ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has given the portfolio of Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) to his adviser Rana Sanaullah, relieving Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal from the additional portfolio.

An official notification was issued in this regard on Wednesday.

“In continuation of this division’s notification of even number dated 30.4.24, the prime minister has been pleased to allocate the portfolio of inter provincial coordination to Rana Sana Ullah Khan, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Political and Public Affairs. Mr Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhary, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives is, therefore, relieved from the additional portfolio of Inter-Provincial Coordination,” it added.

The role of IPC ministry is to maintain inter-provincial harmony and ensuring cohesive national policies in various sectors, including sports.

Mr Sanaullah was recently appointed as the head of the committee for social media legislation.

Gemstone sector to get industry status; PM due in UAE today

Earlier on April 30, PML-N supre­­mo Nawaz Sharif’s confidant Sana­ul­lah was inducted in the federal cabinet as an adviser to the prime minister on political affairs. In the last PML-N-led Pakistan Democratic Mo­­vement government, Mr Sanaullah had served as interior minister from April 19, 2022 to Aug 10, 2023.

Gems, precious stones sector to be given industry status

Separately, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif while chairing a meeting on the gems and precious stones sector directed relevant authorities to take the required steps for granting industrial status to gems and precious stones sector of the country.

The prime minister called for necessary legislation and consultations with provinces and the private sector on the issue for development of the sector besides immediately activating a gems and jewelry development company.

He said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir were rich in natural resources which needed to be fully exploited.

The prime minister called for ensuring international certification of stone products and their display at international exhibitions.

He also instructed for launching training programmes in the country to promote value addition of stone products besides carrying out geological mapping of those areas of KP, GB and AJK which have precious stones.

The participants of the meeting were told that a strategy was being formulated to promote investment in the field of gems and rare stones.

Presiding over another meeting, PM Shehbaz instructed for early completion of Information Technology (IT) Park which is being developed in the federal capital.

The prime minister reviewed matters related to IT parks and lauded the establishment of such parks in the country to promote IT exports and to facilitate startups in this sector.

PM to visit UAE today

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will pay a visit to the United Arab Emirates on Thursday (today). He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, comprising key ministers of his cabinet, APP reported.

This will be the prime minister’s first visit to the UAE since his election as premier in March.

Shehbaz Sharif is expected to meet UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and other senior leaders during the visit.

The two leaders will discuss bilateral relations, with focus on expansion of trade and investment.

The prime minister is likely to hold meetings with other Emirati dignitaries, businesspersons, and heads of financial institutions, the Foreign Office spokesperson said in a statement.

Pakistan and the UAE have long-standing relations rooted in religious and cultural affinity. Frequent high-level exchanges form a distinguishing feature of brotherly ties between the two countries.

Shehbaz Sharif’s visit marks an important step towards further deepening multi-faceted collaboration between Pakistan and the the UAE, the spokesperson added.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2024

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