The federal Cabinet has approved the five-year extension in lease of Saindak project on the request of the Balochistan government, Minister for Information Qamar Zaman Kaira said here on Thursday. He was addressing a press conference after a Cabinet meeting.
The Minister said the approval for lease extension of the Saindak project was brought before the Cabinet on the request of Balochistan government and negotiations for lease extension would be held with the company concerned. The Minister said previous lease agreement was for a 10-year period. Kaira said that there were two sessions of the Cabinet meeting, adding that the first one was dedicated to Malala Yousafzai.
Cabinet members, he said, condemned the attack and stated that the attempt on the life of Malala and two of her friends had drawn a clear line between progressive and extremist mindsets. The Minister quoted the Prime Minister as saying that the whole nation should forge unity against militant mindset, as no state organ could fight the ideology being nurtured for the past three to four decades alone.
Stressing the need for ending fence sitting, the Minister said that the Prime Minister also invited all political parties to accompany him on Friday (today) to inquire about the health of Malala Yousafzai. The injured girl was shifted to Rawalpindi and an aircraft was on standby if there was any need to airlift her abroad for treatment.
The second part of the Cabinet, the minister said, deliberated upon the agenda and endorsed the ECC decision, allowed for starting negotiation with Ecuador for skill management and approved negotiations for extending the lease for Saindak project with the existing company. The Cabinet also approved a summary moved by the Ministry of Petroleum regarding guidelines for Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra).
Kaira said that the special committee on Balochistan also presented its report. The meeting also decided to make the report public. On administrative side, he said that a policy regarding posting and transfer in Balochistan was unveiled and would be approved after taking on board all stakeholders to ensure that best people were posted in the province.
In reply to a question about recommendations of the report, the Minister stated that the report underlined the need for political reconciliation with anyone who respected the national flag, holding of free and fair elections, taking on board legitimate Baloch leaders for talks and directing all agencies concerned to report if any unreported missing person was being held by them. The Minister said that the Cabinet also directed all Ministries and Divisions to inform how many seats of Balochistan quota are vacant so that these could be filled within a month.