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Senate session: Pakistan is ready to re-negotiate with India: Sartaj

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ISLAMABAD:(APS)November 22, 2016-The Senate resumed its session in Islamabad this afternoon with Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani in the chair.

The Senate was informed today that seven vaccines and products are being manufactured at National Institute of Health in Islamabad.

During the question-hour, Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional training Baligh-ur-Rehman said that the vaccines include anti-snake venom serum, Tetanus toxoid vaccine, Cell culture rabies vaccine, Anti rabies vaccine, Allergy vaccine, Typhoid vaccine and ORS (Nimkol).

He said there is partnership on surveillance and control of human infectious communicable disease with international partners like US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health England and World Health Organization.

The Minister said that NIH has started the Production of Cell Culture Rabies Vaccine. More than ninety-five thousand does of this vaccine have been supplied of government hospitals during 2015-16.

Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz informed the House that Pakistani Embassy staff United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia constantly visits Pakistani prisoners detained in various jails.

He said that 1021 Pakistani prisoners are detained in jails of Riyadh, Eastern and Northern provinces. He said the embassy teams visited jails in these regions as well as deportation centres where they issued Emergency Travel Documents to 8421 Pakistani nationals in 2015 and 8525 Pakistani nationals in 2016 to facilitate their deportation to Pakistan.

Sartaj Aziz said about 728 Pakistani prisoners are in Jeddah and surrounding areas. He said Emergency Travel Documents were issued to 50,757 Pakistan nationals in 2015 and 33, 198 Pakistan nationals in 2016 to facilitate their deportation to Pakistan.

Sartaj Aziz said Embassy staff also visited and interviewed Pakistani prisoners in UAE. He said during the visit Pakistani prisoners were interviewed and discussed their problems in details. He said prominent community members are mobilized to extend maximum assistance directly to the prisoners through financial assistance and aid.

Replying to another question, Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said Pakistani Missions abroad are continuously improving their standard of services to facilitate overseas Pakistani.

He said overseas Pakistanis are very satisfied with the quality of service being provided by Pakistani Missions and generally they are not facing any serious issue.

He said the government has established machine readable passports in 83 Pakistani Missions, Nadra facilities in fourteen Missions and provided legal assistance to Pakistani prisoners including legal fees.

Sartaj Aziz said measures have also been taken for repatriation of destitute overseas Pakistani and expeditious processing and transportation of dead bodies of Pakistani diaspora living abroad.

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Responding to another question, Baligh-ur-Rehman said that government is providing medicine of Hepatitis C on the lowest rate in the world. He said that currently about nine point seven million cases of hepatitis C have been reported in the country. He said several steps have been taken to prevent spread of this disease. He said heavy duty needle cutters and sharp containers have been provided by WHO to 2200 health facilities across the country to prevent reuse of syringes. He said to strengthen DHP Hospitals, federal government through federal hepatitis programme supplied 50 autoclaves and sterilizers to DHQ hospitals all over the country.  The Minister of State said to ensure proper screening of the blood, the government has established flood transfusion authority in Islamabad and all province.

Adviser on Foreign Affairs has said Pakistan is ready to resume meaningful dialogue with India to resolve all outstanding issues including the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir through comprehensive and composite talks.

He was informing the House about the steps taken in light of the guidelines and recommendation sent by Senate Committee of the Whole. He called for urgent restoration of back channel talks with India.

He said Pakistan has also welcomed UN Secretary General’s offer to use his good offices to resume dialogue between the two countries. He said Pakistan is committed to respect the understanding reached between the two countries in 2003 to observe ceasefire on LoC.

He said India has committed over three hundred ceasefire violations in this year alone and our forces are giving befitting response. Sartaj Aziz said India is trying to divert world attention from the atrocities being committed in Occupied Kashmir by increasing escalation with Pakistan.

He said voices are also being raised from within the Indian society against Narendra Modi’s extremist and anti-Pakistan policies. The adviser said the international community including the OIC is taking notice of grave human rights violations in the Occupied Kashmir.

He said OIC has also request the Indian authorities to allow its fact finding mission on human right violations in the held valley but New Delhi is not allowing that mission.

He said Pakistan wants peace in the region and fighting terrorism. He said there is no room for non-state actor Pakistan’s soil against any country. He said India cannot revoke Indus Water Treaty unilaterally.

The House has also unanimously condemned the launching of ballistic missile near Makkah Mukarma.

The Leader of the House Raja Zafar-ul-Haq table the resolution to condemned the firing of ballistic missile near the most holy site of Muslims which was successfully intercepted by Saudi forces. The resolution invited the OIC and the United Nations to take notice of such acts which could hurt sentiments of the Muslim Ummah. It offered complete support of government and the people of Pakistan for the defence of the holy land.

The House will now meet again tomorrow at 2:00 pm.

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