SIALKOT - Minister of State for Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain has said that strenuous efforts are being made to resolve the problems being faced by the industrial sector in Sialkot. Sialkot is an export-oriented city and hub of cottage industry and playing tremendous role in strengthening the national economy.

Addressing a public meeting here at Saidpur the other night, Dr Asim announced the establishment a separate region of sui gas for Sialkot to facilitate the export-oriented industrial sector.

The Minister of State for Petroleum further claimed that the energy crisis would be resolved within the next two years, adding that the main reason behind the gas crisis was the generation 3,000 megawatt electricity to cater to the growing demand for the electricity. The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) since coming into power has been fighting a series of conspiracies but with the active support of the masses all such conspiracies will be foiled," he pointed out. The PPP, he argued, was facing a number of conspiracies but the conspirators would be failed in their ulterior motives and the government through all-out sincere efforts would steer the country out of all crises and put it on the path to progress and prosperity.

Dr Asim averred that the PPP-led government would not allow anybody to derail the democracy as the party was the custodian of democracy, adding that the PPP leadership had rendered great scarifies to safeguard the democracy and Constitution. The Minister of State predicted that the PPP would make a clean sweep in the upcoming general election on the basis of its services rendered for the betterment of the masses.

Speaking on the occasion AJK President Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan said that Kashmiris were struggling for the liberation of their motherland from the Indian yoke since long, adding that innocent Kashmiris were facing barbarism and Indian occupant forces were committing serious human rights violations in the Held Valley. The refugees settled in Pakistan will take active part in the upcoming general elections of Pakistan and they will vote for the PPP to bring it to the power yet again, he said. The AJK President said that problems being faced by the refugees settled in Sialkot would be resolved at earliest, adding that Sialkot was the base camp of Kashmir and a larger number of refugees playing instrumental role in all-round development of Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for National Regulations and Services Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that Dr Tahirul Qari 'Long March' was a conspiracy against Pakistan and it would prove to be a complete failure, adding that the real faces of anti-Pakistan elements would be exposed to the public. She called upon the people to forge unity among their ranks for strengthening the PPP to foil the conspiracies against Pakistan.

USC mulls setting up of 2,000 new stores: The Utility Store Corporation (USC) is considering establishment of more stores to facilitate the people across the country, said senior USC General Manager Bashir Babar. Talking to The Nation at Kuba Chak, he said that under the programme 2,000 Utility stores would be established across the country. The circle of setting up new utility stores would be expanded to Union Council level to facilitate the rural population, he said.

At present, he revealed that 7000 Utility Stores successfully functioning in every nook and corner of the country and serving the people. Utility Store Corporation had adopted special measures to check the quality and standard of the items before the sale of products at stores he disclosed.

The USC GM revealed that Utility Store Corporation was earning more than Rs5 billion per month as a result of which the Corporation had become a profitable organization, adding that the management was making adequate efforts for further improving functioning of Utility Stores and ensure quality and standard items to the public.

To attract the people, the Utility Store Corporation has decided to increase the number of items from 300 to 2,500," he disclosed.

He said the steps were being taken to ensure availability of quality products at Utility stores and people would be able to purchase maximum items of their use under one roof.