AUGUST 20, 2017


United Nations has called for mobilizing more support from International Community to facilitate Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

Under Preferential Trade Agreement, Indonesia has agreed to give concession on major imports from Pakistan.

Over one hundred twenty-eight thousand Pakistani Hajj pilgrims have arrived in Saudi Arabia under the government and private Hajj schemes.

US Defence Secretary says President Trump has made a decision on strategy for Afghanistan after a rigorous review process.

Syrian President says there will be no security cooperation with Western nations or the reopening of their embassies, until they cut ties with opposition and insurgent groups.

US-backed Iraqi forces have launched a multi-pronged assault to retake the town of Tal Afar, west of Mosul from Islamic State forces.

The 46th martyrdom anniversary of Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas Shaheed was observed with due solemnity today.

Babar Khan from Peshawar won the first Sarfranga cold desert Jeep Rally in Skardu today.


Pakistan continues to host the largest number of refugees in the world.

According to a report of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Pakistan is hosting 1.45 million refugees, nearly all of them from Afghanistan.

The report says Pakistan has generously hosted the world's largest refugee population for three decades and it is essential to mobilise more support from the international community.

It said since March 2002, UNHCR has facilitated the return of approximately four point one million registered Afghans from Pakistan.

Under Preferential Trade Agreement, Indonesia has agreed to give concession on major imports from Pakistan including rice, textile, ethanol, Kinnow and mangoes.

This was stated by a senior official of the Ministry of Commerce in Islamabad today.

He said the agreement was reached during bilateral negotiation between the two countries under the Preferential Trade Agreement.

The official said both sides discussed twenty tariff lines and they agreed on concession for twenty different items.

He said the current annual trade volume between the two countries is one hundred seventy million dollars, which is expected to increase after renegotiation on Preferential Trade Agreement.

The Government has taken a number of steps to enhance the country's exports.

According to official sources, over six billion rupees have been allocated in the current financial year to facilitate exporters under the Textile Policy 2014-2019.

Efforts are also being undertaken to get access for Pakistani products in the potential markets.

A joint research study is also underway to assess the potential for a preferential trade arrangement with Korea.

Various export promotional activities, like trade exhibitions, are organized by Trade Development Authority of Pakistan to promote exports to new markets.

The sales tax zero-rating regime for five export oriented sectors, including textile, leather, carpets, surgical and sports goods has been introduced.

National Tariff Commission Act has been revamped to counter the import surge through unfair trade and strengthen trade defence mechanisms.

The federal government has approved a water supply project for Thar Coal Field at a cost of over twelve point seven billion rupees.

A spokesman of Sindh government told Radio Pakistan Hyderabad's correspondent Tariq Mehmood that under the scheme a water channel will be constructed from Left Bank Out Fall Drain to Nabi Sar in Tharparker district.

He said the water through this channel will be utilized for six hundred megawatt power generation plants based in Thar Coal field area.

The spokesman said Sindh government has also finalized re-settlement framework for rehabilitation of affectees of Thar Coal Power Projects and six hundred seventy million rupees have been allocated for this purpose.

Former Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said operation against terrorists has entered into final stage and we will have to counter the terrorists with perseverance.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad today, he said the backbone of terrorists has been broken.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said due to this successful operation, the graph of terrorism has come down and there is no network of terrorists on the ground.

He said that billions of rupees are being spent on fencing of Pak-Afghan border to check the flow of terrorists into the country.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that during his tenure, he cancelled ninety-eight million mobile SIMs, cancelled thirty-two thousand Passports issued to foreigners besides two thousand diplomatic Passports.

He said that there is no civil-military conflict and the military has been extending support to the Interior Ministry.

Federal Minister, Mumtaz Ahmad Tarar says the government is striving hard to completely eliminate load shedding by next year.

Talking to journalist at Mandi Bahaudin, he said the government has overcome the issue of terrorism, extremism, poverty and inflation to a great extent.

Chairperson Benazir Income Support Programme Marvi Memon says there is no split in PML-N.

Talking to media persons in Jacobabad today, she said everyone is free to hold independent views within the party.

She said BISP's National Socio-Economic Registry is a national asset that is vital for development planning at all levels for the progress of the country.

The 266th session of the Senate will start at the Parliament House in Islamabad tomorrow at three in the afternoon.

During the session, the house will discuss important national issues besides legislative business.

The National Assembly session will also start at three in the afternoon after two days break.


Over one hundred twenty-eight thousand five hundred Pakistani Hajj pilgrims have arrived in Saudi Arabia under the government and private Hajj schemes.

