One year performance:Freedom of expression is ‘greatest’ achievement of govt: Awan

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Staff Report

Islamabad

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has stated that noticeable improvements have been made in postal services, NHA, railways, and many other government departments. A ceremony to mark the completion of one year of the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was held in Islamabad on Sunday.

In her address, Awan said is very important day as the government has completed its one year tenure. She said this day is dedicated to struggle of oppressed Kashmiri brothers and sisters for their right to self-determination.

She said the premier’s address to the nation that was scheduled for today (Sunday) had been postponed as the government’s “full-time focus” was on Kashmir.

The Special Assistant said the government in a short period of one year corrected the course through strong foundations, hard work, and honesty.  Firdous Ashiq Awan said Prime Minister achieved historic electoral success after a political struggle of 22 years and his vision is to transform Pakistan on the principles of State of Madinah with characteristics of merit, justice, rule of law, social welfare and austerity.

She said under this vision, reforms are being introduced in all government ministries and institutions and the Prime Minister is personally supervising the reforms agenda of the government.

“The greatest achievement of the government in the past year is that we believe in the right of freedom of expression and speech.”

She insisted that Prime Minister Imran Khan had not tried to curb the media at any level or at any forum, whether at the party level or government level.

“He did not communicate that the media be maligned […] or that the media’s fundamental rights be taken, at any forum or through any personal action.”

Referring to her ministry, the SAPM said reforms have been brought in PTV and it is becoming a profitable institution now.

She said the links between Associated Press of Pakistan are being increased with international news agencies so that it projects positive image of Pakistan abroad. Awan said through our policies and reforms process, we will also turn Radio Pakistan into a profitable institution so that it truly becomes voice of 220 million people.

“The Housing Ministry had taken steps to provide low cost housing to the people,” she said. “Visa regime was relaxed for 175 countries to promote tourism in the country and the government initiated the Ehsaas programme to provide financial support to low income sections of the society.”

Awan further said, the energy ministry considerably reduced the circular debt. “Pakistan Post and National Highway Authority (NHA) were made profitable. In naya Pakistan, interests of the public were protected and not of the rulers.”

“The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) undertook reforms to increase revenue and broaden the tax base,” she said, adding, the government worked with dedication and sincerity and put Pakistan on the right track with its policies.

Awan highlighted the Ehsas welfare programme as one of the achievements of the PTI government: “Ehsas programme is close to the premier’s heart. He believes that a society cannot change until people understand each other’s situations.”

Ehsas is an ambitious social safety and poverty alleviation programme for the welfare of the public that was launched by Prime Minister Imran in March this year.

Earlier, addressing the ceremony, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Naeemul Haq said Pakistan is passing through a turning point in history in the backdrop of Kashmir situation. He said the whole nation is united over protesting the unilateral and illegal act of India.

The Special Assistant assured that the government will take every step to help Kashmiris achieve their aim of liberation.

Referring to domestic situation, he said when the government assumed power the economic situation was critical.

Naeemul Haq said Pakistan sought friendly countries’ help as well as taking austerity measures and a number of steps to ameliorate the economic situation. Special Assistant said the government also launched big projects like provision of housing for people of lower income backgrounds.