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PM Shehbaz to address SCO heads of state summit today

President calls upon business community to explore new opportunities, adopt innovative business techniques

ISLAMABAD, Sep 29, 2022 (APP): President Dr Arif Alvi Thursday called upon the business community to explore new opportunities, adopt innovative and creative business techniques, utilize e-commerce platforms, and consolidate their position in the existing market by maintaining quality and competitiveness as compared to their competitors.He said that Pakistan needed to take all possible measures to create a balance between its imports and exports.

The President expressed these views while addressing the 45th Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Exports Awards Ceremony at Aiwan-e-Sadr here.
Addressing the ceremony, the President further said that Pakistan had improved its position in Ease of Doing Business Index significantly during last few years.

He urged the business community to fully benefit from the incentives offered by the government for the promotion of business, trade and commerce in the country. He added that Pakistan offered huge attractions for foreign direct investment.

The President said that the business community should utilize the youth bulge of Pakistan for producing high-end products for domestic consumption as well as for exports.
He said that dams were important for water storage but solar energy was an easy way to overcome the energy crisis. He underscored the need for adopting technologies and vertical farming in the agriculture sector.

The President said that Pakistan’s economy was facing a difficult time and had been affected by the recent global warming-induced floods, resulting in enormous loss of lives and damage to the country’s infrastructure. He stated that Pakistan had incurred a huge loss of billions of dollars and expressed the hope that the nation with its proven courage, determination and resilience would overcome this challenge and would emerge better and stronger.

Pakistan had come out of the Covid-19 crisis with its wise policies, similarly, it would also overcome the present crisis, he added. He urged the business community to help their flood-affected brethren with open hearts.

The President said that trained and skilled human resources could help introduce innovation, diversification and competitiveness in their business processes, besides helping create an identity for Pakistani brands. He also called upon the business community to promote the made-in-Pakistan culture to reduce our reliance on imports from other countries.

He said that by creating our own brands and improving their quality and standards, we could capture local markets through local products, which would help in import substitution thus saving precious foreign exchange. He called upon the business community to employ more women in their business as no country could embark on the path of development without employing 50 percent of its population.

The President also congratulated the winners of the awards and said that this honour, which had been bestowed on them, would further encourage and motivate other businessmen, traders and investors, to improve their skills and work hard to win this coveted award next time.
He also congratulated the organizers of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Export Awards Ceremony for organizing such an excellent event.

President of the FPCCI Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that despite the challenges, Pakistan’s exports had reached 34. 7 billion dollars. He also said that the business community was making all possible efforts for the rehabilitation of flood-affected people. He emphasized that exporters and the business community should especially focus on trade with unexplored African and Central Asian markets because of their closer proximity to Pakistan by offering high-quality services. Anjum Nisar and Senator Haji Ghulam Ali also spoke on the occasion.

Mushaal lauds OIC’s support for Kashmir cause, demands practical steps

ISLAMABAD, Sep 24, 2022 (APP):Mushaal Hussein Mullick, Chairperson Peace and Culture Organisation, eulogized OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir for its support and said that world leaders participating in the UNGA to play their due role in solving Kashmir conflict to avoid a nuclear war in the region.

Mushaal, wife of incarcerated senior hurriyat leader Yasin Malik, in a statement on Saturday, said that the OIC Contact Group reiterated their stance that final settlement of Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and a UN-supervised plebiscite, was indispensable for durable peace and stability in South Asia, said a press release.

The chairperson praised that the group also denounced India’s illegal and unilateral actions and subsequent steps as well the sham trial and conviction of Yasin Malik on concocted charges. However, the hurriyat leader urged that the OIC should go step ahead of rhetoric and should take practical and tangible steps to press the Indian government to ensure settlement of decades-old dispute, fearing that the conflict could lead to a nuclear conflict.

