Will not bow before Imran’s dictation; House to decide on election: PM
ISLAMABAD, May 26 (APP): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Thursday told ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan that he would not bow before his dictations, making it clear that the National Assembly, not anyone else, would decide the timing of the election.
“I want to make it clear to the head of this gang that none of his dictation will be accepted. This House will decide when to hold a fair election,” the prime minister said addressing the National Assembly hours after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan ended his long march here, giving the government a six-day deadline to announce a fresh election.
The prime minister said if the PTI was merely concerned about the election, they should have come to the parliament. “Imran Niazi should not have any misunderstanding. There are 14 months (to complete the parliament’s term). We are open to talks. Dialogue is the trait of politicians. I can constitute a committee. But, if you think you will pressurize, blackmail or threaten us to leave the government, keep in mind, do it in your own house, not this House”,” he reiterated.
He accepted that the country was faced with numerous challenges but the coalition government would try its utmost to steer the country out of the issues it had inherited from the previous government. Lamenting the riots and destruction caused by the participants of the PTI long march, the prime minister said the House should choose between the course of development or destruction.
Drawing a comparison between the economic growth of the two neighboring countries, he said in 1990s India copied Pakistan’s economic strategy and excelled with its IT exports touching $200 billion against $1.5 billion of Pakistan. He said the protestors who also carried weapons to bring to the federal capital, also damaged infrastructure here and burnt down the trees despite the party claiming to be the champion of 10 Billion Tree Tsunami.
He also condemned the killing of a police constable in Lahore, sympathized with the grieved family and also announced an assistance package for the policemen who were martyred or injured in the line of their duty. He said instead of showing some compassion to the widow or orphaned children of the martyred police constable, the PTI leader taunted him.
Calling it a 126-day theatre, the prime minister said the PTI’s sit-in in 2014 had not only impacted the national economy but also claimed the lives of the security personnel. He told the House that the law enforcement agencies showed maximum restraint to control the situation only by using teargas or rubber bullet. The government also called in the army troops to aid the civilian setup, he added.
He also lauded the performance of the Islamabad Police, Rangers, FC, Islamabad Traffic Police and other departments concerned to protect the lives and properties of the people. The prime minister said the PTI long march, which was led by Imran Khan from Peshawar and accompanied by KPK chief minister, was in fact an attack at the federation which could not be allowed in any civilized society.
The prime minister said after the nation sacrificed thousands of lives and left many others disabled, the slogan of jihad was raised in Peshawar by the PTI. “Today, the slogans of jihad were raised in Peshawar. Jihad against whom? The nation needs an answer. They used the religion for personal gains which the House should condemn through a resolution to avert the recurrence of such incidents” he commented.
He said despite the dearth of resources, the previous government reduced the oil prices, leaving behind a “landmine” for the incumbent government. The prime minister said during the last three and half years, the PTI leadership did nothing to support the poor, closed PKLI, and ended free medical treatment of hepatitis patients.
“Does it require any more evidence to believe that he is an enemy of Pakistan,” he remarked. He recalled the PTI’s sit-in of 2014 when the institutions including Pakistan Television was attacked and caused the postponement of Chinese President Xi Jinping which also delayed the signing of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor for seven months.
He said Chinese firm executing Karot Hydropower project had agreed to provide free electricity to the national grid till the finalization of the Commercial Operations Date which would save Rs4 billion to the national kitty.
He said the previous government wasted three and half years in mere attacking the national institutions including the judiciary and hurling allegations ignoring the sufferings of the people. “How long this drama will continue? How long this disturbed nation will tolerate it,” he questioned adding the country could not afford the history of the 2014 sit-in to be repeated.
The prime minister also questioned the PTI leader as to why he announced a long march on May 25 despite knowing that it coincided with the sentencing of Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik by an Indian court. He said the House was unanimous to condemn the sentence to Yasin Malik and shared the grief of his family, besides reiterating Pakistan’s stance to continue supporting the people of Kashmir for their right to self-determination.
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.