PR. No. 65
President Zardari meets Chinese corporate leaders
Islamabad July 07, 2010
President Asif Ali Zardari today met the leaders of a dozen of China?s corporations specializing in defence, petroleum, banking, industrial and construction sectors to further Pakistan?s quest for attracting Chinese entrepreneurs to invest in Pakistan in return for liberal economic incentives and security to Chinese manpower.
The corporate leaders with whom the President met separately in the State Guest House included the chief executive officers and their delegations of the EXIM Banki of China, the Three gorges Dam Project corporation, China Northern Railways Corporation, China Northern Industries Corporation (NORINCO), China Petrochemical corporation
(SINOPEC Group) Sinotruk, Tebian electric and Apparatus Stock Co, Sinohydro Corporation and Industrial and Commercial bank of China.
Briefing the journalists Presidential Spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said that the President informed the corporate leaders that Pakistan had a Free Trade Agreement with China in goods, services which ensured full security to Chinese investment in Pakistan. He said that low cost and hard working labour together with liberal incentives and access to huge markets of countries in the region Pakistan offered unique opportunity to Chinese investors to invest in Pakistan. The President thanked the Chinese corporations already doing business in Pakistan and said that the true potential of business partnership between the entrepreneurs of two countries had yet to be fully realized.
President Zardari said that despite adverse geopolitical situation and global financial crisis Pakistan has maintained steady growth. To sustain this growth Pakistan had embarked on private-public partnership mode of development model which was most suited to investors in infrastructure and energy sectors.
Farhatullah Babar quoted the President as saying that the government planned to launch a mega housing project in the country to overcome housing shortage particularly for the government employees. For this purpose high rise apartment buildings are planned to be constructed in major cities of the country which will be given to public officials on mortgage basis. The President invited Chinese builders and construction companies to form consortiums with Pakistani firms on the basis of equity partnership. He said that the state partnership in the project could be in the form of land and other some other essential inputs and facilities.
The President said that Pakistan was facing acute power shortage and intended to add tens of thousands of megawatts of power to its national grid in the next 25 years through combined hydro, coal, gas, nuclear and renewable energy sources. The President apprised the corporations dealing in alternate energy of the enormous potential of solar and wind energy in Pakistan and invited them to join in partnership with Pakistani entrepreneurs.
The President invited the three Gorges Corporation to participate in the construction of planned 12 new small and medium dams being built by WAPDA in the country. He said that a MoU had already been signed with the EXIM Bank of China for financing 700 million dollars for these dams. A Chinese company Synohydro has already signed agreement for the construction of Darawat and Winder dams. The President said
that the government will support and facilitate the Three Gorges Dam Project Company to construct the new dams in Pakistan. He also asked the EXIM Bank to consider financing projects in Pakistan in other sectors of oil and gas exploration, ship building and industrial sector and also set branches in Pakistan to avail the opportunities in Pakistan?s growing economy.
Talking to the CEO of Sinohydro the President invited the China?s energy and construction giant to assist Pakistan in the alternate energy projects. Sinohydro has been active in Pakistan for almost quarter of a century and is building major projects including the Gomal Zam project in Khyber Pukhtoonkhwah province and awarded contracts for Darawat and Winder dams. The President invited the Sinotruk (Hongkong) to build trucks in Pakistan the demand for which was rising in the country.
The President also underlined the need for increased cooperation in the defence production sector. President Zardari thanked the CEO of the China Northern Industries Corporation (NORINCO) for its cooperation with the defence forces of Pakistan that had contributed to the establishment and development of defence industry in Pakistan.
NORINCO has supplied wide range of tanks, artillery guns, air defence systems and vehicles to the defence services of Pakistan. The Heavy Industrial Complex Taxila has contracted with NORINCO for provision of Al Khalid Tanks.
Talking to the delegation of China Northern Railways Corporation (CNR) headed by its CEO the President said that Pakistan planned to convert from broad gauge to standard gauge and also to build a number of new lines for access to the central Asia, West Asia, Chinese and European markets and invited the CNR to form a consortium with the Pakistan Railways for the development of theses and other projects on the basis
of equity partnership. He said that Pakistan also wanted to upgrade its engines and rolling stock.
