Pakistan

Pakistan will never become part of war against any Muslim country: Asif

Khawaja Muhammad Asif

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Tuesday categorically stated that Pakistan would never become part of any war against any Muslim country, ARY News reported.

“The government will follow the dictates of the resolution passed by the Joint Sitting of the Parliament over Yemen crisis,” he the Senate while responding to a calling attention notice moved by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Senator Farhatullah Babar regarding the permission granted by the government to the recently retired Army chief to join the Saudi-led Islamic Military Alliance to fight against terrorism.

He said Pakistan is committed to the security and integrity of Saudi Arabia but it will never become part of any action against Yemen or any other Muslim country. He said the proposed alliance is purely against terrorism instead of any country, religion or sect.

Khawaja Asif said the terms of reference of the alliance have yet not been finalized and it is expected that same will be discussed in May this year during meeting of the members of the alliance to be held in Saudi Arabia.

He said a retired military officer requires No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the government if he wants to accept a job offer within two years of his retirement, adding that General retired Raheel Sharif has yet not requested for an NOC.

The minister maintained that Terms of References (TORs) of the alliance and the NOC request, when comes, will be shared with the parliament.

Commenting on the death sentence awarded to Indian spy, Kulbhushan Yadav, he said that all rules and procedure and law of the land have been followed during trial of the Indian spy which lasted for over three months.

The minister said all the legal remedies permissible under the law, like mercy appeal, will be available to Kulbhushan Yadav.

“India is involved in creating instability and fanning terrorism in Pakistan. Enemies of the country should be very clear that our valiant forces and the people have resolved to defend the motherland at all costs,” he said.

He said we have deployed 200,000 troops around the western border while 80,000 others along the Line of Control (LoC) which is the biggest deployment after the world wars. He said the heavy deployment along the frontiers shows our resolve to foil any aggressive designs of country’s foes.

PR earns Rs4.6 bn in three years

The Senate was told that Pakistan Railways has earned a revenue of over 4.6 billion rupees in last three years as compared to over 1.5 billion rupees in previous three years.

Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique told the House during question hour that the strenuous efforts are being made to revamp Pakistan Railways. He said Pakistan railway has a fleet of 448 diesel electric locomotives out of which 293 are operating on railway tracks. He said the availability of operational locomotives has increased to 293 from 180.

He said 55 locomotives of 4,000-4,500 horse power would be acquired from the United States and 14 of them have reached Pakistan.

The minister said an international tender for purchase of 20 locomotives 2000-2500 horse power has been opened in February this year and is under evaluation.

To a question, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb told the House that outstanding amounts of less than Rs20,000 of artists and writers working in Radio Pakistan and PTV will be paid in next quarter. She said the remaining pending amount will also be paid after next budget.

Minister for Housing and Works Akram Khan Durrani said that the government is committed to provide plots to federal government employees on affordable prices.

He was responding to another calling attention notice moved by Muhammad Azam Khan Swati and others regarding the mechanism introduced on no profit no loss basis for the Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation Scheme Thalian as advertised by the Government.

The Minister said that over eighteen thousand kanals of land is being acquired for the residence purposes of the government employees. He said that 75 percent quota of the scheme to government employees while rest is open for the general public. He said utmost transparency is being observed in allocation of plots. He said offer letters are being issued to 53000 people. He said the scheme is joint venture with the private sector.

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