Mushaal lamented that India was always trying to mislead the world in UNGA from grave human rights violations and continued genocide of people of the valley.Therefore, she appealed that the OIC and the leaders and representatives of the countries participating in the ongoing UNGA should take up the case of Kashmiris vociferously, as the fascist Indian government was trying to change demographic situation of the occupied valley.

Mushaal maintained that time was ripe to force the supremacist Indian government to find out resolution of Kashmir conflict as per the UNSC-agreed formula and aspirations of Kashmiri people.

She feared that if the major world powers did not fulfill their responsibilities on the Kashmir issue in time, then Kashmir dispute could lead to a major nuclear conflict because it was not an internal matter of India, but a nuclear flashpoint in South Asia and a matter of political future of the 22 million Kashmiris.

Mushaal said that the fascist Narendra Modi-led government unleashed a wave of barbarism and state terrorism to silence the dissenting voices of Kashmir but all such brutal and inhuman tactics failed to work.

Chairperson urged the world to take cognizant of the grave situation in order to avoid the world worst human tragedy in the valley, as the brutal Indian forces failed to muzzle the dissenting voices; hence now they resorted to silence them permanently by resorting to genocide of Kashmiris.

She demanded that the United Nations should send a high-level fact-finding mission to investigate human rights violations and Indian military aggression in IIOJK, besides ensuring permanent and lasting solution of the conflict.

President terms freedom of expression, fair elections ‘cornerstone of democracy’

ISLAMABAD, Sep 16, 2022 (APP, LPP): President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday said the democratic values of public participation in decision-making, human rights, freedom of expression and the principle of holding periodic free and fair elections by universal suffrage are the cornerstone of democracy.

In his message on World Democracy Day, the president said Pakistan stands firm on the commitment that true democracy is the only way forward for inclusive decision-making and policy formulation, particularly for minorities and vulnerable segments of society. “True representation of people, fairness, equality, social justice and rule of law are at the heart of any democratic nation and Pakistan strives to garner these values through its Constitution that guarantees them,” he said.

The president quoted a saying of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that democracy is in the blood of the Muslims, who look upon complete equality of mankind, and believe in fraternity, equality, and liberty. He said as the world stands in unison to celebrate the International Day of Democracy, Pakistan reiterates its resolve to nurture and strengthen democracy in accordance with Islamic tenets and the vision of the founder of the nation.

He mentioned that the Constitution of Pakistan is enshrined with democratic principles and a parliamentary form of government. The preamble of the Constitution, which is a substantive part of the Constitution states it clearly that the state shall exercise its power and authority through the chosen representatives of the people, he added.

Dr Alvi said democracy is as much a process as a goal, and only with full participation and support of the international community, democratic institutions, civil society and people who are the ultimate stakeholders, can the ideal of democracy be converted into reality and enjoyed by everyone, everywhere. He said Pakistan stands in solidarity with all the oppressed people of the world who are voiceless and cannot exercise their democratic right of self-determination, especially the people of IIOJK.

Pakistan needs massive financial support to overcome post-flood challenges: Guterres

SUKKUR, Sep 11, 2022 (APP): United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday urged the international community to support flood-hit Pakistan as the country needed massive financial help to overcome post-flood crises. “It is not a matter of generosity, but a matter of justice,” he said reiterating the UN’s commitment, strong support and solidarity with the flood-affected populace of Pakistan.

Guterres said that huge damages and losses were caused to human lives and properties. The UN absolutely supported the Pakistani nation and requested the well-resourced nations to support the country massively, so that it could face the future challenges of climatic changes and save its nation. He stressed that the international community must realize the serious impacts of greenhouse emissions as nature was striking back in the form of natural calamities.

The issue of greenhouse gases had accelerated the climatic changes and the nations having larger greenhouse emissions footprints must understand these issues, he added. According to the scientific estimates, the UN secretary-general emphasized that now, it was a time to reduce greenhouse emissions. He said it was also a fact that they were living in a climatic changing era and have to make efforts to rebuild communities and to enable the countries to resist and face the future disasters that could be wrought by the natural calamities.

