islamabad - President Arif Alvi stressed for provision of equal education opportunities to all children to take forward the country on the path of development.

Addressing a function organised by Pakistan Bait-ul-Maal here on Thursday in connection with Universal Children’s Day, he that noted only those nations made progress which invested in their children.

On thalassemia, the President said that the disease could be prevented by ensuring that the couple getting married goes for medical tests before their wedding.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman Pakistan Bait-ul-Maal Aoun Abbas said that they plan to expand the network of Sweet Homes to accommodate more number of orphans. He said that 24 new Sweet Homes would be established by March 2019 in small cities. He said that they also had a plan to establish six new thalassemia centres in 3 months time.

Meanwhile, Tunisian Ambassador Adel Elarbi and Kenyan High Commissioner Julius Kibet Bitok called on the President separately and exchanged views on matters of mutual interest.

Speaking on the occasion, President Dr Arif Alvi said that Pakistan wanted close trade and investment ties with the African continent.

The President said that Pakistan greatly valued its fraternal relations with Tunisia rooted in common faith, culture and history.

He also mentioned that Pakistan and Kenya enjoyed cordial and cooperative relations based on mutual respect and understanding.

The President highlighted the need for developing strong political relations with both the countries and reiterated the need for exchange of regular official and private-sector business delegations to further boost economic relations with both the countries.