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Objectives of Zarb-e-Azb would be achieved by the end of the year, leading to internal peace and security

Completion of three years of democracy shows system is capable to sustain crisis

President Mamnoon Hussain says that successful completion of three years of democratic journey is testimony to the political maturity of the nation. He was addressing joint session of the Parliament in Islamabad today. He said this is reflective of the fact that the system is capable enough to sustain crises and take the country forward on the path of durable progress and stability. Manning Hussain said "government ensures rule of law, economic development and provision of basic needs to the people easily overcome challenges, succeed in stabilizing democracy and reinforce the relationship between an individual and the state. Both the government and opposition are cognizant of this and are formulating policies in the light of this philosophy to strengthen democracy. It is now responsibility of each individual, class and institution to earnestly contribute towards reinforcing this positive trend. Government, be it of any political party, should formulate policies in accordance with the tested principle so that democracy can take roots and the people may lead a prosperous life."

Economic achievement

President notes that tax system and collection has improved, foreign exchange reserves increased, GDP has steadily expanded and this year growth has been 4.7%. He said, "budget deficit stands reduced, inflation controlled and the rupee stabilized. These positive indicators will encourage foreign investors and accelerate our economic progress, which will be further boosted by CPEC. Such a welcome progress on the economic front is possible only through consistent and realistic policies. More steps should be taken to pass on the benefits of improved economic situation to the common man."

Welfare development

Mamnoon Hussain said, "Welfare steps include business opportunities and technical training for youth, comprehensive programme for poverty alleviation, PM's health insurance, subsidy on essential consumer goods, special package for farmers, educational facilities and stipends for underdeveloped areas and provision of laptops to talented students."

CPEC

About CPEC, the President said at this juncture of our history, we need national consensus and solidarity and its significance is even greater in the context of CPEC. He said, "There is no weight in the reservations expressed by certain quarters regarding the Corridor. He expressed satisfaction that concerted efforts have led to national consensus on the matter and apprehensions if any should be removed through dialogue. He said, “Schedule of the CPEC clearly shows the project is not of benefit to any particular government, political party or group of politicians but purely a national project. It is responsibility of the nation to remove every internal and external obstacle in the way of its implementation. Nation should unite on the agenda of economic stability for continuity in policies in all situations." He hoped political parties and other stakeholders will soon agree upon this national agenda.

Steps taken to minimize energy crisis

The President also recounted the measures and projects launched by the government to address the energy crisis including LNG and electricity import and construction of water reservoirs. He said, "dream of national development would materialize only when there is peace and conducive business environment." 

Efforts for maintaining law and order

President expressed satisfaction that efforts to restore law and order in different areas particularly in FATA, Balochistan and Karachi have produced positive results. He said, "objectives of Zarb-e-Azb would be achieved by the end of the year, leading to internal peace and security. Nation needs to fully stand by all law enforcing agencies to completely eliminate terrorism and lawlessness. National monument should be built in memory of all those who have sacrificed their lives in the war against terror." He urged the government and the opposition to work in tandem to utilize potential of the youth and women.

Message to Global Community and Foreign Policy     

Addressing the world community, the President said Pakistan's foreign policy is based on the principle of peace for development and peaceful neighborhood. He said, "main cause of tension in the region is Kashmir issue, which is an unfinished agenda of the partition of sub-continent. As long as the issue not resolved in accordance with wishes of Kashmiri people and UN resolutions, the problems of the region will remain unresolved. He also urged India to reciprocate Pakistan's sincere overtures for dialogue. He said, "Pakistan is of the view that peace and stability in Afghanistan is imperative for peace in the region. Pakistan has special relationship with the Islamic world including Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, other countries of Middle East and Central Asia. Defence cooperation agreement has been recently concluded with Russia and under another agreement, Russia is likely to invest two billion dollars for laying Karachi-Lahore gas pipeline." He particularly referred to Pakistan's cordial relations with China, USA and the European Union. He noted with satisfaction that the next SAARC summit will be held in Pakistan in November this year. He said Pakistan strongly believes in nuclear security and made state of the art arrangements for safety of its nuclear installations. He expressed the confidence that we would triumphant in our resolve to eliminate corruption. President Mamnoon Hussain advised countrymen not to be despondent as Pakistan would soon regain its rightful status in the comity of nations.

