Cabinet forms committee to look into Reko Diq fiasco


–Firdous says govt will listen to traders, but they will have to come into tax net

–Minister shares details of ‘lavish spendings’ by former rulers, says Nawaz spent $460,000 on his US visit

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan on Tuesday said a committee has been constituted to submit its recommendations to the cabinet on the verdict of World Bank’s Arbitration Court on Riko Diq case.

Briefing media about cabinet meeting along with Federal Minister for Communications Murad Saeed and Advisor to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam in Islamabad, she said the committee will submit its recommendations, point out those responsible and devise future strategy in this regard.

She said the committee headed by Law Minister Farough Naseem will include Hammad Azhar, Dr Isharat Hussain, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Accountability Shahzad Akbar and Syed Qasim.

She said that it has been decided that Minister for Communications Murad Saeed will brief every cabinet meeting about the foreign tours of the Sharif family and expenditures incurred by them ‘illegally’.

Firdous said the cabinet issued directives for appointing permanent heads in all the departments which are being run without permanent heads.

The special assistant said it has been decided that a mechanism will be devised to keep an eye on the prices of items of daily use like pulses and wheat flour. She said it has been decided that the tax on import of edible oil will be reduced from seven per cent to two per cent, which will break the backbone of the hoarders.

She the cabinet discussed the possible measures needed for improvement in the management of land record by the revenue department. She said that the matter will be taken up in the next cabinet meeting.

Firdous said that the prime minister is of the view that the government is ready to listen to the problems of the traders but there will be no compromise on the registration process of the traders to include them in the tax net.


Providing details of the corruption and lavish spending of PPP and PML-N leaders, Murad Saeed said that during the last ten years the previous governments misused national exchequer in the name of security and foreign tours.

He said former prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani had five camp offices, three in Lahore and two in Multan and spent 245 million on his security.

He said former president Asif Ali incurred 3.16 billion rupees on his security.

He said Zardari had two camp offices in Larkana and Naudero before he became the president. He said Asif Zardari used 246 vehicles and 656 police personnel for his personal security.

Murad Saeed said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif spent $460,000 on one US visit in 2015 but Imran Khan will complete his visit by spending only 60,000 dollars.

He said Nawaz Sharif spent 327,000 pounds on his treatment in the United Kingdom in 2016 out of the taxpayers money and used a special aircraft of PIA.

He said that Raiwind residence of Nawaz Sharif was also declared a camp office and hefty amounts were spent on its security. He said total amount spent on the security of Raiwaind was and 4.3 billion rupees.

Murad Saeed said former chief minister Shehbaz Sharif spent Rs8.7bn on his security.

Murad Saeed said that every family member of Shahbaz Sharif used separate security squad, whereas Shahbaz Sharif bought a new helicopter worth Rs1.3 billion. He also spent Rs410m on use of Nawaz Sharif’s aircraft.

He said a total of 2,717 security personnel were deployed on the security of Sharif family in total.