Prime Minister directs for early finalization of water policy

Islamabad, March 01, 2018 (PPI-OT): Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has directed for early finalization of water policy after consultation with the provinces. Chairing a meeting about the National Water Policy in Islamabad on Thursday, he noted that freshwater is progressively becoming scarce. He said there was an urgent need to take effective measures at the provincial as well as at federal level for not only ensuring optimum utilization, but also for conservation and scientific management of water resources in order to cater to future needs of the country.

Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Sartaj Aziz briefed the meeting on proposed National Water Policy aimed at ensuring effective management and conservation of existing water resources, improving availability, reliability and quality of fresh water to meet critical needs besides addressing the environmental issues. Talking to a delegation of ‘Pakistan Alliance for Maths and Science,’ the Prime Minister said government is taking effective steps to promote quality education in the country.

The delegation informed him about their efforts to develop science and mathematics in the country. The Prime Minister said after 18th amendment, provinces should play a key role in the promotion of education. He said youth should be provided scientific and technical education to increase human resource development. Minister of State for Overseas Pakistanis Abdul Rehman Kanju and MNA Iqbal Shah and MPA Amir Iqbal Shah called on Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi in Islamabad today and discussed the ongoing development projects.

For more information, contact:
Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage
Government of Pakistan
4th Floor, Cabinet Block, Pak. Secretariat, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-9103557
Email: info@moib.gov.pk
Website: http://www.moib.gov.pk

Elections for 52 seats of Senate to be held tomorrow

Islamabad, March 01, 2018 (PPI-OT): According to Election Commission of Pakistan one hundred and thirty five candidates will contest for fifty-two Senate seats. Twelve Senators each from Punjab and Sindh, 11 members each from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, four lawmakers from FATA, and two members from the federal capital will be elected. Polling process will be started from 0900 and continued till 0400 in the afternoon. The Election Commission of Pakistan, in a review meeting, has taken several decisions to ensure vote privacy during the elections.

The Commission decided that returning officers will ensure that no voter exposes his vote’s privacy and neither be allowed to take issued ballot paper outside the polling station and in case of non-compliance the returning officer will cancel the ballot paper of such persons. It was also decided that all returning officers will have powers of full magistrate and they can suspend the electoral process by bringing such elements to ECP’s notice in case of irregularity. Rangers or FC personnel will also be deputed outside the polling stations.

For more information, contact:
Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage
Government of Pakistan
4th Floor, Cabinet Block, Pak. Secretariat, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-9103557
Email: info@moib.gov.pk
Website: http://www.moib.gov.pk

CPEC turns Pakistan-China ties into strong economic bond: Ahsan Iqbal

Islamabad, March 01, 2018 (PPI-OT): Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal has said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has turned the bilateral relationship between Pakistan and China into a strong economic bond. He was speaking at a function to mark the Chinese New Year and progress to CPEC in Islamabad. The Minister said China has topped the list of countries making Foreign Direct Investment in Pakistan in just five years.

Highlighting various features of the mammoth project, the Planning Minister said developments in energy and infrastructure will change the landscape of Pakistan. Meanwhile, talking to a private news channel, Minister for planning says the United States is trying to pressurize Pakistan to complete its agenda in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan had its own policy based on national interest and aiming to wipe out the menace of terrorism from the country.

For more information, contact:
Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage
Government of Pakistan
4th Floor, Cabinet Block, Pak. Secretariat, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-9103557
Email: info@moib.gov.pk
Website: http://www.moib.gov.pk

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association raises issues Hampering Textile Growth with National Assembly Speaker

Islamabad, March 01, 2018 (PPI-OT): Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq chaired a meeting with the delegation of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), having detailed discussion on issues faced by the textile industry in the Parliament House, today. Adviser on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Mr. Miftah Ismail, Federal Minister for Power Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari, Minister of State for Commerce and Textile Haji Muhammad Akram Ansari, Minister of State for Finance and Economic Affairs Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan, relevant Federal Secretaries and large numbers of Representatives of Textile Industry were also present in the meeting.

On this occasion, the Speaker was given a detailed briefing by the Chairman APTMA Mr. Amir Fayyaz Sheikh, President APTMA Mr. Gohar Ijaz and others about current profile of the Pakistani textile industry and its standing in the international market. The delegation also presented various proposals aimed at increasing exports and thereby reducing trade deficit of the country. They said that textile industry in Punjab is vanishing as most of it has closed down its all operations on account of high energy cost that has increased the cost of doing business in the province.

Pakistan’s growth of textile and clothing exports have declined by 10 percent during 2011-17, Mr. Gohar Ijaz said. He stressed upon arguing that Pakistan has lost the competitiveness due to the regionally non-competitive energy cost as gas to the textile industry in Bangladesh is being provided at the cost of $3 per mmbtu, Vietnam $4.2, India $4.5 and in Pakistan the product is being supplied at the cost of $11 per mmbtu.

The APTMA delegation vowed that given the right kind of incentives, textile industry would be able to play its due role in enhancing country’s foreign exchange earnings. The delegation thanked the Speaker for taking out time from his busy schedule for this important meeting.

Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that Textile Industry is the backbone of our economy and he assured the delegation that the issues of the textile industry will be discussed with Prime Minster along with the relevant Ministers on priority basis. On this occasion, the Ministers reiterated the commitment of the government to continue undertaking all possible measures, including policy initiatives, to create an enabling environment for the businesses to grow and making Pakistani products more competitive in the international market.

For more information, contact:
Secretary
National Assembly of Pakistan
Automation Centre,
National Assembly Secretariat,
Parliament House,
Islamabad – Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-9221082-83
Fax: +92-51-9221106
Email: assembly@na.gov.pk
Website: www.na.gov.pk

Marriyum felicitates Hindu Community on the Festive Occasion of Holy

Islamabad, March 01, 2018 (PPI-OT): Minister of state for Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Ms. Marriyum Aurangzeb felicitating the Hindu community on the festive occasion of Holy has said that entire Pakistan joined them in rejoicing the advent of the festival of lights, colours and spring.

In a message issued here today she said that Islam enjoined its followers to respect the minorities and they also had been guaranteed equal rights by the constitution. The minister said that mutual tolerance, cultural diversity and national unity were the beautiful colours of the mosaic of Pakistan. She said that all the minorities including Hindus were rendering invaluable services for progress, solidarity and prosperity of Pakistan.

Principal Information Officer,
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Tel: +92-51-9252323, +92-51-9252324
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Ceasefire violations by India on 1st March 2018

Islamabad, March 01, 2018 (PPI-OT): The Acting Director General (SA and SAARC), summoned the Indian Deputy High Commissioner Mr. J.P. Singh today and condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian occupation forces along the Line of Control, using heavy automatic weapons and rockets, on 1st March 2018 in Kotli/Jandrot and Chirikot Sectors, resulting in the shahadat of a 70 years old elderly innocent civilian (Mr. Muhammad Nazir s/o Mangta r/o Dhri village), while also injuring a female (Ms. Shamim Akhtar w/o Master Muhammad).

Despite calls for restraint, India continues to indulge in ceasefire violations. In 2018, the Indian forces have carried out more than 400 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, resulting in the shahadat of 19 innocent civilians and injuries to 69 others. This unprecedented escalation in ceasefire violations by India is continuing from the year 2017 when the Indian forces committed 1970 ceasefire violations.

The deliberate targeting of civilian populated areas is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws. The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation. The Acting Director General (SA and SAARC) urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 Ceasefire arrangement; investigate this and other incidents of ceasefire violations; instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire, in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC and the Working Boundary. He urged that the Indian side should permit UNMOGIP to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions.

For more information, contact:
Spokesman
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Pakistan
Tell: +92-51-9205494
Fax: +92-51-9204202
Cell: +92-336-5644459
Website: www.mofa.gov.pk

Rana Afzal meets Afghan delegation

Islamabad, March 01, 2018 (PPI-OT): Minister of State for Finance Rana Mohammad Afzal had a meeting with Afghan delegation attending the Pak-Afghan Joint Committee (PAJC) meeting in Islamabad organized by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), Pakistan as part of its Track II initiative ‘Beyond Boundaries’. The delegation led by Mozammal Shinwari, Advisor to CEO on Trade and Regional Cooperation, also included Abdul Hakim Mujahid, Executive Director and Head of Afghanistan High Peace Council, Ms Elay Ershad, Member of Parliament, Ms Rangina Kargar, Member of Parliament, Lal Mohammad Durrani, Dy. Speaker Nangarhar Provincial Council, Salim Khan Kanduzi, Former Governor Nangarhar Province, Qutubuddin Royeedar, Former Dy. Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Mr. Feridoon Sikandar, Advisor to CEO on Refugees.

Mr. Aizad Ali Project Director, CRSS Pakistan and Imtiaz Gul, Executive Director, CRSS Pakistan were also present on the occasion. During the meeting discussion specially focused on problems being faced in the realm of transit trade and measures for trade facilitation. Both sides agreed that new customs clearance facility at Torkham needs to be completed in the shortest possible time so that excessive delays could be avoided. The Minister also assured the delegation of his support for speedy customs clearance at the ports to facilitate early movement of goods containers. It was also discussed that the scholarships being offered to Afghan students could also be made available to Afghan refugee families in Pakistan.

The delegation apprised the Minister that the Afghan Government is making concerted efforts for resettlement of Afghan refugees back home and that it plans to facilitate two million refugees in two years. The Minister on the occasion appreciated the statement of the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani wherein he mentioned about unconditional dialogue with Afghan Taliban and also having talks with Government of Pakistan to resolve Afghan crisis. The delegation thanked Minster Rana Afzal for sparing time for the meeting and a frank discussion with members of the delegation on different matters. The Minister, it may be mentioned specially flew in from Karachi Thursday morning to meet the delegation at the Rawal Lounge before the latter’s departure for Afghanistan.

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