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Headlines 2000 hrs

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Finance Minister says international organizations have acknowledged economic progress made by Pakistan during the tenure of present government. 

 

Shanghai Consortium today purchased forty per cent share of Pakistan Stock Exchange.

 

The government plans to announce NFC award in consultation with provinces within three to six months.

 

Army Chief has reassured Pakistan's commitment to the defence of Saudi Arabia. 

 

Pakistan and Malaysia have agreed to further deepen cooperation in diverse fields.

 

AJK government has announced a health package to provide better healthcare facilities to the people.

 

In occupied Kashmir, complete shutdown and anti-India demonstrations were witnessed on the occasion of Youm-e-Mazahmat today.

 

Donald Trump is being sworn in as US President tonight.

 

Denmark has extended the mandate of its special forces in Iraq allowing them to fight militant groups. 

 

 

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DAR-EXCHANGE

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said Pakistan Stock Exchange has acquired the status of one of the fastest growing stock exchanges in the region.

He was addressing the signing ceremony of Pakistan Stock Exchange and Shanghai Consortium of China in Karachi.

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.       

He said international organizations have acknowledged the economic progress in Pakistan.

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

Shanghai Consortium of China purchased forty percent share of Pakistan Stock Exchange.

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

The finance minister reaffirmed the government's commitment to get the proposed law against corruption passed through the Parliament.

Ishaq Dar said Pakistani citizens, under the proposed law would have to declare their assets held abroad and it would be very effective to check money laundering in future.

The finance minister asserted that the government is determined to put the things in the right direction within legal framework.

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

 

Senate was informed on Friday that the government is ensuring proper supply of quality medicines in the country.

Minister of State for Education Baligh ur Rehman told the House during Question Hour that a number of drug licenses were suspended and fine imposed last year for manufacturing substandard medicines.

He said prices of medicines are increased as per provisions of the Drug Pricing Policy, 2015.

Answering a question, the Minister of State informed the House that the government is given attention to education in backward areas, particularly Balochistan. Prime Minister's Fee Reimbursement Programme is being implemented in the far-flung areas.

Baligh ur Rehman said National Vocational and Technical Training Commission is modifying its vocational training programme in the wake of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

He said less-developed areas, including Sindh, southern Punjab, Balochistan, FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan and some districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are being given importance in this programme.

 

SENATE-II

Replying to a question, Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch informed the House that there are more than 2.6 million Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia.

He pointed out that total number of Pakistani workers affected in the recent incidents of default of some Saudi companies was eight thousand.

He said the matter was taken up at the highest level of Saudi Government and workers have been assisted in filing civil suits for recovery of outstanding dues from defaulted companies.

The Minister said the Pakistani mission in Saudi Arabia facilitated 2200 workers to transfer employment to other companies. Around 3200 workers who wanted final exit were assisted by the mission for early return to Pakistan, free of cost.

He said the government distributed 500 million rupees to around 5500 affected workers who would not get salaries for months from their companies

 

SENATE-MOTION

Later, the House 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, 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 among 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, Minister of State for Education 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.

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.

 

COMMITTEE

 

National Assembly Standing Committees on Foreign Affairs and Water and Power has passed a unanimous resolution demanding the government to ask World Bank to constitute a Court of Arbitration to adjudicate on issues raised by Pakistan against India's ongoing construction of Kishan Ganga and Ratle Hydro-Electric plants without further delay.

The meeting of the Committees held in Islamabad on Friday was Co-Chaired by MNAs Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari and Muhammad Arshad Khan Leghari.

The committees also demanded the government to ask India for an immediate halt to ongoing construction of Ratle Dam till the issue is resolved.

The Committees were briefed on the agenda "Indian threat on Indus Waters Treaty and to chart out a course of action for Pakistan".

 

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 cited Article-248 of the constitution, the bench said the Prime Minister has not sought immunity under the said article.

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

 

BISP-IRFAN

Advisor to Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage Irfan Siddiqui has said that Benazir Income Support Programme is playing a commendable role in overcoming poverty from the country.

Addressing the launching ceremony of BISP website in Islamabad on Friday, he appreciated BISP for making all impact evaluation reports of the programme available online.

 Speaking on the occasion, Chairperson BISP Marvi Memon said the government believes in Right to Information as each and every detail is present on the website for public scrutiny and valuable feedback.

