PAKISTAN: August 11 is a special day in our national Calendar when we reiterate our commitment to the ideals of the Quaid-e-Azam to continue striving for the protection of the rights of all faiths and bringing them in the mainstream of national life. On this day we reaffirm our pledge to honour the commitment made our great leaders of according equal treatment to all our citizens irrespective of their religion, caste and creed.
This day marks the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that he highlighted in his address to the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947. The Quaid said: “You are free to go to your mosques or other places of worship in this state of Pakistan. You belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state. We are starting in the day when there is no discrimination, no distinction between one caste, creed and colour. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all equal citizens of the state.”
The minority day provides us an opportunity to reassure that despite the diversity in our faiths, we are one nation and are working together for a united and prosperous Pakistan. By observing this day, we are also giving a clear message to the world that the Pakistani society is based on religious harmony, social justice, and human equality.
Let me take this opportunity of repeating Quaid-i-Azam’s words on March 21, 1948 to a Mass Rally at Dhaka. “We shall treat the minorities in Pakistan fairly and justly. We shall maintain peace, law and order and protect and safeguard every citizen of Pakistan without any distinction of caste, creed or community”.
The observance of Minorities’ Day reflects our commitment to integrate people of all faiths in the national mainstream. The Government has all along struggled to uphold the rights of the people of different faiths. We will continue our struggle to do even more.
I am confident that together we shall make Pakistan a strong, progressive and tolerant nation where the minorities have equal rights.
Let us on this day also pledge to promote democratic values and culture as a necessary tool of promoting tolerance, peace and harmony and ending violence and extremism as well as alleviating the sufferings of non-Muslim brethren.
اسلام آباد: ہائی کورٹ نے ججز نظربندی کیس میں ملزم پرویز مشرف کی ضمانت منظور کرنے کا تحریری فیصلہ جاری کر دیا ہے، جس کے مطابق یہ ثابت ہوناباقی ہے کہ ججز کی غیر قانونی نظربندی کے احکامات پرویز مشرف نے جاری کئے۔
اسلام آباد ہائی کورٹ کے جسٹس ریاض احمد خان اور جسٹس نور الحق قریشی کے دستخط سے جاری فیصلے میں کہا گیا ہے کہ ججز نظربندی کیس میں ملزم کے خلاف دہشت گردی ایکٹ کی دفعات کا اضافہ ہائی کورٹ کے جج کے حکم پر ہوا۔ پرویز مشرف کے خلاف ججز کی نظربندی اور دہشت گردی الزامات کا ریکارڈ موجود نہیں، صرف وکلاء کے بیانات ہیں جنہیں بطور شواہد استعمال نہیں کیا جا سکتا۔
ایف آئی آر کے متن کے مطابق کہا جا سکتا ہے کہ صدر پاکستان نے غیر آئینی اقدام کیا۔ فیصلے میں کہاگیا ہے کہ صرف ملزم کے اشتہاری رہنے کے باعث ضمانت مسترد نہیں کی جا سکتی، ملزم کے اشتہاری رہنے سے اسے حاصل تمام حقوق ختم نہیں ہو جاتے۔
MUZAFFARABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday directed the concerned authorities to expedite construction work on Rs274.882 billion Neelam-Jehlum Hydro-power Project and make it functional till 2014-15 to overcome the power shortage issue in the country.
During his visit to the site of the project, the prime minister told media representatives that the concerned authorities had sought time for the completion of project till 2016, conditional to availability of financial resources but he had declined and instead instructed them to complete it till 2014-15.
He regretted the fact that projects such as this were conceived in the past but were not given due attention as there had been vested interests. However, he added that they would have to change such culture in the country.
The Neelam-Jehlum project could not be achieved during the last many years and now its cost had swelled up to around Rs275 billion, he expressed his astonishment over delay in execution of the project.
“A 29-year long period has passed, but the project is yet to be completed,” he exclaimed, and observed that nobody questioned the gross negligence over such delay.
The prime minister said that the power issue had become a genie and the people were fed up with it but assured that his government would utilise all the resources to complete the project.
“If projects like this were given priority in the past, these could have been achieved. We are fully committed to achieve these kinds of projects and are dedicating each minute for giving relief to the masses,” he reiterated.
The prime minister also cautioned against the existing financial resources by advising that they would have to cut down the additional expenditures.
“The wastage of national wealth through corruption and corrupt practices should be effaced forever,” he declared, adding that the nation should also prepare itself for sacrifices in the greater national interest.
About energy related problems, the prime minister said the government was devising an energy policy which might be finalised within two weeks, and soon he would apprise the nation about the roadmap and the steps in this regard.
Responding to a query, he replied that terrorism issue was also being considered seriously. “The main issues are the lack of economic growth and rising poverty which gave rise to this issue,” he maintained.
The prime minister said overseas Pakistanis and foreign investors were also focussing on the developments taking place inside Pakistan to ascertain prospects of their investment in future.
Referring to idea of construction of Khunjrab-Gwadar-Karachi road and rail project, he expressed his resolve that it would be materialised soon, terming it a ‘game changer’ for the country.
On June 24, a team would leave for China for consultation over the project with the stakeholders, he informed.
The prime minister said that they would establish economic zones in Pakistan because the South Asian region in future would be the focal point of global economic activities.
He said that they wanted relocation of Chinese industry to Pakistan with massive prospects of growth in South Asian region, a home to billions of people.
Earlier, Syed Raghib Abbas Shah, chairman WAPDA, Gen (retd) Zubair MD Neelam Jehlum Company gave a briefing on the project.
The power house of the project is located in the Chattar Kalass which is 22 kms south of Muzaffarabad. Installed capacity of the project is 969 MW comprising four units of 240 MW each.
The original cost of the project was Rs130 billion but the revised PC-1 cost of the project was put at Rs274.882 billion as it has escalated due to change in design and machinery requirement owing to the earthquake of 2005.
China Gezhouba Group Corporation is constructing the 62kms long tunnel, and about 5,000 workforce is involved in the overall project.
Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervez Rashid and Shaukat Tarin accompanied the prime minister on his first ever visit to any ongoing development/infrastructure project in the country after assuming his office.
President Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K) Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan, prime minister AJ&K Ch. Abdul Majeed and former prime minister of AJK Raja Farooq Haider received the prime minister at the site of the project.
Neelam Jehlum Hydro electric Project is a mega project of immense national importance. It is in the vicinity of Muzaffarabad (AJ&K) and envisages the diversion of Neelam river water through a tunnel and after producing power, out-falling into Jehlum river.
It will also help reduce the gap between demand and supply of power in the country.