US drone strikes are regrettable and must stop: COAS

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif says consistency in successes gained against the terrorism would be maintained at all costs and terrorists would not be allowed to re-settle in cleared tribal areas. Talking to media after address of the President to the joint session of the parliament, he said entire nation was united for the integrity and prosperity of the country. He said Operation Zarb-e-Azb was progressing successfully and terror incidents were receding persistently. Army Chief termed drone attacks as against the sovereignty of the country. He said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would be completed at all costs. General Raheel Sharif said the rehabilitation and rebuilding process was continuing at a rapid pace in North and South Waziristan agencies.

Islamic world to evolve a multidimensional strategy in the field of science and technology-Dar

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar says the role of science and technology has increased manifold in political and economic spheres. He was addressing the 15th Session of COMSTECH in Islamabad today. Ishaq Dar said unfortunately, the Muslim World is lagged behind in contributing scientific advancements. The Minister called for an innovative and multidisciplinary approach in the field of science and technology, besides laying more emphasis on research, science, and innovation. He appreciated ten-year plan of COMSTECH for the development of science and technology among Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries. Finance Minister announced 100 scholarships annually for students of least developed countries of the Islamic world for graduate studies in Pakistan in the fields of science, agriculture, engineering and medicine.

Swedish delegation appreciated Pakistan's success in the campaign against terrorism

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi has underscored the importance of increased engagement between Pakistan and Sweden in all areas particularly economic, education and culture. He was talking to a two member Swedish delegation who called on him in Islamabad on Wednesday. Cooperation in international forums on issues of regional and international importance also came under discussion during the meeting. Tariq Fatemi also briefed the Swedish delegation about Pakistan's comprehensive strategy to effectively deal with the menace of terrorism and extremism. The Swedish delegation appreciated Pakistan's success in the campaign against terrorism and acknowledged Pakistan's positive strides in all fields, including the economy and law and order

Punjab Blues won the inaugural National Junior Under 18 Hockey Championship

Punjab Blues won the inaugural National Junior Under 18 Hockey Championship by defeating KPK Colours in the final here at Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium on Wednesday. It was almost one-sided affair as Punjab Blues took the lead in the first quarter when Wasim Akram scored first goal for them in the 12th minute of the match. Ahmed Nadeem doubled the lead in the second quarter, scoring a splendid goal in the 23rd minute. One minute later, it was 3-0 when Mohammad Ilyas scored another goal for Punjab. KPK players tried their best to make a comeback and finally they managed to reduce the lead in the last quarter when Khair Ullah scored the lone goal for them in the 48th minute of the match. Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhry was the chief guest of the concluding ceremony. Speaking on the occasion, he said that the holding of tournaments at the junior level would help prepare a strong senior team. He hailed the organizers for holding the championship in a befitting manner and assured all-out support for the revival of national game. He said besides promoting a healthy culture sports could help defeat the menace of terrorism.

