Pakistan will not be part of US-Iran conflict: PM

Imran Khan directs Qureshi to visit US, Iran, KSA as part of Pak ‘role for peace


our correspondent


Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday expressed deep concern over the recent US-Iran tensions and called for a de-escalation between the two countries, reiterating that Pakistan will not take part in any conflict.  The prime minister met Oman’s Minister for Endowment and Religious Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Abdullah Assalami where he expressed deep concern over the evolving situation in the region (Middle East)”.

Making it clear that Pakistan will not be part of any conflict, Khan said war is in nobody’s interest. The premier recalled how Pakistan itself had suffered for many years owing to regional conflicts.  During the meeting, the prime minister said he had earlier tried to facilitate contacts between Iran and the US as well as Tehran and Riyadh. The prime minister reiterated that Pakistan will continue to be a “partner for peace” and do its part to avoid conflict.

During the meeting, the prime minister spoke of Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir as well, urging the international community to act against the inhumane act of the BJP government against the Muslim population in the disputed territory.  He highlighted the “dire human rights and humanitarian situation” arising out of Indian-held Kashmir for more than five months.

Top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani was killed last week in a US strike on Baghdad´s international airport.

The Pentagon had said US President Donald Trump ordered Soleimani’s “killing,” after a pro-Iran mob this week laid siege to the US embassy. Declaring three days of mourning across the country, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed to take “severe revenge” for Soleimani´s death. The US had acted in response to a rocket attack days earlier that had killed an American contractor working in Iraq. Trump had blamed Iran for a spate of rocket attacks targeting US forces as well as the siege at the embassy, saying: “They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat.”

United States President Donald Trump confirmed that Iran had carried out missile strikes on a US base in Iraq, shortly after the attack. The US President said that an assessment of the casualties and damages was taking place and a statement would be made early Wednesday.

“All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning,” he tweeted.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved the initiation of the country’s biggest skill development programme, Hunarmand Pakistan – Skill for All, aiming to provide technical expertise in various fields to the youth. The federal government led by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has decided to launch the country’s biggest skill development programme focusing on the welfare of youth.

The decision was taken in a high-level session chaired by PM Imran Khan to discuss steps for the welfare of development of the country’s youth. The session was attended by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Youth Affairs Usman Dar, Shafqat Mahmood and high-level officials.

PM Khan gave approval to the Hunarmand Pakistan programme which will be launched by him on Thursday (tomorrow) with the allocation of Rs30 billion. The project is being initiated under the Kamyab Jawan National Youth Development Programme over the recommendations of National Skill Strategy Task Force. It is pertinent to mention here that the premier had also allocated Rs100 billion funds for the Kamyab Jawan programme.

Under the new project, millions of youth will be given technical expertise in different centres to be established across the country. The government will establish teacher training, smart lab and incubation centres, whereas, the successful persons will be awarded internationally-recognised permission letters.

In August, the Prime Minister’s Youth Affairs Program (PMYAP) had launched the ‘Kamyab Jawan Programme’ for the socio-economic development of the youth in the progress of the country.

According to an official, under the program, a vast array of projects and initiatives would be undertaken in education, skill training, entrepreneurship, and civic engagement for the country’s youth.

These initiatives would focus on ‘3Es’: education, employment and engagement, while implementing six flagship programs.

Under the six flagship programs, the first will be ‘Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme’ as per which subsidised business loans would be provided to young aspiring entrepreneurs for the promotion of SME sector, the official said.

The second would be ‘Skill for All Program’, under which technical and vocational training is to be imparted to 150,000 youth both in conventional and high-end technological trades, he said.

The third initiative is ‘Startup Pakistan Program’ under which potential young entrepreneurs would be trained and mentored to conceive, incubate, and mature their business plans through access to digital incubation platforms.

The fourth would be ‘Green Youth Movement (GYM)’ under which small grants are to be provided to Pakistani youth to bring economic innovative solutions to tackle environmental and climate crises.

The fifth initiative, ‘Internship Program’, would impart effective internship programs both for undergraduate and postgraduate students to facilitate them in active participation in the private sector.

The sixth initiative would be ‘Jawan Markaz’, a one-stop solution for youth-related issues at the grassroots level and it would not only provide access to sports and other youth engagement activities but also provide them with career counseling, mentoring and access to a host of digital services, the official added.

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