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Pakistan, Indonesia agree to work jointly for Afghan peace

Islamabad, January 26, 2018 (PPI-OT):President Mamnoon Hussain and President of Indonesia Ir. H. Joko Widodo have agreed to work together for peace in Afghanistan and said that peace in Afghanistan is necessary for the development and progress of the region. Both countries will work together in this regard, they added. This was agreed between the two leaders in a meeting at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad on Friday. The two Presidents had one on one meeting which was followed by delegation level meeting.

Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs of Indonesia Darmin Nasution, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia Retno L.P. Marsudi, Minister for Trade of Indonesia Enggartiasto Lukito, Ambassador of Indonesia, Iwan Suyudhie Amri, while from Pakistani side Minister for Commerce Muhammad Pervaiz Malik, Federal Minister for Interior Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Energy Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari and other senior officials were also present in meeting.

Earlier, President Mamnoon Hussain and First Lady Begum Mehmooda Mamnoon warmly welcomed President of Indonesia Ir. H. Joko Widodo and First Lady of Indonesia Mrs. Iriana Joko Widodo upon their arrival at main entrance of the Aiwan-e-Sadr. On the occasion, children clad in traditional dress presented bouquets to the visiting dignitary. President Mamnoon Hussain stated that Pakistan and Indonesia have similar views on International issues. He expressed pleasure that both countries have similar viewpoint in this regard and we wish to work together which will yield positive impact.

Indonesian President Ir. H. Joko Widodo said that Indonesia thinks that it can play a positive role in the peace process of Afghanistan. He commended that Pakistan has played a very significant role in the peace process of Afghanistan. He also proposed the establishment of a committee of Indonesian, Afghan and Pakistani Ulemas for this purpose. President Mamnoon Hussain also agreed to his proposal. During the meeting, the two leaders also agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation to further strengthen the defence and trade relations.

Both leaders stressed that expanded trade, investment and economic cooperation should be a vital element in their relationship. President Mamnoon Hussain expressed satisfaction over the progress of defence relations between the two countries. He expressed pleasure that activities under the bilateral Defence Agreement have been started. He hoped that the Joint Committee envisaged under the Agreement will soon be formed and start implementing the provisions of the Agreement.

He stated that new initiatives of Army to Army talks, Navy to Navy talks and joint exercises will further boost our cooperation. Both countries can utilize expertise of each other in defence production, he said. President Mamnoon Hussain highlighted that excellent cooperation exists between Pakistan and Indonesia on international issues.

He also thanked the Indonesian President for their support to Pakistan’s bid to become Full Dialogue Partner of ASEAN. President Mamnoon Hussain also hosted a banquet in the honour of the President of Indonesia. On the occasion, Federal Ministers, Parliamentarians, Senior Civil and Defence officers and eminent personalities from different walks of life were also present.

For more information, contact:
Principal Information Officer,
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +92-51-9252323, +92-51-9252324
Fax: +92-51-9252325, +92-51-9252326
Email: piopid@gmail.com
Website: www.pid.gov.pk

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Interview of Defence Minister Engr. Khurram Dastagir Khan on Belgium’s National TV

Islamabad, January 26, 2018 (PPI-OT):The national radio and TV channel of Belgium (VRT: Flemish Radio and TV) has broadcast an interview of Pakistan’s Defence Minister Engr. Khurram Dastagir Khan conducted by senior journalist of VRT Mr. Steven Victor Decraene during the visit of Minister to Belgium from 22nd to 25th of January at the head of 4 member Parliamentary delegation. The interview was carried as one of the three main stories in the 8’o clock news program Terzake. The VRT also aired the interview on radio and published a written article on its website.

Following are the excerpts of the interview, says a press release received from Brussels here today. In the context of situation in Afghanistan Engr. Khurram Dastagir Khan said “A lot of blame game has come to Pakistan. It is one of the reasons why we have now begun to fence the border. And it is very interesting: now that we say Ok you blame us that we send people across or that some people are crossing over, we will fence the whole 2600 kilometres. But once we have begun to fence, we have done almost well 250 kilometres already, no-one is helping us.” He said “The Americans are choosing to blame Pakistan for their sixteen year old failure in Afghanistan.

