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‘Environment-friendly’ coal power plants being set up in Pakistan, senate told

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali on Tuesday told the senate that environment-friendly coal power plants are being set up in Pakistan.

“Coal-fired power plants are being established in different parts of the country. These projects are not posing any threat to the environment and the human life,” he said while addressing during a session in senate chaired by Mian Raza Rabbani in Islamabad.

Abid Sher said at present imported coal is used in coal-fired power plants as the local coal is inferior in quality which cannot be used for power generation. He said that steps are being taken to improve the quality of local coal enabling it for power generation.

To another query, the minister of state said Pakistan is providing incentives to foreign investors to invest in the country so that employment opportunities can be created for the youth of the country.

The senate was also informed on Tuesday that no Hajj Group Organizer under private scheme is allowed to receive any extra amount in the name of security, guarantee or any compensation.

Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yusuf told the House during question hour that every Hajj Group Organizer is bound to sign Service Provider Agreement with the Ministry of Religious Affairs and in case of violation the ministry will take severe action like suspension of quota.

Replying to a question, Minister for Law Zahid Hamid told the House that perks and privileges to the retired Judges are allowed under rules.

Responding to a calling attention notice moved by Sassui Palijo and Mukhtiar Ahmad Dhamrah regarding the continuous delay in finalization of 9th NFC Award, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told the House that deliberations are continuing regarding the Award.

He said that the award will be announced as soon as consensus reached. He said the government is serious in announcing the NFC Award and steps are being taken to finalize deliberations. He said that four working groups have been formed to reach a consensus in this regard.

Responding to point of public importance, Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz told the House that the death of transgender Muhammad Amin of Pakistani origin was occurred due to heart failure. He said according to the medical report and statements of Muhammad Amin’s friends, the cause of death did not entail any torture.

Members belonging to Pakistan People’s Party staged a walkout from the House to record their protest for their reservations regarding 9th NFC Award.

Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said that the issue of National Security should not be politicized.

He was winding up discussion on an adjournment motion moved by Abdul Qayyum and Mohsin Aziz on the confessions made by Hussain Haqqani in his article published in Washington Post.

He said usually tourist and business visas are issued in line with instructions issued by the Ministry of Interior without making a reference in Pakistan. However, visas to foreign personnel are issued with clearance from the Interior Ministry, concerned departments and agencies.

Sartaj Aziz said that a letter was written by Prime Minister of Pakistan on July 16, 2010 empowering Pakistan’s Ambassador in Washington to issue visas to US officials without following the laid down procedure. He said after which 50 percent more visas were issued to US citizens. He said the government has no objection if a parliamentary committee comprising both the Houses is formed to look into the matter.

Earlier, the members belonging to PML-N condemned former Ambassador Hussain Haqqani for defaming the country.

They said Hussain Haqqani is known for shifting loyalties and criticized the PPP government for appointing such a shabby person as ambassador in Washington. They demanded action against Hussain Haqqani under Article 6 of the Constitution.

The members belonging to PPP were of the view that a malicious campaign to blacken Asif Ali Zardari is going on under the garb of criticizing Haqqani. They said PPP has nothing to do with the views expressed by Haqqani in his article. They demanded that Abbottabad Commission report should be made public to know the truth behind the episode of Osama bin Laden.



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