SC gains its second female judge Friday as Justice Mussarat Hilali takes the oath
Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial administered the oath to Justice Hilali – who had been serving as the Peshawar High Court (PHC) chief justice – during a ceremony held at the ceremonial hall of the Supreme Court, Friday.
Attorney General for Pakistan Mansoor Usman Awan, senior judges and lawyers also attended the oath-taking ceremony.
After Justice Hilali’s elevation, the number of top court judges has increased to 16 out of a total sanctioned strength of 17.
On Wednesday, President Dr Arif Alvi had formally appointed Justice Hilali as an apex court judge. The development had come a day after the Parliamentary Committee on Judges’ Appointments gave the nod to the unanimous approval given by the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) on June 14 to elevate the PHC CJ to the apex court.
Last year in January, Justice Ayesha Malik had taken oath to become the first-ever female judge to reach the apex court.
Justice Hilali was sworn in as the first woman chief justice of the PHC on April 1 after Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan retired from the post.
Following this development, she also became the second female judge to become the chief justice of a high court in Pakistan after Justice Tahira Safdar, the chief justice of the Balochistan High Court from September 2018 to October 2019.
US Independence Day reception celebrates US-Pak green alliance
The US Embassy in Islamabad hosted a reception during the week to commemorate the 247th anniversary of the independence of the United States of America. Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif was the guest of honor, representing the people and government of Pakistan.
In addition to celebrating Independence Day, the event recognized the achievements of the US-Pakistan Green Alliance framework and looked ahead to the many opportunities for continued and expanded partnership between the United States and Pakistan.
The US-Pakistan Green Alliance framework is a transformative initiative addressing today’s most pressing environmental challenges, especially around water management, climate-smart agriculture, and renewable energy.
In his remarks, US Ambassador Donald Blome noted the importance of values like innovation and creative problem-solving to the Green Alliance framework, which builds upon more than 75 years of friendship between the United States and Pakistan: “From the Green Revolution of
the 1960s to today’s U.S.-Pakistan Green Alliance, we have forged a partnership that has weathered many challenges and become stronger.
BISP proves as successfulsocial protection actionin history: Shazia Marri
Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri Friday said the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) had emerged as the most successful social protection
intervention in the history of the country due to its positive impact on the lives of the poorest segments.
Speaking at the launching ceremony of a new initiative “Benazir Social Protection Accounts” for its beneficiaries, during the week, Shazia Marri said that the BISP, launched in the year 2008 and legalized in 2010, was conceived by Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto to provide financial relief to the poor families.
The initiative was launched by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in a ceremony in the presence of Minister for Information and Broadcasting (MOIB) Marriyum Aurangzeb and Special Assistant to the PM on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Faisal Karim Kundi.
The programme due to its apolitical nature sustained through different political government tenures and achieved international acclamations for its performance, structure and transparency.
Highlighting the achievements of BISP, the federal minister stated, “The budget of the programme has been increased from Rs 235 billion in FY 2022 to Rs 404.2 billion in the FY 2023, registering a significant increase to extend its scope to more families.
“The beneficiaries of BISP (Benazir Kafaalat) have increased from 7.6 million to nine million families with an increase in the stipend up to Rs 8750 which reflect political commitment towards the welfare of downtrodden segments.”
About the Conditional Cash Transfer initiative of Benazir Education Stipends, Shazia Marri highlighted that the enrolment of children had increased from 2.6 million in FY 2022 to 7.52 million in FY 23, registering a 200 percent increase.
She said, “The number of Benazir Scholarships for Undergraduates has increased from 82,000 in FY 2022 to 92,003 in FY 2023.”
“The program will be connected to the Poverty Score Card in future,” she added.
‘Benazir Nashonuma’ Program which caters for the nutritional needs of pregnant and lactating mothers and children to prevent stunted growth and malnutrition in children has been expanded from 15 districts (FY 2022) to all the districts of the country in FY 2023.
“So far, 0.77 million beneficiaries have been enrolled in the programme through 488 Facilitation Centers established countrywide,” she said.