HEADLINES 1300 Hours

Prime Minister and Army Chief at a meeting in Islamabad have discussed the issues relating to national security.

Pakistan has strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Kabul that killed sixty-four people this morning.

The Senate and the National Assembly resumed debate on new budget in Islamabad this morning.

Russian warships in the Mediterranean Sea have fired four cruise missiles at the Islamic State group's positions in Syria.



Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is chairing a meeting of the National Security Committee in Islamabad.

Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman and National Security Advisor retited Lt. Gen. Nasser Khan Janjua and other senior officials are attending the meeting.



Earlier, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad today.

They discussed issues relating to national security.



Pakistan has strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Kabul this morning.
Foreign Office in a statement in Islamabad today said that Pakistan being a victim of terrorism understands the pain and agony that such incidents inflict upon the people and society.

Expressing sympathies with Afghan people, Pakistan said it firmly stands with Afghan brothers in this hour of grief and anguish.

The statement said that the blast also caused damage to the residences of some Pakistani diplomats and staff, living in the close vicinity and inflicted minor injuries to some of them.



Earlier, sixty four people were killed and over 300 others wounded in a massive car bomb attack in Kabul this morning.

The explosion took place at the peak of Kabul's rush hour. The affected area is home to many embassies, diplomatic missions, the Presidential Palace and the Foreign Ministry.



The Senate resumed discussion on the budgetary proposals for the next fiscal year today

Participating in the debate, Usman Saifullah said the budget envisages no measures to address the challenges of unemployment, poverty and bolstering the exports.

He said the government should formulate an industrial policy to generate employment opportunities and boost exports.

Ilyas Bilour said the government should take extra care of the development of small provinces.

He said the government should focus on exploiting hydel potential of the country to meet growing power demand.



The National Assembly also resumed discussion on the budget for the year 2017-18 today.

Taking part in the debate, Chaudhry Jaffar Iqbal said the Finance Minister has presented the budget in line with the vision of the Prime Minister for the development of the country.

He said subsidy on fertilizer will help improve the agriculture sector's production and its contribution to the GDP.

Nasir Khan Khattak said that the performance of economy of any county depends on law and order situation.

He said that the government has allocated considerable funds for defense of the country.



Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb has said that PML-N believes in the supremacy of Constitution and law. 

She said this in an interview while responding to questions about statement of PML-N leader Senator Nehal Hashmi about accountability of Sharif family.

The Minister of State said that the Prime Minister strongly believes in the accountability .

She said that remarks of Nehal Hashmi are his personal opinion.

She said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has sought explanation from Hashmi.



Russia says its warships in the Mediterranean Sea have fired four cruise missiles at the Islamic State group's positions in Syria.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement in Moscow that the missiles targeted IS positions in the ancient city of Palmyra.

The ministry said Russia had notified the US, Turkey and Israel before the strike.



The United States and China are discussing next steps in response to North Korea's missile tests and could reach a decision on new sanctions this week.

Talking to media the US envoy at UN, Nikki Haley said that China is pushing Pyongyang through back channels to change its behavior.

Haley said the United States will open a dialogue with Pyongyang if it halts its missile and nuclear tests.

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