 She said the redesigned website offers quick and easy access to essential information regarding BISP.

 

SHAHBAZ

 

Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif says the government is taking all measures to promote education and information technology in the province.

He was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of Lincoln's Corner, set-up under the aegis of the US Consulate in Lahore on Friday.

The Chief Minister appreciated this step of the US Consulate and expressed hope that it will benefit all segments of society, especially students and researchers.

The corner has been setup to provide access to American libraries database as well as opportunities to learn and improve English.

 

GOVERNOR

 

Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar Jhagra has said that peace has been restored in FATA due to sacrifices of security forces and tribal people.

 

He was talking to a delegation of South Waziristan Agency led by MNA Jamal-ud-Din in Peshawar on Friday.

He said rehabilitation of infrastructure and developmental works have been started after TDPs return. 

The delegation welcomed the steps being taken by the government to introduce reforms according to their wishes and bringing the tribal people in the national mainstream.

The governor assured them for early solution of their problems.

 

ZEHRI

 

Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri has said that war on terror will be continued till elimination of the last terrorist.

He was addressing a high level meeting to review the law and order situation in the province in Quetta.

He urged law enforcement agencies to ensure complete restoration of peace.

Nawab Zehri said that the target killing of innocent civilians and police personnel would not be tolerated at any cost.

 

PRC

Pakistan Red Crescent Balochistan and Provincial Disaster Management Authority dropped edible items and other essential commodities to the people stranded in Kalat and Mastung areas in recent snowfall and rains.

Secretary Red Crescent Society Balochistan Chapter Dr Imran Khan said efforts are being made to provide relief assistance to the affected people on war footings.

He lauded the Aviation wing of Pak Army for providing helicopters for timely distribution of edible items among the people.

 

RELIEF

Pakistan Army Aviation provided two MI-17 helicopters on the request of Government of Balochistan for relief operation in snow hit areas of Kalat Division.

COAS-KSA

Ambassador of Saudi Arabia Abdullah Marzouk Al-Zahrani called on Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Rawalpindi on Friday.  

They discussed bilateral relations, including defence and training cooperation in various fields. 

The Army Chief reassured the Ambassador that Pakistan holds the defence of Saudi Arabia at par with its own.

 

CJCSC-ALI

Ambassador of Republic of Azerbaijan, Ali Alizada called on Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat at Rawalpindi on Friday.

They discussed various facets of defence and security relationship between Pakistan and Azerbaijan.

PAF-PARADE

Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman has said that Pakistan Air Force is passing through a revamping stage because the technology of air warfare is changing rapidly.

He was addressing passing out parade of Aero Apprentices at PAF Base Korangi Creek area of Karachi on Friday.

He said we have no choice but to match the speed of change and make PAF a potent force, second to none. To meet these challenges we are inducting state-of-the-art weapons and must train hard to acquaint ourselves with these modern systems.

 Later, the Air Chief awarded trophies to the distinction holders.

A total of 823 Aero Apprentices including personnel from Jordan and Pakistan Navy successfully completed their technical training.

 CORPS COMMANDER

Corps Commander Peshawar Lt. General Nazir Ahmed Butt has directed for expediting relief operation in the snow-hit areas of Malakand.

He issued these directives during his visit to Swat, Dir and Chitral on Friday.

According to ISPR, the Corps Commander attended a briefing about the ongoing relief operation in the area and construction of Lowari Tunnel.

During his visit, he also met the troops deployed at advance positions near Pak-Afghan border.

STATION

Work on construction of a new grid station is in progress in Malakand District to overcome low voltage of electricity in the area.

 

GB-SPEAKER

Speaker Gilgit Baltistan Legislative Assembly Fida Muhammad Nashad has said that federal government has allocated six billion rupees grant for the uplift of education.

NAB

Chairman National Accountability Bureau Qamar Zaman Chaudhary has said national and international institutions are acknowledging Pakistan's efforts to bring down corruption rate in the country.

Talking to officials of NAB Rawalpindi Regional Bureau on Friday, he said NAB is taking bold steps to overcome corruption, which is the mother of all the evils from the country.

He directed NAB Rawalpindi to work hard to further improve their performance in order to curb corruption and corrupt practices from the country.

