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PM for making the CPEC high-quality demo BRI project

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ISLAMABAD: Underscoring the government’s resolve for timely completion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that CPEC is a transformational project and both the countries should work closer to make it a high-quality demonstration project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Talking to Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong on Friday, the prime minister underscored that Pakistan and China are ‘iron brothers’ and no hostile forces would be allowed to undermine this ‘iron-clad’ friendship.
He appreciated China’s consistent support to Pakistan in its fight against Covid-19 and provision of vaccines including those under the COVAX facility.
In the context of the regional situation, the prime minister reiterated that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. He reiterated Pakistan’s resolve to steadfastly support efforts for a negotiated political settlement.
During the meeting, views were exchanged on China-Pakistan cooperation in trade, commerce and investment, CPEC, people-to-people contacts, mining and natural resources, vaccines, and mutual cooperation in other sectors.
Ambassador Nong Rong conveyed the cordial greetings from President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang to Prime Minister Khan. He also conveyed felicitations on Pakistan’s Independence Day. The prime minister warmly reciprocated the greetings of the Chinese leadership.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that consistent increase in foreign remittances depicts overseas Pakistanis’ confidence in the government’s policies.
The prime minister said this while presiding over a review meeting for the ease of overseas Pakistanis in sending remittances under the priority sectors and their further facilitation.
Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, Special Assistant to the PM on Political Communication Dr Shehbaz Gill, State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr Raza Baqir, Chairman National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) Muhammad Tariq Malik and other senior officers attended the meeting.
The prime minister directed to ensure facilitation for the overseas Pakistanis, describing them as the country’s precious asset.
The meeting was told that the Ministry of Finance and State Bank are working on a comprehensive package for the overseas Pakistanis which not only includes financial incentives and rewards in proportion to the remittances but the opening of beneficiary accounts and instant transfer of amounts are also being ensured. For the said system, a digital application was also in the preparation stages, it was further told.
The meeting was told that nine national institutions have been engaged for the provision of incentives ranging from the travelling facilities to the preparation of identity documents, purchase of essential items, payment of tax and relaxation in insurance and children’s educational expenditures. After the completion of work by early next month, the programme will be formally launched.
The prime minister directed to ensure the completion of work relating to the measures within the stipulated time. He directed that after formulating a strategy for strict monitoring of the plan, the portal should also be made part of it for the redressal of complaints of overseas Pakistanis.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed resolve to make the next general election free and transparent with the use of data and technology.
The prime minister was speaking after inaugurating various initiatives of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) at its headquarters on Friday.
The prime minister said the data prepared by the NADRA will be synced with electronic voting machines (EVMs). He said the use of technology will prevent any rigging and casting of fake votes.
Khan said the next election will be truly a 21st century election, and its results will be acceptable to everyone. “We will hold a ’21st century’ election with necessary technological arrangements in place to ensure a transparent and fair election,” he added.
The newly inaugurated projects included the launch of Alien Registration Card, Pak Covid-19 Mobile Vaccination Pass, national certification and renewal campaign, setting up of 66 Nadra registration centres across the country and inauguration of 90 mobile registration vans.
On the launch of the Alien Registration Card and work permit for foreigners, he said the initiative would bring the segment into the social and financial mainstream. He maintained that over three million registered Afghan refugees would also benefit from the facility, which would help them run their businesses legally.
Khan said it is the government’s responsibility to facilitate the people in every possible way.
The prime minister also inaugurated a latest system based on artificial intelligence to curb issuance of fake identity cards. The system has been designed within a short span of time by newly appointed Nadra Chairman Tariq Malik and it would also help detect foreigners in the database.
Under the new system, the head of the family will be able to know or verify the details of his family members by simply sending an SMS and informing Nadra in case of any addition or deletion.
Earlier on his arrival at the Nadra headquarters, the prime minister reviewed the specially-designed mobile registration van, fully-equipped to provide services of Nadra to people living in remote areas of the country.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and Minister for State for Information Farrukh Habib were also present at the event.
Nadra Chairman Tariq Malik briefed the prime minister about the different facilities including data collection, fingerprint and photo scanning facilities which will be provided to the people who are unable to visit Nadra centres.
The Alien Registration Card and work permit will enable the foreigners and their families to run businesses, get admission in private educational institutions, secure private employment, mobile SIMs, utility connections, open bank accounts, register vehicles and other sales purchases.
The holders of the card will also be protected from legal action under the Foreign Act. On the other hand, the mobile application Covid-19 pass will immediately verify the document by organisations or the Pakistanis travelling within Pakistan and abroad. By scanning the QR code on the vaccination certificate, one can easily know the validity of the document that would show the person’s name, passport number and other details. – TLTP