Govt not PTI to decide when to hold elections: Marriyum
By Our Correspondent
LAHORE: Marriyum Aurangzeb, the head of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the country's minister of information, stated on Tuesday in a statement that elections will take place when the government decides. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership was criticised by the Federal Information Minister during a news conference in Lahore for targeting the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in an effort to evade and deflect attention from the foreign funding scandal. She continued to criticise the PTI Chairman by pointing out that Imran Khan had been launching attacks on government targets to maintain his regime. Marriyum requested Marriyum to file a lawsuit against the PTI Chairman over this. The PML-N leader claimed that PTI lost five seats in the by-election in Punjab while also discussing those elections.
Government should immediately issue notification regarding electricity and gas prices,Aqeel Karim Dhedhi
Not in the system, not in the leaders, Shehbaz Sharif should dissolve the assemblies, SK Niazi, NAB rules were unnecessarily amended, chairman NAB did a lot of work regarding missing persons, Imran Khan's narrative won today, as told to the captain, the people did not accept it, at that time the most popular party in the country is Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf: Zain Hussain Qureshi
By Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD : Chief Editor of Pakistan Group of Newspapers and Chairman of Rozenews SK Niazi while talking in the program "Sachi Baat" said that politicians should not play with the country, I am witnessing everything happening in front of me. Yes, when Nawaz Sharif was the Prime Minister, according to me, Shehbaz Sharif should dissolve the assemblies, Imran Khan will say that there is rigging, Maryam again accepted defeat, Imran Khan also agreed, politicians have no patience.The dollar has crossed the limit, no one cares, there is no well wisher of the people, the three parties are engaged in their own interests, now everyone is watching the situation, no one interfered in the election, Imran Khan is a man of good intentions. Yes, Imran Khan has not done any work in four years, Nawaz Sharif did work if he ate money, if there is proper accountability then everyone will go to jail, it is a fact that Imran Khan has also done good things, the problem is that Imran Khan does not have a team Mentally, he used to work differently, practically, Shafqat Jalil changed his identity card, he was Imran Khan's information secretary, if there is proper accountability, Imran Khan's people will also go to jail, which funding He does it, he makes money, those who fund the meetings do it for some purpose, someone becomes the prime minister of Azad Kashmir, then someone else becomes something else, politics is the dirtiest job in our country. Leader PTI Zain Qureshi said that it was the victory of Imran Khan's narrative, PTI is the most popular party in the country, we fought the election against all the systems of the government, Imran Khan's narrative was liked by the people, Punjab. I have the majority, we need 186 votes, we have 189 votes, ask Rana Sanaullah why he is making threats, let him decide, are they politicians or crooks, is Fawad's political statement, who is not allowed to go? Sakta, Allah has succeeded in the past and will succeed again. Aqeel Karim Dhedhi said that the country was going in the right direction, it had fulfilled the conditions of the IMF, but due to other factors it gets bad name. The situation will worsen, they should fulfill their promises, keep increasing the price of petrol, the demand will decrease, the government should notice that the IMF package first decides on electricity and gas prices, then the IMF package. It will be found, the government should have decided a month ago, it is too late, why are you giving subsidy, buying things in dollars and selling them in rupees, making the country poor.
ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Turkiye to Pakistan Mehmet PACACI held a meeting with Naval Chief Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi in Islamabad at Naval Headquarters.
Ambassador of Norway to Pakistan calls on Finance Minister
ISLAMABAD: H.E. Mr. Per Albert Ilsaas, Ambassador of Norway to Pakistan called on Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Mr. Miftah Ismail at Finance Division, on Tuesday. The Federal Minister welcomed the Ambassador and exchanged views on matters of mutual interest. The Federal Minister emphasised Pakistan's cordial ties with Norway and stated that their bilateral relations are outstanding. The Finance Minister discussed the government's aims and economic plans for inclusive and sustainable growth. According to H.E. Mr. Per Albert Ilsaas, both nations have outstanding relations that should be strengthened, particularly on the economic front.
PAC warns NAB top brass to show up tomorrow or face punitive action
By Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has issued a final notice to the acting chairman of the NAB and the director general of Lahore to appear personally before the committee on Wednesday afternoon in an investigation into the issue of assets beyond means or face sanctions, intensifying the conflict between the two organisations. If they don't show up by tomorrow at 1pm, the committee threatened to use police force to summon both (NAB) officials before the PAC and to take other legal action against them in accordance with Article 201 of the Constitution.
‘Punjab by-polls not related to general elections’
ISLAMABAD: According to the former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the outcome of the by-elections has no bearing on the general election. The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) told reporters outside the National Accountability Court (NAB) that the party that wins the election on July 22 will form the government, while the loser will sit in the opposition. He said, "We wouldn't flee for fear of being defeated." He reiterated that NAB should be shut down, it has caused severe damage to the country’s progress. No officer would work until NAB is operational, he added. He added that the controversial NAB Chairman has been removed but the circus he initiated continues. He will have to be accountable for the ills he caused to innocent people, he added. The PML-N leader noted that for the past four years, PTI has been spreading a false narrative of accountability. He continued, "If Imran Khan is so concerned about accountability, he should disclose the specifics of his assets."
Polish company expresses commitment towards Pakistan’s energy security
By Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD: On Tuesday, Dr. Musadik Malik, the Minister of State for Petroleum, had a visit from Polish Oil and Gas Company (POGC) and Maciej Pisarski, the country's ambassador to Pakistan. According to a news release from the Petroleum Division, the delegation of the company was led by Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Robert Perkowski and Vice President of the Management Board Mr. Artur Cieslik. The minister discussed topics of common interest with the group during the discussion and emphasised Pakistan's desire to take advantage of Poland's technical know-how in the oil and gas industry. Poland was a leader in European petroleum exploration. The ambassador termed the oil and gas partnership a jewel in the crown of the Pak-Polish relationship. He reiterated Poland’s interest in investment and developing the oil and gas sector in Pakistan. Musadik Malik assured to provide all possible assistance and facilitation to the Polish company for smooth operational activities in Pakistan, which would help pour in increased foreign investment. According to Robert Perkowski, "PGNiG Group's management has always acknowledged the Government of Pakistan as well as its officials' support for its operations in Pakistan. He stated that the PGNiG was dedicated to helping Pakistan achieve energy security and expressed hope that Pakistan's investment climate would improve. As a subsidiary of PGNiG Group Poland, the PGNiG, also known as Polish Oil and Gas Company (POGC), has been active in Pakistan since 1997. According to the news release, "it has on its credit the first tight gas reservoir finds of Pakistan, which are effectively developed."
Lahore: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari and Maulana Fazlur Rehman enjoying the conversation
Kashmiris continue to oppose Indian persecution: PM
By Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD: The oppressive state apparatus in India, according to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, was unable to put an end to the struggle for resistance, selflessness, and disobedience. In his speech on Kashmir Accession to Pakistan Day, he remarked, "Kashmiris' resolve to continue their struggle till the idea of accession becomes a reality" reflected the significance of the day. Kashmiris across the globe are marking the Kashmir Accession to Pakistan on July 19 as a resolution for accession was passed on this historic day in Srinagar. The prime minister paid tribute to the persistent struggle of Kashmiris. “We salute Kashmiris’ courage,” he said. The people of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan engaged in a protracted struggle for independence following the passage of the resolution for accession to Pakistan, according to PM Sharif. The 0.9 million Indian occupation forces have failed to quell Kashmiris' fervour, he claimed. "The struggle and sacrifices of Kashmiris began in 1947 still continue," he stated. He claimed that Kashmiris had made enormous sacrifices from generation to generation to obtain their right to self-determination. He assured Kashmiris that Pakistan would continue to back them till their goal of having a plebiscite in conformity with United Nations resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people came true.
PM Imran Khan reiterated that if Pakistan continues its current trajectory, food security "will turn into national insecurity”. He said that if 30 to 40% are left hungry then "they will bring the whole nation down"
CM seeks report from IG Police
By Our Correspondent
LAHORE: Chief Minister Punjab Hamza Shahbaz Sharif has sought a report from IG police about the molestation of a foreign tourist woman in Fort Munro and ordered to take indiscriminate action against the arrested accused. The CM has assured that the accused would be given exemplary punishment according to the law and justice would be provided to the victim woman at every cost.
CM KP directs to recruit lecturers through PSC for removing shortage of teaching staff in government colleges
By Our Correspondent
PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan on Tuesday directed the concerned authorities to expedite the process of recruitment of lecturers through KP Public Service Commission to remove the shortage of teaching staff in Government colleges and if needed, a mechanism shall also be devised to appoint teaching staff on temporary basis on reasonable remunerations to meet the purpose. He further directed to open all the newly established Government colleges for teaching as soon as possible. He issued these directives while chairing the provincial cabinet meeting held here at Civil Secretariat. The meeting besides the cabinet members was also attended by the Provincial Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary, Senior Member Board of Revenue and Administrative Secretaries of various Government Departments. Mahmood Khan further directed that full funds should be released for the construction of roads and other ongoing development projects in the merged districts so as to complete these public welfare oriented schemes within the stipulated time. The Chief Minister further directed all the Government Departments to immediately implement the decision with regard to increasing the minimum monthly wages up to Rs. 26, 000 and warned that no leniency would be tolerated in this regard. The cabinet approved the appointment of Syeda Rabia Sultana to fill the casual vacancy of Independent Director in Water & Sanitation Services Company (WSSC) Abbottabad. Similarly, the cabinet also approved the name of Mr. Muhammad Rehan Yousaf for appointment as Chief Executive Officer, Water & Sanitation Services Company (WSSC) Abbottabad. The provincial cabinet also granted approval to transfer 08 kanal and 10 marla state land situated at Kalaya District Orakzai, which is the property of the District Administration, in the name of Home & Tribal Affairs Department for the establishment of District Police Officer (DPO) office, CTD office and Special Branch office at Kalaya. Furthermore, the cabinet also accorded approval for availing Project Readiness Financing (PRF) loan for ADB-Assisted ADP scheme ‘Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Water Resources Development Project’. Similarly, the cabinet also approved the transfer of 02 kanal state land located in C&W Colony at Tehsil Batkhela, District Malakand, owned by the C&W Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the name of Emergency Rescue Services (Rescue-1122) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, for establishing Rescue-1122 station there. The cabinet also approved in principle to hand over C&W Rest House Naran to Kaghan Development Authority and Shagai Rest House Saidu Sharif to Upper Swat Development Authority for office use with certain necessary conditions.
Chief Minister punjab election will be interesting
By District Reporter
CHAKWAL: Senior journalist Khawaja Babar Salim Mehmood said on Tuesday that the election of Chief Minister of Punjab on Friday will be very interesting and thorny. Moving around can change the situation completely. If Chaudhry Parvez Elahi fails to complete the number of 186, the run-off election will be held again between Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and Hamza Shehbaz Sharif and whoever gets the majority of the House will be the Chief Minister of Punjab. In any case, in this regard, the battle has already started in Lahore, all the political forces are active, Asif Ali Zardari has also reached Lahore, while Mian Nawaz Sharif is also on the hotline from London, and this is what is being said that PDM is the last time. Due to which anyone can win this competition. He was talking live from Chakwal Press Club studio. The host of the program, Zulfiqar Mir, said that Chaudhry Pervez Elahi and PTI have the support of 188 members, while on the other hand, PDM and allied parties have 179 members, even if six people. If they do not come to vote in the meeting on that day, the chances of a run-off election are bright and this election may go on to the next day. Senior journalist Muhammad Shafiq Malik said that the election of Chaudhry Pervez Elahi may result in the lottery of Tala Gang and Chakwal. Initially, Chaudhry Pervez Elahi was elected from NA65 2 constituency of Chakwal and later he became the Speaker Punjab Assembly had left this seat, then Chaudhry Salik Hussain, the son of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, succeeded from here. Muhammad Shafiq Malik said that in the last four years, development projects worth billions of rupees have been completed by Hafiz Ammar Yasir and Muslim League-Q, so the long standing demand of making Tala Gang a district can also get acceptance when Chaudhry Parvez Elahi becomes the chief minister.
PTI issues instructions to MPAs ahead of Punjab CM election
By Staff Reporter
LAHORE: Prior to the election of the new province Chief Minister (CM) on July 22, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has given instructions to its MPAs in the Punjab Assembly. Details indicate that Mian Mahmood-ur-Rashid, acting at the former prime minister Imran Khan's request, has given MPAs instructions in advance of the Punjab CM elections. In the notice, Mian Mahmood-ur-Rashid has directed the MPAs to vote for PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi in the election of Punjab chief minister after the party has declared the Punjab Assembly Speaker as its candidate. It has been ordered for the PTI members of the provincial legislature to guarantee their attendance in the Punjab Assembly on July 22. It continued, "Absence or deviation from the voting process will be seen as a violation of party discipline, which would result in disqualification. Prior to the election of the new chief minister (CM) on July 22, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PML-Q) barred their lawmakers from leaving the country.
Elahi petitions the SC against PML-N leaders due to concerns of defections and abductions
By Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD: Pervaiz Elahi, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q and speaker of the Punjab Assembly, has filed a petition with the Supreme Court of Pakistan against Rana Sanaullah, Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, and Marriyum Aurangzeb because he is concerned that PTI and PML-Q MPAs will either defect from their parties in favour of Hamza Shehbaz or go missing on the day of the election for Punjab chief minister. Elahi, who is also running for Punjab chief minister, has cited a prior July 1 ruling by the Supreme Court invoking the SC's original contempt of court power under Article 204. The top court directed that the poll be held on July 22 in a peaceful and unbiased way. At the beginning of this month, the top court had mainly backed a Lahore High Court decision to hold a runoff election in the Punjab Assembly for the chief minister position. Elahi, in his petition, has referred to statements issued by PML-N leaders after the July 17 by-election, especially a press conference held on Monday by Hamza Shahbaz Sharif and Marriyum Aurangzeb. He claims that Hamza Sharif “in the reckless and unconstitutional and unlawful manner threatened to remove members belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and its allies.” The PML-Q chairman also highlighted a comment made by Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanullah, who said that "five to seven" PTI MPAs had been "swayed" when speaking on a TV programme. Elahi claims Sanaullah's statement "abuses, interferes with, and obstructs" the court's process since it prevents the execution of the court's order.
QUETTA: Chief Minister Balochistan Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo is meeting with Mark Bristow, President, and CEO of Barrick Gold Corporation.
Factories under risk of closures or losses due to Dollar scarcity: Suleman Chawla
By Our Correspondent
KARACHI: The economy is suffering from unprecedented volatility in the rupee-to-dollar exchange rate, according to Mr. Suleman Chawla, Acting President of the FPCCI. If the current downward spiral continues, imports of crucial goods and industrial raw materials could also be threatened. He outlined how the situation is so gravely mismanaged that many factories run the possibility of closing or may be subject to financial fines for failing to meet their production goals and deadlines for export. Acting The FPCCI Chief expressed grave worries about the rupee's intraday intra-bank market crossing of Rs. 224 per dollar on Tuesday up until the distribution of this press release, which shows a depreciation of additional Rs. 8.8 against the US dollar. The FPCCI's position that all parties should agree on a lowest common denominator, i.e. a charter of economy, was underlined by the speaker, who also said that this should be addressed as an economic emergency by all stakeholders. He underlined that the FPCCI is constantly prepared to fulfil its mandate and bring all relevant parties together for the sake of the larger national interest. Mr. Suleman Chawla argued that despite today's intra-day trading showing a further depreciation of 4%, the business, industrial, and trade community had not yet recovered from Monday's depreciation, which was Rs. 4.25 or 1.97 percent.
Six more routes of Peoples Bus service being made functional, says Murad
By Staff Reporter
KARACHI: Two of the Peoples Bus Service's 11 routes are currently operational, and six more, including the Larkan route, will be in the next two days. The infrastructure of the remaining four routes is also being improved in preparation for the launch of the bus service. This was revealed at a meeting on Tuesday that Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah presided over here at CM House. The meeting was attended by Minister Transport Sharjeel Inam Memon, Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Shah, Administrator Karachi Murtaza Wahab, Commissioner Karachi Iqbal Memon, Secretary Local Government Najam Shah, Secretary Transport Haleem Shaikh, DIG Traffic Ahmed Nawaz, MC KMC Syed Afzal, DG KDA Mohamad Ali Shah, Chief engineer CB Malir, Bashir Mirjat and Kashif Khan of SMTA, and Amir Shah and Shoaib Rafiq of NRTC. The chief minister reviewing the operation and issues of different routes of the Peoples Bus Service directed the Minister Transport to start 30-kilometer Route No. 9 from Gulshan-e-Hadeed to Malir Cantt from Wednesday/today (July 20). "The buses are available, and the route is clear, therefore the service must be started in the public interest," the CM said. From Gulshan-e-Hadeed, Route No. 9 travels along N-5, Quaidabad, Shahrah-e-Faisal, Malir Halt, Jinnah Avenue, and Malir Cantt. Check both post 5 and post 6. When informing the chief minister, Transport Minister Sharjeel Memon stated that Route No. 1 (Malir to Towner), which was 27 km long and serviced by 37 buses, was in operation.
"Idara Taleem Aaghi " CEO Bala Raza Jameel called on Governor Punjab
By Our Correspondent
LAHORE: 19th July 2022... A delegation of "Idara Taleemi Aghai " led by its CEO Bela Raza Jameel called on Governor Punjab Muhammad Balighur Rehman at Governor House Lahore today. The delegation included writer Maria Riaz, Program Manager Zainul Abedin, Maria Mehmood and District Project Manager Farah Shah. Speaking on this occasion, Governor Punjab Muhammad Balighur Rehman said that no society can develop without giving the opportunities for development to the women. He said that the Muslim League (N) government has always taken steps to educate and empower women. He said that the first women's University was set up by the government of PML-N in its previous period. Governor Punjab said that educating a male child is educating an individual only, while educating a girl child is equivalent to educating a family. He said that it was heartening to know that Idara Taleemi Agahi organization is working on female education. He said that it is a good initiative to inform children about the issue of environmental changes through literature. Punjab Governor Muhammad Balighur Rehman said that climate change is a big issue in the whole world. He said that awareness about climate change and joint efforts are needed to overcome this problem. He said that he was working on creating a consortium on environment in the light of the research done in the universities. He further stated that linkages of the educational institutions with the industry are very important. He said that teamwork is very important in any work, adding that when all the people in the society play a positive role in the development of the country, the country will be put on the road to progress and prosperity.
‘Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan sacrificed over 7,000 animals’
By Our Correspondent
LAHORE: President Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan Muhammad Abdul Shakoor has said that on recent Eidul Azha, Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan sacrificed over 7,000 animals. The meeting of the Alkidhmat Foundation’s Social Services Program Board was held at the Alkhidmat Complex in Lahore on Tuesday. The meeting was attended by Central President Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan Muhammad Abdul Shakoor, Senior Vice President Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan Syed Ahsan Ullah Waqas, National Director Social Welfare Program Amir Mahmood Cheema, General Manager Programs Hammad Butt and other office bearers.
CHANGE/CORRECTION IN FATHER'S NAME
I Riasat Ali have passed the secondary school certificate Annual Examination 2021under Roll No564539 Sargodha. My Father's Name is Muhammad Yousaf Khan whereas on certificat my Father's name has been mentioned as Muhammad Yousaf which is incorrect.I want to get changed my father's name from Muhammad Yousaf to Mushtaq Yousaf khan if any person/organization/agency has any objection then the same may be intimated in writing to the secretary , Board of intermediate & Secondary Education. Near 49-Tail Faisalabad Road, Sargodha within 15 days.
In The court of Muhammad Abbas Sherazi Civil Judge Gujrat. Title Ehsan Elahi etc. versus: Kashif etc. Suit for Dispossession Notice to: 2-Sahi Ahmad S/o. Muhammad Iqbal cast Gujjar R/o. Sahnowal Khurd Tehsil & District Gujrat. Whereas in the above mentioned case it has been proved to the satisfaction of the court that the above mentioned defendant is not be served in ordinary way. It is therefore proclaimed under order 5 rule 20 CPC that if the said defendant will not appear personally or through a duly authorized agent or pleader in court at 8 AM on 22-07-2022. Otherwise case will be decided ex party.
In the Court of Manzar Hayat Khokhar Senior Civil Judge JhelumApplication for Succession , Case Title Ansar Mehmood Ahmed Qurashi etc vs Public at Large, Ansar Mehmood Ahmed Qurashi son of Rafiq Ahmed Deceased R/o Jakar Tehsil & Dist Jhelum Presently Residing at 12 Rainton Road Charlton London Versus Public at Large. As there is not possible to call the Public at Large through Summon in the instant Application so through proclamation in Newspaper, You are directed to appear in the court on 21.07.2022 at 8:00AM, otherwise ex-parte proceedings will be initiated.
In the Court of Sumera Ashraf Civil Judge Jhelum Suit for Deceleration, Case Title Shaheen Aara vs Shakil Ahmed etc To, Shakil Ahmed, Jamil Ahmed sons of Abdul Qadeer R/o House No.113 Mohallah Mistrian Street Master Rahim Bakhash Jhelum, Pervaiz Akhtar son of Abdul Qadeer R/o Mohallah Abbas Pura Near Khawateen Collage Jhelum, Mehmood Akhtar son of Abdul Qadeer R/o House No.282 Sarai Alamgir Dist Gujrat. As there is not possible to call the Defendants through Summons in the instant Suit so through proclamation in Newspaper, You are directed to appear in the court on 28.07.2022 at 8:00AM, otherwise ex-parte proceedings will be initiated.
The acting chairman of NAB challenges the PAC's mandate in IHC
By Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee's (PAC) authority has been contested by the National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) acting chairman in the Islamabad High Court (IHC). In the appeal, which claims that the notice issued by the PAC was outside of its authority, petitioner Zahir Shah has joined the National Assembly secretary, the secretary of parliamentary affairs, the chairman of PAC, and other parties. The NAB chief said in his plea that the Public Accounts Committee exceeded its authority in its hearings on June 24. He begged the court to nullify the PAC meeting minutes dated July 7 and stop the parliamentary body from taking any further action. Earlier, on July 13, Shahzad Saleem, the director general of NAB, filed a petition with the Islamabad High Court challenging the Public Accounts Committee's decision to call him in response to Tayyaba Gul's charges of sexual harassment.
Surge in power shortfall increases load-sheading up to 8 hours
By Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD: The length of load shedding has increased to up to eight hours as the nationwide electricity shortage persists. While there is a 6 000 65 MW electricity shortage, there is a 28 000 500 MW overall demand for electricity. According to the sources, at present the total production of electricity is 22 thousand 435 MW, adding that six thousand 600 MW of electricity is being generated from hydel and also thermal power plants are generating 1,120 MW of electricity. Additionally, up to 11,000 MW of power are produced overall by private sector power plants. 1100 MW of electricity is produced by wind energy facilities, and 170 MW is produced by solar energy facilities. In addition, 160 MW of electricity are produced from bagasse. Nuclear fuel is used to produce energy at a capacity of 2000285 MW. In villages, load shedding lasts much longer than eight hours due to the addition of energy sources.
RAWALPINDI: President Nadeem Rauf presented a memento to Federal Tax Ombudsman Asif Mahmood Jah during his visit to the chamber house.
Telenor Pakistan announces results for 2nd quarter 2022
ISLAMABAD: The performance of Telenor Pakistan in the second quarter of 2022 was hampered by Pakistan's unstable macroeconomic environment during the current fiscal year and its exchange rate changes. Telenor Pakistan reported a revenue of PKR 26.7 billion, up PKR 104 million from Q2 of previous year, despite the economic difficulties. The company reported YoY growth in subscription and traffic revenues (S&T) of +1.8%, service revenues of +1.7%, and overall revenues of +0.4%. For Q2 2022, the reported EBITDA increase was -14.9 percent, and the EBITDA margin was 47.3 percent. With the addition of 289,000 new subscribers throughout the quarter, the network now has 49.5 million subscribers. The EBITDA development was majorly attributable to significant hikes in fuel and electricity prices coupled with YoY reduction in mobile termination rates. The rising inflation in the country (June: 21.3%), significant rupee devaluation and the prevailing economic situation also had on impact in the performance. Chief Executive Officer of Telenor Pakistan, Irfan Wahab Khan, commented on the most recent financial results, saying, "The last quarter has been difficult for the nation, especially for the telco industry, which affects all facets of society and is highly dependent on the country's economic climate. Nevertheless, we accepted our duty to open doors to chances in spite of these disruptions.
Funeral prayer for cop offered
By Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD: The funeral prayer for head constable Khuda Bukhsh who died of cardiac arrest was offered here on Tuesday at police lines headquarters. Senior officers of Islamabad police, law enforcement agencies and other personnel attended the funeral prayer. Deputy Inspector General Headquarters Malik Awais Ahmad laid the floral wreath and offered fateha. Later the dead body was sent to his native village Khushab. Khuda Buksh was posted at Prime Minister House where he met severe cardiac arrest during duty. He was rushed to the hospital but could not survive. Speaking on the occasion, Inspector General of Police, Islamabad Dr Akbar Nasir Khan said the federal capital police stood with the bereaved family and will take care of in every possible way. He also ordered the concerned officers to process all the dues as soon as possible of the deceased constable. It may be mentioned that Interior Minister Rana Sana Ullah after assuming the office paid special focus to the payment of compensation to the families of martyrs which had faced an inordinate delay. A compensation amount of over Rs1 billion had been disbursed to the families of martyrs and deceased personnel.
Daraz, Visa collaborate to impart business skills for online Sellers
ISLAMABAD: Leading e-commerce platform Daraz and Visa, the market leader in digital payments, have partnered to impart practical business skills to online sellers through the Daraz University platform, which is based on Visa's global Practical Business Skills digital platform that provides free educational resources covering business skills and financial management. Through this partnership, Daraz will adapt Visa's worldwide seller education material and make it available on the Daraz University platform so that Pakistani vendors may access it. The course material will include quizzes, PowerPoint presentations, and video lessons on topics including business management, financial fundamentals for your business, and how to start a business. To enhance the reach of new instructional content to vendors in Pakistan, Daraz is engaging in extensive marketing. The first 1,000 sellers who learn the subject and pass all tests will receive coupons sponsored by Visa that will give them access to free shipping credits or Daraz packaging supplies. Non-sellers can also participate in these tutorials to earn a Visa x Daraz University certification. If these potential sellers choose to join Daraz, they will be given vouchers and dedicated sign-up support on Daraz. Daraz University was established in 2018 with the aim to provide free education to aspiring online entrepreneurs. Currently, the portal serves over 40,000 active sellers, and each month 5,000 new vendors learn valuable business knowledge from Daraz University. Daraz has always been at the forefront of providing entrepreneurial opportunities to people in Pakistan. In its efforts of uplifting entire communities, Daraz is exploring new ways of instilling a sense of innovation among aspiring entrepreneurs. The Company wants to play its part in reviving the country's economy by ensuring that the youth gets quality business opportunities. Ehsan Saya, Managing Director – Daraz Pakistan commented on the occasion: "Daraz University aims to nurture the future of e-commerce and online business. Digital entrepreneurship is the future, and we needed a platform to train our youth to match up with the world. Our collaboration with Visa proves our commitment to fostering e-commerce in Pakistan and bringing forward future business leaders. The new endeavor will open doors to new learning opportunities for young sellers. We thank Visa for their noteworthy effort that will help us prepare for future challenges of online business." Leila Serhan, SVP & General Manager of Visa, commented on the recent association and said: "The necessity for a digital environment for young business owners is announced by Visa. The financial service platform is aware that conducting business online calls for a thorough understanding of the digital ecosystem. Our partnership with Daraz is the first step in equipping young people with the expertise needed for online selling. Daraz has been at the forefront of promoting online retailers. The collaboration will assist young people in acquiring the most recent entrepreneurial information."
PWF organizes seminar at local hotel
By Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Workers Federation organised a seminar in a local hotel in Islamabad under the coordination of the Danish Trade Union Development Agency. Participants included representatives of the social safety net and informal labour throughout Pakistan, as well as the labour department, the chamber of commerce in Islamabad, and the media. Brother Mr. Elvin Naboya gave a brief presentation on the topic and emphasised the importance of labour unification in these industries. Secretary General of Pakistan Workers Federation Ch. Muhammad Yaseen, while addressing the participants said that a large number of labour are working in Informal sectors, who are working in domestic fields, Agriculture sector, Chowk workers, and many other labour working in these sectors need to be united. The government and relevant departments' lack of collaboration has left the aforementioned labour class without any legal protection or membership in any organisations. Since these informal workers face numerous issues, it is essential that ILO labour laws be implemented for them, as they are in Punjab for domestic workers.
8 miscreants netted; valuables worth Rs 1.1m recovered
By Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD: According to a police public relations official, the Islamabad Capital police have detained eight suspects, including one thief, and have found drugs, guns, and valuables worth Rs1.1 million in their possession. He declared that all zonal officials had been given a clear directive by DIG Operations Sohail Zafar Chatha to step up the crackdown on criminal groups. Following these orders, Tarnol police team arrested an accused namely Waleed Ahmed S/o Abdul Waheed involved in a series of house robberies and recovered cash and jewellery worth Rs1.1 million and one motorbikes from his possession. The accused has a previous record also. Cases have been registered against him in Tarnol and Lohi Bher police station. Similar to this, the Noon police squad detained two suspects, M. Farooq and Syed Badshah, who were involved in narcotics trafficking, and found 1870 grammes of hashish in their possession. The Koral police squad also detained three suspects, Naz Hussain, Adnan Siddique, and Wisal, for illegally possessing firearms. They also seized two 30 bore pistols with ammo and 130 gramme hashish from their hands.
RAWALPINDI: DC Tahir Farooq is reviewing the performance of dengue workers in the destruction of larva in Pir Wadhai Military Colony.
US dollar touches highest ever Rs222 mark
ISLAMABAD: During the early morning activity in the interbank market on Tuesday, the US dollar strengthened against the Pakistani rupee by Rs6.80, reaching its highest level of Rs221 ever. The US dollar has risen 11.05 rupees versus the local currency in the last two days, and it has risen 39.98 rupees overall since the coalition administration came into power. In earlier interbank trading on Monday, the US dollar increased dramatically by a stunning Rs4.30 to reach Rs215.25 against the Pakistani rupee. On Monday, the dollar increased by Rs4.25 in interbank trading to settle at Rs215.20. It also merits mention here that the US dollar has appreciated Rs11.05 against the Pakistani rupee in the interbank market during the last two days. The economic experts said that the Pakistani rupee was under pressure due to the current political situation in the country. After reaching a peak of Rs211.93 on June 22, the dollar started declining for a brief period and fell to a low of Rs204.56 on July 4. The rupee was weakening, according to Mettis Global Director Saad Bin Naseer, as a result of "panic buying [of the dollar] by banks in the interbank market." Following the by-elections for the 20 seats in the province, he claimed that "panic is settling in the financial markets due to fears of a change in [the] government in Punjab and the Center." The PTI overwhelmingly defeated the PML-N, which controls the ruling alliance, in the by-elections. He continued by saying that the Fitch rating agency's lowering of Pakistan's outlook from stable to negative added to the market's concern. Moreover, he said, the demand for the dollar among importers had also “spiked” as the future of inflows from the International Monetary Fund, friendly countries, and bilateral sources remained a concern.
ISLAMABAD: President ICCI led a delegation of all Pakistan Furniture Industry Association in a meeting with Miftah Ismail, Federal Minister for Finances for bringing retailers into a fixed tax regime.
Pak-China Research Centre to be set at Swat University
By Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD: According to a report from Gwadar Pro on Tuesday, the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has provided funding for the development of the Pak-China Research Centre of Economic Development (PCRCED) at the University of Swat. The project, which is expected to cost Rs 1,230.540 million, would be finished in five years. KP has set aside Rs 56.420 million in its budget for the fiscal year 2022-2023; the remaining amount will be distributed in the following years. The proposed Pak-China Research Centre will facilitate the study and research on diverse arts, cultures, history, and politics of China and the Swat valley. Through exchange programs, the Center can further enhance people-to-people contact between Swat valley and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. They already have centuries-old cultural and business ties, as geographically Swat valley and Xinjiang are not far from each other -- only Gilgit-Baltistan lies between them.
Six bike lifters held; 12 stolen bikes recovered
By Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD: Irfan Wahab Khan, the Chief Executive Officer of Telenor Pakistan, made the following remarks regarding the most recent financial results: "The last quarter has been challenging for the country, particularly for the telco sector, which has an impact on all facets of society and is heavily reliant on the state of the national economy. Despite these interruptions, we nonetheless recognised our responsibility to widen doors for opportunities. Our commitment to serving Pakistanis and expanding our subscriber base in these hard times demonstrates the strong relationship that Telenor Pakistan has with the population and how they value it as a trustworthy partner." The police team has also found 12 stolen bikes, of which 7 motorbikes and 5 bicycles have been recognised. These bicycles were taken from the Kohsar, Abpara, and Karachi Company neighbourhoods. The suspect has been placed in custody pending an identification parade. The police team's performance has been recognised by DIG Operations, who has also announced awards for them. He also instructed all of the zonal officers to maintain vigilance in their respective zones and step up their efforts to root out criminal elements. Additionally, authorities are requesting that any suspicious activities be reported by the public.
