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July, 2018


Amnesty Scheme Yields $1.2 Billion in Taxes, $18 Billion in Hidden Assets Whitened

The FBR has fetched Rs97 billion from declarants, of which Rs36 billion have been retrieved on overseas assets, Rs61 billion on domestic assets, and $40 million has been repatriated. JUL 31, 2018 (BE2C2): The tax amnesty scheme has encouraged more than 64,000 individuals to avail the opportunity, paying Rs107 billion in taxes on the value of assets they declared under offshore and domestic amnesty schemes. Roughly, Rs25 billion are expected to be deposited this month, bringing total tax contributions to Rs142 billion, according to FBR officials. At Rs120 to aRead More

Where Eagles Dare: How Pakistan Army’s “Fearless Five” Rescued Russian Mountaineer From 20,650 Feet

JUL 31, 2018: Tuesday afternoon Army Chief Gen Bajwa visited Russian mountaineer Alexander Gukov at Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in the garrison city of Rawalpindi after Alex was rescued from the killer mountains. The Russian climber was stranded at 20,650 feet high Latok Peak in Biafo Galcier in the country’s northern region — his expedition buddy Sergey had died several days earlier. The Russian Climber was struck on Latok Top since 25 Jul and had exhausted his supplies since last 3 days . 7 rescue attempts were made between 26-30Read More

Saudi Arabia Halts Basmati Rice Imports From India, Exporters Urge Govt Intervention

JUL 31, 2018 (BE2C2): India’s Basmati Rice exporters have urged its federal government to initiate steps to resume export to Saudi Arabia which halted Rice imports from India since June for non-compliance with its new maximum level of pesticide residues in food items. Exporters warn that the development will significantly shrink India’s share in the global rice market. India is the largest exporter of basmati, shipping 4 million tons of basmati in 2017-18 globally. The Kingdom’s rice import from India top the list with market share exceeding 77 percent inRead More

Meet the Three Pakistani Expats From UAE Who Won the Election

Meanwhile, former British MP — UK’s first Muslim MP and ex-governor Punjab Mohammad Sarwar (2013 to 2015) may become the Foreign Minister in Imran Khan’s cabinet. JUL 31, 2018: Three Pakistani expatriates living in the UAE have won seats in the general elections held on July 25, report the Gulf News . Two of them have been elected on the National Assembly seats while one has been declared successful on the provincial assembly seat in Punjab. A total of seven Pakistani expatriates from the UAE had contested in the elections.Read More

Five Brands of Bottled Water Found Unsafe for Drinking

JUL 31, 2018: The Pakistan Council of Research for Water Resources (PCRWR) has found five brands of bottled mineral water unsafe for drinking due to microbiological contaminations which may cause cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis, typhoid etc. These brands include Gourmet, Aqua Super Life, Shiraz, Aqua Splash and Marina according to a public awareness statement issued by PCRWR on Monday. From April to June 2018, 85 samples of mineral and bottled water brands were collected from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Lahore, Bahawalpur, Tandojam, Quetta and Karachi. Comparison of analytical findings with permissibleRead More

US, Taliban Direct Talks Remain ‘Positive’, Another Round Expected Before Eid ul Azha

“We have held three meetings with the US and we reached a conclusion to continue talks for meaningful negotiations,” said a second Taliban official. JUL 30, 2018: A meeting between a senior US diplomat and Taliban representatives in Doha last week to discuss a possible ceasefire ended with “very positive signals” and a decision to hold more meetings, people with knowledge of the talks told Reuters on Sunday. The meeting between a delegation led by Alice Wells, deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central AsianRead More

