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PM invites Dutch companies to invest in various sectors of Pakistan
The two leaders discuss bilateral relations and exchanged views on international and regional issues of mutual interest including situation in Afghanistan.
Dubai: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar met Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on the sidelines of COP-28 conference in Dubai today.
The two leaders discussed bilateral relations and exchanged views on international and regional issues of mutual interest including situation in Afghanistan.
They also discussed the evolving humanitarian situation in Gaza.
Both leaders expressed satisfaction over the upward trajectory in bilateral relations between Pakistan and the Netherlands.
They appreciated the celebrations held in Islamabad and the Hague to mark 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations this year.
Speaking on the occasion, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar underscored that Pakistan and the Netherlands should work together bilaterally and through the European Union on matters of mutual interest.
He invited the Dutch companies to invest in the areas of agriculture, horticulture, water management and renewable energy in Pakistan.
The Prime Minister highlighted the importance of concrete outcome on climate action and referred to Pakistan's climate vulnerabilities despite being one of the lowest carbons emitters.
He invited the Dutch Prime Minister to visit Pakistan.
Jaranwala incident: Church of Pakistan head reiterates demand for justice
Bishop Azad Marshall says though Christians appreciated the government’s action against the mob leaders, the community believes such incidents will continue to recur until the perpetrators are sternly dealt in accordance with the law.
Jaranwala: The head of the Church of Pakistan, the country’s largest Protestant church, on Friday reiterated the minority community’s demand for justice in Jaranwaa incident.
They said that the government officials responsible for inaction should also be held accountable through a fair and transparent judicial investigation.
Addressing an event at the Salvation Army church in Jaranwala, which was among multiple churches that were ransacked by charged mobs on Aug 16, Church of Pakistan President Bishop Azad Marshall said that though Christians appreciated the government’s action against the mob leaders, the community believed that such incidents would continue to recur until the perpetrators are sternly dealt in accordance with the law and concrete measures are adopted to prevent religiously-motivated violence.
The event was organised by Salvation Army’s Territorial Commander Colonel McDonald Chandi in honour of an official delegation of the British High Commission to Pakistan led by Deputy High Commissioner Andrew Dalgleish.
“The Jaranwala incident marked the eleventh significant episode since 1997 involving the persecution of the Christian community and we want this to be the last such incident. Unfortunately, no action has ever been taken against police and government officials responsible for negligence in any of these incidents,” he said.
Marshall regretted that the Punjab caretaker government had turned down the Christians’ legitimate demand for a judicial investigation into the Jaranwala incident compelling them to move the Lahore High Court.
“My objective of filing the petition for the formation of a judicial commission was to hold a thorough inquiry into the underlying causes of such attacks and holding the police and district officials responsible for inaction accountable. The government has now shown its willingness to review its decision and we hope to hear encouraging news in the next hearing on Dec 21,” he said.
Marshall said that minority communities were equal citizens of Pakistan according to the country’s constitution and they should not be treated as second-class citizens by the government.
He called for the release of the compensation money to all victim families.
Addressing the event, British High Commissioner Andrew Dalgleish said the delegation was visiting Jaranwala to express solidarity with the victims of the Aug 16 violence.
“We are also pleased to see the unity between all denominations of the Christian faith on this issue and assure our support in their pursuit for justice,” he said.
CAP urges balanced approach as market closures ineffective against smog
Tariq Mehboob, Chairman of CAP, says the government's attempt to control smog by limiting commercial activity is misguided, as the retail sector's contribution to air pollution is minimal.
Lahore: The current strategy of shutting down commercial activities and markets to combat smog is deemed ineffective, with the government failing to address the root causes of the issue.
The Chainstore Association of Pakistan (CAP), the official trade body of the retail sector, conveyed these concerns during a ceremony focused on smog mitigation.
Tariq Mehboob, Chairman of CAP, asserted that the government's attempt to control smog by limiting commercial activity is misguided, as the retail sector's contribution to air pollution is minimal. He emphasized that heavy transport, burning of waste and crop residue, and non-compliant factories are the primary contributors to smog. Drawing on international examples, he suggested a shift in focus towards regulating large vehicles with low-quality fuel emissions, curbing waste burning, and addressing factories emitting pollutants by burning materials like wood and tires.
Chairman CAP Tariq Mehboob further highlighted that recent restrictions, including shortened operating hours and full-day closures, have resulted in significant losses for retail businesses, affecting employment and tax generation. He pointed out that the retail sector has faced over 30 instances of prolonged restrictions over the past four years, impacting compliant retailers the most.
Vice Chairman CAP, Asad Shafi, expressed concerns about the closure of commercial activities, stating that it does not address the root causes of smog. He emphasized that repeated shutdowns of one sector alone will not effectively reduce smog or save electricity.
Tariq Mehboob shared the economic impact of recent decisions, stating that the full retail shutdown in six major divisions of Punjab on the last Sunday led to a loss of Rs 10 billion for retail businesses, the domestic supply chain, and tax revenues.
While acknowledging the government's decisions, CAP proposed an alternative approach, suggesting a modification in daily retail operating hours to start in the afternoon, allowing for a daily saving of 4-5 hours in the morning.
This, according to CAP, strikes a balance between mitigating smog impact and sustaining economic activities, employment, and tax revenues. CAP also advocated for collaboration between the government and brands to educate the public on reducing air pollution and its harmful effects.
The association emphasized the importance of involving stakeholders in decision-making processes that directly impact businesses and local investments.
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