Chinese Ambassador calls on Leader of Opposition Raja Muhammad Zaffarul Haq

Islamabad, January 23, 2020 (PPI-OT): The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, H.E Mr. Yao Jing made a courtesy call on Leader of the Opposition, Senator Raja Muhammad Zafar ul Haq in his Chamber at Parliament House, Islamabad, on Thursday and exchanged views over issues of mutual interest. Senator Raja Muhammad Zafar ul Haq thanked the Chinese Ambassador for China’s continuing support on the Kashmir issue, raising it thrice, as a permanent member of the Security Council and discussing it with other countries that possess international clout.

 

On a bilateral level, Senator Raja Muhammad Zafar ul Haq appreciated the generosity shown by the Chinese government towards Pakistan’s long term economic development. This, he said was extremely important for the people of Pakistan. China respects Pakistan as a trust worthy friend and all agencies and organization are on one page over this stance, he added.

 

Senator Raja Muhammad Zafa rul Haq said that Pakistan looked forward to a long term arrangement with the People’s Republic of China on sustained development especially economically backward areas, that are politically sensitive.

 

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Justice is the foundation of a successful society: Ijaz Shah

Islamabad, January 23, 2020 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister of Interior met with Chief of UNODC Mr. Masood Kirmipour at the Ministry of Interior, Islamabad. Brig (R) Ijaz Ahmad Shah said that delivery of Justice ensures formation of successful society. He was in a meeting with the Chief of UNODC Mr. Masood Karimipour who had come to brief him regarding the new project launch called “Terrorism Prevention Branch”. The primary purpose of this project is to curb the menace of terrorism and achieve a peaceful society.

 

This project intends to function in collaboration with Law enforcing agencies and relevant stakeholders. The Ministry of Interior has a vital role to play in successful execution of this project, the chief added. The Minister of Interior, Ijaz Shah said that it is a great initiative and further added that the process should be inclusive. Such projects cannot be successfully operated in isolation, he added. The awareness and educating the masses regarding the issues that harm our society is very important. An aware and mature society makes it difficult for the extremist school of thoughts to survive.

 

From delivery of Justice to creating awareness, each step plays a role in defending the society against problems like terrorism and crime. Its one of my biggest dreams to see our country successful and flourish. Ijaz Shah said. The UNODC chief added that Minsiter’s guidance in this project will hold immense importance for the success of the project. Ijaz Shah promised all possible help under the available resources and his relevant experience. He also said that its heartening to see a sharp decline in terror related activities across country. The meeting concluded with the hope of eliminating terrorism completely from the society.

 

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Spokesperson of Power Division clarifies media reports

Islamabad, January 23, 2020 (PPI-OT): Spokesperson of Power Division while clarifying the content of letter by APTMA regarding Textile Sector, in a statement said that the Federal Government, vide S.R.O. No. 12(I)/2019 dated January 01, 2019 provided an incentive to a specific category of consumers, namely, zero rated industrial consumers, to the effect that, in respect of electricity base tariff for XWDISCOs recommended by NEPRA and notified by the Federal Government vide S.R.O. Nos. 01 to 10(I)/2019 dated January 01, 2019 and S.R.O Nos. 11(I)/2010 dated January 01, 2010 for K-Electric, such category of consumers shall make payment up to the rate of 7.5 cents/kWh (the “Concessionary Rate”).

 

The difference between the base tariff and the Concessionary Rate was to be plugged in/contributed by the Federal Government as per the notification for rationalization of process of payment of subsidy. This aspect is clearly spelt out from a bare reading of S.R.O. No. 12(I)/2019 dated January 01, 2019. At present, approximately benefit of Rs. 7.30/kWh is being given in lieu of the Peak Units and Rs. 1.50/kWh is being given in lieu of Off-Peak Units to all such consumers, strictly in terms of S.R.O. No. 12/(I)/2019. This subsidized regime is continuing and has not been withdrawn.

 

For completeness, it is pointed out that upon issuance of the S.R.O. No. 12/(I)/2019, APTMA made various representation to the Federal Government with respect to further subsidy by way of capping of the Concessionary Rate as the only tariff payable by zero rated industrial consumers. The representations made by APTMA and the financial implications of the matter were discussed with the Finance Division and other concerned divisions, including, Ministry of Commerce and Textile. On account of no budgetary allocation for the purposes of the demanded relief in FY 2018-2019 or in the current financial year, the Finance Division communicated that, being pass-through items, the same should be duly recovered as per tariff notifications from industrial consumers, as the subsidy is only meant for furtherance of pro-poor Government policy.

 

Accordingly, after due deliberations between various government division, and approval from the Federal Government, it was declared that the erstwhile zero rated sectors would be notified as “Export Oriented Sectors”, which will continue to remain entitled to the above subsidized package. However, further additional subsidy claimed in the context of all remaining components of cost/price of electricity would be recoverable from such consumers as per the notified tariffs, after incentivizing the base rate through the Concessionary Rate as explained above, which differential is already being provided by the Federal Government from the allocated subsidy.

 

In additional, this sector is also getting commercial rate of gas supply. It is quite clear that base tariff of 7.5 ¢ is being maintained for the “Export Oriented Sectors” and to maintain the base tariff, an element of subsidy to cross subsidy has been introduced. The additional costs reflected periodic adjustment are not covered by such subsidies and if they are not charged to the “industry”, the burden would have to be shared by the domestic, agricultural and commercial consumers. While the GoP is fully committed to promote export for which the base tariff is being maintained, it is important to protect the aforementioned sector from the burden of future cross subsidies.

