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November, 2018


America’s Stay in Afghanistan Not Factor of Stability: Former Envoy to Iran

“There is a currency swap between Iran and Russia, Iran and China, so why not with Pakistan” ISLAMABAD (Nov 17, 2018): American’s stay in Afghanistan is not factor of stability in Afghanistan as it’s contributing to the misery of the Afghan people. In an exclusive interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), former ambassador to Iran Mr. Asif Ali Khan Durrani said it is a very positive development that Russia, Iran, China and Pakistan are together trying to restore peace in Afghanistan. He added that Iran and Pakistan alreadyRead More

This VIDEO Says It All: How Californians Are Braving Camp Fire–the Deadliest in State’s History

NEW YORK (Nov 17, 2018): Northern California sheriff said today more than 1,000 is now unaccounted for after the California camp fire, and that the list is being constantly updated. The fire – the deadliest in the state’s history – has destroyed 142,000 acres (57,000 ha), including most of the town of Paradise, home to 27,000 people. In total, some 47,000 people have been told to evacuate, with those who have fled the fire being housed in emergency shelters, as well as with friends and family, while others are camping.Read More

Chief Justice Orders Anwar Majeed, his Son and Lawai Shifted to Islamabad

ISLAMABAD (Nov 17, 2018): The Supreme Court on Saturday ordered that Omni Group chairperson Anwar Majeed , his son Abdul Ghani Majeed and former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman Hussain Lawai who are under arrest in connection with a mega money laundering case be shifted to Islamabad. The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed to probe the case requested the top court to transfer the suspects out of the port city so they could interview them — a move that was opposed by Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed’s counsel. “Anwar Majeed beRead More

Why a UN Report Describes San Francisco’s Homeless Crisis a “Human Rights Violation”

A UN report says gentrification and denial of basic rights such as water and sanitation behind the homeless crisis in billionaires’ city NEW YORK (Nov 16, 2018): San Francisco is one of the richest in the world but almost one in 100 residents are homeless with Tenderloin the epicenter of a homeless crisis scarring one of the world’s richest cities. Tenderloin neighborhood is located downtown, bordered by some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city–a ten-minute walk from the headquarters of Twitter, Uber. Yet, it has a bad reputation. Tourists areRead More

Faiz Festival Kicks Off With a Bang: Indian Poet Javed Akhtar, Film Star Shabana Azmi, Tahira Syed Participate

Highlighters for the coming days include Zia Mohyeddin, Tina Sani and other performances, including art and culture shows ISLAMABAD (Nov 16, 2018): Indian poet and film lyricist Javed Akhtar along with his wife, film star Shabana Azmi are in Pakistan to attend the 4th Faiz International Festival being held in Lahore–the festival kicked off on Friday with a bang. The couple said they were overwhelmed by the warm welcome which had been given to them by the people of Pakistan. “We will never forget the love and respect which weRead More

China-Led ‘World Bank of Asia’ Keen to Invest $1B in Pakistan’s Water, Wastewater, Transport Projects

ISLAMABAD (Nov 16, 2018): The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has expressed willingness to invest $1 billion in several non-CPEC projects which Pakistan is keen to jump start in its major cities Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindia/Islamabad. The announcement comes as AIIB President Jin Liqun met Prime Minister Imran Khan during his recent (first) visit to Beijing earlier this month. Imran Khan had underscored several cooperation opportunities existing in Pakistan’s water supply and wastewater sector, transport, power transmission, urging the AIIB president to explore the available avenues in those areas.Read More

Polls Show 60Pct Americans Don’t Want To See Trump Reelected, But Support Some of His Economic Policies

Trump’s effort to make the midterms all about immigration may have fallen short as an electoral strategy because his approach to immigration is not particularly popular NEW YORK (Nov 15, 2018): According to President Donald Trump, no president in American history has ever accomplished as much as he has and he’s a shoo-in to be reelected in 2020. But a new Monmouth University poll suggests Trump is wrong, and not just by a little bit. The poll, which was released Wednesday, shows that while Trump’s overall approval rating remains atRead More

Some Elements Working to Destabilize Pakistan; Military Hints at Broader Involvement in Dawar’s Murder

ISLAMABAD (Nov 15, 2018): Some elements were making attempts to destabilize and polarize Pakistan, State Minister for Interior Shehryar Afridi told the Senate on Thursday. The minister was speaking with reference to killing of of a senior police officer in the capital here. SP Islamabad Tahir Khan Dawar’s tortured body was later found from Afghanistan and returned today to Pakistan. Afridi said the government was in touch with the Afghan government for probe into the matter. Brother and sister-in-law of SP Dawar were also killed some time ago, while theRead More

Govt Announces Task Force to Boost IT/Telecom Sector, Expected to Add $6 Billion in Export

ISLAMABAD (Nov 15, 2018): With the IT sector growing at a fast pace, Imran-Khan led government’s cabinet has approved formation of a 17-member task force on IT and telecommunications as the country has overwhelming advantages in the sector, particularly in earning foreign exchange. During 2016-17, Pakistan’s IT exports were $3.3 billion, which have jumped to $5 billion and are expected to grow to $6 billion next year,” said Saif Akhtar, Co-Founder of 10XC, a technology start-up accelerator and seed fund. However, huge challenges lie ahead, and the next few yearsRead More

Pakistan Launches Initiative To Seek ‘Brain Gain’ From Its Expat Notables, Professionals

IRSHAD SALIM (Islamabad, Nov 14, 2018): The newly-formed government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan has operationalized a web portal to attract overseas Pakistani professionals and distinguished individuals willing to provide advisory and related services to the country. Dubbed ‘Naya Pakistan Calling’, the web portal has been launched under Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF), and seeks “brain gain” from such Pakistanis, said Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari. “The motherland is calling out the Pakistani experts and intellectuals from all over the world,” he said whileRead More

