Text Bulletin 2000 hrs
The President has urged all political parties to declare Vision 2025 a national plan for development.
Finance Minister says government made difficult decisions to bring improvement to national economy.
Punjab budget for the next fiscal year will be presented in provincial assembly on Friday.
Senate has been informed that Pakistan maintains a balanced position on regional conflicts.
Foreign Office says Afghanistan's accusatory approach will harm efforts for peace.
Pakistan has lodged a strong protest with India over unprovoked ceasefire violation on the Line of Control.
In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops, in their fresh act of state terrorism, martyred another two youth in Sopore on Thursday.
China has demanded removal of advanced US THAAD missile defense system from South Korea.
President Mamnoon Hussain has urged all political parties to declare Vision 2025 a national plan through consensus for welfare of people.
He was addressing joint session of Parliament in Islamabad on Thursday to mark beginning of the new parliamentary year.
The President said forward looking nations invest heavily in human resources and infrastructure for sustainable development. He commended programmes aimed at improving lot of the youth.
He lauded allocation of considerable funds to bring the backward areas of Azad Kashmir, FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan at par with other parts of the country.
Referring to electricity shortage, Mamnoon Hussain hoped that after completion of ongoing energy projects, the issue will be resolved permanently.
Turning to foreign policy, the President invited comity of nations, particularly neighbours, to agree on the fundamental principle of economic cooperation.
He said Kashmir dispute is an unfinished agenda of the partition.
The President said plebiscite is the only solution to the Kashmir dispute. He said Pakistan will continue extending political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri brethren.
He said India has been carrying out acts of aggression on the Line of Control resulting in huge losses of life and property.
The President urged the Afghan leadership to improve border management system with mutual cooperation to overcome the menace of terrorism.
He said Pakistan has best relations with Islamic countries especially Saudi Arabia. He said Pakistan has recently established fresh contacts with the new US administration, which will pave the way for expansion of bilateral relations.
The President said reforms in the UN Security Council are imperative to make the United Nations a more effective world body.
The President expressed satisfaction that the parliament has emerged as a symbol of national unity even in the face of severe political differences. He said all national issues should be resolved in the parliament.
Members belonging to opposition parties raised anti-government slogans during address of the President and later staged a walkout from the House.
The Joint Session has now been prorogued.
Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called on President Mamnoon Hussain and discussed with him matters relating to the country`s internal and external security situation.
The Prime Minister briefed the President on the meeting of the cabinet`s National Security Committee.
The Prime Minister also apprised the President about One Belt One Road Summit in China last month.
They expressed satisfaction over the pace of ongoing projects under CPEC.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has termed the presidential address to joint sitting of Parliament as positive and fair.
In a brief and informal chat with media on Thursday, he said the President addressed the joint session to fulfill constitutional obligations.
When asked about the attitude of the opposition parties during presidential address, he said, his views about the opposition are the same as of the whole nation.
He expressed confidence that the government will complete its five years constitutional term.
Minister for Railways Saad Rafique says the opposition parties' protest during the President's address on Thursday was against the parliamentary norms.
Talking to newsmen outside Parliament House in Islamabad on Thursday, he said the behavior of the opposition members in presence of the foreign diplomats was irresponsible.
To a question, he said there is no precedent of live broadcast of speech of the opposition leader in the parliamentary history but even then the government is ready to broadcast it live.
Social and political circles in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have lauded the speech of President Mamnoon Hussain to the joint sitting of parliament.
Commenting on the speech, PML-N leader Pir Sabir Shah said President highlighted all the major issues faced by the nation.
Parliamentary leader in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Sardar Aurangzeb said the President threw light on the sacrifices rendered by the nation in the war against terrorism.
He criticized the opposition for creating disturbance during the speech.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar says government has made difficult decisions to bring improvement to economic condition of the country.
Addressing a post budget conference in Islamabad on Thursday evening, he said suggestions of all stakeholders were taken into consideration while preparing budget. He said the present economic stability is due to collective wisdom and consultations.