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb provincial ministers and the relevant authorities were present on the occasion. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah gave a detailed briefing over the damages and loss of lives in the province.

He said during the current monsoon season, different districts of the province had received unusual rainfall never witnessed in the past. He said that 30 districts of the province were affected, displacing about 12 million, adding that a total of 578 people lost their lives. A total of 3 million houses were destroyed and crops grown on an area of about 3.3 million acres were damaged while 500,000 livestock had been swept away.

The chief minister said that Pakistan had been facing the impacts of global warming and climatic changes, adding that they required the international community’s financial support for the relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts. Earlier, the prime minister along with UN secretary general and the federal ministers took an aerial review of the flood-affected areas of the Sindh province.

Jinnah’s 74th death anniversary will be observed on Sunday

ISLAMABAD, Sep 10, 2022 (APP, LPP): The 74th death anniversary of the father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah would be observed across the country on Sunday with the pledges to follow his golden principles of “unity, faith and discipline”. The day will dawned with special prayers in mosques and other worship places for eternal peace for departed soul and for prosperity and peace of the country.

The Quaid was born on September 25, 1876, in Karachi. He received his primary education in the city and went abroad for higher studies. Jinnah served as leader of the All-India Muslim League from 1913 until Pakistan’s creation on August 14, 1947. Under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam, Muslims struggled for a separate country. He then served as Pakistan’s first Governor-General until his death on September 11, 1948.

To mark the day, various programmes have also been planned by educational institutions and political, social and cultural organisations to shed light on the personality and leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Quran Khwani and Fateha Khwani would be held at the Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi. Government representatives from different walks of life would visit the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam in Karachi to lay wreath and to offer Fateha. Radio Pakistan and Pakistan Television would broadcast special programmes on this occasion to pay tribute to Quaid-i-Azam for his unmatched services for freedom of Pakistan.

Govt. fully cognizant of flood affectees’ sufferings: PM

LARKANA, Sep 10, 2022 (APP, LPP): Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday said that the federal government was fully cognizant of the sufferings and problems of the flood affectees and reassured that the federal and provincial governments would fully assist and support them in this hour of distress.  

Talking to flood affectees along with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the prime minister said that an amount of Rs70 billion allocated by the federal government was being disbursed among each flood-affected family under Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP). He told the people that the UN secretary-general had come all along from New York to offer grief and sorrow over the loss of about 1300 lives and thousand others who had been injured in the recent flash floods.

He said that Sindh province suffered from huge losses, where crops were damaged and livestock swept away. The UN secretary general arrived here to express solidarity with the people of Pakistan, he added. Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed gratitude to the prime minister and the UN secretary general for their support and solidarity. He said it was a historic event as the UN secretary-general had arrived Larkana, adding that the federal, provincial and the international community would join hands to rebuild again with such structures that could resist the future calamities.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, on the behalf of the UN, expressed solidarity to all those who suffered due to the terrible floods in Pakistan. Guterres said “Voice of the UN will be exactly the same of Pakistan.” He said that monsoon season had always been unpredictable.

The developed countries had been affecting the global environment, and due to the pollution, they had been making the climate warmer and warmer, which resulted into more floods and glacial melting and giving rise to catastrophic situations like being witnessed in Pakistan, he opined.

Guterres said that Pakistan was not responsible for this environmental pollution, but it was still suffering due to the pollution of others. The UN secretary general stressed upon the developed countries to massively support Pakistan due to the pollution they had released, impacting the global environment.

He further observed that Pakistan had no resources to compensate for the loss of lives, crops and livestock. “Those who had created such situation must massively support Pakistan as Pakistan can’t do it alone. I am not asking for generosity, but for justice,” he added.

He said that his message to the world community would be to stop this war on nature as the nature would not forgive, stop pollution that was creating vital changes and contributing to the warming of the planet. Narrating his background, he said that he belonged to a farmer’s family in Portugal, and that he could realize the sufferings, and pains over loss of houses, crops and cattle.

