Daily The Patriot edition of 19-07-22

PM praises Maryam for her best campaign and Hamza for holding peaceful by-elections


By Staff Reporter ISLAMABAD: On Monday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif thanked the Pakistan Mulsim League-leaders Nawaz's and members for their efforts in ensuring the peaceful conduct of the by-elections for the Punjab Assembly. The Punjabi government, led by Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz, was thanked by the prime minister in a tweet for holding orderly elections. He stated, "The Punjab government, led by Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz, deserves praise for holding peaceful elections. He praised Maryam Nawaz, vice-president of the Pakistan Muslim League, for leading the group's "greatest election campaign."


The Punjabi government, led by Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz, was thanked by the prime minister in a tweet for holding orderly elections.

Extreme disorder in Hajj, pilgrims were robbed, extreme nepotism 

After all, how long is the joke with the country, transparent elections are the need of the hour, SK Niazi, If Imran Khan shuts his mouth by taking 10 or 15 seats, then there is no loss deal, all the debris that Imran Khan caused by inflation was put on PDM,talk in the program "Sachi Baat: Malik Azmat , PML-N's defeat in the by-elections is a question mark, after these elections the country has moved towards more instability, Imran Khan took a loan of 24 billion but did not implement any public project :Senator Hafiz Abdul Kareem

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD:Pakistan Group of Newspapers Chief Editor and Rozenews Chairman SK Niazi speaking in the program "Sachi Baat" said that it is a matter of great concern, it is beyond imagination that the defeat of PML-N is surprising. Yes, then Maryam also accepted the defeat, it happened for the first time that the defeat was accepted, the Ministry gave Hajj subsidy to its employees, took away their relatives, no one has authority, the Ministry of Religious Affairs is very proud, the Ministry May Allah forgive the situation, I have performed Hajj Akbar before and I was still blessed with Hajj Akbar. This time the condition of the pilgrims was bad. Pilgrims were left behind, four of us went on Hajj. And faced extreme hardships, Pakistanis were not in a happy state, I went on a private Hajj, the country is being destroyed, there is chaos in the country, the Prime Minister has no department, how will he run the country, this election. How were the results accepted, what happened, it is being said that Zardari wants to become the President of the country, Shahbaz Sharif should dissolve the assemblies, the Saudi government gave an award to General Bajwa, the father is the prime minister, the son is the chief minister, who else? Banda was not there, the time of the League has been divided, the country is facing an economic problem, PTI is a reality, they have the vote, PML-N and PP are political parties, no one cares about the country. People's Party leader Malik Azmat said that Imran Khan talked too much negatively about institutions, if Imran Khan shuts up with ten seats, then this is not an expensive deal, the American president did not get enough protocol in Saudi Arabia, Imran The debris of Khan's inflation was dumped on PDM, institutions were trampled, Shehbaz Gul was the gunman from KP, Imran Khan said it is a good thing to take a U-turn, politicians and generals should take a U-turn. Advisor to Prime Minister Senator Hafiz Abdul Karim said that Hajj in 2016 and 2017 was an example, public Hajj was better than private Hajj, every Hajj was happy. Admitted, the opposition accepting the election results is a positive step, in the future all parties should accept the election results, there are stories of 2018 election, if there is a fair election, no one will complain, Punjab by-elections. Later instability increased, Zardari faced Imran Khan in the by-elections, the loss of PML-N is a question mark, the loss of PML-N in four elections is a question mark, voters have not turned out in their constituencies. Chaudhry Khadim Ali Mandla said that due to the election, the situation was such that petrol reached 250 rupees per liter, inflation, the people calculated the loot very well, the people decided in favor of Imran Khan, if the opposition did not accept defeat, where would it go? All these politicians curse the institutions, Zardari, Nawaz Sharif also sunk the raft of institutions.

Miftah acknowledges the pharmaceutical industry's contribution to economic growth

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: On Monday, Mr. Miftah Ismail, the federal minister of finance and revenue, met with leaders of the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Industry. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, an MNA, Mr. Bilal Kiyani, the PM's economic coordinator, Rana Ihsan Afzal, the PM's commerce and industry coordinator, Chairman FBR, and CEO GSK CEO of Ferozsons, Ms. Erum Shakir Rahim Abbott, Dr. Osman Waheed CEO of Sante, Mr. Anis Ahmed Senior officers from the FBR and Finance Division, Mr. Tauqeer ul Haq, Ms. Ayesha Tammy Haq of the ED Pharma Bureau, and others attended the meeting. The Chair received a briefing on the pharmaceutical industry's role in the nation's economic growth. The discussion also covered issues relating to sales tax on raw material imports and sales tax refunds that the Pakistani pharmaceutical industry faces. The finance minister, Mr. Miftah Ismail, recognised the pharmaceutical industry's contribution and emphasised that the current administration is determined to resolving the operational problems that are plaguing numerous economic sectors. He also promised to address the problems the pharmaceutical industry is now facing as soon as possible. The Finance Minister directed the relevant authorities to undertake the required measures for addressing the concerns of Pharmaceutical industry.

Rs12.629 billion disbursed for Interior’s Division projects in FY-2021-22

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: During the most recent fiscal year 2021–2022, the government paid out Rs12.629 billion out of a total of Rs21.048 billion for a number of new and continuing projects of the Interior Division under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). Similar to this, Rs 8093.009 million has been set out under PSDP for 36 ongoing and new Interior Division programmes for the fiscal year 2022–2023 According to the Planning Commission, during the previous fiscal year, a total of Rs9.013 billion was allocated for new programmes, while Rs12.035 billion was allocated for various ongoing initiatives. According to information from the Pakistani Planning Commission, a sum of Rs6.792 million has been allocated for 28 current projects and Rs2.300 billion for eight new programmes, compared to the previous fiscal year. An amount of Rs710.215 million, allocated for on-going scheme, capacity enhancement of CAF-Management of western border by raising eight additional wings for frontier corps Balochistan (North), Rs3000 million for construction of 10 Avenue, Islamabad, Rs457 million for construction of accommodation for Bhittai Rangers at Karachi, Rs825 million for construction of Korang Bridge and PWD Underpass Islamabad and Rs800 million for construction of Model Prison at H-16, Islamabad, Rs 400 million for feasibility Study for Conduction of Water from Indus Water System at Tarbela Dam to the cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi including RCB and CCB (Phase-I), Rs 300 million for Integrated Border Management System (IBMS Phase-II), Rs 1717.380 million for Korang River and Rawal Lake Water Treatment Islamabad, Rs100 million for Land Revenue Records Management System in Rural Area of ICT Phase-II, Islamabad, Rs 363.036 million for National Response Center for Cyber Crimes (NR3C), Phase-III during FY 2021-22. As part of ongoing programmes, the government also provided Rs 400 million for the FIA's operational improvement in the areas of AML/CFT, counterterrorism, and case management system, Rs 400 million for the FIA's revamping of its cybercrime wing, and Rs 500 million for road and sanitation projects in the Islamabad neighbourhoods of UC Bokra, Mera Sumbal Jaffar, Bhandana Kalan, Jhangi Sayyedan Sara-i-Kharbooza, Tarn According to new programmes, the government has allotted Rs. 1000 million for the finalisation of Metro Bus operationalization from Peshawar Morr to New Islamabad International Airport (NIIA), Rs. 300 million to increase the capacity of CAF-Management of Western Border by raising five additional wings for Frontier Corps Balochistan (South), Phase-II.

By securing free and fair elections, the PML-N developed a strong democratic heritage: Marriyum 

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) established a brilliant democratic tradition by ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections in a peaceful manner on Monday, according to Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb. She stated in a series of tweets, "We accept views of the people who are actual decision makers under the Constitution." The PML-N is a "representative party," according to the minister, of the majority of Punjab's population. She declared that the PML-N would continue its mission of standing up for and serving the people with fresh zeal and commitment. She said that they would work more on these 16 provincial assembly constituencies to strengthen the party position there. She hoped that PTI chairman would apologies to Chief Election Commissioner for ridiculing him. The Information Minister said the Pakistan Muslim League (N) strongly believes in transparent, impartial elections and the observance of democratic governance and the election of the previous day is a practical demonstration of this. She claimed that Imran Sahib broke the constitution on April 3 to save himself when he was in control of both the federal and Punjabi governments. Marriyum Aurangzeb continued, "On the contrary, the Muslim League (N) did not utilise its position in the Federation and Punjab to kidnap the Election Commission officials, attack the constitution, and violate the constitution.

NA speaker calls Parliament's joint sitting on Aug 22 

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: The joint session of Parliament has been called on August 22 by Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Speaker of the National Assembly. Details indicate that Monday's joint session of the parliament has a new timetable. Originally set for July 20 at 4 PM, the session will now be called on August 22 at 4 PM in Parliament House. In this regard, the notification of the schedule adjustment was also released by the Speaker of the National Assembly.

Govt finalizes solar panel manufacturing policy 

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: According to reports on Monday, the Alternate Energy Development Board has completed the policy paper on the manufacturing of solar panels and related equipment. Sources claim that the policy paper has undergone thorough stakeholder engagement. Local solar manufacturers, provincial departments, customers, and other relevant organisations were consulted on the policy, according to sources. The Renewable Energy Task Force, under the leadership of the prime minister, has developed the policy. It is to be mentioned here that there is big gap of 7000 megawatt between demand and supply of electricity in the energy thirsty country. Pakistan presently generates overall 22,000 megawatt electricity, while its power demand has soared to 29,000 megawatt and the gap results in power load shedding across and in every field of the country.According to the government vision, local manufacturing of solar panels and allied equipment will help to save precious foreign currency apart of providing skilled jobs to engineers and technicians. By roughly 2030, Pakistan will have 9.7 GW of renewable energy power generation systems installed, according to the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB). Strong government backing and ongoing policies could offer a solid guarantee for industry business growth. Musadiq Malik, the minister of state for petroleum, recently reported that the prime minister established a task force on solar energy initiatives with the goal of promoting clean and sustainable energy.

We will work together, Imran Khan tells Parvez Elahi

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan, the chairman of the PTI, called Speaker Parvez Elahi of the Punjab Assembly to reassure him that they will cooperate. According to insider sources, Parvez Elahi called Imran Khan late on Sunday night to congratulate him on the PTI's overwhelming victory in the Punjab by-elections. They said that discussions between them took place regarding "the issues linked to the political situation in the aftermath of the results of the Punjab by-polls and formation of government in Punjab." Elahi received a guarantee from Imran Khan that they will collaborate. Under your direction, we could better serve the general public, Parvez Elahi stated. It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has emerged victorious in the majority of the seats in the crucial by-elections on 20 Punjab Assembly. According to the unconfirmed and unofficial results, results of 20 seats have been finalised, with PTI clinching 15 and PML-N winning just four. An independent candidate, Syed Muhammad Rafi ud Din, won PP-228 Lodhran V, with 45,020 votes as against PTI candidate Izzat Javaid Khan, who bagged 38,338. While this is going on, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has conceded defeat, with vice president Maryam Nawaz stating that the party should "wholeheartedly" accept the results. Imran Khan, a former prime minister and the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), hailed his supporters and supporters for the party's success in the Punjab by-elections. Imran Khan posted on Twitter, "I want to first thank our PTI workers [and] voters of Punjab for defeating not just PML-N candidates but the entire state machinery, notably harassment by police and a completely biassed Election Commission of Pakistan."

Punjab by-polls: Nawaz claims he opposed forming the government from the beginning


LONDON: A day after his party suffered a humiliating loss in the Punjab by-elections, the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif declared that he was opposed to forming a cabinet right away. According to sources, Nawaz Sharif, co-chairman of the PPP, Asif Ali Zardari, and Maulana Fazlur Rehman, leader of the JUI-F, spoke over the phone to discuss the situation after the majority of PMLN candidates lost the by-elections held on Sunday. The coalition government's leadership believed that the increase in the price of petroleum goods was the reason the public did not vote for the PML-N. The trio also decided possible options for holding early general election but decided to consult other members of the coalition government before taking any decision. It merits mention that according to the preliminary, unofficial results, the PTI bagged 15 seats, while Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) could only secure four seats. One independent candidate also secured victory. In a recount of votes for the Punjab chief minister election on July 22, in accordance with the Lahore High Court order, the PTI is now poised to win, in effect removing PML-N’s Hamza Shahbaz from office.

A $7 trillion economy is represented by the 57-country Islamic Chamber: Irfan Iqbal Sheikh

By Our Correspondent

KARACHI: Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President FPCCI, has said that 57-Country alliance of Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ICCIA) represent an enormous collective GDP of $7 trillion and that makes it the most significant alliance for Pakistan to enhance its exports, attract FDI and remittances. He was representing Pakistan at the 38th General Assembly of the alliance to discuss issues of trade, investments, and economy and B2B relations. Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that the trade between OIC countries stands at only 17.5 percent; while for other alliances like EU it is 55 percent and NAFTA 58 percent. He added that all ICCIA countries should work towards enhancement of trade to capitalize on mutual strengths. He also attended the 33rd Board of Directors meeting of ICCIA. According to the FPCCI Chief, Pakistan should concentrate on increasing its exports of high-value commodities to OIC nations, including as construction materials, gems & jewellery, rice, fruits & vegetables, leather products, handicrafts, sports goods, and pharmaceuticals. In order to concretely increase trade, investment, and economic cooperation, Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh stressed that Pakistan should take use of its people-to-people, business-to-business, and chamber-to-chamber contacts.

Punjab LG&CD Secretary reviews PRMSC performance

By Our Correspondent

LAHORE: Imran Sikandar Baloch, the secretary of the Punjab Local Government and Community Development (LG&CD), paid a visit to the PRMSC offices on Monday. The PRMSC project's performance and other details were covered in a briefing by the project director to the secretary. The secretary gave the go-ahead for social mobilizers and procurement experts to start hiring for the business. The list of communities to be chosen for its pilot project, according to him, shall be given at the ensuing board meeting. For the project to be effectively monitored and the completion of the stated goals to be ensured within the allotted period, he suggested that the management information system should be purchased as soon as feasible. Imran Baloch said that the project would provide clean drinking water and the best sewerage system to the backward villages, which would help in controlling diseases in the target villages.Earlier, he was told in the briefing that the PRMSC was a unique project of its kind which was working to provide basic facilities in 16 selected tehsils of different districts across the province. The project director said that more than one million rural people would benefit from the Punjab Municipal Services project. It was further informed in the briefing that in the first phase, the recruitment for the company head office had been completed while the process of setting up offices at the tehsil level and selecting 200 villages for the pilot project was going on.

Students of IUB called on Governor Punjab

By Our Correspondent

LAHORE: A delegation of students of Islamia University Bahawalpur, led by Abdul Wajid Khan, Head of Department of Media and Communication Studies Department of the University called on Governor Punjab Muhammad Balighur Rehman at Governor House Lahore today. The faculty members of the university Dr. Rao Shahid and Dr. Ayesha Ilyas were also included in the delegation. City Information Secretary of PML(N) Bahawalpur Faheem Hassan Qureshi was also present on this occasion. Speaking on the occasion, Governor Punjab Muhammad Balighur Rehman said that the promotion of higher education has always been the priority of the Muslim League (N) government. He said that youth are our asset and giving them better education and training is the joint responsibility of the government, teachers and society. He said that one should always think positive and for the betterment of the society because there is permanent success in the right path and truth. While addressing the students, he said that they are the future of Pakistan and they should contribute in its development. Governor Punjab Muhammad Balighur Rehman said that during the earlier tenure of Muslim League (N) special attention was given to the development of southern Punjab including Bahawalpur. He said that Cholistan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Allama Iqbal Open University campus, and various development projects including Home Economics College and Industrial Estate were started during the Muslim League (N) era. Governor Punjab said that huge funds were given for the development and promotion of Islamia University Bahawalpur, adding that with these funds new labs, student hostels and new blocks were built in Islamia University Bahawalpur. He said that unfortunately the former government completely ignored these development projects. He said that steps will be taken for the further improvement of Islamia University Bahawalpur. Later, the students visited different parts of the Governor House. Speaking on the occasion, the students said that the Governor House is a historical place and they are thankful to the Governor of Punjab, Muhammad Balighur Rehman, for not only meeting the students, but also giving them the opportunity to visit the Governor's House.

12.92m relief provided to plaintiffs on orders of Ombudsman Punjab

By Our Correspondent

LAHORE: A total relief of Rs.12.92 million has been given to complainants from various districts in their cases involving various provincial government offices, per the order of the Ombudsman Punjab Maj. (R) Azam Suleman Khan. The Punjab Workers Welfare Fund has granted Ghulam Farid of Lahore's studying children talent scholarships worth Rs. 3,33,233 on the direction of the provincial ombudsman, according to a statement from the Office of the Ombudsman Punjab's spokeswoman. In another instance, he noted that the ombudsman's directives caused a sum of 2.432 million rupees to be granted for the construction of a boundary wall at the Government Girls High School Dandian in the Kamoki tehsil. The spokesman informed that the Office of the Ombudsman Punjab moderated for payment of Rs.28,08,050 to Allah Wasaya of Kasur as pension arrears and also intervened in the payment of employment dues of Rs.12,93,770 to Sardar Masih of Faisalabad. Similarly, Sarfraz Khan of Jhang district succeeded in eking out the pending amount of 18,13,000 rupees of his sugarcane crop after the involvement of the ombudsman's office, he mentioned. The spokesman further stated that Rs.17,03,213 was paid to a Mianwali-based government contractor namely Khaliq Dad Khan. 13,46,751 rupees was released to Abdul Ghafoor Dar of Gujrat as arrears in addition to the issuance of a family pension to him. In another development, five lakh rupees were paid to Ali Ramzan of Sialkot as a death grant and Muhammad Tariq of Nankana Sahib was given Rs.3,22,222 as arrears of payments for services rendered to the Buildings Department. The spokesman noted that arrears worth Rs.2, 16,699 are paid to Muhammad Afzal of Rahim Yar Khan in addition to the restoration of the monthly grant of the provincial welfare fund. Separately, according to the ombudsman's office, Rajab Ali of Toba Tek Singh received an educational stipend of 50,000 from the welfare fund, and Syed Khadim Hussain of Gujranwala received 1,03,275 to pay back rent arrears on his building. The Office of the Ombudsman Punjab has received gratitude from the complainants for defending their legal rights.

After the PML-N was defeated in the by-elections, Raja Basharat of PTI asked Hamza to resign

By Our Correspondent

LAHORE: Raja Basharat, a leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and a former minister for Punjab, stated on Monday that Hamza Shehbaz had no moral justification to hold on to the position of provincial chief minister now that the narrative of former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan had been validated in the Punjab by-elections. Talking to the media outside the Punjab Assembly building in Lahore, he said that the people of Punjab had rejected the PTI’s ‘turncoats’. “And even if Hamza does not resign, he will cease to be Punjab chief minister on July 22, 2022; the day of election for the Punjab CM,” he said. At the same time, he said, the results of by-polls had also put Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in an awkward situation as his powers had now been confined to Islamabad only.

LAHORE: CM Punjab Hamza Shehbaz reciting Fatiha after condoling the death of Punjab Assembly member Jaganu Mohsin's Father.

The LHC postpones the PML-internal N's court appeal on the PA's allocated seats until Sept 19

By Our Correspondent

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday postponed until September 19 the hearing of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) intra-court petition against the LHC's single-bench decision for the notification of PTI members on the reserved seats of the Punjab Assembly. The court instructed Hamza Shehbaz's attorney to revise the petition. The court advised Hamza Shehbaz's attorney to contest the election commission's notification of the PTI women's appointments. The PML-appeal N's was considered by a two-judge panel that included Justices Abid Aziz Sheikh and Muzammil Akhtar Shabbir. Ali Zafar Advocate, a counsel for PTI, asked the court to postpone the hearing. Ali Zafar Advocate added, "The two-member bench has given a unilateral ruling regarding non-appearance." The attorney for Hamza Shehbaz stated, "I have no issues with restarting the case. "You are being given the opportunity to hear the case for the first time. Time should be allotted for planning, according to Ali Zafar Advocate.

CM condolences loss of lives and orders to expedite rescue operation

By Our Correspondent

LAHORE: Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, the chief minister of Punjab, has expressed his profound sadness and grief over the event involving a boat that capsized in the Indus River in Sadiqabad and has sent his deepest condolences to the grieving families. The CM has instructed the administration to expedite the search for the missing people and has said that all available resources should be used to save lives. Additionally, he has asked the administration for a report on the incident.

PTI challenges the PP-7 by-election outcome

By Our Correspondent

LAHORE: On Monday, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) contested the outcome of the by-election in PP-7 Rawalpindi. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) received a request for a vote recount from PTI. Raja Sagheer Ahmad of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) won this constituency with 68,906 votes, defeating Col. M. Shabbir Awan of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), who received 68,857 votes and finished in second place.

RAWALPINDI: DC Rawalpindi Tahir Farooq is checking the weight of bread at a Nanbai shop on Harley Street.

Court grants pre-arrest bail to IK in Long March arson cases

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was granted pre-arrest bail by a municipal court in Islamabad on Monday in many cases of arson and vandalism filed during the Long March. Abdul Ghafoor Kakar, an additional sessions judge for the east, commanded Imran Khan to provide a Rs. 5,000 surety bond in each case. Dr. Babar Awan, Imran Khan's attorney, presented the bail arguments to the judge. The court also accepted the exemption plea of Imran Khan. Islamabad police have registered FIRs against Imran Khan in Bahara Kaho, Lohi Bhir, Koral and Sahala police stations. In 15 cases involving accusations of burning and destruction in the federal capital during the PTI long march, a court in Islamabad earlier released PTI Chairman Imran Khan on temporary bail and extended it till July 18. Imran Khan's counsel spoke on his behalf and informed the court that Imran Khan was unable to attend the hearing due to the danger to his life. The court exempted Imran Khan from having to appear in person, and it prolonged his interim bail in 15 instances until July 18, 2022.

‘Political uncertainty’ sees PKR hit new low of Rs215.2 in interbank

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: The dollar gained Rs4.3 in interbank trade on Monday, continuing its unrelenting ascent against the rupee. The dollar was trading at a record Rs215.25 versus the local currency at 1:18pm, up Rs4.3 or 2% from Friday's closing, according to the Forex Association of Pakistan. Last week, the dollar had a closing rate of Rs210.95. The dollar briefly started to decline after peaking at Rs211.93 on June 22 and dropped to a low of Rs204.56 on July 4. However, the strength gained by the rupee after $2.3 billion Chinese inflows evaporated within a couple of weeks, as the dollar snapped the rupee’s rising streak and gained Rs2.38 in the interbank market on July 5, the first appreciation in the new fiscal year. Since then, the greenback has continued to rise with a slight reversal of the trend on July 15 — the day the IMF announced it had reached a staff-level agreement with the government. However, the rupee reversed its gains the very next day with analysts attributing it to low inflows and import payments. The director of Mettis Global, a website that provides financial statistics and analytics, Saad bin Naseer, linked the dollar's gains to the political unpredictability that followed the outcome of the by-elections for 20 seats in the Punjab Assembly a day earlier. In the important by-elections, the PTI trounced the PML-N by capturing at least 15 seats. As a result, the incumbent Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz is unlikely to secure the simple majority required to win re-election on July 22. According to Naseer, the outcome of the by-elections had caused political uncertainty because it raised questions about the coalition government's viability in the centre. The market is unsure of the new system and the steps that will be taken to stabilise the economy, particularly the outcome of the bilateral inflows that are now being negotiated by the present finance minister, which is why the rupee is under pressure. The rupee has declined as a result of the political events of yesterday, according to analyst Komal Mansoor.

