Text Bulletin 1500 hrs
Pakistan says upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Astana will help boost its agenda of regional connectivity.
Japan has expressed the desire to further augment relations with Pakistan in different fields.
Sindh budget for new fiscal year is being presented today.
In occupied Kashmir, the authorities arrested JKLF Chief and put Syed Ali Gilani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house arrest today.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Egypt have cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar.
In the ICC Champions Trophy, Australia will play against Bangladesh at Oval today.
Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria says the upcoming SCO Summit will provide Pakistan a forum to effectively implement its agenda of regional connectivity.
Talking to Radio Pakistan's News and Current Affairs Channel today, he said the summit being held in Astana Kazakhistan on Thursday is a milestone in Pakistan`s foreign policy as the country will get full membership of the Organization.
He said the summit will provide an opportunity to member countries to enhance bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
Nafees Zakaria said Pakistan is looking forward to strengthening its ties with all member countries of SCO.
Senate is continuing discussion on the budgetary proposals for the next fiscal year.
Taking part in the debate Yaqoob Nasir appreciated the steps taken by the government for bringing improvement in the security and economic situation of the country. He said massive allocations have been made in the budget for the development of infrastructure and addressing the issue of energy crisis. He proposed that the prices of essential commodities should be reduced in order to provide relief to the common man.
Participating in the debate, Sassui Palijo said the government has failed to achieve economic targets set for the fiscal year 2016-17. She said the government had promised to bring affluent class into the tax-net but it has failed to take any step towards that end. She also expressed concerns over the increase in public debt.
Mir Kabir said small, medium and big dams should be constructed in Balochistan on war footing to address the issue of water shortage in the province. He said that new transmission lines should be installed in the province to meet its growing energy requirements.
Shibli Faraz said cultural activities need to be promoted in order to promote unity and harmony, and project a soft image of the country.
Sardar Azam Khan Musakhel said the budget envisages incentives for the elite class and industrialists but carries nothing for the common man. He said the decision regarding the future of FATA should be taken in accordance with the aspirations of tribal people.
Presenting his proposal on the budget, Taj Haider said that residential plots should be given to the shelterless people. He said the ratio of direct taxes should be enhanced in order to provide relief to the
poor people. He said emphasis should be laid on the human resource development for a bright future of the country.
Mushahidullah Khan said the PPP leaders are giving suggestions on the budget but never implemented the same when they were in the government. He said the Sindh and KPK governments have failed to deliver on their promises.
M Hamza said all the economic indicators have improved significantly over the last four years. He also appreciated the steps taken by the government to attract investment and avoid tax evasion.
The chair adopted an adjournment motion for discussion regarding stay in execution of Kulbhushan Jahdav granted by the International Court of Justice.
The motion was moved by Sirajul Haq.
The house will now meet tomorrow morning at 11 am.
Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan Takashi Kurai called on Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Rawalpindi today.
They discussed regional situation and matters of mutual interests.
In his remarks, the Army Chief expressed the hope that Japan will continue to play a positive role for peace and stability in the region.
The Japanese envoy appreciated the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in the war on terror. He said his country wants to strengthen relations with Pakistan in all spheres.
Supreme Court adjourned hearing of suo-moto case regarding Nihal Hashmi's anti-judiciary speech till 16th of this month.
The three-member bench of the court headed by Justice Ijaz Afzal Khan directed Nihal Hashmi to submit its written reply by 16th of this month.
Sindh budget for the new fiscal year with an estimated outlay of over 960 billion rupees is being presented this afternoon.
Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah will present the budget in the Sindh Assembly Session.
Meanwhile, Sindh Cabinet which met under Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in Karachi today approved the proposals of provincial budget for the financial year 2017-18.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah signed the finance bill and budget summary.
Interior Ministry has rejected as baseless and ridiculous the allegation by a political party that the Ministry is responsible for leakage of Hussain Nawaz's photo.
In a statement today a spokesman of the Ministry said the Interior Ministry and Islamabad Police have no jurisdiction over the administrative matters of the Federal Judicial Academy.
The statement clarified that no department of the Ministry has access to JIT `s offices, activity or any kind of photography or recording.
It said Islamabad Police is responsible only for the external security of the Academy.
The Spokesman said it was not reasonable to politicize such a sensitive issue.
AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider says time has come to raise the longstanding issue of Kashmir at the UN Security Council.
Talking to media in Islamabad today, he said India wants displacement of over half million population living along the LoC, but valiant forces of Pakistan are effectively foiling enemy's attempts.
Raja Farooq Haider said India wants to escalate situation on the Line of Control by targetting civilian population. He said the AJK Government will not leave any stone unturned to mitigate sufferings of the people living along Line of Control.
The AJK Prime Minister said the government and the people of Azad Kashmir fully support Nawaz Sharif's Kashmir policy.
