PMLN Govt set to unveil Rs3.5tr budget today

51b79a93b8375Today (Wednesday) Finance Minister Ishaq Dar presents a Rs3.5 trillion federal budget in a bid to revive the country’s ailing economy. Designed to target an estimated growth rate of 4.4% over the next fiscal year, the budget will seek to reduce non-development expenditures and fix a burgeoning energy crisis that has been costing the country 2% of gross domestic product annually.

Prior to budget presentation to parliament, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to chair a cabinet meeting to give a final touch to the new budget. Continue reading

PMLN: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Cabinet takes oath

25-member-FederalCabinet-takesoath_6-7-2013_104224_lThe 25-member federal cabinet of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was sworn in at a ceremony at the presidency a little while ago.

The 16 federal ministers and nine ministers of state were administered the oath of office by President Asif Ali Zardari.

Those sworn in as federal ministers included Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan who will take over the Interior Ministry, Ishaq Dar will take over the country’s economic matters as finance minister, Khwaja Saad Rafiq, Khwaja Muhammad Asif given the Ministry of Water and Power, Abdul Qadir Baloch‚ Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Rana Tanveer, Zahid Hamid as Minister of Law, Pervez Rasheed given the portfolio of Information Minister, Sikandar Hayat Bosan, Kamran Michael, Sadruddin Rashidi, Ahsan Iqbal awarded the IT Ministry, Barjees Tahir and Murtaza Jatoi.

Khurram Dastagir will be State Minister for Trade, Anusha Rehman, Usman Ibrahim‚ ‚ Jam Kamal‚ Abdul Hakeem Baloch‚ Mian Balighur Rehman‚ Saira Afzal Tarar, Pir Aminul Hasnat and Sheikh Aftab Ahmed took oath as ministers of state.

Nawaz Sharif congratulates Obama on re-election

President PMLN Nawaz Sharif in a statement today has said that President Barack Obama’s impressive victory in US elections is a manifestation and reaffirmation of the faith of American Electorate in his leadership. Nawaz Sharif added that on behalf of Pakistan Muslim League-N and myself, I take this opportunity to offer our best wishes to the American people and pray for their progress and prosperity under the President Obama’s leadership.

Nawaz Sharif hoped that President Obama will use his second term for achieving the elusive goal of global peace and prosperity for which United States has to play a lead role. Nawaz Sharif further said that we are confident that the President will lead the American nation and work with the global leaders for achieving this cherished goal

PMLN Resolution against Anti-Islam film, initiated by Leader of Opposition in Senate Ishaq Dar, was unanimously passed

Tabled by Senator M. Ishaq Dar

Leader of the Opposition

Passed Unanimously by

Senate of Pakistan

on 8th October, 2012

 

RESOLUTION

 

The Senate of Pakistan condemns in strongest terms, the airing of blasphemous movie which seems to be a vilification campaign being maliciously touted by some western elements, lobbies and countries to malign Islam, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) and the Holy Quran, all on the pretext- and behind the smoke screen – of freedom of speech and expression.

 

2.         This House conveys its deep concern over a systematic, conscious and well-orchestrated connivance to consistently splash out and propagate hate literature, sacrilegious caricatures and incendiary statements to aggravate religious sentiments of 1.5 billion Muslims across the globe.

 

3.         The Senate of Pakistan calls upon the United Nations and other International fora to promote peace and harmony, mutual human respect, tolerance, and, above all, safeguard all human beings from abuse and torture of all kinds, irrespective of the colour, creed, race, religion, national identity and political strength.

 

4.         The Senate of Pakistan strongly recommends that the right of freedom of speech and freedom of expression, should not be allowed to be abused to create inter-faith fissures and to hurt sentiments of followers of a certain faith, which in this case are Muslims, who happen to be the largest religious denomination of the world after Christians.

 

5.         This House is of the considered opinion that such incidents provide extremists and terrorists organizations a good justification and a supposedly higher moral ground in recruiting, promoting and exporting extremism and terrorism, and take advantage of this to create more cleavages between followers of different religions and stoke up hatred and mistrust.

 

6.         The Senate of Pakistan strongly believes that a few irresponsible individuals or small organizations, no matter which ethnic group, religion, or country they belong to, must not be allowed to damage and spoil international peace, understanding, goodwill and coexistence among peoples of various faiths.

 

7.         The Senate of Pakistan urges upon the United Nations that an international law/framework is devised making incumbent upon all member states to jointly work towards interfaith harmony by introducing laws entailing deterrent punishments in order to discourage and prevent the production and outflow of blasphemous material aiming at insulting or ridiculing all religions, holy personalities and other sacred scriptures.

 

8.         The Senate urges upon the Government of Pakistan to take appropriate and effective steps to mobilize the governments and people of all Muslim and peace-loving countries of the world to resort to all necessary {diplomatic and other} measures to condemn and counter these efforts which threaten peace and harmony between different religions and cultures.

