Text Bulletin 2000 hrs
National Security Committee, which met with Prime Minister in the chair, has discussed internal and external security situation.
President has reiterated Pakistan's desire for cordial relations with neighbors, including India, on equality basis.
Parliament will begin its new year on Thursday with the address of the President to the joint session.
China says most of the early harvest energy projects being built under CPEC in Pakistan will be completed before 2019.
Government has announced to decrease prices of petrol and diesel for the month of June.
PML-N has suspended membership of Senator Nihal Hashmi for issuing irresponsible statement.
Russia has announced to lift certain sanctions imposed on Turkey after downing of its jet in 2015.
In South Korea, the parliament has endorsed nomination of Lee Nak-yon as Prime Minister of the country.
ICC Champions Trophy begins in England on Thursday.
A meeting of National Security Committee was held in Islamabad on Wednesday with Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in the chair.
Matters pertaining to internal and external security of the country, situation on the western border and Line of Control came under discussion.
The meeting expressed serious concern over aggravating human rights situation in occupied Kashmir and continued brutalities of Indian forces against innocent Kashmiri people.
It was reiterated that Pakistan will continue to extend its moral, political and diplomatic support to the people of occupied Kashmir.
The meeting also discussed security matters related to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects.
The Committee expressed satisfaction over the progress of operation Radd-ul-Fasaad against terrorism in the country.
Earlier, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad on Wednesday.
They discussed issues relating to national security.
President Mamnoon Hussain has urged international community and human rights organizations to take notice of grave human rights violations by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir.
Talking to Pakistani High Commissioner-designate to India Sohail Mahmood in Islamabad on Wednesday, he said the world community is being informed of deteriorating situation in occupied Kashmir, but there is still need to highlight this grim issue.
The President said Pakistan is desirous of having cordial relations with all its neighbouring countries, including India, on equality basis.
He said Pakistan wants resolution of all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, with India through dialogue.
The President said Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav was involved in promoting terrorism on Pakistan's soil, which is condemnable.
The joint session of the parliament will be held in Islamabad on Thursday at 11:00 am.
President Mamnoon Hussain will address the joint session on the beginning of the fifth and last parliamentary year.
He will highlight the achievements of the government in diverse sectors, including war against terrorism, law and order, economic challenges, power generation and agriculture.
The Senate continued debate on the budgetary proposals for the next fiscal year on Wednesday.
Taking part in the discussion, Nihal Hashmi said credit goes to the government for bringing improvement to the economic and security situation in the country.
He said all economic indicators are on positive trajectory and the government is taking steps to transfer these benefits to the common man.
Mushahid Hussain Sayed appreciated allocation of two billion rupees for development of sports infrastructure in the country.
Saleem Zia welcomed the massive Chinese investment saying it will change the entire economic landscape of the country.
Gian Chand said the government has failed to deliver on its promises as the people continue to face power and gas outages.
Zafar Ullah Khan Dhandla described the budget as balanced, saying it envisages many pro-people measures.
Nisar Muhammad said the government should pay special focus on the rehabilitation of temporarily displaced persons.
The House will now meet on Thursday at 1:30 pm.
The National Assembly also held discussion on the budget for the next year on Wednesday.
Taking part in the debate, Chaudhry Jafar Iqbal said the Finance Minister has presented the budget in line with the vision of Prime Minister for development of the country.
He said subsidy on fertilizers will help increase the agricultural produce and its contribution to the GDP.
Nasir Khan Khattak said the government has allocated considerable funds for defence of the country.
Asiya Nasir congratulated the government on presenting budget for the consecutive fifth time.
She proposed that Public Sector Development Programme's share for minorities should be enhanced. She said increase in salaries and pensions in the budget is not sufficient.
Chaudhry Muhammad Arshad lauded government's initiative for provision of relief to farmers.
Raja Javed Ikhlas appreciated allocation of huge funds for communication infrastructure development in all parts of the country.
Pir Bakhsh Junejo lauded the steps taken for the uplift of agriculture sector.
Aliya Kamran Proposed that more funds should be allocated for education sector with focus on technical education.
Shaista Pervaiz described the budget as people friendly. She congratulated PML-N leadership for presenting a balanced budget.
Meanwhile, the opposition members continued boycott of the session on Wednesday as a protest over live coverage of the Opposition Leader's speech on PTV.