Praying for the alleviation of flood affectees’ sufferings, the UN secretary-general said that he hoped for a miracle to set the things rights. Later, Guterres visited the UNESCO World Heritage archeological site of Mohenjo-daro where he was briefed by the relevant authorities.

Talking to media, the United Nations secretary general reiterated that Pakistan had no capacity to rebuilding and reconstruction and urged the global community to play their role in this regard. He said that the recent floods in Pakistan had been the result of climate change and the country was among the top countries that had been facing the adverse impacts of such phenomenon.

PM announces Rs 100m for rehabilitation of a GB’s Bobar village

GHIZAR (GILGIT), Sep 2, 2022 (APP, LPP): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday announced Rs 100 million for the rehabilitation of Bobar village in Gilgit’s Ghizar district badly affected by the flash floods. The prime minister, during his visit to the village, was told in a briefing that the floods had killed 17 people and damaged 249 houses in the village. Moreover, 794 animals and several orchards were also washed away during the calamity.

The prime minister ordered the authorities concerned to pay compensation of Rs 1 million each for the families who had lost their dear ones in the catastrophe. Moreover, he also ordered the construction of a five-kilometer metal road to facilitate the villagers. Shehbaz Sharif said he had instructed that within 24 hours the compensation announced by him should be given to the 17 families whose loved ones departed.

Talking to the flood affectees, the PM said the torrential rains and flash floods in the country during this monsoon were unprecedented. He said the floods ravaged vast areas in Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, South Punjab, and Gilgit Baltistan. More than 1000 people lost their lives, thousands were injured, standing crops on tens of thousands of acres were destroyed, millions of livestock and houses were damaged, he said adding Pakistan was already facing a severe economic crisis.

He expressed anguish over the plight of the girl whose eight members of the family including her mother, grandmother, and six brothers and sisters lost their lives in the floods. He said after a survey, the government would compensate those whose houses were destroyed. “I assure you that the assistance will be delivered transparently and without considering politics.” He thanked the friendly countries including China, the United States, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates for their assistance.

“Today I met a high level delegation of the Turkey and the Turkish President pledged to give all kind of assistance.” In an interaction with the affected villagers, the prime minister assured the flood-stricken people that the government would not leave them alone until all of the families were rehabilitated. The prime minister expressed condolence over the loss of lives and properties and assured the victims of the government’s all-out support for their relief and rehabilitation.

He said the government was making all-out efforts to ease the difficulties being faced by the people in flood-ravaged areas. During the visit, the prime minister also distributed cheques among the flood-affected people of Shisper Glacier of Hunza at a ceremony held at Gilgit airport. He handed over cheques of Rs0.8 million each among nine people whose houses were completely destroyed during the floods and Rs 0.5 million each among six people whose houses were partially damaged.

Advisor to PM on Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira, Special Assistant Fahad Hussain and Chairman of National Disaster Management Authority Lt General Akhtar Nawaz accompanied the prime minister.

President phones families of army officers martyred in chopper crash

ISLAMABAD, August 6, 2022 (APP): President Dr Arif Alvi on Friday telephoned the grieved families of the Pakistan Army officer who were martyred in a helicopter crash that took place recently in Baluchistan. The president talked to Captain Ahmed Ali, son of Lt. General Sarfraz Ali Shaheed expressed his condolences to the family.

Admiring him as an upright brave efficient officer and a leader whom he had met frequently, the president said that it was due to these sacrifices that Pakistan stood strong today. The president talked to Saad, the young son of Brigadier Khalid Shaheed and conveyed his condolences.

He asked him to thank his mother, grandmother and family for the ultimate sacrifice his brave father had given. “Of course, such incidents bring tears to our eyes and pride in brave sons of Pakistan,” he remarked. President Alvi called Major Asad, brother of Brigadier (Major General to be) Amjad Hanif Shaheed and expressed his condolences to the family. President said he was proud of the “brigadier sahab” and prayed for strength to his family.

