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PM Shehbaz calls for ‘tangible & timely’ support for earthquake victims in Turkiye, Syria

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PM Shehbaz calls for 'tangible & timely' support for earthquake victims in Turkiye, Syria

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday urged the world to extend tangible and timely material support to Turkiye and Syria after devastating earthquake killed over 5,000 with several others trapped under the rubble of thousands of razed buildings.

In a tweet, the premier wrote: “24 hours after the devastating earthquake hit Turkiye & Syria, scenes of death & destruction are mind numbing. It breaks the heart to witness sheer scale of unfolding human tragedy”. He said solidarity should translate into tangible and timely material support for suffering humanity.

The confirmed death toll across the two countries has soared above 5,000 after a swarm of strong tremors near the Turkey-Syria border – the largest of which measured at a massive 7.8-magnitude.

The premier and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari are expected to leave for Turkiye on Feb 8 (Wednesday) to offer condolences amid the devastating earthquake.

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Diplomatic sources said the premier would also visit Ankara to have a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A day earlier, Mr Sharif telephoned the Turkish president and conveyed condolences over the destruction caused by the earthquake. Expressing deep grief over the loss of life and property, the prime minister sympathised with the grieved families. 

“The people of Pakistan are with their brotherly Turkiye and its people. Pakistan will extend its maximum support to the Turkish government and people to help them cope with the quake-caused destruction,” added PM Shehbaz.

Upon this, President Erdogan thanked the prime minister for the support. He added that he valued the sentiments of the prime minister as well as the Pakistani people.

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Pakistan, Qatar agree to further strengthen cultural ties

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Pakistan, Qatar agree to further strengthen cultural ties

Pakistan and Qatar have agreed to further strengthen the cultural ties.

The understanding reached during a meeting between Caretaker Federal Minister for National Heritage and Culture Jamal Shah with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Abdulrehman bin Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani on the sidelines of the 12th conference of the Culture Ministers of Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization of OIC held in Doha, Qatar.

They emphasized the importance of advancing negotiations on the proposed Pakistan and Qatar cultural exchanges.

Both the ministers discussed the bilateral relations and cultural issues of mutual interest.

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In his speech during two days conference, Jamal Shah said ICESCO should create special opportunities for their craftsmen, musicians, writers and film makers where they can showcase their works with Islamic countries and rest of the world to represent aspirations of their people.

The minister also met with the DG ICESCO and the Culture Minister of Palestine and focused on cultural exchanges and strengthening relations.

Jamal Shah also met with the Iranian and Somalian Counterparts and discussed areas of cooperation and the need for increasing cultural exchanges and strengthening relations.

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Maryam tasked to welcome Nawaz

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Maryam tasked to welcome Nawaz

Preparations to welcome Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif on his return home have entered the final stages.

According to the sources, the party has decided to give women a vanguard role in welcoming Nawaz Sharif.

On her return from London, Maryam Nawaz will hold a special meeting with the women’s wing. The message of the party will be conveyed to the women.

According to the party sources, the women leaders who completed the tasks given regarding the reception of Nawaz Sharif will be nominated for specific seats in the upcoming general elections.

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The women who fought for the party during the last five years will be nominated for specific seats.

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Ministry prepares Hajj policy 2024

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Ministry prepares Hajj policy 2024

Caretaker Religious Affairs Minister Aneeq Ahmed says Hajj policy for 2024 has been prepared and approval will be taken from the cabinet in 10 days.

The caretaker minister of religious affairs said the Hajj policy would include a short period of Hajj including the 40-day Hajj.

“Now Pakistani pilgrims will not lost. Hajj pilgrims will be given two suitcases of specific colour and design. QR codes will be affixed on the suitcase. In the case of Haj pilgrims, there will be details of the pilgrims, name, passport number, residence, school number and other information will be recorded on the suitcase,” the minister explained.

Ahmed further said Hajj pilgrims would now be able to stay in touch with their families in Pakistan at all times.

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“Pilgrims will be given a special mobile package for the first time. An agreement has been reached with Saudi Arabia’s mobile phone company. You will be able to make audio and video calls on your mobile phone, and you will be able to talk unlimitedly with a mobile package of Rs4,000,” the caretaker religious affairs minister concluded.

Earlier, the Ministry of Religious Affairs announced the introduction of a short Hajj.

A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs was held in which Caretaker Minister of Religious Affairs Aneeq Ahmed said these time Hajj arrangements were being made ahead of time. He said the duration of Hajj would be 18 to 20 days.

“The short Hajj would be decided by the pilgrims themselves and the duration of the short Hajj will be from 18 to 30 days,” he said.

The caretaker minister of religious affairs said the Saudi government had offered to give Pakistanis official residences.

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