Text Bulletin 2100 hrs
Advisor on Foreign Affairs says the ECO Summit being held in Islamabad on Wednesday will help build Pakistan's positive image in the world.
Progress on foreign funded projects was reviewed at a high level meeting in Islamabad today.
In the ongoing Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, security forces have so far killed four terrorist and arrested over six hundred suspects.
APHC leaders say Kashmir is a political dispute and it cannot be resolved through military means.
Several Azerbaijani troops were killed in a clash with Armenian forces in disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region today.
Karachi Kings beat Lahore Qalandars by five wickets in Pakistan Super League match at Dubai tonight.
The 13th Economic Cooperation Organization Summit will be held in Islamabad on Wednesday.
Briefing the media persons in Islamabad today, Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said most of the member states have already confirmed participation at Heads of State or Heads of Government level.
Sartaj Aziz said the theme of ECO Summit is "Connectivity for Regional Prosperity". The Summit will deliberate and decide on ways and means to augment cooperation in the areas of connectivity, trade, energy, tourism, investment, industry, economic growth, productivity, social welfare and environment.
Replying to a question, he said the summit will send a very positive message to the world.
The Advisor said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is an excellent example of the summit's theme of connectivity and this project will connect with the existing and the planned transit and energy corridors in the ECO region for greater progress.
Talking to a Chinese delegation led by Ambassador Lu Shumin in Islamabad, Sartaj Aziz said the strategic cooperative relationship between Pakistan and China is an anchor for regional peace and stability.
He said Pakistan adheres to One China Policy and supports China on all issues relating to its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that effective utilization of foreign funds is important to ensure achievement of the objective of accelerated economic development.
He was chairing a meeting to review the progress of foreign funded projects in Islamabad today.
He directed Economic Affairs Division to maintain close liaison with the development partners and remove any impediments in the way of implementation of the projects.
Secretary Economic Affairs Division gave a detailed briefing on the utilization of foreign assistance in various sectors, across the country. He also apprised the Minister of the various projects in energy, communication, water, and social sectors being implemented with the assistance of different multilateral and bilateral development partners.
Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal has said that Pakistan will maintain its relations with the United States keeping in view the current regional situation.
He was speaking at a seminar on 'New US Administration and Pakistan's Strategy' in Lahore today.
The Minister said that Pakistan and the United States have commonalities in their national interests and policies as both want elimination of terrorism and establishment of durable peace in Afghanistan.
The Minister said now European countries, Central Asia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran and United Kingdom are eying Pakistan and showing their keen interest to be part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Pakistan's ambassador-designate to the United States Aizaz Chaudhry has said that improving Pakistan's image and enhancing cooperation in trade, energy and security will be his top priorities.
Aizaz Chaudhry who is currently serving as Foreign Secretary while talking to a delegation of FPCCI said that his top priorities will be to build on the positive momentum, promotion of trade and economic cooperation as well as improving consular services.
Aizaz Ahmed said Pakistani-Americans have played a laudable role in serving the country by projecting a positive image.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has urged media to play its role in countering the menace of terrorism.
Addressing a consultative meeting along with Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb in Islamabad today, he said the purpose to convene this meeting is to discuss the one-point agenda of countering terrorism.
The Minister said media has great strength and reach to public and it should play role to motivate people by keeping them united and determined against terrorism.
The Minister said that effective measures have been taken to counter terrorism and the success story is due to efforts of all law enforcement agencies.
Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch has said the government and the armed forces are committed to flush out menace of terrorism.
In an interview, he said terrorism is an issue of national importance and the valiant armed forces have rendered countless sacrifices in the war against terror.
Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad continues across the country.
According to ISPR, Punjab Rangers conducted over 200 Search Operations in various areas, including Karor, Layyah and Rawalpindi.
During the operation suspected houses, Madrassas and shops were searched.
Four terrorists were killed in exchange of fire while over 600 suspects, including Afghans, have been apprehended.
Jihadi material and weapons have also been recovered and several facilitators of Jamat-ul-Ahrar have also been arrested.
Meanwhile, seventy-eight suspects were arrested during search operations in different areas of Peshawar and Charsadda today.
Fifty-eight suspected people were apprehended in different areas of Peshawar while twenty suspects, including five proclaimed offenders were busted in Serdehri area of district Charsadda.
Arms and ammunition were also recovered from them.
Azad Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan says concrete measures are being taken to secure population living along the Line of Control.
Addressing a public gathering at Keil area of district Neelum today, he said the federal government and people of Kashmir are standing shoulder to shoulder with affectees of firing by Indian forces at the LOC.
Raja Farooq Haider Khan said solid bunkers will be constructed along the Line of Control to secure the local community.
In occupied Kashmir, All Parties Hurriyet Conference say India’s repressive tactics cannot suppress the freedom movement of Kashmiri people.
APHC Chairman Syed Ali Gilani and General Secretary Shabbir Ahmed Shah in their statements said that Kashmir is a political dispute, which could not be resolved through military might.
They said the remarks of Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat depicted India’s intransigence and arrogance of power.
People observed complete shutdown and held forceful demonstrations in Pulwama town today against the arrest of a youth by Indian police during a raid last night.
On the other hand, former Indian Minister P Chidambaram while addressing a meeting in Hyderabad, said that India has nearly lost Kashmir because the government used brute force to quell dissent in occupied Kashmir.
Azerbaijan says several of its soldiers were killed in clashes with Armenion forces in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. today.
Azeri Defense Ministry said in a statement today that its forces suffered losses when their positions were assaulted by Armenian troops.
In Syria , forty two people were killed and several injured in two seperate bomb attacks on two security office buildings in the government controlled city of Homs today.
In 19th match of Pakistan Super League at Dubai against Peshawar Zalmi, Quetta Gladiators were 3 for no loss in one over, a short while ago.
Earlier, Peshawar Zalmi won the toss and elected to field.
In another match, Karachi Kings beat Lahore Qalandars by five wickets at the same venue.