Our correspondent Zahid Hameed reports from Makkah that these include eighty-four thousand seven hundred ninety-nine under government and forty-three thousand seven hundred thirty-two under private Hajj scheme.

The flight operation will continue till 26th of this month to airlift the remaining pilgrims to the holy land for performance of Hajj.

Over twenty one hundred welfare staff has been engaged by the Ministry of Religious Affairs in Makkah to facilitate the pilgrims.

With surge in the number of pilgrims, the staff deployed at various sections, including medical mission and Moavineen-e-Hujjaj will be increased to over twenty five hundred.

Till date, the medical mission has attended over sixty-four thousand and six hundred outdoor patients. Twenty Pakistani pilgrims have so far died due to natural causes.

Meanwhile, Hajj gift packs were distributed amongst Pakistani pilgrims in Makkah by the Ministry of Religious Affairs as part of efforts to make their stay in Mina, Arafat and Muzdalfa comfortable.

On behalf of the government, Director General Hajj Sajid Yousfani presented the gifts to the pilgrims. Each gift pack comprises a prayer mat, Muzdalfa mat, inflatable pillow and a blanket.

While distributing gifts, the Director General Hajj also inquired from the Hujjaj about the facilities, including those of accommodation, food and transport, made available to them.
The Hujjaj expressed satisfaction on the overall arrangements.

About one million people have witnessed Azadi Train during the last nine days since its launch on twelfth of this month from Peshawar.

This was stated by incharge Azadi Train, Iftikhar Hussain in an exclusive interview with our Radio Pakistan Bahawalpur correspondent Sajjad Parvez.

He said the main aim to ply Azadi Train across the country is to promote the spirit of unity, peace, cohesion and harmony among the people across the country.

He said at each station the Azadi train received rosy welcome and specially got very warm response from the youth who took keen interest in its various galleries depicting different aspects and historical monuments of the country.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif says the government is committed to facilitate the farmers for development of agriculture.

Talking to a group of elected public representatives in Lahore today, he said the issues of poverty and unemployment can be controlled through development of agriculture and livestock sectors.

The chief minister said the government has launched interest free loan program for small farmers.

He said it is the first time in country's history that free loans are being provided to landless farmers.

Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair says economic policies of the Federal Government have given boost to trade, business and economic activities in the country.

Talking to President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry Zubair Tufail in Karachi today, he said the CPEC has made Pakistan as an investment friendly country.

The Governor said the Government’s policies have attracted huge foreign investment, which has not only created new employment opportunities but also helped lower the poverty rate.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah says search operations continue in Karachi to apprehend the criminals and terrorists.

He stated this during his visit to various areas of the city today to review the development work.

The Chief Minister said the criminal activities in the city will be foiled with iron hands.

Under the Prime Minister's Global Sustainable Development Goals, the government will provide natural gas to over one hundred thirty seven villages in Sindh and Balochistan.

Under the project, gas facility will be provided to one hundred nineteen villages in Sindh at a cost of 1.616 billion rupees and eighteen villages in Balochistan at a cost over six hundred thirty million rupees.

Adviser to the Prime Minister Engineer Ameer Muqam says Punjab government has sent health teams to Peshawar for the treatment of dengue patients.

Addressing a news conference in Peshawar today, he said it is our collective responsibility to help our brothers and sisters at this critical juncture irrespective of our political affiliations.

Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Health Minister Khawaja Imran Nazir said Punjab Health Department teams have so far tested eight hundred people in Peshawar for dengue virus.

Khwaja Imran Nazir said effective measures should be adopted on emergency basis to overcome dengue virus from spreading further.

Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak says a combined force of police and army is being constituted to control drug supply into higher educational institutes of the province.

Talking to Director General Anti-Narcotics Force, Major General Mussarat Nawaz Malik in Peshawar today, he said lasting measures are inevitable to protect young generations from the menace of drugs.

Pervez Khattak said the provincial government is taking measures for the rehabilitation of drug addicts in government hospitals.

One child was killed and six others were injured in a mortar shell blast in Peshtakhara area of Peshawar this evening.

According to police, the children were playing with a mortar shell in the fields when it is blasted.

The injured children have been shifted to Khyber Teaching Hospital, Peshawar.

Gilgit-Baltistan government is providing interest-free loans to youths under Chief Minister self employment scheme.

A Gilgit-Baltistan government spokesman said under the scheme, loans have been provided to over fifty thousand youth in ten district of Gilgit Baltistan so far.

