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Government is taking various steps to eliminate terrorism. Shahbaz Sharif

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sahrif has said the incumbent government is taking various steps to eliminate terrorism and extremism which are the biggest challenges to the tourism industry of the country. Addressing tourism expo conference in Lahore, Shahbaz Sharif said terrorism cannot be eliminated overnight as it needs consistent efforts. He said tourism will not only help uplift economy but also promote a soft image of the country across the world. Shahbaz Sharif said the government is committed to increase scope of tourism in Pakistan. He said it is our duty to provide opportunities to youth to engage them in positive activities.

 

Senior Anchorperson Hamid Mir was injured in a firing incident in Karachi.

According to reports, unknown armed men ambushed Mir’s vehicle at Natha Khan bridge. He received bullet injuries and was shifted to a private hospital. Four gunmen riding two motorcycles opened fire on Hamid Mir’s car a few kilometers away from the Airport police station. Karachi police chief, Shahid Hayat said Hamid Mir has been shot twice. In November 2012, explosives were found under the vehicle of Mir in Islamabad when he had gone for some work with his driver and parked his car for a little. The bomb disposal squad was immediately called in to remove the bag after which it was revealed that the bag contained half kilograms of explosive material that was diffused by the squad.

 

Executive committee of the national economic council has approved 12 projects for different sectors costing about 62 billion rupees.

The ECNEC which met in Islamabad with finance minister Ishaq Dar approved the establishment and operation of basic education community schools in the country at a cost of about 4.3 billion rupees. It approved reconstruction and rehabilitation of 277 flood damaged school buildings in ten districts of Azad Kashmir with a cost of over 3.8 billion rupees. The finance minister emphasized on timely completion of the project. He said that enhancing access to education is one of the key priorities of the government. The project will also help increase literacy rate of AJK from 67% to 95% by 2019. The ECNEC approved eight projects of the ministry of water and power for augmentation and extension of 132 and 11kv transmission lines. It also approved the project “construction of low cost housing units for earthquake affectees of Awaran and Kech districts of Balochistan” with a modified cost of 4 billion rupees. The meeting approved Sindh water sector improvement project (Phase-I) with a cost of over 30.3 billion rupees. Its objective is to improve the effectiveness and operational efficiency of water distribution by ensuring the safety of the canal system and delivering due share of water to the farmers at the tail end.

 

Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has said that strong and respected army is an asset of the nation.

In a statement, Khawaja Asif said, as a Pakistani he is proud of the velour and sacrifices of the men in uniform for the defence of the motherland. He said in last couple of weeks some misunderstanding cropped up based on his speeches delivered many years back made in a different context and environment. The defence minister said this created a misplaced perception about him which is far from reality. It was neither his intention, nor his objective to undermine an institution which he hold in high esteem. Khawaja Asif said at a time when armed forces were fighting on many fronts for the last many years, it was regretful that a wrong impression was being created by a section of media about his views and feelings about the institution.

 

Protection of Pakistan Bill, 2014’ tabled in the Senate.

Minister of Science and Technology Zahid Hamid on behalf of Interior Minister moved in the senate “the protection of Pakistan bill, 2014” as passed by the national assembly. He said we have considerably changed the bill and as far as clauses related to detentions are concerned, they have been taken from already existing law of anti-terrorism act 1997. He said clauses related to location of the detainees are extracted from article 10 of the constitution. Mian Raza Rabbani, while speaking on behalf of opposition leader, suggested the government should reconsider this bill in the backdrop of 27 human rights conventions, which we are bound to follow because of European union’s GSP plus status. He said the bill may contradict these human rights conventions in the future. The chair referred the bill to the standing committee concerned. The house started discussion on a motion moved by Mian Raza Rabbani on the foreign policy with particular reference to the situation likely to emerge after elections in India and Afghanistan. Initiating the discussion, Farhatullah Babar said recent political transitions in china and Iran, and expected changes in political regimes in Afghanistan and India, may raise challenges for our foreign policy. He urged the government to introduce necessary changes in the foreign policy. Afrasiab Khattak said afghan people, in recently held presidential election, have clearly defeated Taliban in the war on minds and hearts. He, however, said unfortunately this war has been shifted to Pakistan and to overcome these circumstances, we need to formulate a lucid foreign policy regarding presence of Shuras of defunct terrorism organizations on our soil. Mir Hasil Bizenjo, taking part in the discussion, said for the first time in the history, no one pointed out Pakistan for backing any afghan candidate. He said it is a success of present government the credit of which goes to our foreign policy. Talking about Iran, he said we need to promote our ties with Iran, which is an emerging economy of the region. The house will now meet again on Monday at 4 pm.

 
 
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