Riyadh to Release $3Bln Aid For Pakistan in Next Few Days; Saudi Envoy Meets PM Khan

The envoy also met Prime Minister Imran Khan today. During the meeting, PM Khan renewed Pakistan’s appreciation of the Saudi economic support package for the Pakistani economy. ISLAMABAD (Nov 14, 2018): Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Saeed Al-Malki on Wednesday said that Pakistan would have the first installment of Saudi aid amounting to $3 billion in the next few days to address its balance-of-payments crisis. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would release the amount of $3 billion in terms of the balance of payment, the envoy stated in a shortRead More

Poverty Gap Between Rural, Urban Pakistan is Double, Remains Unchanged: Report

80 per cent of Pakistan’s poor continue to live in rural areas ISLAMABAD (Nov 14, 2018): The poverty headcount rate in rural Pakistan is twice that in urban areas (36 per cent versus 18 per cent), and the gap has remained virtually unchanged since 2001. However, on overall basis, headcount poverty decreased from 64% to 30% between 2001 and 2014, a World Bank report on “the state of water supply, sanitation and poverty in Pakistan and its impact on child stunting” has said–Pakistan also has the highest stunting rate inRead More

Jang, The News Misreport CJP’s Remarks, Notice Issued By Supreme Court

ISLAMABAD (Nov 14, 2018): Jang Group’s two major media outlets Jan (Urdu) and The News (English) were issued notices by the country’s top court Wednesday for misreporting proceedings of a court hearing, in which the top judiciary had appeared to criticize the government. The two publications, in their lead stories today, had reported that the Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, while hearing a suo motu case of illegal construction in Banigala, had “remarked that the current government lacked capability and planning”. The top judge today distanced himself fromRead More

Trump Taps Top General From Iraq War as New US Envoy to Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON DC: President Donald Trump on Tuesday named John Abizaid, a top US retired general who has studied the Middle East for years, as ambassador to Saudi Arabia, a post that has been vacant since Joseph Westphal left in January 2017. Abizaid is a fluent Arabic speaker of Lebanese Christian descent who headed US Central Command (CENTCOM) — which covers the Middle East, Asia and Central Asia— during the Iraq war from shortly after the US invasion in 2003 through 2007. CENTCOM encompasses 20 countries, including Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan,Read More

US Lawmakers to Introduce Bipartisan Bill Targeting China’s Treatment of Muslims

A group of bipartisan lawmakers in the House and Senate plan to introduce legislation on Wednesday that would condemn China’s treatment of Muslims and punish those responsible for alleged human rights abuses. The legislation, first reported on by Politico, calls for “an end to arbitrary detention, torture, and harassment of these communities inside and outside China.” Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) are leading the effort in the Senate, while Reps. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.) are backing a similar bill in the House. Both versionsRead More

The Constitution Means What the Supreme Court Says It Means

IRSHAD SALIM: A friend of mine in the US who has been reading a lot about major legal and constitutional cases in Pakistan–particularly suo moto and the Supreme Court’s verdicts dubbed “judicial activism”–even “judicial coup”, shared an abridged version of an article that appeared in the Harvard Law Review journal in 2016. Reading it and rewinding many of the views published in local newspapers related to top court’s decisions, I’m tempted to compare the two on the scale of broad-stroked arguments and brave to conclude that at the end ofRead More

Qatar Announces Opening Visa Support Centers in Islamabad, Karachi

ISLAMABAD, (Nov 13, 2018):The government of Qatar will open its visa support centers in Islamabad and Karachi next month, for bringing ease in obtaining every kind of visas, specially work visas for Pakistanis. Qatar announced this move aimed at facilitating and providing ease in the visa issuance operations for Pakistani skilled workforce seeking employment in Qatar, a press release said. The decision comes as Qatar announced decision to recruit 100,000 Pakistani workers– Pakistan last month offered the services of professional Pakistani workforce for 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. RemittancesRead More

‘Iqamas, Fake Accounts Used to Conceal Looted Money Abroad’

Assets recovery unit was currently going after ‘big fishes’ only, rest of offenders “will be taken care of on a later stage” ISLAMABAD (Nov 13, 2018): The government has identified more than 5,000 fake accounts which were allegedly used for laundering US$1 billion. “More than $1 billion have been laundered abroad through these fake accounts opened under the names of small vendors,” revealed Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar on Monday. Mr. Akbar shared the info with media persons at a press conference here held toRead More

Military Reiterates Support to Ensure State’s Writ, Rule of Law

ISLAMABAD (Nov 13, 2018): Pakistan’s top military leadership has expressed its resolve for continued support to all state institutions for ensuring writ of the state and rule of law in which lies peace, stability and prosperity of the country. According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Tuesday, the 215th Corps Commanders’ Conference, presided by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, was held at the GHQ in Rawalpindi. The forum reviewed geostrategic environment and security situation of the country. Progress of ongoing operations,Read More

Sri Lanka President Chairs Security Council Meeting After Top Court Restores Parliament

Lanka’s President chaired a security council meeting today attended by Chief of Defense Staff, tri-forces commander and the IGP COLOMBO (Nov 13, 2018): Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court on Tuesday overruled President Maithripala Sirisena’s dissolution of parliament and ordered a halt to preparations for snap elections next year. The Indian Ocean island has been gripped by a constitutional crisis since Sirisena sacked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on October 26 and replaced him with former strongman president Mahinda Rajapakse. Wickremesinghe’s party led the petitions against the dissolution and the three-judge bench, headedRead More