ECP Directs Recounting of Votes in 26 National and Provincial Constituencies

JUL 30, 2018: The Election Commission of Pakistan has directed recounting of votes in twenty-six national and provincial constituencies, Radio Pakistan reported. According to ECP, recounting will be held in NA-57 (Murree), NA-158 (Multan), NA-110 (Faisalabad), NA-129 (Lahore), NA-112 (Toba Tek Singh), NA-15 (Abbottabad), NA-10 (Shangla), NA-159, NA-170 (Bahawalpur), NA-118 (Nankana Sahib), NA-140 (Kasur), PP-220 (Multan) and DG Khan district’s PP-291, PP-290, and PP-292 provincial constituencies. Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was defeated by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Sadaqat Abbasi in NA-57 (Murree). In NA-158, former premier and Pakistan Peoples PartyRead More

Nawaz Sharif Shifted to PIMS Hospital After Serious Cardiac Conditions

JUL 29, 2018: Incarcerated former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who is serving a 10-year jail term after being convicted for owning assets beyond income in the Avenfield reference, was shifted from Adiala Jail to Islamabad’s Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) after developing serious cardiac complications, DawnNewsTV reported on Sunday. TV footage showed a convoy of vehicles, including police vans, an armored personnel carrier and at least two ambulances, on the road after leaving the jail in the evening. PIMS spokesman Wasim Khwaja said Sharif was in the hospital’s CardiacRead More

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani Invites Imran Khan to Visit Kabul

JUL 29, 2018 (Updated): Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday held a telephone conversation with Prime Minister-elect Imran Khan and joined other heads of States in congratulating Khan on his party’s victory in the July 25 elections. The two leaders agreed to overcome the past and lay a new foundation for a prosperous political, social and economic future of both Afghanistan and Pakistan, report the Ariana News. “I extended an open invitation to Mr. Khan and he expressed his wishes to visit Kabul soon,” President Ghani tweeted. This comes asRead More

‘Follow Nelson Mandela’s Policy of Peace and Reconciliation’: Khaled Almaeena’s Advice to Imran Khan

Qurratulain Wahab: Saudi Arabia’s leading media and political analyst Khaled Almaeena has congratulated Pakistan’s incoming Prime Minister Imran Khan on his spectacular victory in the recent elections and advised him to follow a policy of peace and reconciliation toward his political adversaries. Speaking to well-known radio journalist Behjat Gilani during her popular Jahan Rang radio program (23:45-29:27) on Voice of America’s Urdu Service on Friday, Almaeena said his prayers have always been with the successful cricketer-turned-politician. Saudis and longtime expats in Jeddah are too well aware of Almaeena’s close andRead More

US Farmers Fear $12 Billion Aid Package a Sign of Extended Trade War

JUL 28, 2018: The Trump administration’s $12 billion farm aid package is a sign to many in the agricultural sector that the administration does not foresee an end to the escalating trade war with China this year. “You don’t create an aid package like this if you don’t think the damage is already done and not easily reversed,” said Chad Hart, an economist with Iowa State University. “This is definitely an indication that the administration sees the tariffs playing out through 2018.” The trade dispute began July 6, when theRead More

NY Times Backs Imran Khan’s Campaign to Reform Pakistan

JUL 28, 2018: Leading American newspaper, the New York Times, on Saturday hailed Imran Khan’s “impressive” election victory and urged the United States (US), China and India to create ease in his way towards reforming Pakistan. “His (Imran Khan’s) main call is to reform Pakistan’s woeful governance and put an end to the patronage networks that have facilitated widespread graft,” the New York Times said in its main editorial: ‘A New Batsman for Pakistan’. “In a country as corrupt and troubled as Pakistan, a new, charismatic leader is bound toRead More

Recount Aamir Liaquat, Vawda Constituencies Votes, It Will Expose Poll Rigging: Kamal

JUL 28, 2018: Karachi-based Pak Sarzameen Party’s leader and former mayor Mustafa Kamal claimed that election’s transparency will stand exposed after a recount on the seats won by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Faisal Vawda and Aamir Liaquat in the metropolis. Vawda won NA-249 seat against PML-N President and former CM Punjab Mian Shehbaz Sharif after reportedly getting 35,344 votes against Sharif’s 34,626 (a difference of 718 with vote rejections exceeding 3000) votes, and Liaquat won NA-245 after defeating MQM-Pakistan leader Dr Farooq Sattar with 56,615 votes against Sattar’s 35,247 votes. Sharif‘s requestRead More

