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Mysterious Bank Accounts Keep Surfacing in Country Which Has Highest Percentage of Non-Account Holders

The country has the highest percentage of adults in the region who don’t have a bank account, according to the World Bank; cases of identity thefts –considered a white collar crime under the law just as ‘benami account’ is, first appeared in the media last year OCT 14, 2018: Yet another case of mysterious bank activity emerged on Saturday as transactions of millions of rupees were found to have been made from the account of a resident of Sialkot. Muzakkir Hussain had gone to open an account in a privateRead More

Should Saudi Arabia Be a Part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)?

Engr. Abdullah Ansari: Recently, news has been circulating that Saudi Arabia will be joining CPEC. It is still unclear what role they would play, whether they will be a strategic partner, an investor or something else. Following the recent developments, I have been going through newspapers from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia for over a week to understand this jigsaw, and all I end up with is nothing but an ambiguous picture. Frequent dose of pep talks with China is being injected from all sides, at least on the surface, praisingRead More

Pakistan Economy: Debt, Chaos Order and Bailout

PKonweb Report (Oct 13, 2018): On Thursday, the PTI-led government formally began the process of seeking an I.M.F. bailout worth up to $12 billion amid reports that the country’s financing gap may be as high as $20 billion which could be met by loans from China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Talking to reporters in Islamabad on Saturday after returning from Indonesia, where he attended the annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF, Finance Minister Asad Umar said the country is having to go to the IMF once againRead More

Afghan Taliban and US Talk Inches Forward; “Talks Will Continue”

OCT 14, 2018: In a landmark development, Afghanistan’s Taliban have announced they met with Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, in Doha, Qatar, before he arrived in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday — Khalilzad’s Doha trip came back-to-back with visits to Riyadh and Islamabad. In a short statement on Saturday, the Afghan Taliban said their negotiation team met with a U.S. negotiation team headed by Khalilzad on Friday and discussed “ending occupation” and working towards finding a peaceful resolution to the Afghan conflict. Talks will continue, the TalibanRead More

Saudi Arabia to Supply India 4 Million Extra Barrels of Oil Next Month

OCT 14, 2018: Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, will supply Indian buyers with an additional 4 million barrels of crude oil in November, several sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. The extra cargoes indicate a willingness by the kingdom to increase crude supply to make up the shortfall once sanctions by the United States on oil exports from Iran, the third-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), kick in on November 4. India is Iran’s top oil client after China, and someRead More

FIA Traces Assets of Hundreds of Pakistanis Including 25 Politicians in Dubai

OCT 13, 2018: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Saturday submitted a report in the Supreme Court (SC) regarding properties of hundreds of Pakistanis in Dubai. According to the report, 25 politicians own assets in Dubai while 527 people belonging to Sindh have properties also there. The premier investigative agency claimed that 895 Pakistanis have been served notices after which 642 people have submitted their affidavits while 364 have declared their properties under the Amnesty Scheme. FIA said it has also traced assets of two absconders in Dubai under MutualRead More

Sale Of Toxic, Contaminated Milk In Islamabad and Beyond: Major Challenge For ‘Naya Pakistan’

“Also the quality of water that is mixed in the milk is dubious. They obviously don’t add filtered water in the milk. This is a recipe for death” IRSHAD SALIM (Oct 12, 2018): Consider this: Despite the country being third largest milk producer in the world, Pakistanis pay less for petrol (our largest import) than milk (a home-grown commodity); only five to six percent of the total milk produced is preserved, processed and brought to market, while the remaining 94% of the fresh milk, with a shelf life of fewRead More

NAB to Probe Rs80 Billion ‘Scam’ in Land Acquisition for Diamer-Bhasha Dam

As of October 12, nearly 5 billion rupees in public donations have been raised for the dam OCT 12, 2018: The country’s top anti-graft agency will investigate alleged financial embezzlement of billions of rupees in the land acquisition process for Diamer-Bhasha Dam project, report Pakistan Today as efforts continue for crowdsourcing the $14 billion dam. Citing unnamed sources, the paper said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has initiated a probe into the land acquisition process which may or may not have been as transparent as claimed by previous governments. AlthoughRead More

Nature-Based Solutions In Tandem With Grey Concrete Dams

Grey infrastructure may no longer provide their envisioned benefits because hydrological parameters and patterns are changing VLADIMIR SMAKHTIN: Almost every day we hear news about catastrophic flooding or drought somewhere in the world. And many nations and regions are on track for even more extreme water problems within a generation, the latest IPCC report warns. Extreme floods and droughts have a profound impact on development, particularly in less developed parts of the world. About 140 million people are affected — displaced by the loss of incomes or homes — andRead More

PEC Offers Construction of Diamer Basha Dam for Rs500 Billion

OCT 11, 2018 (BE2C2 Report): Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) Chairman Javed Saleem Qureshi on Thursday offered his institution’s services for the construction of Diamer Basha Dam with an approximate cost of Rs500 billion. The offer was made by PEC chairman while talking to media in Islamabad amid reports that the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has decided to establish its own consultant group by December this year that would assist it in initiating commencement and completion of the civil and other works on fast track besides building capacity ofRead More

