Main Menu

May, 2018

 

BlackRock: Turkey, Pakistan Economies ‘Overheated, Currencies Overvalued’

May 31, 2018 (BE2C2) — BlackRock, the world’s largest fund management firm says three countries that they are either avoiding or in some examples have shorts in their portfolio are the Philippines, Turkey, and Pakistan. Reason: these countries’ economies are overheating, or they think the currencies are substantially overvalued or both – Pakistan Rupee has devalued over 12 percent since December with many experts predicting it could lose another 5 to 8 percent in months ahead. “Yes. I mean, at the moment, our view is on the emerging markets, weRead More


Man Blinded by Father, Brothers for Falling in Love

May 31, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — A man has been blinded by his own father and siblings for allegedly wanting to marry a girl he fell in love with in Balochistan. Abdul Baqi, 22, thought his family would help him get married. Instead, his father and four brothers accused him of violating Islamic values and removed his eyes to punish him. The incident occurred May 13. His brothers and father locked his mother and sisters in a room and took Baqi to the corner of the house, where they tied hisRead More


Unions, Civil Society Hail Sindh Home Workers Protection Law

The Home Based Workers Act 2018 has been approved by the legislative assembly of Sindh. All home-based workers (5m) will now have the right to form their own CBAs (collective bargaining agent), pensions, minimum wages and other social security benefits. May 31, 2018 (BE2C2) — The labor rights activists, trade unions, civil society etc are celebrating the approval of the Home Based Workers Act 2018 by the legislative assembly of Sindh – the second largest province by GDP – calling it an initiative of historic importance. They say it isRead More


Denmark Becomes the Latest European Country to Ban Burqa, Niqab

May 31, 2018 — Denmark joined some other European countries in deciding Thursday to ban garments that cover the face, including Islamic veils such as the niqab or burqa. In a 75-30 vote with 74 absentees, Danish lawmakers approved the law presented by the center-right governing coalition. The government says that it is not aimed at any religions and does not ban headscarves, turbans or the traditional Jewish skull cap. However, the law is popularly known as the “Burqa Ban” and is mostly seen as being directed at the dressRead More


Eight Things I learned About Palestine While Touring Eight Western Nations

RAMZY BAROUD — On February 20, 2018, I embarked on a global book tour that has, thus far, taken me to eight nations. The main theme of all my talks in various cultural, academic and media platforms was the pressing need to refocus the discussion on Palestine on the struggle, aspirations and history of the Palestinian people. But, interacting with hundreds of people and being exposed to multiple media environments in both mainstream and alternative media, I also learned much about the changing political mood on Palestine in the westernRead More


UAE, Afghanistan Ink Deal For Supply of Afghan Workers

MAY 31, 2018 (BE2C2) — The UAE and Afghanistan have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to supply Afghan workers to the emirate. The labor agreement was signed on the sidelines of the 107th International Labor Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, the UAE’s state news agency WAM reported. A joint committee will be formed to monitor the implementation of the MoU. Youth unemployment stands at more than 40 percent in Afghanistan, and most young people do not have an education. Those that do, find jobs in other countries. Until now thereRead More


‘Kite’ Unites MQM Leaders, Farooq Sattar Threatens Polls Boycott

May 31, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — Chief of Karachi’s largest and strongest political party Muttahida Qaumi Movement Dr. Farooq Sattar on Wednesday said the party will boycott upcoming polls if it is not allowed to do politics within the ambit of country’s constitution. “If MQM reservations were not resolved we will boycott upcoming elections,” — July 25th has been announced as countrywide polls day for the national assembly and all the provincial assemblies. He said the party’s offices that had been sealed must be reopened immediately. Otherwise, he said, the partyRead More


US Supports Free, Fair, Transparent Polls in Pakistan: State Dept

U.S. ‘hopes the electoral reform law passed in 2017 will facilitate peaceful transfer of power to elected government after the polls’ May 30, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — The United States supports free, fair and transparent elections in Pakistan, a US State Department spokesperson said in Washington on Tuesday, expressing hope that the electoral reform law passed in 2017 will facilitate a peaceful transfer of power after the polls due in July. “The United States along with other international partners has supported Pakistan’s implementation of its historic 2017 electoral reforms law,” saidRead More


ECP’s Remarks On ‘International Conspiracy’ to ‘Sabotage’ Upcoming Elections

In 2013, militant and other violence marred the run-up to the election and significantly affected the campaigns of secular, liberal parties on the left May 30, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — Former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani has written letters to key constitutional functionaries suggesting that the Election Commission of Pakistan secretary should be summoned to the Committee of the Whole to enlighten the committee on the international conspiracy regarding the upcoming general elections. On Monday, ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob, while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Interior, said that according to hisRead More


Virgin Galactic’s Spaceplane Unity Completes Second Supersonic Test Flight

The second powered flight of Virgin Galactic’s spaceplane featured extra passenger seats; The sleek craft reportedly reached an altitude of nearly 22 miles and a speed of Mach 1.9. May 30,, 2018 (BE2C2) — Space tourism took another step closer to reality as Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity spaceplane fired up its rocket motor and completed its second supersonic flight over the desert in Mojave, California. The rocket fired for 31 seconds, propelling the sleek craft and its two pilots to a supersonic speed of Mach 1.9 (about 1,500 miles perRead More


With ExxonMobil Acquiring 25 Pct Stake In Offshore Drilling in Pakistan, Shale Gas, Oil Could Get Major Boost