The opposition members assembled outside the parliament and continued discussion on the budget in front of the media.
The House will now meet on Friday at 11:00 am.
FIA has identified various people involved in illegal activity of human organs' transplantation.
This was informed during a meeting held in Islamabad on Wednesday with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in the chair.
The agency has so far identified three doctors, four paramedics, two agents, two heads of heinous racket, one facilitator, two donors and two foreign recipients involved in this act.
The meeting discussed many other issues as well.
China says most of the early harvest energy projects being built under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Pakistan will be completed before 2019.
A spokesperson of Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs made these remarks while answering a question regarding inauguration of the first unit of Sahiwal Coal Power Plant during her press briefing in Beijing on Wednesday.
She said it will ease electricity shortage for the benefit of the people in Pakistan.
Sahiwal Coal Power Plant, comprising two coal-based power unit, has a total capacity of generating 1320 megawatt.
The spokesperson said at present seventeen energy projects are being completed under the CPEC framework.
Terming the China Pakistan Economic Corridor game changer for the people of Pakistan, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said we have started witnessing the benefits brought by the CPEC projects and Belt and Road Initiative.
A special economic zone will be established at Rashakai near Mardan at a cost of over three billion dollars under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
According to official sources, the government has decided to acquire one thousand acres of land for the project.
The special economic zone will boost trade and business activities in the province.
A four-member delegation of Asian Development Bank led by Wajid Rana visited Board of Investment in Islamabad on Wednesday.
During a meeting with Secretary of BOI Azher Ali Chaudhry, the delegation said that Bank is conducting a study on the potential economic development along CPEC.
The government has reduced prices of petroleum products for the next month.
This was announced by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in Islamabad on Wednesday evening.
According to the new prices, petrol will be available at 72.80 rupees per liter with a reduction of 1.20 rupees and diesel at 81.40 rupees with a reduction of 1.60 rupees. The prices of the light diesel and kerosine oil will remain unchanged.
The new prices will be effective from midnight tonight.
The sub-committee of the parliamentary committee on electoral reforms on Wednesday approved various proposals regarding electoral rolls, printing of ballot papers and delimitations.
Law Minister Zahid Hamid chaired the meeting of the committee.
The committee decided that Election Commission will have to complete delimitations of constituencies four months before elections.
It agreed that all financial powers should be delegated to the Chief Election Commissioner.
It was also decided to purchase new printing machines for ballot papers by February next year while watermark ballot papers will be used in elections.
The Committee also recommended to reduce duration of intraparty elections from six to four years.
The Election Commission of Pakistan has rejected PTI's objections over scrutiny of the party's foreign funding and bank accounts.
In its detailed and unanimous judgment issued on Wednesday, the ECP said it has the powers to scrutinize funding of a political party and its bank accounts.
The verdict says political parties are bound to disclose their sources of funding.
It said the Commission has the powers to take suo moto notice on any wrongdoing.
The Commission said any illegal transaction cannot be described as closed one.
It said that there should be no harm in scrutinizing PTI's bank accounts if the party deems them transparent.
The verdict states PTI has failed to prove that Akbar S Babar has been expelled from the party.
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb says PML-N believes in the supremacy of constitution and law.
She was responding to a question about the statement of PML-N leader Senator Nihal Hashmi regarding accountability of the Sharif family.
The Minister the Prime Minister strongly believes in accountability.
She said the remarks of Nihal Hashmi are his personal views.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has sought explanation from Nihal Hashmi.
Prime Minister's Special Assistant on Political Affairs Asif Kirmani says show-cause notice has been served on Senator Nihal Hashmi for his remarks about Joint Investigation Team.
In a statement on Wednesday, he said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is very annoyed over Hashmi's irresponsible statement, which is a clear violation of the party policy and discipline.
Asif Kirmani said Nihal Hashmi was summoned to Prime Minister House on Wednesday and informed about the decision of his suspension from party membership. He was also asked to resign from the Senate membership.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar has taken suo motu notice of the speech of Senator Nihal Hashmi.
The Chief Justice has summoned Nihal Hashmi in the court on Thursday.
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal will hear the matter.
Minister for Human Rights Kamran Michael says Pakistan is committed to protect human rights of all citizens, including women, minorities and children.
