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Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal says a record 2.5 trillion rupees Public Sector Development Programme for next financial year has been approved.He was addressing a news conference after a meeting of National Economic Council in Islamabad.      He said the new budget includes 1001 billion rupees Federal Public Sector Development Programme, 1112 billion rupees provincial PSDP while 400 billion rupees would be spent by various corporations to carry out their development projects. Ahsan Iqbal said 411 billion rupees would be spent on infrastructure development, 43 billion for different projects of Railways, 404 billion for energy while 180 billion rupees on projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor.The Planning Minister said that the Prime Minister during the NEC meeting directed for devising a mechanism for providing more funds to AJK, Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA. Ahsan Iqbal said the social sector is being given importance in the development budget, financing for which has been increased from 90 billion to 153 billion rupees.He said that in order to promote higher education, the budget for Higher Education Commission has been increased from 21 billion to over 35 billion rupees. He said that seventeen billion rupees has been specifically approved for Balochistan to improve communication system and for different water related projects.

Topic:  'Kulbhushan's case to be taken to logical conclusion in accordance with country's law': Nisar

Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan has said that Kulbushan Yadav will be taken to logical conclusion in accordance with the country's law and constitution.Talking to media persons in Warsak on Saturday, he said Yadav is an Indian spy who was involved in henious crimes against Pakistan. He was convicted as per the country's law.About relations with Afghanistan, the Interior Minister said Pakistan desires cordial relations with the neighboring country.He said hearts of the peoples of the two countries beat together. He, however, said Pakistan will not accept the Afghan leadership to speak the language of our enemy India.About Iran, the Interior Minister said he will visit the country after Ramadan and all the matters will be addressed amicably. He said Pakistan and Iran enjoy close relations and these will remain so in future as well.

Meanwhile,

Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit has reiterated his country`s resolve not to compromise on issues related to national security.In an interview with an Indian newspaper The Tribune, the High Commissioner said Pakistan never falters its principles to cater for temporary benefits.He emphasized that Pakistan has always been willing for dialogue with India on all core issues but talks and terror cannot go together.He added that dialogue is only way forward and present India-Pakistan situation is untenable and pre-conditions to talks don’t work.About the issue of Indian spy Commander Jadhav, Abdul Basit  said Pakistan is on solid grounds regarding the issue as the very case testifies the fact that there are external elements behind terrorism in Pakistan.

Topic:   US- Arab Islamic Summit being held to develop a security partnership against a growing threat of violent extremism- Trump arrives in Saudi Arabia- Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will travel to Riyadh on Sunday to attend the first-ever Summit

US President Donald Trump has arrived in Saudi Arabia to attend US-Arab-Islamic Summit in Riyadh.  During his nine-day trip President Trump will also visit the Palestinian territories, Brussels, Vatican City and Sicily. Trump will meet Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Italian President Sergio Mattarella, and King Philippe of Belgium.The US President will also attend NATO summit in Brussels and the G-7 meeting in Sicily.The US-Arab-Islamic Summit embraces a unilateral vision to reaffirm the shared commitment to global security, deep economic partnerships, and constructive political and cultural cooperation under the banner "Together We Prevail."Trump will participate in a signing ceremony for a number of U.S.-Saudi agreements, including a $100 billion deal for Saudi Arabia to buy American arms.National oil giant Saudi Aramco expected to sign $50 billion of deals with U.S. companies.

Meanwhile,

Mr Sharif is among the 54 leaders who would join US President Donald Trump for the summit being held on Sunday.On Friday, President Trump left Washington for Riyadh. Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz invited Mr Sharif for the summit. The invitation was delivered by Saudi Information Minister Awwad bin Saleh al Awwad, who visited Islamabad last week.

Topic: Iran’s Presidential elections- Report says Iranian incumbent President Hassan Rouhani is leading initial count of votes

Report says Iranian incumbent President Hassan Rouhani is leading initial count of votes in the presidential election.Speaking at a news conference in Tehran, Iran's Interior Ministry Deputy Minister Ali Asghar Ahmadi said over 40 million people cast their vote in the election and turnout remained above 70 percent.

Topic:  North Korea says U.S. has to roll back 'hostile policy' before talks

North Korea's deputy U.N. envoy said on Friday the United States needed to roll back its "hostile policy" toward the country before there could be talks as Washington raised concern that Pyongyang could be producing a chemical used in a nerve agent.North Korea's deputy U.N. ambassador, Kim In Ryong  said, "As everybody knows, the Americans have gestured (toward) dialogue," The rolling back of the hostile policy towards DPRK is the prerequisite for solving all the problems in the Korean Peninsula. Therefore, the urgent issue to be settled on Korean Peninsula is to put a definite end to the U.S. hostile policy towards DPRK, the root cause of all problems."

Topic: Pakistan- Thailand, Turkey ,Iran FTAS to boost exports

Pakistan is negotiating free trade agreements with different countries including Thailand, Turkey and Iran, to bolster its exports. According to officials, several rounds of negotiations have been held so far with Thailand and Turkey. Main text of the agreement on Trade in Goods has been finalized with both the countries and currently negotiations are underway on the items to be given concessionary market access. Negotiations with Iran are underway on trade in goods, services and investment. The first round of negotiations was held December last year in Tehran while the second meeting is likely to be held in July. According to the officials, several other measures are also being taken including incentives to the industries, promotional activities and establishment of Exim Bank, to enhance the country's exports.

Topic: Syrian govt, opposition talks on Syrian conflict conclude at UN headquarters in Geneva

Sixth round of talks between the Syrian government and opposition to seek solution to the Syrian conflict concluded at UN headquarters in Geneva on Saturday. Speaking to journalists in Geneva after the talks, UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura said talks, which were held in peaceful atmosphere, witnessed incremental progress.

Topic: Death toll rises in southern Libya attack, defense minister suspended

The death toll in an attack on an airbase in south of Libya has now risen to 141.According to reports, the casualties occurred following clashes between the rival factions at Brak El-Shati airbase. Head of Libya's United Nations-backed government suspended his defense minister pending an investigation into the incident. The attack at Brak Al-Shati air base shattered a truce in the area, which in recent months had become a flashpoint between military alliances based in eastern and western Libya. It risks a major escalation in a stop-start conflict between eastern-based factions and rivals loosely aligned with current and former governments in the capital, Tripoli.

Editorial:

Time is running out for Washington in Afghanistan (Gulf news)

Host: Sohaib Bin Noor

Co-host: Ghulam Murtaza

 


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