Text Bulletin 2000 hrs
Finance Minister says state institutions are fully cooperating with JIT in Panama Papers case, as government fully respects the law.
Commerce Minister says incentives are being provided to exporters to bolster national exports.
Interior Minister has directed strict action against elements involved in drug smuggling through PIA flights.
Army Chief says drone strikes are counterproductive and against the spirit of ongoing counter-terrorism cooperation.
In occupied Kashmir, several students were injured by police during a protest demonstration in Pulwama on Wednesday.
The United Nations says air strikes by US-backed forces in Syria are causing massive civilian deaths.
At least six people died in a massive fire in a high-rise building in London on Wednesday.
In the semi-final of ICC Champions Trophy against England at Cardiff, Pakistan is chasing a victory target of 212 runs.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar says state institutions are fully cooperating with the Joint Investigation Team in Panama Papers case, as government fully respects the law.
Speaking in the National Assembly on Wednesday, he said state institutions are not creating any hurdle in the way of JIT proceedings.
The Minister said the government respects the process of investigation but and suspicions over it are also part of the record.
The Finance Minister said the Prime Minister, who will appear before the JIT on Thursday, has asked party workers to stay away from the JIT Secretariat.
Ishaq Dar urged political parties to sit together and formulate a national economic agenda for the country. He said the Speaker National Assembly may lead these efforts after the holy month of Ramazan.
About supplementary grants, the Finance Minister clarified that these are not unconstitutional.
The Finance Minister said Pakistan has achieved economic stability due to the prudent economic policies of the government. He said this forward march will continue with much more vigour in times to come.
The Minister thanked all the parliamentarians for their positive contribution in the budget.
He announced honoraria equal to four months basic pay for employees of Senate and National Assembly as well as the staff of all the organizations deployed for the budget session.
Taking the floor, Leader of the Opposition Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah expressed serious concern over the situation developing in the Gulf region.
He said this situation also entails serious implications for Pakistan.
He said the Prime Minister should have come to the National Assembly on Wednesday to brief the House about Pakistan's policy on the matter.
Turning to the internal situation, he said poverty has increased in the country during the tenure of the present government.
The house has now been prorogued.
Gilgit Baltistan budget for the next fiscal year with a total outlay of over fifty-four billion rupees was presented in the Legislative Assembly.
Presenting the budget in the legislative assembly, Gilgit-Baltistan Finance Minister Muhammad Akbar Taban said 28.2 billion rupees have been proposed for non-development and 18.3 billion rupees for development expenditures.
He said development budget has been increased from nine billion to fifteen billion rupees.
The Minister said top priority has been given to the power sector by allocating 3.5 billion rupees, which is 26.5 percent of the overall development budget.
He said an amount of 1.53 billion rupees has been earmarked for promotion of education.
He said the government will implement thirty-four new schemes in health sector, and ten of them will be completed during the next fiscal year.
The announced ten percent increase in pay and pension of government employees after merger of the adhoc relief of 2010 in the basis pay.
He said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor support unit is being set up with the collaboration of Karakoram International University.
He said under CPEC Gilgit Shandoor road will be constructed at a cost of twenty-two billion rupees.
Balochistan and AJK budgets for next fiscal year will be presented on Thursday.
Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir says the government is providing incentives to exporters to bolster exports of the country.
He was talking to a delegation of Asian Development Bank, which was led by its senior advisor Warner Liepach, in Islamabad on Wednesday.
The Minister said Commerce Ministry is working on revising "Strategic Trade Policy Framework".
He said the government will launch a campaign for international brand marketing of Pakistan.
Warner Liepach said under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the first phase of reforms in power sector has been successfully completed, and now ADB is focusing on other sectors of Pakistani economy.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has directed strict action against the culprits involved in drug smuggling through PIA passenger flights.
Talking to Director General Anti-Narcotics Force Major General Musarrat Nawaz Malik on telephone on Wednesday, he said transparent investigation should be ensured in such cases.
Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa says terrorism requires Pakistan and Afghanistan to give a coordinated response rather indulging in blame game.
Speaking during his visit to Peshawar Corps Headquarters on Wednesday, he said unilateral actions like drone strikes are counterproductive and against spirit of ongoing cooperation and intelligence sharing being diligently undertaken by Pakistan.
The Army Chief said Pakistan Army is capable of taking effective measures if actionable intelligence is shared.
He said our focus now is to transform our operational achievements in FATA into enduring peace and stability for which early mainstreaming of FATA through reforms is essential.
General Qamar Javed Bajwa said Pakistan Army will continue efforts to consolidate gains achieved thus far. He said the Army stands with all other institutions to get Pakistan rid of menaces retarding its progress and prosperity.
The Army Chief was briefed on the situation along Pak-Afghan border and progress on development works and return of temporarily displaced persons.
Sindh Rangers Director General Major General Muhammad Saeed chaired a meeting on law and order situation in Karachi on Wednesday.
The meeting decided to ensure fool-proof security arrangements on Yaum-e-Ali.
The meeting appealed to the Ulema to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies to ensure law and order situation and sectarian harmony.
UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has expressed satisfaction over implementation of its convention in Pakistan.
The Committee reviewed Pakistan's report on International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Geneva.
Pakistani delegation led by Minister for Human Rights Kamran Michael submitted its initial report on International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Speaking on the occasion, Kamran Michael said Pakistan strongly believes that strengthening of democracy, rule of law, and emergence of a vibrant civil society will further bring economic prosperity and social equality in the country.
PML-N leaders say the government believes in supremacy of the law and the constitution.
This was stated by PML-N leaders Daniyal Aziz, Maiza Hameed, Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha and Talal Chaudhry while talking to newsmen in Islamabad on Wednesday.
They said the PTI Chairman has always ridiculed the state institutions.
They said Imran Khan has failed to present proofs against the Prime Minister and his family.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif says the government is committed to development of southern Punjab.
Talking to elected representatives of PML-N in Lahore on Wednesday, he said twenty-five billion rupees have been allocated for provision of clean drinking water in the area.
Shahbaz Sharif said Khawaja Farid University of Engineering and Technology has been established in Rahim Yar Khan and funds have been earmarked for construction of two-way road from Muzaffargarh to DG Khan and from Ali Pur to Panjnad.
He said Ujala Program will soon be launched in southern Punjab schools and six mobile healthcare units are already providing health services to people in remote areas.
The Elections Commission has arranged one hundred biometric verification machines for use in elections.
All the digital data of electoral rolls will be fed into these machines, which will increase transparency of scrutiny of voters.
Pilot testing of these machines will be conducted in collaboration with NADRA during by-elections.
PTI has submitted details of intraparty elections to the Election Commission of Pakistan.
The ECP restored PTI's election symbol "Bat" and issued permission letter in this regard.
Pakistan Railways has issued schedule of the five special trains, to be run between different cities, to accommodate passengers on Eid-ul Fitr.
The first Eid train will leave Karachi for Peshawar on 23rd of this month, while the second one will depart from Quetta for Rawalpindi the same day.
The third train will leave Karachi on the 24th for Lahore, while the fourth will ply between Rawalpindi and Multan on 25th.
The fifth and final special train will leave Multan for Rawalpindi on 28th of this month.
Additional coaches will also be added to the routine trains to accommodate the Eid passengers.
Pakistan Railways has also started online booking for these special trains from on Wednesday.
The fleet of three Chinese naval ships concluded its four-day training and goodwill visit to Pakistan on Wednesday.
According to a spokesman of Pakistan Navy, the ships were part of China Navy's Task Force.
The fleet was led by Deputy Commander of the Eastern Ship Rear Admiral Shen Hao.
The officers and jawans of Chinese ships interacted with their Pakistani counterparts and discussed professional matters.
World Blood Donor Day is being observed on Wednesday.
The theme of this year of World Blood Donor Day 2017 is Give blood, Give now, Give often.
According to World Health Organization, blood donation by one percent of the population can meet a nation’s most basic requirements for blood.
The Azad Jammu and Kashmir government has launched 4G service of PTCL to provide fastest telecommunication to people.
The Prime Minister AJK Raja Farooq Haider Khan formally launched the service at a function in Muzaffarabad on Wednesday.
Speaking on the occasion, he stressed the need for spreading internet services in educational institution across Azad Kashmir.
Raja Farooq Haider said that overseas Kashmiris depend on internet for coordination with their families.
He hoped that 4G service will bring a revolution in telecom sector in the state.
In Occupied Kashmir, a number of students were injured when police used brute force during a protest demonstration in Pulwama on Wednesday.
According to KMS, they were protesting against vandalizing of houses and private vehicles by the Indian troops. A complete shutdown was also observed in the area.
Meanwhile, joint resistance leadership comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik in a statement issued in Srinagar has given a call for peaceful protest demonstrations on Friday against raids by India's National Investigation Agency and brutalities of Indian troops in Shopian district.
They said that NIA is being used to harass the genuine Kashmiri leadership.
Meanwhile, at least sixteen Indian paramilitary and police personnel were critically injured in different attacks in Tral, Islamabad, Pulwama and Sopore areas.
On the other hand, Kashmiri leaders Syed Faiz Naqshbanid, Shameem Shawl and Pervez Ahmad Shah while speaking at a seminar, held on the sidelines of 35th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, demanded initiation of criminal proceeding against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for committing crimes against humanity in occupied Kashmir.
In Afghanistan, five people including four children and a woman were killed and seven others injured in a blast in Jani Khil district of Paktika province on Wednesday.
According to Governor Paktika the blast took place near the house of a local police official in the area.
The United Nations has alarmed about the possible impact of the diplomatic isolation of Qatar and warned that it could lead to widespread suffering among ordinary people.
In a statement issued in Geneva on Wednesday, the UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said he is alarmed about the possible impact on people's human rights in the wake of the decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain to cut diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar.
He said it is becoming clear that the measures being adopted are very broad in scope and implementation.
The United Nations has said intensified air strikes by the US backed forces on Islamic State group's stronghold Raqqa in Syria are causing an overwhelming loss of civilian life.
Chairman of the UN Commission of Inquiry on War Crimes, Paulo Pinheiro told the Human Rights Council in Geneva that intensification of air strikes in Raqqa has resulted not only in staggering loss of civilian life, but also led to one hundred sixty thousand people fleeing their homes and becoming internally displaced.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch has also expressed concern about the use of incendiary white phosphorous weapons by the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria
Arms Director at Human Rights Watch Steve Goose said use of white phosphorus against civilians poses a high risk of horrific and long-lasting harm in crowded cities like Raqqa and Mosul and any other areas.
In Iraq, at least nine people including six police personnel were killed in clashes when more than one hundred Islamic State militants launched attack in Mosul on Wednesday.
According to security officials, the militants sneaked into the western Dandan neighborhood where they also captured a mosque.
The US-backed Iraqi forces have been battling the Islamic State group in Mosul since October last year.
In Turkey, police have arrested seventy eight lawyers on Wednesday as part of ongoing investigation into the Fetullah Terrorist Organization.
According to police, the operation was launched across eight provinces of the country.
Istanbul's Chief Public Prosecutor had issued arrest warrants for 189 lawyers on charges of being members of the organization.
The European Commission has launched legal action against three countries - the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland for failing to respect their commitment to take in refugees.
The Commission has sent formal letters of notice to the three states giving them one month to respond to its concerns.
The letters said that they could be taken to Europe's top court, the European Court of Justice, if the matter is not resolved.
The European Union member countries agreed in September 2015 to relocate one hundred sixty thousand refugees from Greece and Italy.
At least six people died and more than fifty injured after a massive fire broke out in a high-rise building in London on Wednesday.
London Police said the fire engulfed the 27-storey Grenfell Tower and firefighters are busy to extinguish the blaze.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said firefighters rescued a large number of people but many are still unaccounted for.