To a question, he said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will bring progress and prosperity to the entire region.
In occupied Kashmir, the authorities arrested Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Yasin Malik and put Syed Ali Gilani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house arrest today.
The top resistance leaders were scheduled to address a joint press conference in Srinagar today.
Heavy contingent of police has been deployed outside the residences of the Hurriyet leaders. Muhammad Yasin Malik was arrested in a police raid on his Maisuma residence in Srinagar.
Meanwhile, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism, martyred four Kashmiri youth in Bandipore district today.
Four Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Egypt announced to cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar today.
These countries said they would withdraw their diplomatic staff from Qatar and expell that country's diplomats from their territories.
Saudi Arabia has also announced to shut its land border with Qatar, effectively cutting off the country from the rest of the Arabian Peninsula.
Saudi government said it took the decision due to Qatar's support for various terrorist and sectarian groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida, the Islamic State group and groups supported by Iran in Saudi Arabia's restive eastern province of Qatif.
Egypt and Bahrain also accused Qatar of facilitating terrorists.
Qatar's Foreign Ministry said the step by the Arab nations are unjustified and based on unfounded claims and allegations.
It said the decisions would not affect the normal lives of citizens and residents.
Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders have agreed to resume talks in Geneva this month on reunifying the divided island.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced the agreement to resume negotiations on a historic deal was reached during a meeting between the leaders at UN headquarters.
In the ICC Champions Trophy, Australia will play against Bangladesh at Oval today.
The match will start at 17:30 Pakistna Sandard Time.
Radio Pakistan in its national hookup at 1605 hours, will broadcast a special discussion programme in connection with International Day of Environment.
Six local workers of a Chinese oil and gas company have been released by their abductors in Wana, South Waziristan Agency.
They were kidnapped from Dera Ismail Khan in November last year.
Special cells for redressal of grievances of Overseas Pakistanis will be established in Supreme Court and High Courts of Pakistan.
Decision to this effect was taken in the light of National Judicial Policy Making Committee.
The cells will be approached by the Overseas Pakistanis through email for redressal of their grievances.
Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq has said leakage of Hussain Nawaz's picture from JIT's examination room is a question mark on the investigation process.
In a statement, he said action should be taken against those responsible for sharing in-cmera proceedings of the JIT and picture. He said publication of the picture and internal proceedings of the JIT are regrettable.
The Minister said Hussain Nawaz' under investigation picture was leaked to humiliate Sharif family and the PML-N.
He said secret hands behind leakage of the picture of investigation room to the social media and the PTI leader should be exposed. He said as to which sources released contemptuous remarks and JIT's internal proceedings to the media.
He questioned that under which rule threatening conversation was conducted with Tariq Shafi and others during the investigation process.
Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa has taken oath as Acting Chief Justice of Pakistan.
Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan administered the oath to him in Islamabad today.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa will act as Chief Justice of Pakistan during the period Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar remains abroad.
The Election Commission has adjourned hearing of PTI Chief`s disquaification case sine die.
The Commission says the hearing will be resumed after Supreme Court's decision in a related case.
Federal Government has expedited oil and gas exploration in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
A spokesman of FATA Development Authority told our Peshawar correspondent that several companies have been awarded licenses for the purpose.
The sources told twenty billion rupees have already been invested in the oil and gas sector in tribal areas.
Thirty eight proclaimed offenders were arrested during search operation in different areas of Swabi this morning.
Arms and ammunition were also recovered from them.
Meanwhile, Counter Terrorism Department has arrested an extortionist in Peshawar.
In India, twenty-two people were killed when a bus caught fire after it collided with a truck in Bareilly town of the northern Uttar Pradesh state today.
World Environment Day is being observed today.
In his message on the occasion, Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan is committed to collaborate in global efforts to protect the environment.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan has already ratified the ‘Paris Agreement’ in this regard.
He said we have ensured that our industrial, infrastructural and associated developmental initiatives are environment-friendly.
Chief Secretary Gilgit Baltistan Dr. Kazim Niaz paid a visit to Baseen Hospital in Gilgit today.
During visit he was briefed about the performance of the health institution.
He also toured slaughter House in Gilgit and inspected the building.
Secretary Local Government and Rural Development Asifullah Khan gave away briefing to him.
Later, he visited various shops in Ramazan Sasta Bazar and inquired about rates of different edibles items.
Gilgit Baltistan Chief Minister Hafiz Hafeez-Ur-Rehman has said that Provincial Government is focusing Agriculture development to bring a positive change in life standard of farmers.
Talking to a delegation in Gilgit today he said fifty thousand canal barren lands will be converted into cultivable under economic transformation initiative project costing 14 billion rupees.
He emphasized farmers to grow wheat instead of potato and Government will purchase one hundred kilogram bag at a cost of four thousand rupees from them.