Nawaz Sharif speech at Netsol on Sept 11, 2012

Mr. Salim Ghouri, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Mr. Kamal Khan, Ladies and Gentlemen!

It is indeed a matter of great pride and pleasure to visit Pakistan’s premier software house Netsol.

Having been briefed by Mr Ghouri on the achievements and successes of Netsol, I would like to compliment him and his whole team for crowning the country with laurels in the field of Information Technology.

In our lifetimes we have witnessed two technological revolutions – one in the field of genetics and the other in ICT.  Information and communications technology has changed the way we work, interact, communicate and socialize. The world has transformed into a knowledge based economy, and ICT has become one of the most critical sectors in national development.  IT provides a level playing field for entrepreneurs, where you do not need millions of cash or loan from the bank. A few college students from a garage can start the next google, yahoo or facebook. In fact, all of these companies were started by two people working in a garage! Today for any nation to be significant in the in league of progressive and developed nations, it has to have a strong information technology and telecommunications base.

Realizing this very fact, in our first tenure, we laid the foundation of strong, vibrant and state-of-the-art IT and telecom sector in Pakistan.  While we brought paradigm shift in economic policies by introducing deregulation, privatization, and liberalization of the economy, we also had the foresight to undertake revolutionary measures and put in place policies that were to transform Pakistan in to a leader in the field of ICT.  We deregulated the telecom sector paving the way for a cellular revolution in the country and today as a result of those policies we have over 110 million mobile users in the country. This was the time when Pakistan was leading South Asia.

Another landmark decision that our Government took at the time was to spread the access of internet and proliferate information technology in every nook and corner of Pakistan.  To accomplish this we decided to lay down a mesh of optical fiber network and stipulated policies to ensure that broadband access became common and was within the reach of the masses.  Realizing the vital importance of ICT, we placed special emphasis on IT education, so the demand for highly skilled information workers could be met.

It was under our second government that national IT Summit was held and first National IT Policy was formulated under the leadership of Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, who was spearheading Pakistan Vision 2010. Under our IT Policy, our government started National Database Project, which is known as NADRA. If our plans had not been rolled back and thwarted, Pakistan would have become a semi information super power by now. Governments that came subsequent to ours, lacked proper vision and the will to develop the ICT sector of Pakistan.  While the federal Government has completely neglected the ICT and education sectors along with rest of the sectors in the Country, I am pleased that our Punjab Government has forged ahead with its ambition to support and develop the ICT sector.  It has launched Arfa Software Technology Park, established almost 4,300 IT Labs in all high schools across Punjab to foster IT skills, which is one of the biggest initiatives to bridge the digital divide, distributed purely on merit 120,000 laptops amongst students and is now launching phase 2 of this initiative in which another 100,000 laptops will be given to students.  Even if half of these students became knowledge leaders, the pay off of this investment shall be manifold. Punjab IT Board has launched several e-government initiatives. Land record is being computerized speedily, which will bring paradigm shift in revenue record management. All of these initiatives will strengthen the foundation of the ICT sector in Punjab and revolutionize governance.

Punjab IT Board has also set up an IT incubator to enable young entrepreneurs to grow their business by providing free office space, stipends, mentors and capital.

Punjab IT Board is also focusing on removing barriers to doing online business by working on Punjab e-payment gateway and working closely with google to facilitate those looking for online business.

I truly believe that Pakistan has great potential when it comes to information technology, yet unfortunately no Government since ours has done much to transform this great IT potential of our people into a reality.  Unfortunately, other than lip service not much has been offered by the present regime.  As a result of this, our IT sector is still struggling, while India’s has flourished with its IT turnover of 100 billion dollars. India’s largest software company Tata Consulting, INFOSYS and WIPRO employs about 350,000 programmers. In comparison, the largest software house in Pakistan employs only 1500 people in largest software house with our software exports at around 2 billion dollars/year.

Why can’t Pakistan’s IT industry accomplish similar success?

Let me assure you that I realize and greatly appreciate the importance of information technology and telecommunications, and its central role in national development.  It is for this reason that I am visiting Netsol today.  Netsol’s performance is a testimony to the potential that exists in the ICT sector of Pakistan. Netsol has made remarkable progress during extraordinarily difficult times – times when business all across the country is suffering, and most of them are on the verge of collapse due to massive power crisis, security situation, runaway inflation, poor macro-economic policies, lack of vision and governance, and massive corruption.

If under these impossible and unfortunate circumstances Netsol has performed so well, imagine how Netsol and rest of the ICT sector would have done if the Government had done its job properly.