Ishaq Dar said when we assumed power in 2013, Pakistan was passing through a difficult time and foreign exchange reserves of the country had fallen to eleven billion dollars, with the risk of default looming on the horizon.
He said our GDP has reached 5.28 percent from three percent in four years time. Finance Minister said inflation rate has decreased to less than four percent and the target of tax collection set at 4000 billion rupees.
Chairing a meeting in Islamabad on Thursday regarding energy-related matters, Finance Minister directed for provision of maximum electricity during the holy month of Ramazan, especially at the time of Sehar and Iftar.
He said the government is focused on resolving the issue of energy as a top priority.
The Minister said that additional electricity will be added to the national grid by early next year through completion of ongoing projects, which will help improve the energy situation and reduce load-shedding.
Secretary Water and Power informed that all power companies have been instructed to avoid unscheduled power load-shedding.
The Punjab budget for the next fiscal year will be presented before the provincial assembly on Friday.
Provincial Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha will present the budget.
Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair has summoned session of Provincial Assembly on Monday.
The provincial budget for the next fiscal year will be presented in the session.
Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan says trade incentives extended by European Union under the GSP Plus have played a positive role in boosting Pakistan's exports.
In a statement, he said European Union is the largest market for us and under GSP Plus Pakistani goods have duty free access in twenty-eight member states of the union.
He said Pakistan's textile exports increased by 55 percent in value in 2016 in comparison with 2013 and Pakistan's exports also registered an increase of 33 percent in terms of quantity during the same period.
Khurram Dastgir said Pakistan's exports to EU have increased from 4.52 billion Euros in 2013 to 6.28 billion in 2016.
In textile, garments and hosiery sectors, Pakistani exports to Europe have registered an increase of 75.7 percent.
Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz says Pakistan maintains a balanced position on regional conflicts and fully supports Saudi Arabia's territorial integrity.
Responding to a calling attention notice in the Senate on Thursday, he said programmes and mechanism of Islamic Military Alliance will be decided at a meeting of the defence ministers of the member countries.
He said as and when terms of reference of the alliance are finalized, they will be presented before the House prior to their ratification by the government.
The Advisor made it clear that Pakistan will never deploy anything outside Saudi Arabia.
Responding to another calling attention notice, Sartaj Aziz said activities of India close to Pakistan's border in Afghanistan are a source of concern for Islamabad. He said India has been supporting subversive activities in Pakistan.
He said Islamabad has effectively highlighted Indian interference in Pakistan at the international fora.
Responding to points raised by some senators, Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali told the House that all the power pylons collapsed in recent cyclone in Sindh have been made operational to ensure smooth flow of electricity.
He said WAPDA is ready to provide 650 MW of electricity to K-Electric, but the company has not yet upgraded its transmission lines.
He said WAPDA is not responsible for load-shedding in Karachi as the K-Electric did not run any oil-based power plant.
Responding to another point, the Minister of State said the government has released 540 million rupees to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government to acquire land for the establishment of 220 KV grid station at Chakdara, but the provincial government took four years to do the job.
He said now the work is in progress and will be completed at a fast pace to mitigate the sufferings of the people of Malakand area.
Resuming debate on the next year budget, Siraj-ul-Haq said the finance bill does not offer any relief to common people.
Mohsin Aziz said the budget cannot be described as a welfare plan for the public as it is a donor budget.
Karim Khawaja said no funds have been allocated for the social sector and minorities.
The House will now meet on Friday morning at 10:30.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday chaired a meeting to review proposals for commencement of ropeways transport in province.
He directed authorities concerned to prepare feasibility report to run ropeways transport on three routes in Lahore and from Murree to Islamabad.
Shahbaz Sharif said a foreign ropeway manufacturing company has shown interest to work on this project.
A spokesman of the government has lamented the remarks of an honorable judge during the hearing of suo moto case against PML-N Leader Nehal Hashmi.
In a statement, he said such remarks are against the honor and dignity of superior judiciary.
The spokesman added that honorable judge passed the remarks without knowing the facts.
