Islamabad to take up red list issue with UK: Fawad

Ijaz Kakakhel

Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday said the government has decided to take up the issue of keeping Pakistan with red list by UK. The minister claimed that Pakistan has removed several objection raised by UK.

After Cabinet meeting, talking journalists, the minister said that the Federal cabinet today strongly protested against decision to keep Pakistan in the coronavirus red list by the British authorities.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan spoke at length about Pakistan’s coronavirus testing mechanism with Britain’s chief medical scientist, Chaudhry added.

“We hope the British government will review its policy,” he added. Pakistan was retained on the red list, in the latest review of the country’s travel ban, despite a diplomatic offensive by several top government officials.

The minister said that the meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, described the reasons given by the British government as unsatisfactory.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on extradition of criminals was also discussed in detail. A proposal was presented to the federal cabinet for non-Indian Punjabi films to be screened in Pakistan for the cinema industry’s revival, the information minister said.

The federal cabinet, giving its feedback, determined that permission to import all foreign movies except Indian should be given, the information minister said, adding that his ministry would present an amended proposal soon.

“In the proposal, we will seek permission to allow foreign movies in Pakistan. In the 70’s we had 780 cinemas which have been cut down to 78, so if we don’t take immediate steps for the film and cinema industry’s revival, it will collapse.”

Briefing about other decisions taken during the cabinet meeting, he said the price of Remdesivir — a drug used to treat patients with COVID-19 — had been lowered from Rs5,680 to Rs3,967.

The Information Minister Chaudhry said a detailed discussion was held on electoral reforms, with Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz, and Minister for IT and Telecom Syed Amin ul Haq giving detailed briefings to the cabinet in this regard.

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