Pakistan desires to further strengthen, diversify ties with UAE: PM

RAHIM YAR KHAN, Dec 31 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Tuesday said that Pakistan attached immense importance to its strategic ties with the United Arab Emirates and was desirous of further strengthening and diversifying the bilateral relations in all areas of cooperation.The Prime Minister said this during his meeting with President of UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan here.Prime Minister Sharif also congratulated President Khalifa for Dubai having been chosen as venue for EXPO 2020 and said that it was a matter of great pride for Pakistan that Dubai has been chosen to host EXPO 2020, and it would enhance the image of the whole region. He appreciated the UAE’s investment in Pakistan and progressive increase of trade between the two countries and said that it was reflective of UAE’s trust in the investor friendly environment in Pakistan.
The Prime Minister said that Pakistan is in a good position to meet the future human resources needs of UAE and added that the already more than 1.25 million Pakistanis working in UAE are a human bridge between the two countries who would continue to play a vital role in the development of UAE. (Courtesy: APP)

President for taking maximum advantage of GSP Plus status

ISLAMABAD, Dec 31 (APP): President Mamnoon Hussain on Tuesday urged for product diversification and value addition in all sectors especially textile industry in Pakistan to take maximum advantage of the GSP Plus status awarded to Pakistan by the European Union.The President said this during presentation given to him by the Ministry of Commerce on EU’s Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP Plus) Scheme. The briefing meeting was attended by Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan, Minister of State for Commerce and Textile Industry, Qasim M. Niaz, Secretary Commerce and Mrs. Rukhsana Shah, Secretary, Textile Industry.Nadeem Hassan Asif,Secretary to the President, Ahmad Farooq, Additional Secretary and Mrs. Saba Mohsin Raza, Press Secretary to the President.

The Ministry of Commerce and Textile Industry gave a detailed presentation to the President on GSP Plus Scheme, the challenges and opportunities for the economy as a result of the market access and the various steps being taken by the Ministry to seize this opportunity and maximize country’s exports.
The President appreciated European Commission and the member countries of European Union for their continued support to the country for getting GSP Plus status. The President also commended the efforts of various ministries and all those who worked hard and were associated in getting GSP plus status for the country.
The President said that EU’s Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP Plus) Scheme not only promises manifold increase in Pakistan’s exports to the  EU markets but would also strengthen country’s economy through greater trade, increased economic activities and generation of more employment opportunities for the people of Pakistan.
The President on the occasion advised the Ministry of Commerce to take  all possible steps to create awareness among the business community and exporters across the country to enable them to grab this great opportunity and fully utilize benefits from the GSP plus status.
The awareness campaign, the President said would facilitate the businessmen and entrepreneurs in reaching out to the economic markets of EU and thereby accelerating the export potential of the country.
The President called upon all the stakeholders, public and private to come forward and play their active role to fully avail this huge opportunity of trade access to EU markets and secure greater place for Pakistani products and goods in the EU markets. (Courtesy: APP)