Shale oil and gas presents a new outlook for Pakistan which has world’s 9th largest shale gas and oil reserves far greater than total resources available in Central Asian states May 30, 2018 (BE2C2) — In a major development, US energy giant ExxonMobil has acquired 25% stake in offshore oil and gas drilling in Pakistan. An agreement in that regard was signed at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat in Islamabad on Monday among ExxonMobil, Government Holdings Private Limited (GHPL), PPL, Eni and OGDC. Earlier, Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC), PakistanRead More


Sindh Govt Disqualifies All Bids in Healthcare Solar Tender

The World Bank is set to approve a $100 million loan for the Sindh Solar Energy Program (SSEP) May 29, 2018 (BE2C2) — The Government of Sindh Province has rejected submissions from all four bidders in its tender for 352 solar PV systems to electrify primary health facilities. The Directorate of Alternative Energy in the Energy Department noted that the Technical Evaluation Committee report observed that all four bids were not technically qualified and hence rejected. The Committee has also decided that given the disqualifications, the tender may be re-issued.Read More


Pakistan to Export Light Armored Vehicles to Bahrain

May 29, 2018 (BE2C2) — The military industrial complex of Pakistan has signed a deal to export locally manufactured light armored vehicles called ‘Interceptor’ to Bahrain. Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) — a defense industrial complex which manufactures and rebuilds tanks and armored personnel carriers for the military — will be making six Interceptors for the Bahrain National Guards. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between HIT’s chief Lt Gen Muhammad Naeem Ashraf and Lt Gen Mohammed Bin Isa Al Khalifa, the brother of Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa,Read More


London Mosque Accepting Cryptocurrency For Ramadan Donations

May 29, 2018 (BE2C2) — A mosque in East London is hoping to double the amount of charity donations made during Ramadan month by becoming the first in Britain to accept bitcoin payments. The mosque Imam tells Reuters it needs funds to help the poor and accepting bitcoin payments helps it expand its donor base. “It’s like any other currency,” says Imam Abdallah. Islamic scholars differ on whether digital currencies are permissible in Islam because Sharia principles ban monetary speculation. The Ramadan Mosque’s website is accepting digital donations via BitcoinRead More


Ex-Spymaster Durrani Could Face”Conduct Unbecoming” Charges, Barred From Leaving Country

Durrani apparently failed to give a satisfactory reply, which led the army to constitute a Court of Inquiry to be headed by a three-star general to probe the ex-spymaster’s actions May 29, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — The Pakistan Army on Monday set up a ‘court of inquiry’ to probe former director general ISI retired Lt Gen Asad Durrani’s collaboration with former Indian spy agency RAW chief A.S. Dulat, on a book recently published in India that has stirred heated controversy. The army has also asked the government to impose travel banRead More


Former Chief Justice Appointed Caretaker PM “To Conduct Free, Fair And Impartial Elections”

May 29, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — The ruling PML-N and opposition parties on Monday announced appointment of former Supreme Court chief justice Nasir ul Mulk as caretaker prime minister. The selection of a former chief justice comes days after the country’s president announced that general elections will be held on July 25 — setting up what would be Pakistan’s second ever democratic transfer of power. “Today is an important day in the democratic history of Pakistan, the name was chosen after consensus was reached,” said Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi duringRead More


Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal Holds Meeting With Saudi Counterpart in Jeddah

May 28, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — The Federal Minister for Interior and Planning, Development & Reform, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, called on Saudi Minister of Interior, HRH Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Nayef in Jeddah on Sunday. The Saudi Interior Minister welcomed Mr. Iqbal to the Kingdom and expressed concern over the assassination attempt on Mr. Iqbal and inquired about his health. The interior minister extended greetings and felicitations from the government and people of Pakistan. He thanked the Saudi Government for the strong expression of condemnation of the assassination attempt incidentRead More


Land Mafia Bosses: Will NAB Expand Its Net?

Will NAB now expand its net to also include the powerful individuals who control the racket, or will it confine its actions to the lower tiers only? FOR the land mafia in Sindh, whose tentacles reach all the way up to the highest echelons of power, this is unfamiliar territory — a reckoning of sorts, even though it touches only the tip of the iceberg. According to a statement by NAB on Thursday, the anti-corruption body has had relevant authorities cancel the fraudulent allotment of 10,000 acres of state landRead More


Pakistan to Purchase 30 Turkish Attack Helicopters, Erdogan’s Party Manifesto Confirms

May 28, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — Pakistan has inked a deal with Turkey to procure 30 attack helicopters, Daily Sabah newspaper reported on Saturday. According to the paper, President Erdogan’s Justic and Development Party (AK Party) confirmed the deal by mentioning it in the election manifesto announced on Thursday. T129 ATAK attack helicopters made in Turkey had participated in a fly-past ceremony in capital Islamabad on Pakistan Day that is celebrated on March 23. The paper reported that the helicopter was added to the inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK)Read More


China, Pakistan Plan to Launch Satellites in June to Monitor CPEC Progress

May 28, 2018 (BE2C2) — In order to carefully monitor the progress taking place in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), China is all set to launch two satellites next month. In a joint initiative between The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALVT) and Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), the satellites to be launched will focus on geo-monitoring and image processing. The major advantages of these satellites is that they will improve the process of communication in remote and backward areas of Pakistan. Beijing will launch theRead More