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Wednesday, July 17, 2024  
11 Muharram 1446  

Govt will probe suspicious letters received by judges: PM Shehbaz

Says new IMF programme crucial for economic stability
Screengrab via Aaj News
Screengrab via Aaj News

The government would probe letters laced with a “suspicious powder” received by the judges of the Supreme Court and the high courts in Islamabad and Lahore, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Thursday.

“The letters received by judges yesterday and the powder therein — I understand that we need to investigate this and keep politics at a distance,” he said while addressing a federal cabinet meeting in Islamabad.

All eight judges of IHC judges in white envelopes sealed with cello-tape received letters on Tuesday. The letters carried a threatening sign and accused the judges of being responsible for problems faced by the people of Pakistan, according to the letter.

The matter was reported to the IHC registrar who summoned the police staff deputed for the security of the high court, after which a case was registered under Section 507 (criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and Section 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

The letters were issued with the incomplete address of the sender, the FIR said. The letters while giving reference to Tehreek-i-Namoos Pakistan criticised the justice system, it said, adding that a particular photo and English word “Bacillus Anthracis” were included in the letters for the threat.

The prime minister said the government was investigating the matter. “The government, with the sense of responsibility will also probe this matter to uncover the reality.

PM Shehbaz also pointed out that the government had fulfilled its due responsibility concerning the inquiry of the matter of letter by the Islamabad High Court judges by forming an inquiry commission led by former chief justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani.

Afterwards, he said Tassaduq Hussain Jillani recused the inquiry commission. Subsequently, the Supreme Court took a sou motu notice of the letter.

IMF programme

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that the government was planning to enter a new programme with the International Monetary Fund which he said, was “very important” to consolidate the country’s economy.

“With the new IMF programme, the international institutions will have more trust in us and we will be able to move forward on the agenda of development and prosperity with more confidence,” he said.

According to the PM, the finance minister was going to Washington this month with a delegation to participate in the IMF spring meetings where he will also discuss details of the new programme with the IMF.

He said although the terms of the new deal would not be so easy, but the government will shift the burden of the tough conditions from the less privileged to the wealthier.

The prime minister hoped that after the IMF board meeting, the last tranche of the existing standby agreement worth $1.1 billion would be disbursed to Pakistan this month.

PIA

With regard to PIA’s divestment, he said the privatisation process of Pakistan Airlines was on track and the schedule set for the process would be fully implemented.

He said that for the outsourcing of the airports, a Turkish company was arriving in Islamabad on April 6 which would negotiate the outsourcing process with the Pakistani authorities.

FBR

Regarding digitisation of the Federal Board of Revenue, the prime minister said that the consultants for the digitisation process would be appointed by the end of the current month.

PM Shehbaz said that he recently chaired a meeting of the Special Investment Facilitation Council in which details of various sectors including finance, investment, exports, Information Technology, agriculture, power and petroleum were discussed.

“After a detailed meeting, it was decided that I will personally review the sector-wise performance to solve the problems faced by the sectors and to streamline the country’s economy,” he added.

Chinese workers

With respect to the security of the Chinese workers and engineers, the prime minister said the government was evolving a foolproof system for the security of the Chinese workers.

The prime minister said the cabinet presented the finance division’s Fiscal Policy Statement for the financial year 2022-23, the Debt Policy Statement for the financial year 2022-23 and the Year End Government Performance Monitoring Report in the meeting. The federal cabinet approved the submission of the above statements/report to the National Assembly under prevailing laws, he said.

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Shehbaz Sharif

Islamabad High Court