ICTP conducts search and combing operation

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Capital police conducted a search and combing operation in the jurisdiction of Secretariat police station, a police public relations officer said.He said that, following orders of the IGP Islamabad Dr. Akbar Nasir Khan, search and combing operations are being conducted in different areas of the city. Following the orders, a joint search and combing operation under supervision of SSP Investigation Farhat Abbas Kazmi by Secretariat and CTD police teams. The search and combing operation was conducted around Chinese Embassy and Narrola village area of PS Secretariat. During this search operation 150 houses and 100 suspects were searched. 05 suspects were shifted to police station for verification. During the operation, 25 motorbikes were checked and 05 bikes without documents were shifted to the police station. Moreover, 10 tenants were registered. One 12 bore gun and one 30 bore pistol along with ammunition were recovered. IGP Islamabad said that the purpose of the search and combing operations was to heighten the security in the Federal capital. All zonal officers were directed to continue these operations in their respective areas. Citizens are also requested to cooperate with police during checking.

Man held with 2.35kg of heroin at Islamabad Airport

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: At Islamabad Airport on Monday, the Airport Security Force (ASF) found 2.35kg of heroin in a passenger's suitcase who was travelling to Abu Dhabi. Airport sources claim that the suspect, Laldar Khan, wrapped the heroin in black tape and hid it at the bottom of the suitcase. The narcotic was found and the suspect was taken into custody by the ASF. The accused was given to the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) for further action after initial investigations.

IHC is reserving judgement in the case of Bushra Bibi's audio leak

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: On Monday, the Islamabad High Court postponed making a decision over the maintainability of a petition calling for investigations into the audio of a phone call between Dr. Arsalan Khalid, the PTI Chairman for Digital Media, and former first lady Bushra Bibi. In an allegedly leaked audio recording, Bushra Bibi, the wife of Imran Khan, is heard telling Dr. Khalid to undertake social media campaigns labelling people traitors. On Monday, the Islamabad High Court postponed making a decision over the maintainability of a petition calling for investigations into the audio of a phone call between Dr. Arsalan Khalid, the PTI Chairman for Digital Media, and former first lady Bushra Bibi. In an allegedly leaked audio recording, Bushra Bibi, the wife of Imran Khan, is heard telling Dr. Khalid to undertake social media campaigns labelling people traitors. "How could the court issue a writ over a private conversation between two people," he observed. He asked if the actual affected party approached any forum against the leaked audio. "Think before you draft such a writ," the judge remarked. The petitioner's attorney responded by asserting that this plea was written in a verbose sea. The court does not care if it was a sea or a galaxy, Justice Farooq said, because it is unable to look into every possibility. The court then withheld judgement regarding whether or not such a plea could be maintained.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Group of Newspapers Chief Editor Rooze News Chairman and Senior Anchor Person SK Niazi receives a bouquet of flowers from The Daily Pakistan Editor Uzair Ahmed Khan and Daily Patriot Editor Abid Ali and others.

To protect the economy from problems, ICCI advocates for the SBP interest rate increase to be reversed


ISLAMABAD: President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI), Muhammad Shakeel Munir, has urged the government to pressure the SBP to reverse its historic increase in its benchmark interest rate, which was raised to 15%, in order to prevent further economic problems. This historic increase would negatively impact business activity growth and result in a deeper economic downturn. Muhammad Shakeel Munir said that the benchmark interest rate in Malaysia was only 2.25 percent, Indonesia 3.5 percent, China 3.7 percent, Bangladesh 4.75 percent and India 4.9 percent, but it was 15 percent in Pakistan due to which it was not possible for our private sector to compete effectively for promoting trade and exports. He said that such a massive hike in policy interest rate would prove disastrous for industries and the SME sector as these sectors needed cheap loans for growth and expansion. He strongly demanded that the government should intervene and get the SBP's decision withdrawn with immediate effect to save the private sector from more problems. The business sector has expressed significant concern about the SBP's decision to raise the interest rate to 15% at a time when power, gas, and petroleum costs have already reached new highs, according to the president of the ICCI. According to him, Pakistan's interest rates are far higher than those in the area, and under such conditions, no investor would think of making an investment there or establishing any new industries that would eventually be more detrimental to the country's economy. In order to protect the economy and businesses from the detrimental effects of an increase in its interest rate, he insisted that SBP speak with the stakeholders.

World Population Day celebrated as the world’s population reaches 8 billion

By Kamran Raja

RAWALPINDI: World Population Day commemorated with the global theme of “A World of 8 billion: Towards a Resilience Future, Harnessing Opportunities and Ensuring Rights & Choices for All’ to highlight the importance of creating equal opportunities and rights for everyone. Speaking at the occasion Mr. Qibla Ayaz, Chairman, Council of Islamic Ideology quoted Imam Ghazali that spacing between children is important for the health of mothers. He also said that the new population narrative of balanced population is in alignment with Islamic teachings and the Council fully supports the new narrative. He emphasized on the need of better education for girls, enhancement of the sports activities in rural areas and discouraging of child marriage through awareness. Famous singer and musician, Mr. Shehzad Roy who is the honorary brand ambassador for the population and family planning for Pakistan said that the module of reproductive health course should e implemented and made mandatory for couples before marriage/nikkah. UNFPA Pakistan Representative (ai), Dr. Bakhtior Kadiro said “the 8 billion mark is also a moment of reflection, a time for Pakistan to take stock and drive action, no matter the direction of the population growth. We should keep counting but also look beyond the numbers. The solution is not more or fewer people but more and equal access to opportunities for the people.” Addressing the audience, Mr. Abdul Qadir Patel, Federal Minister for National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination said that the population is the issue of grassroots, the responsibility lies with the government, however the role of civil society and media is key.

RAWALPINDI: In the Punjab Art Council, the Chairman of Central Imam Hussain Council, Dr. Ghazanfar Mehdi, and Director Waqar Ahmed are addressing the Majlis conference.

Pakistan reports 492 new coronavirus cases with 5 deaths


ISLAMABAD: According to data issued by the National Institute of Health Pakistan on Monday morning, during the previous 24 hours (Sunday), Pakistan reported 492 new coronavirus cases as well as 5 virus-related deaths. The NIH statistics show that the death toll has increased to 30,445 after the addition of 5 more fatalities, representing a ratio of 2.0%. After performing 20,361 tests, the positivity rate of the coronavirus cases in Pakistan reached 2.42 percent, with 492 new cases of the virus appearing in the past day. The number of cases now stands at 1,546,744. 9,707 patients are actively being treated, with 169 of them in serious condition. There were 957 more recoveries recorded in the last 24 hours as the number of total recovered cases reached 1,506,592 with a 97.4% recovery rate. Punjab, the most populous province of the country, has reported 157 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the provincial tally to 510,398. In Punjab, 3 more patients died of coronavirus as the death toll reached 13,585. 491,786 patients have recovered from the virus in Punjab so far. Sindh has recorded 266 new cases during the last 24 hours taking the provincial tally to 588,093. There was one new death reported related to the deadly disease as the death toll in Sindh reached 8,145. 567,237 patients have recovered from the virus in the province so far. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has recorded 42 new cases during the last 24 hours taking the tally to 220,508.

PFA destroys 1,000kg of spurious fat and oil in Rawalpindi


RAWAPLINDI: One thousand kilogrammes of fake fat and oil that the Punjab Food Authority (PFA) had confiscated from a production facility in Rawalpindi's Potohar Town was burnt on Monday. The raid was conducted, according to PFA sources, following a tip-off at the facility where the oil was being made using fake fat. An arrangement with any biodiesel company for the sale of oil produced from fat was not discovered by the PFA during the examination, according to a PFA representative. In Punjab, it is forbidden to make oil by melting animal fat or organs, he continued. He declared that the oil made from fats and organs was extremely harmful to people's health. He said, "Such oil can only be used in the production of biodiesel or soap."

Publication of the Foundation Day Special Edition of PIVOT Magazine

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: The "Foundation Day Special Edition of PIVOT" magazine was released on July 18, 2022, by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad's (ISSI) China-Pakistan Study Center (CPSC). Ambassador Zahra Baloch, Additional Foreign Secretary of Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), presided over the event. Other notable speakers were Naghmana Hashmi, a former ambassador to China, and Yang Nuo, Ministerial Counselor at the Chinese Embassy. While making her speech, Additional Secretary at MOFA, Ms. Mumtaz Zahra congratulated the ISSI and CPSC on the launch of the special edition of the PIVOT. She appreciated the vision, hard work, and efforts that ISSI is putting into bringing the best policy-related publications. She complimented the magazine and its entire team for improving the quality, contents, and visuals of the magazine. In her view, the idea of broadening the horizon of the magazine to non-traditional security policy is highly encouraging and timely. She also suggested the magazine team to keep an eye on the regional development particularly the security arrangements in the Indian Ocean such as QUAD. Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director General of ISSI, welcomed the attendees and outlined the magazine's initial mission. He said that Pakistan is The Pivot, thus we have broadened the scope of the magazine to include other sectors in addition to China-Pakistan relations. Our current specialisation is on non-traditional security. Mr. Chaudhry presented Ms. Uroosa Khan, the editor, and Dr. Talat Shabbir, the chief editor, with a token of appreciation. The visitors were welcomed by ISSI DG Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, who also gave an overview of the magazine's original goals. He claimed that Pakistan is The Pivot, thus in addition to China-Pakistan relations, we have expanded the magazine's focus to cover other industries. Our current area of expertise is unconventional security.

An assertion for Article 6?

The government is likely determined to make a bloomer that will have the opposite impact from what was planned. In order to evaluate what "legal action" can be taken under Article 6 against former Prime Minister Imran Khan, president Arif Alvi, and the former speaker and deputy speaker of the National Assembly, the federal cabinet established a special committee. The PTI leadership's ultimately unsuccessful attempt to block the vote of no-confidence against the Prime Minister Imran Khan and the consequent dissolution of the legislatures by the president has prompted the government to seek legal action against them. The PTI is too responsible for the current state of affairs. It has a practise of calling political rivals "traitors," which has allowed the administration to respond in kind. However, the government cannot hope to accomplish much with its chosen policy, therefore it is not necessary to continue the PTI's immaturity. To begin with, it should be obvious by this point that the PTI has prospered since its overthrow on a victimhood narrative fed on a cunningly created perception that it is a lone entity facing a number of "enemies." It has successfully induced a situation in which any attempt to repress the party or its leaders violently simply serves to increase their appeal to supporters, who are already rather many. It is improbable that actions to call Mr. Khan and his associates "traitors" would have a different outcome. Second, it irritates me to see the government pursuing Article 6 when it is evident that the law in question is intended to be implemented in a totally different situation. According to the text of the Constitution, anyone who "abrogates or subverts or suspends or holds in abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in abeyance, the Constitution by use of force or show of force, or by any other unconstitutional means" as well as anyone who helps or abets such an attempt, will be charged with high treason. The Constitution was certainly not abrogated, subverted, suspended, or kept in abeyance even if it was in fact violated in this case. The government's insistence on bringing these charges against the PTI leadership to trial simply shows how vengeful it is, not how eager it is to right the former's wrongdoing. High treason is a serious offence that shouldn't be minimised. Powerful individuals have repeatedly committed it throughout Pakistan's history with the help and complicity of official institutions. The nation's highest courts used to deem it to be legal. When the government recently announced that it will welcome Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who has been found guilty of the crime, back to the nation, it mocked the seriousness of the offence. The government's sanctimonious position is hollow in these circumstances.

