SNGPL office inaugurated in Mardan

PESHAWAR (Bureau Report): Adviser to PM Ameer Muqam inaugurated the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) Mardan regional Office on Sunday. Speaking on the occasion, he said that a sum of R120 million had been approved for the newly-established office. He said that PTI leaders would soon confess that PM Nawaz Sharif was inevitable to lead the country and for the welfare of the masses. He claimed that Imran Khan will have no supporters by the next general elections due to poor policies of the provincial government, led by his party. “PTI’s founding workers are leaving the party,” he claimed, adding that Khan should be realistic now. “Due to his childish acts, the PTI has converted into a sub-political group,” he said. Muqam said that while Khan was speaking about merit, but when officers in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa practiced merit, they were returned to centre by PTI provincial government, which shows “the hollow claims of the PTI.” Muqam said that all promises shall be fulfilled at all costs and no efforts will be spared in providing facilities to the masses.

Special Security Division established to

secure CPEC

ISLAMABAD (INP): A Special Security Division has been established to secure the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The division, which is comprised of nine army battalions and six civil wings, encompassing 13,700 personnel, has been tasked with securing CPEC projects and protecting Chinese nationals working on them. According to Radio Pakistan, the Ministry of Interior has also issued a notification in this regard. “The ministry will subsequently issue deployment orders after requisition from provinces,” an official of the Planning Division was quoted as having said. Earlier it was reported that retired army personnel would be hired to provide security to the mega project. Further, plans for setting up a special police unit to provide security to CPEC projects were also under consideration. CPEC had formally started operations in November last year after hundreds of Chinese trucks laden with goods rolled into the Sost dry port in Gilgit-Baltistan.

CPEC includes around 3,000-kilometre long highways, railways and pipelines which will connect China’s Xinjiang province to the rest of the world through Gwadar port.

Govt taking steps to enhance output of engineering sector

ISLAMABAD (NNI): The government has taken a number of steps to enhance competitiveness of the country’s engineering sector. According to details, Automotive Development Policy 2016-2021 is being implemented with the objective to attract investment for installation of new automotive plants and revival of closed units in automobile manufacturing for increasing automobile products. New Entrant Policy for Motorcycle Industry is presently under review to make it more effective and to bring investments with new technologies. The measures include revisiting Free Trade Agreements and Preferential Trade agreements in consultation with the domestic manufacturing industry to boost trade competitiveness and promote manufacturing industry. It also includes support to local industry through international organisations to provide assistance in technical and non-technical matters, aimed at enhancing the output of the engineering sector.

Besides, the government has already announced zero loadshedding for the industrial sector to enhance the production of the domestic industry including the engineering sector. NNI

UN official urges stronger water

management for farmers

UNITED NATIONS (NNI): The head of the UN agricultural agency has urged the international community to promote more efficient use of water and to take steps to secure water access, especially for poor family farmers. Addressing the annual Global Forum for Food and Agriculture now underway in Berlin, the Director-General of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Jose Graziano da Silva, said that growing water scarcity is one of the leading challenges to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “Agriculture and food systems bring all of these global goals together and provide opportunities for a transformational change,” Graziano da Silva told participants at the Summit, being held this year around the theme of water and agriculture. One of the 17 SDGs aims to improve water access for all people, and water is a theme of other goals related to poverty, hunger and malnutrition, and climate change.

In his speech, Graziano de Silva noted that as the world population is expected to exceed nine billion by 2050, and with millions of family farmers already lacking access to freshwater, conflicts over water resources will increase.

“It is time to act. Improved management of natural resources translates into better livelihoods now and in the future,” the FAO director-general urged.