Bangladesh has offered twenty-three seats to Pakistani students for MBBS/BDS courses in its government medical colleges on self-finance basis.

These courses are being offered for academic session 2018 under SAARC quota.

The desirous students can submit their applications to National Testing Services by 14th of next month.

The selected students will have to pay tuition fee and other charges.

A three-day anti-polio campaign will be started in four districts of Balochistan tomorrow.

Provincial Chief Coordinator Emergency Operation Centre, Syed Faisal told our Quetta correspondent that nearly eight hundred thousand children up to five year of age will be administered anti-polio vaccinations in Quetta, Pishin, Qilla Abdullah and Mastung during the campaign.

Three thousand eight hundred twenty-four teams have been constituted to administer anti-polio vaccinations to the children.

Tight security arrangements have been made for security of polio teams.


Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister, Raja Farooq Haider Khan says India is conspiring to change demography of Kashmir by allotting property to people who are not residents of the state.

In an interview in Muzaffarabad today, he said this issue coupled with Indian state terrorism in the held valley is being taken up at all international forums.

He reiterated that federal government and people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir will continue to extend moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiris for their just right to self determination.

Raja Farooq Haider said Indian troops are playing with lives of defenceless Kashmiris, detaining Huriyat leaders on baseless allegations and banning political gatherings.

He said the puppet administration is involved in war crimes and gross human rights violations and the Indian troops do not even spare schools, ambulances and civilian population at Line of Control.

In occupied Kashmir, the High Court Bar Association has said that the Kashmir dispute can only be resolved through implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions and holding of unconditional and result-oriented talks among all stakeholders.

This was said by the Association’s executive members during a meeting with an Indian delegation led by former Minister, Yashwant Sinha, at a meeting in Srinagar.

General Secretary of the Association, Bashir Siddique, in a statement, said that the delegation was informed that the Indian army and paramilitary forces have been tasked with killing, blinding and maiming innocent Kashmiris, while National Investigation Agency and Enforcement Directorate have been assigned the job of harassing the people by raiding their houses.

Senior APHC leader and Anjuman Sharie Shian President, Agha Syed Hassan Al-Moosvi Al-Safvi speaking at a party meeting in Srinagar, today, expressed concern over the political victimization of Hurriyat leaders and activists in occupied Kashmir.

Meanwhile, a bullet- riddled body of a college student was recovered in Shopian district, today.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says President Donald Trump has finalized the new US strategy for Afghanistan.

Talking to reporters while on his way to Jordan, he said President will soon announce the strategy.

However, he did not give any detail of the new strategy.

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad says there will be no security cooperation with Western nations nor their embassies will be reopened, until they cut ties with opposition and insurgent groups.

Talking to Syrian diplomats in Damascus, he praised Russia, Iran, China and Lebanon's Hezbollah for supporting his government during the conflict.

He said Syria will look east when it comes to political, economic and cultural relations.

US-backed Iraqi forces have launched a multi-pronged assault to retake the town of Tal Afar, west of Mosul from Islamic State forces.

In a televised speech early today, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called on the militants to “surrender or die.”

Commander of the operation, Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Rasheed Yar Allah, said this afternoon that the forces had recaptured a series of villages east, southwest and northwest of town.

The U.S.-led coalition providing air and other support to the troops praised the Iraqi force described it a “capable, formidable, and increasingly professional force.”

In Lebanon, three soldiers were killed when a mine exploded under their vehicle near the Syrian border today.

The soldiers were en route to participate in an operation to oust Islamic State group militants from north along the Lebanon-Syria border.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet in Russia on Wednesday to discuss "recent development" in Syria .


In Bangladesh, ten persons have been executed for plotting to assassinate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajid.

The men were sentenced to death by firing squad for planting a huge explosive near the venue where Hasina Wajid was scheduled to speak during her first term as prime minister in 2000.

The 46th martyrdom anniversary of Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas Shaheed was observed with due solemnity today.

In this connection, Quran Khwani and fateha Khwani was held at his resting place in Karachi while flowers were also laid on his grave to pay tribute to the brave national hero.

Rashid Minhas was awarded the military's highest honour Nishan-e-Haider posthumously for his bravery. He is the youngest recipient of the honour.

Radio Pakistan will broadcast in its national hookup at 2110 hours a special drama on 'dewar may dard' under the drama series 'khab say tabeer tak' in connection with the "70 years of Independence Celebrations of Pakistan".


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