Text Bulletin 2000 hrs
Prime Minister says stability in Afghanistan is imperative for peace in the region.
Pakistan says India is sabotaging Pak-Afghan relations by using Afghan soil against Islamabad.
Finance Minister says the government plans to finalize new NFC Award at the earliest.
Australia has expressed the desire to further strengthen ties with Pakistan in diverse fields.
Four hundred and forty members of Nigerian Special Forces Battalion completed counter-terrorism training at SSG training center in Tarbela on Thursday.
In Occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred three more youth in Kupwara district on Thursday.
In the United Kingdom, polling is in progress for general election.
India have set a victory target of 322 runs for Sri Lanka In the ICC Champions Trophy at Oval.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has reiterated Pakistan's strong commitment to cooperate with Kazakhstan in energy sector, regional connectivity and human resource development.
He expressed these views during his meeting with President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev at Astana on Thursday.
The Prime Minister also underscored the need for enhancing trade between the two countries, which was much less than the potential.
He expressed the hope that the outcome of the ongoing SCO Summit will result in paving way for cooperation and economic prosperity of the people of the region.
The Prime Minister is in Astana to represent Pakistan at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit beginning on Thursday.
The summit is poised to grant full SCO membership to Pakistan.
Talking to Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev at Astana on Thursday, Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan is keen to further expand ties with Uzbekistan in all fields, including economic, energy cooperation, connectivity and human resource development.
The Prime Minister expressed the desire to take bilateral relations to new heights based on mutually beneficial cooperation.
Nawaz Sharif stressed the need for making appropriate reforms in trade policies to facilitate trade, investment and free flow of goods and services between the two countries.
Earlier, talking to newsmen on board the flight on the way to Kazakhstan, the Prime Minister said stability in Afghanistan is imperative for peace in the region.
Nawaz Sharif said peaceful Afghanistan is in the interest of Pakistan.
He said Pakistan will not allow the use of its soil against any other country for subversive activities.
Pakistan says it has always exercised restraint but India's belligerence is a threat to regional peace and security.
Responding to questions at the weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria warned India against making any strategic miscalculation.
He said it appears India is seeking a conflict with Pakistan.
Nafees Zakaria said India is deliberately escalating tension to divert international community's attention from gross human rights violation in Occupied Kashmir.
The spokesperson called upon the UN Security Council and members of UN and Human Rights organizations to ask India to account for the grave human rights violations and crimes against humanity committed by its forces in occupied Kashmir.
To a question, the spokesman said Pakistan has suffered due to Indian state-sponsored terrorism for over five decades. He said India is using Afghan soil against Pakistan and is also sabotaging Pak-Afghan relations.
To a question, he said Pakistan believes that political settlement based on Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process is the only solution to Afghan conflict.
Asked about tension between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the spokesperson said Pakistan believes in the unity of Muslim countries and it has made consistent and serious efforts for its promotion. He said Pakistan is concerned over the new developments in the Gulf.
The National Assembly on Thursday passed a unanimous resolution strongly condemning the terrorist attacks on Iranian Parliament and mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini.
The resolution moved by Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid expressed solidarity with the people and Parliament of brotherly neighbour Iran.
The resolution reiterated the resolve to jointly combat the menace of terrorism with the neighbours in the region.
The National Assembly also adopted another unanimous resolution expressing deep concerns over the recent developments in relations between Muslim states in the Gulf region including Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The resolution moved by Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao called upon all the countries to show restraints and resolve all differences through dialogue.
The resolution also called upon the government to take concrete steps towards forging unity among the Muslims Ummah.
Later, the House resumed general discussion on the Budget for the next fiscal year.
Members belonging to opposition parties staged a walkout from the House to press their demand for live broadcast of the speech of the Leader of the Opposition on PTV.
Taking part in the discussion, Iftikharuddin said steps should be taken for the promotion of tourism in the country, particularly in the Northern Areas.
Rajab Ali Baloch said the members of the small political parties should participate in the budget discussion to present their point of view.
