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July, 2018


Global Powers That Be Including India Working Against Me, Says Imran Khan

JUL 21, 2018: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has claimed that international establishment is working against him. He said all his political opponents have joined hands to defeat him in upcoming elections on behest of ‘global powers that be’. Addressing election rallies in Bannu and Karak on Saturday, Khan said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) among other parties are colluding against his party, but “I will take them on and defeat them”. The PTI chief claimed that India and other world powers were backing theRead More

Zardari, Faryal and 18 Others Declared Absconders In Largest Ever Money Laundering Case

JUL 21, 2018: The country’s premier investigation agency FIA has declared former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur and 18 others as absconders in the Rs35 billion money laundering case. The FIA submitted challan of the case against former banker and Zardari’s close aide Hussain Lawai and other suspects in the court on Saturday. Besides the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman and his sister, 18 others including chairman of a private bank and the Omni Group of Companies owner Anwar Majid and his son are also declaredRead More

Industrial and Traders Body Wants Probe Into Massive Rupee Slide Against Dollar

JUL 20, 2018: Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh has demanded a high-level probe into massive devaluation of rupee by over 22% during the last six months. He also demanded the State Bank to identify the reasons and share the findings with the business community. He said the Pak rupee has weakened by around Rs12 against the dollar from June 1, 2018 when the caretaker government assumed the office. The rupee slide has resulted in around Rs 1,200 billion increase in the country’s debt. TheRead More

Imran Khan Holds His Cards to the Chest on Coalition Government

JUL 20, 2018: With opinion polls predicting the possibility of a hung parliament, where no party has a clear majority, Imran Khan has said he might have to form a coalition government if he wins, report BBC. But he ruled out an alliance with the two other largest parties: PML-N led by Shahbaz Sharif, the former Punjab Chief Minister and younger brother of convicted former PM Nawaz Sharif or the PPP, led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his father, Asif Ali Zardari. “If you have a coalition with them, youRead More

Karachi Under Siege (Part 2): Shahbaz Sharif Could, In Fact, May Very Well Make It in NA-249 If…

IRSHAD SALIM (JUL 20, 2018): Ducked among dilapidated neighborhoods of Karachi few hundred miles north of the mega city’s Arabian Sea coastline, and almost same distance easterly where borders of Sindh and Balochistan provinces meet squarely, is NA-249 constituency — a new one carved out for the Nation Assembly Election 2018 on July 25 with a new entrant in the contest: Former Punjab CM and President PML-N Mian Shahbaz Sharif. The new delimitation after Census 2017 replaced NA-241 constituency where the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s candidate returned from the seat forRead More

Adiala Jail Head Warden Replaced Over Embracing Nawaz Sharif

JUL 20, 2018: The head warden of Adiala jail in Rawalpindi was replaced after video showing him embracing convicted former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came into notice. The warden was deployed on duty at the barrack of Nawaz Sharif and was greatly fond of the former PM. No one is allowed to access the barrack of Nawaz, however, the warden went inside and hugged Nawaz and received a pat on his back from the former premier. Their meeting was noticed by the monitoring team from security cameras deployed in theRead More

Second Look: Deciphering Dawn Opinion Poll On Election 2018

IRSHAD SALIM (JUL 19, 2018): All heads of political parties who bagged more than 55 percent vote in total 2013 elections had charged the polls were rigged alias engineered. The 2013 elections threw up PML-N on top with simple majority in the national assembly — having bagged 35% of all vote counts. PTI, PPP, MQM, PML-F, et al accused of engineered election. But that was May 2013. Fast forward July 2018: Dawn last week conducted an opinion poll — and published its report with disclaimer: “a non-scientific survey” that ranRead More

Terror Hit Pakistan, Nigeria Enhance Cooperation in Counterterrorism, Youth Empowerment, Trade

Pakistan and Nigeria are among 5 nations most impacted by terrorism, the Global Terrorism Index 2016 and 2017 show. JUL 18, 2018: A seven-member delegation of Federal Republic of Nigeria led by its National Institute for Policy & Strategic Studies Director General Jonathan Mela Juma called on Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Dr Hassan Askari at his office on Tuesday. During the meeting, different matters of mutual interest including promotion of Pakistan-Nigeria relations in different sectors and arrangements of upcoming elections in Pakistan came under discussion. Talking on the occasion, DrRead More

FBR Receives Details of Dubai Properties Owned by Pakistanis

JUL 18, 2018: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has declared that it has received detail information about secret properties and income of Pakistanis in Dubai. The report comes as FBR said this week it has obtained information regarding immovable properties owned by Pakistanis in the United Kingdom (UK). The information has been obtained with the assistance of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and UK tax authorities, said FBR in a brief statement, adding that the information was being analyzed by the board for taking further action. AsRead More

US Defense Firm Lockheed Awarded $451M Contract for Saudi Patrol Ships

JUL 18, 2018: Lockheed Martin out of Baltimore, Maryland, has received a $450.7 million modification to an existing contract for production of four Multi-Mission Surface Combatant ships for the the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Work will be performed in Crozet, Va., Iron Mountain, Michigan, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sweden, Great Britain and other locations across the United States. The contract is expected to be completed by October 2025. Foreign military sales funding for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the amount of $226 million will be obligated at time of award .Read More

