Pakistan, KSA reaffirm resolve to strengthen bilateral ties

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hosts Iftar dinner for PM Shehbaz n Both leaders appreciate upward trajectory of longstanding fraternal relations n Shehbaz, Maryam to perform Umrah n Premier constitutes body to review climate change governance, funds n Renews pledge to ensure health facilities to all.

LAHORE/MAKKAH  -  Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Min­ister Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud on Sunday hosted an Iftar dinner for Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz and members of the federal cabinet were also present at the din­ner. At dinner, Prime Minister Sheh­baz Sharif met Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. 

The prime minister along with his delegation was invited at Iftar by His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. Prime Minis­ter Shehbaz Sharif conveyed prayers and best wishes for the health and well-being of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz. 

He expressed gratitude for the warm welcome accorded to him and his delegation by the Saudi authori­ties. Both leaders appreciated the upward trajectory of longstanding fraternal relations. The two leaders reaffirmed common resolve to fur­ther strengthen bilateral ties.

After Iftar, a bilateral meeting was also held followed by a one on one meeting between the Prime Minister and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince. Earlier on Sunday, PM Shehbaz arrived in Makkah Mukarmah to per­ form Umrah. At the Makkah railway sta­tion, Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Malkiy and senior of­ficials received the premier.

On Saturday, Punjab Chief Minis­ter Maryam Nawaz Sharif, along with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, reached Masjid-e-Nabawi (SAW) to pay tributes (drood-o-salaam) at the grave of Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH).

Madam Chief Minister offered special prayers for the development and pros­perity of the entire Muslim Ummah, es­pecially for Pakistan. She also prayed for the freedom of oppressed Muslims of Pal­estine and Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

PM Shehbaz offered Isha prayer and nawafil at Riazul Jannah, Masjid-e-Nab­wi in Madina Munawarah. He visited the Roza-e-Rasool (PBUH) and prayed for the development and prosperity of the coun­try, as well as for the Muslims of Palestine and Indian occupied Kashmir. Upon his arrival in Saudi Arabia, PM Shehbaz was welcomed by Madina Munawarah Gover­nor Prince Salman bin Sultan.

The prime minister is on a three-day of­ficial visit to Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has constituted a high-level commit­tee to review Climate Change Governance and Mechanisms to access Climate Funds and nominated Climate Change Minister Romina Khursheed Alam and Executive Director, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Dr Abid Suleri as its mem­bers alongwith other senior members. The minister of climate change and envi­ronmental coordination has issued a de­tailed notification explaining the context, mandate, terms of reference (TORs) and list of the members of the committee. 

The committee will be chaired by the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission that comprised government officials, par­liamentarians, representatives from civ­il society and environment NGOs, private sector, research institutes, and expert/ad­visors with knowledge on specific topics. 

The members are Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Mohammad Jehan­zeb Khan (chair), Coordinator to PM on Cli­mate Change, Roinina Khurshid Alam, Sen­ator Ayesha Raza Farooq, MNA Bilal Kiyani, Executive Director, SDPI, Dr Abid Suleri, Kashmala Kakakhel Climate Finance Ex­pert, Rizwan Mehboob, Climate Expert, Ali Tauqir Sheikh Climate Expert, Ahsan Kam­ran Climate Finance Expert, Nadia Reh­man, Member CC PC, Secretary MoCC&EC (Secretary of the Committee), Secretary Ministry of Commerce, Secretary MoPDSI and Secretary Ministry of EA and Addition­al Secretary (EF) Ministry of Finance.

The committee will suggest approach that involves mainstreaming climate con­siderations across all government organi­zations and operations, as well as integrat­ing them into the development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It includes evaluating the effectiveness of ex­isting and proposed institutional mecha­nisms such as the National Climate Change Council, SIFC, proposed Climate Change Authority, Climate Change Fund, National Disaster Risk Management Fund, and co­ordination with key ministries.

Additionally, there is a need to review institutional mechanisms and policies to mobilize climate finance, including cli­mate funds and innovative financial in­struments. The appraisal of institutional mechanisms and policies to mobilize car­bon finance is also crucial.

Furthermore, assessing institutional mechanisms and policies to attract pri­vate capital from various sources such as Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), Pension Funds, Insurance Companies, Commercial Banks, Venture Capital, and Private sector firms is essential. Examin­ing institutional mechanisms and policies to enhance engagement with Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to reduce the cost of finance and leverage private sector investment through grants, guarantees, and concessional climate funds will also be recommended by the Committee. 

The committee will make recommen­dations to strengthen climate gover­nance, access climate and carbon finance, and mobilize the private sector to drive decarbonization of industry, integrate into green value chains, and boost ex­ports in alignment with evolving inter­national regulatory mechanisms such as carbon border adjustments. Additionally, the role of media, academia, and research entities in policy advocacy and formula­tion should be articulated.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sun­day renewed the commitment of the gov­ernment of Pakistan to provide and en­sure health facilities to all.

“Towards our destination of a healthi­er nation, I once again reiterate the com­mitment to transform Pakistan’s health­care sector at all levels that will ensure that each and every Pakistani has access to quality healthcare,’ the prime minis­ter said in a message on World Health Day observed on Sunday. He said that the year’s theme “My health, my right” apt­ly encapsulated every citizen’s right to quality health services.

In order to ensure health for all and as promised to the nation in the PML-N manifesto, the prime minister said their focus would remain on improving pri­mary, secondary and tertiary healthcare, medical education, preventive healthcare and improved governance. 

“We will partner and encourage provin­cial governments to expand and upgrade health facilities, launch mobile health clinics for enhanced access, re-ener­gize immunization and improve mental health services,” PM Office Media Wing, in a press release, quoted the prime min­ister as saying. 

The prime minister said that the estab­lishment and operationalization of Med­ical City, establishment of Cancer Care Hospital and Pakistan Kidney & Liver Institute facilities in each province re­mained their key priority.

“We take pride in having launched the Health Card during PMLN’s 2013-18 ten­ure. We remain committed to universal health coverage and universal health in­surance for our population, particular­ly providing free-of-cost healthcare ser­vices to low and middle-income families,” he added. On the World Health Day, the prime minister also applauded the ser­vices of health professionals, paramedi­cal staff, nurses, and other health work­ers who selflessly worked day and night to provide health services to the nation.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt