PRESIDENT CONFERS HILAL-I-PAKISTAN UPON DR MARGARET

 CHAN, DG-WHO

Islamabad: President Mamnoon Hussain today conferred Hilal-i-Pakistan upon Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General World Health Organization, during a special investiture ceremony held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.The Award of Hilal-i-Pakistan has been conferred upon Dr. Margaret Chan in recognition for her outstanding and meritorious services for the people of Pakistan in the field of public health.Those who were present on the occasion included among others Dr. Ala Alwan, Regional Director WHO, Dr. Raymond Bruce J Aylward, Assistant Director General for Polio, Emergencies and Country Collaboration, Dr. Nima Saeed Abid, Dr. Elias Durry and Mr. Ian Smith.From Pakistani side Mrs. Saira Afzal Tarar, MoS for National Health Services, Regulations Coordination, Ms. Ayesha Raza Farooq, Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Polio Eradication, Mr. Nadeem Hasan Asif, Secretary to the President, Mr. Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, Secretary NHSRC, Mr. Ikhlaq Ahmed Tarar, Secretary Cabinet, and other senior officials were present on the occasion.The citation read on the occasion said that World Health Organization has been working in Pakistan ever since its inception in 1948. It has been more robustly assisting Pakistan in achieving its health targets since the establishment of its country office in 1960. The citation said that WHO has done a commendable job in containing communicable diseases and pursuing the Millennium Development Goals relating to reducing maternal and child mortality. It has also played a remarkable role in the eradication of small pox and guinea worm disease and has been in the forefront for the eradication of Polio from Pakistan. WHO, the citation continued, has also supported Pakistan in emergency and humanitarian response during mass disasters and addressing threats from emerging diseases such as Avian Influenza.Appreciating the role of Dr. Margaret Chan towards strengthening cooperation between Pakistan and WHO, it said that during her tenure the partnership between WHO and Pakistan has gained strength with the Organization providing valuable technical support in a wide range of areas.The investiture ceremony was followed by a detailed meeting wherein matters relating to cooperation between Pakistan and WHO, WHO’s role towards fighting diseases in the country, various measures being taken by the Government in the health sector especially towards eradicating polio from the country were discussed.President Mamnoon Hussain while congratulating Dr. Chan on the award appreciated WHO’s continued assistance to the country towards combating diseases and further strengthening health systems in the country.The President reiterated that the health sector and providing quality health care to the people of the country was among the foremost priorities of the Government and every possible effort was being made to meet the challenges in the health sector. Highlighting various efforts, the President said that Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) was being further strengthened in the country to reduce illness, disability and mortality. Besides giving attention towards the communicable diseases, the government was also focusing on the non-communicable diseases as currently the country was suffering from a dual burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases. The President said that we are working with our international partners to improve health care system in the country and to enable the people have access to quality health care. On Polio, the President while appreciating WHO’s consistent support and substantial contribution towards polio eradication efforts said that we would like to continue our close collaboration with WHO to further strengthen our national efforts to eliminate the crippling diseases that threatens the future of our children. In this context the President also highlighted various measures and efforts that were being made to fight the menacing disease especially in those areas where the polio campaigns were facing certain issues vis-à-vis security. He expressed the hope that with unswerving political commitment, continued cooperation from international partners and the involvement of all segments of society, the efforts being made would surely result into achieving significant milestones against the menacing disease. Dr. Margaret Chan thanked the President and the Government of Pakistan for the conferment of the award and said that besides very long association of WHO with the country, she being a Chinese national herself has special feelings for the people of Pakistan. She assured the President of continued support of WHO towards combating diseases and improving health care systems in the country.

 

 

WHO DG CALLS ON PM

Islamabad: A delegation of WHO headed by Dr. Margaret Chan, called on the Prime Minister in the PM House. Ms.Saira Afzal Tarar, MOS for National Health Services and other officials were also present on the occasion.Prime Minister welcomed the delegation to Pakistan. He expressed his gratitude for the significant contribution made by the WHO to the Polio Eradication Initiative in Pakistan. Prime Minister also appreciated the consistent support being provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) to the Government of Pakistan in its efforts to provide quality healthcare services and enhance the overall well being of the people of Pakistan.Prime Minister said that Pakistan is a front line state in the war against terrorism, for which it has paid heavy costs, particularly in terms of human life and suffering. The polio campaign is also a collateral damage of this war, he added.Prime Minister said that National  Action Plan for Polio Eradication  has been finalized and all officials of Polio Program including technical experts from WHO and UNICEF are fully geared up to ensure its implementation on ground. Special security arrangements have been further enhanced, he added. Prime Minister said that we seek WHO’s support for global reinforcement of our national polio eradication efforts, especially with respect to vaccine procurement and funds. He further added that we look towards the global community for support to augment our efforts. Prime Minister reiterated his government’s commitment to strengthening national efforts to eradicate polio in Pakistan and said that we will maintain the highest momentum for the drive till such time that polio is completely eradicated in Pakistan and across the globe.

