Home Articles PM chides ministers over Pemra row after Firdous grouse

PM chides ministers over Pemra row after Firdous grouse

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Presiding over a meeting of the federal cabinet, the prime minister expressed resentment over tweets of Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry, Human Rights Minister Dr Shireen Mazari and MNA Asad Umar against the Perma move and warned them against criticising the government decisions ‘openly’.

“In fact Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan lodged a complaint with the prime minster that Fawad Chaudhry, Shireen Mazari and Asad Umar had given remarks through their tweets against the government’s decision,” a participant of the meeting told Dawn on condition of anonymity. He said the prime minister was of the view that the “government ministers should not have discussed such matters openly”.

At this, Fawad Chaudhry said to the prime minister that Pemra had not taken the decision in an appropriate manner, inviting criticism against the government.

The Pemra move has stirred controversy even in media and official circles.

In his tweet, Asad Umar had said: “Amazing decision by Pemra to stop anchors to go on any other talk show and express their opinion! Pemra should be doing a better job taking action against completely fake news and not suppressing the right of individuals, including anchors, to express their opinion.”

The cabinet allowed four major cities of the country — Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Multan — to have 50-storey buildings.

“The cabinet allowed 500-foot-high buildings even in the funnel areas (15km radius) of airports in the four cities,” Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan told Dawn after the cabinet meeting.

He said that earlier there was a ban on construction of high-rises in 15km radius of the airports, but now it had been relaxed.

However, it was observed that despite the ban multi-storey buildings were being constructed in the funnel areas of airports.

The restriction had already been lifted in Islamabad.

At a post-cabinet meeting press conference, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the prime minister had directed the authorities concerned to expedite the process of acquiring the assistance of foreign companies to run the country’s airports in a better way under the government’s policies and provide better facilities to the passengers, besides generating more revenue.

The cabinet was briefed on the progress in work on upgrade and reconstruction of Skardu airport. The meeting empowered minister for aviation to renew licences of airlines companies and expressed the hope that the decision would facilitate the companies and expedite the process of renewals.