Tehmina Daultana said that PML-N has sacrificed a lot for strengthening democracy. She said it is result of the efforts of the government that a balanced and pro-people budget has been presented in the House.
Iftikhar Nazir congratulated the government on presenting a balanced budget.
The House will now meet on Friday at 11.00 a.m.
The Senate on Thursday also passed a unanimous resolution strongly condemning the recent act of terrorism in Iran.
The resolution moved by Karim Ahmad Khawaja described the act as a crime against humanity.
The resolution expressed solidarity with the people and the Parliament of Iran and said Pakistan stands with them in the fight against terrorism.
Winding up debate in the House on budget 2017-18, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said revenue collection has increased by eighty percent during the last four years.
He said that because of financial discipline we have managed to allocate one trillion rupees for the development expenditures in which infrastructure and energy sectors have been given special emphasis.
He said electricity generation has improved significantly and the government has envisaged projects keeping in view the future requirements of the country.
Ishaq Dar said the government is making utmost efforts to finalize next NFC Award at the earliest. He said a meeting with the provincial Chief Ministers will soon be held on the matter.
Earlier, taking part in the debate, Talha Mahmood said private sector should be fully facilitated to bolster exports and generate employment opportunities.
Momin Khan Afridi said that FATA should be given five percent share in the NFC.
Saeedul Hassan Mandokhel emphasized the need for promotion of harmony and unity amongst the federating units.
The House adopted recommendations presented by the Standing Committee on Finance on the Finance Bill 2017-18.
The recommendations include twenty percent raise in salaries and pensions of government employees and increase in their house rent ceiling.
The Senator also proposed that the limit of loan of fifty thousand rupees for farmers be increased upto two hundred and fifty thousand rupees and sales tax be reduced from seventeen to ten percent on all items.
They also recommended that the profit on National Savings Certificates, Special Savings Certificates, Bahbood and Pensioners Accounts should be raised by two percent to benefit old age pensioners and widows.
The House will now meet on Friday morning at 10:30.
Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq says terrorism has no religion and not a single country can claim immunity from this menace.
He was talking to envoys of Australia, Somalia and Romani, who called on him separately in Islamabad on Thursday.
The speaker said that unified and collective action is the only solution to root out terrorism.
Australian High Commissioner Ms. Margaret Adamson said that her government also attaches great importance to its relations with Pakistan and keen to further strengthen them in diverse fields.
While talking to the Ambassador of Somalia Mrs. Khadija Mohamed Almakhzoumi, the Speaker said that Pakistan desires to see Somalia as a prosperous, peaceful and stable country.
Speaking to the Ambassador of Romania Mr. Nicola Goia, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that Pakistan is fully committed to strengthening and expanding bilateral ties with Romania.
Ambassador of Romania Nicola Goia appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in global war on terror and acknowledged the sacrifices rendered by the people of Pakistan for global peace and security.
Country Director Asian Development Bank Ms. Xiaohong Yang held a meeting with finance Minister Ishaq Dar in Islamabad on Thursday.
They discussed the bilateral relation and issues of mutual interest.
Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal has said that under the dynamic leadership of Nawaz Sharif Pakistan is rising and making improving in every sector.
In an interview, he said PML-N government after coming into power had to face number of challenges like terrorism, energy and economy crisis.
Ahsan Iqbal said several energy projects have been launched to meet the demand of the country.
The Minister said international organizations and many countries have acknowledged the progress and rising growth in Pakistan.
To a question, he said political stability is imperative to achieve progress.
Minister of State for Health Saira Afzal Tarar says the government is striving to ensure provision of better health care facilities to masses at their door step.
Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Thursday, she said the government has prepared health vision with the help of all provincial governments to provide best treatment to people.
She said elimination of polio is focus of attention of the government and immense strides have been achieved in this regard.
Pakistan has signed the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting.
The signing ceremony to this effect took place at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Secretariat in Paris on Thursday.
The Multilateral Convention offers concrete solutions for governments to close the gaps in the existing international rules which allow corporate profits to be shifted to low or no tax environments.
