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Pak-SL partnership key to promote more coop in region2017/06/23
ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan on Thursday said that stronger Pak-Sri Lankan partnership was key to promoting greater cooperation in the region, strengthening regional platforms and was also a bulwark against the challenges facing the region including the issue of terrorism and poverty besides warding off any self-assumed notion of hegemony in the region.
This he said while talking to former president of Sri Lanka Rajapaksa Percy Mahinda at Punjab House when the latter called on him along with his delegation.
Welcoming the visiting delegation the Minister remarked that the former president Rajapaksa Mahinda is known to Pakistani people as one of the true friends of Pakistan who, during his tenure, not just added great strength to the Pak-Sri Lankan relations but was also instrumental in diversifying this equation in all possible areas of mutual cooperation.
The Minister while expressing satisfaction over the steady and upward trajectory of Pak-Sri Lankan economic, political, socio-cultural and defence cooperation observed that, "Our relations spanning over six decades are characterized by spirit of sincerity, friendship, mutual respect, understanding and mutual cooperation for the benefit of our people."
Interior Minister said, "Pakistan and Sri Lanka face challenges of similar nature and our strategic friendship is critical not only to ward off hegemonic intentions in the region but also to fight our mutual challenges and issues." 
"If poverty, natural calamities and socio-economic conditions pose challenges to our ordinary people, the issues of terrorism, volatile regional peace and instability threaten us at the state level thus impeding our march towards progress and securing brighter and secure future for our people," continued the Interior Minister.
He said, "The tenure of former president Rajapaksa has provided the two countries with a solid base to further build on gains of the past and broaden the scope of the existing relations by exploring new avenues of cooperation especially in the areas of economy, security, border management, capacity building of law enforcement agencies, fighting illicit drug trade and human trafficking."
The two leaders also discussed regional situation. There was unanimity of views that Pak-Sri Lankan relations and bilateral cooperation needs to be further strengthened.
Former president Rajapaksa thanked the Interior Minister and the Government of Pakistan for the warm welcome that was extended to him and his delegation during his visit and expressed the hope that the two countries would continue to tread the path that leads to greater cooperation and greater understanding between the two countries in the years to follow.
The Sri Lankan delegation included Gamini Lakshman Peris, former foreign Minister, Dullas Dhaham Kumara Alahapperuma, former Minister, Wimmal Weerawansha, former Minister, Lokubandara Udith Sanjaya and Yoshitha Kanishka Rajapaksa.
Meanwhile, Ch. Nisar Ali Khan on Thursday said that the registration of the international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) was critical vis-a-vis security of the state. 
"Framing rules for the INGOs and registering them for the first time is a significant achievement which would bring transparency in the entire system of working of various INGOs in the country," the Minister said while chairing a high level meeting at Interior Ministry to finalize the process of registration of the INGOs.
The Interior Minister said, "This would also strengthen partnership between the government and the non-governmental sector putting this equation on solid foundation of trust and spirit to complement each other."
The Minister granted approval to 73 INGOs allowing them to operate in the country and undertake various socio-economic projects. 23 INGOs have been refused permission in view of their past performance and projects or due to certain activities falling outside their domain and stated purpose of their organization. Cases of 20 INGOs have been deferred and would be decided later on.
Nisar appreciated the efforts of INGO Committee of the Ministry and concerned National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) officials for their tireless efforts in complete the registration process which has taken place for the first time in the history of the country, said the Minister.
The Minister also appreciated the role of INGOs towards making the registration process a success. He directed the Ministry that, "Those INGOs who could not secure approval during the registration process should be given right to make appeal before the Ministry."-NNI

