ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Tuesday said the government had taken positive steps for empowerment of women to let them play their due role in national development.
He was taking to National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) Chairperson Dr Nafeesa Shah, Adviser to Prime Minister on Human Rights Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar and Special Assistant to Prime Minister Begum Shahnaz Wazir Ali, who called on him at the Prime Minister’s House and briefed him about status of human rights in the country. The NCHD chairperson said the commission had been striving to increase the literacy ratio target to 86 percent – set by the UN for Pakistan in its Millennium Development Goals (MDG) – from the current 75 percent. The target, she hoped, would be achieved by year 2015.
“To increase literacy ratio, 6,200 literacy centres have been established where 141,460 students from all over Pakistan have been enrolled. The students will get basic literacy lessons. Of the 6,200 literacy centres, 50 were launched in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with 1,005 freshly enrolled students,” the NCHD chairperson said.
Mustafa Nawaz and Shahnaz Wazir Ali briefed the prime minister about their meetings with international human rights organisations. Meanwhile, MNA Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho also called on the prime minister at the Prime Minister’s House and briefed him about the polio eradication campaign and various other programmes being run under the umbrella of Expanded Programmes of Immunisation (EPI).
Raja directed Dr Azra to use all available resources to administer polio drops to all eligible children. “Our children are our future. It is our duty to save them from fatal diseases,” he said. He also directed her to mobilise local administrations to facilitate polio vaccination campaign. The prime minister approved the release of funds for a 300-bed hospital in Benazirabad and the Shaheed Benazir Mother and Child Hospital.
Jahanara Manzoor Wattoo, ambassador for orphan children and SAIEVAC Adviser to SAARC, also called on the prime minister at the Prime Minister’s House and apprised him about her contributions to children’s rights.
The prime minister congratulated her on her appointment as SAARC adviser. “It is an honour for Pakistan to get such recognition internationally,” he said.
He directed Wattoo to hold a national conference and take all the stakeholders on board to create awareness about children’s rights. He also directed her to consult SAARC countries and obtain their input for legislation in that regard.
The prime minister assured her of full support from the government in her efforts to improve the situation regarding children’s rights.