Imagine the phenomenal growth that Pakistan can undergo in ICT if the right vision, progressive policies and honest and sincere leadership were to serve this great nation.  Inshallah, after winning the upcoming elections with your support, I shall see to the implementation of every promise that I make here. I promise you that our Government will make the ICT sector a key focus area – it will be one of the pillars that we will rebuild our nation on.  We will put in place the right set of catalysts to take the ICT sector to the next level.  Our goal will be to exponentially grow the local software economy, increase our software and IT services exports manifolds, to attract foreign direct investment that will fuel research and development in the field of ICT, to transform Pakistan into a hub for offshore software development and business process outsourcing and to produce world-class IT professionals.  All of this Inshallah will lead to creation of 1 million new ICT jobs in Pakistan. I would also with great pride and enthusiasm mention here the announcement of Pakistan’s first IT University by the Government of Punjab which shall start functioning by mid October. This indeed is another landmark achievement by the PML-N led government of Punjab.

Towards the end, I would also like to mention that PML-N is the only political party in Pakistan that has professional and experienced people in its ranks – People who uphold highest standards of ethics and integrity – whose loyalties to the nation have stood the test of time – and whose vision and caliber is most progressive.

Owing to the pace with which the world is moving ahead, it is imperative that we as a nation, march down the path of rapid change and evolution. Else, I am afraid we might lose relevance and significance within the global community.

ہم پر الزام ہے کہ ہم آزمائے ہوئے لوگ ہیں۔ یہی تو ہمارا امتیاز ہے۔ کیونکہ قوم نے جب بھی ہمیں آزمایا ہے ہم پورے اترے ہیں ! 28 مئی 1998 سے بڑی گواہی کیا ہوسکتی ہے۔

Yes – we are tried and tested people and that is our strongest point. It is our pride – it is our hallmark !

We Alhamdolillah are the only political force perhaps that has adapted to change beyond rhetoric.

We have a track record of futuristic vision. Our achievements have demonstrated that we possess the will and ability to grow, change and evolve. And we shall employ all that it takes to take Pakistan ahead and bring it at par with the developed nations.

Let us revive our glorious legacy and pick up the threads from where we left them – from the times when our neighbours were struggling to match the pace of our progress in the economic and technological field. Indian Foreign Minister’s statements during his recent visit to Pakistan are a testimony to what I have just said.

  • Please join me in reclaiming all of this. Join me in ridding Pakistan of corruption and incompetence.
  • Join me in protecting and securing the present of our people and safeguarding the future of our children.
  • Join me in reclaiming and regaining our national honour and dignity.
  • Join me in breaking the shackles of economic and financial oppression.
  • Join me in rebuilding this nation into a role model for other nations.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to address the fraternity of ICT stakeholders and professionals through the Netsol visit.  May Allah be with all of you.  Pakistan Zindabad!

 

Nawaz Sharif for consensus interim set-up

Pakistan Muslim League-N President Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said that the entire population of Sindh should have been taken into confidence on the provincial issue of SPLGO while the interim set-up will be formed after consultation between the Opposition Leader and Government.

“What’s the advantage of such an action that fails to satisfy the people of Sindh,” Nawaz Sharif regretted while addressing a gathering here.

Dispelling the impression of being a friendly opposition, he said: “Had it been so then ‘Zardari Sahab’ would not have treated the ‘friendly opposition’ the way he did.”

He said PML-N always strived to pull the country out of the darkness and still fighting the battle for ‘principles and not for power’.

“The interim governemnt will be formed after a consultation between the Opposition Leader and Government,” he believed. However, he warned, if a unanimous resolution not reached on the matter of caretaker set-up, it would be referred to the Election Commission of Pakistan.

Recalling the days of his rule, the PML-N Chief said the then Indian premier Vajpayee visited Pakistan during his government and expressed willingness to resolve all contentious issues including that of Kashmir. “What conspiracy were we trying to hatch that our government had to be dissolved?” he questioned.

With reference to his party’s talks with Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Nawaz Sharif ruled out further negotiations with it, saying after the kind of statements had been issued by Altaf Hussain lately, whatever ‘negotiations were held with them were enough’.

Source: The News

Nawaz asks Shahbaz to help Sindhi flood affectees

LAHORE – PML-N President Nawaz Sharif on Monday asked Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to generously help the flood affectees of Sindh and did not spare any effort in this regard. Nawaz expressed a deep sense of sorrow and grief over the deaths caused by rains and floods in various parts of Sindh and said in this hour of trial, the whole people of Punjab were with them as such they must not feel lonely. The chief minister also grieved over the situation and said the PML-N government and the people of the province stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the flood affectees of Sindh in this hour of difficulty. He said the Punjab government would spare no effort to ensure assistance to the flood affectees Sindhi brethren.  In the first phase, the chief minister announced relief goods worth Rs 100 million for immediate assistance of Sindhi brethren besides ensuring relief activities in Sindh.

Source: The Nation