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Headlines 1500 hrs

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Prominent foreign companies have reposed confidence in safe and secure working environment in Pakistan. 

 

Finance Minister has invited opposition to join government in strengthening national economy. 

 

The Senate has been informed that next NFC Award will be announced within six months.

 

Minister of State for Information says neither PTI nor Jamaat-e-Islami could produce any evidence in Panama Papers case.

 

UK parliamentarians have called for giving right to self-determination to people of Occupied Kashmir.

 

Donald Trump will be sworn in as US President today.

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PM-ABRAAJ

Senior Executives of leading international companies term Pakistan as one of the most investment friendly countries in the world.

They were speaking at a dinner hosted by Abraaj Group of UAE at Davos, which was attended by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif as chief guest.

It was attended by Senior Executives of leading international companies including City Bank, Unilever, McKinsey and others.

Senior Executives candidly spoke about the change brought by the present government in ease of doing business in Pakistan.

They attributed the growing stock market to the investor friendly policies of the present government and significant improvement in infrastructure of Pakistan.

They also counted stability of democratic government as one of the most important reasons for the growing economy of Pakistan. 

The Executives clarified that companies working in Pakistan enjoy a safe and secure working environment as opposed to the image being held abroad. 

 

STOCK EXCHANGE

Pakistan Stock Exchange and Shanghai Consortium of China on Friday signed a 40 percent share purchase agreement in Karachi on Friday.

Addressing the signing ceremony, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said it is a historic occasion as the Chinese Consortium will bring their expertise to Pakistan Stock Exchange.

He said Pakistan Stock Exchange has acquired the status of one of the fastest growing stock exchanges in the region. The international organizations have acknowledged the economic progress in Pakistan.

Ishaq Dar said Pakistan Stock Exchange has already crossed 50,000 points for the first time in the country's history, which is a historic achievement.

He said the current foreign exchange reserves of the country are equivalent to five-month imports bill.

Ishaq Dar invited the opposition parties to join hands with the government for strengthening national economy. 

Speaking on the occasion, Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong congratulated Pakistani investors on the agreement and hoped this usher in a new era of stock exchange business in Pakistan.

 

SENATE-MOTION

The Senate on Friday held discussion on the 2nd Biannual Monitoring report on Implementation of National Finance Commission Award moved by Minister of State for Education Baligh ur Rehman.

Taking part in the discussion, the members demanded early finalization of the next National Finance Commission Award for better distribution of resources among the provinces.

They said along with population, backwardness should also be kept in view while distributing resources to the provinces. They demanded increase in resources for provinces.

Those who took part in the discussion included Azam Swati, Mohsin Leghari, Saleem Mandviwala, Usman Khan Kakar, Jahanzeb Jamaldini and Taj Haider.

Winding up discussion, Baligh ur Rehman expressed the confidence that the next NFC Award will be announced in three to six months in consultation with the provinces.

He said for NFC Award, population census is very important, and it is being conducted this year.

He pointed out that the funds from the Federal Divisible Pool are being transferred to the provinces twice in a month according to their shares.

Baligh ur Rehman appreciated the proposals for establishing provincial NFC Award for equal development of different districts.

The Minister of State said as a result of measures taken by the government tax to GDP ratio has improved and revenue collection increased.

The House has now been prorogued.

 

IRFAN

Advisor to Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage Irfan Siddiqui says significant measures have been taken for preservation of Islamic civilization. 

He said this during a visit to Pakistan National Council of Arts in Islamabad on Friday to review the arrangements made for three-day National Calligraphy Exhibition from Tuesday next.

More than one hundred artefacts by over fifty calligraphers will be displayed in the Exhibition.

 

PIA

PIA becomes the first Pakistani airline to fly Boeing 737-800 aircraft.  

The aircraft will begin operation from on Friday with six flights, including four between Karachi and Lahore and one flight each between Karachi-Multan-Islamabad and Islamabad-Karachi.

Boeing 737-800 aircraft have a capacity of carrying one hundred and eighty nine passengers in all-economy configuration.

Two aircraft were obtained by PIA on wet lease for a period of three months from a Turkish operator earlier this week.

According to PIA spokesman, two more similar aircraft are expected to join the national flag carrier`s fleet in the coming weeks.

 

HEARING

A five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa on Friday adjourned the hearing of Panama Papers case till Monday.

Jamaat-e-Islami's Counsel Taufiq Asif started his arguments on Friday.

When the counsel referred the bench to Article 248 of the constitution, the bench said the Prime Minister has not sought immunity under the article.

In his remarks, Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh said the case cannot built on mere assumptions and presumptions. He asked the counsel of Jamaat-e-Islami to present evidence in support of his allegations.

AURANGZEB

Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb says no petitioner could so far produce any evidence before the Supreme Court to prove his allegations against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Panama Papers Case.

Talking to newsmen outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad on Friday, she said Jamaat-e-Islami and PTI are accusing Nawaz Sharif for money laundering and tax evasion, but they have not yet produced any evidence in this regard.

The State Minister said a case in the Supreme Court cannot be won by leveling mere allegations and on wishes of some individuals.

 

CJ

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar has taken notice of alleged rape and torture of six-year-old girl “Tooba” in Karachi.

The Chief Justice has directed Inspector General Police of Sindh to submit report about the incident within 48 hours.

 

SEMINAR

A seminar on "China Pakistan Economic Corridor," was held by Pakistan High Commission in Nanyang, Singapore on Friday.

Speaking on the event, High Commissioner Nasrullah Khan said CPEC will not only strengthen bilateral economic relations but also give boost to defence, culture and people to people relations between the two brotherly nations.

He said the mega project will bring prosperity to the people of four regions-China, South Asia, Central Asia and Middle East. 

PAL-JAPAN

Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan Takashi Kuari has said that the bilateral relations between the two countries are exemplary and would further strengthen in the days to come.

Addressing at a function in Islamabad, he highlighted the long history of bilateral friendship in diverse fields.

The Ambassador said efforts are being made to enhance people-to-people contacts between the two nations.

 

UNIVERSITY

1st anniversary of terrorists attack on Bacha Khan University Charsadda is being observed on Friday.

Speakers addressing a function at university premises in Charsadda paid rich tributes to martyred students and teachers of the university.

Quran Khawani was also offered for the departed souls.

 

UK-MPs

Members of UK Parliament have demanded that the people of Jammu and Kashmir must be given the right to self-determination to enable them to decide their future by themselves.

MPs, David Nuttall and Philip Davies during a debate on Kashmir in London said that the Kashmiris should be afforded the same right to self-determination as was given to the British people in the form of the Brexit vote.

Conservative MP, Steve Baker said the conflict is a legacy of the British Empire and the government should acknowledge historic responsibility and do more to help resolve it.

Speaking on the occasion, British Foreign Office Minister, Alok Sharma adopted the traditional callous approach of the British government on the Kashmir dispute and ruled out any active role in its settlement.

 

US-PRESIDENT

Donald Trump will take oath of his office as 45th President of the United States in Washington on Friday.

He will replace Barack Obama in the White House.

Trump won the general election on November 8, last year against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump has nominated all 21 members of his cabinet.


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