The PTI leadership's ultimately unsuccessful attempt to block the vote of no-confidence against the Prime Minister Imran Khan and the consequent dissolution of the legislatures by the president has prompted the government to seek legal action against them

Burhan Wani: Proud Son of Kashmiri Soil

By Ahmed Saeed

In the contemporary world, amongst several ongoing freedom movements, the movement of ‘Palestine’ and ‘Kashmir’ are prominent. Since decades, indigenous residents are bearing the brunt of ‘Israeli’ and ‘Indian’forces respectively.International peace-keeping agencies including United Nations Organization (UNO) are nothing but spectators on the ongoing conflicts. In Kashmir freedom movement,an era from 2010 to 2016 will be remembered on both sides of Line of Control (LoC) because a young boy named ‘Buran Wani’ joined this guerilla warfare. He had a spirit much higher than mountains and much deeper than oceans. His struggle gave a new rise to the freedom movement and at the same time, he inspired young generation to fight for the right to self-determination. The boy was born on September 19, 1994 at Dadsara village of Tral area of Pulwama in an upper middle-class family of MuzaffarWani.Burhan joined the armed struggle on October 16, 2010 to avenge the humiliation when he was severely beaten by Indian troops along with his brother Khalid Muzaffar Wani, who was later killed by the Indian army in custody on April 13, 2015 for meeting Burhan in Tral forest. Since exception to that,he was determined to get basic rights for Kashmiris such as right to self-determination. He wanted that Kashmiris should be independent enough to make their decisions by their own. In addition, he wanted to stop atrocities of Indian military over innocent Kashmiris, continued since decades. While talking about his way of fighting, he opted unconventional ways. He used latest technology and the internet to promote Kashmiri cause on social media that sent shock waves across top ranks of the Indian army in New Delhi and gave sleepless nights to the New Delhi’s security establishment for more than six years.In addition, Burhan had his own schedule of armed life. He and his colleagues used to sleep in the day and moved from one area to another at night to change their location in south Kashmir. Additionally, the pictures of Wani and his company’s movements, which were spread on social media, inspired the local young generation.He broke more than 20 Indian army crackdowns with the help of localswhich showed the popularity and love of the people for Burhan in Indian Illegal Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJ&K). His political wit can be gauged through the fact that he completely followed up the line of the ‘All Parties Hurriyat Conference’ (APHC) to promote Kashmiris struggle. By the same token, he became the real face of Kashmiri freedom fighters since 2010 to 2016 on social media. He was the only man in the town who gathered all militants in Kashmir to fight under an umbrella against illegal Indian rule in IIOJ&K. Another quite interesting fact is that he never used a laptop and cellphone twice for sharing and uploading images, posters and videos during his six years of armed struggle.All this bothered to Indian military forces up to the extent that they announced 1million Indian rupee bounty for the one who would help them to arrest Burhan. After putting so much efforts,Indian military along with other intelligence agencies succeeded to push Burhan and his colleagues -Sartaj Ahmad Sheikh and Pervaiz Ahmad Lashkari-in the mouth ofmartyrdom, at Bumdoora village in Kokernag area on July 8, 2016. In the history of Kashmir freedom movement, the martyrdom of IshfaqMajeedWaniin the 1990sshook the entire IIOJ&K and after 27 years, at the time of Burhan’s martyrdom history repeated itself. Also, his martyrdom gave a new life to freedom struggle in the region. In the same way, more than 1million people gathered at TralEidgah and offered 40 funerals of Burhan. He was laid to rest close to the grave of his elder brother Khalid MuzafarWani.Following the martyrdom of Burhan, the entire IIOJ&K was engulfed in chaos and turmoil. The violence continued from July 8, 2016 to February 2017. During this longest shutdown, clashes erupted between Indian forces and protesters in which nearly 100 people were killed, 15,000 were injured and hundreds were made blind by pellet guns. All things considered, the young boy gave new dimensions to the freedom movement of region. He used updated and latest means to counter the Indian aggression. Being the member of HizbulMujahideen Organization, he followed the ideology of ‘All Parties Hurriyat Conference’ and promoted the Kashmiris struggle. Similarly, his tactics against enemies put them into pressure and hence, their sleep was fainted. His funeral proved that he revolutionized the struggle and in response to his martyrdom, many lives got the taste of death. In a nutshell, Burhan made a historic era in the Kashmir freedom movement and one day it will bring the desired result for Kashmiris. Ahmed Saeed is analyst based in Islamabad.

Since exception to that,he was determined to get basic rights for Kashmiris such as right to self-determination. He wanted that Kashmiris should be independent enough to make their decisions by their own. In addition, he wanted to stop atrocities of Indian military over innocent Kashmiris, continued since decades

Sir Winston Churchil and Field Marshal Montgomery

Malik Muhammad Aslam Awan

Field Marshal Montgomery served in Royal army and won several wars for the crown. After his retirement he requested the Prime Minister Churchil to see him and during his meeting with Prime Minister he appealed to the Churchil that he is too old and weak to change his rented house frequently,because due to inevitable reasons he and his family have to change the house and due to shifting he has fatigued from the painful process. Recounting his problems he requested the Prime Minister to give him a piece of land on which he may build his house to lead rest of his life peacefully. Churchil listened to the Ex-Field Marshal with great patience and humbly responded that, no doubt, you have won several wars for the Crown and your services for the Crown are praise-worthy and matter of pride. Churchil questioned; is there occurred any occasion during your whole service that you received your salary after due date. Montgomery replied,No. Churchil further added that so long as you served for the crown you were properly paid and given due respect. Now you have been retired from service but the crown is continuously paying your pension from public funds while you have ceased to serve the country. I am the custodian of public money and answerable to the public and cannot oblige you from the public funds. Field Marshal Montgomery had a cup of tea with Churchil and left towards his rented house. In Pakistan, which is created on the basis of an ideology and during the migration – which is the biggest migration of the world – we have lost millions of lives and almost 95000 women were raped by the Hindus and Sikhs, thousands of minor girls were raped and slained during Hindu assaults on migrant caravans, young and old people were slained mercilessly. After innumerable sacrifices we have earned an independent homeland. Pakistan had become a land where retired bureaucrats, retired Judges, retired Generals are offered lucrative posts where they again benefit themselves and their descendants. Moreover their daughters and sons are again recruited on lucrative posts on the wonderful criterion that their father or mother had served the country. Acting upon a wonderful criterion the son takes the place of his father, no issue deserves for the same post or not. Lucrative posts have become hereditary and there is no check and balance and criteria to be acted upon. In this process official land is distributed mercilessly between serving and retired bureaucrats, which seeing prima facie, is a bribe to make them a part of sinister nexus, having nefarious ends to plunder the public exchequer, attacking the public kitty like a king who has conquered the land and all public funds are at his sweet will to be distributed among his favourites. With the merciless and lavish use of these funds law enforcing officials are awarded heavy funds to victimise political opponents and implicate the journalists in false and fabricated cases to inflict them and their family members. Journalists and other segments of society dissenting with those at the helm of affairs are made to face severe outcomes of dissenting from the evil. One who once came to the throne by luck or by chance endeavours hard to prolong his tenure by hook or by crook Democratic norms are hatefully flouted to quench the thirst of power, hunger gets never satiated and grows long like satanic vein. Ultimately the time comes to repeat the history; the mills of God grind slowly but the grind exceedingly small. Today as a nation, we have lost the ethical grounds on which foundation of the society rests upon. The negate the ethical norms we have gone to develop a rhetoric to fascinate our sophism. In the present digital age it has become established practice to have drum beat on the rhetoric which promotes ones personality. Aggrandizement of one’s personal interests have thrusted the society towards sophism and spread the dirty ideas speedily so much so to enamour everyone. Most brains disseminate dirty ideas to be imbibed in the fabric of society and dirty brains welcome the same as they are themselves tilted towards perversion. Sophism had enveloped our society to imbibe the perverse ideas as the most fascinating truth of the age. In the same way every political party had a rhetoric to be disseminated fastly as to seem that a truthful narration. These political segments of society believe that frequently spoken lie ultimately becomes a truthful narrative and people believe that and instill in their minds to act upon. The modern politics has no foundations except sophism. Figment is the root of modern politics. So long as we will be inclined to sophism, perversion will be our destination. To set right the direction to have righteous destination – we will have to recourse to the right way – transparency, Justice and rule of law. Without Justice rule of law, transparency and fair play we cannot have our destination – prosperous Pakistan. The writer is author of English Book on current affairs and independent analyst based at Islamabad

Churchil further added that so long as you served for the crown you were properly paid and given due respect. Now you have been retired from service but the crown is continuously paying your pension from public funds while you have ceased to serve the country

US hopes to attract support for regional initiative


US President Joe Biden last week paid a quick visit to Jerusalem — with a sprint to Bethlehem — and then, on Friday and Saturday, was in Jeddah. The international environment was not very helpful for his efforts to achieve what he wanted. After Biden’s departure for Jeddah, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid cryptically said that the short visit included “achievements that will take years before we can talk about them.” We will all look forward to learning what these achievements are. Despite much talk about the visit over many months, the outcome has yet to be seen. The Biden administration had long ignored former President Donald Trump’s pet project, the Abraham Accords. When it was first launched by Trump, it looked like some sort of Arab NATO, but the Middle East is nowhere close to such an idea. During Biden’s visit, it was raised almost as a side issue. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the increase in oil prices have become a headache for the US administration. Biden had to plead with the world’s biggest oil producer, Saudi Arabia, to produce more oil to make up for the shortfall in the Russian supply. During his visit, Biden reconfirmed his commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian question. This was one of the subjects that attracted the attention of the Arab countries. But on this important issue, the devil is in the details. Biden has a reputation of being generous in his pro-Israeli favors and such favors may vex Arab countries. If the US attitude ends up with the usurpation of the Palestinian territories in the West Bank, many Arab countries will probably react to it. There was no sign of Biden stepping back from Trump’s decision to transfer the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. With this move, the US reversed its attitude on a UN Security Council resolution that it backed in 1947. Resolution 181 had divided Palestine into two States: One Arab and one Jewish, with Jerusalem as a “corpus separatum,” which means an independent city state. Thus, Trump’s initiative meant moving the US Embassy from the Israeli capital Tel Aviv to a state that is not Israeli. Big powers unfortunately believe that they may indulge themselves in ignoring a resolution they had endorsed in the past. The biggest headache for the US in the Middle East is the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal with Iran. Washington is trying to set up a global coalition to stop Iran’s nuclear program, but several countries will not support the maladroit policies adopted by successive US administrations. In fact, the unilateral denunciation of the original JCPOA by the Trump administration released Iran from its contractual obligations and allowed it to enrich uranium to the level of 60 percent purity. Nuclear weapons can be manufactured once 90 percent purity is reached. Experts claim that increasing the level of enrichment from 60 percent to 90 percent is easily achievable. Biden started his official program with a call on King Salman, followed by a working session with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Saudi ministers. There were no unpleasant surprises. On Saturday, Biden held a regional meeting with the GCC countries plus Egypt, Jordan and Iraq and, as expected, made a statement with a wide scope on Washington’s strategy for the Middle East. The US president has said Washington will not leave a vacuum in the Middle East for China and Russia, but this is more easily said than done. Biden’s combined visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia was extremely important, but whether the US has obtained what it expected is another matter. Yasar Yakis is a former foreign minister of Turkey and founding member of the ruling AK Party.