The Pakistani side in the talks with corporate leaders included Minister of Defence Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, Minister Petroleum Syed Naveed Qamar, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, Ambassador Masood Khan,
Ambassador at large for China Khalil Ahmad Khan, Secretary General to President Salman Farooqui, Secretary Commerce Zafar Mahmood, Spokesperson Farhatullah Babar Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Nadim ul Haq, Minister of State Hina Rabbani Khar, Special Assistant Kamal Majidullah Chairman WAPDA Shakil Durrani, Chairman NHA Chaudhry Altaf Ahmad and General Manager Railways Ishfaq Khattak.
Later today the President will leave for the Great Peoples Hall for meeting with President Hu Jintao.
PR. No. 66
Malaysia Emerged ASEAN’s Top Importer From Pakistan
Islamabad 07, July, 2010
According to latest data released by Trade Development of Pakistan (TDAP), Malaysia has emerged top importer from Pakistan amongst ten (10) countries of the ASEAN in the first eight (8) months of financial year 2009-2010 (July-2009 to February 2010) with an import of US$ 143.38 million whereas Vietnam with an Import of US$ 85. 67 million and Philippines with an import of US$ 82.30 million were on second and third position, says a press release received from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, today.
Malaysia also emerged as the top 18th destination for Pakistan’s exports with an exports of US$ 143.38 million in first 8 months of 2009-2010 compared to US$85.96 million of the correspondence period of last year registering an increase of 66.80% whereas USA and UAE with an imports of US$ 2.148 billion and US$ 987.43 million were the first and second destination for Pakistan ‘s exports.
While commenting on the substantial increase in exports to Malaysia, the Acting High Commissioner for Pakistan in Malaysia, Dr. Imtiaz A Kazi noted with satisfaction that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Malaysia was on a rising trajectory which could be gauged from the fact that bilateral trade in 2009 crossed the US$ two (2) billion mark from US$834 million in 2006. However, he said that potential for bilateral trade was far greater than what has currently been realized.
He urged business community of both the countries to fully utilize the enabling environment created after signing of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Malaysia and Pakistan in November, 2007 to bring about multifold increase in trade in coming years.
According to the data, in all, sixty one (61) commodities were exported to Malaysia, out of which thirty seven (37) registered an increase, whereas, twenty seven (27) registered a decline in the same period.
Among the top exporting commodities, different varieties of rice, including Basmati rice, emerged as the biggest contributor with an unprecedented increase of 536% with an exports of US$ 35.43 million compared to US$.5.56 million of the correspondence year last year.
Basmati rice registered an increase of 33% with an exports of US$11.45 million compared to US$8.6 million in the same period last year.
The vegetable exports also recorded a quantum jump and touched the exports figure of US$ 8.437 million compared to US$ 2.36 million of the correspondence period of last year, recording an increase of 257.5%. Other major increase was noted in exports of Chemical 248%, readymade garments (119%), towels (40%), knitwear (6%), surgical goods (4.91%), fruits (6%), machinery specialized (1040%), gloves (66%), cutlery (384%) and leather foot wear 7500%.
According to the data, items which registered decline in the exports were included fish and fish preparations, cotton clothes, bed wear, leather, pharmaceutical products, auto parts, carpet knots and marble and stone.
PR. No. 67
KOrian and Gojra riots inquiry report to be made public:
Ministry of MINORITIES Affairs
Islamabad July 07, 2010
Two unfortunate incidents of arson, looting and killing of minority people occurred in Korian and Gojra towns of Toba Tek Singh on 30th July and 1st August, 2009 last year in which nine innocent minority people lost their lives.
Federal Ministry of Minorities in a letter written to the Punjab Government, has informed that the minorities in Pakistan have shown their deep concern in pursuing the Korian and Gojra cases and have demanded to fix the responsibility against the culprits without further delay.
A judicial inquiry commission constituted by the Government of Punjab, headed by Justice Iqbal Hameed ur Rehman, Judge of Lahore High Court has already submitted its report to the Punjab Government.
The Federal Government has asked Punjab Government to make Korian and Gojra inquiry report public so that the people should know the facts of the incidents.
PR. No. 68
PALESTINE AMBASSADOR CALLS ON PM
Islamabad: July 07, 2010
Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has stated that cause of Palestine and its people is dearest to heart of the people of Pakistan. He said the Government of Pakistan has and always will support the restitution of the rights of Palestinian people for a fully independent sovereign state. Pakistan, he added, will also continue to extend its un-swerving diplomatic, moral and material assistance to the Palestinian people.