Talking to a British delegation in Islamabad on Wednesday, he said a helpline “1099” has been launched for legal advice to the victims of human rights violations.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra called on Punjab Governor Muhammad Rafique Rajwana in Islamabad on Wednesday.
They discussed matters pertaining to national importance.
Iqbal Zafar Jhagra highlighted the ongoing development projects initiated by the federal government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for welfare of the people.
He said PML-N is following multi-dimensional approach to ensure socio-economic uplift of people.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said the LNG-based power projects of 3600 megawatt capacity are being completed speedily.
He was talking to a group of parliamentarians belonging to Gujranwala division in Lahore on Wednesday.
The Chief Minister said one hundred and twelve billion rupees have been saved in gas power projects.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Wednesday inaugurated 100 MW gas fired power plant at Nooriabad near Hyderabad.
Young Doctors Association working in three major hospitals of Peshawar observed strike on Wednesday to press their demands.
Pakistan Navy continues to provide humanitarian assistance in the flood-hit areas in Sri Lanka.
Pakistan Navy has established medical camps at various locations across the affected area to treat local people.
Reportedly, one hundred and eighty-three people have been killed and a million displaced by the floods.
Pakistan has strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Kabul that claimed eighty lives on Wednesday morning. Three hundred and fifty people were also injured in the blast.
Foreign Office, in a statement in Islamabad on Wednesday, said Pakistan being a victim of terrorism understands the pain and agony that such incidents inflict upon the people and society.
In a statement, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also strongly condemned the attack. He sympathized with the government and people of Afghanistan and prayed for early recovery of the injured.
In a condolence statement, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa said Pakistan's government, people and security forces stand shoulder to shoulder with Afghan brethren in fight against terrorism.
The Azad Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet has appealed to the international community to take serious notice of Indian state terrorism in Occupied Kashmir.
The AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan presided over the meeting in Muzaffarabad on Wednesday.
In another resolution, the Cabinet expressed deep grief and sorrow over the martyrdom of Sabzar Ahmed Butt and other fourteen Kashmiris.
In another resolution, the AJK Cabinet expressed profound gratitude to Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar for presenting a growth oriented and poor friendly budget
It thanked the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for the record increase in the development budget of Azad Kashmir.
In Occupied Kashmir, the joint resistance leadership has said that Indian forces are carrying out genocide of Kashmiris under a well-thought-out plan.
According to Kashmir Media Service, the leadership in a statement condemned the Indian authorities for imposing curfew and arresting the Hurriyet leaders and demanded their immediate release.
They added that Kashmir is a political issue and the people of Kashmir are peacefully pursuing their right to self-determination for the past seven decades.
The Chairman of All Parties Hurriyet Conference, Syed Ali Gilani made it clear that no talks would be held with India unless it accepts Kashmir as a dispute and withdraws its forces from the occupied territory.
He said the recent statement of Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Kashmir is illustration of his criminal mentality.
Meanwhile, Kashmir High Court Bar Association boycotted the courts in protest against the reign of terror by Indian forces in the territory.
Complete shutdown was observed in Pulwama district for the fourth day, on Wednesday, against the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Sabzar Ahmad Butt and his associate, Faizan Ahmad by Indian troops in Tral.
Russia lifted certain economic restrictions on Turkey on Wednesday.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Dmitry Peskov said President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree lifting certain economic restrictions imposed on Turkey and its citizens.
Russia had imposed restrictions on Turkey after Ankara shot down a Russian military jet in November 2015.
South Korea's parliament has approved Lee Nak-yon as Prime Minister of the country on Wednesday.
President Moon Jae-in had nominated Lee Nak-yon for the post after winning the Presidential elections earlier this month.
US President Donald Trump has decided to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.
President Trump has previously called global warming a hoax, refused to endorse the landmark climate change accord at a summit of the G7 group of wealthy nations last week.
The accord, agreed on by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015, aims to limit planetary warming in part by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.
Kenya has opened a major new railway between the port city of Mombasa and the capital, Nairobi.
Inaugurating the rail service, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the 3.2 billion dollar Chinese-funded line signalled a new chapter in the country.
It is Kenya's biggest infrastructure project since independence.
The 470 kilometers line is supposed to connect South Sudan, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia.
In Kenya, five people including four police officers were killed when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in southeastern Lamu district near the Somali border.