Islamabad: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Tuesday hinted at a breakthrough in the government- opposition talks on the electoral reforms. The Federal Cabinet was informed that the government and the opposition had reached a point of understanding on different points and there was possibility of further positive development, he stated while briefing media after the cabinet meeting was chaired by PM Khan. The minister said the cabinet was given a detailed briefing on electronic voting machines (EVMs), Internet voting and biometric verification of voters. The objective behind the introduction of EVMs was to bring transparency in the electoral system, he added. The Minister said the cabinet approved the Interior Ministry’s suggestion for continuing the ban on the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP). The party was banned on merit as it was involved in arson and torturing of police personnel, he added. The Law Ministry would approach the Election Commission of Pakistan to get the election symbol of TLP cancelled as per law, he added. The cabinet was informed that due to the efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan, 85 more prisoners jailed in Saudi Arabia were being released and a special plane would be sent to bring them back, he said. Hundreds of prisoners had already been set free by the Saudi government as per the promise of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman made during his visit to Pakistan, he added. Efforts were being made for release of Pakistanis imprisoned in different countries, who were not involved in serious crimes, the minister said. Fawad said Special Assistant to the PM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan told the meeting that record 525,000 anti-Covid vaccine jabs were administered in the country on Monday.So far over 20 million people had been vaccinated in Pakistan, and the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) would give a detailed briefing in that regard on Wednesday. Presently, he said, corona cases were increasing in Karachi and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, whereas the situation in the Punjab province and other areas was in control. He urged the masses to get themselves vaccinated, and pay no heed to the propaganda as over 1.5 billion people across the world had got the shots. As regards the reduction in security detail, he said the opposition politicians and former bureaucrats seemed to have been enjoying more security than the cabinet members. The standard operating procedures and rules regarding provision of official security and protocol to private individuals were being revisited, he added. The prime minister told the cabinet meeting that record 500 million trees would be planted in the areas under federal and provincial governments of the PTI during the ongoing monsoon season, he said. He said the cabinet was briefed on the encroachments in E 8 and E 9 sectors of Islamabad. All the institutions, including the Pakistan Air Force and the Pakistan Navy were directed to remove boundary walls built on the green belt around the above sectors. The Minister added that it was a clear message for all that no encroachments would be tolerated anywhere in the Federal Capital.The Capital Development Authority chairman was directed to take all steps required to make Islamabad an encroachment free city. The prime minister, he said, expressed concern over doubling of the Capital’s population from 2010 to 2020 while the green belts were encroached all over the city. Imran Khan, he said, also directed that the culture of VVIP clubs, where the entry of common man was banned, should be ended and all resources should be used for the welfare of general public. Fawad said the cabinet approved 15 percent special allowance for the personnel of Armed Forces of Pakistan as they had opted not to take any pay raise during the past two years due to economic crunch. The prime minister observed that Pakistan Rangers and Frontier Constabulary should also be given 15 percent allowance and directed the authorities concerned to take steps in that regard, the minister said. Fawad said on the request of Opposition Leader Sindh Assembly Halim Adil Sheikh, the cabinet issued directives for inclusion of independent persons in the Joint Investigation Team to ensure transparency in the investigations into the cases instituted against him, . He said the cabinet gave approval to retail price of 49 medicines. The cabinet, he said, also discussed a report of Ministry of SAFRON regarding Afghan refugees in the country. Pakistan was already hosting over 3 million Afghan refugees and was expecting more Aghans if the situation in Afghanistan deteriorated. It was not the responsibility of Pakistan only, rather the international community, especially the superpowers should come forward to share the burden, he added. He said Pakistan was making all possible efforts for a peaceful solution of the Afghan issue. However, the ministries concerned had been directed to prepare a comprehensive policy keeping in view the seriousness of the situation. Pakistan had learnt from the past experiences and it would now handle the refugees issue in a much better manner, he added. He said at the outset, the cabinet paid tributes to the Kashmrii martyrs of July 13,1931. Responding to the media persons’ questions, the minister said the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Law and Justice would jointly devise a strategy to get the election symbol allotted to TLP cancelled by the ECP. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan would address elections rallies in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, he said, had already left for the United States out of his frustration that his party had no chance of winning the elections. Some eight or nine candidates were contesting the AJK elections on the PPP ticket, he added. He said same was the case with Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz, who herself had said that she was on a leisure trip to the AJK. Ultimately both the leaders would have to confine themselves to their homes to enjoy life on the public money looted by their parents, he added. As regards the Afghan situation, he said Pakistan wanted lasting peace in Afghanistan and for the purpose it was in close contact with all the Afghan groups.