December 2003 News

Kashmir solution lies in UN resolutions: Jamali

18 December 2003
The Nation
Our Correspondent

Lahore: Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali on Thursday said the just and durable solution to the Kashmir problem lies only in the United Nations resolutions on the core issue. Talking to the newsmen here after the inauguration of 7th International Dental Congress, the prime minister said that he had not gone through the reported statement of President Musharraf on Pakistan's readiness to withdraw from the UN resolutions on Kashmir issue. However, he added that the just solution to the problem could be provided only by the resolutions of world body. When asked about the prospects of his meeting with Indian prime minister, Jamali said there were chances of his meeting with Atal Behari Vajpayee on the sidelines of SAARC Summit to be held here in January 2004. He expressed his satisfaction over the arrangements for summit, and said final shape was being given to these preparations and everything in this regard was moving on right track. When asked about the agitation launched by MMA on Thursday, the prime minister said it was wrong to assume that the negotiations with the politicoreligious alliance had collapsed. He said the government would move the constitutional amendment package to the National Assembly soon and hoped that things would finally settle down. He said as far as the MMA movement was concerned it was the right of any political entity to agitate and it was the major feature of democracy. He ruled out the imposition of Section 144 to halt MMA protest movement. Responding to a query on change of leadership in Sindh, the prime minister said speculating about such changes in Sindh province would not be beneficial to any one. He added that as the President had already talked about the situation during his Sindh visit he would not say anything further on that. Jamali said that he had not met the Sindhi MPAs in Islamabad so far. However, he added that they had made a request and he was trying to get in touch with chief minister of Sindh as he would talk to him first. Talking about the Rawalpindi bomb blast, the prime minister said the government had taken various measures for the security of the VVIPs along with the common people as it was its basic function. He said probe was being conducted to determine who was responsible for the terrorist act and they would not be spared as such heinous acts were against the prestige of the country. He appealed the nation to come forward and help the government identify the culprits. Earlier, in his address to the Congress, the prime minister asked the Health Ministry to take concrete measures to do away with quackery, adding that each and every step in this regard must be taken on war footing. He said that his government would never compromise on education, health and engineering as all these sectors deal with the human life. He added that quackery was not acceptable at all and the Health Minister must have to look into it personally. The prime minister also took notice of the concerns expressed by dental Congress over unchecked sale of medicated toothpastes containing steroids, 'soonf-sipari' and 'pan- masalas' and the rampant quackery. He directed the relevant authorities to accelerate the process to put an instant end to such practices. In his written speech, the prime minister said the government would go an extra mile to protect excellence and merit in professional education. He said improvements were required both in the medical and dental curricula and the examination system. He added that without a merit-based examination system there could be no excellence. The prime minister said his government was paying full attention to expanding literacy, ensuring universal health coverage, strengthening technical education and widening access to professional and higher education. He said it went without saying that health was a key factor in promoting both economic productivity and human development. He said the government was also paying special attention for the improvement of quality of postgraduate medical and dental education in the country. He said 'We had recently approved an increase in the stipend of postgraduate students during their training.' He noted the recognition to the quality of Pakistani under-graduate and post-graduate medical and dental doctors both at home and abroad. Jamali said better planning was required in medical and dental human resource development. However, he added that the production of dentists, nurses and para- medics was not keeping pace with national requirement. He said the doctors, dentists and other members of health-related disciplines had an important role to play in alleviating poverty by using their skills mercifully and compassionately. The prime minster directed the ministers of Health, Education, and Science and Technology to consider the award of honour to medical and dental students and professionals and name it after the Mother of the Nation - Fatima Jinnah Award. Minister for Health Nasir Khan said on the occasion that the government wanted to bring about a qualitative change in the medical profession. He said the budgetary allocations for the health sector have been increased by up to 35 per cent. He urged the professionals from the health sector to ensure that they treat all sectors of the society equally and give particular importance to those who cannot afford the high costs of medical treatment. He said necessary legislation would be brought in to put an end to the practice of quackery, sale of spurious drugs and toothpastes containing steroids. He urged the doctors to keep into account the needs of the poorer section of the society who were unable to pay for their services. He said decentralisation of the health sector was on the cards. However, being a sensitive issue, it has to be dealt with in a systematic manner. President of the Dental Council Dr Kamran demanded of the government to put in place the Dental Act to check the sale of spurious drugs and regulate dental practices.


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