Dated: 17-12-2016




Finance Minister has directed Statistics Division and Pakistan Bureau of Statistics to take steps for credible and transparent national census next year.


Minister of State for Information says announcement of census is manifestation of the government's resolve to solve social problems on priority basis.


Pakistan has urged India to show seriousness in resolving the Kashmir issue through dialogue.


India has warned Russia and Iran against political engagement with Taliban in Afghanistan. 


US President has said change in Washington policy towards Taiwan could harm its relations with China.  


An emergency meeting of UN Security Council has been called to discuss latest situation in the Syrian city of Aleppo.




Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has directed Statistics Division and Pakistan Bureau of Statistics that every effort should be made to ensure credible and transparent national census next year.


In a statement, he directed to take all necessary steps to start the 6th National Census on March 15 as decided by the Council of Common Interests.


The Minister highlighted that reliable data gathered from the census will play a vital role in adequate planning, policy-building, and effective delivery of services to the people.



Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb says the Prime Minister announcement to start census from March 15, next year is manifestation of the fact that the government wanted to resolve social problems on priority basis.


Speaking at a seminar titled "Population Dynamics: Key for Ensuring Sustainable Development Goals" in Islamabad she said that it was priority of the government to hold census before 2018.  


The Minister said population welfare is one of the top priorities of present government.


She said without investment in human development, economic development is not possible.


She said media should come forward and fulfill its responsibilities towards human development issues.  


She said state media including Radio Pakistan and Pakistan Television had over 90 per cent outreach which could be utilized for creation of awareness among the masses.



In an interview with Radio Pakistan's News and Current Affairs Channel, Marriyum Aurangzeb said the APS tragedy has united the nation and this unity will be used for complete elimination of terrorism from the country.


She said Pakistan has scarified a lot in the war against terrorism and these sacrifices will not go waste. 


Marriyum Aurangzeb said a number of steps have been taken by the government under the NAP to wipe out extremism.


The Minister of State said the provinces have eighty percent role in implementation of the NAP.


She said all the provincial governments should play their due role in implementation of NAP to achieve the desired results.



Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said the people of Pakistan want development and prosperity.


In a statement, he said those political elements indulged in the politics of street agitation and chaos have no concern with the problems and suffering of the general public.


He said these political elements are giving priority to the personal interests over national interests.


Shahbaz Sharif said people will re-elect PML -N in the general elections of 2018 on the basis of its politics of public service.



Interior Ministry has said media reports about the contact between Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and former President Asif Ali Zardari are baseless.


According to an interior ministry spokesman, Chaudhry Nisar had not made any contact with Asif Zardari.


Regarding postponement of the press conference which was scheduled  to be held on Friday, he said the minister was engaged in a meeting at the Prime Minister House.



The Election Commission has issued Code of Conduct for political parties and candidates for elections of Chairmen, Vice Chairmen, Mayors and Deputy Mayors to be held on Tuesday next in Punjab.


The code envisages complete ban on carrying mobile phones inside the premises of polling stations. 


No MNA or MPA will be permitted to visit the premises of polling stations on polling day.



Pakistan has urged New Delhi to come to the dialogue table and show seriousness in resolving the Kashmir issue.     


Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria said this in an interview with Press Trust of India.


He said India is sabotaging efforts to normalize relations with Pakistan and is using flimsiest reasons to avoid talks.     


Nafees Zakaria said India has tried to do everything to sabotage every goodwill gesture Pakistan made towards normalizing relations.  He said every time there is prospect for talks, but New Delhi comes up with a new excuse.


He said India wants to suppress Kashmiris and use Pakistan card and border tension to hide their crimes against humanity in Occupied Kashmir.


He asked India to immediately stop the bloodshed in Kashmir.



India has warned Russia and Iran against political engagement with Taliban in Afghanistan.


Daily The Times of India in its report quoting Indian Minister for External Affairs Spokesman, said that Russia and Iran are trying to change the ground situation in Afghanistan by engaging Taliban politically.


India asked Russia and Iran to respect the internationally agreed red lines.




The United States President Barack Obama has said change in Washington policy toward Taiwan could lead to significant consequences in American relationship with China.


At a news conference in Washington. he said the idea of one China is at the heart of their conception as a nation.


The president said he had advised Trump that foreign policy had to be conducted in a systematic, deliberate and intentional way. 




An emergency meeting of UN Security Council has been called to discuss latest situation in war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo.


France and Germany asked for the meeting, to chalk out strategy on safely evacuating civilians and enabling humanitarian aid into the besieged city.


Meanwhile, outgoing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said U.N is ready to rescue people as possible.




A Chinese warship has seized an underwater drone deployed by a U.S. oceanographic vessel in the South China Sea.


According to Reuters news agency quoting U.S. officials, the drone was lawfully conducting a military survey in the waters of the South China Sea.


Meanwhile, Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis confirmed the incident and said it is ours and we would like this not to happen again.




The United States has doubled its previous reward for information on Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.


In a statement, U.S. State Department's Rewards for Justice program offered twenty-five million US dollars for information to locate the head of IS group.


US has already offered ten million dollars for information on Baghdadi.




On the third day of the first cricket test at Brisbane against Australia, Pakistan in their first inning were 99 for 8 wickets a short while ago. 


Australia in their first inning scored 429 all out. 



All the Motorways and National Highway are opened for traffic as the foggy conditions have subsided.


According to Motorway police, there is light fog on M-1 between Islamabad and Peshawar and visibility is 50 meters while M-2 North Bhera and Shaikhupura is 60 to 40 meters.


However, the roads are open for traffic.




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


While foggy conditions are likely to continue over plain areas of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and upper Sindh during night and morning hours.


Temperature of some major cities recorded this morning:


Islamabad two degree centigrade, Lahore nine, Karachi fifteen, Peshawar five, Quetta one,  Gilgit minus two, Murree zero and Muzaffarabad six degree centigrade.

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