The Conference of Pakistan Development Forum 2005 and
interaction with Japanese Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi along with
his delegation members were the main highlights of the Prime Minister,
Shaukat Aziz's activities last week.
Apart from the two major events spread over 4 days,
the Prime Minister had meetings with Malaysian Business delegation,
President of Islamic Development Bank, Deputy Chiefs of World Bank and
the Asian Development Bank which likely to produce results.
He also addressed a public meeting at Ludhar near
Jhelum, besides meeting a group of under training government officers,
meeting with Governor Balochistan and the dinner at the PM house to
jubilate impressive victory of Pakistan cricket team in India recently.
He also hosted a dinner for the members of National Finance Commission (NFC)
who earlier had assembled for a meeting in Islamabad. He also laid the
foundation stone of export display center in Islamabad.
During his two-day visit to Islamabad, the Japanese
Prime Minister had fruitful talks with the President and the Prime
Minister of Pakistan. The talks mainly focused on disarmament,
non-proliferation and expansion of trade and economic relation. On the
conclusion of the visit, Japanese ambassador in Pakistan announced the
resumption of highly concessional Yen Loan Program for infrastructure
development in Pakistan. "This program will indeed open new vistas
for the development of this country, especially its ability to undertake
large scale infrastructure development of this country, Nobuaka said.
The 25 members Malaysian delegation visiting Pakistan
called on Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Tuesday. Welcoming the
delegation led by the Minister for Works, Dato Seri S. Samy Vellu, the
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz expressed Pakistan's all out desire to
expand bilateral cooperation with Malaysia in different fields.
He appreciated the interest being shown by Malaysia
for mutual cooperation especially in the field of trade and industry and
investments. The Prime Minister particularly pointed out that the
Malaysian experience in the development of the housing sector would be
welcomed in Pakistan. He said Pakistan had been a prominent source of
manpower supply for Malaysia and their existed possibility for sending
more and more people to share the rapid development activity there. In
this connection, he said a Malaysian delegation led by the Home Affairs
Minister is coming to Pakistan within a couple of days. The delegation
will explore the possibility of increased recruitment of manpower from
Pakistan. Later, addressing a news conference, the Malaysian Minister
informed that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed here
between Malaysia and Pakistan for the construction of yet another
section of the Motorway, i.e. M-4.S
In the same context while talking to Pakistan's
Minister for Labor and Manpower Prime Minister directed him to evolve an
efficient and transparent procedure for selection of skilled and
semi-skilled manpower for export from the country. The Prime Minister
said the Pakistani workers are as good as any in the world, however,
there is a need to develop and sharpen their skills with a view to
making them more competitive in this age. "Being alive to this need
and responsibility, the government is focusing on skill development and
coming out with Vocational Training Institute in almost each and every
district of the country", he added.
He said that skilled workers could really make a
difference as far as manpower export is concerned. They have a
competitive edge over other and they could make a mark for themselves.
The training institutes, he said, could also help combat unemployment in
Talking to President of Islamic Development Bank
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz appreciated the highly constructive role of
the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in helping Pakistan and the Muslim
Ummah in the development and growth of their economics. He said that in
this competitive age, the Ummah needs to equip itself not only with
financial resources but also has to develop its human resources by
improving the health and educational facilities besides ensuring
broad-based participation in its development strategies. Appreciating
the role being played by the IDB, the Prime Minister said, the bank has
been a major contributor in assisting Pakistan infrastructure
development. He said we look forward to further strengthening our links
with the IDB.
The President of the IDB said Pakistan is a pillar of
the Muslim Ummah and its economic growth during the last five years
which is simply impressive and a source of strength for the Islamic
world. He said he was most impressed by the achievements made by
Pakistan during the last five years.