PTI's big win
Imran Khan and his supporters are undoubtedly happy right now. In Punjab, where 20 provincial seats were up for election, the PTI has won 15 of them. Only four seats might be won by its biggest competitor in the province, the PML-N, which is in power. Voters who were suffering from long blackouts and inflation appear to have punished the party for sharply boosting petrol and power costs in exchange for IMF bailout money to support the economy. But other factors than inflation also contributed to the PTI's victory in the Sunday by-elections. Numerous other considerations also had a role in the voters' decision. Imran Khan deserves praise for waging an aggressive campaign to unseat his government ever since a motion of no confidence was made against him, notwithstanding the campaign's faulty foundation of a "foreign plot". Additionally, he charged that the military was complicit in the purported plot against his government and was supporting his adversaries. Regardless of how contentious his message was, it was well received by voters in both urban and rural areas. The results show that the PTI was able to significantly affect the electorate, which turned out in record numbers to vote in its favour. This was made possible by the Imran Khan factor, which had been successful in the 2018 election. Not only that. The outcome also indicates a growing popular dissatisfaction with politicians who occasionally switch allegiances for their own benefit. In exchange for the PTI defectors' votes in the election for chief minister, the PML-N may have felt "obligated" to offer them seats. But the outcome showed that it had made a serious error in judgment because its choice caused discontent inside the party and discouraged its supporters from voting on Election Day. Every party should take into account the politics and effects of defections going future. The PML-N leadership needs to reflect since the coalition government is likely to face increasing pressure to call new elections to seek a mandate once the PTI retakes Punjab in the run-off election for chief minister on July 22, as required by the Supreme Court. The party needs to carefully examine the circumstances that led to its unexpected defeat despite Maryam Nawaz's tireless campaigning and determine whether this is just a temporary setback or a vote of no confidence in the party as a result of the difficult financial decisions and compromises it made. Whether the PML-N decides to hold hasty elections or finish its term, it may require Nawaz Sharif to go home in order to mend the party's splits and lead it from the front if it wants to win. Regardless of the by-probable election's political and economic repercussions, the occasion gives all parties especially the PTI a chance to think about more sensible, issue-based politics rather than demonising every rival and institution.
Imran Khan deserves praise for waging an aggressive campaign to unseat his government ever since a motion of no confidence was made against him, notwithstanding the campaign's faulty foundation of a “foreign plot”
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. 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.
We will not walk away to leave a vacuum to be filled by China, Russia or Iran.”
UN failing to protect Palestinian children
A UN statement released last week, which urged the Israeli government to release Palestinian prisoner Ahmad Manasra, included the words: “We regret we failed to protect you.” Only 14 years old at the time of his arrest and torture by Israeli forces, Manasra is now 20. His case is a representation of Israel’s overall inhumane treatment of Palestinian children. The UN experts’ statement was forceful and heartfelt. It accused Israel of depriving Manasra “of his childhood, family environment, protection and all the rights he should have been guaranteed as a child.” It referred to the case as “haunting,” considering Manasra’s “deteriorating mental conditions.” The statement went further, declaring that the case “is a stain on all of us as part of the international human rights community.” Israeli ill treatment of Palestinian children, whether under siege in war-stricken Gaza or under military occupation and apartheid in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, is commonplace. Yet, somehow, Israel continues to be spared a spot on the unflattering list, issued annually by the UN secretary-general, naming and shaming governments and groups that commit grave violations against children and minors anywhere in the world. Oddly, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ latest report on children and armed conflict does recognize Israel’s horrific record of violating children’s rights in Palestine. It even details some of these violations, which UN workers have directly verified. This includes “2,934 grave violations against 1,208 Palestinian children” in 2021 alone. However, the report equates Israel’s record — one of the most dismal in the world — with that of Palestinians; namely the fact that nine Israeli children were impacted by Palestinian violence in that whole year. Though the deliberate harming of a single child is regrettable regardless of the circumstances or the perpetrator, it is mind-boggling that Guterres found it appropriate to equate the systematic violations carried out by the Israeli military as a matter of course and the nine Israeli minors harmed by Palestinian armed groups, whether intentionally or not. To deal with the obvious discrepancy between Palestinian and Israeli child victims, the UN report lumped together all categories to distract from the identity of the perpetrator, thus lessening the focus on Israeli crimes. For example, the report states that a total of 88 children were killed throughout Palestine, of whom 69 were killed in Gaza and 17 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. However, the report breaks down these murders in such a way that conflates Palestinian and Israeli children, as if purposely trying to confuse the reader. When read carefully, one discovers that all of these killings, bar two, were carried out by Israeli forces. The report uses the same logic to break down the number of children maimed in the conflict, even though, of the 1,128 victims, only seven were Israeli. Of the remainder, 661 were maimed in Gaza and 464 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. It goes on to blame “armed Palestinian groups” for some of the Palestinian casualties, as they were allegedly injured as a result of “accidents involving children who were near to military training exercises.” Assuming that this is the case, accidents of this nature cannot be considered “grave violations,” as they are — by the UN’s own definition — accidental. However, the confusing breakdown of these numbers was not accidental, as it allowed Guterres the space to declare that, “should the situation repeat itself in 2022, without meaningful improvement, Israel should be listed.” Worse, Guterres’ report went further to reassure the Israelis that they are on the right track by stating that, “so far this year, we have not witnessed a similar number of violations,” as if to suggest that the now-collapsed right-wing Israeli government of Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid deliberately changed its policies regarding the targeting of Palestinian children. Of course, there is no evidence of this whatsoever. Defense for Children International’s Palestine chapter last month reported that Israel “had been intensifying its aggression” against children in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since the beginning of 2022. It confirmed that as many as 15 Palestinian children had been killed by Israeli forces in the first six months of 2022, almost the same number as in the entirety of the previous year. This includes five children killed in the occupied city of Jenin alone. Israel has even targeted journalists who attempted to report on these violations, including Palestinian Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed on May 11, and Ali Samoudi, who was shot in the shoulder the same day. Much more can be said, of course, about the besiegement of hundreds of thousands of children in the Gaza Strip, which is known as the world’s largest open-air prison, and many more in the West Bank. The lack of basic human rights, including lifesaving medicine and, in the case of Gaza, clean water, hardly suggests any measurable improvement in Israel’s track record as far as its treatment of Palestinian children is concerned. Ramzy Baroud has been writing about the Middle East for more than 20 years. He is an internationally syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author of several books, and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com.
Somehow, Israel continues to be spared a spot on the list naming and shaming governments and groups that commit grave violations against children
Unknown quantities in race to be UK PM lack star quality
Boris Johnson is an unusual, atypical Conservative prime minister in so many ways. His fall from grace was long predicted. His foibles and weaknesses were always bound to catch up with him. He needed dozens of wardrobes for all his skeletons. Yet, unlike his peers, he had certain qualities his potential successors are struggling to demonstrate. Johnson had that X-factor, an ability to reach out beyond the typical Tory base. Winning two mayoral terms in a left-leaning London and a stunning victory in the 2019 general election highlighted this broad appeal. His weaknesses — the lack of honesty and chaotic governance — were airbrushed over, only to be fully exposed during the COVID-19 crisis. Now that he is standing down, the challenge for the Conservative Party is to find a successor who has that star box office quality but combines it with integrity and effectiveness. A total of 11 started out in the tussle to replace him, with many others having seriously considered joining the race. Not one of them has his presence and charisma, albeit they all have far less baggage. The size of the field highlighted the lack of a clear-cut successor and how, for the most part, the choice was between a group of unknown quantities. It is a challenging test. The successful candidate has to appeal to two differing electorates. The first stage, due for completion at some point this week, will see Conservative MPs narrow the field down to a final two, who will then spend the summer appealing to the broader party membership of about 180,000. The former tend to know the candidates well and are not typically as right wing as the membership. By Sept. 5, a successor to Johnson should be chosen. The front-runner among Conservative MPs is the former Chancellor Rishi Sunak. He looks certain to make it to the final two. However, his resignation was key to Johnson being forced to step down; something a large segment of the party will not forgive him for. He was seen as plotting for some time against the prime minister. He has the awkward juggling act of being against Johnson, but at the same time, barring the last few weeks, being at the center of all that went wrong. After Sunak, it is a tussle. As the candidates are largely unknown quantities to the Conservative membership, as well as the broader electorate, opinion polls at this stage may be deceiving. The series of hustings and media interviews will be crucial as members weigh up these unknowns. The fascinating part of this campaign is that it shines a light on the key issues of concern to Conservative England. Yes, the Conservative Party barely exists in Scotland anymore. The main debate will be in the largest segment of the UK. The candidates have to determine what matters most to this electorate. With an economic crisis and massive inflation, with fuel and food prices rocketing, the economy should be the major issue. Most of the candidates are promising huge tax cuts to promote growth and are vowing to slash civil service numbers to cut waste. Sunak is the outlier here. He only backs responsible tax cuts when Britain can afford them and accused other candidates of indulging in “fairy tales,” with uncosted pledges of tax giveaways that risk further inflation. Lurking in the background are all the cultural issues that have polarized politics, not just in Britain but in the US and elsewhere. Debates over gender, sexuality and identity remain divisive. Immigration genuinely matters, but here all the candidates maintain a hard-line approach, with not one proposing to roll back the scheme to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. Brexit also remains an issue. Far-right MPs are desperate to ensure a true star of the Brexiteer firmament will get into the last two. All have used starkly pro-Brexit soundbites. On the broader international stage, most of the candidates are inexperienced and untested, but whoever wins is unlikely to change a huge amount, not least as Britain has barely had a foreign policy in recent years, save to push for post-Brexit free trade deals. On Ukraine, all the candidates largely agree, so it is unlikely that Britain will pull back from its hawkish line against Russia under a new leader. None of them would sit down with President Vladimir Putin in the current circumstances. Meanwhile, the Labour Party leadership is not so quietly enjoying the governing party tearing itself apart. Firstly, the electorally successful Johnson will go. Labour can trade on all the resignation letters of ministers and others who tore into his credibility and performance. Secondly, the whole leadership campaign has been toxic, with plenty of backstabbing between the candidates. For example, one unnamed Tory MP said of former Defense Secretary Penny Mordaunt: “All she has to offer is lipstick and blonde hair — but no backbone or brains.” The Tory party looks to be in a shambles and is bitterly fractured along many lines. The serious backdrop to all these electoral and political shenanigans is the multiple crises the UK faces, alongside other countries. Economic challenges need attention now. The Ukraine crisis brings with it all sorts of negative impacts. COVID-19 is far from finished. This is the time for strong, decisive and united governance. However, that looks a long way off for now. Chris Doyle is director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding in London.
