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May 23, 2018

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Revised Fata-KP merger bill before parliament soon

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet has approved placement of draft constitutional amendment before parliament for the merger of Fata with the KP province. The cabinet has also given its nod to an earlier decision for retaining the Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Council as advisory body to run functions of the federal government.

The people of GB will also get all rights as enjoyed by all Pakistanis after devolution of greater administrative and financial powers to the government of GB. The cabinet had its meeting at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Tuesday under Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

It ratified the agreement between Pakistan and Bosnia & Herzegovina on cooperation in defence industry. The cabinet approved the signing of MoU between the Board of Investment (BOI) and France.

It approved the signing of MoU between Educational Scientific Productive Complex “International of Kyrgyzstan” and Allama Iqbal Open University, in the field of distance education. The cabinet approved the appointment of Ashtar Abbas as district and sessions judge, Banking Court-IV, Lahore.

It approved repatriation of Syed Zulfiqar Ali Shah, judge of Banking Court-IV, Karachi, to High Court of Sindh. Ijlal Hyder Memon, district sessions judge of Tando Muhammad Khan, has been appointed in his place.

The cabinet approved extension in tenure of Obaid Ahmed Khan, district and sessions judge, as Special Court (Control of Narcotics Substance-II), Karachi, for a further period of two years starting from 07-05-2018. Appointment of Justice (R) Ch Shahid Saeed as Chairman Copyright Board in IPO-Pakistan was approved.

The meeting approved re-constitution of the Board of Directors of Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) and also granted ex-post facto approval for the appointment of PNSC Chairman, Karachi. Maximum Retail Prices of Drugs were also approved during the meeting. A proposal for inclusion of various items in Compulsory Certification Mark Scheme of PSQCA was also approved.

The Cabinet approved OGRA Gas (Third Party Access) Rules, 2018. It approved National Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Policy and Digital Pakistan Policy. It was steered by Minister for Information Technology Anusha Rehman Ahmad Khan. The Cabinet approved signing of agreement for provision of Grant Facility for USD 14 million to Somalia.

It approved a proposal for creation of Jinnah Visiting Professorship at London School of Economics. Reconstitution of Board of Directors, Pakistan Expo Centres (Pvt) Limited was also approved.

The Cabinet approved nomination of private sector members for the Board of Directors of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan. The cabinet assented signing of agreement for provision of Grant Facility of 14 million dollars to Somalia.

The 55th meeting of Azad Kashmir Council was also held here under Prime Minister Shahid Abbasi. It offered Fateha for the Shuhadas of Indian unprovoked firing across LoC and for the victims of Indian brutalities in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK). The Prime Minister said that Indian security forces are indiscriminately killing innocent and unarmed civilians in IHK. “We express complete solidarity with our Kashmiri brothers and sisters who are fighting for their right to self determination,” Abbasi said.

The Prime Minister apprised the Council of his participation in Extraordinary OIC Summit last week where he highlighted the plight of the people of IHK along with the Palestine issue. He said that whatever is happening in IHK is unprecedented as unarmed civilians are being targeted.

He informed the Council about his meeting with the United Nations Secretary General during the BOAO Forum wherein he told the Secretary General that Indian security forces are perpetrating worst form of terrorism in the IHK.

He said that in the wake of recent killings in the IHK, he visited AJK and addressed the AJ&K Legislative Assembly to express solidarity with Kashmiri brethren. The Prime Minister reaffirmed moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmir cause and settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UNSC Resolutions.

In another meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) chaired by the Prime Minister, approval was accorded to 220 kV Mastung Substation along with 220 kV Sibi-Mastung-Quetta-Loralai Double Circuit Transmission Lines at a cost of Rs14,155.31 million. Modified PC-II for purchase of land for Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) at H-11/2, Islamabad was approved at a cost of Rs3,519.47 million. The meeting also approved phase-III of Overseas Scholarship Scheme for 2,000 Doctorates (PhD) in selected fields at a cost of Rs22,214.578 million.

In social sector, a project for the establishment of Centre of Neuroscience at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Islamabad was approved at a cost of Rs7284.802 million. The ECNEC approved Devolved Vertical Programmes in health sector in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan at a cost of Rs131,786.731 million.

These programmes include national maternal, neonatal and child health programme, National Programme for Family Planning and Primary Healthcare, National Tuberculosis Control, PM’ Programme for prevention and control of Hepatitis, Rollback Malaria Programme, National Programme for prevention and control of Avian, Pandemic Influenza and Blindness. The meeting approved phase II of Sindh Barrages Improvement Project at a cost of Rs16,6625 million.

The project involves rehabilitation and modernisation of Sukkar Barrage. The meeting also approved 4th Revised PC-1 of Neelum Jhelum Hydroelectric Project at an updated cost of Rs506.808 billion. It approved acquisition of land for Railway Corridor from Sea Port KM: 5.25 to KM: 9.00 and Railway Operational land from KM: 12.00 to KM: 14:00 at Gawadar. Second Revised PC-1 for construction of Drawat dam project at a revised capital cost of Rs11,767.87 million was also approved by ECNEC. The meeting also approved revision in cost of construction of 184 Km long Faisalabad-Khanewal Motorway (M-4) project at updated cost of Rs60,823.66 million.

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