He also called and condoled the death of young Naik Mudassar Fayyaz Shaheed who was only 30. His family was proud of Shahadat and invariably like all Shuhada families said that others were ready. The president said that the very sense of sacrifice was unique feature in Pakistan and had kept safe. Talking to the father of Co-pilot Major Talha Mannan Shaheed, the father of two very young sons, the president conveyed his prayers for them and rest of the family.

He said the institution of Armed Forces took good care of Shuhada families. Loss is however painful. They will grow up to be proud of their father Inshallah,” he hoped. President Alvi called Squadron Leader Ameer Ali, brother of Major Saeed Ahmed Shaheed, an outstanding pilot with an excellent career in service. The president said the nation was proud of him and his call was meant to appreciate and admire the ultimate sacrifice for his country. He also prayed for strength to the bereaved family.

Meanwhile, in a series of tweets, the president also rejected the “unnecessary controversy” on why he did not attend the funeral prayer of the those martyred in the chopper crash. “This gives me an opportunity to condemn in unequivocal terms the despicable tweets by those who are neither aware of our culture or our religion,” the president remarked. Referring to the Quranic teachings the president questioned as how could one desecrate the memory and the sacrifice of those whom Allah had given eternal life.

Like all Pakistanis, the president said he had admired the Shuhuda all of his life. President Alvi said that he had called hundreds of families, attended funeral prayers and visited them to offer his condolences. “On your behalf I consider it my duty to do so. The families have been proud, but we all recognize the sad and personal loss in this world,” he added.

The president said that it was especially difficult to condole with families where young children were the survivors. “When the family members have cried, I have cried. There is no doubt in my mind that Pakistan is safe only because of their ultimate sacrifices. That is what makes me proud of Pakistan,” the president commented.

PM denounces killing of Palestinians, terms Israeli act as terrorism, barbarism

ISLAMABAD, Aug 6, 2022 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Saturday said that Pakistan strongly condemned Israeli airstrikes in Gaza in which ten Palestinians, including a 5-year-old girl, were martyred.

On his Twitter handle, the prime minister said if impunity and barbarism had a face, it would have been that of Israel, which had targeted Palestinians without any care for the consequences.According to media reports, on Friday, Israel launched missiles throughout the besieged Palestinian city, killing 10 people, including a five-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman.

Pakistan raises objections on India’s hydroelectric projects on Western rivers

ISLAMABAD, May 31, 2022 (APP): As 118th meeting of the Pakistan-India Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) was held in New Delhi from 30-31 May, 2022, Pakistan highlighted its objections on India’s hydroelectric projects on the Western rivers. Under the relevant provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) 1960, the meeting takes place alternatively in Pakistan and India annually.

The 6-member Pakistani delegation was led by Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters, Syed Muhammad Mehar Ali Shah, while the Indian delegation was headed by the Indian Commissioner for Indus Waters A K Pal, a press release issued here by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday said.

A wide range of water-related issues between Pakistan and India were discussed which included the advance sharing of flood information, the program of tours/ inspections and signing of the report of the Permanent Indus Commission for the year ending March 31, 2022. Response to Pakistan’s objections on Indian projects including Pakal Dul was also sought.

The Indian side was also urged to communicate advance flood-flow information as per the provisions of the Treaty and the practice in vogue since 1989 until 2018. Indian side assured to arrange tours/inspections after the coming flood season.

Indian side also assured that Pakistan’s outstanding objections would be discussed in the next meeting as the Indian side was still in the process of examining the details. Both sides reiterated their commitment to implement the Indus Waters Treaty in its true spirit and expressed the hope that the next meeting of the Commission would be held at an early date in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s progress linked with Constitution’s supremacy, rule of law: PM

ISLAMABAD, May 26, 2022 (APP): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said the progress of Pakistan was linked with the supremacy of the Constitution and ensuring the rule of law. The prime minister expressed these views in an interaction with the personnel of law enforcement agencies, who were deployed in the Red Zone to ensure law and order during the long march of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

PM Sharif lauded the personnel of Rangers, Islamabad Police, and the capital’s Traffic Police for rendering their duties professionally and protecting the lives and property of the people. The prime minister appreciated the dedication of the law enforcement personnel to performing their official duties regardless of their political affiliation.

