Senate (134 Pakistani fishermen still imprisoned in India,Senate told)


Islamabad: The Senate was informed that Overseas Pakistanis Foundation has established nine facilitation counters at different airports to facilitate the overseas Pakistanis.

Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada told the House during question hour that in total 65 officials are posted at the facilitation counters.

Answering a question, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmad informed the House that work on Hassanabdal-Havelian Expressway is going on and will be completed in two years time. He said it is being completed in two-phases at a cost of over 30 billion rupees.

He said it is a big project in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and will be a gift of the Federal Government for the people of the province. He said in addition different roads are being repaired in KPK at a cost of four billion rupees.

To a question, Minister of State for Education Mohammad Balighur Rehman told the House that 13 universities and Higher Education Institutions offering science subjects have been established in KPK during the last ten years.

He said under the initiatives of the government, Higher Education Commission is developing a proposal to establish either a university or a sub-campus of an existing university in each district of the country in next three years. He said HEC is also focusing on teachers training to improve the standard of education.

To a question, Balighur Rehman informed the House that HEC has taken a number of steps to control and eliminate plagiarism in higher education in the country.

He said HEC has developed plagiarism policy to control plagiarism in the country and circulated to all stakeholders and universities for compliance.

He said plagiarism complaints received at HEC are forwarded to concerned universities for investigation. He said recently many such cases have been settled through HEC Plagiarism Standing Committee and 34 faculty members were black listed.

To a question, Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar informed the House that International Agencies monitoring polio have appreciated Pakistan’s efforts to eliminate polio in the country. She said main issue was the non-accessibility to certain areas.

She said after launching of operation Zarb-e-Azb and Karachi operation, we have gained accessibility in areas like North Waziristan, South Waziristan and Kadap, Karachi and receiving positive results of vaccinations drives.

Answering a question, Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan told the House that presently there are 134 Pakistani fishermen imprisoned in India.

He said arrest of the fishermen is a humanitarian issue and remains high on the priority list of the government. He pointed out that the issue is constantly raised with India for release and repatriation of the fishermen. He said 68 fishermen were released by India during last year and 17 in first four months of this year.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the Kuwait National Assembly along with his delegation witnessed the proceedings of the House .

The chair welcomed the delegation in the gallery.

During question hours, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir told the house that the issue is constantly raised with India for release and repatriation of the fishermen.

He said 68 fishermen were released by India last year and 17 in the first four months of this year. However 134 Pakistani fishermen still imprisoned in India.

To a question, Minister of State for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar said international agencies have appreciated Pakistan’s efforts to eliminate polio in the country.

She said main issue was non-accessibility to certain areas. However, after launching of operation Zarb-e-Azb and Karachi operation, accessibility has been gained in areas like North Waziristan, South Waziristan and Kadap, Karachi and the vaccination drive has received positive response.

Responding to a calling attention notice moved by Sassui Palijo regarding delay in announcement of 8th NFC award, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan said the government has fulfilled its responsibility well ahead of time. The President constituted the 9th National Financ皜 Commission on the 24th of last month.

The Minister said Finance Minister is working expeditiously to finalize the recommendations of the 9th NFC.

The House adopted a motion that the Chairman Senate in consultation with the Leader of the House and Leader of the Opposition may constitute a Special Committee on the project of Pak-China Economic Corridor. The proposed committee should comprise members from all political parties having equal representation from the four provinces and representation from FATA.

The House resumed discussion on the Annual Report on the Observance and Implementation of the Principles of Policy in relation to the affairs of the Federation for the year 2011-12.

Taking part in the discussion, the members said such reports should be submitted to the House for discussion within three months of the expiry of financial year.

Later, winding up the discussion, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmad said all out efforts are being made to establish an Islamic Welfare Society which is free of any discrimination.He said the government has also fixed quotas of women and disabled in a government jobs.

He said Autonomy has been granted under the 18th constitutional amendment to the provinces and the federating units are empowered to take their own decisions.

The Minister of State said Pakistan Baitul Maal and Benazir Income Support Programme are providing financial assistance to the poor.

The House offered Dua for the victims of 12th May, 2007 incident in Karachi.

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