The spokesman said Nehal Hashmi was summoned in the Prime Minister House and upon receiving no satisfactory reply from him, his party membership was suspended.
He said calling government a mafia and its representative an agent of it is lamentable.
Corps Commander Peshawar Lt. Gen. Nazir Ahmed Butt visited various areas of South Waziristan Agency.
He was briefed on security situation, operational preparedness, improved border security measures and progress on developmental works in the area.
The Corps Commander appreciated high morale of the troops and their effectiveness in denying cross border terrorist movement.
Rangers have arrested ten criminals, including five members of MQM London, during raids in various areas of Karachi.
According to a Sindh Rangers spokesperson, the arrested criminals were involved in extortion, target killing, drug smuggling and other heinous crimes.
Illegal weapons, ammunition, narcotics and looted items were recovered from the arrested persons.
Foreign Office has strongly rejected as baseless the Afghan allegation that Pakistan is behind the recent terrorist attack in Kabul.
At the weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said the accusatory approach of Afghanistan will harm efforts for peace. He said Pakistan itself has suffered immensely from the menace of terrorism.
He said Pakistan has the highest stakes in Afghan peace and stability. He said our commitment to peace in Afghanistan is based on sincerity and should be considered beyond any doubt.
The Spokesperson, however, said it is disappointing that the elements, which have no interest in Afghan peace and want to damage relations between the two neighboring countries, are trying to malign Pakistan for their vested agenda.
He said India is escalating tension on the border and committing ceasefire violations in order to divert attention from the Kashmir dispute.
Nafees Zakaria said India has been perpetrating and financing terrorism in Pakistan.
Pakistan has expressed condolence over military helicopter crash in Turkey resulting in the martyrdom of thirteen military personnel onboard on Wednesday.
In a statement, Foreign Office said the government and people of Pakistan convey their deepest condolences to the brotherly people of Turkey at the loss of precious lives as a result of this crash.
Indian Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh was summoned to Foreign Office on Thursday to lodge a strong protest over the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian forces at the Line of Control.
Director General at Foreign Office Dr Mohammad Faisal said the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian forces are contrary to international human rights and humanitarian laws.
Two civilians were martyred and five others, including three women injured in the ceasefire violations on Thursday morning.
China has expressed the confidence that Pakistan and India will improve bilateral relations after becoming the full members of Shanghai Cooperation Organization during upcoming Astana Summit.
Speaking at a briefing in Beijing, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hua Chunying hoped that Pakistan and India would inject new impetus to the development of organization.
The SCO summit is likely to be held this month in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Meanwhile, China has demanded removal of advanced US THAAD missile defense system from South Korea.
In Occupied Kashmir, Indian troops, in their fresh act of state terrorism, martyred two more Kashmiri youth in Sopore, on Thursday.
The troops killed the youth identified as Aijaz Ahmad Mir and Basharat Ahmad Sheikh during a crackdown in Nathipora area of Sopore.
Later, thousands of people attended the funeral prayers of the two youth martyred by Indian troops. The participants raised high-pitched anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.
Senior resistance leaders, Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik in their separate statements paid glowing tributes to the martyred youth.
They said that due to the sacrifices of these martyrs the world had realized the urgency involved in the settlement of the Kashmir dispute.
President Vladimir Putin has said Russia’s military presence in Pacific is response to US buildup in the region.
He was addressing with the representatives of international news agencies on the sidelines of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says the expansion of US missile systems across the world is a “challenge” to his country and necessitates Moscow’s response in the form of a military build-up in the region.
President Vladimir Putin has warned that attempts to contain Russia won't succeed. He said that economic restrictions against Russia have had zero effect. He said the Russian state has never been involved in hacking.
Germany and China have agreed to expand their relationship to bring about stability to the uncertain global environment.
This was announced by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in a joint media briefing after talks in Berlin on Thursday.
Both the leaders have pledged to enforce Paris deal
Chinese Premier called for joint efforts to promote trade liberalization and investment facilitation during his visit to Germany. He also reiterated China's support for the European integration process.
Angela Merkel expressed appreciation for China's support for the European integration.