Not one of the Conservative Party leadership candidates has Johnson’s presence and charisma, albeit they all have far less baggage
West must rewrite playbook on dealing with North Africa
Although the Maghreb is not exactly a top priority in the policymaking corridors of Brussels or Washington, this subregion retains great potential for successful engagement and closer cooperation and collaboration for a troubled transatlantic partnership facing a global, multi-front geopolitical onslaught. Setting the US aside, Europe and North Africa are intrinsically linked by more than just a rich history and unique geographical proximity, affording both regions plentiful opportunities to foster shared values and pursue similar strategic interests. There was hope just over a decade ago when a revolutionary wave swept through parts of North Africa, ushering in a tense period of unprecedented change and uncertainty; creating a near-perfect chance for the West to seize the moment and step up its engagement in this part of Europe’s vast “neighborhood.” Today, however, the landscape is a far cry from the now-forgotten aspirational lunge for citizen-led democracies and the preservation of civil liberties. This year alone, North Africa stands at a precipice vis-a-vis Libya’s quarrelsome political quagmires and heightened uncertainty over Tunisia’s back-sliding democratization, as well as escalating tensions between regional rivals Algeria and Morocco. These daunting scenarios and a persistent record of failure (see Libya and Tunisia) should not dissuade critical engagement, but should rather underwrite more of it. This is not least for preserving Mediterranean and European strategic security, but also stemming migratory surges, while backing sustainable political, socioeconomic, institutional and other reforms across the region. However, the reality is, frankly speaking, quite disappointing. The European view on North Africa remains a victim of Brussels’ usual knack for contorting itself around meandering bureaucratic maneuvering that prizes consensus-building among the divergent interests of its members over decisive engagement that meets the urgency of the moment. It is no surprise that, even when each North African country is grappling with a slew of domestic challenges that have eroded most of the gains made in the last decade and fueled public antipathy against painful democratization processes, Brussels has still not been able to define a coherent set of policies toward the subregion. Instead of skillfully establishing pathways for cooperation on, for instance, shared geopolitical interests, Europe has allowed member states to pursue their own narrow interests, damaging prospects for regional collaboration on challenges like stemming migratory surges from sub-Saharan Africa. For the US, on the other hand, North Africa is too far down its list of priorities to even attempt meaningful engagement beyond pushing for closer counterterrorism and counterinsurgency cooperation — deferring the laborious effort at developing a thorough understanding of each North African country’s highly complex, hyper-localized dynamics and demands to a distracted Europe. Washington’s view on North Africa naturally evolved from an unchanging perception that the region only has a few, manageable threats to American interests.
Raisi faces new challenge as Sweden sets crucial precedent
DR. MOHAMMED AL-SULAMI
After a marathon trial involving more than 90 hearings and 46 witnesses, a Swedish court last week handed a life sentence to a former Iranian judiciary official for his involvement in the mass execution and torture of tens of thousands of prisoners in Iran in the 1980s. The court’s ruling against Hamid Nouri, a 61-year-old former assistant to the deputy prosecutor at Iran’s Gohardasht Prison, elicited mixed reactions. The Iranian regime has, predictably, strongly condemned the verdict, while human rights organizations and Iranian opposition figures welcomed it as a victory for those who have been or are still being oppressed in Iran. Hours after the verdict, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani declared Tehran’s condemnation, stating: “The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns this political statement (which is) based on fabricated and baseless accusations against the Islamic Republic and our judiciary system.” Human rights activists and Iranian opposition figures hailed the verdict, saying that the ruling sets a precedent to try and prosecute other Iranian officials accused of committing crimes. Some have stated that the ruling acts as a litmus test of the principle of universal jurisdiction. Others have suggested that the Swedish verdict will inspire other countries to act against former Iranian officials living in exile. These reactions are understandable, since the ruling is a milestone, marking the first time that a former Iranian official has been tried for his involvement in the mass executions that primarily targeted members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran. While other Iranian officials and operatives have been convicted in Germany, France and, most recently, Belgium for assassinations and terrorism-related plots, none had ever been tried for crimes committed in Iran, according to legal experts. Additionally, the Swedish verdict also came at a time when Ebrahim Raisi, one of the four judges who oversaw the executions upheld by the infamous death commission in 1988, is occupying the presidential office in Iran — and is reportedly being groomed to become the country’s next supreme leader. The ruling against Nouri was far more than just a court verdict. It showed the victims’ families and reminded the world that justice will ultimately be served against perpetrators of crimes against humanity, however belatedly. It also sent a warning to the Iranian regime that oppressors will one day be subject to justice and will pay the price for their oppression. The Swedish verdict has also encouraged the victims’ families to hold fast to the belief that, despite the passage of three decades since the crime was committed and despite the Iranian regime’s predictable denial of responsibility, they can still use the principle of universal jurisdiction to sue the perpetrators in courts outside Iran. While all this undoubtedly indicates a long overdue shift in the right direction from Western powers, some European politicians still seem intent on playing by Iran’s rules, with critics warning that appeasing Iran is more likely to encourage further hostage diplomacy than to dissuade it from this policy. Belgian Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne and a number of lawmakers are currently supporting a controversial treaty that will allow the swap of an Iranian diplomat jailed in Belgium over a bomb plot in exchange for a Belgian citizen held by Iran on vague “espionage” charges. Tehran is keen for this treaty to be ratified so that its Belgian hostage is released in return for 50-year-old Assadollah Assadi, an attache at the Iranian mission in Vienna. Assadi was found guilty of supplying explosives for an intended bomb attack targeting a 2018 Iranian opposition rally in France, which was also attended by five British lawmakers. While the justice minister has not named the individual taken hostage by Tehran in February, Belgian media have identified him as Olivier Vandecasteele, a 44-year-old former aid worker. The Belgian treaty, currently in front of parliament for ratification, has been criticized domestically and abroad for undermining the rule of law in the country. In the US, Rep. Randy Weber, a Republican representing Texas, tweeted that he was “shocked to find out that the Belgian government has cut a deal with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and plans to send Iranian terrorists back to Iran to plot more terroristic acts.” This case notwithstanding, however, Khamenei’s favorite, Raisi, should be more concerned than any other person in Iran about what the future holds. As a senior member of the death committee that oversaw the mass execution of political prisoners, he shares responsibility for sending at least 30,000 innocent people to the gallows without any fair trial. It is hardly surprising that the Iranian regime has pursued a policy of hostage diplomacy, using dual nationals as leverage. In May of this year, Iran announced plans to execute Iranian-Swedish scientist Ahmad Reza Djalali on charges of spying for Israel and assisting it in killing Iranian nuclear scientists. Djalali had left his home in Sweden in April 2016 to attend a two-week workshop in Iran at the invitation of the University of Tehran. He was arrested a few days after his arrival. Following a typically farcical trial that was heavily criticized by human rights organizations, Djalali was sentenced to death by one of Iran’s so-called revolutionary courts a year later. There are numerous similar cases involving dual nationals who are suffering the terrible consequences of the Iranian regime’s political games with the West. These include 67-year-old German-Iranian activist Nahid Taghavi, who was arrested in Tehran in October 2020 and charged with “apparently belonging to an illegal organization” and disseminating “anti-regime propaganda.” The recent verdict against Nouri in Sweden is likely to herald the beginning of a new approach by the Iranian regime. This verdict sends a clear message, warning against any further blackmail and reminding Tehran that the West can initiate countermeasures against it. More importantly, the Swedish trial, which ironically began on Aug. 10, 2021, a few days after Raisi took office, was seen by many observers as having damaging implications for Iran’s latest hard-line president. The trial provided an ideal opportunity to reveal more of the horrific details of the terrible period of the 1980s, which Raisi has always been keen to conceal. Before his election, Raisi was placed on a US sanctions list in 2019. However, as head of state, he is nominally granted immunity from prosecution, enabling him to travel abroad for visits and meetings. According to human rights activists, however, the Swedish verdict could break the vicious cycle of impunity granted to Iranian officials accused of human rights abuses. In conclusion, it seems that Nouri’s sentencing killed two birds with one stone. First, it hit back at Iran’s blackmailing hostage diplomacy and, second, it sends a clear message to Raisi that the age of impunity is drawing to a close and that justice has no expiry date and no geographic limits. We can only hope that other European countries will also act against Iran’s hostage diplomacy. Dr. Mohammed Al-Sulami is president of the International Institute for Iranian Studies (Rasanah).
Nouri’s conviction reminds the world that justice will ultimately be served against perpetrators of crimes against humanity, however belatedly
Residents of Sector 7D/3 North Karachi are facing an acute water shortage for a long time. The residents are forced to get water tankers, and each household has to pay Rs3,000 per month. This shortage seems an artificial method to increase business for water tanker providers. Over the years, there have been several crackdowns on illegal hydrants – but to no avail. Moreover, before such crackdowns are launched, the government should ensure proper supply of line water to residents. This situation has created great inconvenience for the people of this sector. Moreover, long transmission routes also cause problems as water is wasted in the form of leakages and theft. It is the duty of the department concerned to maintain regular water supply in equitable and balanced manners. Many complaints have been lodged with the authorities concerned but all were in vain. It is pertinent to mention that water is being supplied on a regular basis to other adjoining areas. Water supply should be the same for all areas of the city. Otherwise the residents of the area will be entitled to claim a refund of the dues they have paid.
Nisar Ahmed, Karachi
Stay in your lane
It has been observed that fewer personnel of the Motorway Police are on patrol these days. Although it has been given hybrid cars, they are seen mostly at well-known speed traps, which are easily avoided by regular travellers. There is little or no lane discipline, speeding buses are seen overtaking in lane-3 that is supposed to be out of bound for heavy vehicles. Lane-3 is the acceleration lane for overtaking but now one sees people driving continuously in Lane-3, not giving way for others to overtake them. The motorway police should revisit its role and duties so that it once again becomes an efficient tool to regulate and control traffic, as it was doing in the not-too-distant past.
