98,000 Pakistanis suffering from HIV/AIDS across country: NA told

ISLAMABAD, Sep 29 (APP): Around 98,000 citizens are suffering from HIV/AIDS virus across country while the government has set up 13 treatment centers to deal with the situation. Parliamentary Secretary on Health Mehreen Razaq Bhutto informed the National Assembly on Wednesday that one such center was set up in PIMS hospital Islamabad. She said if any district level hospital would write a letter to the Health ministry for the provision of HIV/AIDs center, the ministry would facilitate it. MNA, Donya Aziz suggested that Ministry of Labour & Manpower, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Foreign Affairs should constitute a committee for ensuring scrutiny and check up of all individuals entering into Pakistan for HIV/AIDS tests.

State Minister for Railway Muhmmad Afzal Sindhu informed the National Assembly that revenue of Pakistan Railways has been decreased from Rs.70 million to Rs.25 million and the department already running into deficit. Responding to a question, Sindhu said that the ministry has no plan to launch new trains, adding that the lack of locomotives was a reason and the current situation of railway is not satisfactory.

Sindu informed that 391 acres of railway land was under illegal occupation at Peshawar city and Peshawar Cantt, where 293 illegal houses have been constructed. He said that regular anti-encroachment operations are being conducted in each division with the help of Railway and District Police after serving vacation notices to the occupants under Land and Building recovery of possession ordinance1965.

Sindu said that Railway Ministry has taken possession of its 45 acres of land from the encroacher across the country and various steps are being taken in this regard. Meanwhile, State Minster for Foreign Affairs Malik Amad Ahmad Khan said that Jammu & Kashmir dispute was also included as core issue in the composite dialogue with India. He added that violation of Pakistani borders by the NATO forces would be raised in the next meeting of Pakistani Chief of Army Staff, Afghan Army Chief and Chief of NATO forces.

Responding to a question, Amad said that Pakistan was exporting cement to India. He said trade agreement with India was also under consideration of the government. He said that the voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees would be discussed with Afghan government in the next tripartite meeting.

Ministry of Food and Agriculture has distributed 10,000 tractors among the farmers after computerized balloting under a transparent system of distribution.

Parliamentary Secretary for Food and Agriculture Nawab Liaqat Ali Khan told the House that still no complaints received to the ministry about the process of distribution of tractors.

He said during the last three years, the production of five crops has been decreased by 15 percent including Gramm, Millet (Bajra), Maize, Sunflower and Sugarcane.

He said the ministry already was working with the Chinese agriculture experts for the promotion of Rice and other crops seeds to enhance the production circle and adding that government has increased the budget of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) from Rs. 1 billion to Rs.1.25 billion for the promotion of agriculture sector – APP