Progress of Karachi projects reviewed
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that as the federal government ensured timely release of funds under the National Finance Commission (NFC), it was also essential that the Sindh government made just distribution of provincial funds.
The prime minister, in a meeting with the parliamentarians of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MOM), said the government was taking all-out measures to resolve the issue faced by the Karachi residents.
Federal Planning Minister Asad Umar, MNA Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Senator Faisal Sabzwari attended the meeting wherein the prime minister was updated on the progress of ongoing development projects in Karachi.
The prime minister said the early completion of federal government projects in Karachi and early launch of newly announced works, were among government's priorities.
Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed the hope on Thursday Pakistan would be able to eradicate polio from Pakistan in the coming year, pointing to a substantial decline in the cases of crippling disease from 56 cases last year to just 1 this year.
The prime minister wrote on his Twitter account that he spoke with Microsoft founder and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) Co-Chair Bill Gates on Wednesday night and thanked him for the BMGF’s help in polio eradication from Pakistan.
“Spoke with Bill Gates last night & thanked him for the help his Foundation provided for polio eradication in Pak. This time last yr we had 56 reported cases - this yr so far only 1 case. InshaAllah we will eradicate polio completely in coming yr,” Imran tweeted.
While referring to Pakistan’s potential in the Information Technology (IT) sector and government’s business-friendly IT policy, Imran encouraged Microsoft to further expand its footprint in Pakistan. “Also asked Bill if he could set up a Microsoft incubation lab in Pakistan,” Imran tweeted further.
According to a handout, Imran has expressed gratitude for the BMGF’s partnership with Pakistan to rid the country of polio and stressed that the government was making earnest efforts for a polio-free Pakistan despite the challenges in the wake of Covid-19 crisis.
In a telephonic conversation, Imran discussed the ongoing polio-eradication campaign in the country as well as the country’s response to the public health challenges amid Covid-19 pandemic. He reaffirmed that polio eradication remained a key national priority for the government.
He mentioned that a special polio eradication campaign was launched in the country earlier this month, during which vaccine was administered to over 33 million children. He expressed his satisfaction over the substantive progress in cutting the transmission of the poliovirus in the country.
Gates expressed his appreciation for the prime minister’s leadership for this national cause, saying that while progress was encouraging, keeping up pressure would be the key to ending transmission for good. Imran also highlighted Pakistan’s efforts to overcome the third wave of coronavirus in the country.
The telephone call follows the high-level Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) Polio Oversight Board (POB) delegation’s visit to Pakistan in early June. GPEI has launched a new Polio Eradication Strategy on 10 June 2021 at a virtual global event, featuring high-level participation from Pakistan.
Separately, during a meeting with Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services Dr Nosheen Hamid at the Prime Minister House, Imran stressed the need for steps to ensure access of common man to the basic health services.
The meeting focused on the amount allocated for healthcare in the budget and the related initiatives including the Insaf Sehat Card. Dr Hamid lauded the prime minister’s successful strategy of smart lockdown that helped control the cases of coronavirus in the country.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran received a briefing on textile sector in context of its improvement as a result of the steps taken by the government. The meeting also discussed political situation in the country, relief to the people in the budget and measures to facilitate and develop industries.
The meeting was attended by Adviser on Trade and Investment Razak Dawood, Special Assistant on Political Affairs Malik Amir Dogar and the National Assembly members Asim Nazir, Raza Nasrullah Ghuman, Khurram Shehzad and industrialist Shahid Nazir.