Text Bulletin 2000 hrs
Economic Coordination Committee has approved one point six billion rupees Ramzan Package to provide relief to the people through Utility Stores Corporation.
Finance Minister says upcoming general elections will be held under new electoral reforms.
Interior Minister says steps are being taken to improve monitoring mechanism of borders with Iran and Afghanistan.
In Occupied Kashmir, a number of students were injured when Indian forces resorted to use of brute force against protesters in different cities today.
The UN-sponsored sixth round of Syrian peace talks has begun in Geneva.
GCC Foreign Ministers are meeting in Riyadh tomorrow to finalise agenda for the upcoming Arab-Islamic-US summit.
European Union grants Sri Lanka enhanced market access under GSP plus as a reform incentive.
An International Wrestling Competition is to be held in Karachi tomorrow.
The Economic Coordination Committee has approved Ramzan Package with subsidies worth over one point six billion rupees to provide relief to the general public during the upcoming Ramzan.
The approval was accorded at a meeting of the Committee presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in Islamabad today.
Under the package, nineteen food items will be provided to people through utility stores at subsidized rates.
Food items include wheat flour, sugar, ghee, oil, pulses, white grams, baisen, dates, rice, squashes, black tea, milk, and spices.
Moreover, the Utility Stores Corporation will also reduce prices of over 2,400 other items by 5 to 10 percent by obtaining special discount from suppliers and reducing its own profit margins.
The ECC also decided to increase the quantity of urea approved for export from the existing 0.3 to 0.6 million metric tons.
The Committee also extended the deadline for export of urea till 31st October.
On a proposal by the Finance Division, the ECC approved the restoration of import duty and sales tax on import of cotton with effect from the 15th July this year.
The decision has been made to boost the confidence of domestic cotton growers during the upcoming sowing season.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is in Hong Kong on a three day official visit.
During his stay in Hong Kong, he will address One Belt One Road – Pakistan Investment forum which will be participated by leading business companies of Hong Kong and China.
The forum is being held to highlight business opportunities emerging from the China Pakistan Economic Corridor under the One Belt One Road initiative.
Chief Executive of the Hong Kong C Y Leung will also address the forum.
The Investment Forum is being organized by the Consulate General of Pakistan in collaboration with the government of Hong Kong.
The Prime Minister will also meet Chief Executive of the Hong Kong tomorrow.
He will discuss enhancing bilateral ties between Pakistan and Hong Kong particularly in the Belt and Road projects.
The Prime Minister will also hold meetings with executives of leading business companies of Hong Kong and Mainland China.
Earlier, speaking at the headquarters of Ali Baba company in Zehjiang today, Prime Minister said he is a firm believer in a political empowerment of people through economic development. (TAPE)
He said that he will encourage e-commerce in the country as a tool to help small businesses go global.
The Prime Minister termed e-commerce a catalyst for bringing improvement in Small and Medium Enterprises sector which can help promote the disadvantaged segments of the society.
The Prime Minister expressed hope that Alibaba Group will launch the project in Pakistan at the earliest.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Executive of Ali Baba company Jack Ma lauded that small craft factories flourishing in Pakistan.
He said close collaboration between Pakistan and China in commerce could turn the “iron brothers into golden brothers”.
Chinese electronic and print media accorded extensive and prominent coverage to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his participation in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.
English and Chinese languages television channels especially China Global Television Network, CCTV and BT evinced keen interest in the official engagements of the Prime Minister.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that general elections will be held next year under the new electoral reforms.
He was speaking after a meeting of the electoral reforms committee in Islamabad today.
The Minister said that contentious points will be further deliberated in the sub-committee on electoral reforms meeting to be held tomorrow.
He hoped that the sub-committee will submit its report before the next budget.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said that entire nation acknowledges services and sacrifices of Civil and Armed Forces in ensuring internal and external security.
He was talking to Inspector General Frontier Corps Balochistan (South), Major General Sardar Tariq Aman who called on him in Islamabad today.
The Minister said in view of China Pakistan Economic Corridor and law and order in Balochistan, role of Frontier Corps in the province has become more important.
Chaudhry Nisar said federal government trying to meet the FC's operational requirements through capacity building initiatives.
He said the government has spent more than 80 billion rupees during the last four years to further improve services of Civil Armed Forces.