He lauded Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Defence Minister Khwaja Asif for dealing with the challenge effectively. The prime minister emphasized unity among all the ranks of the nation to eliminate the scourge of anarchy and chaos. He stressed everyone to demonstrate the spirit of sacrifice and patriotism to make the homeland a citadel of peace.

Rapid development in IT, science vital for Pakistan’s progress: President

ISLAMABAD, May 18, 2022 (APP): President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday said rapid development in the fields of information technology and science was vital for the progress of Pakistan and urged the youth to contribute by excelling in contemporary fields of knowledge.

He was addressing the National Youth Convention 2022 here at the Jinnah Convention Centre, which was organized by Pakistan Institute for Conflict Studies (PICS) and attended by former Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal (retd) Sohail Aman, Director General PICS Major General (retd) Saad Khattak and a large number of students and youth leaders.

Besides education, President Alvi also emphasized the importance of character-building and called upon the youth to adopt high morals in their lives by standing firm against dishonesty and corruption. He stressed that the intellectual and financial corruption had immensely damaged Pakistan and called upon the youth to stay clear from it.

The president said to transform Pakistan in line with the vision of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Muhamamd Iqbal, the contribution of youth through intellectual development was important. He said Pakistan’s nuclear capability was a matter of pride for the Islamic world and recalled that the country had become a nuclear power within a short span of seven years in response to the atomic explosions by India in 1974. 

He said the country’s nuclear deterrence not only kept the enemy at bay, but also made its defence stronger. President Alvi said Pakistan always emerged morally strong in the comity of nations by hosting four million Afghan refugees at its soil for over 40 decades. On the other hand, he said, the world was demonstrating hypocrisy by denying assistance to migrants.

He said the Pakistani nation always exhibited resilience during tough times, may it be braving the challenges of terrorism or the dealing with natural disasters including the 2005 massive earthquake. He mentioned that the armed forces rendered immense sacrifices for the solidarity of the country and helped eradicating the menace of terrorism and extremism.

The president highlighted the plight of Muslims and other minorities in India and also in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir where the government was denying basic human rights to the people. On fake news, Dr Alvi said adhering to the principles based on truth could discourage the scourge, which was casting a negative impact on the society. 

He encouraged the youngsters to explore the world of in-depth knowledge by adopting the habit of book-reading and practice effective communication to convey their message in the correct context. Former Air Chief Sohail Aman said youth could greatly contribute towards the development of their motherland by working efficiently and with dedication. 

He asked the youth to honour Pakistan as their identity and attain modern education and skills to  deal with emerging challenges. Director General PICS Major General (retd) Saad Khattak said working since 2018, the institute was inculcating in youth the passion to make the future of Pakistan bright and glorious. 

National Assembly passes resolution urging India to reverse illegal actions of August 5, 2019

ISLAMABAD, May 12, 2022 (APP):The National Assembly on Thursday passed a unanimous resolution calling upon the international community to ensure accountability of India’s grave and persistent violations of human rights, war crimes being committed in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu Kashmir (IIOJK).

The resolution was moved by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari that urged India to immediately halt and reverse unilateral and all illegal actions it had taken in IIOJK and fulfill its obligations under the relevant UNSC resolutions.

The House recalled the resolution of 6 August 2019 adopted unanimously by the Parliament of Pakistan and subsequent resolutions rejecting India’s illegal, unilateral, reckless and coercive actions aimed at altering the internationally recognized disputed status of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). Alarming situation in IIOJK is arising out of continued Indian occupation in violation of international law and UN Security Council resolutions.