Welcoming the signing of the Convention, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that becoming a signatory to this convention further demonstrates and strengthens Pakistan’s commitment to countering cross-border tax avoidance and evasion.
Earlier, Pakistan also signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on Automatic Exchange of Financial Accounts Information in Paris. The MCAA provides details of what information has to be exchanged, when and how.
Prime Minister`s son Hassan Nawaz appeared before the Joint Investigation Team for the second time at the Judicial Academy in Islamabad on Thursday.
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited SSG training area at Terbela on Thursday to witness completion of eight weeks long Counter-Terrorism Training of Nigerian Special Forces Battalion by Pak Army SSG team.
The COAS appreciated standard of training imparted and the results attained by the trainee contingent. He said that terrorism is a menace that requires a collective response.
He said that Pakistan Army has vast experience of counter terrorism operations as well as modern training facilities.
The Nigerian contingent comprised 440 trainees including 26 officers.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif says his government is taking revolutionary steps for welfare of farmers.
He was addressing the signing ceremony of an agreement between Punjab Land Records Management and Bank of Punjab in Lahore on Thursday.
Under the agreement, counters of Land Records Management will be set up in four hundred and fifty branches of BoP.
The chief minister said that Land Record Management services centers are operational in one hundred and forty-three tehsils of the province.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government has allocated two hundred and eight billion rupees in new fiscal year for annual development programme.
Addressing a post budget press conference in Peshawar on Thursday, Provincial Finance Minister Muzafar Said Advocate said eighty percent of the funds will be spent on health and education sector and maintaining law and order in the province.
The distribution ceremony of Prime Minister National laptop scheme for talented students was held in Karakorum International University in Gilgit on Thursday.
Chief Minister Hafiz Hafeez-ur-Rehman was the chief guest of the occasion and distributed 454 laptops among the brilliant students.
Seven persons were wounded in a road side bomb blast in Mamond Tehsil of Bajaur Agency on Thursday evening.
Meanwhile, fourteen suspects were arrested during search operation in different areas of Charsadda on Thursday.
Arms and ammunition were also recovered from them.
In Occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred three more Kashmiri youth in Kupwara district on Thursday.
According to Kashmir Media Service, the troops martyred the youths in vengeance of the killing of an army man in Nowgam area of the district.
People staged forceful demonstrations against siege and search operation by Indian army in Wularhama area of Islamabad district.
Shutdown was observed on the second consecutive day on Thursday in Shopian to mourn the killing of a 12th class student, Aadil Farooq Magray, by Indian troops.
On the other hand, complete shutdown, marked by anti-India demonstrations, will be observed across the held valley on Friday against the killing of Aadil Farooq Magray in Shopian. Call for the protest demonstrations has been given by the joint resistance leadership.
Two Indian soldiers were injured in an attack in Uri area of Baramulla district.
In Geneva, Kashmiri representatives, Syed Faiz Naqshbandi and Shamim Shawl, while taking part in the ongoing 35th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council urged the UN body to appoint a special representative to assess the rights situation in occupied Kashmir.
In the United Kingdom, polling in continuing for general elections.
Around forty-seven million people are eligible to vote to elect 650-member Lower House or House of Commons.
In the United Kingdom, three more people have been arrested following raids in connection with London Bridge terror attack.
Seventeen people have so far been arrested in connection with terror attack that killed eight people when three men drove into pedestrians on London Bridge before stabbing people.
In Somalia, Al-Shabaab militants killed seventy government soldiers when they raided and captured Af Urur town in semi-autonomous Puntland region after clashes with the forces on Thursday.
In Nigeria, at least six people were killed and dozens other wounded after Boko Haram extremists launched a series of attacks on the capital of Borno state in northeast of the country.
The United Nations says that Islamic State militant group has killed more than two hundred thirty people attempting to flee from western Mosul city of Iraq during the past twelve days.
In a statement issued in Geneva, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said there are reports of significant escalation in deaths in the battle for the Iraqi city.
The statement said the United Nation is investigating reports that fifty to eighty people were killed in an air strike on the Zanjili district of Mosul on 31st of last month.