Nawaz for unity to weed out religious hatred

LAHORE, Dec 21 (APP): Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Saturday stressed the need for forging unity and promoting interfaith harmony to eliminate religious hatred, terrorism and extremism. He was addressing a function in connection with Christmas here at Governor’s House where Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Senator Kamran Michael, Punjab Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Tahir Khalil Sindhu, Bishop of Lahore Irfan Jamil, Archbishop of Roman Catholic Church Sebastian Shaw and a large number of Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, Parsis and Muslims were also present. Nawaz Sharif said that all religions, including Islam and Christianity, aimed at purification of the soul, adding that Muslims also have faith in Hazrat Essa (AS) (Jesus Christ) as the prophet of Allah Almighty and the Muslim’s belief could not be completed until and unless they believe in all holy books including the Bible as well as all prophets.
The prime minister said that exploitation of religion created hatred among followers of various faiths that ultimately disturbed social peace, adding that a handful of elements were hellbent upon spreading religious hatred and creating sectarianism by exploiting religion and unfortunately such elements also existed in Pakistan.
“The elements attacking churches and mosques and other worship places do not have belief/faith or respect for holy places. We must have to obstruct the way of the elements by forging unity in our ranks and promote interfaith harmony,” he maintained.
He said the birth of Hazrat Essa (A.S) was a clear message of peace  and security for humanity and his teachings were a beacon of light that enlightened the world.
“Islam also advocates love, peace, harmony, fraternity and tolerance,”  he said, asserting that interfaith harmony could be promoted by taking forward religious commonalities.
The prime minister said that Christians and other minorities had been playing an active role in the development of Pakistan and prosperity of the peopple since its inception.
“The Constitution of Pakistan provides equal opportunities to minorities living in Pakistan,” he said and cited that Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the Pakistan Resolution also emphasized equal rights to minorities.
The prime minister said the PML-N government was formulating and implementing policies to ensure equal rights to all citizens irrespective of their colour, caste and creed.
“The government also discouraged  discrimination on the basis of religion, caste and colour in its recently launched PM’s Youth Programme,” he said and advised the minority youth to benefit from the opportunity.
“Terrorism, poverty and ignorance have no religion and are affecting people across Pakistan, therefore, peace and prosperity must be for all citizens irrespective of their caste, colour and creed. We have to provide access to education, ensure peace and bring about prosperity to all Pakistanis without any discrimination,” he added.
At the end, the prime minister along with other distinguished guests  also cut a Christmas cake. (Courtesy: APP)

Education key to help resolve national issues, give better future to young generation: President

ISLAMABAD, Dec 21 (APP): President Mamnoon Hussain on Saturday said that despite numerous challenges confronting Pakistan, education remained one of the main contributing factors to help resolve national issues and give a better future to young generation. Speaking at the 8th convocation of Riphah International University here, the President said that it is a matter of great satisfaction to note that the democratic Government is fully committed towards the cause of education in the country and is undertaking all possible measures to make education affordable and accessible to all people of the country. “The promotion of education has been a key priority of the present government and my presence here signifies commitment of the Government towards education. It also reflects my own passion and interest in this noble cause,” he added.
The President said he has no doubt that Pakistan is a nation of talented people where majority of the population comprises of youth, adding that over 60 percent of the population is between 17-25 years old, which indeed is a rich human resource.
He said that the country’s youth have the required potential and capability to bring about constructive change in the society and added that this great potential needs to be channelized and tapped in a proper manner.
He said that the youth should be groomed in such a way so that they could become the most productive asset for the society and this is only possible through quality education.
The President said the 21st century is a century of knowledge and innovation and it requires a creative problem solving approach, adding that the universities and institutes of higher learning therefore need to become the hub of generating innovative ideas and inventions.
In the context of higher education, he said, the Government’s priority is to promote research culture, with focus on capacity building to produce community of individuals who can effectively contribute to Pakistan’s economic, political and social development.
President Mamnoon said that within a decade of its existence, Riphah International University has established its campuses in applied sciences within and outside Pakistan.
He appreciated the hard work and leadership of Maj. Gen. (Retd) MuhammadZulfiqar Ali Khan, the Founder Chancellor, Hassan Muhammad Khan, Pro-Chancellor and Prof. Dr. Anis Ahmad, the founder Vice Chancellor, the management team, the faculty and staff who are totally committed to the cause of knowledge and education.
Congratulating the graduating students, the President urged them to establish their credentials by virtue of their discipline, professional competence, honesty and integrity.
The President concluded his speech by quoting Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s saying, “You must concentrate on gaining knowledge and education. It is your foremost responsibility.  Political awareness of the era is also part of your education.  You must be aware of international events and environment. Education is a matter of life and death for our country.”
Earlier, the President awarded a honourary Ph.D degree to Dr.  Ahmed Rashid BeeBeejaun, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Energy and Public Utilities, Republic of Mauritius and a Ph.D degree to Salim Ahmed Khan.
The President also awarded degrees and gold medals to the graduating students in various disciplines.
The ceremony was also attended by Maj. Gen. ® Muhammad  Zulfiqar Ali Khan, Chancellor,Hassan Muhammad Khan, Pro-Chancellor, Prof. Dr.Anis Ahmad, Vice Chancellor, members of the Board of Governors and Academic Council. (Courtesy: APP)

