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December 9, 2017

PM lauds Aga Khan’s role in promoting interfaith harmony

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December 9, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has lauded the role of Prince Karim Aga Khan for promotion of peace and interfaith harmony and his valuable contribution towards social, economic and cultural development of Pakistan.

He expressed these views on Friday at the Prime Minister House when Aga Khan called on him. Prince Karim Aga Khan was accompanied by his daughter Princess Zahra Aga Khan as well as senior representatives of Aga Khan’s welfare organisations including Hafiz Sherali, President Council for Pakistan, Sultan Allana, ambassador Arif Lalani, head of the diplomatic department, seat of the Ismaili Imamat, Firoz Rasul, President Aga Khan University, and Iqbal Walji, Chairman National Committee Aga Khan Foundation, Pakistan.

Warmly welcoming the Prince and members of the visiting delegation, the prime minister appreciated Aga Khan’s role for promoting peace and interfaith harmony among Muslims, and his valuable contributions towards social, economic and cultural development of the country.

He re-affirmed his support for the AKDN institutions in furthering their development goals. The prime minister also presented a special first day cover consisting of six stamps illustrating the contribution of AKDN in the country. The stamps commemorate the diamond jubilee -- or 60 years -- of the Imamat of Aga Khan.

The prince reiterated his longstanding commitment to development goals and improving the quality of life of the people of Pakistan. He thanked the government for its support towards the work of the AKDN. He offered to build a university and a nursing college in collaboration with the government of Pakistan in the capital city of Pakistan.

Later, the prime minister hosted Aga Khan, Princess Zahra Aga Khan and the AKDN delegation to a banquet at the PM House. Minister of State for CADD Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, SAPM Ali Jahangir Siddiqui, SAPM Miftah Ismail, Secretary to PM Fawad Hassan Fawad, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and senior officials attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, outgoing ambassador of Turkey Sadik Babur Girgin paid farewell call on Prime Minister Abbasi at the PMO. The prime minister commended the ambassador for his efforts and contributions towards further strengthening the existing cordial and brotherly relations between the two countries.

The prime minister conveyed his good wishes for the Turkish leadership as well as for progress and prosperity of the people of Turkey. He wished the ambassador success in his future endeavours. Ambassador Girgin thanked the prime minister for the warmth and hospitality extended to him during his stay in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Abbasi directed the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) to chalk out a comprehensive graduation strategy to enable and equip its beneficiaries earn their own livelihood.

Chairing a meeting on the BISP here at the PM Office, the prime minister approved a proposal for setting up an endowment fund for the BISP to ensure fiscal continuity in lean budgetary periods and said it would act as a catalyst in generating income for supporting various development schemes on the fund structure.

The meeting was attended by BISP Chairperson Marvi Memon, Secretary to Prime Minister Fawad Hasan Fawad, Secretary BISP Omar Hamid Khan and senior officers of the BISP. The prime minister was briefed about various initiatives being undertaken under the umbrella of the BISP including unconditional cash transfer programme and Waseela-e-Taleem programme that has so far benefited 5.6 million families and 1.8 million children respectively.

The prime minister was informed that the international community, donors and developmental partners including the ADB, WB and DFID have reposed confidence in transparency and effectiveness of the programme in reaching out to the poorest of the poor and helping them break shackles of poverty.

The meeting was informed that after successful completion of pilot phase in four districts and door-to-door survey in 10 districts, the National Socio-economic Registry (NSER) survey would be rolled out in the remaining districts of the country in February 2018 and would be completed by May 2018.

The premier also interacted with students from Balochistan Residential College Loralai at the PM Office as part of the initiative to invite young leaders to the highest offices and brief them about the functioning of the government.

The prime minister inquired the students about their education and also answered their questions. Abbasi said the government was focusing on development of Balochistan and socio-economic uplift of its people. The students thanked the prime minister for providing them an opportunity to visit the PM Office for an interaction.