Cabinet endorses NSC’s decisions on Kashmir

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OUR CORRESPONDENT
ISLAMABAD
The federal cabinet meeting here on Friday endorsed all the measures taken by the National Security Committee (NSC) in connection with Kashmir. The cabinet meeting held in Islamabad today with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair to devise a comprehensive strategy, in the wake of recent steps taken by the Indian government in occupied Kashmir.
The cabinet approved suspending bilateral trade ties with India. Prime Minister Imran Khan took the cabinet into confidence on regional situation emerging after revocation of independent status of Kashmir by India and added, Focal groups have been formed on Kashmir in the context of parliamentary resolution that will work under their mandate and give concrete recommendations to the government.
Pakistan will maintain its stance on Kashmir at all costs and added that India was committing atrocities and involved in grave human rights violations in occupied valley. The special assistant said that Pakistan will not show any flexibility towards Kashmir issue. National security and country’s defence was the topmost priority of the PTI-led government.
The cabinet appreciated the statement of UN Secretary General on Kashmir in which he expressed concern on the situation and also recalled that under Simla Agreement the final status of Jammu and Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
The government has decided to observe Independence Day; 14 August, as Kashmir Solidarity Day and 15th of this month as Black Day to express harmony and solidarity with Kashmiris in their recent plight caused by the Indian government. The national flag will fly half-mast on 15th of this month. A notification to this effect has been issued by the Ministry of Interior. Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday telephoned the King of Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa and took him into confidence on the Kashmir crisis. The prime minister apprised the Bahraini king of India’s move to annex held Kashmi in violation of the UN resolutions. Strongly opposing the steps India has taken of late vis-à-vis the held Kashmir, PM Khan reiterated New Delhi has consistently been breaching the UN resolutions.
Held Kashmir has been accepted as a disputed territory globally, he added. He urged world powers to take note of this irresponsible attitude on the part of India and play their role to maintain peace in the region. The Bahraini king, expressing concern over the recent developments, said his government has continuously been monitoring the Kashmir situation. He called for dialogue to settle the Kashmir dispute.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said the government has a priority to make Special Economic Zones (SEZs) fully functional at the earliest and provide electricity, gas, water, road infrastructure there. He was speaking at a briefing on the current condition of special economic zones in the country, provision of necessary facilities to the industries in the zones, and strategy to make them functional, in Islamabad on Friday, Radio Pakistan reported.
Prime Minister Khan said it is important to make SEZs fully operational for expediting industrial development in the country and solving problems of the business community. Besides, he said, it will also help create employment opportunities for the youth and skilled people.
The premier also appointed Chairman Board of Investment Zubair Gilani as a focal person to ensure effective coordination between the relevant departments of the federal and provincial governments for making special economic zones functional and providing all the necessary facilities there.
World Tourism Forum 2020 will be held in Pakistan and over 1,000 foreigners will be attending the five-day proceedings of the forum. It was learned during a meeting of a delegation of World Tourism Forum with Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday. Talking to a delegation of World Tourism Forum, led by President of the forum’s Executive Board Bulut Bagci in Islamabad, PM Khan said there is great potential in different areas of tourism in the country, which is being exploited, Radio Pakistan reported.
He said the government is making all-out efforts to promote tourism in the country. Eight new tourism resorts will be developed in eight coastal areas in Balochistan, PM Khan revealed. He said natural beauty, social values and environmental protection should be ensured for the promotion of tourism. The premier lamented that the previous governments did not pay attention to the tourism sector.

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