Text Bulletin 2000 hrs
Prime Minister says China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will not only boost regional trade but also bring peoples closer to each other.
Pakistan has proposed establishment of joint chamber of commerce with Germany to expand bilateral economic relations.
President has stressed need for focusing on economic diplomacy to take advantage of globalization.
Pakistan Railways will start feasibility of new railway tracks in different parts of the country.
The government plans to make legislation to ensure security of media persons.
Foreign Office says Indian stubbornness has jeopardized peace and stability in the region.
In occupied Kashmir, Hurriyet leadership has termed upcoming election drama as a military drill.
First One-Day International between Pakistan and West Indies will be played at Guyana on Friday.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says China-Pakistan Economic Project has immense potential to boost regional trade and businesses as well as bring the people of the region closer to each other.
He was talking to a Chinese delegation headed by Chairman of National Committee of Chinese Peoples' Political Consultative Conference Yu Zhengsheng in Islamabad on Thursday.
The Prime Minister said millions of people in our region will reap the benefits of this project.
He emphasized that CPEC and its related projects symbolize the people-centric approach of the two countries and their resolve for regional connectivity.
Nawaz Sharif appreciated China’s diplomatic and material support to Pakistan in its fight against terrorism.
He said close cooperation between the two Parliaments will contribute towards further strengthening the warm relations between Pakistan and China.
The Prime Minister recalled that the relations between the two countries were raised to an even higher level of ‘All Weather Cooperative Strategic Partnership’, during the visit of President Xi Jinping to Pakistan in 2015.
He said the upcoming "Belt and Road Forum" being held in China next month will provide an excellent opportunity for discussing and further strengthening cooperation between Pakistan, China and the world community.
Head of Chinese delegation Yu Zhengsheng expressed the hope that Parliamentary exchanges will further augment the ties between the two countries.
Talking to the delegation, President Mamnoon Hussain said CPEC will usher in an era of prosperity and progress not only in Pakistan but the whole region.
He said several countries have evinced keen interest in linking up with CPEC to reap dividends from this mega project.
The President said the whole world is now acknowledging China's vision of "One Belt-One Road".
Speaking on the occasion, Yu Zhengsheng said China and Pakistan share unanimity of views on major regional and international issues.
He appreciated that being a strategically important country, Pakistan is playing an important role in the region. He also expressed satisfaction over the pace of work on CPEC projects.
Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal says Pakistan can sustain eight to ten percent economic growth for next three decades mainly due to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Addressing a gathering of international business leaders at a Business Summit in Islamabad on Thursday, he said this high growth rate can bring Pakistan among the top twenty-five economies of the world by 2030.
The Minister said CPEC is providing huge opportunities to international investors who can take advantage of these opportunities.
Ahsan Iqbal said the whole world is now looking at this project and concerned ministers of almost all European Union countries have met him and expressed their wish to join Pakistan by investing in CPEC.
He said this project can create connectivity in the region and connect three billion population of South Asia, Central Asia and China.
He said the nine industrial zones being built under CPEC will create eighty-five million new jobs.
The Minister urged the international business leaders to play their role in making Pakistan an Asian Tiger by exploiting huge opportunities offered by the CPEC.
Speaking on the occasion, US Ambassador David Hale said Pakistan and the United States enjoy long standing bilateral relations in various sectors, including business, trade, education and agriculture.
He said Pakistani entrepreneurs are capable of developing innovative business ideas and can compete any one on a global scale.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has expressed the desire to enhance economic relations with Germany.
Talking to German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dr. Gerd Muller in Islamabad on Thursday, he proposed the establishment of Joint Chamber of Commerce to further develop bilateral economic relations.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan and Germany enjoy friendly and cooperative relations characterized by shared perceptions and multifaceted cooperation.
He apprised the German Minister of Pakistan's significant improvement in economic and security realms.
The German Minister expressed the confidence to further strengthen cooperation with Pakistan in diverse fields.
German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development also called on Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and discussed matters of mutual interests.
Talking to him, the Finance Minister said after achieving macroeconomic stability the government is now focusing on attaining higher sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
He said Pakistan has a liberal investment regime and invited German companies to invest in Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, the German Minister acknowledged Pakistan's economic success.
He also appreciated Pakistan's efforts and sacrifices for addressing the challenges of terrorism and extremism in the promotion of global peace.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister and the Germany Development Minister signed an agreement to enhance bilateral cooperation in energy, governance, and sustainable development sectors.
President Mamnoon Hussain says Pakistan’s foreign policy is seeking peace and stability in the region with through international cooperation.
He was talking to the newly appointed Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua who called on him in Islamabad on Thursday.
The President stressed the need on laying special emphasis on economic diplomacy to take advantages offered by globalization.
Mamnoon Hussain called for projecting the image of the country as a dynamic, progressive, moderate and democratic Islamic country.
Pakistan Railways will soon start feasibility of new railway tracks in different parts of the country.
The tracks include Mandira to Bhaun, Islamabad to Muzaffarabad via Murree, Lahore to Bahawalpur via Kasur, Quetta to Shershah via Sibi and DG Khan, Bukkhar to Bahawalnagar via Jhang and Faisalabad and Nowshera to Gilgit via Dalagai and Malakand.
New trains will also be started on various routes. These include Kohat-Rawalpindi, Sibi-Khost, Karachi-Mirpur Khas and Peshawar to Rawalpindi.
Jaffar Express route has been expanded upto Peshawar, which will be inaugurated on 14th of this month.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmed says the government has launched many mega developmental projects to provide equal facilities to people across the country.
He was chairing a meeting in Sargodha on Thursday to review the pace of work in Sargodha.
The Minister said living standard of people will improve after completion of these projects.
Minister of State for Information Maryam Aurangzeb says government is working on "Journalist Safety and Security Bill" to ensure security to media persons.
She was addressing a ceremony in Islamabad in connection with Press Martyrs Day on Thursday.
The State Minister said any attack on media is attack on Pakistan and the government will not tolerate it.
She said the media has played vital role in strengthening of democracy in the country.
Marriyum Aurangzeb paid rich tributes to the journalists who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.
Meanwhile speaking at a ceremony held in Islamabad to mark World Health Day on Thursday, Marriyum Aurangzeb said public-private partnership is imperative to meet the demands of healthcare in the country.
She said the government has launched mega healthcare program to address malnutrition problem in the under-developed areas of the country.
She said sustainable development is impossible without healthy and educated nation.
All entry and exit points of Islamabad will be equipped with Radio Frequency Identification Barrier by May this year to ensure smooth entry and exit of commuters and enhanced security of the federal capital.
Decision to this effect was taken it a meeting chaired by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in Islamabad on Thursday.
The minister directed Islamabad Capital Territory Traffic Police to make intercity connection easier for the commuters.
He said through the use of technology these points should be connected with the Safe City.
He directed that scientific methods should be adopted for traffic management with distinct traffic flow plan for the peak hours and lean timings.
Chairperson Punjab Assembly Standing Committee on Gender Mainstreaming Rahila Khadim says the provincial government is aligning its policies towards gender mainstreaming and equality.
Talking to Radio Pakistan Lahore Correspondent Shazia Mushtaq in Lahore on Thursday, she said the government is amending laws to ensure thirty-three percent representation of women in boards of all statutory organizations and public sector companies.
The fourth Punjab Information Technology Board roundtable IT Industry Conference was held in Lahore on Thursday.
The objective of the conference was to launch National Entrepreneurial Network to provide business opportunities to all leading incubators and accelerators.
Over one hundred and fifty companies took part in the event.
During the conference, a memorandum of understanding was signed with Pakistan Stock Exchange to introduce small and medium enterprises for trade in the stock exchange.
The Chairman of the IT Board Punjab, Dr. Omar Saif was the chief guest on the occasion.
A US delegation led by Chairman Board of Directors of the US Institute of Peace Stephen Hadley called on Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad on Thursday.
The delegation was briefed on the evolving peace and security scenario in the region.
It was also apprised about the efforts made by Pakistan for promoting peace, prosperity and development in the region.
Importance of continued close cooperation between Pakistan and the United States in promotion of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan was also underscored in the meeting.
Imam-e-Kaaba Sheikh Saleh Muhammad Bin Talib arrived in Peshawar on Thursday afternoon to attend the centenary celebrations of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl beginning at Azakhel in Nowshera District on Friday.
Imam-e-Kaaba accompanied by Saudi Minister for Religious Affairs Saleh Bin Abdul Aziz Bin Muhammad Al-Sheikh was received by Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, and Federal Ministers Sardar Muhammad Yousuf and Akram Khan Durrani at Peshawar Airport.
Imam-e-Kaaba will deliver a sermon and lead the Friday prayers at Azakhel on Friday.
Meanwhile, Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam-F has completed all arrangements for its three-day centenary celebrations.
A Spokesman of the party said in Peshawar on Thursday that delegates from fifty-two countries, including Bangladesh, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Indonesia and Qatar will attend the celebration.
Tight security arrangements have also been made for the ijtima.
Director-General Sindh Rangers Major General Muhammad Saeed held a meeting provincial IG Police A. D. Khawaja in Karachi on Thursday.
Overall law and order situation, including ongoing targeted operations in Karachi, were discussed in the meeting.
President Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Muhammad Masood Khan has said that the government is taking concrete steps to upgrade existing infrastructure in Azad Kashmir.
He was talking to a delegation of Karachi based investors which called on him in Muzaffarabad on Thursday.
He said 1450 kilometer long new roads would be constructed in state at a cost of twenty two billion rupees.
Masood Khan said 190 kilometer long tourism corridor would also be constructed in the area under China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Meanwhile, presiding over a high-level meeting in Muzaffarabad, the AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan directed the concerned authorities to immediately start delimitation process to ensure timely conduct of local bodies’ elections in the state.
Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria says continued Indian oppression against innocent Kashmiris is posing serious threat to regional peace.
He was responding to questions at a weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday.
The Spokesperson said resolution of Kashmir dispute in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiris and the UN resolutions is the only way for durable peace in the region.
Nafees Zakaria urged the international community to take notice of the atrocities being perpetrated by the Indian troops and grave human rights violations in the Occupied Kashmir.
He said the recent offer of mediation by US Ambassador to the United Nations testifies the fact that Indian's stubbornness has jeopardized the regional peace.
Answering a question, Nafees Zakaria said Pakistan is fencing its side of the border with Afghanistan to combat terrorism.
To another question, he said Islamic Military Alliance is focused on combating terrorism and is not against any country.
In Occupied Kashmir, the All Parties Hurriyet Conference has termed the upcoming election drama as mere a military drill.
The APHC spokesman in a statement said tens of thousands of Indian forces’ personnel have been deployed to terrify people of the territory.
He said extra contingents of Indian forces have been deployed in educational institutions of South and Central Kashmir.
Meanwhile, the APHC Chairman, Syed Ali Gilani, in a statement expressed shock over the loss of property in fire in Awoora area of Kupwara and demanded a probe into the incident which destroyed houses and shops.
He said that many agencies were active in the entire territory and their intention to destroy the economy in the area is quite evident to all.
US President Donald Trump has condemned the killing of dozens of civilians in the northern Syria a city of Idlib in an suspected chemical weapons attack by the government's air force.
Talking to newsmen in Washington, he accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government of going beyond a red line after this attack.
Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said there is no option for him except victory in the country's civil war.
In an interview, he said the government could not evolve consensus with opposition groups, which attended recent peace talks.
He also reiterated his rejection of federalism sought by Kurdish groups in northern Syria.
Somali, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has declared his country a war zone and replaced its military and intelligence chiefs.
In an announcement, he also instructed the army to prepare a new offensive against al-Shabab extremists.
He also offered young extremists a chance to surrender.
The European Union has increased its sanctions on North Korea because of its nuclear program and the threat it poses to the region with its recent ballistic missile testing.
In a statement, it has expanded bans on EU investments, including in the conventional arms and aerospace industry.
It also includes bans on providing computer services and those in the chemical, mining and refining industry.
In Zimbabwe, seventeen people have been killed and 40 others injured in collusion between a bus and a truck near Harare.