 Pakistan to launch its CT campaign against India

Pakistan will launch its International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy title defense against traditional rival India when the two Asian powerhouses go head to head at Edgbaston, Birmingham, on June 4, 2017. The 18-day tournament will run from June 1 to 18, 2017 and will also see matches played at the Cardiff Wales Stadium in Cardiff and The Oval in London, said a press release issued here. The top eight sides on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings on September 30, 2015 have qualified for this tournament, with world champion Australia seeded number-one. It heads Group A, which also includes fourth seed New Zealand, sixth seed England and seventh seed Bangladesh, who will be returning to this competition for the first time since 2006. Pakistan ODI captain Azhar Ali has said that his side will be committed to qualifying directly for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 after putting strong performance in the ICC Champions Trophy. “The ICC Champions Trophy 2017 is a crucial event for us and as a team our main goal will be to win as many matches as possible so that we can improve our team ranking and qualify automatically for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019,” he said in a statement after the ICC announcement of ICC Champions Trophy on Wednesday. The tournament schedule was announced at The Oval exactly a year before the first ball is bowled in the tournament, in which a total of 15 matches – including three knock-out games – will be played over two and a half weeks. “A lot of ODI cricket is scheduled in the lead up to the ICC Champions Trophy and it will be our best chance to learn, improve and win as many matches as possible so that we arrive in England and Wales next year fully prepared and ready for the challenge,” the Pakistan captain said. Andy Murray came back from a set down to beat Richard Gasquet 5-7, 7-6, 6-0, 6-2 and set up a semi-final with Stan Wawrinka

Azhar seeks consistency to counter England challenge

One-day cricket team captain Azhar Ali has termed the upcoming England tour as ‘challenging one’ and sought consistency to counter England challenge. During our 2010 England tour, we had some young players in our rank and the team performed up to the expectations with the help of pace battery. This time too, we have good combination of fast bowlers, who are equally capable of shattering any given opponent. Presence of pacers M Aamir, Rahat Ali, Wahab Riaz and Imran Khan would prove beneficial and help in keeping the English side under pressure with skillful bowling. Pakistan team is due to travel to England on June 16, and the decision for the inclusion of the veteran batsman will be taken in the light of his fitness report. The Men in Green will play four Tests, five ODIs and one T20I during a 10-week long tour, which will begin with a tour match against county side Somerset on July 6 at Taunton. The United States warned its citizens Tuesday that this summer’s Euro 2016 soccer tournament and related events across France and Europe will present “potential targets for terrorists.” The month-long European Championship finals start in Paris on June 10, drawing the best international teams from the continent and hundreds of thousands of fans. State Department spokesman John Kirby said the intent of the warning was not to dissuade Americans from traveling to Europe, but simply to remind them to stay vigilant. According to the warning, the threat concerns not just the French stadiums hosting matches themselves, but also areas across the continent where fans will gather in numbers.

French Open 2016: Andy Murray defeats Richard Gasquet to reach semi-finals – as it happened

Andy Murray came back from a set down to beat Richard Gasquet 5-7, 7-6, 6-0, 6-2 and set up a semi-final with Stan Wawrinka

Weather

Hot, Dry Weather Expected

 Weather remained very hot and dry in most parts of the country on Wednesday and no change is expected in weather conditions during the next 24 hours. Gusty winds and thunderstorm with rain have turned the weather pleasant. A number of trees in the federal capital fell down due to heavy winds. Islamabad traffic police have advised drivers to take extra care on roads. However, rain with thunderstorm is expected at scattered places in Upper Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Dera Ismail Khan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir. The highest maximum temperature of 46 degree centigrade was recorded in Dadu. Maximum temperature of some other cities: Islamabad 25 degree centigrade Bhakkar 44 degree centigrade, Dera Ismail Khan and Bahawalpur 43, Mohenjo-Daro and Multan 42, Faisalabad and Gujranwala 41 degree centigrade.  

Analysts

Col (Retd.) Ahmed Nawaz (Sports Expert): “Total 13 teams participated in the tournament including four from Punjab, three from Sindh, two from Baluchistan and one from Islamabad. The tournament continued for thirteen days. The main focus is to bring the star players from gross-roots level. There is a huge talent in Pakistan but the need of the time is to properly train the youngsters so that they could represent the country at international level. Managers, coaches and training staff should have to take certain measures for positive outcomes. Under-18 players are young blood and they should be motivated to represent the country. Coaches must polish the talent in an effective way.” 


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