Dar to discuss energy, infrastructure assistance with WB

ISLAMABAD, MAR 30 (APP): Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar on Sunday, appreciating World Bank’s Country Partnership Strategy (2015-19), said he would discuss the bank’s assistance for country’s energy and infrastructure projects. The Finance Minister said that during his forthcoming visit to Washington DC, he will hold discussions with World Bank officials on assisting Pakistan in its energy and infrastructure related projects. The Finance Minister was speaking at a meeting at Economic Affairs Division (EAD) to discuss Country Partnership Strategy (2015-19) for Pakistan, prepared by World Bank.
He said that tackling the energy crisis with low-cost generation options, like hydro-power and improving access to community-led small-scale off-grid and renewable energy sources for remote areas of Balochistan and FATA, remains on priority.
Dar appreciated that for the first time the country partnership strategy has been developed through a consultative process based on national development agenda and in line with the national interest and priorities.
He expressed satisfaction over the cooperation of the World Bank group and its affiliation.
He hoped that the World Bank will help Pakistan in fostering entrepreneurship and access to finance, increasing economic opportunities and productively engaging youth and women.
Earlier Secretary EAD, Ms. Nargis Sethi briefed the Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar about Country Partnership Strategy (2015-19) for Pakistan, prepared by World Bank.
The Secretary informed the Minister that the World Bank Group (WBG) was preparing a new strategy for Pakistan, which will guide the engagement of its three institutions including WB, International Finance Corporation and Multilateral International Guarantee Agency for the next five years and will be designed to focus on the twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity.
She informed that the financial envelop for Pakistan, which was around $ 9 billion in the previous Country Strategy Partnership 2010-14, has now been proposed to be considerably enhanced.
She informed that during the consultations process over 30 meetings, the WBG team met with over 400 individuals, from civil society organizations, media representatives, parliamentarians, political leaders, Chief Ministers and cabinet members, civil servants, academics, think tanks, youth groups, the private sector, and other local and international development partners.
She mentioned that the focus of the international donors remains tackling the energy crisis, increasing economic opportunity for women and youth, improving service delivery, addressing inequality, and combating climate change. (Courtesy: APP)

Pakistan to be recognized in world as ‘ambassador of peace’ not as ‘trader of war’ under leadership

ISLAMABAD, March 30 (APP): Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Pervaiz Rashid said on Sunday Pakistan would be recognized in the world as “an ambassador of peace” and not as “a trader of war” under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. Talking to media persons after launching ceremony of a book, “Dharkan”, here, the minister said the Prime Minister believed in peace and coexistence and it was also evident from his past record. He said the country’s economy had gained momentum and picked up strength in the last eight months. “The currency has gradually strengthened and even the international monetary organizations are also acknowledging Pakistan’s economy value, which is now on fast track,” the minister asserted. Regarding peace dialogue with Taliban, he said committees had been working and the government kept on sharing progress over the ongoing talks with media.
To another query, Pervaiz Rashid said the government was transparently disbursing funds among the affected people of Thar and no complaint had been received so far. “Around 17000-20000 victims have withdrawn amount from ATMs so far,” he added.
The minister also congratulated the national cricket team and the whole nation for wining an important match in World T-20 Cricket Cup.
Replying to a question about Pervez Musharraf, he said law would take its due course. “Judiciary is independent in the country and the government will honour the court’s decision,” he added.
Earlier, speaking at the launching ceremony, Parvez Rashid said the book was an asset, which would promote Pakistan’s real face in the comity of nations.
He opined that attractive things were captured in the book in the shape of still photographs. (Courtesy: APP)

Forex reserves to reach $16b by year end: PM

ISLAMABAD, March 29 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif expressed the hope on Saturday that the country’s foreign exchange reserves would be around $16 billion by end of this year. The Prime Minister, in a meeting with Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of World Bank, who called on him here at the PM House, said due to the rational and pragmatic economic and monetary policy of the government, the country’s economy had stabilized and was moving ahead in the right direction. Country Director World Bank Rachid Benmessaoud and Minister for Finance Muhammad Ishaq Dar and Nasir Mahmood Khosa also attended the meeting.
The Prime Minister said the government had identified the priorities for next five years, including energy and infrastructure sectors. Assistance of World Bank in the priority areas would support Pakistan in achieving its development targets, he added.
Highlighting the energy initiatives of the government, he said Pakistan Energy Park in Gaddani comprised 10 coal-based power generation plants with generation capacity of 660 megawatts each that would add 6600 MW to the energy supply of the country.
The development of Thar coal and its utilization for power generation was also a priority area, he added.
He said the World Bank could play a major role in supporting the efforts of Pakistan’s government in addressing the energy crisis and appreciated the World Bank’s cooperation to Pakistan in social, infrastructure, water and energy sectors.
Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan believed in good relations with Afghanistan and India.
“I believed in this policy in past and am pursuing it in my present government,” he told the guest, adding that Pakistan wanted to have good relations with India regardless of whosoever was in power.
The World Bank MD appreciated the economic policies of government and said the economic indicators were positive as Pakistan was striding on path of development.
She also assured continued support of the World Bank for development projects. (Courtesy: APP)

