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Civil-Military Leadership Decides Measures Against Corruption, Smuggling, and Power Theft

The civil-military leadership, in a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, has decided to take strict actions against individuals involved in illegal activities such as corruption, smuggling, power theft, and running criminal syndicates.

The meeting, attended by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir, federal cabinet members, chief ministers, and senior government officials, discussed measures to combat unlawful activities.

Participants were briefed on the steps taken against criminal syndicates, smuggling, hoarding, money laundering, power theft, and repatriation of illegal immigrants. They acknowledged the significance of these actions and their positive impact on Pakistan’s economy and the well-being of its citizens.

The meeting demonstrated a firm resolve to crack down on smugglers, hoarders, and market manipulators who have adversely affected the economy and to provide immediate relief to the public. Agreements were approved among federal and provincial governments on an anti-power theft policy, restructuring of power distribution companies, and the installation of smart meters to eradicate power theft. Strict action against corrupt officials was also ordered.

COAS Munir assured the government of the Pakistan Army’s unwavering support for economic recovery initiatives. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed all stakeholders to vigorously pursue various initiatives against illegal activities and criminal syndicates to ensure their completion within the specified timeframe.

The federal government, led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and coalition partners, has been implementing special measures to address issues draining public resources and affecting the national economy, aiming to secure the final tranche of a $1.1 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The IMF sought assurances from the government regarding improving the tax collection mechanism, reducing circular debt in the power sector, and adjusting electricity and gas tariffs. Prime Minister Sharif announced plans to restructure the country’s tax collection system and digitize the Federal Board of Revenue.

The nation’s $3 billion standby arrangement with the IMF is set to expire on April 11, with a staff-level agreement reached for the disbursal of the final tranche of $1.1 billion earlier this month.

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