 

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Pakistan elected President of Asia and Pacific Group of UNESCO

Islamabad, January 23, 2020 (PPI-OT): Pakistan has assumed the presidency of Asia and Pacific (ASPAC) in UNESCO for the period from January, 2020 until December, 2020, says a Press Release received from Paris here today. Mr. Moin-ul-Haque, Ambassador of Pakistan to France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO will lead the ASPAC Group for the year 2020.

 

Indonesia will be the Vice Chair while Republic of Korea will be the Secretary of the Group. UNESCO has six regional groups, with ASPAC being the second largest with 44 member states. Pakistan remains committed to UNESCO’s principles enshrined in its constitution. As ASPAC Chair, Pakistan will constructively engage with member states to strengthen UNESCO to foster better understanding for global peace and stability.

 

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CEO KOC Holdings calls on Prime Minister

Islamabad, January 23, 2020 (PPI-OT): Mr. Levent Cakiroglu, CEO Koc Holdings called on Prime Minister Imran Khan at Davos, on the side-lines of WEF Annual Meeting 2020. SAPM Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Ambassador at Large on Investments Ali Jehangir Siddiqui, Governor State Bank Raza Baqir and Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to UN at Geneva Ambassador Khalil Hashmi were also present. Prime Minister appreciated the long association and presence of the company in Pakistan since 1953.

 

Prime Minister stated that Government has, for the first time after 1960s, prioritized Industrialization agenda with the aim to enhance skills, technology transfer and economic growth. The Prime Minister invited Koc Holdings to consider investments in energy, tourism and hospitality sectors. *Information Note* Koc Holdings is Turkey’s largest conglomerate with products in energy, automotive, finance, retail, construction, tourism, shipping, defense, IT and food.

 

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President chairs a presentation on the office of the Auditor General of Pakistan

Islamabad, January 23, 2020 (PPI-OT): President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi has said that transparency and accountability are among the top priorities of the Government to ensure good governance in the country. He added that modern technology and techniques must be incorporated in the auditing and accounting processes to ensure transparency and enhance efficiency. He said this while chairing a presentation on the office of Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad today.

 

Auditor General Mr. Javaid Jehangir was also present on the occasion. The President underscored that the menace of corruption can be eliminated if effective action is taken on the complaints and irregularities pointed out in the audit reports. He emphasized that outdated procedures must be replaced with modern techniques and new technologies.

 

He hoped that international best practices would be adopted to ensure judicious utilization of public money and curb irregularities. He said that in order to ensure the timely completion of new initiatives, timelines must be decided and rigorously implemented. The President also stressed the need for capacity building of the human capital through regular trainings. The Auditor General apprised the President regarding the measures initiated by his office to improve the performance of the department and to ensure merit, transparency and accountability.

 

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Observe Republic Day as protest day: Mirwaiz

Srinagar, January 23, 2020 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, illegally detained Chairman of Hurriyat forum, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has appealed to the people to observe Indian Republic Day on January 26 as a Protest Day against the usurpation of all political, religious and social rights of the Kashmiris by India.

 

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in a statement issued in Srinagar, today, said, India celebrates its Republic Day on January 26 every year despite being involved in violation of all democratic and human values in the occupied territory, which should be a matter of concern for the international community. He said that New Delhi had stepped up rights violations in Kashmir particularly after August 5, last year. He said that the Kashmiri people had no option but to hold peaceful protests to express their anger against the Indian repression.

 

The Jammu and Kashmir Youth Forum in a statement in Srinagar asked people to observe India’s Republic Day as Black Day to convey the message to the world that they reject India’s illegal occupation of their soil. The Youth Forum urged US President, Donald Trump, to put pressure on India to resolve the Kashmir dispute for ensuring durable peace in the region.

 

Meanwhile, Intensive frisking coupled with massive cordon and search operations in the name of security measures ahead of India’s Republic Day on 26th January has compounded the grievances of the residents, who are already facing military siege and lockdown for the past 172nd day today. Checkpoints have been set up on all roads and intersections across the Kashmir valley and the Jammu region where both transporters and pedestrians are subjected to vigorous frisking by the Indian troops.

 

The High Court Bar Association has described the repeal of Article 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution as illegal and unconstitutional. The Bar Association spokesman, Advocate GN Shaheen, talking to media persons in Srinagar said that Kashmir was an internationally recognized dispute and it could only be settled through political means.

 

A Washington-based US Congress’s think tank – Congressional Research Service – has released a report on Kashmir that provides background of the Kashmir dispute, reviews several key developments in 2019, and closes with a summary of US policy and possible questions for the Congress.

 

Summarizing the recent development in occupied Kashmir, the report titled “Kashmir: Background, Recent Developments, and US Policy” states that India’s action of abrogating Article 370 and Article 35A of the Indian Constitution sparked international outrage as unilateral changing of Kashmir’s status could harm regional stability. It says that the US and international forums expressed concerns over further escalation between South Asia’s two nuclear-armed powers Pakistan and India which nearly came to war after Pulwama incident in February 2019.

 

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