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Federal Cabinet approves Pakistan’s first ever National Space Policy

The Caretaker Federal Cabinet has approved Pakistan’s first-ever National Space Policy under which international companies will be allowed to provide communication and coordination services to consumers.

This was stated by Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi, while briefing media in Islamabad on Wednesday, about decisions taken by the Federal Cabinet which met in the Islamabad with Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar in the chair.

Minister of Information Technology Dr Umar Saif and Minister for National Health Services Dr Nadeem Jan were also present on the occasion.

Murtaza Solangi further said the international companies would provide their services through Low-Orbit Communication satellites.

He said this policy will not only attract foreign investment, but also save foreign exchange being spent on the cost of these services.

The Minister said the policy will also help establish Space Regulatory regime in Pakistan as per the international standards. He said funds have also been arranged for research and development in SUPARCO.

Regarding prices of drugs, Murtaza Solangi briefed that the Federal Cabinet postponed Economic Coordination Committee’s decision of increasing medicines’ rates.

He said the cabinet directed to review the entire mechanism for price fixation and regulations so that a comprehensive and durable solution to this issue can be found.

The Prime Minister, on the occasion, said the government wants progress and development of the pharmaceutical industry, but there will be no compromise on safeguarding people’s interest and ensuring quality of drugs.

Murtaza Solangi further said it was consented to refer Dow Dental College Karachi, Narowal Medical College, Liaquat Institute of Medical Health Sciences Thatta and Khairpur Mirs Medical College to the Pakistan Medical and Dental College for preliminary approval.

The Minister said the Cabinet reduced processing fee from 800 dollars to 400 dollars for Afghan nationals, who have to be evacuated to a third country.

Besides, the period of stay of such Afghan nationals in Pakistan has been extended from 31st of this month to 29 February next year. After the due date, damages will be applied at the rate of 100 dollars per month with a maximum limit of 800 dollars.

He said these measures are aimed at encouraging Afghans residing illegally in Pakistan to obtain legal documents or to finalize their evacuation agreements to any other country at the earliest.

The Information Minister said the cabinet allowed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Foreign Office and Gambia in the context of Pakistan’s Engage Africa policy.

Commenting on illegal verdict of the Indian Supreme Court about Kashmir, Murtaza Solangi the cabinet rejected the decision terming it as unlawful.

He said Jammu and Kashmir is an international dispute pending on the UN Security Council’s agenda for last seven decades.

He said the Kashmir issue should be resolved according to the UN Security Council resolutions and as per the will of the people of Kashmir.

The Minister said so-called decision of the Indian Supreme Court will have no effect on the Kashmir dispute. He urged the international community to condemn illegal acts of India to suppress freedom of the people of Kashmir.

Replying to a question, Dr Umar Saif said Fiber Optic has been laid from Kashghar to Karachi that will improve internet bandwidth and digital connectivity. He said specialized Telecom tribunal courts will be established to deal with the cases of telecom industry.

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