Saad offers to run special train on BB death anniversary

ISLAMABAD, Dec 22 (APP):Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique  has offered to run special train on the death anniversary of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto to facilitate people who wanted to attend it. Talking  to media, he said, “I have extended offer as goodwill gesture to opposition leader in National Assembly Syed Kahursheed Shah and Qamar Zaman Kaira for running special train on death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto. He said Shaheed Benazir Bhutto was not the leader of Pakistan but was also an international leader and her death was also a national tragedy. To a question, he said Pakistan Railways has so far leased out over 1000 cres of land in Karachi Peshawar and Lahore. Khawaja Saad Rafique said that the annual income from the land is Rs. 158.38 million. He said inquiry is underway to investigate the leases which were given on lesser rates.

On a question about Quetta-Chaman track, the Minister said land has been encroached by certain tribes and the Railways will soon start action to retrieve it.
On installing gates at various railways crossings the Minister said we have banned any manned or unmanned level crossings. For this purpose over or under head bridges can be constructed by provincial governments or local governments.
Khawaja Saad said Pakistan Railways has a number of plans to convert the railways lands into profitable ventures.
The Minister said eight locomotives were working on freight when the PML-N government came to power. This number has now increased to 20. (Courtesy: APP)

Mushahidullah Khan on Critics of PM Youth Loan Scheme.

وزیر اعظم بزنس یوتھ لون سکیم پر تنقید کرنے والے نوجوانوں پر اعتماد کرنے کو تیار نہیں
کل تک جو عناصر لیپ ٹاپ اسکیم کو ہدف ِ تنقید بنا رہے تھے آج ان سے نوجوانوں کا فیصلہ سازی میں شرکت کرنا اور کاروبار کے ذریعے اپنے پاو ¿ں پر کھڑا ہونا ہضم نہیں ہورہا
بعض فرسودہ خیالات کے مالک یہ بات تسلیم کرنے پر آمادہ نظر نہیں آتے کہ کہ اب پاکستان کی باگ ڈور نئی نسل کے ہاتھوں میں تھما دینے کا وقت آگیا ہے
مسلم لیگ (ن) نے قرض اسکیم پر خواتین کا 50فیصد کوٹہ مختص کرنا ویمن امپاورمنٹ کی جانب بڑا قدم اٹھایا

پاکستان مسلم لیگ (ن) کے مرکزی سیکرٹری اطلاعات سینیٹر مشاہد اللہ خان نے کہا ہے کہ وزیر اعظم بزنس یوتھ لون سکیم پر تنقید کرنے والے نوجوانوں پر اعتماد کرنے کو تیار نہیں کل تک جو عناصر لیپ ٹاپ اسکیم کو ہدف ِ تنقید بنا رہے تھے آج ان سے نوجوانوں کا فیصلہ سازی میں شرکت کرنا اور کاروبار کے ذریعے اپنے پاو ¿ں پر کھڑا ہونا ہضم نہیں ہورہا۔ بعض فرسودہ خیالات کے مالک یہ بات تسلیم کرنے پر آمادہ نظر نہیں آتے کہ کہ اب پاکستان کی باگ ڈور نئی نسل کے ہاتھوں میں تھما دینے کا وقت آگیا ہے ۔ انھوں نے ان خیالات کا اظہار پاکستان مسلم لیگ (ن) کے مرکزی سیکرٹریٹ میں صوبہ سندھ اور بلوچستان سے آئے ہوئے وفود کے ساتھ الگ الگ ملاقاتوں میں کیا۔ مشاہد اللہ خان نے کہا کہ اگر نوجوان پاکستان کا مستقبل ہیں تو انہیں عملی میدان میں ہر طرح کے مواقع اور ساز گار ماحول کی فراہمی بھی بے حد ضروری ہے ۔ خواتین کو طاقتور بنانے کے دعویدار وںنے انہیں سماجی ، معاشی اور معاشرتی تحفظ دینے کے لئے ایک بھی ٹھوس قدم اٹھایا اور نہ ہی کوئی عملی تجاویز دیں ۔ مسلم لیگ (ن) نے قرض اسکیم پر خواتین کا 50فیصد کوٹہ مختص کرنا ویمن امپاورمنٹ کی جانب بڑا قدم اٹھایا ۔ خواتین کے لئے 50فیصد کوٹہ مختص کرکے انہیں معاشرے اور ملک کی ترقی میں براہِ راست شریک کرنے کے بے شمار مواقع میسر آئیں گے ۔ خواتین کی کاروباری سرگرمیوں میں شرکت سے نہ صرف معاشی مسائل پر قابو پایا جا سکے گا بلکہ چھوٹی اور گھریلو صنعت کو بھی فروغ حاصل ہوگا۔ انھوں نے کہا کہ قرض اسکیم کے اجرا سے پہلے ہی ناکامی کی پیش گوئیاں کرنے والے لاکھوں درخواست کنندگان کے جذبات کو مجروح کر رہے ہیں۔ تنقید کرنے والے اپنے صوبوں میں ہی عوام کی دلچسپی کا عالم دیکھ لیں۔ عوامی فلاح اور بہتری کے منصوبوں پر بلا جواز تنقید جمہوریت کی خدمت نہیں۔

