Nisar finds fault with possible extension to DG ISI

Lahore: Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, has said President Asif Ali Zardari wants to influence the memo case in the Supreme Court by giving an extension to DG ISI Lt General Ahmed Shuja Pasha.

He was addressing a press conference at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat here on Thursday, says a handout. Nisar said the present DG ISI had exhibited clear negligence towards intelligence matters and after allegations against the government by the ISI on nuclear and other national issues, there was no justification for giving him an extension.

Nisar said if an extension was given, the PML-N and other opposition parties would decide their future strategy. He said that the issue would not be resolved through compromise but rather the administrative issue of extension in service to the DG ISI could become a political and judicial issue.

Nisar warned that if any effort was made by the PPP-led government to use parliament as a rubber stamp on the issue of reopening the Nato supplies, the PML-N would strongly resist it. Nisar claimed that the prime minister was taking a U-turn after issuing policy statements on the general elections and other matters. He said the rulers had no justification to remain in power and the federal government had failed on all fronts.

Nisar said the people were praying for an early departure of the government and every extra minute that the present government stayed in power was a burden on the country. Nisar said that the time had come for the PML-N and other opposition parties to evolve a joint strategy in and outside the National Assembly and Senate to get rid of the government.

He said the government did not seem serious about the promise of general elections in September or October, and also criticised the behaviour of People’s Party over the Waheeda Shah slapping incident, saying the PPP should have demanded Shah’s resignation itself.

Nisar said the chief election commissioner was appointed purely on personal desire of President Zardari, adding that 28 illegal elections were held during the tenure of the same chief election commissioner upon which National Assembly had to pass a constitutional amendment. The verdict given by the CEC in favour of Waheeda Shah was deplorable.

Nisar said the government had many chances during the last four years to solve the problems of Balochistan but did nothing. He said he had also declared that the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package was not a solution to the Balochistan issue and calling an All Parties Conference would also be an unwise decision. (Courtesy: The News )

CM to inaugurate Chandni Chowk flyover on 10th

Rawalpindi – Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif will inaugurate newly constructed Chandni Chowk Flyover on Mar 10 (Saturday).

The flyover on Benazir Bhutto road will be opened for traffic, three days before its deadline of completion. The work on boundary walls and carpeting of the road on the bridge has been completed and after inauguration, it will be opened for the traffic coming on the Benazir Bhutto Road from Benazir Bhutto Hospital to Sixth Road. However, the remaining work of the project, including service roads, will take some time. The total cost of the project was Rs 1216 million, including construction cost of Rs 996 million.

The construction work on the flyover project covering junction of Chandni Chowk and Rawal Road commenced on Nov 5, 2011 and it was to be completed in 130 days. The length of the flyover is 403 meters. All arrangement for the inauguration ceremony has been finalized. The work of installation of lights on the Flyover, carpeting of the road track and other finishing works have also been completed. With the opening of Chandni Chowk Flyover, Traffic Problems faced by citizens on Murree Road would be resolved to a great extent. According to a district government spokesman, the on going work of planting grass and other plants would also be completed as per schedule. (Courtesy – Pakistan Today)

Shahbaz orders roadmap for special persons

Lahore – Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that provincial government will evolve a comprehensive policy for providing education and training in various skills to special children so that they are able to play their due role in national development.

He said the policy of allocation of two percent quota in government jobs for the disabled would be fully implemented. Setting up a steering committee for evolving a comprehensive and meaningful policy framework for the welfare of special persons, he directed that the committee should evolve a consolidated roadmap for the betterment of special persons with the collaboration of welfare organisations and others concerned and submit its recommendations within two weeks. (Courtesy: The News)

He was addressing a seminar regarding welfare of special children arranged by Special Education Department at Chief Minister’s Secretariat here Friday. The chief minister said that special children could be rehabilitated through their proper education in a favourable environment. He said that Punjab Education Endowment Fund should also provide scholarships to special children for meeting their educational expenses. Similarly, vouchers should be given to the deserving disabled children for free education under education voucher scheme of Punjab Education Foundation. He directed that a comprehensive survey should also be conducted in the province so that an authentic data on disabled persons could be available for evolving a comprehensive policy for their welfare. He said that the disabled children were not a burden on society and they could be rehabilitated through education and necessary training. Therefore, he said, Special Education Department was providing free education and other facilities to special students in the province. He directed that speedy progress should be made for the setting up of a state-of-the-art institution in the provincial metropolis for rehabilitation of special children.

