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October, 2018


French Companies Keen to Participate in Subsequent Phases of CPEC

ISLAMABAD, Oct 20, 2018: France is prepared to invest in subsequent phases of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), provided balance and transparency is assured, says its ambassador to Pakistan. Chairman, Senate standing committee on defense production, Sen. Lt Gen Abdul Qayyum, said on Friday, Pakistan appreciates and welcomes France’s desire and endeavors to increase its investment in Pakistan. He said this during a meeting with French Ambassador Dr. Marc Barety, who called on him at his office here. The Senator welcomed French decision to participate in the forthcoming APARead More

Why American Cartoonist Rob Rogers Was Fired After 25 Years

OCT 19, 2018: It’s not just in Pakistan that a columnist, a commentator, or a TV talk show anchor gets canned by the employer for being ‘angry and obsessed’. Rob Rogers, editorial cartoonist of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette –the largest newspaper in western Pennsylvania is one such individual, and there could be many more unreported ones worldwide — having been shown the door for various reasons: commercial, editorial, national security related, or a mix bag of some of these or all of them. Rogers was fired by the paper in summer forRead More

Is Abraaj’s Arif Naqvi The Fall Guy For Sino-Pakistan Relations?

NICHOLAS WALLER: Abraaj was once a trailblazing private equity fund, the largest in the world operating in emerging markets. Its staggering trajectory was unprecedented in a sector that, until then, was dominated by large incumbent players such as Blackstone, Carlyle and KKR. In its early days, the firm’s funds under management growth occurred at rates upwards of 100% year on year. Abraaj has turned over a 17% annual net return to investors since its inception sixteen years ago, and at its stratospheric heights managed a staggering US$14 billion worth ofRead More

Debt Payment Bigger Issue for Pakistan Than Defense Expenditure

ISLAMABAD, Oct 19, 2018: Pakistan’s new government led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan by, which took office in August, has inherited a series of urgent economic challenges. These include plunging foreign reserves, a balance of payments crisis, and water and energy shortages. The question is, how serious are these economic challenges right now? What is to be made of the government’s initial moves? What still needs to be done? And what are the political challenges that Islamabad will face as it tries to move forward on the economic front? Last week,Read More

Pakistan Cautions Against 80s Style US Pullout From Afghanistan, Without Achieving Peace

ISLAMABAD, Oct 18, 2018: Pakistan’s thought leaders have cautioned against the US forces’ withdrawal from Afghanistan without first achieving the complete peace and security in the war-torn country. “Pakistan has been reiterating that the US forces should stay in Afghanistan till the achievement of complete peace and stability,” Foreign office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said at the weekly briefing on Thursday. “I would like to draw your attention to the chaos in the aftermath of the withdrawal of USSR [Union of Soviet Socialist Republics] in the late 1980s. The regionRead More

NAB Chief Orders Inquiry Into Islamabad’s Rs15Bn Park Enclave Housing Project

ISLAMABAD, Oct 18, 2018: Taking notice of non-allotment of plots to citizens specially overseas Pakistanis, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal has ordered an inquiry into irregularities in Park Enclave housing scheme in the federal capital. The project is said to be an unattended scandalous case of the capital authority’s commercial housing scheme that was sold for over Rs15 billion but yet to be delivered to hundreds of Pakistanis, both local and overseas, according to The News. The project is being built by the Capital Development AuthorityRead More

Abraaj Founder In Crosshairs: Sought to Influence Sharifs With $20M For K-Electric Sale, Says WSJ

Growing troubles at Abraaj threaten to engulf K-Electric as well, as liquidators and creditors now move in to organize a firesale of its assets to pay off the private equity firm’s more than a billion dollars in debts. Time therefore could be running out for the K-Electric sale to go through, at least at the price Naqvi had hoped for. KARACHI; Oct 18, 2018: A whopping $20 million was allegedly paid by Arif Naqvi –the embattled founder of Dubai-based Abraaj Group –to businessman Navaid Malik for his assistance in securingRead More

Saudi Aramco to Acquire Stake in Chinese Petrochemical Refinery

OCT 18, 2018: Saudi Aramco signed on Thursday an agreement to invest in a 400,000-bpd refinery and associated petrochemical plants in eastern China as part of Saudi Arabia’s push to expand its downstream business and secure additional markets for its oil. The Saudi state oil giant signed a memorandum of understanding with the Zhejiang province to invest in the refinery and petrochemical complex and to cooperate in crude oil supply and trading, Reuters reported, citing details released by the city of Zhoushan, where the complex will be built. Aramco willRead More

Shahid Khan Drops Bid to Buy London’s Iconic Wembley Stadium

LONDON; Oct 17, 2018: Shahid Khan, the Pakistani-American businessman, has withdrawn his offer to buy Wembley Stadium from the Football Association, reports Keir Radnege. Khan, the owner of Premier League Fulham and Jacksonville Jaguars of American gridiron’s NFL, had offered £600m which had been promoted positively to the FA board by chairman Greg Clarke and ceo Martin Glenn. However many members of the larger, supervisory FA Council were not convinced. Under the terms of Khan’s offer the FA would have retained the income from Club Wembley hospitality which it valuedRead More

The ‘Untouchable’ Malik Riaz, Believed To Have Left The Country In His Private Aircraft

Having been given early warning, Malik Riaz is believed to have left the country in his private aircraft. One may ask how did he manage to transfer huge sums abroad, particularly to the UK? Without money-laundering how could he manage to acquire vast property in the UK, and what is the British Government going to do about it? IKRAM SEHGAL: In 2013, Shoaib Suddle, the Federal Tax Ombudsman investigating Malik Riaz and Arsalan Iftikhar, son of former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, ordered the the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) toRead More