Outsider seeks to break dynastic hold on Sri Lankan politics
Colombo: Former journalist and rights activist Dullas Alahapperuma is an unlikely contender to be Sri Lanka's leader, but is the main challenger to the current acting president in a parliamentary vote Wednesday. The 63-year-old former media minister secured the support of the main political opposition on Tuesday, after promising to unite a fractured, crisis-hit nation following Gotabaya Rajapaksa's resignation last week. "It is a crime not to do anything while the country is rapidly going down," Alahapperuma told AFP while Rajapaksa was still in office. "We must get the country out of this mess. Otherwise we won't have a country very soon." Sri Lankan politics has been dominated for decades by a series of family dynasties, but Alahapperuma's family never had those connections. Both his parents were schoolteachers, and he began his career as a reporter for Lakmina, a local newspaper in Colombo. Moving into leftist activism, he published his own political tabloid, the "Dullas News". That propelled him to a provincial council seat in 1993, and a year later he became a member of parliament. He worked closely at the time with Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was campaigning against rights abuses by the government of then-president Ranasinghe Premadasa. Rajapaksa and his family went on to dominate Sri Lankan politics for years -- the recently ousted president is his younger brother -- and several members of the clan were themselves accused of rights abuses in the country's fight against a Tamil rebellion. In an illustration of the dynastic nature of Sri Lankan politics, it was Premadasa's son Sajith, now the leader of the opposition in parliament, who nominated Alahapperuma for the presidency on Tuesday. 'Deceitful political culture' Alahapperuma left politics in 2001 to pursue higher education at the University of Iowa, but re-entered parliament in 2005 when his ally Mahinda became president. Most recently, he held three different positions in Gotabaya's cabinet. On his first day as energy minister, there was a nationwide blackout. As media minister, he maintained close ties with journalists and was seen as an unabrasive spokesman for the cabinet -- unlike several of his predecessors. As public anger grew against the Rajapaksa clan over the country's worsening economic crisis, Alahapperuma publicly urged the president to form a unity government earlier this year. He accused the Rajapaksa administration of unleashing attacks against dissident journalists and activists, and admitted that he was powerless to contain the oppression. He was seen as an outspoken critic within the cabinet, a record that may have helped him secure the opposition's support for his candidacy for president. A father of two sons aged 27 and 26, Alahapperuma is married to a popular film actress, Pradeepa Dharmadasa. If he wins on Wednesday he has promised to make opposition leader Premadasa his prime minister in what he calls the country's first "consensual government". AFP
Swiss prosecutors mull appeal in Blatter, Platini case
Geneva: Swiss state prosecutors confirmed on Tuesday they have started the appeal process against the acquittal of former football chiefs Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini over a suspected fraudulent payment. Blatter and Platini, once the chiefs of world and European football respectively, were cleared on July 8 by the Federal Criminal Court in a trial following a mammoth investigation that began in 2015. The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) confirmed to AFP it had taken the first step in appealing against the verdict. "The OAG has... filed an appeal," it said in a brief statement. The Federal Criminal Court, based in the southern city of Bellinzona, must now provide a written explanation of its verdict, a process that can take some time. This will then be considered by the OAG, which will then decide whether to maintain the appeal or withdraw it. "This is not a preliminary decision. The judgment, to be justified in writing by the court as a result of the appeal application, will form the basis for further examination by the OAG," the office said. Former FIFA president Blatter, 86, and Platini, 67, were cleared of the allegations that shook world football and torpedoed their time at the top. The Federal Criminal Court rejected the prosecution's request for a suspended prison sentence of a year and eight months. The trial revolved around payment for Platini's work as an adviser to Blatter between 1998 and 2002. Platini was accused of having submitted to FIFA in 2011 an allegedly fictitious invoice for a claimed debt still outstanding for his advisory work. They signed a contract in 1999 for an annual remuneration of 300,000 Swiss francs, which was paid in full by FIFA. 'Gentleman's agreement' But the pair were tried over a two million Swiss franc ($2.06 million) payment in 2011 to Platini, who was then in charge of European football's governing body UEFA. Blatter told the court the pair had actually struck a "gentleman's agreement" for Platini to be paid a million Swiss francs a year. Both were accused of fraud and forgery of a document. Blatter was accused of misappropriation and criminal mismanagement, while Platini was accused of participating in those offences. The court concluded that fraud was "not established with a likelihood bordering on certainty", and therefore applied the general principle of criminal law according to which "the doubt must benefit the accused". Joseph "Sepp" Blatter joined FIFA in 1975, became its general secretary in 1981 and the president of world football's governing body in 1998. He was forced to stand down in 2015 and was banned by FIFA for eight years, later reduced to six, over ethics breaches for authorising the payment to Platini. AFP
N.Macedonia weathers bruising path to uncertain EU future
Skopje: After years of setbacks, letdowns, and the change of its name, North Macedonia on Tuesday opened European Union membership talks even as unrest grows at home with a nationalist movement threatening to upend the process. Over the weekend, the country's government announced it had reached a compromise with Bulgaria in a long-running dispute that had served as an effective roadblock to the onset of talks for EU membership. On Tuesday, officials from North Macedonia take the first symbolic step in Brussels to kickstart the accession process with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announcing the launch of talks. The 17-year journey has been bruising, sapping many in the country of any enthusiasm for joining the bloc, according to North Macedonia's President Stevo Pendarovski. The president was among a chorus of political leaders who backed the recent French-mediated deal that paved the way for ending the deadlock with Bulgaria over historic grievances, which calls for constitutional changes among other measures. The agreement was the latest in a long line of bureaucratic hurdles and political compromises for North Macedonia since it became a formal candidate to join the EU in 2005. AFP
Europe heat sparks harmful ozone pollution, 'extreme' fire risk
Paris: Europe's searing heatwave is generating very high levels of harmful ozone pollution, the region's atmospheric monitoring service warned Tuesday, adding that large areas of western Europe also face "extreme" danger of wildfires. Record temperatures, which scientists say are driven by climate change, are predicted in France and Britain Tuesday as suffocating heat that has gripped southwest Europe and sparked ferocious wildfires moves northwards. "Tinder dry conditions and extreme heat are exacerbating the risk of wildfires," according to a statement from the Copernicus monitoring service. The organisation's emergency management service has warned that a large proportion of western Europe is in "extreme fire danger" with some areas of "very extreme fire danger". The heatwave is also causing high levels of ground-level ozone, Copernicus said. Unlike the protective layer in the upper atmosphere, this is a major greenhouse gas and component of urban smog that harms human health and inhibits photosynthesis in plants. "The potential impacts of very high ozone pollution on human health can be considerable both in terms of respiratory and cardio-vascular illness," said Mark Parrington, Senior Scientist from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service. Ozone is formed as emissions from fossil fuels and other man-made pollutants react in the presence of sunlight and Copernicus said cutting emissions of these pollutants is "crucial". Scientists have already detected "extremely high surface ozone pollution" across western and southern Europe, particularly over the Iberian Peninsula and parts of northern Italy. Daily maximum levels of surface ozone, which normally peaks during the middle of the day, reached unhealthy levels in Portugal, Spain and Italy, according to Copernicus. Scientists now warn that, while the situation is likely to ease across the Iberian Peninsula, very high surface ozone levels are now being seen in areas of northern and western parts of the continent as temperatures rise. The ozone levels in these regions are forecast to peak in the next few days, before easing. Copernicus also predicted no relief from the wildfires that have engulfed swathes of forests across parts of southern Europe. One million ozone pollution deaths In southwest France, two massive fires have created apocalyptic scenes of destruction, despite much of the country's entire firefighting capacity being deployed. Copernicus said total carbon emissions from the wildfires in Spain so far in July are the highest seen for the June-July period since 2003. Parrington said high surface ozone can lead to sore throats, coughing, headaches and an increased risk of asthma attacks. The Clean Air Alliance estimates that ozone pollution causes approximately one million additional deaths per year. Ozone is also a key concern for agricultural regions and food security. AFP
Myanmar marks 75th anniversary of death of independence hero
Yangon: The 75th anniversary of the assassination of Myanmar's independence hero and father of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi was a muted affair Tuesday, with soldiers patrolling Yangon's streets and anti-junta demonstrators staging small protests in other parts of the country. Known affectionately as "Bogyoke" (General), Aung San led Myanmar's battle for independence from Britain but was gunned down in July 1947, just months before his dream was finally realised. His daughter Aung San Suu Kyi -- who was two at the time of his death -- became a democracy figurehead, Nobel laureate, and nemesis of the military. Detained since the military's latest power grab in February last year, she is now battling a raft of charges in a junta court and could be jailed for more than 150 years if found guilty on all counts. Martyrs' Day -- commemorating Aung San's killing -- normally sees hundreds queueing to pay their respects at the Secretariat, a sprawling colonial-era complex in downtown Yangon where local rivals shot dead the general and eight other prominent leaders. But on Tuesday the roads were largely deserted, with soldiers on watch at the compound, some ordering passersby trying to take selfies near the buildings of red and yellow brick to move along. Others patrolled in jeeps and extra roadblocks had been set up in the usually bustling district. Across the country, demonstrators staged small protests against the junta, with local media reporting gatherings in southern Tanintharyi region, eastern Karen state and in the northern Sagaing region. Meanwhile, state media footage showed junta number two Soe Win placing a wreath at the Martyrs' Mausoleum in Yangon -- another spot usually bustling with those wishing to pay their respects, but on Tuesday limited to invitees only. No officials from western countries -- which have led international criticism of the junta's bloody crackdown on dissent -- were present at the event, according to a diplomatic source. "They [the military] unlawfully arrested the daughter, but salute her father," read one comment posted on social media. "Only shameless people would do this." The otherwise muted commemorations were broken briefly by the traditional mass honking of car horns across the commercial hub at 10:37 am -- the time Aung San was killed. Born in 1915 under British colonial rule, Aung San became leader of nationalist fighters in what was then Burma -- making him the founder of Myanmar's military. He remains a deeply revered figure and a core factor behind his daughter's enduring popularity. During her years of house arrest under the former junta, Suu Kyi was barred from commemorating the anniversary of his death. AFP
Nigeria state suspends chief after bandit is made a royal
Kano: Authorities in northwest Nigeria's Zamfara state have suspended a traditional chief after he conferred a royal title on a notorious gang leader wanted for deadly raids and kidnappings. Parts of Nigeria's northwest and central regions have been hit by heavily armed criminal gangs known as bandits, who loot villages and abduct and kill residents. The central government has declared bandit militias to be terrorists but the gangs continue to defy the security forces with attacks and kidnappings. On Saturday, the traditional emir in Zamfara's Tsafe district sparked controversy by conferring alleged bandit kingpin Adamu Ada Aleru with the title of Sarkin Fulani, meaning a chief of the Fulani people, also called Peuls. Nigeria's traditional chiefs and emirs have no political authority, but are widely respected in their areas as custodians of local tradition and Islam. The ceremony at the emir's palace came after an apparent peace deal with Aleru, highlighting the struggle rural communities face in bandit-infested regions. Hundreds of Aleru's comrades emerged from their bush hideouts on motorbikes to attend the ceremony, a palace source told AFP. The royal title has sparked outrage. "Crowning a murderer is dancing on the corpses of the victims," Senator Shehu Sani, a rights activist from the northwest, said in a tweet. On Sunday Zamfara state government announced that the emir would be suspended. "Zamfara State Government has dissociated itself from the alleged turbaning of a Sarkin Fulani by the Emir of Birnin Yandoto of Tsafe Local Government Area," the government said in a statement that did not mention Aleru. "State Executive Governor, Bello Mohammed Matawalle has directed for suspension of the Emir with immediate effect." But a spokesman for the emir defended his actions, saying it was done in good faith to ensure peace in his region, which had suffered "unimaginable horror" from bandit attacks. "The title conferred on Aleru was to strengthen the existing peace to which he has played a central role," Magaji Lawwali said. "Before the peace agreement, we were under siege and our people were being killed and abducted for ransom on daily basis, but all these have stopped." Aleru, 45, commands respect among gangs of bandits and controls hundreds of members, say security sources. "He is held in reverence by his men for his ruthlessness and is behind attacks in parts of Zamfara and Katsina state," one said. In 2019, police in Katsina placed a five-million-naira ($12,000-) bounty on his head. AFP
Naila Kiani is still attempting to become the first Pakistani woman to climb K2
Naila Kiani, a Pakistani mountaineer based in Dubai, has begun her quest to climb K2, the world's second-highest peak, and become the first Pakistani woman to do it. Naila has already arrived at camp 1 on K2, which rises 8,611 metres above sea level and is also referred to as the "killing mountain" due to its extraordinarily challenging terrain. According to sources, Naila began her ascent from K2 base camp on Sunday and arrived at camp 1, which is at a height of 6,900 metres, on Monday. Naila should reach the top of K2 by July 22 or 23, depending on the weather.As the first Pakistani woman to summit any eight thousander within the nation, Naila scaled Gasherbrum II.
