Text Bulletin 0700 hrs
DATED: APRIL 06, 2017
Pakistan has welcomed the US offer for mediation to resolve the Kashmir dispute.
Finance Minister has said economic environment in the country is conducive with an accommodative monetary policy.
A two-day International Business Summit begins in Islamabad on Thursday.
Russia has expressed the desire to boost cooperation with Pakistan in Oil and Gas sector.
Japanese Prime Minister says North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch is a dangerous provocation.
Pakistan has welcomed the United States mediation offer for restoration of peace talks with India with focus on Kashmir issue.
In an interview, Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria said United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres had also made a similar offer which was hailed by Pakistan.
He said Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif wants peaceful relations with all neighbouring countries for economic development in the region.
The spokesman said Pakistan wants to resolve all disputes with India including Kashmir through dialogue.
He said the entire world knows that Pakistan itself is a victim of terrorism and India is behind it. Indian intelligence agent Kulbhushan Yadav's confessional statement is a clear proof in this regard.
Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz says there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict.
Briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs in Islamabad he said there is need of focused efforts for a politically negotiated settlement for lasting peace in Afghanistan. .
Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan is pursuing a policy of strengthening relations with Afghanistan.
He said Islamabad is working to modernize the visa system and increase facilities at border crossing points to enhance people-to-people exchanges.
The Advisor said the government is also focusing on efforts to increase facilities for Afghan students in Pakistan's educational institutions.
Sartaj Aziz said another three thousand scholarships for higher education have been announced for Afghan students after utilization of the existing 3000 scholarships.
Pakistan and International Monetary Fund have successfully completed annual consultations under Article-IV of the Agreement.
Addressing a joint press conference along with IMF Mission Chief Harald Finger in Dubai, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said consultations broadly covered multiple areas of the economy.
He said successful completion of the discussions indicates the government's commitment in further deepening of structural reforms in the areas of energy, monetary, financial and public sector enterprises.
The minister said the gross domestic product continued to maintain its growth momentum above four per cent for the third successive year.
The government in the current fiscal year is expecting a growth above five per cent, which will be the highest in the last nine years.
Ishaq Dar said overall economic environment is conducive backed by an accommodative monetary policy as policy rate at 5.75 per cent is the lowest in last few decades.
The Minister said the budget deficit, which stood at 8.2 per cent of GDP in FY 2013, has been brought down to 4.6 per cent in financial year 2016.
He said total collection by FBR in first nine months of the current financial year is 2258 billion rupees, which is unprecedented in its history.
A two-day "Business Summit" begins in Islamabad on Thursday.
The theme of the summit is "Innovating for the Future".
The aim of the event is to provide a platform for leading business figures across the world to present their ideas and successful business strategies.
Prominent entrepreneurs and academia from across the world will participate in the summit.
Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani says Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with China.
Talking to a chines parliamentary delegation in Islamabad, he said South Asian countries should take collective measures to resolve their problems for bringing peace and prosperity to the region.
He said Pakistan is playing its due role for peace and stability in South Asia.
Chairman Senate said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will play a vital role in progress and prosperity of both the countries and the entire region as well.
Chairman National Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Yu Zhengsheng reciprocated the views of Chairman Senate for lasting peace and stability in the region.
Britain, China and Pakistan have expressed their resolve to work together to implement the CPEC project successfully for benefit of all the partners.
This was stated by representatives of the three countries at a meeting in London.
The meeting was attended by British Minister of State for International Trade Rt Hon Greg Hands, Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK Syed Ibne Abbas, British High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew and Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming.
A high-level Russian delegation led by State Secretary and Minister of Energy Yuri P Sentyurin called on Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in Islamabad.
They discussed matters of bilateral interest to further deepen cooperation in oil and gas sector.
The delegation expressed keen interest in laying transnational gas pipelines and mutual cooperation for jointly exploring vistas of opportunities both within and outside Pakistan.
French companies intend to explore business opportunities in Pakistan in the sectors of energy, environment, agri-food, banking, architecture and aerospace.
In this regard, a high level business delegation headed by Thierry Pflimlin, Chairman, France-Pakistan Business Council is in Pakistan.
Board of Investment organized "Pakistan-France Investment Forum" in which prominent French companies participated.
During the forum agriculture, food processing, hydro- electric, renewable energy, digitalization of industry, electronics and IT were identified for mutual cooperation between the two countries.
Pakistan's business community appreciated government's efforts to boost the national economy.
Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States Aizaz Chaudhry met Chairman of Asia Pacific Subcommittee of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep Ted Yoho in Washington.
They had a productive exchange of views on bilateral relations, counter terrorism and economic cooperation during the meeting.
Ambassador Aizaz Chaudhry reiterated Pakistan's desire for a strong relationship with Washington based on mutual respect.
He said peace and stability in Afghanistan will be in interest of both the countries.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch is a dangerous provocation.
He was talking to newsmen in Tokyo after his telephonic conversation with US President Donald Trump.
He said Trump told him that all options were on the table regarding how to handle North Korea.
Abe said that he is watching to see how China would respond to Pyongyang after President Xi Jinping's meeting Trump.
Pyongyang test-fired a ballistic missile into the sea off its east coast yesterday, a day before the Trump-Xi summit.
The first One-Day International of three-match series between Pakistan and the West Indies will be played at Providence, Guyana tomorrow.
Rain with dust and thunderstorm associated with gusty winds occurred at scattered places in Islamabad, Punjab, Upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir during the last twelve hours.
Toba Tek Singh received the highest fifty-nine millimetre rain, Mangla fifty-two, Joharabad forty-nine, Sargodha forty-seven, Gujrat thirty-nine, Sialkot thirty-three and Gujranwala twenty-eight so far.
The Met Office has forecast more rain with dust and thunderstorm in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Lahore, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan, Bahawalpur, Sahiwal, Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar, Mardan, Kohat, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan divisions, FATA, Quetta and Zhob during the next twelve hours.
Due to heavy rain fall there is a risk of flash flooding and landsliding in some areas of Malakand, Hazara divisions and Kashmir.
Temperature of some major cities recorded on Thursday morning was:-
Islamabad fourteen degree centigrade, Lahore eighteen, Karachi twenty-seven, Peshawar seventeen, Quetta three, Gilgit nine, while Murree and Muzaffarabad eleven degree centigrade.