and Technology will likely prepare indigenous EVMs by 15 July.

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Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that a new all-weather, international airport is being constructed at Skardu while existing airports of Skardu and Gilgit are being upgraded to all-weather airports to promote tourism in the area.

The minister for information said that the prime minister also directed for taking special measures to facilitate boarding and de-boarding of special persons and improving the testing and evaluation system to ensure transparency in the recruitment process of government employees. He added that a four-member Cabinet Committee has been formed in this regard.

Furthermore, the prime minister took serious notice of the excessive protocol of government functionaries and directed to reduce this practice to the minimum level, the minister told.

Fawad Chaudhry said that the prime minister also observed that Flag Act is not being followed in letter and spirit as only federal ministers and other designated functionaries are allowed to install flags on their vehicles.

The minister said that the prime minister directed the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to take special measures to protect green areas in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

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