ISLAMABAD - Condemning the recent attack on a security checkpost in North Waziristan, the Federal Cabinet in its meeting yesterday decided that zero tolerance will be shown towards handful elements conspiring to put the national dignity, image and security at stake.

The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, expressed solidarity with armed forces and offered Fateha for the FC personnel martyred in the despicable incident.

In her media briefing about the cabinet meeting, Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan recalled that the tribal people had rendered innumerable sacrifices for peace and stability of Pakistan.

She, however, regretted that certain elements through their acts had put the peace and prosperity of tribal areas at stake.

The special assistant also reminded that the prime minister had announced development schemes worth 102 billion rupees to heal the wounds of the tribal people.

She said the prime minister had also brought the tribal people into the main political process and his initiative also started a new chapter of peace and development in the areas which were once considered no go areas.

Firdous said incidents such as attack on the security checkpost were a conspiracy to impede development of the tribal districts.

She said the cabinet expressed reservations on the acts of these handful militant elements and decided that the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments and the entire Pakistan would stand shoulder to shoulder with security forces for protection of rights of the tribal people.

The special assistant on information said that prime minister had already asked the provinces to contribute three percent share from the NFC to meet the development needs of tribal districts.

The cabinet also reviewed implementation of the decisions taken in the last 42 sittings. Firdous said out of 819 decisions taken by the cabinet, 584 were implemented while implementation on the remaining had been made time bound.

The prime minister directed the relevant ministers to fulfill their responsibilities for implementation of decisions taken in the best interest of the public welfare.

Secretary cabinet division informed the meeting that a mechanism had been put in place to ensure progress on the cabinet decisions.

Dr. Awan said contours of the federal budget were presented before the cabinet and added that federal budget, to be announced on 11th of the next month, will be focusing on stabilising national economy.

She said the budget will contain measures to reduce current account deficit and fiscal deficit, control expenditures, create platform for economic growth and protect vulnerable segments of the society.

She said provincial governments had been taken on board to address the economic challenges faced by the country.

Firdous said the programme prepared by the economic team of the government had started showing positive results. She said rupee was gaining strength against dollar and stock market had also witnessed bullish trend.

She said the prime minister had directed for preparation of an effective export policy. She said the government also plans to revive sick industrial units and promote local industry.

Speaking on Haj policy, the special assistant said Haj quota for Pakistan had been increased on the desire of Prime Minister Imran Khan with the addition of 15790 pilgrims.

She said the prime minster directed to provide maximum facilities to intending pilgrims and ensure transparency in process.

The special assistant said the cabinet decided to engage cigarette industry to the maximum level so that the funds could be used for better healthcare. She said the case of irregularities in Kachhi Canal had been given to FIA for inquiry.

Dr Awan regretted that a political party did not change its posture even on Youm-e-Takbeer being marked on Tuesday.

She said, “Days like Youm-e-Takbeer must unite us for the defence, security and interest of the country. But these political pygmies use the occasion to criticise Prime Minister Imran Khan for their own political interests.”

Dr Awan said the opposition parties wanted to make the accountability process controversial.

When asked about protest of media workers outside parliament house, the special assistant said that government will clear all the outstanding amount of the last five years to media houses.

She, however, said, “No release will be made to media houses until they give a letter to us that it will be used to clear salaries of media workers.” She said the government will protect interests of media workers.