The House expressed grave concern over the series of illegal measures that the Indian occupation forces had been taking to change the demographic composition of the occupied territories in stark violation of international law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention and the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council.

It denounced the latest attempt at demographic engineering in IIOJK through a so-called ‘Delimitation Commission’ constituted in March 2020 in the occupied territory aimed at artificially altering the electoral strength of the Muslim majority in IIOJK. Noting that the Commission’s recommendations had been rejected by a cross section of political parties in IIOJK, the House reaffirmed Pakistan’s complete support and solidarity with the Kashmiri people.

It rejected categorically the report of the so-called ‘Delimitation Commission’ that sought converting the Muslim majority of IIOJK into minority, and further marginalize, disenfranchise and disempower the Kashmiri population in IIOJK, and advance the political and electoral objectives of the BJP.

The House expressed grave concern that through the ‘delimitation’ exercise, India was making attempts to further its illegal actions of 5 August 2019 and subsequent measures all of which had been categorically rejected by Pakistan and the Kashmiri people. The National Assembly recalled and reaffirmed that “the Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute and a long-standing item on the agenda of the UN Security Council.”

It declared that no facade of ‘elections’ based on a sham ‘delimitation’ exercise could substitute the legitimacy and indispensability of a free and impartial plebiscite held under the auspices of the United Nations to enable the Kashmiri people exercise their right to self-determination in accordance with the relevant UNSC Resolutions.

It demanded that India must honor and fulfill its obligations under the international law, UNSC Resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention to refrain from bringing about any illegal demographic changes in the occupied territory.

The House urged the Indian Government “to forthwith end its oppression and widespread violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in IIOJK, and enable the Kashmiri people to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination as enshrined in the relevant UNSC resolutions.”

The resolution reiterated the unflinching commitment and solidarity of Pakistan and the Pakistani people with Kashmiri brothers and sisters and reaffirmed that Pakistan would continue to extend all possible support in their just struggle for freedom and self-determination. The House asked the coalition government to continue exposing and countering the Indian moves before the international community, and to highlight and forcefully project the Kashmir cause at all bilateral and multilateral fora including the United Nations and the OIC.

Earlier, the foreign minister in a policy statement in the house, said the whole exercise of delimitation in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir is illegal and in contravention of relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. The Minister said that he has also addressed a letter to the President of the UN Security Council and the Secretary General of the UN in which he has highlighted the unlawful steps taken by India to change the demographic structure of IIOJK.

He said that he, in his letter, has also underlined that the delimitation exercise was designed to further marginalize the Kashmiri people and pave the way for another puppet government in the occupied territory. Bilawal Bhutto said Pakistan will continue to reach out to the world to raise international awareness about Indian illegal steps in IIOJK.

Pakistan condemns terrorist attack in Egypt: FO Spokesperson

ISLAMABAD, May 8, 2022 (APP):Pakistan Sunday condemned the heinous terrorist attack in Sinai, Egypt which resulted in the death of 11 security personnel. According to Foreign Office Spokesperson, the Government and people of Pakistan extend deepest condolences to the bereaved families. “We pray for the early recovery of those injured in the attack.”

“Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We also reaffirm our solidarity with the brotherly people of Egypt,” he said.

PM underlines significance of public welfare projects

LAHORE, May 8 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Sunday stressed that national interests should be given priority while executing the public welfare projects including hospitals to serve the masses.

He was addressing an inauguration ceremony of Saleem Memorial Trust Hospital. The six-storey, 350-bed hospital is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art treatment facilities. The prime minister praised the owners of the Trust and expressed the hope that the hospital would serve the ailing humanity with world-class treatment facilities.

He said the managers of the Trust would not only earn the prayers of the patients, but also earn blessings in the world hereafter.The prime minister expressed the confidence that the experienced hands in the hospital would run the facility efficiently.

