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13th ECO summit-Leaders to consider possible linkage of regional connectivity with CPEC : Nafees Zakaria

On the second day of their meeting in Islamabad on Monday, senior officials of ECO member states are finalizing recommendations for consideration by the meeting of Council of Ministers on Tuesday. Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said in interview that the officials are discussing ECO Vision 2025, Islamabad Declaration and some administrative matters. He said after consideration by the Council of Ministers, these would form agenda of the Summit to be held on Wednesday. The spokesperson said the leaders of the organization would consider ways and means how to take ECO forward. He said all member states have a joint commitment to the regional connectivity , which is theme of the 13th summit . To a question he said CPEC is also about regional connectivity and therefore, it would also come under discussion during the conference. He said at some later stage individual, bilateral and sub-regional initiatives for connectivity may be considered for possible linkage with CPEC .

Govt releases over Rs 430 bln for different social sector development projects

Over one hundred and eleven billion have been released to National Highway Authority for infrastructure and development projects against its total allocation of 188 billion. The federal government has so far released over four hundred and thirty billion rupees for different social sector development projects against a total allocation of eight hundred billion rupees. The data released by ministry of Planning shows over one hundred and eleven billion have been released to National Highway Authority for infrastructure and development projects against its total allocation of 188 billion.

Anti-polio drive begins in KP, 16 districts of Balochistan 

A three-day anti-polio drive underway in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and sixteen districts of Balochistan.  In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, about eighteen thousand teams will take part in the campaign to administer anti-polio drops to more than five point six million children below the age of five years. Anti-polio drops will also be administered to children in seventy seven Afghan refugees and TDPs' camps. Strict security arrangements have been made for security of the polio teams across the province.

International:

Topic: OIC to host meeting of Int'l Contact Group on Afghanistan in Jeddah 

Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will host a meeting of the International Contact Group on Afghanistan in Jeddah on Tuesday.  Delegations from over 50 countries are likely to attend the meeting. The Group, formed in 2009 under auspices of Germany, has emerged as a prominent platform for coordination of the international efforts and initiatives towards contributing peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Palestinian officials call for boycott of Israeli military courts

Palestinian officials have called for a boycott of Israeli military courts after a Palestinian freed in a 2011 prisoner exchange was re-arrested and sent back to prison for life.  Addressing a press conference in occupied Ramallah, Palestinian Prisoners Club head Qadura Fares called on detainees' families and Palestinian organisations to stop taking part in military trials and refuse to pay convicts' fines.

Iraqi forces push deeper into western Mosul

In Iraq, security forces pushed deeper into western Mosul amid stiff resistance from entrenched Islamic State militants.
The US-led forces are trying to capture a bridge across the Tigris linking the city's government-held eastern bank with the remaining militants held areas in the west.

US calls on Russia, separatist forces to "immediately" observe ceasefire in Ukraine

Mark Toner says United States closely monitoring growing violence in eastern Ukraine. The United States has called on Russia and separatist forces to "immediately" observe ceasefire in Ukraine. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the United States is closely monitoring growing violence in eastern Ukraine and failure of Russian and separatist forces to abide by the ceasefire agreement.

UN to launch wide-scale humanitarian campaign in Yemen

In Yemen, the United Nations has announced to launch a wide-scale humanitarian campaign in April to provide more relief aid to the war torn country. The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien said this during a meeting with Yemeni President Abdu Rabbo Mansur Hadi in Aden.

Editorial:

Peers put themselves, not Brexit, in peril   (The Telegraph)


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