Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Tuesday said the federal government will adopt legal and the constitutional procedure over the appointment of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director general. The prime minister has the authority to appoint ISI DG, Fawad said, adding that Prime Minister Imran and the army chief had a ‘long sitting’ Monday night to discuss the matter and the premier had subsequently taken the cabinet into confidence over the issue. “Gen Bajwa and the prime minister have close and cordial relations. And it is also important from a historical perspective that there are ideal relations between Pakistan’s civilian and military leaderships,” he added. Referring to rumours circulating about the matter, he said, “I see on social media, there are many who have wishes; I want to tell them that the Prime Minister’s Office will never undermine the respect of the Pakistan Army and army chief. And the COAS and the army will never take any step that will undermine the respect of Pakistan’s prime minister or civil setup.” He stressed that both the premier and the military leadership are in close coordination, and the DG ISI would be appointed after fulfilling all the legal requirements. “Both (PM Imran and Gen Bajwa) are in agreement over this and the prime minister has the authority over it,” he said. Chaudhry also appreciated the media for not ‘sensationalising’ the matter of the DG ISI’s appointment. When asked by a reporter whether Chaudhry’s latest remarks indicated that last week’s announcement about Lt Gen Anjum’s appointment was made ‘without the prime minister’s approval’, the information minister said, “I have already answered this.” Fawad said that at the outset, the federal cabinet offered fateha for the soul of renowned nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan. Over 15 ministers including National Assembly speaker, Senate chairman, Chairman of Joints Chiefs of Staff Committee, and naval chief attended the funeral. It is unfortunate that there was a tendency on social media to make news from rumours sans verifying the facts, he said, and appealed to the journalists to demonstrate responsibility and verify the news circulating on social media before reporting to their respective organizations to counter fake news and propaganda. He said that the cabinet made a land mark decision for approval of online power of attorney for overseas Pakistanis as this government had feelings for the problems faces by them in that regard. The minister said that another important development was that the cabinet was given presentation for setting up a new unit in Islamabad police for mob handling. This unit would be well trained and equipped with latest technology including drones and cameras to ensure that the residents of the capital were protected from such riots and they do not face inconvenience of road closures every now and then, he added. Fawad said the cabinet had decided to include the traders coming from Afghanistan to Pakistan in visa list as the volume of goods being traded between the two countries had increased manifold. The government, he said was keen to encourage the legal entry of Afghan people coming to Pakistan by bringing ease in visa regime to the convenience of the Afghan nationals. Similarly, the minister said the cabinet had okayed the code of conduct for visa issuance to Afghan nationals. The visa process for Afghan nationals had also been made online due to the huge influx of people coming to the Pakistan Embassy for the issuance of visas, he added. The minister said the cabinet also approved the proposal to give online visas to foreigners working on various China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects and decided to write off visa fee for Afghan nationals. Fawad Chaudhry said the Cabinet had approved the Islamabad Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2020 for regulation and promotion of the real estate sector and to protect the interest of buyers in the sector. The minister said that cabinet was given briefing on electronic voting machines. In almost all cabinet meetings, the issues of electronic voting machines and grant of voting rights to overseas Pakistanis’ were discussed, he added. The minister said the cabinet had decided that overseas Pakistanis’ would be provided right to franchise at every cost.