Country’s development linked with uplift of tribal areas: President

ISLAMABAD, Dec 18 (APP): President Mamnoon Hussain on Wednesday urged the nation to stand united and support government’s efforts for countering extremism and terrorism, that posed a challenge to the country.Addressing a grand tribal jirga here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, the President lauded the people of tribal areas for being at the forefront in the war against terrorism and confronting difficulties with courage, determination and patience. He said terrorism had not only damaged the national economy and brought a bad name to the country but also maligned Islam – a religion of peace and security. The nation would have to rise above petty differences and strive hard to highlight the peaceful identity of Islam and Pakistan, he added.


The President said he firmly believed that the people of FTTA were fully aware of their duties towards the country and would continue to use all their energies in the best natioanl interests.
“Pakistan is our motherland and it is our obligation to ensure its security and protection,” said President Mamnoon Hussain.
He said prosperity and peace in the country were directly related to development in the tribal areas. The government was keen to ensure uplift of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
The President said the new democratic government was heading in the right direction and expressed satisfaction that all resources were being utilized to provide amenities of life to the tribal areas at par with other parts of country.
He said the government had allocated a huge amount for projects in tribal areas under the development programme this year.
With these steps, the tribal people would not only get employment opportunities but also an improved living standard, he added.
President Mamnoon said the development programme for tribal areas would focus on education, health, clean drinking water, electricity through solar energy, agriculture, forestry, irrigation and technical training. He said the projects would guarantee a new era of economic and social prosperity.
He termed the tribal people the trustee of great traditions whose history was based on legends of bravery, valour, hospitality and lawfulness.
“You are the protectors and devoted soldiers of Pakistan’s frontiers and are the frontline defence against any external aggression,” he told the elders belonging to FATA and other representatives of tribal clans.
The President lauded the people of FATA for always supporting the country in difficult times with their selfless love.
He said the hearts of all Pakistanis from Khyber to Karachi beat in unison as they wanted peace, development and prosperity in the country.
He said unfortunately the country had been suffering from terrorism, extremism and militancy, which incurred great loss to the tribal people.
The President said peace and security were vital for the progress and development of any country, while lawlessness and insecurity undermined economic development.
The President, who was earlier presented a traditional “lungi” (turban), welcomed the tribal elders to the President House and said he was very keen to meet them and appreciate their patriotism, courage and services for Pakistan.
Tribal elders from different agencies vowed their full support to the government and its armed forces in complete elimination of terrorism and said they had always rendered sacrifices, were doing so and would continue to fight till their last drop of blood for the motherland.
They, however, urged the government for urgent release of development funds and waiver of the 30 per cent cut so that projects related to health, education and communications could complete and not only generate employment but also help them get the basic facilities of life.
They also pointed out the problems being faced by the internally displaced persons and called for measures to bring peace so that they might return to their homes.
The event was attended by tribal elders from all the tribal agencies, besides Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Engr. Shaukat Ullah Khan, parliamentarians and senior officers. (Courtesy: APP)

