LAHORE, July 13 (APP): Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique has suggested Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan to change the date of his long march and refrain from converting the Independence Day to a protest day. (Courtesy: APP)
SIALKOT, July 13 (APP): Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ch Ehsan Iqbal has said Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadari were promoting anti-democratic agenda of anti-democratic elements. (Courtesy: APP)
LAHORE, July 13 (APP): Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar reviewed the progress on the Swat Trust Hospital project and called for making operational the hospital by September 15 at all costs. (Courtesy: APP)
LAHORE, July 13 (APP): Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervaiz Rashid Sunday said the PML-N had never been and would never be part of any act which was in conflict with the Constitution and the law. (Courtesy: APP)
SIALKOT, July 13 (APP): Water and Power and Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Sunday said the Zarb-e-Azb operation had been launched for complete elimination of terrorists. (Courtesy: APP)
LAHORE: Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid on Sunday said he loved the media, as a powerful and independent media was vital for democracy in the country.
Talking to the media after a function at the National College of Arts (NCA) here, the minister said Geo News was awarded punishment by Pemra for a mistake; it faced the punishment and paid the fine. Now the matter should come to an end and we should move forward, the minister added.
He promised that Geo News will appear on its original numbers on cable very soon. The government is taking legal steps for the purpose and the courts are also taking measures in this regard, he said.
The minister said the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) had never been, and it would never be, party to any move against the Constitution and the law.About the statement of former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani regarding a deal with Pervez Musharraf, the minister said PPP leaders were divided over the issue, while the former president himself had denied making any deal.
The minister said statements about a safe exit for Musharraf by the PPP leaders were contradictory. The PML-N had already made its stance clear and, therefore, the debate on the issue should come to an end now.
Pervaiz Rashid said terrorists had taken the people of Waziristan hostage in their houses for the last 13 to 14 years, but the government would not rest until these people were rehabilitated in their homes in an environment free from terrorism. The information minister said governments had always fulfilled the needs of the defence forces and the people had always offered sacrifices to make the country’s defence strong.
Regarding the situation in Gaza, he said whenever there had been any instance of brutality in any part of the world, the PML-N government had taken a principled stand on the issue. He said the Palestinian ambassador has appreciated Pakistan’s stance and thanked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for the moral support Pakistan has extended to the Palestinians.
To a question, he said India’s defence spending had never been conservative and this was not a special instance. He said the people of Pakistan are brave and the government has everything in perspective, therefore there is no need to worry.
About Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s threat that if the government tries to sabotage the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s August 14 rally it may create a situation similar to the Model Town Lahore tragedy, he said he was at loss to understand how Shah Mehmood could foresee the future and predict that the government was planning any such activity. He said such statements which incite and encourage mob violence should not be issued at all.
About the martyrdom of three Pakistani soldiers, including a Captain, by Afghan forces’ firing, he said the matter had been taken up with the Afghan authorities and there would be no compromise on such issues and they would be sorted out through proper political channels.
APP adds: Pervaiz Rashid said it was a great achievement of the PML-N government that it had got the power generation machinery installed in only seven months. That machinery had been rusting at ports for the past seven years due to the negligence of the previous governments. The plant would start production with full capacity shortly, he added.
He said the government would explore all possible avenues to get cheap electricity for the people, adding that electricity could be purchased from some Central Asian States to meet the country’s needs.
To another question, the minister said: “The armed forces have been doing the rescue work in North Waziristan and soon people would return to their homes safe and sound.” Pervaiz Rashid said it was unfortunate that some elements were talking of revolution and revolt at a time when the armed forces were engaged in a military operation to purge the country of terrorists in the North Waziristan.
“These people want to create hurdles to the ongoing military operation in North Waziristan through their so-called revolution propaganda,” the minister said.Earlier, the minister inaugurated a painting exhibition at the Zahoorul Akhlaq Gallery at the NCA.
Addressing students, the minister said educational institutions like the NCA should be promoted in the country as these institutions promote peace and love through their artwork in the hearts and minds of the people.
He urged the need to change the mindset of the future generations through the message of art and culture against violence. The minister also gave away certificates to students whose artworks had been displayed at the exhibition. (Courtesy: The News)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has taken notice of and expressed annoyance over loadshedding during Sehr and Iftar.