NSG urged to adopt unbiased approach for non-NPT states2017/06/23
ISLAMABAD: The 48 participating governments of the Suppliers Group (NSG) should adopt a non-discriminatory approach on the question of NSG membership for non-NPT states rather than the creation of another country-specific exemption, says Dr. Maria Sultan DG SASSI.
An in-house session on 'Media Outreach and Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)' was organized by the South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) on Tuesday. 
Dr. Maria Sultan, Chairperson and Director General of SASSI emphasized that the Indian Ocean is a hotspot for international trade. She described the whole case of Pakistan's application for membership of NSG. 
She said that India does not fulfill the conditions which are mandatory for NSG's membership which includes the separation of Military and Civilian fuel cycle (as of yet a pre-condition for the NSG waiver India received) Placement of all civilian nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards, Indian fast breeder reactor program, Independent regulatory authority, Export control regulations, Illicit procumbent, Illicit trafficking and procumbent Diversion of civil nuclear assistance for weapon use.
Dr. Maria also discussed India's dismal nuclear safety record, highlighting the many nuclear incidents and few accidents over the years i.e. Mayapuri Radiation Accident in West Delhi in 2010 was of Level 4 on International Nuclear and Radiation Event Scale (INES), eight people were hospitalized as a result of radiation exposure, and later one died. While Pakistan has good record of Pakistan's Non-Proliferation Credentials, Current Nuclear Energy Production, Nuclear Power Reactors Under Construction and Planned Safety And Security of Nuclear Power Plants.
She said that no matter how much India wants access into a different league, the fact remains that the cases of India and Pakistan remain hyphenated. If India resolves outstanding disputes and stands with Pakistan as an equal regional partner only then can it seek to address its 'prestige complex.' 
While talking about Pakistan's engagement with NSG, she said that Pakistan's engagement with NSG predates 2003 and since 2011 concerted efforts are aimed at NSG membership, and outreach meetings with NSG  were arranged in 2011 (Vienna), 2013 (Ankara), 2015 (Vienna).
While speaking at the event, Dr. Maria concluded that the 48 participating governments of the NSG should adopt a non-discriminatory approach on the question of NSG membership for non-NPT states rather than the creation of another country-specific exemption. Pakistan wants simultaneous entry into the Group with other non-NPT States that aspire to participate in the group. 
This would require a fair and simultaneous consideration of the two membership applications submitted by the non-NPT states. Such a fair and unbiased approach would go a long way in making NSG a more effective platform to prevent nuclear proliferation. 
She said that it would also contribute to strategic stability in the Subcontinent and wider region and advance the non-proliferation efforts. It would show to the people of Pakistan that some particular states are not monopolizing high-end technologies under the garb on non-proliferation. Also, that the right to progress and development is an inalienable right of the people of Pakistan.
Director Intelligence and International Security Studies at South Asian Strategic Stability Institute University Brig. Ishaq Ahmed Khattak (Retd), while talking about the issue of the NSG and the strategic partnership between the US and India, highlighted that this strategic partnership goes back to 1999, when they signed the Next Steps for Strategic Partnership (NSSP) initiative. This initiative ultimately led to US-India cooperation in the fields of civil nuclear activities, civil space programs and high-tech trade. In addition, the two countries agreed to expand their dialogue on missile defence systems.
Supplementary presentations on nuclear power in Pakistan and nuclear strategic stability in the South Asian region were given by Ibrahim Aleem and Khola Sayed, Research Fellows at SASSI, who explained that Pakistan is currently facing a power crisis and further development of nuclear energy can help bring the country out of this situation. 
Furthermore, as the world turns away from fossil fuels as a source of energy, Pakistan also needs to switch to environmentally cleaner sources of energy.
It was also highlighted that a non-discriminatory, criteria-based approach by NSG at this point in time will be of far-reaching significance not only for global non-proliferation efforts but also for the stability of the South Asian region. The NSG currently stands at a fork in the road whereby it has to decide whether these non-NPT nuclear states will be granted membership and if so, what will be the basis of these criteria.
The NSG is currently holding its Annual Plenary Meeting in Bern, Switzerland, from the 21st to the 24th of June, following the Extraordinary Plenary held on June 9, 2017 in Vienna, Austria.
The event was attended by a number of policy researchers and media personnel who discussed the issues and challenges regarding Pakistan's pending membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the importance of media outreach on this issue. - NNI

Minister of State for IB&NH, Ms. Marriyum Aurangzeb is talking to media,2017/06/23
ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for IB&NH, Ms. Marriyum Aurangzeb is talking to media, here Thursday. - PID photo

Govt set to streamline visa process to China nationals2017/06/22
ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to streamline and regulate the entire process of visa issuance to Chinese nationals to ensure their maximum security in Pakistan.
The decision was taken during a high level meeting chaired by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in Islamabad on Wednesday.
The decision was taken during a high level meeting chaired by Interior Minister Ch. Nisar Ali Khan at the Interior Ministry. The meeting was attended among others by Secretary Interior, Advocate General, Chairman NADRA, DG-IMPASS, DG MOFA and senior officials of Interior Ministry, FIA and NADRA.
Taking note of few incidents of provision of forged and fake 
documents of ghost companies to the embassies for issuance of Pakistani visa, it was decided that in future business visas and visa on arrival to the Chinese nationals would only be granted after production of invitation/assignment letter duly certified and endorsed by the recognized Chamber of Commerce & Industry of the country along with letter from commercial attach├ęs and other designated officers of Pakistan who are posted abroad for the promotion of business activities. 
NADRA will help Industry Chambers and FIA in putting in place an electronic system for sharing of information between the Chambers and the immigration authorities.
The meeting also decided to regulate the process of granting extensions in business visas. It was decided that the powers of regional passport offices to grant visa extension would be immediately withdrawn. 
It was decided that in future all cases regarding grant in extension of business visas would be dealt in the IMPASS headquarters in Islamabad. DG IMPASS would be authorized to grant three months visa extension. Cases involving further extensions would be referred by IMPASS directorate to the Interior Ministry. It was decided that longer extensions would be discouraged. 
The meeting also decided to rationalize the process of issuance of work visas to the Chinese nationals who intend to visit Pakistan for various government approved/sponsored projects.
It was decided that Pakistani embassies and mission abroad would be authorized to issue maximum of one year multiple entry work visa for any project after ascertaining the authenticity of the project and receiving security clearance from the Chinese authorities. The meeting decided that further extensions in work visa would be granted by the Ministry of Interior only on the request and provision of required documents by the employer.
The Interior Minister directed Interior Ministry that all loopholes in the issuance of visas especially to the Chinese should be plugged in so as to ensure maximum transparency in the entire process.
The Minister also directed NADRA to expedite consolidation of data of Chinese nationals present in Pakistan so that the data could be shared with security agencies of the country for ensuring maximum security arrangements. 
He said that a comprehensive mechanism should be put in place for sharing of information of not only CPEC related workers but also of other Chinese nationals visiting the country for various jobs.
Keeping in view various issues being faced by the foreign spouses who are married to Pakistani nationals, it was decided to re-introduce Pakistan Origin Cards to the foreign spouses after addressing certain issues that led to suspension of these cards. - NNI

AG Sindh finds illegal recruitment at KU2017/06/22
KARACHI: The Director General Audit Sindh in his special Audit report on Director Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Chair (SMBBC) has found the appointment of the incumbent director against the rules and regulation as she had no required experience.
The Director General Audit Sindh conducting a special audit on Director, SMBBC and Convesion Center from 2009 to 2016 has found the appointment of the incumbent director, Sahar Gul Abbasi against the rules. The report says that the advertisement of the post dated January 18, 2015 was found but there was no list of number of applicants or shortlisted candidates. 
Ever there was no notification of the selection committee. Ms Sahar Gul Bhatti was shortlisted but did not have 15 years teaching/research guidance experience as required in the advertisement "which seems an undue favour to the candidate whereas Shuja Ahmed (competitor of Ms Sahar Gul Bhatti) was Masters from London and Ph.D from London and have a complete or more than 15 years' experience as required in the advertisement.
The Director General Audit Sindh Karachi conducted an audit of 'Director Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Chair and Convention Center Karachi University in January, 2017. The main objectives of the audit were to review the chair's performance against the intended objectives, to assess whether chair was managed with due regard to economy and efficiency and to review compliance with applicable rules, regulations and procedures. The audit was conducted in accordance with the INTOSAI Auditing Standards. In 2008 Government of Sindh established Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Chair and Convention Center Karachi University. The chair aimed at undertaking the research on the Vision and Mission of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. 
The institute would be providing education through designing multidisciplinary courses, short and long as portrait by utilizing Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto's precious political thought academically such as Democracy, Peace, Development, Good Governance, Poverty Alleviation, Human Rights, Women's Emancipation and development to create awareness in upcoming young generations to develop the country. The chair would enter into collaboration with National and International institutions for various exchanges of programs.
During review of the accounts of the Director, SMBB Chair & Convention Center University of Karachi for the period up to 2015-16, it was observed that supervision construction contract Rs7.936 million was awarded to M/s Shahzad Associates for supervision consultancy against the provision at 2 percent of the contract cost of Rs5.290 million in P.C.I. Hence excess rate at1percent of Rs2.646 million over and above the provision of P.C.I was allowed/ awarded without approval of competent forum.-NNI

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