Advisor on Foreign Affairs says improved security situation has helped develop favourable investment climate in the country.

Finance Minister has said wellbeing of common man will be top most priority in next budget.

France has called for resolving Kashmir dispute for lasting peace in South Asia.

North Korea has test-fired a ballistic missile.

Final of T-20 World Cup for Blind will be played between Pakistan and India in Bangalore on Sunday.   



Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz says a strong and economically developed Pakistan is "an approaching reality" due to effective counter-terrorism measures, internal reforms, and active pursuit of energy and infrastructure projects.           

Speaking at Pakistan Institute of International Affairs in Karachi, he said in the past two years, the country has achieved remarkable success in countering terrorism.

The Advisor said the heroic efforts and sacrifices of Pakistan's armed forces in Zarb-e-Azb supplemented by intelligence based operations around all major urban centres, Madrassah reforms and conviction of terrorists through military courts, have weakened terrorists and extremists.          

He said the resultant improvement in the security situation has brightened the investment climate.

As the energy shortages are overcome, specially for the industrial sector, the growth of the economy has recovered from a low of three percent in the period 2006 to 2012 to about five percent with good prospects of higher growth in the coming years.   

He said this turn around in the Pakistan economy can become a key positive factor in further strengthening Pakistan relations with the Middle East and Africa in the coming years.



Sartaj Aziz said that the most important achievement of the past three years has been a major upgrade in Pakistan's relation with China.        

The flagship connectivity project with China is China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to optimize Pakistan's economic and trade potential.           

Besides CPEC, Pakistan is also actively pursuing various other regional connectivity projects like TAPI, CASA 1000, IP, and Torkham-Jalalabad-Kabul motorway to take further advantage of Pakistan's geostrategic and geo-economic disposition at the crossroads of three regions.

The Advisor said India must face the ground realities and recognise indigenous nature of the Kashmiri movement and resume meaningful dialogue for ensuring peace and stability in the region.



Finance Minister Ishaq Dar says all constructive suggestions from stakeholders and experts will be taken into account while preparing the next federal budget.

Chairing a meeting in Islamabad to review matters related to federal budget for fiscal year 2017-18, he said wellbeing of the common man will be accorded the utmost priority.

The Minister directed the officials concerned to ensure that budget preparations are undertaken as per timelines.

He also stressed the need for close coordination between Ministry of Finance and other ministries and departments so as to carry out the budget exercise in an efficient and cohesive manner.



As a part of ongoing Multinational Exercise AMAN-17, Special Operations Forces of Pakistan Navy and participating countries presented impressive Maritime Counter Terrorism exercises at Manora, Karachi.      

Sri Lankan Chief of the Naval Staff ,Vice Admiral RC Wijegunaratne was the chief guest.     

The counter terrorism exercises was a fine display of strength and specialized skills to counter acts of maritime terrorism, refine special operating procedures, exchange of professional expertise and to enhance interoperability with participating Special Operations Forces teams.



Federal Ombudsman Salman Faruqui says the institution is effectively playing its role as grievance redressal forum and as a mechanism for improving governance.

Addressing a news conference in Karachi, he said the highest ever number of complaints up to 94,000 were redressed last year. 

The Federal Ombudsman said a system of swift disposal of complaints was introduced last year. The investigating officers of Federal Ombudsman hear and decide complaints in headquarters of one hundred and thirty-three districts and five hundred and eleven Tehsils. Decisions are taken in twenty-five days' time   

He said there are instant disposal of complaints lodged by Overseas Pakistanis at Facilitation Desks, set up at eight international airports in the country.



The Ministry of Water and Power says the operation and maintenance of Nandipur Power Project has been outsourced according to Public Procurement Regulatory Authority rules.

In a statement, the Ministry spokesman dismissed the "incorrect" report about the project published in a section of press.

He said one company among the four bidders was selected through a transparent process and the plant is fully functional.



The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government plans to launch round the clock services in all the Basic Health Units and Rural Health Centers of the province.               

This was stated by provincial health minister, Shahram Khan Tarakai while chairing a meeting in Peshawar.

He said the opening of these BHUs and RHCs round the clock will provide all basic health facilities to the people of rural and far flung areas of the province at their door steps.



France has called for resolving Kashmir dispute for lasting peace in South Asia.

Addressing a function at Pakistan Embassy in Paris, French Parliamentarian Francois Pupponi urged India and Pakistan to resolve the issue through peaceful dialogue.


Speaking on the occasion, Pakistan's Ambassador Moin ul Haque said Pakistan is committed to extend moral, diplomatic and political support to the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiri people for their just right to self-determination.



North Korea has test fired a ballistic missile.    

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that missile was launched from Banghyeon in North Pyongan Province and flew about five hundred kilometers.    

North Korea had said in recent weeks that it has a new intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the US mainland.



Unites States has affirmed its commitment to Japan's security.

The resolve came in a joint statement after a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump in Washington.

The statement said the US obligation to defend Japan through nuclear and conventional military capabilities is unwavering.



A German parliamentary assembly will elect the country's new president on Sunday.

The new head of state will succeed 77-year-old Joachim Gauck who announced last year that he wouldn't seek a second five-year term because of his age.

Former foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is being considered the favourite to win.



NATO has accused Russia of escalating a disinformation campaign since its seizure of Ukraine's Crimea region in 2014.

The alliance's spokeswoman Oana Lungescu told media that there is increasing concern among senior NATO and European Union officials over Russia's ability to use television and Internet to spread false news.



European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker has expressed concern that Britain will divide the European Union's 27 remaining members by making different promises to each country during its Brexit negotiations.

In an interview, he said this policy will result in no united European front.

Juncker said we should not allow the Brits to pursue trade deals with others because they are not allowed to do so.



Final of the T-20 World Cup for Blind will be played between Pakistan and India in Bangalore on Sunday.   



In the fifth match of Pakistan Super League, Quetta Gladiators defeated Karachi Kings by seven wickets in Dubai last night.

Batting first, Karachi Kings scored 159 runs for the loss of eight wickets in allotted overs.

In reply, Quetta Gladiators achieved the target in 19.1 overs for the loss of three wickets.

Meanwhile, the sixth match of the cup is being played between Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi at the same venue tonight.



Mainly cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of the country on Sunday.

Temperature of some major cities recorded this morning was:- 

Islamabad six degree centigrade, Lahore nine, Karachi fifteen, Peshawar eight, Quetta and Murree two, Gilgit three and Muzaffarabad seven degree centigrade.


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