PM lands in Amsterdam to attend Nuclear Security Summit

AMSTERDAM, Mar 23 (APP: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif reached here Sunday to attend the two-day third Nuclear Security Summit scheduled to be held in The Hague. The summit, to be held on March 24-25, would be attended by leaders from 53 countries, United Nations, European Union, International Atomic Energy Agency and Interpol.
The Prime Minister is accompanied by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, Syed Tariq Fatemi and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.
The first Nuclear Security Summit was held in Washington in April 2010 and the second one in Seoul in March 2012.
The summit is aimed at promoting nuclear security through voluntary national actions and international cooperation.
The Prime Minister will address the gathering of world leaders on March 24.
He will be one of the keynote speakers at a meeting on the future of the NSS process on March 25. (Courtesy: APP)

Nation united, resolved to face all challenges: Mamnoon

ISLAMABAD, Mar 23 (APP): President Mamnoon Hussain Sunday said that under the leadership of democratic government, the nation was united and resolved to face all challenges it had been facing. “We need to move forward following the guiding principles of unity, faith and discipline and adhering to the thoughts of our forefathers,” said the President addressing a ceremony held at Aiwan-i-Sadr to mark the celebrations of Pakistan Day.
The event tittled “Manzil-i-Murad” arranged by Pakistan Television, was attended by federal ministers, parliamentarians, ambassadors and students from various educational institutions.
The ceremony also featured the thrilling performance by the students depicting the phased struggled for Pakistan, culture and traditions of the country besides singing melodious national songs.
Prominent singers Ustad Hamid Ali Khan and Humaira Channa also enthralled the audience through their melodic songs amidst wide ovation by the gathering.
President Mamnoon Hussain lauded the performance of the students and other artists and said the youngsters’ participation in the Pakistan Day celebrations was encouraging as it would aware them of the objectives behind creation of Pakistan.
He paid tribute to the struggle of our forefathers that bestowed us with a free homeland and urged the nation to pledge for all out efforts for development and prosperity of the country.
He also stressed for sensitizing our younger generation for achieving the objectives of Pakistan’s creation.
He said Pakistan’s creation was meant to provide Muslims with a state where they could achieve social and economic development, social justice, democratic values as well as rule of law.
“On Pakistan Day, let us resolve to realize the dreams of our forefathers. We must also examine as to what extent we could achieve our objectives and what we could do for this country,” he remarked.
President Mamnoon said only the commitment, steadfastness and patience could guarantee our success and recalled that the Pakistani nation always braved hardships and calamities with firmness.
He said no challenge could deter our resolve and that the people of Pakistan never vacillated on the sacrifices for the country nor they would do in future.
“Let us commit to ensure a better future for our generations to come through individual and collective efforts,” he added. (Courtesy: APP)