He said that society would have to adopt a positive attitude towards special persons as they were not a burden but a source of earning the blessings of Almighty Allah. He said that the proper look after of special children was the collective responsibility of society. He said that professional and qualified teachers were also necessary for the education and training of special children. Therefore, he said, due attention should be paid to the training of the teachers of the special education.

The chief minister said that free education and training in information technology and vocational skills was being imparted to 17,000 needy youth in South Punjab with the cooperation of UK’s Department for International Development and disabled youth should also be included in this programme. Similarly, he said, special children should be included in the various training programmes of TEVTA and Punjab Vocational Training Council. He said that the organisations engaged in the services of ailing humanity and rehabilitation of disabled persons were playing a commendable role.

Special Assistant to Chief Minister Begum Zakiya Shahnawaz, Member National Assembly Pervaiz Malik, Special Education Department Secretary Abdullah Sumbal, Higher Education Department Secretary Dr Ijaz Munir and representatives of NGOs engaged in the rehabilitation of special persons also addressed the seminar.

The speakers also presented various recommendations regarding a comprehensive policy of rehabilitation of special persons. They also expressed the view that the concept of inclusive schooling should be promoted in the province as it would provide an opportunity to the special children to study with the normal children for removing social disparity.

Chandni Chowk flyover inaugurated

Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday unveiled the plaque of newly-constructed flyover from Chandni Chowk to Rehmanabad built in record time of four months at an estimated cost of Rs1.24 billion.

Earlier, concerned officials of the Communication and Works Department gave a detailed briefing to the chief minister on the flyover project on arrival at Islamabad Airport.

After inaugurating the flyover, the chief minister in his public address, held at Arid University and attended by thousands of party workers and leaders, announced construction of the second phase of flyover from Rehmanabad to Sixth Road for which funds have already been allocated.

He while lauding the role of officials, labourers and the contractor in the completion of flyover announced cash award of Rs1.5 million for them. He said it is the second flyover completed in Punjab. The first was opened at Kalma Chowk, Lahore, on August 14, 2011, which was also completed in four months’ record time.

He said during the last 64 years no mega project of similar nature were enforced in Rawalpindi rather the rulers had been looting funds in the name of uplift schemes. But the PML-N leadership have transformed the mega projects into reality and that too in a short span of time.

Amidst thunderous slogans of the gathering, Shahbaz Sharif also announced distribution of more than 300,000 laptops among the brilliant students of schools, colleges and universities in the 2012-2013 budget. During this year, the Punjab government had sanctioned distribution of 125,000 laptops among the students who obtained top positions and high marks in their annual and board examinations. The process of distribution of laptops is under way in other parts of the province. In Rawalpindi over 9,500 laptops would be distributed.

He urged the students to work hard and achieve top positions in examinations for which they would be rewarded. Shahbaz Sharif pointing towards MSF activists holding banners inscribed with demands of laptops assured them that they would also be given laptops if they excel in the examinations.

Recounting the steps taken in the education sector, Shahbaz Sharif said that during the last two years his government has recruited 70,000 teachers in the educational institutions of Punjab. All the appointments of teachers were made on merit basis without any political interference or influence. Nobody could claim about this, he stated.

Criticising President Asif Ali Zardari, the chief minister claimed that the head of the state has looted billions of rupees of the people and from the national exchequer. All the plundered money have been kept in Swiss banks. This is the reason Zardari has directed Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani not to write letters to the Swiss government and even not to obey the orders of the Supreme Court. However, after coming into power PML-N would recover the looted money, he pledged.

The opening ceremony of flyover and public address at Arid University was attended by MNAs Hanif Abbasi, Malik Shakil Awan, Malik Ibrar, MPAs of Rawalpindi city and Cantonment, Senator Najma Hameed, Senator Pervaiz Rasheed, Sardar Nasim, Tahira Aurangzeb and others. (Courtesy: The News)