According to media reports, he ordered the Ministry of Water and Power to present a report on reasons for an extensive countrywide loadshedding within 24 hours.The premier also asked the ministry to present before him the loadshedding schedule, in addition to sharing with him a detailed report about the issues that caused the unannounced loadshedding. He ordered to complete upgradation of transmission and distribution systems as early as possible.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also said that instead of giving relief to the common people, loadshedding was causing them sleepless nights. He said that the issue must be resolved on priority basis.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will unfold the Charter of Development and Peace (CODP) for the remaining tenure of his government and offer an olive branch to the opposition for national causes when he will address the nation on the 68th Independence Day here after hoisting the national flag and reciting the national anthem with the nation simultaneously in the lawn of the Parliament House next month.
Nawaz Sharif also raised the national flag as premier in his first stint at the same rendezvous outside the Parliament House adjacent to the D-Chowk in 1990s.Highly-placed sources in the PM House told The News on Sunday that a team of experts had been constituted to work out the details of the CODP in the light of outlines given by the prime minister.
The open ceremonies on national occasions were shifted to the Jinnah Convention Centre, Presidency and PM House due to security reasons by the successive governments till last year but the incumbent government has taken it back to the open when it arranged the Pakistan Day ceremony in March last, contiguous to the same venue in front of the Presidency where President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the services chiefs and ambassadors/senior diplomats were also present.
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) also produced an impressive fly-past on the occasion, the sources reminded.The sources pointed out that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would act as the host of the Independence Day ceremony and would also arrange a reception for the guests to be invited for the grand function. It would be the culmination of two-week-long celebrations for the Independence Day.
The achievements gained in the ongoing military operation “Zarb-e-Azb” in North Waziristan will be highlighted in the address of the prime minister since the efforts of the valiant armed forces for elimination of terrorists is an integral part of the CODP, the sources added.
The sources said that economic projects, including the Economic Corridor with the active assistance of China, new motorways, power plants, power production plans, dams, schemes for financial assistance for the needy and other development plans supposed to be completed within four years would be the hallmark of the CODP.
Prime Minister Nawaz will also give his vision about the progress of the country till 2025, the sources hinted.Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members are leaving for Saudi Arabia on the 21st of this month. In his private visit to the holy land, he will spend the last 10 nights in Haram Sharif and perform Umrah. Nawaz Sharif intends to proceed to Saudi Arabia by a commercial flight but in case of any complication, he would have to undertake the sojourn by his small special plane. The sources pointed out that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would have a special meeting with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz in Makkah. The king is a personal friend of Nawaz Sharif and he takes keen interest in the well-being of Pakistan and its people.
The meeting will have a conspicuous importance in the backdrop of developments in the region. Significant issues related to the Muslim world, the region and international significance will also figure in the talks. Some other leaders from the Muslim world are also expected to reach Saudi Arabia next week.It is likely that at least three meetings will be arranged with the prime minister, the sources added. (Courtesy: The News)
Islamabad: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal chaired the meeting of Steering Committee on Energy Projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) today.
Meeting was attended by Chief Minister of Punjab Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, Federal Minister for Water and Power Khwaja Asif, Secretary Planning Hasan Nawaz Tarar, Secretary Water and Power Nargis Sethi and representatives from Ministry of Railways and Economic Affairs Division.
Steering Committee has been constituted by Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Nawaz Sharif under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Planning Prof. Ahsan Iqbal to expedite work on energy projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor on war-footing basis after the recent visit of high level delegation led by Chief Minister Punjab and Federal Minister for Planning to China.
Meeting reviewed feasibility studies of energy projects under CPEC; demand and supply framework of ongoing and new projects; integrated plan for generation, transmission and distribution; payment modalities of power purchase agreements; curtailing power losses and integrated coal logistics plan for coal power projects.
While addressing the meeting, Prof. Ahsan Iqbal stated that CPEC is a key initiative which will help Pakistan in meeting energy shortfall and linking us with regional economies particularly China. He said that Chinese Government is keen to pursue the CPEC and has shown trust on government’s policies. However, he said, that we have to deliver results according to strict timelines and work on full capacity to avail this histroic window of opportunity.
Minister Prof. Ahsan Iqbal stated that during his recent visit to China along with Chief Minister of Punjab, the delegation sensitized Chinese authorities to prioritize Pakistan’s energy projects. Chinese government expressed its full commitment to help Pakistan overcome energy challenge. Minister also shed light on the importance of Gaddani Energy Park which has been dedicated as Pak-China Energy Park, which will be country’s biggest energy projects with 6,600 Megawatt capacity.