Prime Minister was talking to the Ambassador of Palestine, Mr. Hazem Hussain Abu Shanab who called on him at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat this morning, to convey to him a personal message from President Mehmood Abbas.
The Prime Minister underlined the fact that Pakistan has always been in the forefront to call for the end of Israeli atrocities, illegal settlements and human rights violations through blockade of Ghaza, at the UN and other international fora. Pakistan, he said, desires a durable peace in Middle East and supports the Arab Peace Plan calling for comprehensive settlement of the Palestine-Israel and other Arab-Israel conflicts through withdrawal of Israel from the Arab territories occupied in 1967.
The Prime Minister pointed out that Pakistan was amongst the first countries which had strongly condemned Israeli attack on May 31, on the Freedom Flotilla taking the humanitarian supplies for the besieged people of Ghaza. The presence of Pakistan’s media team and a Pakistani pro Palestine activist abroad to Flotilla, was reflective of the solidarity of people of Pakistan with their Palestinian brothers as well as of their anxiety on the miseries caused to the people of Ghaza by Israeli blockade.
The Prime Minister asked the Palestinian Ambassador to convey his best wishes and personal regards to President Mehmood Abbas. He also stated that his government would examine the contents of President Abbas’ message and a reply to it would be conveyed to the Palestinian Government in the near future.
PR. No. 69
Islamabad: July 07, 2010
Members of the International Crisis Group, Louise Arbour, President & CEO, International Crisis Group, Mr. Mark Schneider, Senior Vice President Washington DC and Dr. Samina Ahmed, South Asia Project Director called on Senator Mian Raza Rabbani and Chairman, Implementation Commission today and discussed matters of mutual interest.
Senator Mian Raza Rabbani briefed the members on the various aspects and implication of Eighteenth Constitutional Amendment. He told that the present parliament has taken a giant step in the shape of Eighteenth Constitutional Amendment for ensuring stability of the democratic institutions, provincial autonomy and creating political harmony. He described the unanimous passage of Eighteenth Constitutional Amendment as a historic step which would make Pakistan a true participatory Federation.
Senator Mian Raza Rabbani also briefed the members on the various steps being taken for the immediate implementation of Eighteenth Constitutional Amendment. He further stressed that Eighteenth Amendment has the ownership of all democratic forces within Parliament and there is a determined political will of the coalition Government and democratic forces to ensure its complete implementation within the timeframe provided in the Constitution.
The members of International Crisis Group wished the coalition Government success in its effort to implement the amendment
PR. No. 70
Delegation of Balochistan led by CM Balochistan calls on PM
Islamabad: July 07, 2010
Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has said that democracy is the only way forward and has to be strengthened through political process. The government is committed to bring the under-developed areas at par with other developed regions and our seriousness is manifested by various initiatives taken during last two years, he added.
The Prime Minister was talking to a delegation from Balochistan led by Chief Minister Balochistan, Nawab M. Aslam Raeesani, who called on him at Prime Minister’s Secretariat this morning.
The Prime Minister observed that the government would ensure the prompt release of requisite funds for various projects so that benefits could reach the common man at the earliest. The Prime Minister directed the Ministries of Communication, Petroleum & Natural Resources, Water & Power, Ports & Shipping and Finance to coordinate with the government of Balochistan for speedy implementation of Haqooq-e-Balochistan initiative.
The Prime Minister urged all the political parties and the provincial governments to synergize their efforts in combating the menace of terrorism in order to improve the much needed security environment for overall progress and prosperity of the country.
The Chief Minister apprised the Prime Minister of the progress of mega infrastructure projects in the province. He also mentioned that security situation in the province is gradually improving and leading to political stability and generation of economic activities.
Provincial Minister for Finance Mr. M. Asim Kurd, Provincial Minister for Industries Syed Ehsan Shah, Provincial Minister for Communication & Works Mr. M. Sadiq Umrani, Provincial Minister for Revenue Engr Zamrak Khan, Provincial Minister for Youth Affairs Capt (Retd) Abdul Khaliq, Provincial Minister for Health Mr Ain us Shams and Provincial Minister for Interior Mir Zafarullah Zehri, were among the delegation.