He said measures are being taken to improve monitoring mechanism of common borders with Iran and Afghanistan to curb of human trafficking and smuggling.
The Minister said modern technology is being introduced to have a constant check on bordering areas while new crossing points are also being set up.
The National Assembly today passed a resolution strongly condemning the recent killing of fourteen labourers in Gwadar and Kharan.
The resolution moved by Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch expressed heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved families.
Earlier,responding to a calling attention notice moved by Asiya Naz Tanoli and others, Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services Dr Darshan told the house that tuberculosis control cells have been established in the public sector hospitals in order to check the spread of disease.
He said these cells also provide medicines to the TB patients.
The House will now meet tomorrow morning at 10:30.
Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that solar power is a successful alternate for oil energy and it can solve the issue of fuel shortage.
He was talking to news persons at the 15th Pakistan Oil and Gas Energy Exhibition in Karachi today.
The Minister said that government is making concerted efforts to resolve the issue of power shortage in the country and load-shedding will be overcome by the end of this year.
He said that petroleum prices in Pakistan are at the lowest level and benefit of reduction in oil prices in the international market has always been given to people.
Earlier, speaking at the inauguration of retail facility shop of Pakistan State Oil in Karachi, the Minister for Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said more than 10,000 MW electricity will be added to national grid by the next year.
He said the government is working on long-term energy plans in the country and including 15,000MW more electricity in the system is the part of our long-term policy.
The Minister said PSO is endeavouring to provide latest facilities to its customers and its petrol pumps are being modernized.
Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousuf says Islam is a religion of peace that teaches tolerance and welfare of humanity.
Addressing a ceremony in Islamabad today, he said terrorists have no religion and militancy should not be linked with any religion.
Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb has said that the government is investing in human resource development.
Addressing an education expo in Islamabad today, she said under the PM Youth program, several projects have been started for education, skill enhancement and professional development of the youth.
The Minister of State said the provincial governments are also paying pecial attention towards the education and health sectors.
She said the textbooks of Punjab Textbook Board have been digitalized in order to ensure their easy access.
Meanwhile, in a reaction to tweets of PTI leaders Shirin Mazari and Naeemulhaq, Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb has said that irresponsible comments are aimed at fanning anarchy in the country.
She said PTI is in a habit of levelling unfounded allegations to bring institutions into disrepute.
She said PTI should avoid making shallow statements over false information.
Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif met Chairman of Huaneng group Mrv Cao Peixi in Beijing and thanked him on fast pace of work on thirteen hundred and twenty Megawatt Sahiwal Coal Power Project.
Chairman of Huaneng congratulated the Punjab government on starting power generation from Sahiwal Coal power Project.
Meanwhile, talking to a delegation of Chinese power company TEBA in Beijing today, the Chief Minister discussed cooperation in solar energy projects.
Speaking on the occasion, Shahbaz Sharif said that Punjab government is also setting up alternate energy projects.
Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair has assured that problems faced by the Goods Transporters will soon be resolved.
He was talking to a delegation of various associations of the Goods Transporters in Karachi today.
Detail from our Karachi representative (TAPE)
Meanwhile, Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair has also directed the officials of K-Electric to ensure uninterrupted power supply during Sehar and Aftar in the holy month of Ramazan.
This he said while chairing a meeting of K-Electric and Sui Southern Gas Company in Karachi today.
The Governor asked the K-Electric to take concrete steps to improve power generation and supply in the city.
It was decided that SSGC will immediately provide required amount of gas to the gas-based plants to meet the power demand.
Muhammad Zubair also asked the K-Electric officials to address the complaints of unannounced load-shedding and over-billing.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that his recent visit to China along with Prime Minister has been successful and it will help resolve longstanding development issuesm of the Province.
Talking to newsmen in Karachi today, he said efforts are being made to inititate work on projects like Karachi Circular Railway, Keti Bandar and industrial zone at the earliest.
Murad Ali Shah thanked the Punjab Chief Minister and Federal Ministers for Planning, Finance and Railways for supporting him in the meetings for these projects.
Replying to a question, he said CPEC will help generate new employment opportunities in the province.
Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak has said that the visit of Pakistani delegation to China under the leadership of the Prime Minister has been successful from all aspects.
