ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday discussed various aspects of bilateral relations with visiting Iraqi foreign minister and underscored the importance accorded by Pakistan to further deepening and broadening mutual cooperation with Iraq in diverse fields.
Foreign Minister of the Republic of Iraq Dr Fuad Hussein called on Prime Minister Imran Khan here. The prime minister extended warm welcome to the foreign minister and reaffirmed Pakistan’s close fraternal ties with Iraq, founded on strong affinities of faith and culture.
The premier appreciated Iraq’s resolute efforts to rebuild the country and wished well for the upcoming parliamentary elections. He also reiterated his invitation extended to the prime minister of Iraq and expressed the hope that the visit would take place at an early date.
In the regional context, the prime minister underscored the importance of resolving issues through dialogue and diplomacy. On Afghanistan, the prime minister reiterated that there was no military solution and that a negotiated political solution was the only way forward.
He outlined Pakistan’s consistent support for an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement. While reaffirming Pakistan’s resolve to support the Afghan peace process, the prime minister urged the international community to reinforce these efforts as peace in Afghanistan was shared responsibility.
Thanking the prime minister for extending warm hospitality to his delegation, Iraqi foreign minister conveyed cordial greetings of the Iraqi leadership. He affirmed Iraq’s desire to forge stronger relationship with Pakistan in pursuance of the vision of the leadership of the two countries.
Thanking the prime minister for his invitation to the Iraqi prime minister, Dr Fuad Hussein conveyed invitation on behalf of the Iraqi prime minister to Prime Minister Imran Khan to visit Iraq.
Foreign minister also highlighted Iraq’s efforts to defuse tensions in the region and promote cooperative ties among regional countries. The prime minister expressed Pakistan’s support for these endeavours.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the National Coordinating Committee on Housing was chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan here. The meeting was attended by federal ministers, special assistants and concerned senior officials. Top officials from all four provinces also participated through video link.
The meeting was given a detailed briefing on the master plan of cities in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The meeting was informed that work on master planning of 28 cities in Punjab with a total population of 64.7 million is in full swing.
The meeting was informed that every effort was being made by the concerned authorities to complete the process of preparation of the master plan as soon as possible.
The master plan includes a comprehensive plan for land use, economic development, institutional infrastructure and financial planning, tourism and cultural heritage, environmental protection, transport, emergencies and natural disasters.
The meeting was briefed not only on the current status of completion of master plans of different cities but also on the modalities for incorporating future changes in master planning.
It was informed that in the meantime land policy is being changed in which land use classification as well as a special commercialisation committee has been set up. In addition, a policy of adopting more housing in less space than high-rise buildings is being adopted so that green belts are not affected.
With reference to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the meeting was informed that the master plan of 20 major cities of the province, including 9 cities of the integrated districts, would be completed within the stipulated time. This includes not only protection of forests and natural streams but also construction of high rise buildings.
The meeting was informed that plans for Peshawar, Mardan, Charsadda, Nowshera, Swabi and Abbottabad have been prepared while plans for 5 other cities are in the process of completion. With reference to Islamabad, the meeting was informed that rules are being formulated for the maintenance of high-rise buildings so that people do not face any difficulties after construction. Further, a strategy has been formulated to protect the green areas of Zone 3.
Then prime minister said that there was a need to create awareness among the people to curb the rampant spread of urban population. Improving the environment in urban populations requires a comprehensive strategy to protect green belts and prevent emergencies and natural disasters. The protection of Margalla hills and other tourist destinations in particular is a top priority of the government.
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