MQM-P To Support PTI Form Coalition Govt in Center

JUL 28, 2018: With Imran Khan led PTI needing more votes to form a coalition government at the center — as it lacks simple majority, movers and shakers of the party have reached out to the independents and to Karachi-based MQM-P whose several candidates won national assembly seats from the mega city. Once its stronghold, MQM’s Karachi mandate has now changed hands after Khan’s party won more national assembly and Sindh assembly seats from the mega city than MQM won. “The possibilities are limitless after PTI tsunami hit Karachi”, theRead More

Imran Khan’s Victory and Need For A New Social Contract

ZAHID HUSSAIN: Imran Khan has laid down the basic policy framework for his impending government, seeking national reconciliation and promising to focus on economic reforms. In his first public address since his party swept the polls, the prime minister-in-waiting declared that his administration would crack down on corruption and hold accountability across the board. He has also vowed to strengthen state institutions and improve relations with the US and neighboring countries, saying Pakistan needs peace for economic progress. “We are facing governance and economic challenges. Our economy has never beenRead More

Breaking the Mould: PTI’s Success Holy Grail For New Republic

IRSHAD SALIM (Jul 27, 2018): Legendary cricketer turned politician Imran Khan and his party have surfaced as harbinger of a new thought wave among Pakistanis post July 25 polls — a rising urban middle class, growing awareness among youth and women, as a result of a vibrant media and civic society actually fast-forwarded the process. The judicial activism against misgovernance and corruption additionally facilitated the speed and direction of the ascent of a new establishment albeit an anti-status quo. In Pakistan, ‘establishment’ is a common euphemism for the military-judiciary yingRead More

Lebanese Expat Arrested For Punching Girlfriend to Death in Dubai

JUL 28, 2018: A Lebanese expat, who caused the death of his girlfriend with a punch on her face in an apartment in Dubai Marina, has been arrested. The suspect was arrested within 18 hours after the murder was reported to the police. According to the police, the suspect said during interrogation that he was drunk at the time of the incident and he did not intend to kill her. He said he assaulted the victim in a fit of rage, without “realising it would lead to her death”. Lieutenant-ColonelRead More

1,500 Migrants Have Died in the Mediterranean in 2018: UN

JUL 27, 2018: For the fifth straight year, at least 1,500 migrants have perished in the Mediterranean, with the route between Libya and Italy being the deadliest, claiming the lives of one in 19, the UN migration agency said on Friday. Spain, which has overtaken Italy as the preferred destination, has registered nearly 21,000 migrants so far this year, almost more than in the whole of last year, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said. In all, about 55,000 migrants have reached European shores so far this year, against moreRead More

With Elections Over, NAB Summons Shehbaz Sharif In Punjab Power Company Case

JUL 27, 2018: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has summoned Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif for August 20. The former two-times elected Chief Minister PUnjab won a National Assembly seat from Lahore on July 25 poll while losing out on three other constituencies — Karachi, Swat and Dera Ghazi Khan. This is the third time that the anti-graft body has summoned Shehbaz in Punjab Power Company case. The former CM PUnjab who is also PML-N chief has been directed to appear before the joint investigation team in NABRead More

FIA Summons Zardari, Faryal Talpur in Multi-Billion Rupee Money-Laundering Case

JUL 27, 2018: With polls over, the Federal Investigative Agency has swung into action and summoned Pakistan Peoples Party Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur to appear on Saturday and record their statements in the Rs35 billion money laundering case it’s been investigating since few months now. Both PPP leaders were summoned by the agency’s commercial banking circle, FIA authorities told Geo News. The FIA had previously declared former president Zardari, Talpur absconders in relation to the money laundering case. Both PPP leaders were elected as lawmakersRead More