PM terms youth as vital asset

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Assures traders of addressing concerns Directs preventive
measures amid coronavirus threat Seeks report on KP
cabinet’s performance Discusses Wheat crisis, increasing
Polio cases with CM Sindh Agrees to change Sindh IGP

Karachi: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the country’s greatest asset is the presence of a large number of young populations “The youth has all the potential to take the country forward,” said the premier while addressing the cheque distribution ceremony of the Kamayab Naujawan programme held at the Governor House in Karachi on Monday. “Allah has blessed this country with everything including natural beauty, historical sites but the greatest of all resources the country has is the huge number of young population,” he added. Praising the efforts made by everyone for the launch of the youth loan programme, PM Imran said: “I want to congratulate Asad Umar, Usman Dar, Hafeez Sheikh for initiating this programme.” The success of the loan programme, he said, is solely dependent on the system of merit. “The loan would be disbursed purely on merit without any discrimination and through transparent system.” While reiterating the key to success, he said: “Only those countries have achieved success which followed the rule of merit and unfortunately despite having a lot of resources we failed to utilise our potential.” Earlier talking to the media, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Youth Affairs Usman Dar had said that 100,000 youth have applied from Sindh under Kamyab Jawan programme. The youth from Sindh would get at least Rs100 billion under this loan scheme, he added. The premier launched the scheme for youth in October last year under which young men and women are provided with loans to set up their businesses and also given a set of educational and skill-development opportunities. He arrived in the port city earlier in the day on a day-long visit where he also held meetings with the Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and discussed matters related to the ongoing projects in the province. He also met the business community at the Governor House. PM Imran is also expected to attend a fundraiser event of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan at Governor House on Monday afternoon discussed a number of issues, including development schemes, wheat shortage, locust swarm attacks, increasing polio cases and threat of Coronavirus. The prime minister assured the chief minister that all these issues would resolved on top priority basis. The chief minister discussing development schemes told the prime minister that some of the important projects of the province were pending in Planning & Development Ministry. He added that the on-going federal government projects in Karachi were also moving slow. At this the prime minister said that he would direct Federal Minister for Planning & Development Asad Umer to expedite the process of Sindh government’s schemes. As far as the federal schemes going on slow in Karachi, the prime minister assured the chief minister that they would be completed at the earliest. Another issue Sindh Chief Minister discussed with the prime minister was locust swarm, which has wreaked havoc with the standing crops in the country, particularly in Sindh. The chief minister said that it was high time to destroy them in the desert area where they have settled for breeding. He added that their breeding would start as and when desert would receive rains. Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he would direct his Plant Protection Department to take necessary measures and start aerial spray in eth desert areas. The chief minister proposed to hire aircrafts from China and UAE so that action could be taken in time. The prime minister directed concerned federal government department to take emergent measures and start spray. In the meeting between the two, the matter of increasing polio cases, were also discussed on which the prime minister expressed serious reservations. The chief minister said that the polio virus was not only crippling our children but going to isolate Pakistan in the international community. “We, in Sindh, have taken drastic measures to control polio virus but due to frequent travels from and to Afghanistan, Balochistan and KPK the virus emerges again and again. Mr Shah suggested the prime minister that we would have to change the strategy to control it. The prime minister said that he would call the meeting of National Polio Eradication Taskforce meeting in which all the stakeholder would be invited to change and further strengthen the strategy to control it. They also discussed the emergence of deadly virus Corona in China. The chief minister pointed out a Coronavirus-like case has been detected in Multan. He said that that it might not be Corona but Chinese were working Pakistan in a large number. In Sindh the Chinese were engaged in Thar and Karachi, therefore travel advisory for them and people of Pakistanmay also be issued. The prime minister directed National Institute of Health, Islamabad to develop its testing system and directed all the provinces to follow the WHO advice and precautionary measures. The Chinese working in Pakistan should also be guided accordingly, the prime minister said. The prime minister and the chief minister also discussed the issue of wheat shortage and the prime minister said he would call a meeting on the matter shortly. The chief minister said that new wheat crop would be harvested from March, therefore the government has to make necessary arrangements to meet the national requirement of about one and half month requirement. Earlier, the Chief Minister Murad Alil Shah had received the Prime Minister Imran Khan at Faisal Base. Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah called on Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Governor House in Karachi here on Monday. According to sources, the meeting discussed matters related to development projects and financial issues. CM Murad Ali Shah briefed PM Khan about the ongoing development projects in the province specially in Karachi. CM Murad requested PM Imran Khan to remove the incumbent provincial Inspector General of Police Kaleem Imam, said sources. In the meeting, PM Imran and CM Murad reached a consensus over the replacement of Sindh IGP. Sindh Governor Imran Ismail also backed the decision to remove the IGP. Sindh Governor Imran Ismail briefed PM Imran Khan about the K-4 water project, completion of the Green Line Bus Project and other ongoing development projects in Karachi. The prime minister is also expected to hold a separate meeting with I.G. Sindh Police Kaleem Imam at 6:00 pm. Prime Minister Imran Khan will also hold a meeting with the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) chief Pir Pagara Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi at his Kingri House residence in Karachi. However, there were no reports about a meeting between the prime minister and leaders of his government’s another coalition partner MQM-Pakistan. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, PM Imran Khan will also inaugurate the Prime Minister’s Kamyab Jawan Programme in Karachi and will be the chief guest in the cheques distribution ceremony. He will also attend an event arranged for fundraising of Shaukat Khanam Memorial Cancer Hospital. Earlier, Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on Monday sought report on the performance of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) cabinet. In a statement, the premier has clarified that every leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) whether he is a minister or advisor has to follow party discipline. No compromise on rules and regulations set by the party, he asserted. The reaction came after three provincial ministers of KP including Muhammad Atif Khan, Shahram Khan Tarakzai and Shakeel Ahmad were removed from the provincial cabinet. A notification issued by K-P Chief Secretary Taj Muhammad stated that the governor exercised his powers under Article 132 read with clause 1 of Article 105 of the Constitution of Pakistan. “On their de-notification from their respective offices, they have ceased to hold portfolios of provincial ministers with immediate effect.” Atif held the portfolio of the senior minister for sports, culture and tourism whereas Tarakzai was the health minister and Shakeel held the revenue and estate portfolio. KP Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai, while referring to the issue in his talk to the media, revealed that the leaders had opposed the policies set by the government and were involved in the grouping for a long time, including an attempt to form a group within the provincial cabinet. “There was no support from these ministers in the merger of erstwhile FATA with KP […] merging FATA with the province was a great achievement of Chief Minister Mehmood Khan,” he said, adding that in the former provincial government, these ministers did not maintain good relations with former KP CM Pervez Khattak. On the other hand, Assuring the business community of his full support, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday vowed to address all the reservations of traders, media reported. Addressing a press conference following a meeting of PM Imran with representatives of the business community, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the government is committed for ease of doing business in the country. PM Imran said that Pakistan’s prosperity is linked with the resolution of Karachi’s problems. During the meeting, the business community expressed confidence in the leadership of PM Imran Khan, she added. Earlier in the day, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had called on Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Governor House in Karachi. According to sources, the meeting had discussed matters related to development projects and financial issues. CM Murad Ali Shah had briefed PM Khan about the ongoing development projects in the province specially in Karachi. CM Murad had requested PM Imran Khan to remove the incumbent provincial Inspector General of Police Kaleem Imam, sources had said. In the meeting, PM Imran and CM Murad had reached a consensus over the replacement of Sindh IGP. Sindh Governor Imran Ismail had also backed the decision to remove the IGP. Moreover, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday directed preventive measures in the wake of possible coronavirus epidemic in Pakistan. The Prime Minister’s Office has issued a special letter to the concerned ministries in which they have been asked to devise a coordinated strategy to deal with the threat of the coronavirus. The letter also directed to convene a high level 15-member inter ministerial committee meeting. According to the letter, there have been 2,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the world so far. “Given the large number of Chinese people in Pakistan and the absence of timely security measures in view of traveling between the two countries, the possibility of coronavirus outbreak in Pakistan cannot be termed impossible”, read letter. Therefore, a comprehensive strategy should be formulated, and recommendations should be submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office within a week, it added. The inter ministerial committee includes Foreign Secretary, Interior and Aviation officials, DG Military Operations, DG Civil Aviation, DG Airport Security Force, NDMA Chairman and other agencies officials. Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho has issued a health advisory to government hospital amid the rise of deadly coronavirus. She expressed that the World Health Organization (WHO) alerted the province of dangerous virus. Dr Pechuho expressed that WHO has advised the victims to wear masks and refrain from touching others. She further said that the virus can be spread through animals. Coronavirus makes breathing difficult for affectee.