The National Action Plan against terrorism is being effectively implemented in the Punjab, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Wednesday.
He was talking to British National Security, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Director Jonathan Allen.
The chief minister welcomed the cooperation of the British government in the Safe Cities Project. “Necessary amendments have been made to laws for making sentences more stringent. A special counter terrorism force has also been set up. The government is determined to implement the action plan against terrorism,” he said. During the meeting, matters regarding cooperation between Pakistan and Britain in anti-terrorism, reform of police system and training of police were discussed.
Allen commended the measures taken under National Action Plan for elimination of terrorism. He also appreciated the way the Punjab government was using information technology in various sectors including education, health and law and order. He also congratulated the chief minister over the report of Transparency International regarding government steps to control corruption. He said that Pakistan was moving in the right direction with regard to implementation of the National Action Plan.
British Deputy High Commissioner Patrick Moody and UK Department for International Development representative Ben French were also present.
Skills Development Strategy
The chief minister presided over a meeting to review the Punjab Skills Development Strategy-2018. He said that a major portion of Pakistan’s population comprised the youth and there was a need to develop a skilled workforce to meet the local and foreign requirements. “The government has set the target of imparting skills to Rs2 million youth during the next three years,” he said. The chief minister said that it had been decided to set up a separate authority by unifying various institutions relating to vocational training. “It will increase coordination between various institutions. This step will improve the standard of technical training,” he said.
He said that new programmes should be started for teacher training. Ministers Rana Sanaullah, Chaudhry Muhammad Shafiq, Malik Nadeem Kamran and Ayesha Ghaus Pasha were present.
The chief minister presided over a meeting to review the progress towards achievement of agriculture development targets fixed under the Development Strategy 2018. The meeting decided to hold an agriculture conference for devising an effective agri-development strategy.
The chief minister said that agriculture, livestock and dairy farming were closely linked and development of these sectors could help reduce poverty and unemployment.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2016.