The government committed to facilitating investors in Pakistan: PM Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the incumbent government is committed to create ease and facilitate investors in every possible manner it can on Tuesday.

This he stated while talking to CEO of Engro Foods Hein Schumacher who called on him in the federal capital to discuss the development of Pakistan’s dairy sector.

Engro Foods-FrieslandCampina showed its keen interest to further expand its business with the introduction of technology and best practices vis-à-vis nutrition and production techniques in Pakistan during the meeting with the premier.

The Prime Minister appreciated the interest of Engro Foods-FrieslandCampina for expanding their business in the country.

This would help the farmers to increase their productivity and would thus facilitate the country capitalize its export potential in the sector, the PM continued.

He said that the Government was cognizant of the need for putting in place a regulatory framework which would not only help in regulating the informal sector but also towards ensuring the quality of the food products.

Hein Schumacher underscored the need for a coherent regulatory framework which would help in providing better, safer & affordable nutrition to the consumers and the dairy companies to further grow their businesses in the country.

Engro Foods-FrieslandCampina, is a multinational dairy cooperative based in the Netherlands, is the world 6th largest dairy company operating in 34 countries.

ECC directs to ensure offloading of imported urea

Islamabad: The Economic Coordination Committee which met in Islamabad with Finance Minister Asad Umar in the chair discussed the proposal of National Telecommunication Corporation regarding their budget estimates.

The Committee gave consent for submission of the proposal to the Cabinet for approval. It also directed that in future National Telecommunication Corporation Budget may be discussed and approved by NTC Board.

The ECC also directed Ministry of Industries to ensure offloading of imported urea and its urgent supply in the market.

Malaysian first lady talks about holding ‘handsome’ PM Imran’s hand

Malaysian first lady Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, who came out as a fan of Prime Minister Imran Khan during his official visit, has surfaced in the news again.

In an official photo shoot, the first lady had asked the prime minister if she could hold his hand in a picture. PM Khan had amusingly replied: “Sure!” which drew laughter from the audience and a hearty chuckle from his Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mohamad.

In a video of a Global Doctors Malaysia ceremony surfacing on social media, the first lady can be seen speaking of the meeting. She revealed that PM Mahathir had hired photographers for a picture session. Afterward, PM Imran was going to leave, so she asked him for his hand as they posed.

So, I took his hand because he’s another of our illustrious guests at our humble abode. What is so wrong in that? Why are people jealous? she berated.

Referring to her meeting with Putin, she shed off a controversy that she quipped that she had managed to hold hands with two “handsome men”.

She joked that her daughter-in-law had looked at online reports and mocked that she “was ashamed that I was flirting with these men”.

She then spoke about the time Putin visited them many years ago in their home, “which was the smallest, not like other palaces”, on his way to the airport after his official visit to Malaysia.

Putin was one of the illustrious leaders in the world who had come to our humble house,” she added.

Pakistan rejects the US move to include it in ‘religious freedom violation’ blacklist

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan rejected the US State Department’s move to include the country to its blacklist of countries that “violate religious freedom” as “unilateral and politically motivated”.

Following this, the Trump administration has waived potential sanctions for Pakistan which can be expected to hit countries downgraded in the US’s rankings of nations that it says infringe on religious freedom.

Pakistan had previously been on a special watch-list for religious freedom. The downgrade means that the US government is obliged to exert pressure on the blacklisted countries to end freedom violations.

However, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo waived the potential penalties for Pakistan in the US national interest.

The Foreign Office, in its response to Pompeo’s statement, said; “Besides the clear biases reflected from these designations, there are serious questions on the credentials and impartiality of the self-proclaimed jury involved in this unwarranted exercise.”

Pakistan is a multi-religious and pluralistic society where people of diverse faiths and denominations live together. Around four percent of our total population comprises citizens belonging to Christian, Hindu, Buddhists and Sikh faiths. Ensuring equal treatment of minorities and their enjoyment of human rights without any discrimination is the cardinal principle of the Constitution of Pakistan, it added.

The Foreign Office highlighted, “Special seats have been reserved for minorities in the Parliament to ensure their adequate representation and voice in the legislation process. A vibrant and independent National Commission on Human Rights is functioning to address concerns on violation of the rights of minorities.”

Successive governments have made it a priority that the rights of citizens belonging to minority faiths are protected as guaranteed by the law and the Constitution. The higher judiciary of the country has made several landmark decisions to protect the properties and places of worships of minorities, it further stated.

As a party to 7 out of the 9 core human rights treaties, Pakistan is submitting its compliance reports on its obligations with regard to fundamental freedoms. The government of Pakistan has devised well established legal and administrative mechanisms to safeguard the rights of its citizens, the Foreign Office statement said.

Pakistan does not need counsel by any individual country how to protect the rights of its minorities, the Foreign Office asserted.

Sadly, the proponents of human rights worldwide close their eyes on a systematic persecution of minorities subjected to alien domination and foreign occupation such as in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir. An honest self-introspection would also have been timely to know the causes of the exponential rise in Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in the US, it concluded.

Earlier, a statement that was released from the US Department of State said, “The countries were added to the list under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 for having engaged in or tolerated systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom.

Moreover, Pompeo said that he had designated Pakistan among the “countries of particular concern” in the congressionally-mandated annual report, which means that the US government is obliged to exert pressure in order to end freedom violations.

In far too many places across the globe, individuals continue to face harassment, arrests, or even death for simply living their lives in accordance with their beliefs. The United States will not stand by as spectators in the face of such oppression,” Pompeo said in the statement.

These designations are aimed at improving the lives of individuals and the broader success of their societies. I recognize that several designated countries are working to improve their respect for religious freedom; I welcome such initiatives and look forward to continuing the dialogue, he added.

It was further stated that nine other countries including China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan remained in the list of Countries of Particular Concern”. However, Uzbekistan was removed from the list but is still on the watch.

seven PML-N leaders approached him for NRO

ISLAMABAD: State Minister for Communications Murad Saeed on Wednesday claimed that he was approached by seven Pakistan Muslim League -Nawaz (PML-N) leaders for an (National Reconciliation Ordinance) NRO.

Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, the PTI leader said, “Seven of their Pakistan Muslim League -Nawaz members asked me for an NRO but their cases will proceed. No one will be given NRO.”

Murad Saeed added that the first person who had approached him for an NRO was “present in the House”.

The assets of those who stole the nation’s money will be auctioned at Islamabad’s D-Chowk, the minister asserted. “Those who looted the nation’s money should be hanged at the same venue,” he further suggested.

When the opposition interrupted Saeed and demanded that accountability should start from Prime Minister Imran Khan’s sister Aleema Khan, who is being probed for not disclosing her foreign properties, the PTI leader agreed and said, “Yes, of course.”