PR. No. 71
Egypt keen to import wheat from Pakistan and extend help in modernizing our irrigation system. Nazar M. Gondal
Islamabad July 7, 2010
Federal minister for Food & Agriculture, Nazar M. Gondal said that it is very encouraging that Egypt has shown interest in importing the surplus wheat from Pakistan and is willing to extend it assistance in modernizing the irrigation system and offer fellowship programes for Pakistan’s agricultural scientists.
The minister was holding a detailed meeting with the ambassador of Egypt to Pakistan, H.E. Mr. Magdy Amer here at the ministry.
“We can export meat, rice and wheat to Egypt. We appreciate the fellowship programmes annually offered by Egypt but would stress that our progressive farmers may be educated and given on farm training because they are the real stake holders and the implementing body”, said the minister.
The ambassador liked the idea of training the farmers and said” It’s a good idea…very good idea indeed”. He said that the working group will meet in Cairo soon to finalize the potential areas for mutual cooperation before the President of Pakistan’s visit to Egypt, which is expected in the month of September or October this year. He said that the ministry must prioritize areas for the fellowship programes offered by Egypt.
Mr. Gondal said that technically speaking Pakistan’s wheat is the best wheat in the world and Egypt must import it from Pakistan. He added that institutional linkages between Economic Research Department of Pakistan and Agriculture Research Centre (ARC) of Egypt must be developed for exchange of expertise, experiences, information and development of joint research studies.
The meeting was attended buy secretary and other officials of the ministry.
PR. No. 72
Kakar to inaugurate construction of 2000 flats in I -16 sector on July 15
Islamabad 07, July 2010
Federal Minister for Housing and Works Rahmatullah Kakar will inaugurate construction work of two thousand flats in 1-16 sector on July 15 being built for the Low Income Group under Prime Minister’s Housing for all programme
Presiding over a meeting here today to review the progress on the projects under Prime Minister’s Housing for All programme, the Minister directed the , PHA and FGEHF to gear up their efforts for accomplishment of the housing projects for the benefit of the shelterless people.
The Minister said that it was national obligation of our engineers and experts to introduce latest technologies and skills to bring down the cost of the housing units within the reach of the housing units within the reach of the common man.
The meeting was told that this housing scheme undertaken by the Pakistan Housing Authority (PHA) in which D and E type flats would be constructed with car parking along streets and blocks, children play area, jogging tracks vehiculter approach to all streets basement for services maintenance.
The scheme will also have security system (CCTV) check post, dedicated mail boxes for each apartment and round the clock operation of lifts and emergency. Pakistan Housing Authority has required sixteen acres of land from the CDA to carry out this project.
Availability of road connections water supply, saverage, electricity and sui gas connections to main areas development schemes will be ensured.
Pakistan Housing Authority has also been constructing flats for Low Income group in various localities in Islamabad and apartments in Karachi.
Pakistan Housing Authority and Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation will launch more housing schemes in Kuri Road Barakahu G-13 areas of Islamabad besides construction of houses for the people in Khyber Pukhtun Khaw. In Balochistan, a housing scheme has already been started in Turbat.
The Minister for Housing and Works will also perform ground breaking of Wafaqi Employees colony in Lahore on July 16.
MD PHA and seniors officials of the Ministry attended the meeting.
PR. No. 73
PRIME MINISTER CHAIRS PAKISTAN EDUCATION TASK FORCE MEETING
Islamabad 07, July 2010
Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has said that education is a key area for the development of any nation and it is in pursuance of the same objective that the National Education Policy – 2009 has been formulated. He said ensuring access to education for all and improving quality of education are the hallmark of our National Education Policy – 2009. The success of the National Education Policy would, however, largely depend on its effective implementation by the provincial governments.
The Prime Minister expressed these views while chairing the Pakistan Education Task Force (PETF) meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat here today.
The implementation of the policy, monitoring the progress on the plans and the capacity building of teachers, he said, would be pursued as per the priorities of the government to improve the education system. He asked the Task Force to develop a monitoring mechanism to evaluate the standards of educational institutions particularly schools against the approved benchmarks in coordination with the Federal Ministry of Education and the provincial education departments. The Task Force, he mentioned, should particularly focus on reducing the drop out rates and develop a strategy to encourage the children to continue with their studies. He further impressed upon the Task Force to work in tandem with other international donors who are working in this field to avoid duplication of efforts and wastage of resources.
