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Reconstitution of missing persons` body okayed

By Syed Irfan Raza 2024-01-11
ISLAMABAD: Amid a prolonged protest by the families of missing persons in Islamabad, the federal cabinet on Wednesday approved the reconstitution of its committee on forced disappearances, headed by the law minister.

According to the Prime Minister`s Office, the committee was reconstituted on a recommendation by the ministry of interior after the chairman`s slot fell vacant due to the resignation of former interior minister Sarfraz Bugti.

Families of missing persons, mainly from Balochistan, have set up a camp outside the National Press Club to press the caretaker government for recovery of their loved ones. They organised a rally on Dec 21, but it led to batoncharge by police and arrests.

The next day, caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar formed a special committee, headed by the former interior minister, to meet the families of missing persons and addresstheirgrievances.

Although many of the protesters were released, a good number of them are still in custody.

The cabinet gave its nod to the formation of a regulatory body for cannabis control by approving the Cannabis Control and Regulatory Authority Ordinance 2024 and forwarded it to the Committee for Legislative Cases.

Teachers`regularisation The cabinet meeting, chaired by PM Kakar, approved reguralisation of 227 daily-wage teachers on a proposal by the Federal Directorate of Education and as recommended by the Federal Public Service Commission. The approval was in compliance of a verdict of the Islamabad High Court given in 2018.

It approved a summary regarding the Livestock and Dairy Development Board in order to fulfil a legal requirement before the appointment of a chief executive, in compliance of decisions given by the high courts of Islamabad and Balochistan.

The authority will draw up guidelinesfor the cultivation, extraction and refining of cannabis.

Attacks on polio teams The caretaker prime minister spoke at length on recent attacks on polio teams, restating the government`s resolve to carry on the anti-polio drive for eradication of the disease.

The meeting offered Fateha for the security officials who were martyred during a vaccination drive in Bajaur.

The prime minister paid tribute to the martyred personnel and said the state would not forget their invaluable sacrifice.

`The security officials sacrificed their lives for the safety of future generations,` Anwaarul Haq Kakar said.

`The terrorists cannot break the nation`s determination to fight polio.

Health security summit Earlier, the caretaker prime minister addressed the inaugural session of the first-ever Global Health Security Summit.

He stressed the need to explore sources for global funds that could support nations in times of need and for ensuring that no one was left behind in the pursuitofhealthsecurity.

`The call for a sufficiently funded, widely supported medium-term roadmap, as highlighted in the International Health Regulations Core Capacities evaluation, resonates globally. `We must invest in open, transparent, and multi-sectoral processes to strengthen buy-in and commitment at all levels,` the prime minister said.

He said a `One Health` approach recognised the interconnectedness of human, animal and environmental health.

`Our commitment should extend to establishing global frameworks that facilitate information sharing, joint research, and collaborative strategies for an effective response during emergencies,` he added.

The caretaker prime minister stressed the need for a strong and visible public health system that was vital to early detection, response, and mitigation.

PM Kakar also called for collaboration to establish international standards for food safety to ensure the highestlevelof protection for humanity worldwide. He said the Covid-19 pandemic had taught the world invaluable lessons about the importance of collaboration, preparedness, and a unified response.

`It is in this spirit that we convene today, not merely as representatives of our respective countries, but as overseers of global health security.