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Thursay, 25 December, 2014


The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has called upon the government to consider providing relief package to agriculture sector in a bid to reduce its input cost and improve its productivity, which will contribute positively towards reviving the economy. ICCI President Muzammil Hussain Sabri said that Pakistan’s economy heavily depended on agriculture sector as it accounted for 21 percent of country’s GDP, more than 43 percent of employment and 45 percent of total exports. But the sector was facing multiple problems including high input costs, low per acre yield, outdated cultivation methods and government should come up with an attractive relief package for this important sector of the economy, especially keeping in view the hefty reduction in oil prices. He said despite possessing enough water resources, Pakistan was losing around 13 million cusecs of water every year from its rivers into the sea due to lack of sufficient water reservoirs and dams to store water and government should formulate a comprehensive plan for establishing enough water storage facilities in the country. He said the old methods of flood irrigation still in vogue in the country were causing 50 to 60 percent wastage of water and government should focus on introducing drip irrigation system in the country to maximize water utility as this new system not only saves enough water, it also gives proper quantity of water according to needs of plants and improves yield as well. Sabri said the traditional methods of cultivation and harvesting in Pakistan were also causing problems including low per acre productivity due to which the average crop in Pakistan was just 1/4th of that of advanced states whereas countries like Nepal, India and Bangladesh were getting better per acre yield by using modern scientific methods. He stressed that government should also support farmers in adopting modern cultivation and harvesting methods to improve agriculture productivity.


A sum of Rs 220 million have been released for beautification of passages of Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus (RIMB) packages. A sum of Rs 100 million has been provided for beautification of three packages of Rawalpindi and Rs 120 million for five packages of Islamabad. The Rawalpindi commissioner said Metro administration has released the funds. As many as 341 pillars have been built in Rawalpindi part of RIMB and arrangements are underway to make them secure. A 3.5 feet wide green belt is also being carved out.




RIMe Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has felicitated the Christian community on celebrating the Christmas and reiterated that the government would protect their legal rights and interests. In a message to the Christian community, the prime minister said, “Pakistan is committed to the worthy pledge given by the founder of our nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, to irrevocably safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of minorities. We as a nation are committed to uphold the prin-

ciples of equality, freedom and security for all communities living in Pakistan irrespective of their religion, profession or ethnic origin.” The prime minister said, “My government is dedicatedly oriented to preserve the sanctity of existence and equality of opportunity enjoyed by all Pakistanis including our minorities. My government treats all minority citizens as equal citizens of Pakistan and undertakes to empower them to use their abilities for national development. I am a great believer in communal harmony and profound understanding and cohesion among all faiths practiced in the length and breadth of the country.” He wished to join all Pakistanis in sincerely felicitating the Christians world over, particularly the Christian compatriots, who are very joyously celebrating Christmas. He said the Christmas has become a revered symbol of redemption of universal brotherhood, amity and truthfulness that transcends

peripheral considerations. The spirit of Christmas pervades every spectre of human existence because it permeates the essence of human existence by inculcating supreme values of love, tolerance, trust and compassion, he said, adding that celebrating Christmas also instils in human beings the urge to seek forgiveness of all acts of omission and commission by resolving to refrain from them in future and steadfastly adhering to such resolution. The prime minister said, “On this happy day, I wish to gratefully acknowledge the important role played and valuable contributions made by our Christian brethren in national development particularly in the fields of education and health. I greatly appreciate their patriotism, devoted service and sincere attachment to the country and am confident that they will continue to play their due role for peace, progress and prosperity of Pakistan with complete dedication.”


Pakistan Civil Society Forum, a national alliance of major civil society organizations of Pakistan, on Wednesday organised a national consultation on counter terrorism. The consultation titled `Civil society’s role in curbing extremism and terrorism in Pakistan’ was held in the aftermath of the horrific incident occurred on December 16 at Army Public School, Peshawar. The meeting developed future strategy and an action plan for citizens’ perspective that will be shared with larger public, media and with the AntiTerrorism National Action Plan Committee (ATNAPC) of political parties and the government. Participants of the consultation asked for strictly monitoring madrassas and a uniformed curriculum to be introduced in the country. They also recommended to take strict action against anyone who is found involved in hate speech. They also said that religion should not be included in political social matters and extremism would be curbed collectively. “State to be guided towards a moderate society and everyone should play their role in this regard,” they said. They also asked the government to prepare a concrete policy for countering terrorism and a ministry of counter terrorism should be established to get rid of this menace from our home land. Representatives of civil society organization, academia, intellectuals, lawyers and journalists form all-over the country participated in the consultation.

Shortage of civic facilities at bus stops irks passengers ISLAMABAD APP

The twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad are facing shortage of bus stops besides dearth of civic facilities there which causing enormous inconvenience to commuters. Hundreds of passengers visit Pirwadhai, Pak Secretariat, Karachi Company and Faizabad every day, but the number of washrooms established at these bus stops is not sufficient to fulfil their requirement and are not in good condition. A large number of vendors also spend the whole day at these stops to earn their livelihood. Muhammad Rauf, a passenger at Faizabad, said that he came from Faisalabad with his family, was heading towards Taxila and had to wait for half an hour for a vacant toilet. Most of the passengers, particularly females and children suffer worst due to the problem, he remarked.

The passengers travelling through public transport daily, complained regarding shortage of dust bins at these stops which compelling the commuters and shopkeepers to throw garbage at roadside. “A number of fruit vendors earn their livelihood at these bus stop, and buyers are left with no option but to throw the garbage at road side due to lack of dust bins,” said Azeem Ahmed at Zero Point bus stop. Another commuter, Saeed said that garbage heaps could be seen at the bus stops which give an ugly look. Bilal Ahmed, another passenger at G-9 Karachi Company bus stop said that the fruits waste scattered at different places could pose a hazard to the commuters, like banana skin due to which people might be injured, but the concerned authorities paid no heed towards it. Moreover shortage of chairs could be witnessed at almost every bus stop of the twin cities.


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E paper pdf (25 12 2014) isb