The Prime Minister said, as Islamabad is represented by all the provinces and regions of Pakistan, it should be developed as a model city as far as government school system is concerned. He tasked the Task Force to focus on upgradation of school buildings in Islamabad, provision of free text books, development of play grounds, teachers training, capacity building of the management and above all increasing enrolment of children in the schools.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan has been passing through an age of transition and trying to eliminate the extremist tendencies from the society. It is endeavoring to emerge as a moderate and educated nation to stand high among the comity of nations. The Prime Minister said that he has instructed the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Religious Affairs to work in close coordination to bring about the reforms in Madrissa education as well. The purpose of education reforms in Madaris is to integrate them into national mainstream. He said that addition of modern subjects along with religious curriculum would expand intellectual horizon of the students and enable them to find employment in job markets.
The Prime Minister said that the development of the physical infrastructure of the educational institutions is also very important in the improvement of quality of school-level education. He said that facilities like the provision of electricity, toilets, clean drinking water and adequately furnished class rooms can help a lot in this regard.
Highlighting the importance of private sector’s role in the field of education, the Prime Minister said that effective partnership with these institutions would align the work around the agenda of the government for better education for all. He specially mentioned the backward areas of the country which need special focus in provision of quality education at school level.
The Prime Minister said historically, our education system lacks standards, but this time efforts are being made to develop the sector and improve the quality, by introducing and enforcing various minimum quality standards.
The Prime Minister appreciated the performance of Task Force particularly for their support to the provincial governments in developing their education plans and new system for monitoring the performance of schools.
He also appreciated the keen interest, efforts and assistance of United Kingdom, for the improvement of the educational system in the country.
Pakistan, he added, desires to draw benefits from the vast experience and technical expertise, UK holds in the field of school education and looks forward for further cooperation in developing these plans successfully.
The Minister for Education Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali while talking on the subject said the objective of the Task Force is to increase the capacity of the Federal and Provincial Governments, to implement the education reforms set out in the National Education Policy – 2009. He lauded the efforts of the Task Force particularly the contribution of Sir Michael Barber, Co-Chair, Pakistan Education Task force for his commitment and dedication. He emphasized on developing a feed back system to assess if the common man at the grass roots level is actually benefiting from the education plans. He also asked the Task Force to focus on technical education so as to produce useful citizens in different sectors. The Madarisas throughout the country, he said, are an important segment of our traditional educational system and need to be brought into the main stream.
Earlier, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister and Co-Chair of Pakistan Education Task Force, Ms Shahnaz Wazir Ali, gave a detailed briefing on the performance of the Task Force in improving the school education system. She said that the Task Force had started its work by simplifying the National Education Policy to a seven point agenda consisting of; “Setting clear standards for learning, school performance, and district performance. Developing and implementing simple and transparent processes to monitor school performance and student learning; informing citizens of their rights and empowering them to act; increasing the number of good school places by providing state support and funding to non-government low-cost for-profit providers, as long as they can deliver the standards and curriculum; based on the standards, providing more high-quality textbooks, teacher guides, and low-cost professional development for teachers; building the capacity at every level to deliver the strategy and providing basic facilities for every school.” She said that PETF was now supporting the provinces and others private sector institutions to bring about improvement within their education systems.
Sir Michael Barber, Co-Chair of the Task Force particularly appreciated the National Education Policy 2009 and expressed confidence it would be able to set directions in achieving the millennium development goals. He observed that Pakistan has the capacity and determination to solve the problems in the education sectors and the National Education Policy is a step in that direction. The real challenge, he said, is sustained and persistent efforts for the implementation of policies and plans which would require the attention of both the federal as well as all the provincial governments. He particularly mentioned about the capacity building of the teachers at all levels through special courses during the vacations. He highlighted the need for further improving the standards of schools system and regular monitoring of these benchmarks.
The Federal Secretary Education, Secretaries Education of all the provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan, AJK and FATA attended the meeting.
PR. No. 74
Islamabad 07, July 2010
Director General ISI, Lt: General Ahmed Shuja Pasha called on Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani at PM’s Sectt: here today and discussed the overall security situation in the country.
