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No one will be allowed to support terrorists: PM Shehbaz

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THARPARKAR: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday said no one was above the law and would not be allowed to support terrorists and use them as shields.

Condemning yesterday’s terrorist incidents targeting military personnel, the premier said that the malicious agenda of Pakistan’s enemies would be foiled.

The prime minister’s comments came during his visit to Tharparkar’s Islamkot area for the inauguration event of two coal-fired power plants with a capacity of 1,650 megawatt of electricity generation.

PM Shehbaz said the projects — including the 1,320 megawatt Shanghai Electric power plant and 330MW Thal Nova power plant — would turn the desert into an economic hub and annually generate 11.24 billion units of low-cost electricity.

Through the direct investment of $3.53 billion into these projects, which were abandoned during the last four years and are now operational on PM Shehbaz’s directives, the production of coal-based electricity in Thar will increase up to 3,300MW.

He added that it was a moment of celebration for the entire country that Tharparkar was getting a source of basic facilities for life and also dismissed the criticism by a section of people who stand against Thar’s coal, terming it a blessing with immense potential for power resources that needed to be untapped.

PM Shehbaz expressed confidence that the journey of progress would spread across the country and would strengthen the national economy.

The premier said that the power turbines would be installed at the projects to generate electricity by April 30, which would be supplied to the rest of the country through transmission lines.

He expressed gratitude to the government of China for extending support to Pakistan in carrying out development projects under the CPEC.

He vowed that the coalition government would put in all efforts to materialise the CPEC projects, with the agriculture sector as its next phase and announced a hospital for the locals to provide them with medical facilities at their doorsteps.

Also present at the occasion, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the project could be materialised as the federal government and the Sindh government worked in harmony to facilitate the masses.

He expressed satisfaction over the level of cooperation between Pakistan and China on carrying out development projects, which he said, had resulted in the improvement of health and educational facilities.

Federal Minister for Power Khurram Dastagir Khan said the pluralist government of PM Shehbaz was committed to providing civic amenities to people across the country.

He said that under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the development of indigenous resources was a big step towards self-reliance and was also valuable for the foreign exchange of the country.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said the political and economic interests of Pakistan and China were aligned for the benefit of the two nations.

He termed the completion of the Thar Coal project a success for all stakeholders from both countries.

Chinese Charge d’Affaires Pang Chunxue said the commercial operation of the Thar coal project ranked high among other coal-fired power plants. She assured all possible cooperation by the government of China in the field of development and progress.

Shanghai Electric Power Company Limited is the executing agency of the projects, while the Ministry of Energy (Power Division) is the coordinating ministry, and Private Power and Infrastructure Board is the supervising agency.

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36% of fresh faces make it to the National Assembly.

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Following the general elections of this year, a record 36% of new members have joined the National Assembly.

There are now 96 new legislators that have been elected to the assembly out of 265 total. In the general elections, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has elected the most number of fresh faces as Independents.

Of the new faces, eleven PPP and MQM members, as well as fifteen PML-N members, have become MNAs for the first time. The IPP’s Abdul Aleem Khan and Awn Chaudhry were elected to the National Assembly for the first time.

Ataullah Tarar of the Pakistan Muslim League-N, Mir Jamal Khan Raisani, the party’s youngest member, was also elected from Balochistan for the first time and made it to the lower house.

Sher Afzal Marwat, Latif Khosa, and Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, who is supported by the PTI, are some of the fresh faces. In the last parliament, Shandana Gulzar had a reserved seat; however, this time, she was elected to a general seat.

Arshad Vohra, Syed Mustafa Kamal, and Rauf Siddiqui of the MQM were also elected to the National Assembly for the first time.

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Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri’s JUI-F resignation from the Senate

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Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani received the JUI-F leader’s resignation, which he accepted.

In the National Assembly, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri will be sworn in as a member.

Following their victories in the general elections on February 8 for the Balochistan Assembly, Senators Sarfraz Bugti and Prince Umar Ahmedzai had already announced their resignations from the Senate.

Prior carer Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani received the resignation of Federal Interior Minister Bugti, which he accepted.

In a similar vein, Senator Prince Umar Ahmedzai of the Balochistan Awami Party resigned from the Senate following his election to the provincial legislature.

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NA session: The interim government addresses President Alvi’s concerns

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Details indicate that in response, the federal government informed Dr. Arif Alvi that Article 91 of the 1973 Constitution does not grant the president the “discretion or power” to adjourn the National Assembly session.

The sources quoted the federal administration and said, “Nowhere in Article 91 is it written that if the House is incomplete, the National Assembly session cannot be convened.”

It further said that Article 54 of the constitution allowed the president to adjourn the National Assembly’s “ordinary” session alone. According to the summary, the president was requested to call an extraordinary session of the National Assembly so that the newly elected members may take an oath of office.

Dr. Arif Alvi was asked to reconsider his choice and call a meeting of the National Assembly by the acting federal government on February 29.

The sources quoted the federal government and stated, “It is not written anywhere in the constitution that if specific seats are not allotted, the session cannot be called.”

It further said that the National Assembly must be called within 21 days following the election in accordance with Clause 2 of Article 91 of the constitution.

The caretaker administration responded, saying, “Even if the President does not call the National Assembly session by February 29, it would still be held on the same day.”

Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf called a session of the National Assembly on Thursday, February 29th, in order to administer the oath to the newly elected Members of Congress earlier on Monday.

According to specifics, President Arif Alvi declined to call a meeting under clause 2 of Article 91 of the constitution, arguing that the lower body is still unfinished because a decision on certain reserved seats has not yet been made. Consequently, the Speaker National Assembly called the meeting.

The National Assembly’s maiden session was called by Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. The freshly elected members of the National Assembly would take the oath of office from the Speaker. During the first session, the election schedules for speaker and deputy speaker will also be released.

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