Pak vs SL Shaheen Shah Afridi gets an MRI after experiencing fitness issues
On the fourth day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle, a team representative told the media that Pakistani bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi is having fitness concerns. The official revealed that the left-arm quick had an MRI scan performed on his leg. According to the statement, Shaheen injured a muscle in his leg during fielding, for which icing was initially advised. The cricketer, though, was forced to have an MRI when his pain persisted. Shaheen's MRI results are still pending with the club management.On the fourth day of the first Test against Sri Lanka, Pakistani hitters opened their last innings sensibly as they reached 68 for the loss of zero at lunch while facing a challenging 342 run target.
Retired tennis star Barty rules out golf as a career
Melbourne: Former tennis world number one Ashleigh Barty has dashed hopes she will make a return to professional sport, after speculation the Australian could switch to golf. The 25-year-old three-time Grand Slam winner stunned the sporting world with her bombshell retirement in March, just weeks after becoming the first home Australian Open champion in 44 years. Barty had been coy on what she would do next, but has always been a keen golfer, winning the Brookwater Golf Club women's title near Brisbane in 2020 and playing the Icons Series exhibition in the United States in April. It heightened speculation that the multi-talented Australian, who has also been a professional cricketer, could take up golf seriously. But in an interview with Melbourne radio late Monday she put the rumours to bed, ruling out playing any form of professional sport again. "You guys just can't accept that I don't want to play professional sport any more," Barty said. "I love golf, it's a hobby of mine. It will not be my profession, I have no intention of making it my profession but I hack around once a week if I can. "There's no need, there's no desire for me to play professional sport, particularly golf," she added. "I love it as a walkaround with my girlfriends and friends but yeah, not for me." Late last year Barty became engaged to long-term boyfriend Garry Kissick and since her retirement has released a series of 'Little Ash' children books. "Supporting kids' education is something I'm passionate about and if I can help encourage new readers that will make me very happy," she said last month. AFP
I was losing faith, says Britain's Froome
CARCASSONNE: It has been more than 1,500 days since Chris Froome last won a race but the four-time Tour de France champion has an unwavering certainty he can still improve, although there were moments he was losing faith after a career-threatening freak crash in 2019. Three years after hitting a wall at 60kph and sustaining fractures to his neck, right femur, hip, elbow and ribs, the Briton fought for a stage win at the top of the iconic climb to l'Alpe d'Huez on the Tour last week. The 37-year-old took third place, which was way above anyone's expectations for a rider who struggled to reach the finish line on most of the days in last year's race. "These past five, six months, were probably the only five six months in the last three years that I've been able to work uninterrupted with no pain, no injuries, nothing," Froome told Reuters on Monday. REUTERS
Pak vs SL
Pakistan remains on track in the major race thanks to Shafique's 100th point
COLOMBO: Pakistan's Abdullah Shafique smashed his second Test hundred to put the tourists on course to accomplish a mammoth chase on day four of the opening Test against Sri Lanka in Galle on Tuesday. Pakistan finished on 222-3 needing 120 runs to grab the lead in the two-Test series. Sri Lanka had appeared to have the upper hand in the contest after they posted 337 in their second innings setting Pakistan a daunting target of 342. Shafique combined with Imam-ul-Haq (35) in an opening stand of 87 and later raised 101 with skipper Babar Azam (55) in a vastly improved batting display by the tourists who were skittled out for 218 in the first innings. Shafique's unbeaten 112 contained five fours and a six and he had Mohammad Rizwan on seven at the other end. However, Shafique and Imam did not look very convincing when Pakistan began their chase. Imam was dropped at cover and had an lbw decision against him reversed, while Shafique survived a strong leg-before appeal. Imam's innings ended in a bizarre manner when he let go a ball from spinner Ramesh Mendis but marginally lifted his back foot in the process allowing Niroshan Dickwella to effect a lightning-fast stumping. Sri Lanka seemed back in charge when Jayasuriya had Azhar Ali caught in the slip for six. Babar, who smashed a century in the first innings, opened his account with a flicked four off Jayasuriya and hit the spinner over deep midwicket for a six in his next over. Shafique took a single off Maheesh Theekshana to bring up his hundred and celebrated the milestone by kissing his helmet and embracing his captain Babar. Jayasuriya bowled Babar around his legs in the final session though Pakistan appear to have their nose ahead in the contest. Reuters
Rins to join Honda-LCR after Suzuki withdrawal
Paris: Spaniard Alex Rins will join Honda-LCR next season after Suzuki announced their departure from MotoGP, his future outfit said on Tuesday. Rins, 26, had been left without a team as Suzuki are pulling out of their deal with the sport four years early. He will ride for Lucio Cecchinello's outfit replacing Alex Marquez, who has signed for Ducati-Gresini. "I am very happy to be joining the LCR Honda Team. Changing team and bike is a challenge but I am ready to give my 100% and to put into practice everything that I've learnt during my years in the MotoGP class," Rins said in a LCR Honda statement. "Lucio and Honda's trust have been crucial for me in deciding to take on this challenge with this factory. I would like to thank them for this opportunity." Rins' Suzuki team-mate and 2020 world champion Joan Mir has been linked with a move to Honda's factory team. Rins is ninth in the overall MotoGP standings with nine races of the season remaining before the next event, the British Grand Prix on August 7. AFP
Spurs sign Middlesbrough defender Spence
London: Tottenham signed Middlesbrough defender Djed Spence on Tuesday in a deal that could rise to a reported £20 million ($24 million). Spence agreed a five-year contract with Tottenham after impressing during a loan spell with Championship side Nottingham Forest last season. The 21-year-old right-back's initial price is believed to be £12.5 million but that could rise to £20 million if add-on clauses are reached. Spence shot to prominence as Forest won promotion to the Premier League via the second tier play-offs last term. He made 46 appearances, scoring three goals in a season that culminated with victory over Huddersfield in the play-off final at Wembley. Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has been on a major recruitment drive since leading his team to Champions League qualification via a top four finish in the Premier League. The addition of Spence follows Conte's moves for Ivan Perisic, Fraser Forster, Yves Bissouma, Richarlison and Clement Lenglet. London-born Spence came through Fulham's academy before moving to Middlesbrough in 2018, with his time at the Riverside Stadium disrupted by a host of managerial changes. His temporary switch to Forest kick-started his career, earning him England Under-21 recognition in March and now a dream move to Tottenham. AFP
Norway women's coach axed after European rout to England
Oslo: Norwegian women's football head coach Martin Sjogren has been axed after the team's humiliating European Championship group stage defeat to England, the national federation announced on Tuesday. England recorded the biggest win in European Championship history with an 8-0 demolition of Norway on July 11. "We're all disappointed with the performances at the European Championship this summer," said federation president Lise Klaveness in a statement. The Scandinavians had nourished medal ambitions after the return of top scorer Ada Hegerberg following five years of self-imposed exile in protest at the inequality of treatment given to men's and women's teams by the Norwegian federation. Swede Sjogren, 45, and his assistant Anders Jacobson took charge in January 2017, but are leaving by mutual consent with one year left on their contracts, the federation said. Klaveness said she did not want to point out individual responsibilities, but that the extension of the two coaches' contracts until the 2023 World Cup had been accompanied by a requirement to produce results. AFP
England's Stokes made 'selfless' decision to retire from ODIs: Key
London: England managing director of cricket Rob Key has praised Ben Stokes for his "selfless" decision to ignore the "financial implications" of retiring from one-day internationals. Stokes will make his 105th and final ODI appearance at his Durham home ground against South Africa on Tuesday after taking his shock decision to quit the format 24 hours earlier. Key's first act after being appointed was to hire Stokes as England's Test captain, but he knows the relentless fixture demands on top international players make it hard to feature in all versions of the game. While the monetary terms of Stokes' central contract could come under review, Key feels England's Test and Twenty20 teams will stand to gain enormously from the all-rounder lightening his workload. "It may well end up having financial implications to Ben Stokes in terms of his contract," Key told Sky Sports News. "That's why it's a selfless decision, he could easily have said 'no, no, I'm the key' and kept getting picked in the 50-over team. "But he wants to do the Test job as best as he can, he wants to take England's Test team forward. "I was probably surprised at the timing but I'm not surprised that he's had to give one format away. I think it's a good decision from Ben that England will benefit from in the long term." Key, who spoke to Stokes about his decision last Thursday, thinks the 31-year-old was also motivated by his desire to continue being a presence in both batting and bowling disciplines in the Test side. England's Test form has been revitalised under Stokes and new red-ball coach Brendon McCullum. Since the pair took charge, England have swept a three-Test series against New Zealand before defeating India in the final match of a Covid-delayed series. "Him bowling is actually the thing he wants to be able to do, he doesn't just want to go and be a batter, he wants to be able to contribute as an all-rounder," Key said. "To do that he feels this is the best way. I'm hoping and I'm betting that this is what gets him up to 120-plus Test matches." AFP
Good leadership, prompt decision-making, and moderating policies are essential for development: President
By Our Correspondent
LAHORE: According to President Dr. Arif Alvi, prompt and accurate decision-making, trustworthy leadership, constant policy improvement, and moderation of policies to keep them in line with changing technological and commercial variables are essential for the country's rapid growth and development. At the Pakistan Chemical Expo: 2022 opening ceremony, which was hosted by the Pakistan Chemical Manufacturers Association (PCMA) on Tuesday in Lahore, President Dr. Arif Alvi made these remarks. President Dr. Arif Alvi addressed the audience during the ceremony and noted that although science and technology were undergoing exponential change, decision-makers in the public and private sectors were ill-equipped to keep up with the constant and quick advancements and developments occurring in the business, industrial, agricultural, and service sectors. He asserted that all scientific disciplines, including chemistry, physics, biology, and others, came together during research and development to create high-tech, high-value goods that were precisely calibrated for practically every industry. He added that this necessitated the transformation of entire decision- making and implementation mechanisms of a country to adopt and implement new and ultramodern Artificial intelligence and Big Data based products and services on regular basis to remain relevant to the ever-changing market and business requirements. In order to generate new ideas and identify products and services that need to be invented as well as those that are already on the market but could use improvement, he also urged universities to include representatives from leading industries in their senates. This would allow them to remain current with the sophisticated needs and preferences of customers around the world as well as the ever-changing market demands. In the 1960s, Pakistan made remarkable progress and development, becoming a role model for many developing nations around the world, according to President Dr. Arif Alvi. "We built upon these achievements but instead of building upon many gains made by us, we not only slowed down but reversed many gains made by us which pushed the country into a backward direction," the President said. "We established Pakistan Steel Mills and Pakistan International Airlines and established many industries which ushered the country into an era of progress and prosperity." The President emphasized that we needed to identify the reasons for our national regression and by the lessons so learnt, we need to take corrective steps, pledge not to repeat the same mistake again and provide a strong basis required to push forward our country on the way to sustained progress and prosperity. He stated that regrettably, Pakistan embraced a policy of exporting its human resources and carelessly sent out its valuable, highly qualified, and quality labour force to the developed world, depriving our nation of the intelligence, knowledge, and skills required for our nation's progress and development.