Talking to news persons in Nowshera today, he said that up-gradation project of railway track from Peshawar to Rawalpindi under CPEC is a significant achievement.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra has said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will help improve the overall economic and industrial prosperity of tribal population.
He was talking to Advisor to Prime Minister Amir Muqam in Peshawar today.
The Governor said FATA is being connected with CPEC through link roads.
He said tubewells in FATA have been shifted to solar energy that will not only help save electricity for industrial, agriculture and domestic consumers but also ensure provision of clean drinking water to tribal people.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, polling for by-election of forty-three vacant seats of local government in fourteen districts will be held tomorrow.
Detail from our Peshawar correspondent (Tape)
Federal government is spending a huge amount to train FATA youth in various trades.
Our Peshawar correspondent has more:(Tape)
A six member delegation of Pakistan Britain Business Council will visit Pakistan from Thursday to promote bilateral economic relations.
The delegation will visit Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad and will also sign MoU with FPCCI to promote commercial relations between the two countries.
Pakistan has reiterated to continue its diplomatic, moral and political support to Kashmiris in their ongoing struggle for right to self-determination.
The resolve was expressed by the Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry while addressing a series of programs organized by World Affairs Council in Washington.
The Ambassador said latest intifada in occupied Kashmir is indigenous and India is using brutal force, against innocent civilians breeding hatred among Kashmiris against the occupation forces.
In occupied Kashmir, many students were injured when Indian Army resorted to use of brute force against protesters in Baramulla, Kulgam, Bandipora and Islamabad districts.
Students raising pro-freedom and anti-India slogans marched on the streets in Pattan, Hajin and Dooru areas. Over a dozen female students also fainted after receiving injuries in the Indian forces' action.
Meanwhile, the All Parties Hurriyet Conference and the forum led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in their statements denounced the statement of puppet Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti that people of Kashmir would have to choose between terrorism and Kashmiriyat.
They made it clear to Mehbooba Mufti that the Kashmiris have opted for freedom rejecting slavery.
Indian human rights activist Arundhati Roy has said that Indian aggression in occupied Kashmir is shameful’ and New Delhi`s oppression cannot subdue the Kashmiris struggle.
Speaking during her visit to Srinagar, she said India cannot achieve its objective in the occupied valley even if its army deployment raised from seven hundred thousand to seven million.
In India, Central Bureau of Investigation has raided the homes of former finance minister P. Chidambaram and his son in connection with a financial misconduct probe in the southern city of Chennai.
A spokesperson of the Central Bureau of Investigation said CBI is probing investment clearances given to a firm during Chidambaram's tenure.
Chidambaram said the government was using the raids to try to silence his voice.
The headquarters of Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of Organization of Islamic Cooperation was inaugurated at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia today.
Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Adel Al-Jubeir and Secretary General of OIC Dr Yousef Al-Othaimeen jointly inaugurated the headquarters.
In his remarks on the occasion, the OIC Secretary General said the headquarters will help promote human rights through objective and neutral views on many human rights issues.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the US President Donald Trump are meeting at White House in Washington today.
Both the leaders are expected to discuss the Syrian civil war, refugee crisis and the fight against the Islamic State group.
Earlier, talking to newsmen in Ankara ahead of visit to the United States, President Erdogan said he would demand the extradition of Fetullah Gullen, during his meeting with president Trump.
He said Turkey has documentary proof about Gullen's involvement in an abortive coup in the country .
Erdogan also talked about the issue of the U.S. arming the Syrian Democratic Forces, considered by Turkey as an affiliate of the PKK terrorist organization.
The UN-sponsored sixth round of Syrian peace talks has begun in Geneva.
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura has said the week-long Geneva talks will focus on issues of governance, a new constitution, elections and the fight against terrorism.
The Foreign Ministers of Gulf Cooperation Council are meeting in Riyadh tomorrow.
GCC Secretary General Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani said that the ministers will review the preparations for Arab-Islamic-US Summit to be hosted by Riyadh on the 21st of this month.
US President Donald Trump is also scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia during the Summit this weekend
European Union has granted Sri Lanka enhanced market access under GSP plus as a reform incentive.
The European Union said it will remove a significant part of import duties on Sri Lankan products in exchange to effectively implementation of laws regarding labour and environment protection.