MULTAN-Foreign Minister (FM) Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that we are ready to hold talks with new Indian government.

Addressing the participants of an iftar dinner here on Saturday, the foreign minister stressed that both the countries would have to sit on table of dialogue for maintaining peace in the region and resolve all issues. He said that maintaining peace in the region is the desire Pakistan as well as priority.

He said that Afghanistan is an important country of the region and peace in all neighbouring countries is subject to peace in Afghanistan. “We want peace in Afghanistan so that way is paved for sustainable regional peace,” he asserted. “We always supported solution to Afghan problems which was supported by the Afghan leadership,” the FM pointed out and underscored that this is the only way forward. Qureshi said that it is a good omen that the process of dialogue has begun for peace and reconciliation and “we hoped that other stakeholders and neighbours of Afghanistan would also be taken onboard in this process.” He declared that Pakistan would continue playing its role as facilitator for peace, expressing his hope that others would also support us in discharging this joint responsibility.

The foreign minister said that Pakistan has serious concerns over increase in terrorism incidents. “We believe that terrorism can be checked by implementing National Action Plan (NAP),” he underscored. He said that it has become imperative to address the root causes of terrorism. He said that it is unfortunate that previous governments did not implement NAP as a result of which terrorism could not be uprooted. He said that the PTI government is fully serious to implement NAP.

Referring to South Punjab province, he said that the creation of South Punjab province is not just priority of the government but also a longstanding desire of the residents of this region. He claimed that the creation of South Punjab province would strengthen the federation. He said that the government was making serious efforts to create the province and PTI tabled bill in the national assembly for this purpose. He disclosed that the PTI would contact other political parties in next phase and take all stakeholders into confidence. He said that it was quite clear that the residents of South Punjab would not let the opponents of the province set their foot in this region. He declared that the South Punjab secretariat would become functional soon and separate budget would be allocated for this region in coming budget. He declared that he would get approved special package from the Chief Minister and Prime Minister for NA-157.

MC KICKS OFF DRIVE

TO BEAUTIFY CITY

In a bid to beautify the town, the Municipal Corporation launched on Saturday crackdown on wall chalking and removed banners and posters from buildings and walls. On the occasion, CEO of Municipal Corporation Iqbal Farid declared that cases would be registered against those doing wall chalking on buildings and flyovers. He said that a special team has been constituted to remove wall chalking. The drive is kicked off under Multan Beautification Plan (MBP) and wall chalking, banners and posters will be removed from al flyovers, walls along main roads and roundabouts. In first phase of the campaign, the MC team removed banners and posters from Daulat Gate and adjoining areas. Talking to the media, the MC CEO said that the operation has been launched on the directives of Commissioner Multan Imran Sikandar Baloch. He said that under the beautification plan streetlights will be installed, historic buildings illuminated with colourful lights, encroachments removed and wall chalking eliminated. He disclosed that the Commissioner is personally monitoring the operation.