They have spent a trillion dollars; they have sacrificed thousands of soldiers, many more injuries. And even now, nearly 45% of Afghanistan is outside the government’s control.” The minister warned, as long as the situation is unstable in Afghanistan, there will remain unrest in Pakistan. In reply to a question on Pak- Us relations the minister said “We expect the Europeans to convey our point of view to the Americans who are at the moment not very receptive to Pakistan’s point of view; it is to say that again let’s keep the eyes on the prize, as the Americans say. And the prize is a stable democratic Afghanistan.”

On the internal security situation of Pakistan the Minister said “Well the internal security situation is massively improved. There is no other word for it. I think we have performed a near miracle. So, the whole of Pakistan is now peaceful. We still get some terrorist incidents. But largely, the incidents of terror are down by 80% from their peak in 2012”. He added “The murdering of 142 children in Army Public School in 2017 cleared the mind of the people of Pakistan. These were not religious people, these were not anti-American crusaders, these were not nationalist people. They were just evil people who wanted to hurt Pakistan”.

Talking about improvement in Pakistan’s economic situation Khurram Dastagir Khan was of the view: “Pakistan is the fastest growing consumer market in the world at the moment. There is a lot of interest from international retailers, food outlets, and companies who want to tap Pakistan’s consumer market. As I said, the infrastructure is coming in, and Pakistan is finally, we believe, at the threshold of utilising its potential because of its very strategic geographical location. It is something that has given us more trouble in our history. But now finally because of the China-Pakistan economic corridor and the investment that is coming in, that we are about to exploit its potential.”

For more information, contact:
Principal Information Officer,
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +92-51-9252323, +92-51-9252324
Fax: +92-51-9252325, +92-51-9252326
Email: piopid@gmail.com
Website: www.pid.gov.pk

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No Child Out Of School In 2018: Rana Mashood Ahmad Khan Punjab Government and British Council sign two MoUs on Education Technical Skills and Physical Education to be taught in Punjab Schools

Islamabad, January 26, 2018 (PPI-OT):Minister School Education Punjab, Rana Mashood Ahmad Khan has said that by the end of 2018, no child between ages 5 to 8 would be out of school in Punjab. He was speaking at a dinner reception hosted by the Pakistan High Commission London in honour of the visiting delegation from Pakistan that attended the Education World Forum (EWF) in London. The visit was organized by the British Council Pakistan, says a press release received from London here today.

Two Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between the Government of Punjab and the British Council in Pakistan. Rana Mashood and Rosemary Hilhorst (OBE), Country Director, British Council Pakistan signed the agreements. Under the MoUs the British Council in Pakistan will help create linkages and exchange of best practices between School Education Department, Government of Punjab and UK institutions in the areas of Skills and Physical Education. This cooperation will help impart skill sets to the school children to attain relevance to local and international job markets.

Minister School Education, Rana Mashood Ahmad Khan, in his address, gave a comprehensive overview of the Punjab education reforms that have significantly reduced the number of out of school children in the province. He said that under the Punjab Roadmap, education budget has been enhanced by 450%; the number of students’ enrolment has increased from 09 million to 15 million and results have improved from 60% to 78%. Similarly, the Minister said that number of schools with modern facilities has risen from 70% to 98% in the province.

He further informed that the government was introducing the technical skills at the school level to equip our youth with munch needed skill sets relevant to the international job market. The Minister appreciated the cooperation of the British Council in education sector of the province. The Minister particularly commended the vision and leadership role of Chief Minister Punjab, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif in placing education among the top priority areas of the government.

He said that it was because of Chief Minister’s vision that the education sector has shown significant qualitative improvements which have been acknowledged by international publications and institutions alike. Acting High Commissioner, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry welcomed the delegation to the High Commission. He appreciated the Government of Punjab for putting in its best efforts to improve the standards of education in the province. Mr Chaudhry stated that Pakistan and UK enjoy excellent relations in all areas of common interest and termed UK a valuable development partner of Pakistan.