Gwadar Free Zone Receives $474m Investment

OCT 11, 2018: At least 30 companies in different businesses such as hotel, bank, logistics and fish processing have entered the free economic zone of Gwadar port city with direct investment of about $474 million with expectations of generating $790 million after full operation, said Gwadar Port Authority chairman Dostain Khan Jamaldini. “The first phase of Gwadar’s free zone has already been inaugurated,” said Jamaldini in an interview with China Global Television Network (CGTN) on Friday. While commenting on the progress and achievements of the project over the years, heRead More

Conduct Unbecoming: Justice Shaukat Siddiqui Removed as Islamabad High Court Judge

OCT 11, 2018: President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday removed Islamabad High Court (IHC) judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui from his post on the recommendation of Supreme Judicial Council citing judge’s “conduct unbecoming” and thus guilty of misconduct. “Consequent upon proceedings under Article 209(5) and recommendations of the Supreme Judicial Council of Pakistan under Article 209(6) read with Article 48(1) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973…… The President of Pakistan has been pleased to remove Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, Judge, Islamabad High Court, Islamabad, from his officeRead More

Supreme Court Orders Probe Into Failure of Samar Mubarakmand’s Thar Coal Project

OCT 11, 2018: The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a probe into the failure of Thar coal power project initiated by Dr Samar Mubarakmand. Defending his position, Mubarakmand said the underground gasification and power project was under the provincial government and began receiving funding from the federal government in 2012. By 2015, despite spending more than Rs3.2 billion on the project, it was only generating 8MW of electricity instead of 100MW as planned due to unavailability of development and operational funds. Chief Justice Saqib Nisar ordered for an investigative committeeRead More

China, Pakistan to Build Strike-Capable Drones Similar to America’s Reaper

OCT 10, 2018: China and Pakistan have agreed a deal to jointly manufacture an advanced Chinese drone similar to US-developed MQ-9 Reaper, in a sign of their growing security ties specially with the launch of multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which would serve as trade and energy corridor connecting China with the Middle East and beyond via the Arabian Sea. A total of 48 Wing Loong II unmanned aerial vehicles will be built by Chengdu Aircraft Corp (CAC), a unit of Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC), and PakistanRead More

The New Arab Order: ‘Fundamentally One of Disorder’

A vantage view of the Middle East post Arab Spring which was initiated during former US President Barack Obama’s era and sponsored/funded by George Soros, co-founder of Friends Of Democracy (PKonweb) MARC LYNCH: In 2011, millions of citizens across the Arab world took to the streets. Popular uprisings from Tunis to Cairo promised to topple autocracies and usher in democratic reforms. For a moment, it looked as if the old Middle Eastern order was coming to an end and a new and better one was taking its place. But thingsRead More

Modi Seeking Limited War With Pakistan Ahead of Elections?

IRSHAD SALIM (OCT 7, 2018): India may have shifted gears which opens the space for it to wage a limited conventional war, says a report. “It is too early to say what impact a shift in India’s strategy will have on bilateral relations with (its western neighbor) Pakistan and how the latter intends to respond, but what can be said is that the old playbook is probably reaching its end.” Over time, such a policy has the capacity to alter the dynamics between New Delhi and Islamabad significantly, which wouldRead More

Govt Orders 18 International NGOs to Wrap Up Operations

OCT 7, 2018: The interior ministry has ordered 18 international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) to cease their operations in Pakistan. The government has given 60 days to these foreign NGOs for wrapping up their operations from the country. Of the total, nine have an association with the United States, three with the United Kingdom and two with Holland. Furthermore, connections with Italy, Switzerland, Denmark and Ireland have also been traced, Express News reported on Sunday. In addition, the ministry also imposed restrictions on 72 NGOs. Sources claim that the government allowedRead More

ADB Set to Provide Pakistan $7.1Bn for Inclusive Growth

OCT 7, 2018: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide Pakistan $7.1bn in financing to help the country achieve inclusive and sustainable growth over the next three years, its senior official said. “ADB plans to significantly increase the country’s sovereign operations to $7.1bn over 3 years,” Wencai Zhang, vice president of the Manila-based lender said in a statement. “Along with its continued focus on energy, infrastructure development, and institutional reforms, ADB is also re-engaging in education and health, and social safety net through income support program.” The financial package wasRead More

Tabdeeli (Change) Has Begun

DR. FARRUKH SALEEM: Corruption is “the abuse of public office for private gain (the World Bank’s definition)”. A couple of years ago, the World Bank estimated that public procurement in Pakistan amounted to 19.8 percent of GDP or $60 billion a year. Lo and behold, estimates of ‘leakages’ in this $60 billion-a-year business vary from a low of 30 percent to a high of 60 percent. Lo and behold, the ‘leakages’ amount to a low of $18 billion a year to a high of $36 billion a year. Mohammad KhalidRead More

Afghan Taliban and ISIS Clash in Kunar Province, Several Dead

OCT 6, 2018: Afghan Taliban and the militant Islamic State (Daesh aka ISIS) clashed in Afghanistan’s Kunar province which straddles Pakistan’s western border with the war-torn country, on Friday, leaving several dead on both sides. According to a statement released by Afghan military’s 201st Silab Corps, at least four Taliban militants were killed with three others sustaining injuries. ISIS (Daesh) militants also suffered four casualties during the skirmish. In a separate incident, at least two Afghan security personnel were killed and nine people were injured in two back to backRead More