The US president has said Washington will not leave a vacuum in the Middle East, but this is more easily said than done

Lebanon needs a hero to save it from Hezbollah


The leader of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, last week issued new warnings to the US and its most prominent ally in the Middle East, threatening Israel with an upcoming war that might bring woe to the state of Lebanon and its people. In a televised speech, he said that the July 2 attempted drone attack on the disputed Karish gas field off Israel’s Mediterranean coast was just the beginning. “Write this equation down; we will reach Karish and everything beyond Karish and everything beyond that… If you want to prevent Lebanon from exercising its right to save itself by extracting oil and gas, no one will be able to extract oil and gas,” Nasrallah said. He stressed that military action would be the only Lebanese option to obtain its right to oil and gas resources. “The capacities of the resistance today are unprecedented; the fighting spirit is higher than ever. We have various capacities on land, sea and air, and all these options are open,” he said. The militia leader’s threats increased the divisions in Lebanon and will most likely soon fuel conflict on the country’s streets, given the fact that his words do not meet with the people’s consensus. While Nasrallah sends his drones and threats, the negotiations between Lebanon and Israel to determine their maritime borders continue with American mediation. As usual, Nasrallah did not miss a chance to point an accusing finger at the US, which he always describes as the “Great Satan,” to increase the brainwashing of his militia members and to please his benefactors in Tehran. Nasrallah criticized US President Joe Biden’s visit to the Middle East and his actions on Yemen and Ukraine. He also accused the US of committing aggression against Yemen and using regional countries as a tool, stressing that Biden could easily end the war and lift the siege. However, just one day after his fiery speech, the US State Department issued a statement in which it reiterated America’s commitment to facilitating the Lebanese-Israeli negotiations, emphasizing that the only way to achieve progress toward a resolution is through diplomacy. “The administration welcomes the consultative and open spirit of the parties to reach a final decision, which has the potential to yield greater stability, security and prosperity for both Lebanon and Israel, as well as for the region, and believes a resolution is possible,” the statement read.

Biden and Putin: A tale of two visits 


We are in the throes of two potentially game-changing visits — US President Joe Biden’s recently concluded trip to Saudi Arabia, followed by Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s pilgrimage this week to Tehran. In an implicit admission of his administration’s earlier failure to prioritize the Middle East, Biden declared to Arab leaders: “We will not walk away to leave a vacuum to be filled by China, Russia or Iran.” A joint US-Saudi statement pledged efforts to deter Iran’s interference in “the internal affairs of other countries, its support for terrorism through its armed proxies and its efforts to destabilize the security and stability of the region,” while recognizing the need to prevent Tehran “acquiring a nuclear weapon.” Specific security measures include a joint US-GCC maritime task force in the Red Sea. This reinforced an earlier joint statement by Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, pledging to use “all elements of national power” to stop Iran arming itself with nuclear weapons. Biden said America was ready to use military force against Iran as a “last resort,” declaring: “The only thing worse than the Iran that exists now is an Iran with nuclear weapons.” At last week’s summit in Jeddah of leaders from the six Gulf states plus Egypt, Jordan and Iraq, which Biden attended, there was an affirmation of their joint commitment to Lebanon’s “sovereignty, security and stability.” The strong language from that summit about support for Iraqi democracy and the deal for interconnected Saudi-Iraqi electricity grids are also important parts of the necessary process of weaning Iraq away from Iranian dependency. However, there was a notable absence of commitments for confronting Iran-backed paramilitary forces in these states. Of course, this visit was about much more than Iran. As the Saudi Ambassador to the US Princess Reema bint Bandar put it, this relationship must move beyond the “oil for security” paradigm. Consequently, America’s focus on cooperation on technology, renewable energy, education and economic diversification was welcome, with Biden stressing “how closely interwoven America’s interests are with the success of the Middle East.” And with trillions of dollars of GCC investments in the US and the West, this is by no means a one-way relationship. In the context of such serious matters, many observers despaired at the shallow stupidity of much of the Western media coverage; respectable outlets focused on fist bumps and photo opportunities, while largely ignoring the fundamental issues of global security under discussion. In a characteristically defiant move, while Biden was still in the region Tehran unveiled a new fleet of ships and submarines capable of carrying armed drones. “As we are aware of the aggressive attitude in the US system of domination, it is necessary to increase our defensive capabilities day by day,” army chief Abdolrahim Mousavi said, pledging a “regrettable response” if “our enemies make a mistake.” Why are the ayatollahs so keen to showcase their evolving drone capabilities at this exact moment? With cheap Turkish drones having proved an unexpectedly potent weapon for the Ukrainians, Putin is heading to Tehran to invest in Iranian drones. There have already been secret scoping visits by Russian officials to check out Iranian military hardware. The Revolutionary Guards’ tame media outlets trumpet how Iranian weapons can compensate for Russian “weaknesses” on the battlefield. However, a US military official in the Gulf told me that sophisticated American anti-drone and missile capabilities can neutralize such threats, often before they even get off the ground. Iran’s increased 2022 defense budget of $26 billion makes it one of the world’s top 15 states in military spending, but that is still about 30 times less than US defense expenditure, and there are immense differences in effectiveness and capacity — making all Tehran’s anti-American saber rattling look ridiculous. Nevertheless, a mutually beneficial Tehran-Moscow axis should trigger alarms. As well as enabling Russia to procure cheap arms, it would be a financial windfall for Tehran, which has long sought to flog its domestically produced weaponry to warlords and terrorists throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America. Thousands of increasingly sophisticated Iranian missiles have been exported to militias in Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. The planet becomes less secure if we allow Iran to become the armorer of choice for pariah states and insurgents. When rogue states band together, they risk coalescing into a bloc — an axis of evil, if you like — and it becomes difficult to exert meaningful pressure against them as they trade with each other, exploit each other’s parallel financial systems, arm each other, and help each other to evade international law. To prevent sanctions and anti-proliferation measures being rendered ineffective, Biden’s strategies toward states such as Russia, Iran, North Korea and China must not be implemented in isolation. Narrow focus on Europe and NATO will not make the world safe, it will only embolden other pariahs to flex their muscles. Biden commended Saudi efforts toward a ceasefire in Yemen, but now it has never been more important for Arab states to reassert their necessary roles in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq if there is to be a curtailment of Iranian interference, which has served only to maintain these nations in a permanent state of turmoil. Arab states must demonstrate that they possess the diplomatic capacity and vision to play this crucial role. We should not be too hasty to applaud Biden’s trip and the Arab summit. Yes, America is back, but this is where the real work starts. It’s no secret that the president was reluctant to make this journey in the first place, so Arab states must be assertive in holding the US to its commitments and keeping this administration closely engaged. This is a region on a knife edge; years of Iranian expansionism have made major regionalized conflict all but inevitable. Biden’s visit shows that the Arab world has succeeded for now in regaining American attention. Leaders must now do everything in their power to maintain this attention and keep it laser-focused on addressing these chronic long-term threats to regional stability. Baria Alamuddin is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster in the Middle East and the UK. She is editor of the Media Services Syndicate and has interviewed numerous heads of state.

At last week’s summit in Jeddah of leaders from the six Gulf states plus Egypt, Jordan and Iraq, which Biden attended, there was an affirmation of their joint commitment to Lebanon’s “sovereignty, security and stability

The fault in our wires

Since the beginning of November, residents of Soldier Bazaar have been facing frequent loadshedding and problems related to it. On November 14, residents faced power outages for around three hours without any prior notices, which is obviously a cause of distress to all. Nepra should fine K-Electric for such unscheduled loadshedding. One wonders what reason K-Electric has for these power outages. If they are due to fuel shortage, why are consumers billed fuel adjustment charges? If they are a result of technical faults, the authorities should ensure that the faults are addressed immediately.

Ashfaq Sharif, Karachi

Not safe at home

Rape cases are on the rise in Pakistan. In 2020, almost 3000 children were victims of abuse in Pakistan. A large number of rapes take place in the victims’ own home. Recently, the police in Rawalpindi have arrested two persons for raping their 14-year-old niece at home. A second incident took place in Bari Imam area, where a father allegedly raped his 13-year-old daughter. Rape cases within families are not even widely reported because it is easier for rapists to exploit children in families, who tend to hide the abuse in fear of social retribution. Children can easily become targets of predators in the family. Families should take more care of their children and keep an eye on the relatives. The government will also have to take more serious steps and raise awareness of this topic which is considered taboo in the country.

Syed Irfan Haider Sherazi,


Roadside ruckus

A large number of footpaths in Karachi are occupied by roadside traders, vendors, food outlets, showrooms, etc. Finding no space, pedestrians are compelled to walk on roads, which sometimes leads to serious accidents. The menace of roadside business has boosted particularly after the city administration imposed ‘land-use charges’ on some traders/vendors to legalise business on footpaths. Eventually, some roadside businesses were legalised and restaurants were allowed to use footpaths to serve their customers. Since then, hundreds of traders and vendors have set up their stalls on footpaths across the city. Such businesses are rampant in areas like Jamshed Road, Patel Para, Golimar, Khalid Bin Waleed Road, Burns Road, Frere Road and Tariq Road etc. The government should arrange some alternative to occupying footpaths to facilitate pedestrians who are facing tremendous problems under the prevailing situation. M Mumtaz Hussain, Karachi

Heart of darkness

Afghans are witnessing one of the darkest eras in the history of Afghanistan. A quick look at history reveals that this land has been a battleground for world powers like the US, the UK and the erstwhile USSR for over a century. The US ‘war on terror’ – spanning 20 years and costing $2 trillion and countless lives – was all in vain. The question is: what will be the future of Afghanistan? Afghanistan’s future seems dismal. We have seen Afghans trying to escape the country by hanging onto airplanes. Not to mention the financial crises that have beset the country. It is difficult for the Taliban-led government to continue without foreign aid. The poverty rate is increasing and hunger soars. Women’s rights are constantly at risk. The so-called pioneers of human rights ought to stand up for the peace and stability of Afghanistan and ensure that residents are given due rights.

Muhammad Adil Bazai, Islamabad

Global warming

One remembers that not long ago Quetta would have snowfall in September even, but this year there is no sign of snow. The reason for this is the impact our activities have on climate. We have disturbed nature more than ever. Global warming, climate change and the greenhouse effect are all the results of man's carelessness. People burn plastic, which emit several harmful gases. This causes global warming. If people wish to save the planet, they need to be cautious. They should recycle instead of causing land pollution and do whatever they can to reduce air pollution. The government should also take measures in this regard. Once the temperature of the Earth is disturbed, there will be no going back.

Waseem Ahmed, Hub

Hunger pangs

At least five million people in Yemen are on the brink of famine while at least 16 million are close to starvation. According to a UNICEF report, more than 400,000 children are suffering from malnutrition. n addition, 15 million people (more than half of whom are children – 8.5 million) don't have safe water. It is the responsibility of international policymakers to save Yemeni women and children from the ongoing turmoil.

Asif Jameel, Awaran

Dwelling in darkness

Residents of Majnoon Khaskheli village have been suffering from the lack of provision of electricity. The village is around 100 years old and is home to approximately 250 people. Despite hectic efforts of the residents, the village has not been provided with electricity. Other villages in the area have electricity.

