Text Bulletin 1500 hrs
Prime Minister performed ground-breaking of Pakistan-China Optical Fiber Cable Project in Gilgit on Thursday.
The National Assembly has unanimously passed 22nd Constitutional Amendment Bill.
Pakistan has expressed serious concern over India's ambitious missile programme and says it reserves right to maintain an effective deterrence.
Interior Minister says sovereign and peaceful Afghanistan is imperative for the region.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says China Pakistan Economic Corridor project will put the country on the path of sustainable development.
He was addressing ground-breaking ceremony of Pakistan-China Optical Fiber Cable project in Gilgit on Thursday.
The Prime Minister said the mega project will not only bring economic benefits to the people, but also help address the issue of extremism by creating job opportunities to the youth.
Nawaz Sharif said the federal government is determined to steer the country out of all challenges and has also achieved significant success in this regard.
He said Pakistan-China Optical Fiber cable project will be a milestone in the development of IT and telecom services.
The Prime Minister said the project will bring 3-G and 4-G services to Gilgit Baltistan. He said Gilgit-Baltistan will soon emerge as the most developed area with the launching Optical Fiber like projects.
He said a network of road is being developed in Balochistan which will link the province with the rest of the country.
The Prime Minister directed the authorities concerned to expand the network of Pakistan-China Optical fiber cable project to Gwadar and other areas of the country.
He also announced the construction of a technical training institute in Gilgit to equip youth of the area with the modern technical education.
Earlier, the Prime Minister inaugurated Gilgit Baltistan CPEC Patrolling Police in Gilgit.
The patrolling force, comprising three hundred personnel, will help ensure safe and smooth flow of traffic on the 439 kilometer long chunk of the corridor project in Gilgit Baltistan.
China has gifted twenty-five vehicles for the patrolling police.
Later, addressing a ceremony after administering oath to newly elected members of Gilgit-Baltistan Council, the Prime Minister said construction work on Diamer Basha Dam will soon be started to meet the growing energy requirements of the country.
He said the federal government has approved one hundred and five billion rupees for the acquisition of land for the dam.
Nawaz Sharif said work on Dasu will also be started very soon. He said that a hydel project will also be installed at Attabad lake which will help produce twenty seven megawatt of electricity.
The Prime Minister said he desires manifold increase in the development budget of Gilgit Baltistan in order to bring it at par with other areas of the country.
The National Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed "The Constitution (Twenty-second Amendment) Bill, 2016".
It was moved by Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid.
The bill envisages qualifications and procedure for appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and members of the Election Commission of Pakistan.
The bill said 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.
Two hundred thirty-six members cast their votes in favour of the bill and none against.
Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid and Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar said it is historic occasion that the 22nd Amendment Constitution was passed unanimously.
They congratulated all the parties and members of the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms for creating consensus and passing the bill.
Zahid Hamid said electoral laws will soon be finalized by committee.
The National Assembly on Thursday adopted a motion authorizing the Speaker to constitute a Parliamentary Committee to prepare Terms of Reference to probe Panama Papers issue in consultation with Chairman Senate, Leader of the Opposition and leaders of the parliamentary parties.
The motion was moved by Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid.
The motion said the committee will consider various options to inquire important issues raised in controversy over Panama Papers, media reports about offshore companies, transfer of funds from Pakistan originating from corruption, commissions, kickback and written off bank loans.
The committee will formulate the TORs and determine the timeline for submission of the report.
The committee will include six nominees from of the government and six from the opposition in both Houses of the Parliament.
The committee will submit its report to Parliament within two weeks.
Earlier, the House suspended the question hour to take up legislative business.
The House through a motion suspended the MNA Chaudhry Asad-ur-Rehman for the remainder of the session for misbehaving with the officers of National Assembly, disregarding authority of the Speaker and wilfully obstructing business of the House.
The House will now meet on Friday morning at 10:30.
Pakistan says India's interceptor missile test has upset balance of power in the region.
This was stated by the Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria in the weekly briefing in Islamabad on Thursday.
He said that Pakistan has conveyed its concerns to the United States and members of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva about Indian ambitious missile programme.
The spokesperson said Islamabad has serious concerns at the Indian interceptor missile test and will take all actions to augment its defense capability.
He said Pakistan is not oblivious to its defence needs. He said Islamabad reserves the right to maintain effective deterrence and is ready to defend its borders and people.
The spokesman said in discriminatory action is being taken against all the militant groups and Quadrilateral Coordination Group has acknowledged Pakistan's sincere efforts for peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
He said QCG is trying to bring all the Afghan groups to the negotiating table.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan says sovereign and peaceful Afghanistan is imperative not only for Pakistan but the whole region.
He was talking to US permanent representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson in Islamabad on Thursday.
The Minister said dialogue is the only solution to Afghan issue. He said Pakistan has concerns on stoppage of funds for F-16s.
Ch Nisar said Pakistan desires to expand relations with the United States on the basis of mutual respect.
Richard Olson said the United States values Pakistan's contribution to peace and stability in the region. He said his country values its relations with Pakistan and wants to further expand them.
Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousaf says a committee has been constituted to evolve consensus on celebrating Eid on the same day.
He was addressing awards distribution ceremony of 32nd National Hifz-o-Qirat competition in Islamabad on Thursday.
The minister said the committee would meet before Ramadan to discuss the way forward.
Chairman of All Parties Hurriyet Conference, Syed Ali Gilani says Indian policymakers have created a do or die situation for the Kashmiris.
He said this in a meeting with Muhammad Yasin Malik in Srinagar.
Both the leaders observed that the policy makers of India want to change the demography of Jammu and Kashmir.
Hot and dry weather continues to persist in most parts of the country.