 

 

 

NETHERLAND VICE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN TRADE SIMON SMITS CALLS ON SHAHBAZ SHARIF

LAHORE,  A delegation led by Vice Minister for Foreign Trade of Netherland Simon Smits met Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, here today. Matters of mutual interest and promotion of bilateral relations were discussed in the meeting. Punjab government and Netherland agreed to enhance cooperation in agriculture, livestock, dairy farming and water management sectors. Talking to the Vice Minister for Foreign Trade of Netherland, the Chief Minister said that regular exchange of trade delegations between both the countries is utmost essential. He said that speedy steps will be taken for enhancing cooperation with Netherland government and experts in agriculture, dairy farming and water management sectors.  Ambassador of Netherland in Pakistan Marcel De Vink, members of the delegation of Netherland, Honorary Consular Tariq Rehman, Provincial Minister for Industry Ch. Muhammad Shafiq, Chairman Planning & Development, Secretary Home, Chairman Punjab Investment Board and concerned officials were present on the occasion.  Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that best friendly relations exist between Pakistan and Netherland and stressed the need for promoting mutual trade relations between both the countries. He said that there are vast opportunities of investment in agriculture, livestock, dairy farming and water management sectors in Punjab and Netherland government and its experts can promote cooperation in these sectors. Shahbaz Sharif said that Punjab government has planned a mega project of providing clean drinking water to the citizens costing billions of rupees which would be implemented under a phased programme in four and a half years. He said that provision of clean drinking water will be ensured to every citizen of the province. He said that the Netherland experts can also provide technical assistance in Saaf Pani Project. The Chief Minister said that Pakistan is the fourth largest milk producing country of the world whereas Netherland has special expertise in producing dairy products and its exports. He said that both the countries should extend cooperation in this sector. He stressed the need for improving milk processing system for ensuring best returns to the people associated with livestock sector in Punjab. He said that a number of international companies started projects in this regard in recent years. He said that Netherland companies should also come forward in dairy farming sector. Shahbaz Sharif said that a modern slaughter house has been set up in Lahore for increasing meat exports. Referring to the overall law and order situation and energy crisis in Pakistan, the Chief Minister said that the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is endeavoring for elimination of trends of extremism and energy crisis and these steps are yielding positive results. He thanked Netherland government on the support in granting status of GSP Plus to Pakistan in European Union. He said that the exports of textile products of Pakistan will increase substantially as a result of GSP Plus status which will help increase job opportunities and strengthen the economy.  Vice Minister for Foreign Trade of Netherland, Simon Smits said that Netherland government wants to further promote relations with Pakistan. He said that Netherland government will extend cooperation to Pakistan especially Punjab in dairy farming, agriculture and water management sectors. He said that Netherland government is willing to promote mutual trade by strengthening relations with Pakistan. He said that PML-N government has provided conducive atmosphere for investment. Simon Smits said that Netherland officials and experts in various sectors will visit Pakistan in future as well. He said that after getting GSP Plus status, Pakistan has achieved duty free access to European markets which will leave far reaching effects. He also extended invitation to the Chief Minister to visit Netherland.

 

 

 

DIRECTOR GENERAL IAEA CALLED 

ON MINISTER FOR S&T.

Islamabad: Yukiya Amano, Director  General International Atomic Energy Commission (IAEA) called on  Mr. Zahid Hamid, Federal Minister for Science and Technology.  The Minister welcomed him and briefed about the mandate vis-a-viz achievements of Ministry of Science and Technology and its subsidiaries research and development organizations.  He highlighted the holistic vision 2025 in S&T of the present government and explained that the government was not only working in the traditional fields but in the emerging areas of Science and technologies as well. i.e Nanotechnology , Biotechnology and Fuel cell technology ,with the idea to reorient the S&T sectors according to the need of the day.Speaking on the occasion DG IAEA appreciated Pakistan’s safe and secure operations of nuclear power plants and  assured maximum help in that perspective..The Minister   welcomed the positive role played by the IAEA in health, agriculture and food safety sectors in Pakistan.Mr. Kamran Ali Qureshi, Secretary Ministry of S&T, Dr. Insar Pervaiz, Chairman Pakistan Atomic, Energy Commission (PAEC) all heads of the 15 organizations of the ministry were also present in the meeting.

 

 

WATER RESERVOIRS INDISPENSABLE TO AVOID THAR LIKE DROUGHT: AHSAN IQBAL

Islamabad: Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reforms, Professor Ahsan Iqbal, while delivering an inaugural address at ‘International workshop on the use of Modern Technologies against flood’ as a chief guest, said, “Water shortage may turn out to be a worse crisis than the ongoing energy crisis as phenomenon of climate change may reduce water availability up to 40% pushing Pakistan to be a water starved country.  If available water resources are not managed, Pakistan may face Thar like drought in half of the country. The Planning Commission, in collaboration with Ministry of Water and Power, will organize ‘Pakistan Water Summit’ on 20th March 2014, in order to develop country’s first National Water Policy for proactive development and management of the country’s water resources.” The workshop is organized by Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), the national space agency of Pakistan, in collaboration with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, and supported by Government of Japan. “Natural disasters are major risk to country’s sustainable development. The impact of some of these disasters such as floods could be reduced if accurate and timely early warning and forecasts are issued thereby enabling better planning and execution of evacuation and rescue operations. Recent advancements in Space and Remote sensing technologies and its various applications have proven to be valuable tools to help in prevention, monitoring and mitigation of disasters, as well as in relief operations. GIS has assumed very important role in development sector. It is no longer a tool rather has become way of work and the concept of G-Government has to be adopted at all levels for better design, planning, management and delivery of development programs” said, the Minister.The Minister appreciated SUPARCO for its significant contributions to the socio-economic development of the country, especially in areas such as agriculture, forestry, water resource management, environmental monitoring and crucial role played by it in recent disasters like the 2005 earthquake and the floods of 2010 to 2013. He further appreciated the Government of Japan and UNESCO for the support they have provided in strengthening of Flood Warning and Management capacity in Pakistan.

 

 

 

 

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