Aftab Ahmed Khaskheli, Badin

Russian shelling kills 6 in Donbas as Zelensky replaces security chief

Kyiv: Russian shelling in battle-scarred east Ukraine on Monday left six dead, Kyiv said, as the country was reeling from President Volodymyr Zelensky's decision to sack two senior law enforcement officials. EU foreign ministers were convening meanwhile to discuss toughening sanctions against Moscow and the bloc's foreign policy chief warned of the "life and death" consequences of Russia's blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea grain exports. Rescue workers in blue helmets could be seen digging through debris and clearing rubble from the collapsed remains of a two-storey building in Toretsk in the industrial east that was struck by Russian artillery early Monday. "Rescuers found and recovered the bodies of five dead people in total. Three people were rescued from the rubble and one of them died in hospital," the emergency services said, adding their rescue operations had concluded. Toretsk, a town with of around 30,000 residents lies some 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of Kramatorsk, a key target for Russian forces that were ordered into Ukraine in February. They initially failed to capture the capital Kyiv early in the invasion but have made gains in the eastern region of Donbas recently, capturing the sister cities of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk. Zelensky said late Sunday that he was firing Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova and security chief Ivan Bakanov amid widespread cases of suspected treason by law enforcement officials. He cited "a great number of crimes against the foundations of national security and the connections established between Ukrainian law enforcement officials and Russian special services," making the announcement. 'Life and death' Deputy Head of the Presidency Andriy Smirnov told local media the two were suspended to prevent them "potentially influencing criminal proceedings against employees of the Security Service of Ukraine". Zelensky on Monday appointed 39-year-old Vasyl Malyuk -- first deputy head of the SBU security services since March -- as acting security chief, according to a presidential decree. In Brussels, the EU's foreign policy chief warned that Russia's blockade of Ukrainian ports was threatening grain supplies to tens of thousands of people vulnerable to starvation and said it must end. "It's an issue of life and death for many human beings. And the question is that Russia has to de-block and allow Ukrainian grain to be exported," Borrell told reporters. His comments came as Russian and Ukrainian negotiators are due to meet UN and Turkish diplomats in Istanbul on Wednesday to discuss a possible agreement to end the months-long blockade of Ukraine's ports. Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in an address to the officials that "weapons to Ukraine, sanctions on Russia, and accountability for Russia are the three ways to restore peace, enhance security, and protect stability in Europe." A Ukrainian counter-offensive in the direction of those Black Sea ports has been gaining momentum and Kyiv said Monday that Russia was digging in along frontlines in the Kherson region where Kyiv's army are attacking.

'Trump years with a smile': Palestinians reject Biden trip

Bethlehem: After hearing Joe Biden identify Jerusalem as Israel's capital and concede a two-state solution seemed "far away", one Palestinian official gave a blunt assessment of the US president's visit to the region. "It's like the Trump years with a smile," said the official, who requested anonymity. Biden's predecessor Donald Trump was loathed among Palestinians over his unequivocal pro-Israeli policies. With Israeli politics gridlocked, few thought that 79-year-old Biden could jumpstart peace talks which have been moribund since 2014. But there was tempered optimism that Biden's meeting Friday with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in the occupied West Bank town of Bethlehem could deliver modest results. Palestinians had hoped the US president would finally make good on a promise to re-open a consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem. The mission was shuttered by Trump in 2019 and its revival is staunchly opposed by Israel, which considers the city its "undivided" capital. Reopening the mission could serve as a "shot in the arm" for the peace process, said another Palestinian official speaking anonymously. But the US leader offered no substantive plan to redress Israel's occupation, even side-stepping Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank, an issue highlighted by former president Barack Obama's administration, in which Biden served as vice president. The US delegation, however, did announce plans for 4G internet access in the West Bank and the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip, addressing a longstanding demand by Palestinians which has repeatedly been blocked by Israel. Biden's Zionist declaration The president's visit got off to a bad start for Palestinians, when Biden declared at an Israeli welcome ceremony: "You need not be a Jew to be a Zionist." While every US president since Israel's creation in 1948 has arguably met a technical definition of Zionism by actively supporting the Jewish state's existence, Biden's comment last Wednesday was rare, if not unprecedented for a US leader -- and Palestinians took note. "He came to Israel and declared he was a 'Zionist', then he came to Palestine and refused to talk about the fundamentals of the conflict," the first official said. A protester attending a rally during the president's visit to Bethlehem hoisted a sign saying: "Biden, Jerusalem is Palestine -- no matter your Zionism." Palestinians claim the Israeli-annexed eastern part of the city as their capital. Biden has for decades publicly supported recognising west Jerusalem as Israel's capital and has said he will not reverse Trump's controversial decision to move the US embassy there back to Tel Aviv. 'We are so weak' On the peace process, Biden reaffirmed his support for Palestinian statehood while urging perseverance even as conditions appear bleak. "I know that the goal of the two states seems so far away," he said in Bethlehem. "But we never give up on the work of peace," he added. "There must be a political horizon that the Palestinian people can actually see or at least feel. We cannot allow the hopelessness to steal away the future." Palestinian prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh on Sunday said a difficult terrain for peace talks does not excuse American inaction. "If, as the US president said, the (two-state) solution is currently out of reach, then there must immediately be a (Jewish) settlement freeze, in accordance with international law and resolutions to preserve the right of the Palestinian people to their independent state," Shtayyeh said. AFP

Malaysia seizes animal parts worth $18 mn 

Port Klang: Malaysian customs officials said Monday they seized a stash of rare animal parts worth $18 million thought to have come from Africa, including elephant tusks, rhino horns and pangolin scales. The Southeast Asian nation is a hub for wildlife trafficking, with animal parts shipped through the country to lucrative regional markets. Authorities foiled a smuggling attempt on July 10 when they uncovered the illicit cargo in Port Klang, on Malaysia's west coast, hidden in a container along with timber. The shipment included an estimated 6,000 kilograms (13,200 pounds) of elephant tusks -- Malaysia's biggest single seizure of elephant ivory, said customs department chief Zazuli Johan. There were also 29 kilograms of rhino horns, 100 kilos of pangolin scales, and 300 kilos of animal skulls and other bones, he told a press conference. The seizure had an estimated value of 80 million ringgit ($18 million), he said, adding it was believed to have come from Africa, without giving more details. Zazuli said Malaysia was not the shipment's final destination, but did not say where it was heading. AFP

Sudan's gold rush wreaks havoc on health

Banat: Sudanese mother Awadya Ahmed has long wondered why her youngest child Talab was born blind and unable to walk; now she suspects the piles of poisonous waste left by gold miners. In recent years, a growing number of traditional miners have flocked to her village hoping to strike it rich. But they leave behind hazardous white-powdered waste laden with toxic chemicals including mercury used in the gold extraction process. The waste is dumped near farmland, water sources and residential areas. "His four brothers were born in good health, but Talab is the only one born after mining residues spread," Ahmed, 45, told AFP at her home in Banat village, in River Nile state north of Khartoum. The four-year-old lay beside her, unable to move. Artisanal gold mining is widespread across much of Sudan, employing more than two million people and producing about 80 percent of the gold extracted nationwide, according to experts. Sudan is one of the world's poorest countries, and mining remains a source of fast profits attracting many. The industry has flourished since oil-rich South Sudan broke away in 2011 during the rule of now-ousted president Omar al-Bashir, a period marked by economic hardship, government mismanagement, corruption and international sanctions. 'Harmful to health' But chemical contamination from artisanal gold extraction poses clear health dangers. Mercury damages the nervous, digestive and immune systems and can be fatal. It also threatens the development of children in the womb and early in life, according to the World Health Organization. Ahmed is not the only one of Banat's 8,000 residents to have observed birth defects and miscarriages. In a nearby house, Awad Ali says his daughter was "a very normal child," until she turned two. "Then she became unable to move or walk, stand up or sit down," he said. Community leader Algaily Abdelaziz said the problems began five years ago. "Since we saw these waste deposits appear, children have been born with deformities, and there have been still-births," Abdelaziz said, noting 22 children had been born in the village with deformities including blindness and brain damage. Saleh Ali Saleh, from Khartoum's Neelain University's Faculty of Petroleum and Minerals, notes that it is well known "that mercury is harmful to health". A January report by Saleh and other Sudanese researchers found that around 450,000 tonnes of mining waste -- rife with mercury -- dot the lush green landscape of River Nile state. Samples of blood, urine, drinking water and soil from several parts of the state have shown high levels of mercury traces, according to the report. "People, frankly, are not concerned with removing the waste," said Ali Mohammed Ali, head of the Sudanese Environment Conservation Society. The process "requires special treatment" and is "ideally carried out away from residential areas or water sources," he added. Such safety measures are far from the minds of miners. Around 50 kilometres (30 miles) from Banat, Mohammed Issa mixed mercury with sand in a large metal bowl with his bare hands, hoping to separate gold from other minerals. "That's how people do it here," the 25-year-old said. Issa said he abandoned a meagre life of farming and herding in North Kordofan state to search for the precious metal. Years to fix In 2019, Sudan's now-deposed transitional government issued a decree banning the use of mercury and cyanide after protests against their use at gold mines. The decision has rarely been enforced and miners continue to use the chemicals in more secluded outlying areas, Saleh said. Political and economic turmoil in Sudan has piled pressure on households already struggling to make ends meet. The country's economic crisis worsened after an October military coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. The coup triggered cuts to crucial international aid and fed into spiralling prices of basic commodities. AFP

Europe's hottest summers

Paris: Europe's increasingly frequent heatwaves are back under the spotlight over devastating wildfires and with sweltering temperatures forecast to hit record highs in Britain and France this week. In just over two decades, the continent has experienced its five hottest summers since 1500. A heatwave engulfing western Europe, the second in a month, sparks huge wildfires and threatens to smash records in Britain and France. Fires in France, Greece, Portugal and Spain force thousands of residents and tourists to flee and kill several people, including a Spanish shepherd and a firefighter. Britain braces for an all-time high of 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) or more. Brittany in France could also register similar temperatures in what would be a regional record. The weather warnings come hot on the heels of a scorching spell in June, where parts of Europe, from Spain to Germany, sizzled at unseasonal highs of between 40C to 43C. Last year is Europe's hottest summer on record, according to the European climate change monitoring service Copernicus. Between late July and early August 2021, Greece endures what Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis calls the country's worst heatwave in over 30 years, with temperatures hitting 45C in some regions. AFP

Thai democracy activists targeted by Pegasus spyware: report 


Bangkok: Dozens of Thai democracy activists were targeted by the controversial Israeli spyware known as Pegasus during the height of intense anti-government protests, according to an international digital rights group report. Massive demonstrations engulfed Thailand's capital Bangkok two years ago as thousands called for greater civil freedoms, as well as a loosening of the strict lese-majeste laws that prevent any criticism of the monarchy. The report by Canadian cybersecurity watchdog Citizen Lab in partnership with Thai groups iLaw and DigitalReach, identified some 30 activists, academics, lawyers and NGO workers -- mostly connected to civil rights organisations -- whose mobile devices were affected."The infections occurred from October 2020 to November 2021, coinciding with a period of widespread pro-democracy protests, and predominantly targeted key figures in the pro-democracy movement," the report stated. Pegasus software, created by Israeli firm NSO Group, can extract data and activate cameras or microphones once it has successfully infiltrated a mobile device. The report stops short of saying definitively who was behind the use of the spyware, though it notes that NSO Group says they only sell the technology to governments. AFP

Energy deals top agenda as UAE president meets Macron in Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron hosted United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan for lunch in Paris on Monday, with increased diesel supplies on the menu for their official talks. The UAE has emerged as a key partner for Western countries as they scramble for energy supplies worldwide to replace imports from sanction-hit Russia. Sheikh Mohamed, also known as MBZ, was on his first overseas state visit since taking office in May following the death of his half-brother. The visit is expected to conclude with "the announcement of guarantees given by the UAE on quantities of hydrocarbon supplies to France," Macron's office announced before the visit. The deal will cover diesel in particular, which the UAE does not supply at present. France is seeking "to diversify its sources of supply in the context of the conflict in Ukraine," the Elysee source added, referring to EU sanctions on Russian oil. Sheikh Mohamed's decision to make his first official visit to France "is a conscious one that acknowledges the historic ties between the two nations but also the potential for even greater cooperation and growth with France," his diplomatic advisor Anwar Gargash said on Friday. "The UAE is determined to remain a reliable partner and source of energy," he added. "We have sold our oil to the far-east for 40 years and now we are directing it toward Europe in this time of crisis." The UAE president's visit to France came after Joe Biden's first Middle East tour as president, which included a visit to Saudi Arabia for energy talks. Macron and Biden were overheard talking about energy supplies from the Middle East at a G7 summit at the end of June in Germany. Macron told Biden that he had spoken to Sheikh Mohammed who had said he was at his "maximum" in terms of oil production, but that the Saudis had some spare capacity. After his lunch with Macron, Sheikh Mohamed is set to be guest of honour at a dinner at the former royal palace in Versailles outside Paris. AFP

