Text Bulletin 0700 hrs
MAY 19, 2016
The Constitutional amendment bill is being introduced in the National Assembly today to reform election commission.
Prime Minister will perform ground breaking of Pakistan-China Optical Fiber Cable Project in Gilgit today.
Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa says China-Pakistan Economic Corridor can bring greater economic cohesion in South Asian region.
US President and his Turkish counterpart telephonically discussed international efforts to defeat Islamic State militants.
In Libya, eighteen fighters loyal to the unity government have been killed in clashes near Sirte.
The Constitution (Twenty-Second Amendment) Bill is being introduced in the National Assembly today envisaging qualifications and procedure for appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and members of the Election Commission of Pakistan.
The bill has been prepared in the light of deliberations and consensus recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms.
The amendment provides that a retired judge of the Supreme Court or a senior bureaucrat or a technocrat could be considered for appointment as Chief Election Commissioner.
It says in case there is no consensus between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition over appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner, then both of them would send separate lists to the Parliamentary Committee for consideration. The Committee would approve one of them.
The constitutional amendment also envisages a retired judge of the high court or a senior bureaucrat or a technocrat could be considered for appointment as an Election Commission member.
One member of the Commission would be taken from each province. As a onetime exercise two members of the commission shall stand retired after two and a half years while the other two would retire after the next two and a half years.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is visiting Gilgit to perform ground breaking of Pakistan-China Optical Fiber Cable Project today.
This project is a part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Radio Pakistan's Gilgit correspondent reports that Pak- China Optical Fiber Cable project, costing 44 million dollars will be completed in two years.
Special Communication Organization will lay 820 kilometre long cable from Rawalpindi to Khunjarab.
On completion the project will provide an alternate telecommunication route between Pakistan and China.
The Prime Minister will also administer oath of the newly elected members of Gilgit Baltistan Council.
Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar in a meeting reviewed proposals on bringing about improvement and changes in the laws regulating the inflow and outflow of foreign exchange in the country.
State Bank of Pakistan, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and Federal Board of Revenue submitted reports, in the context of Finance Minister's instructions given earlier to plug loopholes in the system.
The minister said the present government had the resolve to regulate the foreign exchange inflow and outflow in the country as well as to have effective law regarding disclosure of assets held abroad by Pakistanis.
Minister for Finance Muhammad Ishaq Dar says matter of inclusion of MQM representative in Parliamentary committee would be resolved soon.
In an interview, he said no member from MQM is included in six members list for the said committee by the opposition but the government have contacted them to sort out the matter.
The minister said it is a good opportunity to investigate the allegations of corruption through the proposed commission.
Minister for Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastgir says the parliamentary committee constituted to formulate Terms of Reference for the judicial commission would yield positive.
In an interview, he said the opposition should have trust in the Parliament and give it a chance to resolve the issue of Panama Papers in a democratic way.
Spokesman to the Prime Minister, Dr Musadik Malik said if someone had evidences against the Prime Minister regarding the Panama Papers, he should go to the Supreme Court.
He said opposition is least interested in the formation of commission after the revelation of offshore companies of some opposition members in Panama Papers.
Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak has said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has the potential to radically alter the regional dynamics of trade, development and can bring greater economic cohesion in South Asian region.
He was addressing at policy dialogue on energy in context with CPEC in Peshawar.
The Chief Minister informed that CPEC is a national project that involved the whole of Pakistan for the benefit of all the people of Pakistan without exception.
Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri says various development projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor are underway in the province that would help bring progress and prosperity there.
Talking to Pakistan Television, he said Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif believes in serving the masses.
Zehri said politics of confrontation should be abandoned because it could harm the democratic process in the country.
He said a special financial package would be announced in upcoming budget 2016-17 for the earthquake victims of Awaran district.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi says the government of Pakistan's domestic and external foreign policy contours are embedded in the objectives of maintaining peace, security, social cohesion and economic prosperity.
He was addressing Geneva Center for Security Policy, a leading think-tank, on the topic 'security dimensions of Pakistan' Foreign Policy and the regional context.
He also called on secretary general of the International Telecommunications Union Houlin Zhao and expressed satisfaction with the ongoing close cooperation between ITU and Pakistan.
Zhao assured ITU's support and assistance to Pakistan in the telecom and ICT sectors.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister also called on President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Peter Maurer.
ICRC President appreciated Pakistan's humanitarian experience and expertise and its leadership.
In Occupied Kashmir, veteran Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Gilani has demanded investigation into the molestation of Handwara girl by an Indian army soldier through an impartial commission.
In a statement in Srinagar, he demanded immediate action against high officials of Indian army and police involved in the crime.
Meanwhile, the Secretary General of All Parties Hurriyet Conference, Shabbir Ahmad Shah has reiterated the Kashmiris’ pledge to take the martyrs’ mission to its logical conclusion.
US President Barack Obama and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan telephonically discussed the war in Syria and international efforts to defeat Islamic State militants.
The White House in a statement said President Obama stressed the importance of international cooperation to maintain the cessation of hostilities in Syria and to make progress on a negotiated political transition in the country.
The two leaders also agreed on the urgency of continued efforts to defeat Islamic State and to disrupt the militant group's capacity to conduct attacks in Turkey, Europe and elsewhere.
A B-52 bomber crashed this morning at Andersen Air Force Base in the U.S. territory of Guam.
All seven air crew members left the aircraft safely and no injuries have been reported.
In Iraq, nine soldiers have been killed and nine others wounded in an explosion during a raid of Islamic State militants south of Baghdad.
The army unit was responding to intelligence on a possible meeting of militant leaders at the house in Latifiya.
Iraq's military is waging a counter-offensive against Islamic State, which seized around a third of the country's territory in the north and west in 2014.
In Libya, eighteen fighters loyal to the unity government have been killed in latest clashes near the Islamic State militants’ stronghold of Sirte.
The army in a statement said seven died in a car bomb attack in Buairat el-Hassun, 60 kilometres west of Sirte, while the others were killed in an IS foray in Abu Grein area.
Five persons have been killed when a car plunged into a ravine at Maidan of Lower Dir district.
The car was on its way from Kambar to Nanbati.
Mainly hot and dry weather is expected in most parts of the country today, whereas severe heat-wave conditions would continue over plain areas of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan.
Temperature of some major cities recorded this morning: Islamabad twenty-one degree centigrade, Lahore thirty-one, Karachi thirty, Peshawar twenty-eight, Muzaffarabad twenty, Quetta and Murree nineteen and Gilgit eighteen degree centigrade.