DATE: 19-05-2016                             


Prime Minister says government has achieved significant success in steering the country out of challenges.


National Assembly unanimously passed 22nd Constitutional Amendment Bill on Thursday aimed at reforming the Election Commission.


Senate has been informed that Pakistan will upgrade its defence capabilities without entering arms race.


Pakistan says it has informed the international community about its concerns on Indian ambitious missile programme.


Pakistan and Sudan have reaffirmed their commitment to continue work for further intensifying cooperation in diverse fields.


Pakistan and the United States have discussed regional security situation with particular reference to Afghanistan.   


Hurriyet leaders say only Kashmiris have the authority to decide about their political future.


Sixty-six people were killed when an Egyptian plane crashed in Mediterranean sea on Thursday.





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 to address the issue of extremism by creating job opportunities for 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 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 of Optical Fiber like projects.


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.                  



During the visit, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif also launched website for Diamer Bhasha Dam.                   



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 start very soon. He said that a hydel project will also be installed at Attabad lake, which will help produce twenty seven megawatt of electricity.  



Radio Pakistan in its national hook up immediate after Khabarnama will broadcast a special report in connection with Prime Minister's visit to Gilgit.                     



The construction of Nawaz Sharif Kidney Hospital in Swat has been completed.


Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is expected to inaugurate it on Friday and address a public meeting.


It has been completed at a cost of about six hundred million rupees.


The Hospital is the first of its kind in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.


It is a gift of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for the people of Swat and its surrounding districts.                   



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 states that 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.                  



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 submit its report to Parliament within two weeks.


The House will now meet on Friday morning at 10:30.            



Pakistan has expressed serious concern over nuclearization of Indian Ocean by India and declared that it will take all necessary measures to augment its defence capabilities.


Making a statement in the Senate on Thursday, Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan is not oblivious to its defence needs and would upgrade its defence capabilities through suitable technologies without entering into arms race.


Referring to India's recent interceptor missile test and submarine-launched K-4 nuclear capable missile test, the Advisor said these developments are part of a massive conventional, nuclear and missile development programme pursued by India, leading to nuclearization of Indian Ocean.


He pointed out that introduction of these systems in Indian Ocean will not only upset strategic balance in South Asia but also affect maritime security of all 32 littoral states around Indian Ocean. He said this is contrary to the policy of peaceful and friendly neighbourhood, which Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has espoused.


He said Pakistan has developed a robust nuclear deterrence which is constantly being updated.


The Advisor said there is a proposal to move a resolution in the next session of the General Assembly in September this year to declare Indian Ocean as Nuclear Free Zone.  Pakistan will approach all the 32 littoral states to co-sponsor this resolution. Pakistan will also be taking up this issue with all major powers bilaterally and multilaterally.


In his remarks, the Chairman Senate referred to remarks of the US State Department spokesman claiming that the US approves all the operations of F-16s in Pakistan and said we take strong exception to this statement as Pakistan is a sovereign country.


The Chairman said the United States has no business to interference in internal and national security matters of Pakistan.


The Advisor said the issue would be taken up with the United States and reservations of the Chairman conveyed.                        



Chairman Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms Ishaq Dar laid before the house the interim report of the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms.


He also briefed the house about salient features of Constitution 22nd Amendment Bill that was adopted by the lower house on Thursday.


Responding to a calling attention notice by Mian Ateeq Shaikh, Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir said cotton production suffered not only in Pakistan but in other parts of the globe as well due to abnormal weather conditions.                               



The house held debate on an adjournment motion moved by Azam Khan Swati about lack of oversight to protect the interest of wheat growers who are forced to sell their wheat crop on less than support price.


The members pointed out that the problem arose because support price of wheat in Pakistan is much higher than its price in the international market.


Winding up debate, Minister for National Food Security Sikandar Bosan said there is need to fix minimum support price of wheat as per pricing trend in the international market.                    



The Senate has adopted a resolution urging the Federal Government to comply with the constitutional provisions concerning regular holding of meetings of Council of Common Interests and establishment of its permanent secretariat.


The resolution was jointly sponsored by Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq and Leader of the Opposition Aitzaz Ahsan.


It asked the Government to hold next census as soon as possible but well before the next general elections.                       



The House will now meet on Friday morning at ten.



Pakistan says it has taken all necessary measures to complete China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project successfully.


This was stated by the Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria at the weekly briefing in Islamabad on Thursday.


He said CPEC is a development and connectivity project meant for the welfare of the entire region.


The spokesman said normalization of relations between Pakistan and India would require sincere efforts, good faith and commitment from both the countries.


He said we have already conveyed that the dialogue process will not be a concession from one side to the other.


Replying to a question, the spokesman said Pakistan has serious concerns at the Indian interceptor missile test and will take all actions to augment its defense capability.


He said Indian action has upset balance of power in the region and Pakistan has informed the international community about its concerns on the Indian ambitious missile programme.


He said Pakistan was not oblivious to its defense needs and we will be compelled to upgrade our defense capabilities.


He said we reserve the right to maintain effective deterrence and Pakistan 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.                     



Prime Minister's Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz says Pakistan is pursuing ‘Look Africa’ policy to strengthen its relations with African countries.


