August 20, 2017


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.


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


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.

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.

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.

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.

Minister for Human Rights, Mumtaz Ahmad Tarar says the government is striving hard to completely eliminate loadshedding 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.

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.

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.

Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat visited the Headquarters of National Engineering and Scientific Commission in Islamabad today.

He was briefed about different projects of NESCOM.

General Zubair Mahmood Hayat appreciated the services and expertise of NESCOM engineers and scientists.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Babar Khan won the first Sarfranga cold desert Jeep Rally in Shigar, Skardu today.
More than eighty drivers including renowned Pakistani jeep racers Nadir Magsi, Sahibzada Sultan, Sunail Munjj participated in the rally.

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.


Mainly hot and humid weather is expected in most part of the country during the next twelve hours.

However, rain-thunderstorm with gusty winds is expected at isolated places in Rawalpindi, Islamabad, upper Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, lower Sindh, Gujranwala, Lahore, Sargodha divisions, FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir.


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