Prof. Ahsan Iqbal stressed on integration of work to bring about synergy. He called for an integrated plan for coal logistics for energy projects and also directed the committee to address observations of Chinese authorities. He highlighted that generation of electricity is not the only issue but transmission and distribution mechanism must also be upgraded to take electricity to consumers, as an increase in generation will overload the already over loaded transmission lines. He urged the committee members to demonstrate highest quality of work to ensure better results.
Addressing the meeting, Chief Minister of Punjab Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif said that this economic corridor is a golden opportunity for Pakistan. He said, “It’s now or never. We have to accept the challenge and pounce on this opportunity. History will never forgive us if we failed to do so.”
He said that everyone including politicians, bureaucrats and technocrats must come together for betterment of Pakistan and bring this country out of darkness. He shared with the committee that in the last decade energy mix of Pakistan which was tilted towards hydel energy but unfortunately it was shifted to thermal energy which damaged our economy in general and energy sector in particular.
He remarked, “There is no point in crying over spilt milk now. We have to act and act fast.” He directed the authorities to complete the projects by 2017 positively.
Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif informed the committee that his ministry is working on strict timelines and ensuring transparency and timely completion at all costs in projects.
Progress on different energy projects under CPEC such as Coal-Based Power Projects at Gaddani, Jetty + Infrastructure at Gaddani, Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park, Rail Projects (ML-I), coal based power projects at Port Qasim was discussed.
Meeting of Steering Committee will be held frequently to monitor the progress of energy projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Federal Minister Prof. Ahsan Iqbal also constituted a working group comprising of representatives from Ministry of Ports and Shipping, Ministry of Water and Power, Pakistan Railways and Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform to address the issues related to transportation of coal.
ISLAMABAD: The federal government’s strategy to deal with possible retribution by terrorists in the wake of the military operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ in North Waziristan was thoroughly discussed in a high-level meeting held here at the Prime Minister’s House on Friday.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired the meeting while Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan were in attendance. The meeting continued for about an hour and sources told The News that with this meeting the controversy hovering around Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s fury has been consigned to history, at least for the time being.
The tug of war between Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Khawaja Muhammad Asif is yet far from over as now Khawaja is pretending to maintain distance from the Prime Minister’s House. The sources said that Punjab chief minister gave details about the fundraising activities in his province for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) of North Waziristan and assured that Punjab would continue to provide generous assistance for the IDPs.
He was of the view that the ongoing military operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ would yield the best outcome and was bound to succeed. The three discussed various aspects of the internal security situation, the source said.
Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired yet another high echelon committee’s meeting where the programme was discussed for celebrating the Independence Day in a befitting manner. The committee included federal ministers Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Ahsan Iqbal, Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, retired Lieutenant General Abdul Qadir Baloch and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. The committee was constituted in early June.
The committee submitted its preliminary recommendations for the observance of the day to the prime minister. The sources said the prime minister accorded in principle approval to the recommendations made by the committee.
The details of the Independence celebrations will be announced by Information and Broadcasting Minister Senator Pervaiz Rashid and Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal next week, the sources added.
INP adds: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan here on Friday and discussed in detail key issues relating to security and political situation.
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan who formally rejoined his duty on Thursday with a visit to Karachi with the prime minister gave a comprehensive briefing to the prime minister about the overall security and political scenario and how to deal with it.
The interior minister, according to sources, wanted urgent action from the prime minister on some issues of critical importance.It is worth mentioning that Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif played a key role in removing reservations of the interior minister and the prime minister and his presence in the meeting reflected that some important decisions might have been taken which were held back in the past.
The sources said that the interior minister has been given a free hand to deal with security matters and there would be no constraint as far as financial resources are concerned. These include deployment of rangers and police in major cities for patrol duty, supply of vehicles and modern weapons to them in addition to fresh recruitments.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif presented a briefing on the aid being provided to the IDPs.The prime minister expressed his determination to defeat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and said operation Zarb-e-Azb was going on satisfactorily according to plan. He said arrangements would be put in place so that the militants do not return to Fata. He also made it clear that the government would provide whatever resources were needed to meet the requirements of IDPs. (Courtesy: The News)