The prime minister said they had set up PKLI hospital in Lahore on this model to serve the masses with latest treatment facilities and wanted it to function like John Hopkins health facility. Hepatitis filter centers across Punjab province were set up under its patronage and patients from all over the country came for treatment, he added.

He regretted that dirty politics were played during the rule of the last government. The PML-N government was changed and what happened during the last four years was a painful story, he said, adding that the national wealth belonged to the people.

The prime minister referring to the economic constraints said that the government was hardly meeting its expenses.He said 1122 was an initiative of Pervaiz Elhai but he had expanded it throughout the province.The prime minister urged the philanthropists to come forward and execute such public welfare projects across the country.

Earlier, Chairman Trust Shehzad Saleem gave an overview of the project.The prime minister visited different sections of the hospital and was briefed about the provision of treatment facilities including oncology, cardiology and OPD.

Pervaiz Ashraf, Zahid Durrani exchange Eid greetings

ISLAMABAD, May 4 (APP):Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Deputy Speaker Zahid Akram Durrani on Wednesday exchanged Eid greetings and expressed their resolve to restore peoples' confidence in the parliament.

They said we should take special care of the deserving people on occasion of Eid. In a telephonic conversation, the Speaker said that all public issues would be debated in the parliament, said a press release. They said that Allah Almighty has given them an opportunity to raise the prestige of Parliament for the development of the country.

Pakistan, UAE reaffirm economic & trade ties

ABU DHABI: Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have reaffirmed their resolve to further boost bilateral trade and economic relations. The understanding was reached during a meeting the other day between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.

In the meeting with the UAE dignitary, PM Shehbaz Sharif held extensive consultations over the prospects of propelling cooperation and a range of bilateral, regional and international issues. PM Shehbaz Sharif was warmly welcomed by the UAE crown prince ahead of their meeting at the royal palace, Qasr-e Al-Shatie.

During the meeting, the crown prince congratulated PM Shehbaz Sharif on his election as the premier of Pakistan and wished him great success serving the post. He also extended best wishes for the continued progress and prosperity of the people of Pakistan.

The prime minister paid tributes to the founder and first president of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may Allah bless his soul) for his foresight and visionary leadership and his contribution to laying the foundation of Pakistan-UAE friendship. He expressed Pakistan's determination to strengthen mutually beneficial ties under the vision of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Noting the first 50 years of fast-track and remarkable development of the UAE, PM Shehbaz Sharif congratulated the UAE leadership and people and wished them more success in the decades ahead. He also felicitated the UAE leadership and Expo Team on successful holding of the Dubai World Expo 2020, widely acclaimed as a resounding success.

Moreover, the prime minister expressed gratitude to the UAE for its long-standing support to Pakistan both bilaterally and multilaterally.He, in particular, mentioned the humanitarian projects launched under the UAE-Pakistan Assistance Program in Pakistan as well as crucial support extended by the UAE during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also thanked the UAE for hosting 1.7 million Pakistanis with honour and dignity who are not only a bridge between Pakistan and the UAE but also pride of Pakistan.

Highlighting the noble initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to eradicate polio worldwide, the PM Shehbaz Sharif lauded UAE's pivotal role in supporting global efforts to end this menace.

Reviewing bilateral cooperation in various fields, the two leaders resolved to further strengthen trade and economic ties, with particular focus on accelerating cooperation and building partnerships in areas encompassing, investments, economic development, energy, infrastructure and agriculture.

The crown prince assured PM Shehbaz Sharif about making effective moves towards strengthening closer bilateral fraternal ties for the benefit of future generations of the two countries. He acknowledged with gratitude the constructive role played by Pakistanis in the development of the UAE when others had limited presence and contribution.

Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that Pakistan and the UAE stood with each other during good or bad times and would continue to extend support to each other in the future. He emphasised the importance of strengthening bridges between the two brotherly nations for the well-being of their people.

The two leaders also discussed issues of regional and international importance. They decided to remain in regular contact on all issues of mutual interest as well as coordinate positions at multilateral forums including the UN and the OIC.