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Provincial Minister HR&MA Ijaz Alam Augustine has said the government of Punjab under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan is dedicated to provide equal opportunities to the religious minorities and hopefully the minorities empowerment package will help marginalized religious communities of Punjab. He said that the package included implementation of minorities’ quota for jobs and education, the system for remission of sentences, skill development training, minority quota in Naya Pakistan Housing scheme and introduction of religious education in the school of minorities. He expressed these views while chairing a consultation meeting at new minister block’s office on Wednesday. Meeting attended by various representatives of civil society and officials of human rights department. YDF Executive Director Shahid Rehmat shared with the participants that with the collaboration of the government of Punjab recently introduced an interfaith harmony policy that provided a framework and guidelines on how to promote diversity and a sense of security and ownership for all in the province. It also aims to create an environment where people from different religious, ethnic, sects and linguistic backgrounds could co-exist without fear and contribute to the progress of the country. Other representatives of civil society emphasized that the institutional protection for minorities would reduce human rights violations and would help improve relations between different faith groups. The minister said that minorities are enjoying equal rights in the province and the government was highly vigilant when it came to safeguarding their right. Whenever there is a conflict or fear of conflict, the government comes into action immediately and handles the situation in the best possible way, he said. The PTI government would ensure social justice and fair distribution of socio-economic resources in order to promote tolerance and co-existence in society and eliminate the sense of insecurity and injustice among the religious minorities, he concluded.


Provincial Minister for Industries & Trade Mian Aslam Iqbal presided over taskforce for price control meeting at CM Office today in which availability of flour and its prices came under review in detail. Provincial Food Minister Samiullah Chaudhry, Provincial Agriculture Minister Nauman Akhtar Langrial, Secretary Industries & Trade, Secretaries of concerned departments and other high officials participated in the meeting while Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners also participated in the meeting via video link across the province. Mian Aslam Iqbal while addressing the participants directed that the process of supply of wheat to flour mills, preparation of flour and its supply to the markets should be completely monitored. He further said that flour mills will have to prepare flour according to the wheat being supplied. There is no flour crisis in Punjab and surplus reserves of wheat are available, he added. Due to weakness of monitoring mechanism such a situation has arisen. Government has decided to supply 500kg subsidized wheat to the registered Chakkis of Lahore, Multan and Faisalabad and the process of wheat supply has already started where flour will be available at the rate ranging from Rs42 to 45 per kg. A comprehensive system should be formulated to monitor the process of provision of wheat to the Chakkis and the process of its preparation, he directed. Profiteers and hoarders mafia will be defeated jointly. Aslam Iqbal also directed to ensure supply of flour at big stores and there should not be any 15kg flour bag in the market as focus should be given on 10 and 20kg flour bags. Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners should visit model bazaars and give their proposals for bringing improvements, he concluded.       


Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar presided over a meeting of Specialized Healthcare & Medical Education Department at his office to review departmental performance and the progress made on mega health projects. Addressing the meeting, the chief minister stressed that every possible effort will be made for the betterment of the health sector. He pointed out that 27 percent increase has been made in the health sector budget along with starting of several health projects in far-flung areas. He regretted that the backward areas were also healthwise neglected in the past but the PTI government is following the policy of composite development in every sector. He directed that Nishtar Hospital-2 project in Multan should be completed soon and announced that he would visit hospital site during his next visit to Multan district. This hospital is being built with an amount of around eight billion rupees. The chief minister directed that construction work of the hospital building should be completed by next year adding that matters about Institute of Cardiology DG Khan should be settled as soon as possible. Residences for doctors and other staff will also be constructed in this cardiology institute. He added that a new building of Shaikh Zayed Hospital Rahim Yar Khan will be constructed with an amount of around six billion rupees. He directed to expedite the speed of work on this project and added that matters about hospital building in Gujranwala should also be completed soon. Alongside, a plan should be devised for the establishment of Institute of Blood Diseases, he added. The emergency of services hospital will be upgraded as a state-of-the-art facility and Punjab government will provide required resources in this regard. 

Usman Buzdar said that hospitals will be transformed as rehabilitation centres and patients will be provided with the best healthcare facilities. Improving the hospitals' conditions is a duty of the government and it wants to improve the standard of hospitals to such a level that foreign patients also come here for treatment, he added. The meeting was told that the contractor has been mobilized for Nishtar Hospital-2 project while 17 firms have submitted their pre-qualifications for DG Khan Institute of Cardiology project. Secretary SH&ME briefed about progress on ongoing health sector projects. Provincial Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid, CEO Infrastructure Development Authority Punjab and others attended the meeting. 


Provincial Minister HR&MA Ijaz Alam Augustine has said that morality and human rights are an essential component of every religion and it was the moral duty of all to spread the message of unity and harmony. He said that the ministry of HR with the collaboration of all stakeholders taking measures to protect the human rights in the province. He expressed these views in a meeting with a delegation led by Bishop Sibastian Shah. Bishop Sibastian Shah acknowledged the efforts of PTIs Government to promote peace and harmony among all religions. He said that believers of all religion have to work together to protect human rights. The minister said very soon a project will be launched regarding Harmony and safe Punjab with the collaboration of all stakeholders.


Information Minister Punjab Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan has said that journalist community has performed valuable service for the stability of democracy in Pakistan. As the Information Minister of the Buzdar Government, I will continue to do my utmost to ensure the dignity and employment of working journalists. The Minister expressed these views while talking to media persons at the Lahore Press Club. Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan met, greeted and presented a bouquet of flowers to the newly elected body of the Press Club. Vice President Qazafi Butt, Secretary Press Club Babar Dogar, Member Governing Body Shahid Chaudhry, Deba Mirza and other journalists were present on the occasion. Minister Information also distributed journalist support fund cheques to journalists' widows. He assured the members of the representative body of journalists that in collaboration with the Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid, he will ensure the issuance of health cards to some six thousand journalists across Punjab. He added that funds for the development work of the journalist Colony F Block have also been appropriated and the project will also see positive progress soon.

Talking about the Opposition, he said that Opposition's support for the Army Amendment Act is commendable. Leaving all differences behind, the opposition should work to stabilize democracy in the country. Replying to a question on the issue of Nawaz Sharif's return to Pakistan, he said that the Interior Ministry and the Health Department are monitoring the matter very closely and the decision to extend Nawaz Sharif's stay abroad or return will be taken after inspecting his latest health reports. Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan said that the present government, led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, will complete in constitutional tenure.

Punjab Child Vaccination, epi, open, data