JK's admission to Pakistan is now a reality: JKSM
By Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD: The 19th of July is remembered in light of the historic resolution that was passed on this day in 1947 to make the state of Jammu and Kashmir's accession with Pakistan a reality, according to Altaf Ahmed Bhat, Chairman of the Jammu & Kashmir Salvation Movement (JKSM). The resolution approved by the Kashmiri people in Srinagar on July 19, 1947—25 days before Pakistan was established—was, according to Chairman JKSM Altaf Ahmed Bhat—a clear signal to India and the rest of the world that Kashmiris do not want to coexist with India in the past, present, or future. Today, we affirm the tenacity of the valiant Kashmiri people's illustrious struggle. Bhat went on to say that the world community should put an end to India's illegal, immoral, apolitical, and unilateral suspension of Articles 35A and 370, denounce the ongoing Indian atrocities in Jammu and Kashmir, and prosecute the criminals of the Indian occupation force. Pakistan should now adopt proactive measures to support the Kashmiris' right to self-determination through a fair and impartial referendum in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, in addition to its political, moral, and diplomatic support. JKSM Bhat, the chairman, added. He claimed that despite the Indian occupying troops' brutality, injustice, and cruelty, Kashmiris' fight for freedom from Indian rule will succeed and the region will become free sooner. While paying tributes to Martys, Prisoners and people of Kashmir Chairman JKSM Altaf Ahmed abhqt said, Today we reaffirm our commitment to upholding the fundamental human rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, we pay tribute to our zealous people for more than seven decades of struggle for Freedom from illegal Indian occupation. He said that the international community should condone the ongoing Indian brutality in Jammu and Kashmir and play its role in releasing the Kashmiri Hurriyat Leaders and activists imprisoned in the jails of the Indian occupation forces. According to Altaf Ahmed Bhat, a lasting peace in South Asia depends on a peaceful resolution of the conflict in accordance with UN resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. Kashmiris are fighting against the forced occupation of the Indian government, their cruel behaviour, and their illegal actions.
HYDERABAD: Leader of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf Asad Umer addressing to the members of Hyderabad District Bar.
Rally in Muzaffarabad to approve the resolution of Pakistan's accession on July 19
MUZAFFARABAD: Pasban-e-Hurriyat Jammu and Kashmir planned a rally in Muzaffarabad to reiterate and endorse the resolution of accession to Pakistan that was adopted on July 19, 1947, in Srinagar. Many people, including children, took part in the rally and shouted slogans in support of Pakistan and Kashmir's liberation. From Gharipan Chowk to Burhan Wani Shaheed Chowk, they marched down the major thoroughfare. Speakers at the rally emphasised that the people of Jammu and Kashmir still adhere to the provisions of the July 19, 1947 resolution, even after 74 years. They emphasised that "the historic resolution was a practical representation of the intellectual and ideological devotion of Kashmiri Muslims to Pakistan." They continued by saying that the resolution represented the hopes and aspirations of Jammu and Kashmir's predominately Muslim population. The speakers insisted that the burial of thousands of Kashmiri youth in Pakistani flags was actually a gesture of devotion to the nation, Pakistan, which was founded in the name of Islam and is loved and revered by the people of Jammu and Kashmir, which India occupies. Among those who attended the rally included Uzair Ahmad Ghazali, Mushtaq-ul-Islam, Abdul Aziz Alvi, Usman Ali Hashim, Bilal Ahmad Farooqui, Muhammad Iqbal Awan, Ali Muhammad Butt, Chaudhry Muhammad Ismail, Raja Zakheer Khan, Muhammad Ismail Khan, Aslam Awan, Dr. Muhammad Manzoor, Chaudhry Muhammad Riaz, Raja Zaheer Khan, Riaz Ahmed Awan and Faizan Riasat.
Kashmiris linked future with Pakistan on July 19, 1947
By Our Correspondent
SRINAGAR: Hurriyat leaders and groups in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir described July 19 as a significant day in Kashmir history, noting that the people of Kashmir had chosen to join Pakistan even before the Indian subcontinent was divided in 1947. According to Kashmir Media Service, on July 19, 1947, during a meeting of the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference at Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan's home in the Aabi Guzar neighbourhood of Srinagar, genuine representatives of the Kashmiris unanimously approved the resolution of Kashmir's accession to Pakistan. According to the leaders of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, including Professor Abdul Ghani Butt, Abdul Ahad Parra, Zamrooda Habib, Yasmeen Raja, Khadim Hussain, Maulana Sibte Shabbir Qummi, Attorney Davinder Singh Behl, Jammu & Kashmir Democratic Political Movement, and Itehaad-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir, the decision of July 19, 1947 was evidence that In order to help resolve the Kashmir issue in accordance with the hopes and aspirations of the people, they requested the UN Secretary General to seriously consider the war crimes committed by Indian occupying forces in the internationally recognised disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir. They said that the people of Kashmir, expressing their love and political future with Pakistan every year observe July 19 as Accession to Pakistan Day. They said that it was on this historic date when Kashmiri leadership unanimously decided to link their future with yet to born state of Pakistan.
Speakers at a Kashmir meeting in the UK call for the world to prevent disaster in South Asia
LONDON: The international community was urged by speakers at the Kashmir summit to restrain the RSS-supported Hindutva dictatorship in India in order to prevent South Asia from suffering a major tragedy as a result of the hate policies being implemented by the Modi government there. To debate how peace may be reached in Kashmir, the Labour Campaign for International Development and Labour Friends of Kashmir met in High Wycombe, a town northwest of London. The event was attended by Member of British Parliament Naz Shah, Labour Party In-Charge Campaign David Taylor, Abdul Rasheed Turabi, former JI AJK president, Mushtaq Lashari, Third World Solidarity Forum chairman, Nayeem Tahir, local mayor, and leaders of the British and Pakistani and Kashmiri community. Others who addressed the event included Abdul Rasheed Turabi, for JI AJK president, Mushtaq Lashari, Third World Solidarity Forum chairman, Nayeem Tahir, local mayor, and leaders of the British and Pakistani and Kashmiri community. David Taylor and Naz Shah were among the speakers who urged the local leaders to join and speak out against Indian crimes in Kashmir. In the upcoming party meeting, they pledged to pass a comprehensive resolution and to continue to support the Kashmiris' quest for self-determination. In his speech as a special guest, Abdul Rasheed Turabi informed the audience about the atrocities committed by India in IIOJK and issued a warning that if Modi's cruel actions were not curbed, the peace of the entire region of South Asia may be in jeopardy. He claimed that all minorities in India and Kashmir, including Sikhs, Christians, and Muslims, are directly threatened by the Hindutva objective of the BJP dictatorship, which is supported by the RSS.
Zain Qureshi not a contender for CM: Mehmood Qureshi
By Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi has rejected speculations about his son Zain Qureshi’s intention to become Chief Minister Punjab. The PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi addressing the media representatives at the Supreme Court clarified that PTI’s candidate for CM Punjab is Chaudhry Pervaiz Illahi. Speculations about Zain Qureshi wanting to become CM are false, he added. He added that Zain Qureshi is not even interested in a ministry, his duty is to safeguard the ideology of PTI. Qureshi’s son Zain Qureshi had won the by-polls in provincial seat PP-217 from Multan on July 17. He had beaten PML-N candidate Salman Naeem, who had won the election as an Independent candidate in 2018 against Shah Mehmood Qureshi. PTI clinched victory by securing 46,963 votes in Punjab by-polls in PP-217 Multan constituency. Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Muhammad Salman was the runner-up with 40,104 votes.
PTI presses for the ECP to be reconstituted and suggests going back to Parliament
By Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD: Fawad Chaudhry, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has suggested that if Shehbaz Sharif, the prime minister, announced a date for new general elections, the PTI would be willing to undertake negotiations with the government and even send back some of its MNAs. In addition, he has called for the reorganisation of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and issued a warning to the top election commissioner that failure to resign will result in "action" from the PTI. Addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Tuesday — a day after PTI claimed a landslide victory in Punjab bypolls — Fawad Chaudhry also claimed that the ruling PML-N offered bribes to at least two PTI MPAs in Punjab to vote in favor of Hamza Shehbaz Sharif in the runoff election scheduled for July 22 but that both MPAs turned down the offer. According to him, the PTI would form its government in Punjab on July 22 and on July 23 it may forbid Rana Sanaullah, the federal interior minister, and PML-N leader Ataullah Tarar from entering the province. Fawad added that Mr. X and Mr. Y had now changed into Mr. Z since they were no longer important, in reference to the Punjab byelections and Imran Khan's comments regarding Mr. X and Mr. Y, which were a covert allusion to powerful officials. He claimed that time was over when just a select few could make important judgments behind closed doors. Fawad Chaudhry said the PTI has allowed a few days for the federal government to decide on when it wants to go to fresh elections and when it wants to complete electoral reforms. Calling for the reconstitution of the ECP, the PTI leader said that the chief election commissioner has only a few days left. “He must decide whether he wants to leave on his own or will face some action that will eventually force him out,” said Fawad. The former information minister said that political parties must be allowed to reconstitute the ECP. He said the PTI was not demanding an ECP of its choice but seeking an ECP that enjoyed the confidence of all the political forces. “We demand that Shehbaz Sharif announce a date for fresh elections. After that we could hold talks inside the Parliament or outside,” said Fawad. The speaker has not yet confirmed the resignations of the majority of PTI MNAs, who submitted them in protest of Imran Khan's removal following a vote of no-confidence.
Rana Sana's statement political hooliganism: Sheikh Rashid
RAWALPINDI: Sheikh Rashid, the leader of the Awami Muslim League Pakistan (AMLP), claimed on Tuesday that Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah's claim that Punjab MPAs skipped the assembly on the day of the Chief Minister vote was evidence of "political hooliganism." When making accusations against Rana Sanaullah on Twitter, the former interior minister Rashid claimed that kidnapping Punjab Assembly members or buying and selling would be the final straw. He stated that Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, the present speaker of the Punjab Assembly, will succeed him as chief minister of Punjab. Rashid continued by stating that "no one is worrying about the damaged economy" and that the dollar has increased to as high as Rs218. He bemoaned further issues the nation would face in the absence of political stability. On Monday, federal minister Sanaullah stated that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had 180 votes in the assembly, while the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) currently had 188 votes, and he questioned what Pervaiz Elahi would do if five MPAs failed to appear on the day of voting July 22.