SIALKOT - The federal information minister on Sunday inaugurated the Regional Passport Office at Koobay Chak as well as Nadra female registration and Benazir Income Support Programme offices here.

Earlier, these offices were scheduled to be inaugurated by Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik, but he had to cancel his visit to Sialkot hours before the inauguration. It is second regional passport office in the district which will facilitate the rural population, as the rural areas’ people will now get their passports issued from the passport office instead of going to Sialkot city.

The ceremony was also attended by Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Muhammad Yaqub, Federal Minister for Postal Services Sardar Umer, Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khosa and Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Governor Barrister Masud Kousar. They also distributed the BISP cheques amounting Rs3.4 million to 1,700 deserving poor of the constituency NA-111 along with Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and BISP Chairperson Farzana Raja.

Addressing a big public meeting, Dr Firdous said that setting up of independent and effective Election Commission was the need of hour to hold fair, free and transparent general elections. She said the establishment of independent election commission in favour of her party, adding that her party believed in strong and effective institutions. The functioning of free and Independent Election Commission would pave the way for bringing revolutionary changes in political set up of the country, she said.

The information minister said the basic concept of launching Benazir Income Support Programme across the country was to provide employment opportunities to women and bringing in mainstream enabling them to play their instrumental role in all round development of the country. The PPP leadership was making adequate efforts to accomplish Shaheed BB’s vision aimed at bringing women into mainstream and dream of national development could not be materialized without the involvement of women in overall development of the country she added.

She further stated that it was Benazir Bhutto who struggled for women’s rights and ensured a respectable status in the society. The government was striving hard for ensuring socio-economic justice and protection of people’s rights, she said. Firdous further said that under the vision of Shaheed BB, special attention had focused on transforming the country into a real democratic welfare state. The minister said, “PPP leadership was committed to providing basic facilities to the masses at their doorsteps and mobilizing all available resources in the regard. PPP is ideological party which had deep roots in the people of across the country and PPP will stay permanent in the heart of the poor segment of the society,” she said.

Dr. Firdous added that a political party was trying hard to split the voters of NA-111 but all such conspiracies will be foiled with active support of people of the area.

Earlier, the PPP leaders were brought to the venue in the shape of a procession of the vehicles amid tight security. It was a big political show of the PPP in the region, as all the roads leading to the venue were decorated with the giant PPP flags, portraits of leadership and welcoming banners.