  

ARREST

Two hundred and twenty-one suspects, including fourteen proclaimed offenders were arrested in different areas of Peshawar on Friday.

Drugs, arms and ammunition were also recovered from them.

In another operation, the law enforcement agencies arrested seventy suspects in Peepal areas of Mardan.

 

PAK-MALAYSIA

Pakistan and Malaysia have agreed to explore ways to deepen cooperation in the fields of trade and investments and export of skilled work force from Pakistan. 

The understanding came at a meeting between Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Foreign Minister of Malaysia Anifah Aman on the sidelines of the Extraordinary OIC Council of Foreign Ministers Meeting held in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.

The two sides agreed to have exchange of high level visits at convenient dates. They discussed important issues of bilateral interest and reviewed bilateral cooperation.

 

PAK-GERMAN

National Security Advisor Nasser Khan Janjua has urged the international community to play its due role to resolve the Kashmir issue according to United Nations resolution.

Talking to Germen Ambassador Ina Lepel in Islamabad on Friday, he said pressure should be exerted on India to give the Kashmiris their birth right to self-determination.

He said Pakistan is also desirous to establish peace and stability in neighbor country Afghanistan.

German Ambassador said his country is the second largest trade partner of Pakistan in Europe and both have wonderful economic and educational relations.

HEALTH

Azad Jammu and Kashmir government has announced a Health Package to provide better healthcare facilities to the people.

The package was announced at a meeting presided over by AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan in Islamabad on Friday.

Under the package, Emergency Medical Services would be provided to patients in eleven government hospitals in the State.

Implementation of the Package would commence from 1st of March this year.

Under the package, 1156 additional posts of doctors, nurses and paramedical staff are being created for the District Headquarter Hospitals in Eight districts of the state.

Azad Kashmir Health Regulatory Authority would be set up to ensure better health services in private sector.

KASHMIR

In Occupied Kashmir, complete shutdown and forceful anti-India demonstrations were witnessed as Kashmiris observed Youm-e-Mazahmat on Friday.

Call for the shutdown was given by the joint resistance leadership comprising the Chairman of All Parties Hurriyet Conference Syed Ali Gilan and Hurriyet leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik.

People took to the streets in Srinagar, Badgam, Bandipore, Sopore, Islamabad, Pulwama, Shopian and shouted pro-freedom, pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans.

Indian police resorted to teargas shelling and baton-charge to disperse the protesters in Sopore and other areas.

Hurriyet leaders, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in their addresses to public gatherings, termed Gawkadal massacre as the worst chapter in the history of Jammu and Kashmir.

In London, Members of British Parliament held a debate on Kashmir in the Parliament.

Through a motion, they urged the UK government to encourage India and Pakistan to commence peace negotiations to bring a long-term solution to Kashmir dispute.

They also asked Britain to raise the issue of human rights violations in occupied Kashmir with the UN.

 

TRUMP

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 defeating Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump has nominated all 21 members of his Cabinet.

Meanwhile, demonstrators have gathered in New York, Washington and different cities in UK to protest against President-elect Donald Trump on the eve of his inauguration.

 

IRAQ

Denmark has extended the mandate of its special forces training Iraqi troops fighting Islamic State group allowing them to also fight other militants.

Defense Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen said in Copenhagen that the decision to allow troops fight in the Iraqi-Syrian border area was taken in response to request by the international coalition.

He said it is vital for the international coalition to push the Islamic State group from all sides.

 

ALEPPO

In Syria, at least forty militants have been killed in air strikes on a training camp in western Aleppo

It is not clear whether US-led coalition, Syrian or Russian planes carried out the attack.

Meanwhile the UN Security Council is to discuss preparations for peace talks between the Syrian governments and rebels due in Kazakhstan on Monday.

 

ISTANBUL

Five Turkish soldiers were killed and nine wounded in a bomb attack in the northern Syrian town Al-Bab.

Earlier, Turkish armed forces announced to hit more than 200 Islamic State group positions in northern Syria and killed 23 militants.

 

YEMEN

In Yemen, twenty-nine rebels have been killed in latest air strikes on an ammunition depot in Hodeida province.

 

AFGHANISTAN

In Afghanistan, four Taliban have been killed and two others arrested in a raid in northern Sar-e-Pol province.


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