According to Shoaib Akhtar, Babar Azam’s century is “special”

Sports Desk

Shoaib Akhtar a renowned fast bowler, referred to Pakistani captain Babar Azam's magnificent century against Sri Lanka as "special" since the captain "led the team from the front."On the second day of the first Test, which was contested at the Galle International Stadium, Babar scored an outstanding 119 before Sri Lanka bowled the Green Shirts out for 218. The former pacer tweeted, "Babar's 100 yesterday was unusual and in exceptional conditions." It takes a lot of skill to bat with the tail for so long as the captain in the challenging Sri Lankan conditions. What a gift he is, Akhtar said. Azam batted the tourists to within four runs of Sri Lanka's 222 as he and Naseem Shah put together a 70-run tenth-wicket combination.With a four and a single-off mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana, Azam completed his seventh Test century. The last session saw Theekshana successfully snare Azam lbw to conclude Pakistan's innings.Yasir Shah (18), Hasan Ali (17), and Naseem, three batters in the lower order, contributed to Pakistan's 133 runs for the final three wickets thanks to Azam. Azam protected Naseem at number 11 by batting defiantly and facing the most of the balls.He smashed quick bowler Kasun Rajitha for three consecutive boundaries and later Theekshana and Jayasuriya for a six and a four.

Lewandowski promises to help Barcelona 'return to the top'

Madrid: Polish striker Robert Lewandowski said Monday he was raring to go at new club Barcelona and determined to help them "return to the top and win as many titles as possible". "I'm finally here. I'm delighted to be at Barça," the former Bayern Munich star told Barca TV after joining his new teammates in Miami where Barcelona are starting a four-match US tour this week. "The last few days have been long, but finally an agreement has been reached. I'm ready to take on this new challenge," continued the 33-year-old. "I've always wanted to play in La Liga and in the big teams, so Barca is a great opportunity for me. "I'm here to help Barca get back to the top and win as many titles as possible." Barcelona's last domestic title was in 2019 and their last Champions League trophy in 2015. On Saturday, Bayern Munich announced that they had reached an agreement with Barcelona for Lewandowski after two months of endless negotiations between the clubs. The two-time FIFA men's player of the year has reportedly agreed a four-year deal worth 50 million euros ($50.4m), including five million in potential add-ons. He is the club's fourth summer transfer after Ivory Coast midfielder Franck Kessie from AC Milan and Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen on a free transfer, and Brazil winger Raphinha, recruited for 70 million euro from Leeds. The club has also extended the contract of French winger Ousmane Dembele, who is committed until 2024. A very generous transfer window for a club which suffered from an abysmal debt, exceeding one billion euros in the long term, a few months ago. AFP

'I'm a competitor with belief!' warns record breaker Fraser-Pryce

Eugene: To maintain a track career at the top of one's game demands raw ability, good coaching and a drive that supersedes all. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has that in spades and on Sunday once again demonstrated her steely desire and sprinting prowess as she bagged a record fifth women's 100m title. "The secret behind my success is that I am a competitor, I love to compete and I believe God has given me a gift," said the 35-year-old. At Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, she raced home in her trademark dyed flowing locks in a championship record of 10.67 seconds. Teammate Shericka Jackson took silver in a personal best of 10.73sec, with four-time Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah claiming bronze (10.81). What stands out is Fraser-Pryce's winning time: that is to say that at the age of 35, she bagged a fifth gold in a faster time than when she was won in 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2019. No matter how you look at it, that is an astonishing accomplishment. "I somehow feel special," she said. "I always want to compete and show the work that I have been doing. "I'm hard-working, keen, driven and always hungry to do more. "It's special, it's my fifth world title in the 100m, and doing it at 35, yes I said 35! "A lot of times people talk about my age or being a mother, but I think of it as part of the journey in life. "And instead of thinking of it as something that will negatively affect me, I look at it as a positive experience." With her sights now firmly set on the women's 200m, Fraser-Pryce fired out a warning shot to rivals as she eyed a sprint double. "I definitely believe I can run faster and once I have that belief I’m not going to stop until I do it," the Jamaican said. 'Trusted myself' "I've always just trusted myself and my coach and believed in my abilities and once I'm healthy I'm always going to compete." Fraser-Pryce said predictions of the Jamaican sweep had been well founded. "It was definitely something on the cards!" she said. "I’m glad I was the one who finished first in the sweep and I’m glad the other ladies came through and we were able to celebrate the 1-2-3." It was the first time a nation had swept the medals in the women's 100m at the worlds. "This is the third 1-2-3 that I've been a part of and I'm so excited. Today I was able to come away with the win. "I feel blessed to have this talent and to continue to do it at 35, having a baby, still going, and hopefully inspiring women that they can make their own journey." One of the first athletes to congratulate Fraser-Pryce was American Allyson Felix, who bowed out of competition with a 19th world medal, a bronze, in the 4x400 mixed relay in Eugene. "35 years old! A mother! 10.67! 5th world title! Yessss @realshellyannfp it’s your night!!!" tweeted Felix, a leading advocate for female athletes' rights. AFP

Open champion Smith hailed in Australia as LIV concerns grow

Sydney: Cameron Smith was lauded Monday as a true champion in Australia, but his British Open win was marred by concerns that he could be about to jump ship to Greg Norman's rebel LIV tour. The 28-year-old produced a stunning last round 64 to lift the Claret Jug on Sunday, holding off playing partner Cameron Young and third-placed Rory McIlroy. The Sydney Morning Herald called it "a staggering performance", while The Australian broadsheet said he was "the best putter in the sport". "The champion golfer of the year. Our champion. Congratulations Cameron Smith," said the PGA of Australia. But the plaudits were short-lived as speculation mounted in the Australian media that Smith could defect from the traditional PGA and DP World tours to the Saudi-backed LIV. It stemmed from him failing to quash talk in his post-win press conference that he could be the next big name tempted to take the huge signing-on fees being offered. "I don't know, mate," Smith said when asked. "My team around me worries about all that stuff. I'm here to win golf tournaments." News Corp newspapers in Australia reported that a number of high-profile Australians were poised to move to LIV now that the last major of 2022 was over. "Let's get down to brass tacks. Cameron Smith is likely to abandon traditional golf," The Australian said. "The consensus is that he'll join the rebel LIV brigade while his fingerprints are still fresh on the Claret Jug." By winning the Open, Smith became only the fifth Australian to claim the title alongside Peter Thomson, Kel Nagle, Ian Baker-Finch and Norman. AFP

Mountains and mentality should settle Tour de France tussle

Carcassonne: When current leader Jonas Vingegaard and defending champion Tadej Pogacar roll up the Champs-Elysees next Sunday, the cyclist in the yellow jersey will have endured an epic 21-day struggle for supremacy. Two-time defending champion Pogacar of the UAE Emirates was billed as the nailed-on certainty in the run up, but for now the Slovenian sits second trailing 2min 22sec behind the Dane. Here AFP looks at the factors most likely to settle the enthralling struggle that has attracted blockbuster crowds on the roadside and record television audiences. Pogacar was dancing around playfully pouring water on stage winner Jasper Philipsen at the finish line on Sunday like some teenager at a pool with his pals. On the same day Vingegaard lost two teammates to injury, he also had to survive not only an early long range attack from his rival, but also a late fall, after which he threw his bike to the ground. AFP

In the bodybuilding tournament, a Pakistani bodybuilder triumphs over an Indian competitor

Web Desk

Shahzad Qureshi of Pakistan defeated Naresh of India to take home the gold medal in the master-class 80kg+ division at the 54th Asian Bodybuilding Championship. The final round of the master-class category featured competition from Shahzad, Umar of Uzbekistan, and Naresh of India. The judges selected Shahzad's poses as the top ones, and he was awarded the gold prize.Shahzad expressed his joy at winning a gold medal for Pakistan in a video message."I put in a lot of effort to get here. I can't tell how I felt when Pakistan's national song played as I was winning the gold medal "said the bodybuilder. Umar Shahzad of Pakistan, on the other hand, won a silver medal in the Junior 70kg+ division. Suresh Bala Kumar of India won gold in this division, while Chingkhingganba Athokpam took home the bronze. Umar expressed his gratitude to the Pakistan Bodybuilding Federation (PBF) in a video speech for allowing him to participate in the contest. "I'm happy to have brought home this medal for Pakistan. Although I have put in a lot of effort and made many sacrifices, this accomplishment has greatly boosted my confidence "said he. Arsalan Baig also won a bronze medal for Pakistan in the competition's model and physique division.In the master-class 80kg+ category, Fazal Ilahi placed sixth, Mohammad Azeem placed sixth in the master-class 70kg+ category, and Mudassar Khan managed to place fifth in the event's model and physique division.Sohail Anwar, the secretary of PBF, praised bodybuilders for raising Pakistan's flag on this occasion.Anwar remarked, "They [bodybuilders] deserve all the credit for this performance ."They worked very hard to get here and earn medals. We support our athletes and ask God to keep them performing well. felicitations, Pakistan "said the secretary.

Pak vs SL

Dinesh Chandimal, on fire, extends Sri Lanka's lead to 300

GALLE: Sri Lanka's red-hot Dinesh Chandimal smashed his second successive half-ton to take his team's lead past 300 and foiled the Babar Azam-led Pakistan's attack on day three of the first Test on Monday. The hosts were 329 for nine when bad light stopped play for the day in Galle. Chandimal, on 86, and Prabath Jayasuriya, on four, were batting at the close of play with Sri Lanka leading by 333 in their second innings. Mohammad Nawaz claimed his maiden five-wicket haul and combined with fellow spinner Yasir Shah, who took three, to rattle the opposition middle-order in the second session. But Chandimal, who struck blazing form with his maiden double century — 206 not out — in his team's series-levelling Test win over Australia last week, stood firm in another lower-order show of defiance after the hosts slipped to 235-7. He reached his fifty and put on 41 runs with Maheesh Theekshana for the ninth wicket in a repeat performance from the hosts, who had hit back from 133-8 to post 222 in their first innings. Earlier, Kusal Mendis made 76 and opener Oshada Fernando scored 64 and put on a key third-wicket stand of 91 to fight back after an early wicket in the morning session. Oshada reached his sixth Test fifty in the first session but fell to Yasir on the second ball after lunch. Kusal raised his fifty and took on the opposition attack with a few boundaries before Yasir bowled him with an unplayable delivery that pitched outside leg and turned to hit the top of off stump. Nawaz, who is making a Test comeback after nearly six years and playing his fourth five-day match, kept chipping away and got key wickets including Angelo Mathews and Niroshan Dickwella. He got nightwatchman Kasun Rajitha on the third ball of the day to set things rolling for Pakistan, but the Sri Lankan batsmen kept coming back on a pitch that is expected to offer more turn to the spinners come day four. In a keenly contested match of tail-end fights, Pakistan had also hit back to post 218, riding on skipper Babar Azam's 119 as he batted with his own lower order on day two. AFP

President, citing Nelson Mandela's mission as an inspiration

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: Invoking Nelson Mandela's vision, President Dr. Arif Alvi urged the nation on Monday to reassert its commitment to advancing democratic norms of decency, democratic decision-making, and freedom of speech. The president described the great South African leader as "extraordinary global advocate for dignity and equality, a leader of unparalleled courage and towering achievement, and one of the most iconic and inspirational leaders of our time" in his message commemorating Nelson Mandela International Day, which is observed annually on July 18. “Let us find hope in Nelson Mandela’s example and inspiration in his vision and speak out against hate and stand up for human rights by embracing our common humanity to make our world more just, compassionate, prosperous, and sustainable for all,” he remarked. The president also urged reaffirming the commitment to social justice and equality before the law in order to empower the nation and its citizens. Nelson Mandela, in his opinion, embodied bravery, compassion, and a dedication to social justice, freedom, and peace. "He lived by these values and was ready to give up his liberty and perhaps his life for them," he said. President Alvi said that in the face of great adversity, Nelson Mandela displayed extreme courage and resilience. He proved that all of us have the ability and responsibility to fight against the blight of racism, discrimination, hate, polarization, poverty, and inequalities with positive thinking, social cohesion and forgiveness and passion to build a better future for all. The president claimed that Nelson Mandela spent 27 years behind bars for battling against his country's oppressive apartheid system of racial segregation without giving up, and that in the end he was successful in ending apartheid and ushering in a peaceful transition to majority rule. He said, "While in office as South Africa's President, he placed a strong emphasis on personal forgiveness and reconciliation, advocated national reconciliation, and ensured non-discrimination against South Africa's white population despite having an overwhelmingly large majority.