PR. No. 75
PRESIDENT ZARDARI- HU JINTAO MEET
REAFFIRM STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP, AGREEMENT AND MOUS SIGNED, CHINA PLEDGES 50 MILLION YUAN GRANT
Islamabad 07, July 2010
Pakistan and China today reaffirmed at the highest level to strengthen the strategic relationship between the two countries, increase the level of economic cooperation by an order of magnitude and take concrete measures to further bring their peoples closer together. As a measure of this reiteration the two countries signed an agreement on economic and technical cooperation and four MoUs witnessed by the two Presidents and a pledge of 50 million Yuan grant by China to new projects in Pakistan, according to a press release received from Beijing.
“The two countries have worked together and will continue to work together to further deepen the people to people contacts and China is a friend and a strategic partner committed to the promotion of stability and economic progress of Pakistan” is how President Hu Jintao summed up the strategic relations. President Zardari responded by saying, “It is our belief that Pakistan can act as force multiplier for China and we will continue to work towards this end”.
The reiteration to strengthen political, economic, security relations and people to people contacts was made today in the Great Hall of the Peoples in Beijing where the two Presidents met; first on a one to one basis and later along with their delegations followed by a banquet by President Hu Jintao.
Presidential Spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said that the one on one meeting that was scheduled for thirty minutes initially continued for one hour during which the two leaders discussed a host of issues relating to strategic partnership reviewing the steps taken thus far and charting also the future course of action.
Bilateral relations, situation in the region and international relations also came under discussion during the one on one meeting followed by delegation level meeting that was dominated by specific issues of economic cooperation and developing soft power to boost the ties between the two countries. President Hu Jintao reaffirmed China’s support to Pakistan in its fight against militancy saying also that China deeply appreciated the struggle the people and government of Pakistan were waging against militants.
Welcoming President Zardari the Chinese President said that he had directed his Foreign Minister to take steps for the exchange of youth delegations, cultural and writers’ delegations between the two countries and also increasing scholarships for young Pakistanis for studies in China. He said the Chinese government was determined to make the relationship “more vibrant”. He said that China valued Pakistan’s support to it on regional and international forums and said that China will continue to support Pakistan at various multilateral forums like SAARC and SCO.
Addressing President Zardari the Chinese President said, “You are old friend. You have paid five visits to China and contributed in great measure to the growth of relations between the two countries. Your trip will further consolidate our strategic partnership to a higher level”. President Hu Jintao also appreciated Pakistan’s one China policy.
Hu Jintao said that China had become Pakistan’s second largest trading partner and pledged to make “steady progress in cooperation with Pakistan in energy, telecom sectors, Neelum Jhelum project and Pakistan telecommunication satellite project”.
Hina Rabbani Khar signed an agreement on economic and technical cooperation on the occasion.. Instruments of ratification were also exchanged as a follow up of the Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between the two countries. A Memorandom of Understanding of cooperation between Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation and China Radio International for Urdu service broadcasts in selected Pakistani cities on FM channel was also signed by Ambassador Masood Khan and head of the CRI. Three other MoUs pertaining to the fields of health, geological survey, and agriculture were also signed on the occasion.
PR. No. 76
JOINT COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF PAKISTAN-AFGHISTAN FINANCE MINISTERS’ TALKS IN ISLAMABAD
Islamabad 07, July 2010
A meeting of the delegations of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Islamic Republic of Pakistan was held in Islamabad on 6 & 7 July 2010 on wide ranging agenda including the following:
1. Business to business cooperation
2. Afghan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement
3. Railway links
The meeting was inaugurated by Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Federal Minister for Finance of Pakistan. In his welcome address, the Federal Minister expressed his desire for successful dialogue between the two brotherly countries. Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, Minister of Finance of Afghanistan responded with similar sentiments. He offered his deep condolences on the sad incident at the shrine of Hazrat Data Gunj Baskh. He highlighted the importance of Pakistan being the largest trading partner of Afghanistan and offered Pakistani business community to avail of the business opportunities in Afghanistan.
A meeting of the businessmen from both the countries was held to promote trade and services between the two countries. From the Pakistani side businessmen, members of the construction industry, exporters, motorcycle manufacturers and representatives of the mining industry took part. In-depth discussions were held and issues specific to development of business to business contacts were tabled. The Afghan Minister offered to take the process further and proposed a larger meeting to be held in Kabul along with an exhibition of Pakistani products. This idea was warmly welcomed by the participants of the meeting.