Iqbal Zafar Jhagra on Youth Loan Scheme

وزیر اعظم پاکستان کا یوتھ بزنس لون پروگرام نوجوانوں کی خوشحالی، معیشت کی ترقی اور استحکام پاکستان کے لئے سنگ میل ثابت ہوگا
کسی بھی ملک کی ترقی اور استحکام میں چھوٹے کاروباری حضرات ایک خاص اہمیت رکھتے ہیں
مسلم لیگ (ن) نے امداد کی بجائے تجارت کے فرو غ کا نعرہ بلند کیا ہے
پاکستان ترقی استحکام اور خود مختاری کی راہ پر گامزن ہوچکا ہے

سیکرٹری جنرل پاکستان مسلم لیگ (ن) اقبال ظفر جھگڑا نے کہا ہے کہ وزیر اعظم پاکستان کا یوتھ بزنس لون پروگرام نوجوانوں کی خوشحالی، معیشت کی ترقی اور استحکام پاکستان کے لئے سنگ میل ثابت ہوگا۔مسلم لیگ (ن) جو کہ عوامی فلاح و بہبود اور پاکستان کی تعمیر و ترقی کے لئے خدمت کا ایک جذبہ لے کر میدان میں اتری ہے بہت تیزی سے اپنے منشور میں کئے گئے وعدوں کی تکمیل کی جانب بڑھ رہی ہے ۔ وہ مسلم لیگ (ن) کے مرکزی سیکرٹریٹ میں سینئر کوآرڈینیٹر پرائم منسٹر یوتھ بزنس لون پروگرام عقیل نجم ہاشمی کی قیادت میں ملنے والے وفد سے گفتگو کر رہے تھے ۔ انھوں نے مزید کہا کہ کسی بھی ملک کی ترقی اور استحکام میں چھوٹے کاروباری حضرات ایک خاص اہمیت رکھتے ہیں۔یہی وجہ ہے کہ مسلم لیگ (ن) نے امداد کی بجائے تجارت کے فرو غ کا نعرہ بلند کیا ہے اور پرائم منسٹر یوتھ بزنس لون پرگرام اسی سلسلے کی ایک کڑی ہے۔ اس موقع پر موجود شرکاءجن میں سندھ کے کوآرڈی نیٹر راجہ انصاری، بلوچستان کے کوآرڈی نیٹر نقیب ترین ، پنجاب کے کوآرڈی نیٹر کاشف رندھا وا ، خیبر پختونخوا کے کوآرڈی نیٹر میاں راشد علی شاہ اور مرکزی سیکرٹری اطلاعات مسلم لیگ (ن) یوتھ ونگ علی خان یوسف زئی کو مخاطب کرتے ہوئے انھوں نے زور دیا کہ پرائم منسٹر یوتھ بزنس لون پروگرام میں شفافیت ،غیر جانبداری اور میرٹ کو ہر ممکن طور پر یقینی بنایا جائے گا۔ انھوں نے کہا کہ پاکستان ترقی استحکام اور خود مختاری کی راہ پر گامزن ہوچکا ہے او رمعاشی طور پر خود مختار نوجوان ہی ایک صحت مند معاشرے کی تشکیل کر سکتے ہیں۔ انھوں نے وفد کے شرکاءسے کہا کہ پاکستان مسلم لیگ (ن) نے نوجوانوں پر اعتماد کا اظہار کر کے جو اہم ذمہ داری ان کو سونپی ہے اس کی حقیقی روح کے مطابق اس پر عمل ہونا چاہیے۔اس موقع پر سینئر کوآرڈی نیٹر عقیل نجم ہاشمی نے ان کو بتایا کہ وزیراعظم کے اعلان کے عین مطابق شفافیت قائم کرنا ان کی اور تمام صوبائی کوآرڈی نیٹر کی اہم ترجیح ہے ۔ اس ضمن میں پورے ملک میں ضلعی سطح پر مانیٹرنگ کمیٹیاں قائم کر دی گئی ہیں جن کا کام صرف درخواست گزاروں کو سہولت باہم پہنچانا اور ان کی ہر ممکن طور پر مدد کرنا ہے ۔ اس موقع پر پاکستان مسلم لیگ(ن) کے سیکرٹری جنرل اقبال ظفر جھگڑا نے کہا کہ انہیں یوتھ بزنس لون پروگرام کی ٹیم سے بے انتہا امیدیں ہیںاور انشاءاللہ یہ ٹیم وزیر اعظم پاکستان میاں محمد نواز شریف ، پروگرام کی چیئر پرسن مریم نواز اور چیف کو آرڈی نیٹر ایم این اے ماروی میمن کی توقعات پر پورا اتریں گی۔