Hanging of Zainab’s Rapist, Murderer and 3445 Child Abuse Cases in 2017

The hanging of Zainab’s rapist and murderer in Kasur came coincidentally the same day a Senate Committee heard formal briefings from authorities on child abuse in the country ISLAMABAD (Oct 17, 2018): Zainab’s rapist and murderer Imran Ali was hanged to death in the wee hours of Wednesday in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Central Jail. Imran Ali was convicted for the rape and murder of six-year-old Zainab Amin in Kasur district of Punjab earlier this year and ordered by court to be hanged to death. The serial rapist was executed inRead More

Pakistan Navy’s SAIF Arrives in Saudi Arabia After Participating in Exercises With Turkey

RIYADH, OCT 17, 2018: Pakistan Navy ship ‘SAIF’ arrived in Saudi Arabia’s western port of Jeddah after participating in joint exercises with the Turkish navy in the Eastern Mediterranean days earlier. The exercises held in Turkey (28 September to 7 October) were aimed at enhancing interoperability between participating navies through the development of combined tactics, techniques and practices. The multinational naval exercise Mavi Balina 2018 (Blue Whale) included practicing anti-submarine defense led by Turkish Naval Forces. Naval and air forces from Turkey, NATO, the United States, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Algeria, Qatar,Read More

Pak Navy Commissions Domestically Built Fleet Tanker PNS Moawin

ISLAMABAD; Oct 17, 2018: The Pakistan Navy (PN) has commissioned a new indigenously built fleet tanker in a ceremony held at the naval dockyard in Karachi. The new tanker –biggest warship ever constructed at Karachi Shipyard –is expected to boost the nation’s maritime security which has taken up added dimension with the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. Named PNS Moawin (with pennant number 39), the 158.4 m-long vessel, which displaces about 17000 tons at full load, entered service with the PN on 16 October during an event attended by President ArifRead More

Haqqani’s Latest Inferences On Pakistan’s State and the Nation

By Muhammad Ali Ehsan: Hussain Haqqani, our erstwhile ambassador to the US, has once again written a hard hitting article (reminiscent of most of his previous works that continue to aim at pitching the narrative at home against the narrative abroad). Published in The Print (11 Oct 2018) and titled “Pakistan’s fortunes can’t be rescued by a celebrity PM and recycled foreign minister” the article is a complete throwback and a sharp and undue criticism of a Pakistani PM and his government that is still in a state of infancyRead More

Pakistan Navy Conducts War Games In Arabian Sea

OCT 15, 2018: Pakistan Navy’s major maritime exercise kicked-off in Karachi on Monday, said Pakistan Navy spokesperson. The opening brief of the navy’s Major Maritime Exercise named “Seaspark-18” was graced by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi as the chief guest. All operational units of the Pakistan Navy (PN), including ships, submarines, aircraft, UAVs, Special Forces and Pak Marines along with elements of Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA), the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) participated in the maritime security and defense exercise. Spanning overRead More

Manchester United Football Club Draws Takeover Interest from Saudi Prince

OCT 15, 2018: Rumors are swirling in the London tabloids that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia – whose family reportedly maintains a net worth of some £850bn – is keen to either take a stake or buy Manchester United from the Glazer family, per a report in The Sun. Such a move would allow the Saudi prince to compete socially on the European football front with wealthy investors from neighboring countries. Qatar Sports owns Paris Saint-Germain while Manchester City is owned by Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan,Read More

Overseas Pakistanis Votes Could be a Game Changer in Some By-Poll Constituencies

OCT 15, 2018: The unofficial results of the by-election in 35 constituencies are out but the results of the votes of overseas Pakistanis haven’t been added to the count yet and could change the results in six constituencies. This was the first time overseas Pakistanis were able to vote in the elections. They used the ECP’s online system to cast their votes. The winning margin of one NA seat, three Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly seats and two Punjab Assembly seats is small and might change when the overseas votes are added.Read More

Mega Money Laundering Case Update: 5 Accused Flee Abroad, More ‘Benami Accounts’ Surface

OCT 15, 2018: Five out of 23 accused in the mega money laundering case under investigation by the the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) have fled the country, it emerged Monday. The revelation was made in the report of a joint investigation team (JIT) probing the matter of laundering of several billion rupees through fictitious bank accounts in the country. Earlier in the day, another startling revelation was made regarding bank accounts of a dead man being operated in Karachi with transactions worth Rs4.6 billion. Iqbal Aaraiyn, who passed away onRead More

Tehmina Durrani Appalled Shahbaz Sharif Incarcerated in ’10×10 Dingy Cell’

OCT 14, 2018: Incarcerated President of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, former Punjab chief minister and leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif’s second wife Tehmina Durrani expressed her anguish over the conditions in which her husband has been kept in a cell of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). In a series of tweets, she said eight days after Shahbaz was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), she was finally allowed to meet him. “I have returned home appalled. He lives in a dingy 10×10 cellRead More

8 Pakistanis Jailed for Luring Teen Girls into Prostitution in Dubai

OCT 14, 2018: Seven men and a woman, all Pakistanis, were found guilty on Sunday by a Dubai court of luring three compatriot teen girls to come to Dubai and making them work in a prostitution den. The documents of the case, which dates back to December 7 last year in Al Muraqqabat, show the defendants had passports issued for the victims with fake ages, reports Khaleej Times. The Court of First Instance convicted them of charges of human trafficking, sexual exploitation and running a prostitution den and sentenced eachRead More