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Pakistan-UK discuss ways to enhance bilateral cooperation

British Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening,calls on Adviser  on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad and discussed ways to enhance cooperation between the two countries. The Adviser hopes that the current positive and constructive momentum generated after third Pak-UK Enhanced Strategic Dialogue in April this year would continue to move forward through a sustained follow-up. DFID's programme has been progressing well in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and underscored the need to expand it to Sindh and Balochistan as well. Pakistan would welcome British assistance in the reconstruction of areas affected by military operation against terrorists. Secretary Greening appreciates the concrete steps taken by the present Government to improve socio-economic conditions in Pakistan.
She reiterates UK's commitment to extend further development assistance particularly in the areas of health and education.                                                                      

CDWP approves several development projects worth billions

Central Development Working Party approved several development projects costing billions of rupees. Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal presided the meeting in Islamabad today. The approved projects relate to energy, water reservoirs, communications, and governance and information technology. The meeting approved a project costing over one billion rupees to check electricity tripping in various areas of Sindh and Balochistan. It also okayed 700 kilometers long Gwadar-Nawabasha LNG Terminal pipeline. Two and half billions of rupees had been approved for Sindh Resilience Project to tackle losses caused by catastrophes and climate change.
The meeting approved 890 million rupees for Pakistan Glacier Monitoring Network to monitor climate changes and water position in the upper Indus basin. 

No load-shedding during Sehr and Iftar: Khawaja Asif

Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif informs the House that present government has added 2665 MW additional electricity in the system during the last three years. He said this while taking part in the debate on the budget. 600 MW of electricity has also been rehabilitated from the existing units during this period. It is the efforts of the government that there is no load-shedding during Sehr and Iftar times. Electricity supply and demand gap has been decreased almost half than in the previous government. 36 billion dollars are being invested on energy plants under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Government is implementing several energy projects corruption-free. On completion of these projects 11000 MW additional electricity will be added to the national grid and total generation capacity will reach 31000 MW by 2018. Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project will be completed by August next year, 1320 MW Port Qasim project by June 2018 and Tarbela-IV by June next.                                

US Congress voices concern over growing violence against minorities in India

The US Congress has expressed concern over the growing violence against minorities in India. The Human Rights Commission of the US Congress expressed these views at a hearing that coincided with the start of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's official visit to the United States. Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the US Congress held the hearing on incidents of discrimination, intimidation and harassment against Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Buddist communities in the so-called world's biggest democracy. 

Libya intercepts 117 Europe-bound migrants

Libyan official says Libya’s coast guard intercepted 117 migrants on a boat bound for Europe, including six women, before taking them back ashore. Col. Ashraf al-Badri said group had set out from a beach near Garabulli, a town about 60 km (40 miles) to the east of Tripoli. According to the UN, more than 10,000 people have died crossing the Mediterranean to Europe since 2014.

Syrian government still holding up food aid for besieged Daraya

United Nations is still waiting for Syrian government agreement for an aid convoy to enter the besieged town of Daraya. "The blockage of aid is a political issue," UN spokesman Ahmad Fawzi told a regular UN briefing in Geneva. "Daraya is 12 km (7.5 miles) from Damascus, so it can be done but we need the political go-ahead from the government." Last week Syria's government allowed the first UN aid convoy into Daraya since late 2012. It brought baby milk and medical supplies to support an estimated 4,000 civilians, just in time for Syria to meet a Thursday deadline to improve aid access or face having aid deliveries imposed by air drops. But the convoy took no food to Daraya, where the UN has said malnourished children will die without outside help.

Editorial (Khaleej Times)

Let's talk of a United Europe of States

With just days remaining before the referendum on European Union membership, two anxieties are colliding: the fear of job losses if Britain leaves and the fear of high immigration if it remains. News headlines reflect a country that is not at ease with itself, trapped between what a former American secretary of state, Dean Acheson, once described as an imperial past it finds hard to relinquish and a future role it is reluctant to embrace. Acheson argued that Britain's paths to influence in the world, including its special relationship with the United States, were "played out." Just one avenue remained: positive engagement with Europe. The only obstacle was British recalcitrance.


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