Defence strategy being devised on modern lines: PM

KAMRA, Dec 18 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said on Wednesday the country’s defence strategy was being devised keeping in view the contemporary professional requirements as no battle could be won with outdated technology and discarded strategies. “The new technology and modern expertise have transformed our defence into a great force … We want that our defence forces should be ever ready for any contingency,” he said at the roll-out ceremony of the 50th JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra. The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction that the country’s military leadership was fully cognizant of the changing environment and was following an agreed and well-integrated approach. “For this reason, we want to ensure that our forces are alert, active and fully equipped with necessary professional skills,” he added.
Nawaz Sharif said the day marked a glorious milestone in the history of country’s aviation industry as well as in the national quest for development and progress.
He congratulated Chief of the Air Staff and his team on the successful completion of in-country production of first batch of 50 JF-17 aircraft.
He said proud accomplishments marked the history of Pakistan Air Force showing bravado, commitment and courage. He said the skill and passion of ‘flying falcons’ to conquer the skies assured that the country’s aerial frontiers were safe and secure.
He said the proficiency of PAF was not limited to the air alone, but it was equally competent to show its mettle in the fields of aircraft manufacture, radar and even the drone technology.
The Prime Minister said the whole world acknowledged the acumen and potential of Pakistan’s soldiers and it was because of this potential that he had approved the JF-17 project in his previous tenure.
He said today he was immensely proud that this project had successfully reached its completion, and the PAF professionals had met the expectations of the nation,” he said.
Nawaz Sharif said the JF-17 aircraft had not only strengthened the country’s defence but also led to the growth of aviation industry. He pointed out that several political and economic compulsions came in the way of project during his last tenure.
“But we approved this project disregarding all those pressures as the needs of our armed forces and the defence of the country was our priority. I reiterate my word of honour that even today the defence of the country is as dear to me as it was at that time,” he added.
The Prime Minister said the JF-17 aircraft development and production was a major flag bearer in the journey towards self-reliance and industrialization and added a glorious chapter in the history of Pakistan’s friendship with China.
He mentioned other joint projects with China, including Gwadar Port, Chashma Power Project, Karakoram Highway, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and the recent Karachi Civil Nuclear Power Plant.
He recalled his recent visit to China where several agreements of strategic nature were reached between the two countries.
He said the most prominent amongst these was establishing an economic corridor, linking Gwadar to China through Khunjrab Pass, which would have far-reaching impact on the future of country and the region.
The Prime Minister quoted the speech of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah during his visit to the PAF Academy at Risalpur on 13th April 1948 as saying: “There is no doubt that any country without a strong air force is at the mercy of any aggressor. Pakistan must build up her air force as quickly as possible. It must be an efficient air force second to none and must take its right place with the army and the navy in securing Pakistan’s defence.”
Nawaz Sharif expressed commitment that the government would meet demands of the defence forces so that their long-standing traditions attain perpetuity.
(Courtesy: APP)