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Feasibility studies of 9 SEZs to be established under CPEC complete2017/07/24
ISLAMABAD: Feasibility studies of nine special economic zones to be established under multibillion dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor have been completed.
According to official sources, these will be set up in all the provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.
The officials said that Pakistan and Chinese teams are currently reviewing the feasibility studies.
The officials were confident that these economic zones will spur economic activities and generate thousands of job opportunities for the youth.
The officials said that one economic zone will be established in Rashakai in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at an area of two thousand acres.
This will later be expanded to four thousand acres.  This economic zone alone will create about five hundred thousand direct and indirect jobs. An MOU for the establishment of Rashakai economic zone has already been signed with China.
The project is run by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and they are optimistic the zone will be made operational by the end of this year.
The officials said that over hundred applications have been received from different investors for investment in the zone. - NNI

Chief of the Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa visiting Heavy Industries where detailed briefing was given to him on defence production of the industry2017/07/20
TAXILA: Chief of the Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa visiting Heavy Industries where detailed briefing was given to him on defence production of the industry including ongoing and future defence projects, here Wednesday. - APP photo

Reconstitute existing ECP body: Imran2017/07/20
ISLAMABAD: Hours after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders walked-out from a parliamentary meeting discussing electoral reforms, party chairman Imran Khan said they had "serious reservations" over the existing Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), demanding the body be reconstituted. "Reconstitution of the ECP is imperative before the upcoming general elections owing to the lack of trust political parties have in the existing set-up," he told reporters on Wednesday evening.
Imran demanded that overseas Pakistanis be given the right to vote as they send billions of rupees to the country every year.
Moreover, he said, the caretaker government must be selected after taking all parties on-board. The PTI chairman also put forth a demand to introduce bio-metric identification system in the forthcoming polls.

Int'l community rejected Indian attempts: Sartaj2017/07/20
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz on Wednesday underlined that the international community has rejected Indian attempts to equate the indigenous self-determination movement of Kashmiris with terrorism. 
In this regard, he mentioned the outcome document of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit in Istanbul last year and the Resolution adopted at the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), which was held in Abidjan last week.
Talking to a nine member delegation of representatives of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) in Islamabad, Sartaj Aziz noted that, "Jammu and Kashmir remains the core dispute between India and Pakistan, and its resolution is imperative for bringing peace to South Asia." 
He underscored that, "The valiant people of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir are waging a heroic and just struggle against Indian occupation. Pakistan pays rich tribute to Kashmiris for their unmatched sacrifices and unparalleled resilience."
The Adviser reaffirmed that, "People and the Government of Pakistan stand behind Kashmiris in extending political, diplomatic and moral support to their just struggle. Pakistan continues to pursue its principled position on Jammu and Kashmir and extends its steadfast support to the Kashmiris in their just struggle, as Kashmir cause remains close to the hearts of every Pakistani."
He said, "Kashmiri Diaspora abroad, and members of the Civil Society in various countries have been holding events to highlight Indian atrocities in the Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK)."
The Kashmiri delegation briefed the Adviser on the grave human rights situation in IoK and expressed concern over the policy of genocide being pursued by Indian forces, as manifested in the continued bloodshed of defenceless Kashmiris with impunity. They expressed deep appreciation of Kashmiris for the effective efforts and strong support of the Government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the Kashmiri cause.
The delegation underscored that the indigenous movement of Kashmiris for their right to self-determination has entered an important phase since the martyrdom of Burhan Muzaffar Wani on July 8, 2016.
The meeting was significant, as the day marked the observance of Youm Ilhaq-e-Pakistan, on July 19, 1947, wherein Kashmiri leaders unanimously agreed to accede Kashmir to Pakistan citing shared economic, linguistic, cultural and religious affinities of the people. The delegation presented a synopsis of human rights violations and atrocities perpetrated by Indian occupation forces in IoK. Since July last year, over 200 Kashmiris have been martyred, many in extra-judicial killings and fake encounters. -NNI

PCER adopts Election Bill to send it to parliament2017/07/20
ISLAMABAD: Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms (PCER) has adopted Election Bill 2017 for submission to the Parliament.     
After its meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday, the Chairman of the Committee, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the report finalized by the parliamentary committed would be signed on Friday.     
He said after the signing ceremony, Minister for Law and Convener of the Sub-Committee Zahid Hamid would brief media about new bill that brings together nine different laws as per international best practices.
The Sub- Committee undertook thorough review of 9 election related Laws, with their subset of related rules. The report and its recommendations will subsequently form the basis for the "Draft Election Bill 2017" to be laid in the Parliament.
The Finance Minister later talking to the media thanked the members of the Committee, which included members of all the political parties represented in the Parliament. He said that the hard work of all the members had made it possible to complete this gigantic task. 
He said that the Draft Election Bill 2017 has been prepared through extensive feedback from all political parties and the civil society. The main and subcommittees have held 113 meetings in total and discussed all Election related laws to prepare a comprehensive Draft Election Bill.
The members of the committee thanked the Chairmen of the main and sub-committees for completing the uphill task of reviewing the extensive laws to form one comprehensive election related law. 
The Finance Minister also thanked Mr. Zahid Hamid and all the members of the main and sub-committee and the officials who have worked for the completion of the Draft Election Bill. The Minister said that the Draft Election Bill will help extensively in avoiding confusions and complications in future elections 2018. - NNI

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