Discussions on the Afghan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) were held in the context of achieving larger economic cooperation between the two countries. These discussions were held in continuation of the six rounds of negotiations previously held on the APTTA. Considerable progress was made and consensus arrived at most issues. Both sides agreed to continue discussions on remaining issues to achieve complete agreement.
In order to promote accelerated communications between the two countries, it was agreed to start work on feasibility reports on two important rail linkages. The Torkham-Jalalabad and Chaman-Spinboldak-Kandhar rail connections would provide connectivity to boost regional trade. A MOU covering feasibility studies for the two rail projects was signed by Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, Minister for Railways from the Pakistani side and Mr. Hazrat Omar Zekhiwal, Finance Minister of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
PR. No. 77
POWER SUPPLY IN BALOCHISTAN TO BE IMPROVED SOON: RAJA PERVEZ ASHRAF
Islamabad 07, July 2010
Federal Minister for Water and Power, Raja Pervez Ashraf has said that concrete steps are being taken to improve and smooth power supply in Balochistan.
He made these observations while talking to Nawab Aslam Raisani, Chief Minister Balochistan who called on him here today along with his five members of provincial Cabinet and discussed various matters related to supply of electricity in the province.
The Chief Minister and his Cabinet members briefed the meeting on the electricity related issues in Balochistan and discussed various measures to resolve it at the earliest and prospects of new power plants through geothermal, wind and solar. He also informed that the agriculture sector of Balochistan is facing difficulties due to shortage of power supply and asked the Minister to make necessary arrangements for maximum uninterrupted supply to the agriculture sector as it is only source of income of mostly population of Balochistan.
The Minister said that work on Dadu Khuzdar 220 KV double circuit line and Dera Ghazi Khan-Lora Lai 220 KV is underway which, after completion in June 2011, would generate about 600 MW additional electricity for the consumers of Balochistan. Agreement between Iran and Pakistan has been finalized for import of 100 MW electricity from Iran for Gawadar. He said coal-run power plant has been proposed through joint venture of Pepco and government of Balochistan in the province. He said ongoing electricity shortages partly due to sabotage activities by miscreants in Balochistan would be resolved in next 6-8 days and informed that Sibi-Quetta Transmission line would be restored by 10th July. He also informed the delegation that a project of 250 MW has also been proposed in Shaikh Manda in Quetta. He said that 14 grid stations would be set up in various localities of Balochistan financed by Asian Development Bank and some of existing grid stations and transmission lines would be upgraded for system improvement. The Minister said that different electricity improvement projects in Balochistan are underway which would resolve the menace of load shedding shortly besides rendering additional electricity.
The Chief Minister thanked the Minister for the electricity improvement plan and assured that security would be provided for protection of power installation and transmission lines in Balochistan. He also said that government of Balochistan will support the proposed power plants in the province.
The meeting was attended by Provincial Ministers Mir Asim Kurd, Syed Ihsan Shah, Amanullah Shams, Zamurk Khan, Mir Sadiq Umrani, Shahid Rafi, Secretary Ministry of Water and Power, Mr. Riaz Ahmed Khan Advisor, CEO NTDC and senior officers of Ministry of Water and Power.
PR. No. 78
Islamabad 07, July 2010
Taking notice of increasing number of websites hacking/defacement cases in the country, Mr. Shahid Nadeem Baloch (PSP), Director Cyber Crimes/FIA constituted an investigation team under the supervision of Mr. Muhammad Idrees Mian, Additional Director NR3C/FIA Cyber Crime Circle Rawalpindi/Islamabad. Mr. Muhammad Raza, Sub-Inspector of Police Station Cyber Crime Circle Rawalpindi/Islamabad with assistance of Technical Officers of NR3C Mr. Aun Abbas and Mr. Amjad Abbasi taking a prompt action carried out a detailed investigation. FIA team unearthed notorious hackers’ group namely “Pakbugs” and arrested five (05) hackers belonging to this group from various parts of the country while taking the computers and other related equipment involved in various Cyber Crimes into possession. This group is involved in hacking/defacing thousands of websites belonging to various government/non-government organizations and international organizations also. Mr. Zafar Ullah Khan (PSP), the Director General Federal Investigation Agency appreciated the achievements of the team.