Imran urges chief election commissioner to resign, says early elections still the only solution

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan, the chairman of the PTI, demanded the resignation of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja on Monday, asserting that his party won the Punjab by-elections despite the use of state resources in the PML-favor. N's He also insisted that holding early elections was still the only way to resolve the nation's problems. After his party won the Punjab by-elections, Khan congratulated the many young people and women who turned out to vote for PTI in a speech today. Imran said, "I think this is the time in Pakistan's history that we should be grateful for because the nation has awakened. "People have now realised Pakistan's philosophy." However, the former premier emphasised that Pakistan's economic problems was being exacerbated by the nation's political stalemate. "Our reserves have decreased by 50% since the PML-N became office. Even though an agreement with the IMF is in the works, our rupee is depreciating." He emphasised that the only way out of these situations was through free and fair elections. However, Imran argued that those polls shouldn't be held in the same manner as the Punjab by-elections. "They employed every strategy they had to beat us at the by-elections. Our people were under police threat. Officers worked for PML-N as its employees, "He asserted, adding that Hamza Shehbaz, the chief minister of Punjab, had no right to employ the police in such a manner. He also claimed that there were four million deceased voters included in the electoral rolls. Separately, Imran claimed that the CEC tried his best to turn the polls in favour of the PML-N. "I am disappointed in the chief election commissioner. How could he let all this happen? He is not competent to run [the Election Commission of Pakistan] and is biased towards a political party. Raja should immediately resign." He said that his party did not trust the CEC, citing the example of Senate elections in 2021 in which Imran said evidence of bribery was seen."In Sindh's LG (local government) elections, 15 per cent of PPP candidates won unopposed, yet nobody investigated it," he recalled. "During the Daska polls, the returning officer opened all the votes against PTI. He made us lose that election." He said that despite several cases of rigging during polls being brought before the CEC, he never punished anyone, which encouraged malpractice as no one feared accountability. But, despite all these tactics, Imran said: "We won as people came out to cast their votes like never before. The PTI leader began his statement by declaring that he was thrilled today because the country has finally begun debating slavery. "With God's grace, we will now become a country having rejected slavery." He said that all of the leaders of the current administration had money stashed abroad. He emphasised, "They claim they would give their lives for Pakistan, yet they take holidays abroad. However, he went on to say that the manner women and young people behaved last night had demonstrated that "we are finally in the Naya Pakistan."

World Population Day: An event to raise awareness was held in Islamabad


ISLAMABAD: Today, a cooperative event was held in Islamabad to recognise World Population Day. A world of 8 billion: Towards a resilient future for all - Harnessing opportunities and ensuring rights and choices for all was the theme of the event, which was organised jointly by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Pakistan, British High Commission, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination (NHSRC), and Population Programme Wing (PPW). While addressing the event, Christian Turner, British High Commissioner to Pakistan said that Pakistan’s population is going to double in the next 30 years putting a huge burden on its resources. “The business-as-usual approach needs to stop. It is important to talk about family planning. The UK is the largest donor on Family Planning in Pakistan and has been supporting the country since 2012. Delivering Accelerated Family Planning in Pakistan (DAFPAK) is a £90 million programme that has so far reached 7 million family planning users mostly from marginalised communities. The UK remains committed to support Pakistan,” he added. Dr. Arif Alvi spoke at the World Population Day event by video testimony and highlighted his concern about Pakistan's continual population rise and the country's limited resource base. He stated that the government must use all available means to educate the public about the harmful effects of population expansion on human health, particularly that of mothers and children, as well as on economic and social life.. Abdul Qadir Patel, Minister for Health, remarked that Pakistan’s population is likely to double in the next 30 years. He stressed that all partners and stakeholders including civil society organizations and NGOs should come together and join hands with the government to address this growing issue.

Shahbaz Gill released after being arrested for violating ECP rules

By Our Correspondent

MUZAFFARGARH: Following his arrest by police the day before for breaking the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) code of conduct during the by-elections in Punjab, PTI politician Shahbaz Gill was freed early on Monday, according to Geo News. PTI leader Shahbaz Gill was detained by the Punjab police a day earlier in Muzaffargarh for reportedly visiting various polling places during the city's by-elections with security guards who were disguised as FC employees. However, Gill denied allegations of keeping any security guards dressed in FC officials' uniforms. He claimed that he had been engaged for three hours and was suddenly arrested without a warrant.In the wee hours of Monday, police presented Gill before the district magistrate court of the Tehseel Jataoi area where the court issued orders to release him. Strongly condemn illegal arrest of Shahbaz Gill simply to try [and] rig elections [and] spread fear in [people], PTI Chairman Imran Khan had written on Twitter, taking notice of the incident.

Shaukat Tarin demands election, caretaker setup, to end political uncertainty

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: Shaukat Tarin, a former finance minister, has pleaded with the administration to call elections and install a capable caretaker government. He made a comment about the situation following the outcome of the by-election yesterday and claimed it had made the nation's politics more unstable. Tarin pushed for the establishment of a competent caretaker administration that is knowledgeable about the market. "We must go forward to end the political turmoil for the country's economic improvement," he added. A situation of uncertainty will prevail till the new elections are announced, he said. “They are aware that they will not remain in power till August 2023,” he said. “The government has already reached to the technical agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The agreement will not be affected if a caretaker government comes into power,” Tarin further said. He continued, "A caretaker setup comes with the agreement of all parties; we as well as the PDM will cooperate with the interim government's finance minister." He remarked, "They have already made some pretty painful decisions, but the rupee is still declining. The former finance minister added, "I was expecting the rupee to come down below 200 but the situation has worsened." The former minister continued, "The political unrest is giving the dollar strength."

Shehbaz Sharif is now Islamabad’s premier only: Sh Rashid 


ISLAMABAD: After the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) defeated the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in yesterday's by-elections for 20 seats in the Punjab Assembly, the former interior minister Sheikh Rashid stated on Monday that Shehbaz Sharif's premiership was now limited to the area of the federal capital. Speaking at a news conference in Islamabad, he declared that the PML-N and other parties, who had teamed up against the PTI to establish the coalition government at the centre, had lost the battle. Rashid suggested that dissolving the assemblies would be preferable. He claimed that the leaders of the PML-N and other parties had sought to have corruption references against them dropped as a cause for their rise to power. The senior lawmaker claimed that the PTI and its allies were being persecuted in Punjab by the PML-N-led administration. Rasheed stated that Imran Khan, the chairman of the PTI, had become a "national hero" and that he would now expel all of his political rivals. The former interior minister emphasised that it was time to declare general elections right away.

‘APHC-AJK office bearers will work tirelessly for Kashmir cause’

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: The recently elected President of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Azad Kashmir, Shah Ghulam Qadir, has declared that his party will not compromise on the Kashmir dispute. Speaking on the occasion of visiting the APHC-AJK chapter of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Shah Ghulam Qadir stated that the PML-N will respect every request of the Kashmiri people and will vehemently oppose any action taken in opposition to those aspirations. He hoped that the new office holders would devote all of their time and effort to the Kashmir cause and would use their influence in politics and diplomacy to draw attention to the Kashmiris' fight for the right to self-determination. Shehbaz Sharif, the prime minister of Pakistan, and Nawaz Sharif, according to Shah Ghulam Qadir, are both very interested in the Kashmir dispute. The newly elected Azad Jammu and Kashmir leadership and the APHC will collaborate in the current scenario, he stressed.. He congratulated the newly elected Convener of APHC-AJK chapter Mahmood Ahmed Saghar, General Secretary Sheikh Abdul Mateen and Information Secretary Imtiaz Wani and assured the Hurriyat leadership of his party’s full support at this critical and decisive stage of the Kashmir freedom movement. On this occasion, he was congratulated on becoming the party president and praised for visiting the Hurriyat headquarters by Mahmood Ahmed Saghar, the newly elected Convener of APHC-AJK. He continued by saying that Shah Ghulam Qadir played a significant role in the Kashmir freedom movement, had consistently worked tirelessly to bring the Kashmir conflict to the attention of international forums, and was still involved in Kashmir-related politics and diplomacy. Mehmood Ahmad Saghar stated that following India's unilateral moves on August 5, 2019, the Kashmir movement is at a critical point as India has begun making plans to host a G20 meeting in the illegally Indian-occupied territory of Jammu and Kashmir. A special prayer was offered for the departed soul of the mother of Muhammad Yasin Attai and for the martyrs of Kashmir.

Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan Resolution Day will be held on July 19

By Our Correspondent

MIRPUR: The people of Jammu & Kashmir, who reside on both sides of the line of control, as well as the rest of the globe, are prepared to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Kashmir's accession to Pakistan on July 19. The day began with a vow to uphold the fight for the right to self-determination and to translate the idea of Jammu and Kashmir's full accession to Pakistan in accordance with the spirit of the historic resolution passed on this day in 1947. Wide scale programs have been chalked out to observe Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan Day throughout Azad Jammu Kashmir, Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and in other parts of the world – where Kashmiris are living, to observe the historic day in order to strengthen and promote the ideology of accession of entire Jammu Kashmir state to Pakistan. It will be a public holiday on this occasion to facilitate the masses to participate in the special programs, an AJK government spokesperson confirmed to a state run news agency here on Monday. July 19 is observed as Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan Day by the Kashmiris living either side of the line of control and other parts of the world every year with the renewal of pledge to continue the ongoing indigenous struggle for freedom of occupied Jammu Kashmir from the Indian subjugation. It would also to translate the idea of accession of entire Jammu Kashmir state to Pakistan into reality under the spirit of the historic resolution passed on July 19 in 1947. The people of Jammu And Kashmir State began their struggle for the liberation of their country from the yoke of dogra rule and later from the illegal and coercive control of Indian imperialism in accordance with the spirit of the aforementioned decision. Since more than 75 years ago, Kashmiris have been battling for their freedom with all of their might. But during the past 32 years, the liberation movement has gained strength as a result of the Indian-occupied territory of Jammu and Kashmir's residents rising up and starting an indigenous battle against centuries-long rule over their motherland. Special ceremonies will be hosted in all small and major towns and cities of Azad Jammu Kashmir during the Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan week to highlight the importance of the early implementation of the ideology of accession of Jammu Kashmir state to Pakistan.

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