President Dr. Arif Alvi on Friday called for timely completion of all water supply projects for Karachi to address the issue of water shortage faced by the citizens of the provincial metropolis, which required 1100 to 1200 million gallons of water per day. The President was presiding over a meeting here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr about water situation in Karachi during which various proposals were discussed for addressing the issue of water shortage in Karachi. The meeting was briefed about the progress of ongoing water related projects in Karachi. The President said that early resolution of the issues of Karachi and the welfare of citizens was the foremost priority of the government, adding, that the water projects for Karachi should be completed on fast-track basis. He, however, stressed that the redressal of problems was possible through effective cooperation and coordinated efforts by the relevant stakeholders. Minister for Energy and Petroleum Hammad Azhar, Member of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) from Sindh Firdous Shamim Naqvi, Chief Executive Officer Hub Power Company (HUBCO) Kamran Akmal and other senior officials were in attendance. Governor Sindh Imran Ismail and MPA Sindh Samar Khan also attended the meeting through video-link. Pak-Saudi cooperation President Dr Arif Alvi on Friday underscored the need to further strengthen bilateral economic and investment cooperation between Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). He said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoyed strong fraternal ties, based on shared faith, culture, tradition and mutual good-will that needed to be further expanded for the mutual benefit of the two countries. The President expressed these views while talking to Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, Nawaf bin Saeed Ahmad Al-Maliky, who called on him here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr. He reiterated Pakistan’s desire to further intensify cooperation in all areas of mutual interest including energy, science, technology, agriculture and culture. The President highlighted that the people and government of Pakistan had deep respect for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the leadership of Saudi Arabia. He remarked that Pakistan wanted to broaden bilateral relationship in the field of media and culture by building institutional linkages. The President said that Pakistani Diaspora was contributing to KSA’s socio-economic development and expressed the hope that the Saudi government would ease travel restrictions on Pakistani nationals as the situation of COVID-19 had improved considerably in the Kingdom. He deeply appreciated KSA for supporting Pakistan at difficult times and also lauded its role in promoting unity in the Islamic world as well as its efforts for regional and international peace and security. Ambassador Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Maliky underlined the need to further broaden bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy, trade and culture for the mutual advantages of the two brotherly countries. Islamophobia President Dr Arif Alvi on Friday urged the international community to take serious steps for combating Islamophobia and discouraging hate speech as the two promoted intolerance and hatred in the societies. He emphasized the need to effectively highlight the atrocities being committed by India against the Muslims of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) at the international fora to expose its real face to the world. The president was talking to Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Munir Akram, who called on him here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr. Dr Alvi stressed the need to showcase the contributions made by Pakistan in the war on terror as well as at the international fora. Pakistan, he said, had suffered a lot at the hands of terrorists as it lost over 70,000 people and its economy suffered losses of $150 billion. He stated that the world must acknowledge Pakistan’s contribution in the war on terror as it successfully defeated terrorism by offering enormous sacrifices. The country’s success story should be properly projected. President Alvi highlighted that COVID-19 posed unprecedented challenges to the developing countries with economic, financial and health implications and the Prime Minister’s Global Initiative for Debt Relief was a timely call to relieve their stretched resources during the pandemic. He underscored that climate change was a major challenge and Pakistan was taking effective measures to plant trees under the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Project to help mitigate its impact. The president said the world had now recognized Pakistan’s stance that conflict in Afghanistan could only be settled through political means and in that regard the country had played a significant role in facilitating the Afghan peace process.