In his farewell visit to GHQ, Shehbaz Sharif pays rich tribute to Shuhada, Ghazi for their sacrifices n Says respect, honour of martyrs is binding on each Pakistani n Launches health insurance card scheme for working journalists, artists n Toshakhana gifts to be auctioned to support orphans: PM n Delegation of CPNE, APNS and PBA calls on Shehbaz.
ISLAMABAD - Honourable Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif visited GHQ in Rawalpindi on his farewell visit on Tuesday, says a press release issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
Upon arrival, PM was received by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir. PM met with the Principal Staff Officers (PSOs) and was presented with the Guard of Honour and laid floral wreath at the Yadgar-e-Shuhada.
He was also the chief guest at a ceremony organised to pay tribute to the Shuhadas and Ghazis at Army Auditorium. PM paid rich tribute to the Shuhadas, Ghazis and their families for their countless sacrifices and contributions made for the defence of the motherland.
PM appreciated the role of Armed Forces in protecting the territorial integrity of the country and robustly fighting the menace of terrorism across Pakistan. “Shuhadas and Ghazis are our pride and their respect and honour is binding on each Pakistani. We must never forget that the peace and freedom we enjoy today is due to the ultimate sacrifices rendered by these brave sons of soil,” the prime minister said. “I salute their families for sacrificing their loved ones for Pakistan. It is now our earnest duty that we realise the supreme sacrifices of our Shuhadas and Ghazis into prosperity and well being of each Pakistani.”
PM further said that those who resorted to desecration of monuments of Shuhada, their faces will remain blackened in the history of this country and proud people of Pakistan will never forget them. PM Shehbaz distributed cheques of Special Financial Assistance amongst 70 families of martyrs and 30 War Wounded Persons. Laptops were also distributed amongst the wards of Shuhada undergoing their academic pursuits.
According to an official handout, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday said that owing to the relentless efforts of the incumbent government, Pakistan had been out of the most difficult times. Addressing a ceremony at the Army Auditorium, General Headquarters (GHQ), the prime minister stressed that they all had to strive to rebuild Pakistan collectively. He said 75 years had passed since the creation of Pakistan which came into being due to hard work by the Great Quaid, the Founder of the Nation, whose vision still remained unfulfilled.
The ceremony was attended by Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir, officers, ministers and families of Shuhada and Ghazis. A comprehensive plan was put in place for the progress and prosperity of the country by the incumbent government, he said, adding the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) had given that vision for the progress of Pakistan with the development of agriculture, minerals and IT sectors.
He further said that under that plan, foreign investment worth billions of dollars would be made in the country. The prime minister termed the ceremony to honour Shuhada and Ghazis as a dignified occasion to pay tribute to their great sacrifices. They had made Pakistan more secure with their sacrifices and saved it from the evil designs of the enemies, he added.
He said that they had laid down their lives for the defence of the country by setting unmatched precedents of bravery, valour and sacrifice, adding that the nation had been rendering sacrifices since the creation of Pakistan. On 14th August, he said, Pakistan would celebrate its 76th anniversary. The nation had to traverse the path carved out by their Shuhada to make Pakistan a prosperous and developed country. The prime minister underlined that for the elimination of poverty and unemployment, they should rid Pakistan of foreign debts with sincerity, devotion and hard work. On the Independence Day, they should pledge to work day and night for the country as much water had already flown under the bridges, he added. On this occasion, the prime minister appreciated the efforts of Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir and his team and the present federal and provincial governments for the bright and prosperous future of Pakistan.
‘Health insurance card for journalists’
Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday launched the Prime Minister’s Health Program for Journalists, Media workers, Artists & Technical resources; and Pakistan Code, a digital repository of federal laws mobile app and website. Under the health insurance card program, journalists, media workers, artists and technical resources will be able to get world-class health facilities free of charge in 1200 hospitals across the country with annual corporate health insurance worth Rs 1.5 million.
Likewise, with the Pakistan Code website and mobile app, judges, lawyers, legal experts, law students, government officials, and the general public will be easily able to access all types of federal laws.
The prime minister on the occasion distributed health cards among prominent journalists including Afzal Butt, Nawaz Raza and others.
Addressing the ceremony, PM Shehbaz said for the first time in the history of the country, the government had launched such a facility for the journalists and media workers who work in difficult situations.
He congratulated Minister for Information Marriyam Aurangzeb and her team for their work to finalize this program. He also felicitated Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazir Tarrar for his efforts in launching the mobile app and website.
Shehbaz Sharif also announced to establish a special fund for journalists and media workers under which a Rs 4 million compensation amount would be paid to the families of the journalists and media workers who died in line with their duties. He said this amount would be increased gradually.
The prime minister said ever since he took over the charge in April 2022, he faced immense criticism from journalists. However, he did not complain of any such criticism as he believed in the freedom of media. He said the criticism should be constructive and based on facts.
Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said the vision of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif as an opposition leader of providing maximum facilities to the journalists and media workers had been implemented.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif invited Saudi companies to avail the investment opportunities in agriculture, mining, IT, energy and other sectors.
He was talking to Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia Waleed Abdulkarim El Khereji in Islamabad today.
Speaking on the occasion, he said establishment of a Special Investment Facilitation Council will facilitate and fast-track potential investments from GCC member states, especially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Shehbaz Sharif also thanked Saudi Arabia for its timely financial support especially during the floods and appreciated its role in helping Pakistan in its efforts to achieve macroeconomic stability in the country.
The Prime Minister remarked the visit of Saudi delegation manifests the deep interest and willingness on both sides to transform the longstanding fraternal ties into concrete and mutually rewarding economic partnership.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has announced to auction all of the gifts worth millions of rupees at Toshakhana and the revenue would be spent for the welfare of orphan children. “I announce to auction all of the gifts worth millions or rupees at Toshakhana. But whole of the receipts will go nowhere else but the institutions of the orphan children whether they are welfare organizations, educational institutions or medical facilities. We will hand them over under a mechanism to support the orphans who are unable to face the challenges of life,” the prime minister said talking to a delegation of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), and Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) here yesterday.
The prime minister said that he felt honoured to announce the auction of Toshakhana gifts before the representatives of APNS, CPNE and PBA.
He told the media industry representatives that the incumbent government inherited very tough economic conditions but the coalition parties did not imagine the severity of the situation. The prime minister said the previous government wasted last four years in mere victimisation of political opponents and also strained ties with friendly countries.
He said his government had tried its utmost to rectify the relations with friendly countries and had been able to control the damage to a great extent which also led to the signing of the agreement with the IMF.
The prime minister repeatedly called for the nation, particularly the youth, to forge unity and work hard to rid the country of loans and make it a great nation. He said the incumbent government victimised no political opponent and that they were extremely busy to tackle the challenges of flood, inflation, economy, IMF, wheat import and foreign policy issues.
He said the media had a crucial role to play for the national unity and reduce the temperature as during the last four years, the previous government “poisoned” the society and the rectification was not that easy.
He said the interim as well as the next elected government would have to join heads to strengthen the state and its people through self-sufficiency as the IMF had closed the doors to subsidies.