Pakistan Day celebrated with traditional fervour

ISLAMABAD, Mar 23 (APP): Pakistan Day was celebrated throughout the country on March 23 (Sunday) with traditional fervour to commemorate the Lahore Resolution of 1940. During the day, special prayers were held for security and prosperity of the country at all places of worship. The day dawned with a 31-gun salute in Rawalpindi and 21-gun salute at all the provincial capitals. President Mamnoon Hussain along with Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif attended a ceremony at the President House to mark the day.
The two dignitaries hoisted the national flag at the Presidency followed by national anthem and patriotic songs sung by children.
Senate Chairman Nayyer Hussain Bukhari, Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, members of the federal cabinet, chiefs of armed forces and a large number of diplomats were present at the event.
A fleet of 12 fighter jets and nine helicopters from the Pakistan Air Force led by Wing Commander Ronald Afzal performed an eye catching and fantastic fly-past over the President House.
Later an investiture ceremony was held at the Presidency, in which President Mamnoon Hussain conferred awards on prominent personalities from various walks of life.
Investiture ceremonies were also held in the provinces, while governors and chief ministers held receptions at the provincial capitals.
Chinese President Xi Jinping warmly felicitated President Mamnoon Hussain on the auspicious occasion.
Pakistan’s flag was hoisted atop principal public and private buildings across the country. Flags were also hoisted on all Pakistani missions abroad during ceremonies attended by members of the Pakistani community. Messages of the President and Prime Minister to the nation were read out on the occasion.
Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan and Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah along with provincial ministers and legislators laid wreaths at the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah to pay homage to the Founder of the Nation.
Pakistan Day was celebrated at all Pakistan Air Force (PAF) bases and installations.
Chairman of All Parties Hurriyet Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and other leaders felicitated the government and the people of Pakistan.
In Multan, Pakistan army held a one day exhibition of weapons of various kinds.
Girl Guides, Boy Scouts and students took out rallies and documentary films were shown to the schoolchildren and the public at large in all cinema houses.
Television and radio stations broadcast special programmes and newspapers took out special supplements to highlight significance of the day.
Seminars, poetry recitation events, exhibitions of photographs and documents relating to the Pakistan Movement, Qirat contests, debates and essay competitions were held in cities and towns.
Sweets and gifts were distributed at orphanages and Darul Amans and special meals were served to prisoners across the country. (Courtesy: APP)

PML-N govt focused on public services: Shahbaz Sharif

LAHORE, Mar 16 (APP): Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said on Sunday that the PML-N government was vigorously working on welfare schemes of the masses and generating additional resources through strict financial discipline and austerity to facilitate low-income segments of the society.Talking to assembly members of various districts and party workers at Raiwind, he said that reforms had also been introduced for capacity-building of government departments and administrative structure’s improvement.Shahbaz said the PML-N was fully implementing its manifesto of public service by initiating welfare programmes of billions of rupees while transparency, merit and standard were hallmarks of the Punjab government.
The PML-N and its leadership, he said, would come up to the expectations of the masses and sincere efforts would be made for steering the country out of quagmire of problems and putting it on the road to progress and prosperity.
The chief minister said electricity shortage had become a serious issue due to negligence and inefficiency of the former rulers. Overcoming energy problem was vital to development of industrial and trade sectors; promotion of investment; elimination of unemployment and resolving of economic problems of the people, he maintained.
Soon after coming into power, he said, the PML-N government attached top priority to resolve energy crisis and started taking practical measures for attracting foreign investment in energy sector. He said PML-N government, led by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, was making hectic efforts to rid the nation of load-shedding, adding that a large number of local and foreign investors had not only expressed complete confidence in the economic policies of the present government bus also showed interest in investment in energy, infrastructure, transport and other sectors.
The chief minister said in view of the serious attitude of the government towards dealing with electricity problem, energy companies of China, Turkey, Germany, Canada and other countries were making agreements with the government for investment in power sector. And practical measures had been taken for speedy implementation of these agreements, while work was being carried out expeditiously on the setting up of coal power plants, he said.
Shahbaz Sharif said the efforts of the government for resolving energy problem would meet success to remove darkness from the country while industrial process would accelerate and new job opportunities would be created.
The chief minister said the promotion of good governance; elimination of corruption; maintenance of transparency; upholding of merit; improvement in living standard of the masses and bringing deprived segments of the society into mainstream of development had always been the mission of PML-N government.
He said the government wanted to rid the people of existing obsolete system that was a source of a number of problems and for this purpose, information technology (IT) had been promoted in government departments for their capacity-building and provision of better services to the citizens. He said the computerization of land record project would be completed by this year end to ensure transparency in property matters, and this project would rid the people of Patwari culture; elimination of corruption; availability of correct information and preservation of land record.
The assembly members and party workers paid rich tributes to Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif for public welfare programmes, capacity-building of government departments and improvement of service delivery system.
They expressed the confidence that Punjab would become a model province and living standard of the masses would improve under the leadership of Shahbaz Sharif. (Courtesy: APP)

PM for protection of minorities

ISLAMABAD, March 16 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Sunday expressed deep anguish and concern over the incident in Larkana where Hindu property and temple were damaged by some miscreants. He said provision of security to all minorities was the responsibility of the government. The Prime Minister directed all the provincial governments to take comprehensive measures for protecting the life and property of Hindus and other minorities. He also directed to ensure to bring the situation immediately under control and that no such law and order situation would be created in future. (Courtesy: APP)

PMLN rejects statement of Leaded of the opposition..

مشرف کو این آر او کے بدلے میں گارڈ آ ف آنر دے کر رخصت کرنے والوں کے منہ سے مشرف کی پیشی کے معاملے پر موجودہ حکومت پر تنقید زیب نہیں دیتی
ہم نے مشرف پر مقدمے کا آغاز کیا، محض زبانی تڑکے لگانا ہمارا نہیں کسی اور کا وطیرہ ہے
اپوزیشن لیڈر قوم کو گمراہ کر کے اپنا امیج بہتر کرنے کی ناکام کوششیں کر رہے ہیں
بیان بازی سے گناہوں کا ازالہ کرنے کی بجائے عوام کو سچ بتا دیں کہ اپنے 5 سالہ دور حکومت میں پی پی پی نے مشرف کے خلاف چپ کیوں سادھے رکھی؟
جنہوں نے اپنی شہید قائد کے قتل کو بھلا ڈالا عوام ان پر اعتبار نہیں کر سکتے
ہم عدالتی فیصلوں کا مذاق اڑانے والے نہیں جیسا پی پی پی نے 5 سال کے دوران کیا
اپوزیشن لیڈر قوم کو گمراہ کر کے اپنا امیج بہتر کرنے کی ناکام کوششیں کر رہے ہیں

پاکستان مسلم لیگ (ن) کے مرکزی سیکرٹری اطلاعات سینیٹر مشاہداللہ خانے کہا ہے کہ مشرف کو این آر او کے بدلے میں گارڈ آ ف آنر دے کر رخصت کرنے والوں کے منہ سے مشرف کی پیشی کے معاملے پر موجودہ حکومت پر تنقید زیب نہیں دیتی۔ انھوں نے کہا کہ ہم نے مشرف پر مقدمے کا آغاز کیا، محض زبانی تڑکے لگانا ہمارا نہیں کسی اور کا وطیرہ ہے۔ مشاہد اللہ خان نے ان خیالات کا اظہار اپوزیشن لیڈر خورشید شاہ کے مشرف کے حوالے سے دیئے گئے بیان کے ردعمل میں کیا۔ انھوں نے کہا کہ قانون میں کہیں نہیں لکھا کہ معاملہ عدالت میں ہو اور حکومت کسی ملزم کو زبردستی سے اٹھا کر عدالت میں جبراً پیش کر دے۔ معاملہ حکومت نہیں عدالت کے پاس ہے۔ حکومت کا کام صرف عدالت کے احکامات پر عمل درآمد کو یقینی بنانا ہے۔ جب گرفتاری کا حکم ہوگا مشرف کو گرفتار بھی کیا جائے گا۔ ہم عدالتی فیصلوں کا مذاق اڑانے والے نہیں جیسا پی پی پی نے 5 سال کے دوران کیا۔ انھوں نے کہا کہ اپوزیشن لیڈر قوم کو گمراہ کر کے اپنا امیج بہتر کرنے کی ناکام کوششیں کر رہے ہیں۔ بیان بازی سے گناہوں کا ازالہ کرنے کی بجائے عوام کو سچ بتا دیں کہ اپنے 5 سالہ دور حکومت میں پی پی پی نے مشرف کے خلاف چپ کیوں سادھے رکھی؟ مشاہد اللہ خان نے کہا کہ جنہوں نے اپنی شہید قائد کے قتل کو بھلا ڈالا عوام ان پر اعتبار نہیں کر سکتے۔

Criticism from those who gave Musharraf guard of honor unbecoming: Mushahidullah

ISLAMABAD- PML-N Information Secretary Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan has said criticizing the government on the matter of production of Musharraf in court  does not behove  them  who have seen off Former President  by presenting guard of honor in return for NRO.

He expressed these views while reacting to statement given by  Opposition leader in National Assembly  Syed Khurshid Shah with regard to Pervez Musharraf today.

He held that the statement given by Opposition is an abortive attempt on his part to improve his image by misleading the nation. Instead of apologizing for their wrong doings by indulging in statements he should tell the truth to the nation why PPP kept mum against Musharraf during its 5 years stint in government, he stressed.

How can the people trust those  who forgot the murder case of their Shaheed Qaid, Mushahid Ullah underlined. It is mentioned no where in the law that case is subjudice and government forcibly lifts any accused and produce him in the court, he said. Matter does not lie with government but it is in the court, he held.  Ensuring implementation of court’s order is only the job of government, he remarked. Musharraf will be arrested whenever orders for his arrest are issued, he underscored.
We are not  who make mockery of court’s orders  what PPP has done during its five years of rule, he stated. (Courtesy: Nation)