He said this while talking to Sudanese Ambassador Abdul Ghani Enaim on the conclusion of 4th round of Bilateral Political Consultations between Pakistan and Sudan in Islamabad on Thursday.


Sartaj Aziz said the look Africa policy envisions strong close and cooperative relations by enhancing trade, investment and defence cooperation, establishing joint ventures and public-private partnership.                  



Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan says sovereign and peaceful Afghanistan is imperative not only for Pakistan but the entire 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.


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.                                   



US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson also called on Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.


On the occasion, Finance Minister said US Exim Bank's planned financing for 3,600 megawatts of LNG based power projects would open new avenues of bilateral cooperation.


Richard Olson informed the Minister about the preparations for US-Pak Business Opportunities Conference to be held in New York on 3rd of the next month.   



 The visiting US special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard G. Olson also called on Army Chief General Raheel Sharif in Rawalpindi on Thursday.


They discussed overall regional security situation with particular reference to Afghanistan.


The Ambassador also appreciated Pakistan's efforts in fight against terrorism.                          



Japan will provide about 59 million dollars as soft loan to Pakistan for eradication of polio.


A Memorandum of Understanding to this effect was signed between Pakistan and the Japan International Cooperation Agency in Islamabad on Thursday evening.


Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan and representative of JICA were also present on the occasion.


Ishaq Dar greatly appreciated Japan's assistance to Pakistan in its efforts to eradicate polio from the country.


Japanese Ambassador also commended Pakistan’s efforts to eliminate the disease from the country.



Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif says protection of small farmers is top priority of the government.


He was addressing a meeting in Lahore on Thursday that reviewed wheat purchasing campaign.


The Chief Minister said all possible facilities will be provided to the farmers in wheat purchasing campaign. 



Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri has said several development projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would help to bring progress and prosperity in the province.


In an interview, he said Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif believes in serving the masses and the incumbent government has put the country on the track of development.


The Chief Minister said politics of confrontation should be abandoned because it could harm the democratic process in the country.                             



Chairman NAB Qamar Zaman Chaudhry has reiterated his resolve to continue the policy of zero tolerance against corruption within department.


He said this while chairing a meeting in Islamabad on Thursday.


The meeting was informed that NAB initiated disciplinary proceedings against its 83 officials during the last two and half years, out of which 60 cases have been finalized.                 



Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid has said Imran Khan is creating history by holding most unsuccessful and failed public rallies.


In a statement, he said empty chairs and empty meetings are the hallmark of Imran Khan's rallies.



Awami National Party has announced to join any movement against the government of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.


Addressing a news conference in Mardan on Thursday afternoon, Central President of Awami National Party Asfandyar Wali Khan said the Prime Minister can’t be held responsible for the off shore companies of his sons.


He said PTI Chairman Imran Khan is doing politics on Panama papers to gain power.


Asfandyar Wali Khan said Imran Khan has deceived the nation about his off-shore company.                  



National Security Adviser Nasir Janjua has said establishment of peace in Afghanistan is collective responsibility of the international community. 


Addressing a conference in Islamabad on Thursday, he said Pakistan wants peace and stability in Afghanistan.


He said Pakistan stands with world for stability of the Afghanistan.                    



Commander of Peoples Liberation Army of China Navy Admiral Wu Shengli was conferred with Pakistan’s highest Military Award Nishan-e-Imtiaz Military during an impressive ceremony in Karachi on Thursday.


The award was conferred by Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch. Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah was also present on the occasion.                   



Veteran Hurriyet leader Syed Ali Gilani and Chairperson of Dukhtaran-e-Millat Aasiya Andrabi have said India’s proposed illegal draft bill that imposes heavy fines and imprisonment for not showing Kashmir as part of its map cannot deter the Kashmiri people from continuing their liberation struggle.


In a statement, Syed Ali Gilani said Jammu and Kashmir is not property of anybody rather it belongs to the Kashmiris and only they have the authority to decide about its political future.


In her statement, Aasiya Andrabi appreciated the letter sent by the Pakistan Foreign Office to the UN in which it has said that the proposed draft map bill by India was in violation of the UN resolutions on Kashmir and against the international law.                         



In Afghanistan, nine Afghan policemen were killed by a colleague who turned his gun on them at a checkpoint in Zabul province on Thursday.                     



Meanwhile, nine people were killed and two others injured when an Azerbaijan cargo plane crashed in Helmand province on Thursday.                                   



Syrian government forces and its allies have seized a strategic town of Deir al-Asafir from militants.


According to a report, after heavy fighting rebels were being driven out of the town.



An Egypt Air flight crashed into the Mediterranean sea on Thursday and killed all sixty-six people on board.


The plane was on its way from Paris to Cairo.


There were no immediate reports of the discovery of any debris in sea between the Greek islands and the Egyptian coast where the plane vanished from radar screens.


French President Francois Hollande confirmed that the plane had crashed.            



In Iraq, military says it has retaken the remote western town of Rutba from so-called Islamic State.


In a statement, it said the west of Baghdad had been completely liberated and forces had raised flags above some buildings.                     



Russia will deliver several divisions of its S-300 air defense missile system to Iran by the end of this year.


This has been stated by Russian Presidential Aide Vladimir Rozin while talking to media in Moscow.                      



In Russia, six military officers were killed and sixteen wounded when their bus fell into a deep ravine in South Ossetia on Thursday.

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