Addressing a public meeting at Ludhar in Jhelum
district, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said sacrifices of the Kashmiri
people will not go waste and, with the support of the people of
Pakistan, they will get their rights. "We want solution of the
Kashmir issue in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri
people," There will be no compromise on the Kashmir issue, he
Aziz said the government was launching many new
infrastructure and development projects that would bring prosperity and
raise the living standard of the people. Referring to the Rs62 billion
Mangla dam raising project, he said it would enhance its water storage
capacity, provide adequate water for irrigation to increase crops yield
and subsequently, raise income of farmers.
At Mangla, the Prime Minister said Pakistan would
accept whatever decision is given by the expert. "Pakistan and
India are signatory to the Indus Water Treaty and I hope that the
decision of the neutral expert will be acceptable to both the countries.
He said water security was very important for Pakistan, as its
agriculture heavily relied on it. He said India has not yet started work
on the Kishangana project on river Jhelum in the India held Kashmir.
Prime Minister Aziz was earlier, briefed about the project to raise the
Mangla Dam by 30 feet at a cost of Rs62 billion.
Addressing the under-training officers of the
National Institute of Public Administration from different parts of the
country at the PM House, Shaukat Aziz urged the civil servants to work
with commitment and said their performance should be result-oriented to
help the country achieve goals of progress and prosperity. He said the
government has introduced fiscal discipline and good governance to
improve efficiently of the public servants. The Prime Minister said the
salaries of the government servants would be enhanced in the next
budget. He, however, urged the civil servants to change the culture of
working from 9 to 2 pm and put in some extra hours for the country. The
Prime Minister said efforts should make that every step of the civil
servant should be geared to achieving results.
Talking to Governor Balochistan in PM Secretariat
Islamabad Prime Minister said Balochistan is an important province and
the federal government in cooperation with the provincial government is
working for the progress and development of the province. He said that
the government has initiated development projects amounting to Rs130
billion in Balochistan, which would open new vistas of economic
prosperity. The government is attaching top priority to seeking solution
of the matters pertaining to the province through dialogue, he added.
The Prime Minister discussed with him the prevailing situation in the
province and directed to ensure laws and order. The Governor informed
the Prime Minister that law and order situation in the province
including Dera Bugti and Sui was fast improving and the overall
situation had improved remarkably.
Chairing the first meeting of the National
E-Government at the PM House Shaukat Aziz announced that government
would adopt e-governance and a paperless environment, in all ministries
and departments to enhance their performance and efficiency.
"Pakistan has to keep pace with international practices of the
office management and decision making by improving our work culture,
Prime Minister said, adding that e-governance will provide efficient
access of information to the public, create more transparency and would
be a quantum jump to meet the future challenges.
Talking to members of the NFC Prime Minister urged
the provinces to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution on the
National Finance Commission award keeping in mind the principle of give
and take. He hoped that with this approach the issue of distribution of
divisible past will be amicably solved between all the stakeholders.
Addressing businessmen and experts at the stone
laying ceremony of the export display center in Islamabad, Prime
Minister said Pakistan was on course to meet the $14 billion export
target, and had the potential of $28 billion annual exports in next five
years. "Countries with far less resources are way ahead of us. Let
us not rest on our laurels and show that we are a serious player."
He said Pakistan had made excellent progress with the
effort of the private sector and the enabling environment by the
government, but pointed out that the achievements were still below the
potential, the country possessed. He said the private sector in the
country was very creative and innovative and added it needed to be more
competitive to meet the challenges of globalization. He called for
value-addition and inclusion of engineering goods in its products.
Pakistan also needs to expand and penetrate new markets for its
exportable goods, he said.
"If our bed linen is a good buy in the US and
Europe, why not in Japan, China and other countries?" he said. The
markets were rapidly changing and Pakistani exporters could benefit
through diversification, reliability, quality and competitiveness of
their products. The Prime Minister pointed out that Pakistan's share in
world trade was minuscule, despite the richness of its enormous human
resource potential. The government, he said, would continue to create an
enabling environment, but it was up to the private sector to meet the