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Ex-rulers face humiliation due to corruption, says PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that former rulers, who accumulated incalculable wealth, have become a “lesson” for others as they have been living so “painful” a life that their children are compelled to defend their corruption.

The rulers who chose the path of corruption faced a life filled with humiliation and also pushed the country into debt trap, he said, adding that the politicians were given a lot of opportunities and made leaders of this country but they set a bad example by choosing the wrong path.

“Sometimes they are going to hospitals, sometimes they are going out of the country, their children have gone abroad and they have to lie to protect their fathers,” said the prime minister in his address here at the passing-out of cadets at the Police College, Sihala.

He then asked the police to reform their conduct and become people-friendly, as they were basically responsible for the protection of life and property of people in the country while borders security was the responsibility of the armed forces.

“Police should reform in conduct so that they treat the privileged and the common man in the same manner. I want the police to shun discriminatory attitude towards citizens, and rather treat the common man like a VIP (very important person),” Mr Khan said.

Self defence production vital to meet future battlefield challenges: COAS

ISLAMABAD – Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday visited Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) Wah, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Directorate said.

COAS was given detailed briefing on performance of various production units. “The briefing focused on targets achieved, future projects, envisaged modernisation for cost effective and sustainable production and acquisition of modern technology in line with prevailing operational requirements of Pakistan Armed Forces,” the Pakistan Army’s media wing said in a press release. COAS was also apprised on POF endeavours for international ventures focusing on exports to contribute to national exchequer. COAS visited Display Lounge where newly developed defence products were showcased.

Gen Bajwa terms Pakistan Ordnance Factories a force behind Armed Forces

Appreciating management and Staff of POF for their dedication to optimise the output, COAS termed POF a force behind the Armed Forces serving as backbone in defence of Pakistan. “Technological up-gradation/ modernization and indigenous development to attain self-reliance in defence production is vital to meet the challenges of future battlefield,” the COAS concluded.

Govt fires over 4,500 PSM employees

Karachi Sindh gov.:
The country’s biggest industrial complex – the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) – on Friday laid off over 4,500 of its employees in a move strongly criticized by the PPP led Sindh government.

The employees – 4,544 in total – were fired in the wake of an emergency meeting chaired by the PSM chief executive officer (CEO) at the CEO Secretariat. According to sources, the management has started the process of sending termination letters to the residential addresses of the sacked employees.

In June, the PTI led federal government had decided to terminate all 9,350 PSM employees, taking a giant but politically difficult step to stop years long hemorrhaging instead of reviving the industrial unit.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on June 3 also approved to give the employees due monetary benefits along with one month salary that would cost the exchequer Rs18 billion to Rs19.7 billion. On an average, every sacked employee was estimated to receive Rs2.3 million.

“The ECC gave go-ahead to a ‘full and final’ human resource rationalization plan for the PSM employees in accordance with the judgments and observations of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and other courts hearing the cases involving the PSM,” the Ministry of Finance had said in a statement.

According to a PSM spokesperson, the sacked employees belong to Group 2, 3 and 4 and include junior officers, assistant managers, deputy managers, managers, SEDGM and DCO employees.

However, teachers and non-teaching staff of PSM schools and colleges; drivers, firemen, fire tenders operators, public health staff, security guards and watchmen, gardeners, paramedical staff, kitchen staff, office staff and workers of all departments of finance directorate are still on job.

Services of employees belonging to the A&P directorate and A&P department, finance, junior officers of the directorate, Corporate Secretariat, CP&I, ISMD, Law Department, Security and the A&P Department have been retained on need basis.

In addition, employees posted in the CEO Secretariat, Steel Mill Hospital, Education Department, CDB, Protocol and Zonal Office Islamabad as well as departments of mandatory services have also been retained.

The news of dismissal was received with anger and concern by the employees and trade unions which have already been protesting against the management.

Commenting on the development the PSM Stakeholders Group Convener Mamriz Khan vehemently opposed “the anti-laborer” move and said it was a controversial decision on part of the PSM CEO against whom a case is already pending in the court.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah should pay attention to this issue and the two governments should sit together and take concrete steps to restore the PSM issues and save jobs of the employees,” he said.

Sindh Minister for Labor Saeed Ghani also strongly condemned the move and described it as an “anti-laborer move”. He said the decision to terminate services of PSM employees reflects the incompetence and inability of the “selected government”.

He said the federal government is responsible for the “economic massacre” of the employees and their families. “The PTI led federal government had announced to provide 10 million jobs but it has actually deprived thousands of people of their jobs,” he said. “The PPP stands by the fired employees,”.

He said the PPP demands that the government immediately withdraw its decision to lay off employees. “Steps should be taken to run the mill by announcing an immediate package to make the PSM economically viable,” he added.

The process to take the PSM – the country’s largest industrial unit with 1.1 million metric tons production capacity – out of the public sector began in June 2015 when the then PML-N government decided to stop production.

Since then, the federal government has been paying salaries to the employees but the mill has remained closed. After coming into power, the PTI government decided to revive the PSM and struck its name off the privatization list. But it again added the PSM in the privatization programme last year.

However, neither the PSM could be privatized nor the government tried to revive it.

The PSM’s total expense on its employees in 2018-19 was recorded at Rs9.54 billion that is 75.7% of total production and operating expenses, according to the summary of the Ministry of Industry and Production.

The industry ministry was of the view that due to poor financial condition of the PSM, the government has been paying net monthly salaries to its employees since 2013.

The PSM stopped its commercial operations in June, 2015 without formulating any human resource plan for its 14,753 employees. The number of PSM employees has declined to 9,350 in 2019.

Out of total, only 250 employees would be retained for a period of four months for the execution of the employees’ retrenchment plan and other necessary work. All other employees would be issued termination notices and the financial impact of the plan would be Rs19.657 billion, said the summary.

Nawaz Sharif’s Indian links are exposed: Enemies of armed forces are enemies of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: In a reference to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that those who were enemies of the Pakistan Army were enemies of the country.

The prime minister was addressing a meeting of the PTI and government spokespersons on Friday where he spoke about the upcoming protest movement to be launched by the country’s opposition parties.

During the party meeting, Imran Khan said that there were no tensions in the current civil-military relations and the army was fully supporting the government within constitutional limits.

“The opposition has a problem with the army because they (armed forces) always catch their corruption,” he said. The prime minister criticised Nawaz Sharif’s diatribe against the army, saying that his statements appease India. “Nawaz Sharif is toeing India’s narrative,” added PM Imran. The premier said the statements of Nawaz Sharif are according to the Indian agenda.

He said that those who were enemies of the armed forces were enemies of Pakistan, calling on the whole nation to stay united in the face of an Indian conspiracy. PM Imran said that the government will defend its institutions.

According to sources, the premier directed the ministers to expose the narrative of opposition. He said Pakistan’s enemies were joyous over employing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s diction by Nawaz Sharif.

The prime minister said the government feels no pressure from the opposition’s movement. “What kind of a revolution it is when the leaders will sit in London with comfort, while workers will be on roads,” he said, adding that the opposition’s movement will end up in disappointment. aAccording to sources, the meeting also deliberated upon the strategy to bring back Nawaz Sharif to Pakistan.