Mr Chaudhry commended the role of the Department for International Development (DfID) and the British Council in promotion of education and uplift of overall socio-economic conditions in Pakistan. Other speakers at the dinner reception included: Michael O’ Sullivan, CEO Cambridge Assessment; Ms Sabahat Rafiq, CEO United We Reach and Rosemary Hilhorst (OBE), Country Director, British Council Pakistan. Ms Hilhorst, in her remarks, reiterated the British Council’s commitment to improving the quality of education in Pakistan and strengthening the cultural ties between the two countries.

While in London, the visiting delegation attended the three-day Education World Forum (EWF) in London which took place from 21 – 24 January 2018. The forum enables ministers and senior advisers from across the world to debate the future of education policy. The EWF theme for 2018 was preparing students for success: thinking, doing, well-being and learning, issues are explored in a series of keynote debates, ministerial exchanges and plenary sessions that bring experts, educators and policy makers together at one platform. The British Council in Pakistan facilitates opportunities to engage with the UK’s experience and expertise. The British Council has been working closely with Pakistani institutions, government departments and civil society in the fields of Education, Arts, English, Society and Examinations.

For more information, contact:
Principal Information Officer,
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +92-51-9252323, +92-51-9252324
Fax: +92-51-9252325, +92-51-9252326
Email: piopid@gmail.com
Website: www.pid.gov.pk

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Benazir Income Support Programme launches countrywide ‘Child Protection Campaign’

Islamabad, January 26, 2018 (PPI-OT):Benazir Income Support Programme is launching ‘BISP Child Protection Campaign’ at its headquarter and other district and tehsil offices across the country from 27th January 2018. The campaign has been planned under the concept of social responsibility envisaging a call to action from all segments of society. It will include gatherings in 40 districts which will be led by respective parliamentarians who will initiate the campaign in their constituencies. The main event will be held at BISP headquarters and presided by Chairperson BISP, Ms. Marvi Memon.

The Members of Parliament, Academia, Civil Society, Media, various INGOs and NGOs working on child protection like Sahil, UNICEF, UN Women, Oxfam International and BISP beneficiaries will participate in the campaign. It will proceed towards a pledge of child protection from all stakeholders. During the campaign, the BISP Women Leaders, BISP beneficiaries and their children will be sensitized through training on issues of child protection, children’s rights and ways to ensure security of children through video documentaries, IEC (Information, Education and Communication) material and animated and illustrative messaging.

The campaign is planned to raise awareness about the different aspects of child protection, role of parents, teachers, leaders, guardians and responsible members of society regarding child protection. The campaign will also highlight different methods to inform children on the issue. The campaign will focus activities where the parents, teachers, youth and the community will be informed on the scale of the problem and the actions which can be taken to control the issue of child harassment and abuse.

It is focused towards changing the attitudes of complacency towards our children. The campaign will have multiple outcomes such as a strong policy dialogue on issues of child protection, an aware and informed community on child rights and voice generation of civil society and media on children’s wellbeing and a resolution from all stakeholders against the violence against children.

Moreover, BISP also plans to set up a hotline and call center as part of this campaign for receiving complaints of abuse against children and direct them to relevant agencies for actions. ‘BISP Child Protection Campaign’ will be helpful to create an environment, in which families, communities, organizations and Government ensure that children’s physical, social and psychological needs are fulfilled so that they grow into healthy and contributing members of society, ultimately resulting in a child friendly society.

For more information, contact:
Principal Information Officer,
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +92-51-9252323, +92-51-9252324
Fax: +92-51-9252325, +92-51-9252326
Email: piopid@gmail.com
Website: www.pid.gov.pk

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Italian Ambassador calls on Rana Muhammad Afzal

Islamabad, January 26, 2018 (PPI-OT):The Ambassador of Italy to Pakistan, Mr. Stefano Pontecorvo, had a meeting with the Minister of State for Finance, Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan here Friday. During the meeting the arrangements and preparations for the P...

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