Details of these hackers are given below:
1. Jawad Ehsan alias Humza, located in Riyadh Saudi Arabia, still at large
Nick Name: ZombiE_KsA
Membership: Pakbugs (Founder)
Total Defacements: 169 of which 69 single ip and 100 mass defacements
2. Ahmad Hafeez, arrested from Lahore
Nick Name: vergil
Membership: Pakbugs (as moderator), Pakhaxorz (as moderator)
Total Defacements: 480 of which 157 single ip and 323 mass defacements
3. Hassan Khan, arrested from Peshawar
Nick Name: x00mx00m
Membership: Pakbugs (Co-founder)
Total Defacements: 8697 of which 646 single ip and 8051 mass defacements
4. Farman Ullah Khan, arrested from Bannu
Nick Name: Farman
Membership: Pakbugs (as VIP-member)
Defacements details could not be retrieved.
5. Malik Hammad Khalid, arrested from Rawalpindi
Nick Name: inject0r
Membership: Pakbugs (as super moderator)
Total Defacements: 134 of which 82 single ip and 52 mass defacements
6. Taimoor Zafar Bhatti, arrested from Rawalpindi
Nick Name: h4v0c-
Membership: Pakbugs (as super-moderator)
Total Defacements: 105 of which 36 single ip and 69 mass defacements
FIA Cyber Crimes Department have also identified hackers with nick-names BiG^Smoke, Cyber-Criminal, spo0feR and [a], who have committed a large number of cyber crimes.
These individuals have expertise in following techniques:
2) SQL Injection
3) Trojan horses
6) Access to various servers
8) PHP Scripts
10) ASP scripts (self writing)
11) JSP scripts (self writing)
12) Key loggers
13) Credit Cards Jacking and usage of stolen Credit Cards
PR. No. 79
Islamabad 07, July 2010
The Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani urged the Ministries to work in an institutionalized manner and enhance coordination to achieve optimal results despite resource constraints. He said Pakistan needs large investment in the energy sector. He asked the Ministries of Food and Agriculture, and Water and Power to finalize operational plans and identify potential areas of cooperation with the US to reap maximum benefit through this cooperation.
The Prime Minister while chairing a high level preparatory meeting in connection with the forthcoming Pakistan-US Strategic Dialogue here at PM Secretariat this afternoon, said energy and food security are key sectors where Pakistan can seek the US assistance. He asked the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to work out a foolproof strategy to enhance exports of agricultural products like marketing of mangoes and other fruits in the United States.
The Prime Minister reiterated his direction to the Ministry of Agriculture to install 1100 tube wells in the Balochistan being offered under the US agriculture support programme for the uplift of agricultural production in the province. He asked the Ministry of Water and Power that a clear mechanism ought to be worked out in advance through consultation with the Balochistan administration for collection of electricity charges from the tube wells to be installed under this scheme.
The Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh apprised the Prime Minister that potential areas of cooperation with the US has already been identified in the field of food, agriculture, livestock, water and power, I.T., education, social sector and public diplomacy.
The Minister for Water and Power, Raja Pervez Ashraf gave a detailed account of the projects identified in the energy sector for cooperation with the US. The Minister said that out of the pledged 32 medium and small dams, the operational plans for construction of first scheme of 12 dams, 3 each in Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan, and 2 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, have been prepared. He also apprised the Prime Minister of the progress of the negotiations with the US about thermal, wind power projects and revamping/rehabilitation of the energy sector projects. He further said that the preparatory work on installation of two plants gifted by the UAE at Faisalabad and Multan to cater for the needs of the textile industry has also been finalized.
The Minister for Food, Agriculture and Livestock, Mr. Nazar Mohammad Gondal gave a detailed presentation both on bilateral (Pakistan & USA) and trilateral (Pakistan, USA & Afghanistan) cooperation programmes. He said that his ministry is seeking cooperation of the US Government in the field of development of wheat with special focus on UG-99 research, development of a cotton variety resistant to cotton leaf curl virus, livestock production development with special focus on foot and mouth disease, high efficiency irrigation system, watershed management, small and medium dams and re-invigoration of extension system to enhance agriculture production and achieve food self sufficiency. He also informed the Prime Minister that Pakistan has offered to partner with the US on President Barak Obama programme for Global Food Security.
The meeting was also attended by the secretaries’ finance, Food and Agriculture, Water and Power, principal secretary to the Prime Minister and other concerned senior officials.