PM Nasirul Mulk’s Cabinet Green Lights Open Trial of Sharif Trio

JUL 18, 2018: The federal cabinet of caretaker government on Wednesday approved the open trial of convicted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in two remaining corruption references lodged against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The duo’s trial was expected to be held inside the prison premises citing security reasons, according to some media reports. Sharif and daughter Maryam Safdar were arrested upon their arrival in Lahore on July 13 and moved to Adiala jail in Rawalpindi following an accountability court’s verdict in the Avenfield Apartments corruption reference filedRead More

National Debt Crisis: Financial “Pre-Poll Rigging”

We had been reporting since January that between mid-year and year-end, Pak Rupee value could hit 140 and may even cross the 150 mark. JUL 18, 2018 (BE2C2 Analysis): Less than two weeks before Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi wrapped up his cabinet and PML-N led federal government to make way for a caretaker setup to oversee July 25 polls, he signed off his John Hancock on several impact moves of far-reaching  significance for the country’s economic and financial sector. The Tax Amnesty Scheme announced by him in March isRead More

Karachi Woman Declares $1.4bn Foreign Assets Under Amnesty Scheme

JUL 17, 2018: A Karachi-based woman has become the highest taxpayer in Pakistan under the latest tax amnesty scheme. According to local media, Karachi-based Maryam Ali paid Rs.3.3 billion rupees in taxes after she declared her foreign assets nrt worth at Rs.165 billion (US$1.38 billion @ $1=PKR120). Public’s response to the amnesty scheme has been positive, as the Tax Amnesty Scheme has received 10 times more response as compared to previous schemes. However, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is still updating final figures of its beneficiaries and tax collected underRead More

China Building Eight Submarines for Pakistan

JUL 17, 2018: China is building eight submarines for Pakistan to strengthen its ally’s naval and under water capabilities. According to the local media, under the Project Hangor, China’s shipbuilding industry will soon give these submarines to Pakistan. The acquisition of new submarines from China is a part of Pakistan’s effort to increase its capabilities in underwater warfare, help strengthen its position in the Indian Ocean, and curb the Indian Navy threat. The new addition will increase Pakistan’s submarine arsenal to 18, while at present the country possess 10 submarines.Read More

Can Shehbaz Sharif Escape His Brother’s Shadow?

ANNAM LODHI: The upcoming elections in Pakistan are a battle between candidates who have waited long years for the opportunity to become prime minister. Shehbaz Sharif is one such candidate. He has delivered in Punjab as its chief minister for the past 10 years. The province has flourished under his governance, but the recent scandals and verdicts against his elder brother and his family have put the image of the party in jeopardy. Will he be able to defend his party at this stage and become the next prime ministerRead More

As Finances Wobble, Rupee Devalued Further: Propping Economy ‘Needs Some Kind of Bazooka’

JUL 16, 2018 (BE2C2): The State Bank let Rupee devalue further on Monday as finances wobble before national election in nine days. The rupee has been devalued for the fourth time this year– it dropped almost 14 percent since December, seeking to slow the depletion of foreign-exchange reserves before the election. The country’s foreign reserve erosion has been the biggest (34 percent) in Asia over past year, according to Bloomberg and IMF tracking data. The currency, whose rate is set by the central bank, dropped as much as 5.3 percentRead More

US Ready For Direct Talks With Afghan Taliban

JUL 17, 2018: The United States is ready to join direct negotiations with the Taliban in an effort to end the 17-year-long war in Afghanistan, a senior US commander said. Nicholson, who leads the NATO-led Resolute Support mission, said the US recognized it had a key role to play. “Our secretary of state, Mr [Mike] Pompeo, has said that we, the United States, are ready to talk to the Taliban and discuss the role of international forces,” he said. “We hope that they realize this and that this will helpRead More

FBR Obtains Details of Properties Owned By Pakistanis in UK

JUL 17, 2018: Under a newly-signed agreement, Pakistan will have access to information about assets of its nationals abroad, it emerged on Monday. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has obtained information regarding immovable properties owned by Pakistanis in the United Kingdom (UK). The information has been obtained with the assistance of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and UK tax authorities, said FBR in a brief statement, adding that the information was being analyzed by the board for taking further action. Pakistan had signed the OECD Convention onRead More

Shehbaz Demands Facilities for Nawaz in Prison in Line With Ex-PM Stature

JUL 16, 2018: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif on Monday requested the caretaker government to provide facilities to party supremo Nawaz Sharif in jail in line with his stature as a former prime minister. The deposed prime minister and his daughter Maryam were arrested on July 13 upon their arrival in Lahore, a week after being sentenced to prison in the Avenfield reference. They were imprisoned in Adiala jail the same day. In a letter to caretaker Prime Minister Justice (r) Nasirul Mulk, the PML-N president highlighted theRead More

Intelligence Chief Dan Coats Refutes Trump, Says Russia Meddled in 2016

JUL 17, 2018: In a move not cleared by the White House, the top intelligence official in the United States has refuted President Donald Trump’s remarks in Helsinki — unequivocally affirming that the Russian government did act to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats issued a statement Monday. “We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy,” he said. “And we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligenceRead More