Sunday, September 25, 2022

Daily The Patriot edition of 25-07-22

PM reaffirms Pakistan’s full support to SCO’s objectives, charter

By Staff Reporter

hehbaz Sharif on Sunday assured Pakistan’s full support in the fulfillment of the purposes and objectives of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), under his stewardship. He hoped that all SCO members would continue to work together for building peace, enhancing international solidarity and cooperation. According to a news statement from the PM Office Media Wing, the Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Ambassador Zhang Ming, called on the prime minister while they were speaking. The "Shanghai Spirit" and the SCO Charter's tenets were also reiterated by the prime minister of Pakistan. He emphasised the current global issues, which can be seen in the high costs of gasoline and food, the resulting food insecurity, as well as the economic and financial hardships experienced by many nations, including SCO members. The SCO's comprehensive development strategy was acknowledged by the prime minister, who also highlighted that the organization's primary goal remained the expansion and prosperity of the SCO territory and how effectively SCO leaders were meeting the desires of their people for higher living standards. He emphasised Pakistan's priorities and national development objectives as well as key cooperation areas within the SCO, such as trade and economy, connectivity and transport, poverty alleviation, energy, agriculture and food security, climate change, security, information technology, digitalization, and cultural and inter-personal ties. The prime minister underlined the need for developing appropriate funding mechanisms to promote intra-SCO trade as well as development initiatives. Stressing the enhancement of transport and communication links, the prime minister underscored the importance of the connectivity agenda and, in this regard, also highlighted that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) could serve as a useful model in its facilitation. The prime minister also shared his perspective on a number of specific regional and global security issues as well as SCO’s role in promoting stability in the region and beyond. In this context, he appreciated the work of SCO-RATS where Pakistan, together with other member states, was playing an active role in countering common security challenges. The SCO secretary general expressed his sincere gratitude to the government and leadership of Pakistan for arranging his visit before the upcoming SCO Council of Foreign Ministers and Heads of State meetings in Uzbekistan. The secretary general praised Pakistan for its positive contributions to the SCO's work and initiatives in all areas and thanked the prime minister for his advice on the organization's priorities and future endeavours. He also emphasised the prime minister's invitation to attend the SCO summit in Samarkand in September 2022, to which the prime minister replied that he was eager to attend the meeting. The secretary-general received sincere congratulations from the prime minister for accepting his significant task. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an eight-member trans-regional multilateral organisation founded on the principles of equality, respect for different cultures, mutual trust and respect, and shared development. Since its founding two decades ago, SCO has grown to be a significant international organisation, representing 23% of the world's GDP and 41% of the world's population. The four-day visit of the SCO secretary general offered a crucial chance for high-level discussions and a better understanding of what Pakistan expects from the Organization.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday assured Pakistan’s full support in the fulfillment of the purposes and objectives of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), under his stewardship

Shazia, Murtaza hope for merit, formation of full court bench 

By Our Correspondent

KARACHI: Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation & Social Safety and PPPP Central Information Secretary Shazia Marri and Advisor to Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Murtaza Wahab hoped for merit in the apex court’s decision following the formation of full court bench in a case pertaining to the election of CM Punjab. On Sunday, they claimed that Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) was exerting pressure on the institutions to achieve their goals while speaking at a joint press conference at the Sindh Archeives department in this city. They claimed that earlier judgments made based on a view of need had always caused issues for the nation. According to Shazia Marri, because the case was significant, they were considering petitioning the Supreme Court to create a larger bench. Everyone, according to her, was paying attention to the case and the outcome. Instead of a three-member bench, she asked the Supreme Cout to assemble a larger bench. Shazia said that psychological check-up of Imran Khan must be carried out. While terming Imran Khan as a Blue-eyed baby, she said that PTI chief must be pulled on reins to save the country. She said that Imran Khan always resorted to violence to gain his desired results. When asked about how the general election was run, she responded that political parties were always prepared for elections but emphasised that improvements were required before the vote. According to Murtaza Wahab, the nation had moved past making decisions based on requirements. He said that Article 63-A was the topic of discussion at the time and that the party leader, as opposed to the parliamentary party leader, was expressly stated in the constitution. He referred to Imran Khan as the Hitler of the present and claimed that it was because of Imran Khan's letter that 20 legislators had been removed from office, and that Chaudhry Shuajaat's letter was now the source of new directives. He believed that everyone should be treated equally under the law. Replying to a question on stagnant rainwater in Karachi, he said that Chief Minister and his cabinet members were on roads to check the same and he himself was on various locations to drain out water.

Pakistan in well-placed position to facilitate SCO members: Zhang Ming

BEIJING: Pakistan is well placed position for facilitating the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) members in improving regional connectivity as the Central Asia countries are land-locked, and Pakistan is ideally located to provide shorter sea access to these countries, Secretary General of SCO Zhang Ming said. According to China Economic Net (CEN), he claimed that "this will facilitate trade among SCO member states and even beyond." He said that the transit routes stand to benefit all the member states, resulting to a win-win cooperation when asked "what is the impact of SCO on Pakistan's economy." In terms of its reach and capabilities, the SCO is a multifaceted organisation from which Pakistan stands to gain significantly, he continued. The Secretary General met with the Ministers of Commerce, Climate Change, Information Technology, and Maritime Affairs during his visit to Pakistan to address a variety of topics about how Pakistan may contribute to and profit from the SCO.

Law minister wants full court to hear all cases related to Article 63-A

By Staff Reporter

LAHORE: Federal Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar has demanded the Supreme Court of Pakistan to constitute a larger bench or full court to hear the case of Punjab chief minister election, as well as the review petition of the Supreme Court Bar Association about Article 63-A interpretation. Addressing a joint press conference with Punjab Home Minister Attaullah Tarar here on Sunday, he said that political circumstances had reached such a situation that several constitutional issues needed to be resolved. He stated that before voting on a resolution of no confidence against the then-prime minister Imran Khan, the president of Pakistan had sent a reference to the Supreme Court for interpretation of Article 63-A, and it was appealed that votes cast against the directions of the party head should not be counted. The SC did not issue a stay order, and the no-confidence process was concluded, he continued. The law minister claimed that afterwards, during the election for the chief minister of Punjab, a split 3-2 decision was made that the votes cast against the leader of the party would not be taken into account. 25 votes cast in favour of Hamza Shahbaz were therefore disregarded. He said that the Punjab Assembly deputy speaker announced the victory of Hamza Shahbaz as the chief minister, in the light of the SC interpretation of Article 63-A. However, the other candidate, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, moved the SC and appealed for counting those votes, he explained. He said that the Supreme Court Bar and the civil society had demanded that hearing of these cases should be held altogether by the full court. Tarar said that prominent lawyers including Latif Afridi, Yasin Azad, Fazal Haq Abbas, Qalb-e-Hussain and Ahsan Bhoon had also said that it was a serious and sensitive issue which was taken up by 8-member and 5-member benches earlier; therefore it should in heard by the full court now.

SC to hear plea against Mazari's ruling tomorrow 

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: A three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial will hear the petition filed by Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi against Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari’s ruling over the election of Punjab CM on Monday. According to details, the government has taken the decision over the assurance of arranging foolproof security for the SC and Red Zone ahead of the opening of the superior court tomorrow. The anti-riot force will be stationed in Red Zone in relation to security. After making a decision, the government has come to the conclusion that it would not permit political workers from any parties to enter the area around the Supreme Court. However, authorization to enter the Red Zone will only be granted after the authority has been shown office ID cards. The political workers gathered in large numbers outside the Supreme Court Lahore Branch Registry on Saturday, which prompted the security agencies to issue a warning about a potential future gathering of the workers outside the SC following tomorrow's hearing on the election of the Punjab chief minister.

LAHORE: Federal Minister for Law and Justice Senator Azam Nazeer Tarar addressing a press conference.

Nobody will be allowed to violate constitution, law: Marriyum 

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Sunday said that no one would be allowed to criticize and violate the Constitution and the law as well. In a reaction to Fawad Chaudhry’s statement, she said that a person who abused and threatened national institutions should not worry about it. “Imran Khan will not be allowed to play the game of ‘establishment and anti-establishment’ just for a return to power”, she said. The minister claimed that Imran Khan has acknowledged using organisations and agencies to help him manage the government for four years. No one, she declared, would be permitted to abuse, threaten, or bully the court system. The minister noted that the Constitution's story continued to be that of Nawaz Sharif and the Muslim League (N). She counselled Imran Khan to refrain from involving the military and the courts in politics because, in her opinion, Imran was targeting institutions and wanted their leaders to be ousted. She maintained that Imran Khan’s narrative of ‘conspiracy abroad’ was now buried and the new narrative of establishment and anti-establishment has started. The minister urged the Pakistani Election Commission to swiftly declare its decision regarding foreign funding. She argued that "Imran wants NRO in the foreign funding matter through coercion, intimidation, chaos, riots, and hooliganism." She argued that the matter involving the election of the Chief Minister of Punjab should be heard by the entire court. The Supreme Court Bar Association's review petition, the current petition, and any linked petitions should all be heard concurrently by the Full Court. She said that justice on significant national, political, and constitutional problems should not only be carried out, but also be perceived to be carried out. “With the instability created by Imran Khan, the national economy is again at risk of bankruptcy. People are paying the price of Imran Khan’s economic disaster in the form of inflation, unemployment and poverty”. She said that Imran wanted to avoid accountability, conceal his corruption and gain power through the back door. She claimed that this war was being fought against the fascism of "Imran, an arrogant anti-constitutional guy." Marriyum Aurangzeb stated, "We will not let the democratic and constitutional system go bankrupt. We will not let the people and institutions of Pakistan to become subject to Imran Khan's ambitions." She claimed that Imran's way of thinking and attitude had turned into a termite for Pakistan's political structure.

QUETTA: DIG Fida Hussain is adressing the meeting of Shia, Sunni Ulema and Anjuman Tajaran in connection with Muharram.

LAHORE: Chairman Ulema Board Hafiz Zahir Ashrafi is holding a press conference after the Ulema Board meeting, other Ulema are also present.

J7 mall chakwal project is a game changer in the area

By Our District Reporter

CHAKWAL: Syed Jamshed Shah, director of Jay Seven Group, said that the Jay Seven Mall construction project will change the fortunes of Chakwal district and after the completion of this project, more than 5 thousand people will get direct employment and thousands of people will get indirect employment. It will completely change the economy of Chakwal. He was addressing the general body meeting of Chakwal Engineers Forum which was held here under the chairmanship of Malik Abrar Hussain. Engineer Muhammad Ehsan while presenting the agenda said that the said forum is providing guidance and support to young engineers of Chakwal, he said that Chakwal Engineers Forum is also providing scholarship for 12 to 15 deserving engineers every year. President Malik Abrar Hussain said that a gold medal scholarship is being established in the memory of the founder of the Forum, Engineer Taj Dad, and a three-member committee has been established for it. Colonel Syed Jamshed Shah further said that in the current construction project, young engineers Internship is also being arranged and Chakwal Engineers Forum should submit their recommendations and plans in this regard. Colonel Jamshed Shah said that Chairman Maqbool Hussain and Project Director Rashid Arshad are planning to complete the project of Chakwal within the stipulated time and God willing, the 19-storey structure of JSeon Mall Chakwal will come up within a year. He said that Alhamdulillah people of Chakwal have got the ownership of this project

Pak-Uzbek to increase bilateral trade upto US$1 billion: Ambassador Usmanov

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Uzbekistan to Pakistan, Aybek Arif Usmanov on Sunday said the Pakistan and Uzbekistan intend to increase the bilateral trade volume upto US$1 billion in the coming two years. The current bilateral trade between the two countries is $180 million, which is expected to reach $1 billion in the next two years by the mid-2024, Ambassador of Uzbekistan, Aybek Arif Usmanov told a state run news agency here. In answer to a query, he stated that the Preferential Commerce Agreement (PTA) between Pakistan and Uzbekistan is now being implemented and that it will advance bilateral trade. The ambassador stated that discussions will take place annually to assess the PTA between the two nations and find ways to improve its benefits for both parties. He added that the two nations used to engage in online talks in which the Terrif rationalization process is still being discussed. He claimed that bilateral trade obstacles and customs issues are currently big problems in both countries, and that both nations are working on a system to resolve these problems. In response to another question, he said that a transit trade agreement has been signed between Pakistan and Uzbekistan in this last year, which has a very important role in promoting mutual trade. Related to this, the transport and logistics sector is also important, in which the governments of the two countries are in negotiate for improvement. The Ambassador said that on March 28 of the same year, a tripartite transport and logistic conference was held in Uzbekistan in which the transport and communication ministers of Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan participated and many problems were resolved through mutual discussions. Uzbekistan announced the creation of the International Temiz Cargo Center at this conference, which will benefit and offer trade facilities to the traders of the three nations, he continued. The expansion of bilateral trade between the two nations, he claimed, is the goal of a comprehensive plan being carried out by the administrations of both nations.In order to connect the nations of the region, including China, Central Asia, and South Asian nations, in terms of trade, this entails developing the rail and road network as well as fostering commercial ties with Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) nations. Ambassador Arif Usmanov said that road and rail links are very important for the promotion of mutual trade between the Central Asian states, especially Uzbekistan, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and this work has been started. He said that work has been started on China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan railway line. This railway line should be linked to the Jalalabad and Peshawar railway line from Termiz, Uzbekistan, in order to develop trade and economic ties with the neighbouring nations, particularly China, a significant economic force.

Date unveiled for announcing matric results in Punjab

By Staff Reporter

LAHORE: All the boards of intermediate and secondary education across Punjab are likely to announce the matriculation results on August 31 next; however, the final date of results will be decided in consultation with the Inter Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC). It has been reported that the school boards in Punjab are debating whether to announce the matriculation results the following August 31. According to the information, 270,000 individuals registered for the matriculation exam this year. This year, the pupils won't receive ranks, and they'll receive grades rather than marks. No student will receive a failing grade for the exam, and the results for all students will be made public. The results will be available to the pupils at home.

SBP responds to economic concerns, gives confidence to nation by rejecting Fake-News

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: In continuation of an informative PodCast series launched by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), an exclusive video interview of the Acting Governor of SBP – Dr. Murtaza Syed along with the two Deputy Governors of SBP – Dr. Inayat Hussain and Sima Kamil, has been released recently. The State Bank leadership discussed the serious concerns and rumors, currently prevailing among the masses, about the economic situation of Pakistan. He also answered several questions being raised about the Central Bank and its management team. He assured the nation that the current leadership at SBP is fully capable and fully authorized to manage all the regulatory functions. It is fully engaged with global institutions to overcome the present adversities in the international economic environment. The nation should reject the negative fake news circulating on the social-media, as a new SBP Board has also been appointed now. The next 12 months will be particularly difficult for the global economy as the globe is still working to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Dr. Murtaza Syed's analysis of the current vulnerability of the national economy. International commodity prices are rising to record levels, the Fed Reserve is tightening its guidelines, and geopolitical tensions are a concern for all nations. While financial pressures are increasing in nations with high debt levels, the emerging markets are experiencing a dramatic surge in inflation. But according to Dr. Murtaza, Pakistan is not one of the most vulnerable nations in the world, thus its inhabitants do not need to panic. The following three important factors form the foundation of this optimism: Pakistan has a reasonable Debt-Level at 70% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is not justifiable to categorize Pakistan's 'Debt-to-GDP' ratio with Ghana (80% Ratio), Egypt (90% Ratio) and Zambia (100% Ratio), while Sri-Lanka has 120% ratio. Moreover, Pakistan's External-Debt is 40% of GDP, while Tunisia has 90%, Angola has 120% and Zambia has over 150%. Fortunately, Pakistan is relying more on its domestic debts, which are payable in our own currency and are easier to manage, as compared to external loans which are payable in foreign currencies. Only 7% of Pakistan's foreign debt is short-term; other nations, such as Turkey, have borrowed money for shorter periods of time (30 percent ). Only 20% of Pakistan's borrowings are on commercial terms, or concessional loans, from the IMF, the World Bank, or friendly nations. As a result, it is simpler for us to repay these loans, and Pakistan's debt indicators are far better than those of nations that have taken out more commercial loans. Pakistan's economy was recovering well from the Covid impact, achieving 6% growth last year, and hopefully this year too. Therefore, we can afford to slow-down our economy a little bit, so we have started working on adjusting our policies according to this strategy. Interest rates have been increased very proactively by SBP, while other vulnerable countries have not increased their interest-rates. Pakistan's budget will be difficult this year, so we are working on tightening the belt to reduce the economic-vulnerability of our nation. In comparison to governments like Ghana, Zambia, Tunisia, and Angola, who do not have IMF backing and may be subject to greater pressure, the nations that have accepted an IMF programme will be more safer over the course of the next 12 months.

04 dead and 751 injured in 734 road traffic crashes in Punjab

By Staff Reporter

LAHORE: The Punjab Emergency Service Department responded to 734 Road Traffic Crashes (RTCs) in all 37 districts of Punjab during the last 24 hours. In these RTCs 04 people died, whereas 751 were injured. Out of this 432 people were seriously injured who were shifted to different hospitals. Whereas, 319 minor injured victims were treated at the incident site by Rescue Medical Teams thus reducing the burden of Hospitals. The majority (70%) involved Motorbikes, therefore effective enforcement of traffic laws and lane discipline are essential to reduce this increasing the number of Road Traffic Crashes. Further, the analysis showed that 348 drivers, 28 underage drivers, 70 pedestrians, and 337 passengers were among the victims of these road traffic crashes. The statistics show that 188 RTCs were reported in Lahore which affected 193 persons placing the Provincial Capital at top of the list followed by 69 in Faisalabad with 62 victims and at third Multan 58 with 60 victims. The details further reveal that 755 victims were affected by road traffic crashes including 617 males & 138 females, while the age group of the victims shows that 151 were under 18 years of age, 400 were between 18 and 40 years and rest of the 204 victims were reported above 40 years of age.

Municipal authorities must focus on improving water supply and sanitation services: Faisal Amin Gandapur

By Our Correspondent

PESHAWAR: The KP Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Sardar Faisal Amin Gandapur has called upon all the authorities of local bodies to immediately and strictly implement the instructions of Chief Minister Mahmood Khan regarding the improvement of water supply and sanitation facilities in the entire province including the merged districts in order to ensure uninterrupted and round the clock provision of basic municipal services to citizens and thus confidence of the people in public institutions continue to grow considerably, he added. He was in charge of a meeting at the Peshawar Local Government Secretariat. The meeting was attended by the heads of other relevant local organisations, sectors, and departments in addition to Secretary LG &RDD Syed Zaheerul Islam Shah. On this occasion, essential judgments were also made in addition to taking into account ideas and recommendations for increased functionality of the TMAs, WSSCs, and Area Development Authorities. Faisal Amin Gandapur while asked for undertaking separate surveys of the private possession of some tube wells installed with government resources and repairs of the damaged and nonfunctional tube wells on emergency basis. He also made it clear that all these anomalies should be rectified forthwith otherwise strictest action will be taken against the responsible senior officers. He said that the Chief Minister has also taken notice of such complaints which show the poor performance on part of some municipal authorities, so all such officers should change their attitude and perform their duties diligently, otherwise, he cautioned, they must be ready for disciplinary action. However, the provincial minister expressed his satisfaction over the overall performance of the municipal authorities and expressed the confidence that all the municipal employees will consider themselves humble servants instead of the rulers of the people and will adopt the golden rule of self-accountability which was taught to us by our Prophet (PBUH) from the very beginning. The LG Minister also gave the relevant agencies instructions to improve the transparency and integration of the water supply schemes' distribution systems and to compile detailed information on all tube wells constructed using public funds. In order for the next meeting to be able to take sincere action in this area, he made it clear that all such data had to reach the Local Government Secretariat within a couple of days.

Low-lying areas inundated as heavy rain lashes Karachi 

By Our Correspondent

KARACHI: Karachi is at the verge of urban flooding due to the third spell of monsoon. Heavy rainfall in different areas of Karachi and other cities including Hyderabad has led to problems for the locals due to inundation of low-lying areas. The Meteorological Department predicts that the rain will last until July 26. In the upcoming twelve hours, Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir, and Gilgit Baltistan can expect further rain with wind and thundershowers. While very heavy precipitation are expected in Sindh, scattered heavy falls are predicted in eastern Balochistan, lower Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and south Punjab.

Sindh CM visits Karachi’s various area during rain

By Staff Reporter

KARACHI: Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah on Sunday visit various areas of Karachi during monsoon rains to review water drain-out arrangements. The Sindh CM was also with the provincial ministers Syed Nasir Shah, Sharjeel Inam Memon, and Administrator Karachi, Murtaza Wahab. Murad Ali Shah examined the rain nullah while touring I. I. Chundriagar Road and other locales. Speaking at the event, the Sindh chief minister pledged that his government would not allow the populace suffer during this rainy season and that every attempt would be made to drain the water. He recommended the general public to stay inside until vital work was completed. He added: "Avoid treating the monsoon spell like a picnic."

Excludes sales tax registration and fixed tax: Ajmal Baloch 

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: President of All Pakistan Association of Traders and Traders Action Committee Ajmal Baloch and Secretary and Convener of Traders Committee ICCI Khalid Chaudhry has said that according to the announcement of Federal Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, non-filers will be included in the tax net. Income tax was announced in the budget while sales tax notification is excessive. A fixed tax was announced to do this but was later changed to millions of rupees in sales tax, it was not understood.

Pakistan sees 532 fresh Covid cases 

NEWS DESK

ISLAMABAD: According to information released by the National Institute of Health (NIH) on Sunday, 532 new cases of the pandemic have been documented throughout the nation over the past 24 hours, while at least three individuals have died as a result of Covid In the last 24 hours, 19,402 Covid tests were carried out nationwide, of which 532 were positive, according to the NIH data. In comparison to yesterday's 2.96 percent, the countrywide Covid-19 test positivity percentage decreased and stayed at 2.47 percent. According to reports, 179 individuals may be in critical condition. It is important to note that Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the WHO, expressed concern about the rising number of coronavirus cases that were taxing medical staff and systems.

To eradicate crime, strict regulations must be followed: SSP 

NEWS DESK

RAWALPINDI: In a meeting, Commerce Minister assures try to solve the problems of the business community on a priority basis. Solving the problems of the SMS sector will be our first priority. Commerce Minister Makhdoom Naveed Qamar while talking to the delegation of All Pakistan Chamber of Small Traders and Industry. The meeting was led by the group leader of the All Pakistan Chamber of Small Traders Mian Zafar Iqbal. In the meeting Chaudhry Shafiq Anjum President Faisalabad, Sheikh Asif Idris President Chamber of Small Traders and Industry Rawalpindi, Zahid Qureshi President Islamabad, Wasif Majeed Jhang Chamber of Small Traders and Industry Former Vice President FPCCI Sajjad Sarwar, Muhammad Nawaz Mandori. Multan, Rizwan former President Mardan, Mohammad Taj Executive Member Ranaquim and others were included. The group leader briefed the Federal Minister of Commerce Makhdoom Naveed Qamar about the problems faced by the SME sector including the amendment of the Trade Organization Act 2013, the increasing price of the dollar, and the increase in the prices of electricity and gas. In order to strengthen the country's foreign exchange reserves, the delegation recommended to the minister of commerce that incentives be provided to local merchants for growing and developing their businesses. I'm thankful to Qamar. Federal Minister Makhdoom Naveed Qamar pledged his cooperation to the business community and assured them that the government would not let them down. He also said that every effort would be made to find solutions to these issues and that the nation would soon be able to move past its current difficulties. The delegation's leader and other participants complimented Federal Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Naveed Qamar for paying close attention to their concerns.

ICTP launches crackdown against unregistered vehicles 

NEWS DESK

ISLAMABAD: The city's unregistered vehicles are the target of a crackdown by the Islamabad Capital Police (ICTP). Details show that during the current year 2022, the ICTP issued citations to 8,951 unregistered cars and motorcycles. The unregistered automobiles operating on the roads will be checked by special enforcement squads. The campaign is being run under the direction of Dr. Akbar Nasir Khan, Inspector-General of the Islamabad Police, by SSP (Traffic), and Dr. Syed Mustafa Tanweer. Residents are being urged by SSP (Traffic) to register their cars as soon as possible and only put ETO-issued licence plates on them. According to the officials, the police won't be lenient in this situation. As DSP level officers of all four zones have been given special instructions to ensure rule of law, the ICTP has set up special enforcement teams at various locations throughout the city to monitor the movement of any potential unregistered vehicles.

Free medical camp for transgenders organised 

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: The Social Affairs Society (SAS) of Islamabad Medical & Dental College (IMDC), in partnership with Dr. Akbar Niazi Teaching Hospital (ANTH), organised a free medical clinic for transgender people, the most underserved community, close to Bari Imam in Islamabad. The medical camp, which offered BMI and eyesight screenings in addition to diabetes and hypertension screenings, helped a lot of transgender people. Everyone visiting the medical camp received free medical consultations, as well as free medication. The participants received education on healthy lifestyle choices and preventive strategies to maintain excellent health. Along with transgender people, several disadvantaged people visited the camp to receive free medical care and guidance on healthy eating and lifestyle choices. The recipients were happy to see that ANTH and IMDC had made such a beneficial action for them. They conveyed their gratitude to the hospital staff, college administration, and students, and their desire to hold more regular medical camps of this nature. Imran Ali Ghouri, the head of communication at ANTH, told the media on the occasion that the hospital offers everyone access to world-class medical care at affordable costs, and that through events like this camp, it reaches out to underserved communities to provide high-quality care at no cost right at their doorstep.

Tehreek Islah Ummat Pakistan organized in memory of Hazrat Usman Ghani

By Staff Reporter

RAWALPINDI: (Tehreek Islah Ummat Pakistan organized in memory of Hazrat Usman Ghani, Martyr Madina Inference, according to the details, organized by Tehreek Islah Ummat in Marzi Masjid Muhammadi, in memory of Hazrat Usman Ghani, the son-in-law of the Prophet, peace be upon him, Martyr Madinah Inference, 23 July Saturday. Dr. Najam-ul-Hasan Rizvi, Ameer Tehreek Pir Mufti Saeed Ahmad Naqshbandi, and other scholars, while speaking, highlighted the biography of Usman Ghani and demanded the government stop insulting the sacred things of the Ummah.

Dacoits gang busted; bike and weapons recovered 

NEWS DESK

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad A police public relations officer reported that capital territory police had busted a three-person dacoit gang responsible for a number of dacoity occurrences in Sabzi Mandi Islamabad. According to the information, three members of a dacoit’s gang who were involved in several episodes of snatching and street crimes were apprehended by a police team from the Sabzi Mandi police station employing the most recent technology and human resources. Munair Ahmed, Muhammad Shafiq, and Raja Zahoor were named as the defendants. Three 30 bore handguns, a motorbike, and a dagger used in these dacoity events have all been found by the police.

NUML confers degrees to 558 students in 18th convocation

NEWS DESK

ISLAMABAD: At the 18th Convocation of the National University of Modern Languages (NUML), which was conducted here on Saturday, deputy chairman of the senate Mirza Afridi was invited as the ceremony's special guest. 558 students received degrees during this convocation, while graduates from 39 different programmes received 39 gold medals. The convocation was attended by the rector of NUML, Major General Muhammad Jaffar HI (M) (Retd), as well as pro rectors, deans, the registrar, directors, heads of departments, and a sizable number of students and their parents. In his remarks, the event's keynote guest, Mirza Muhammad Afridi, congratulated the graduates on their accomplishments and thanked them for their hard work. According to him, students are Pakistan's greatest asset and its future, and they should take responsibility for the growth and development of their country. The chief guest added that kids need to understand the importance of teachers in their educational journey and be mindful of the sacrifices their parents made to ensure that they received a good education. He claimed that in order to excel in every aspect of life, one must put in a lot of effort. According to the deputy chairman, universities now have a bigger role in preparing students with cutting-edge technology so they can compete globally. He declared, "Our youth, who make up around 64% of our population, are our greatest treasure." The chief guest continued by saying that children must recognise the value of teachers in their educational process and the sacrifices their parents made to make sure they had access to a quality education. He asserted that one must work very hard to achieve success in all facets of life. The deputy chairman asserts that institutions now play a larger part in ensuring that students are equipped with cutting-edge technologies so they can compete globally. "Our youth, who make up about 64% of our population," he proclaimed, "are our greatest treasure." According to NUML's rector, NUML was ranked fourth overall in Pakistan out of 64 universities that took part in the survey, placing NUML in the top 100 to 200 universities overall according to Times Higher Education's Impact Ranking 2022.

ICTSI delegation is hopeful after meeting with Minister 

NEWS DESK

RAWALPINDI: In a meeting, Commerce Minister assures try to solve the problems of the business community on a priority basis. Solving the problems of the SMS sector will be our first priority. Commerce Minister Makhdoom Naveed Qamar while talking to the delegation of All Pakistan Chamber of Small Traders and Industry. The meeting was led by the group leader of the All Pakistan Chamber of Small Traders Mian Zafar Iqbal. In the meeting Chaudhry Shafiq Anjum President Faisalabad, Sheikh Asif Idris President Chamber of Small Traders and Industry Rawalpindi, Zahid Qureshi President Islamabad, Wasif Majeed Jhang Chamber of Small Traders and Industry Former Vice President FPCCI Sajjad Sarwar, Muhammad Nawaz Mandori. Multan, Rizwan former President Mardan, Mohammad Taj Executive Member Ranaquim and others were included. The group leader briefed the Federal Minister of Commerce Makhdoom Naveed Qamar about the problems faced by the SME sector including the amendment of the Trade Organization Act 2013, the increasing price of the dollar, and the increase in the prices of electricity and gas. In order to strengthen the country's foreign exchange reserves, the delegation recommended to the minister of commerce that incentives be provided to local merchants for growing and developing their businesses. I'm thankful to Qamar. Federal Minister Makhdoom Naveed Qamar pledged his cooperation to the business community and assured them that the government would not let them down. He also said that every effort would be made to find solutions to these issues and that the nation would soon be able to move past its current difficulties. The delegation's leader and other participants complimented Federal Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Naveed Qamar for paying close attention to their concerns.

“Fatha Mubahla” Conference in Punjab Arts Council

Mubahila, the day of the victory of Islam

RAWALPINDI: Fateh Mubahla conference was organized with the support of the Central Imam Hussain Council, which was chaired by the Chairman of Central Imam Hussain Council, Dr. Ghazanfar Mehdi, while addressing the conference; said that they had taken the holy persons with them to the field of Mubahlah to testify to their authenticity. A comprehensive strategy should be made to propose the teachings of those Holy Persons.

Teachers carry the flame for knowledge: Arooj Saqib Malik

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: Before the beginning of the new session of the year, Sara's Wisdom Garden provided its faculty with a fresh start. Arooj Saqib Malik, CEO of the Training Institute for Mentors Excellence, an insightful author, an educational consultant, and an advocate for women's rights, led a four-day mentoring programme that was organised by the organisation. He is exceptionally talented and knowledgeable. The workshop's major goal was to hasten the personal and professional growth of the teachers and other staff members. According to Sarah's Wisdom Garden, teachers are an important resource in the current world and the torchbearers in the field of knowledge. The four-day course examined the instructors' imagination and creative abilities as well as how they viewed many parts of life that were connected to their line of work. On the first day, Arooj Saqib focused on early childhood development. It concentrated on attachment and responsible caregiving; it focused on the repercussions of neglect and rejection on a kid and on the parent-child connection. The subject of good and negative energy and how it influences your personality and line of work was covered on the second day. The backbone of the institution, the teachers, must be capable of exercising effective control over the kids. Either there is effective control, or there is none at all. Children's attitudes and personalities are greatly influenced by how they are treated at home. The facilitator emphasised how crucial it is to NOT instil fear in any child. On the third day, activities for the instructors were the main focus. These exercises demonstrated that every adult harbours a kid, and that every child contains an adult that you are moulding and creating via your parenting and teaching strategies. Playtime is a crucial period for observing and evaluating students. On the final day, we talked about how teachers might sharpen their report-writing observational abilities. Children's learning, growth, and overall well-being are profoundly influenced by both parents and instructors, and studies show that kids perform better overall when there are more linkages between the many learning environments they use.

ISLAMABAD: Youngsters are enjoying rain at Lake View Park under the shade of umbrella.

Megacities may see urban floods as the country is affected by the rains

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: As heavy downpour continued to lash out various sections of the country, the impacts of the current monsoon, which are spreading across the nation, exacerbated the risk of urban flooding in mega urban centres. According to Dr. Zaheer Ahmed Babar, Deputy Director Flood Forecasting Department, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), the ongoing monsoon rains were in their active phase, notably in the northern and central parts of the country, including Rawalpindi, Islamabad, and Lahore. Within the following two days, according to Babar, it is anticipated that these rains will spread to other regions of the nation. "In the south, towns like Thatta and Badin in Sindh are predicted to be struck by rains," he continued. "In the north, locations like Peshawar and Kashmir are likely to see rainfall." The Met Office representative stressed that this season's monsoon pattern was abnormal and that it caused devastation in many areas of the country, particularly the southern region. He said that an early peak in the rain pattern was anticipated, and the persistent, excessive rainfall across the nation made that prediction come true. “The areas like Balochistan and Sindh have been severely hit due to this early spell which was previously not common in the region.” He went on to say that there was a list of adverse effects to watch out for in the upcoming days. "Many cities, including Karachi, which is already under water from the unprecedented rain this season, may experience urban floods. In the country's hilly regions, there is also a danger of flash flooding and landslides, according to Babar. The Met Office representative emphasised that the existing rains were refilling the water reservoirs and underground water reserves when discussing the benefits of monsoon rains. The availability of water in excess for the kharif season will, at the same time, positively benefit crop growth, such as that of rice and sugarcane. He emphasised that the Met department had also issued a warning for visitors and travellers to stay away from high-risk locations, particularly in the north and south region owing to the bad weather, and to take all necessary precautions to prevent any unfavourable situation. "They [tourists] are urged to frequently check weather and traffic updates and to stay away from driving through or walking through flooded regions. In the case of floods on their fields, the farmers are urged to take preventative action, he said.

Seduction disquiet

A new unwelcome chapter in the scandalous saga of contemporary Pakistani politics has begun. The ball is back in the august court after yet another disagreement within the political sphere failed to find a resolution. The political leadership of the nation has once more rushed to the judges' robes to request intervention in political disputes that they are unable to resolve on their own. The most populous (and richest) province in the nation is at stake; it is the crown jewel of Pakistan's electorate. The stability of the nation's economy is also in jeopardy. The central government's policymakers are still walking a tightrope, hoping desperately that the IMF would ignore the recent fire raging in Pakistan's front yard and provide us the money we need before the entire building catches fire. Until Monday, Hamza Shehbaz is the chief minister once more on a "trustee" basis. Only the Supreme Court will be able to clarify what that implies. According to reports, he has been told to follow the law and the Constitution and to stop using his position as chief minister for personal gain. Any appointment he makes that isn't merit-based will be revoked. He must only make appointments based on qualifications. The fundamentals of the job would be those in any "normal" nation. One also wonders what Hamza Shehbaz is supposed to attempt over the two odd days until his destiny is likely more definitively decided. In the meantime, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi has been given some ointment to apply to the lesion that his cousin caused; he may yet have hope of a favorable ruling. The election for Punjab's chief minister is far from finalized, and there may be a few surprises along the way, which is the only thing that is certain at this time. In the middle of all the commotion, there is now talk of a "soft" intervention by forces who had previously sworn they would stay out of it. They reportedly want the warring parties to meet down and discuss a date for general elections now. New polls could be conducted as early as October. They appear to have determined once more that the politicians cannot be left to their own devices. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that the ruling coalition, and particularly the PML-N, will agree with them given their current involvement in the messy (but essential) struggle to turn the economy around. It is unlikely that any of the ruling parties would be supporting their chances when the PTI, led by a rejuvenated Imran Khan, is on the rampage because the July 17 defeat will still be fresh in many people's minds. Therefore, it is unclear whether the "soft" intervention will become sterner and what will happen in response. All indications point to the political situation getting worse in the next weeks.

The political leadership of the nation has once more rushed to the judges' robes to request intervention in political disputes that they are unable to resolve on their own

The world needs to work together to confront growing threat of drought

IBRAHIM THIAW

Drought may be an ancient scourge but the threat is getting worse. Now, no region or country is immune to its effects. Southern Europe, for example, is in the grip of a severe drought, the worst that Italy has experienced in 70 years. In the western US, the past two decades have been the driest in 1,200 years. Chile is in its 13th consecutive year of drought and Monterrey, Mexico’s third-largest city, is being forced to ration water. In the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia have recorded their fourth consecutive year without rains and the situation has grown increasingly dire for people, livestock and the ecosystems that support them. Owing to a lack of adequate nutrition, children are dying from diseases they would ordinarily survive. Even camels, which typically survive longer than people or other animal species in tough conditions, are dropping dead in large numbers across this region. This suffering evokes traumatic memories of my own first encounter with drought, in Mauritania. I was barely 12 years old when every household in our community lost everything: Food, livestock and their livelihoods. Unable to provide for their families, many adults took their own lives. That experience has stayed with me, motivating my efforts to ensure that no more children have to live through what I did. Sadly, many still are being traumatized by drought, and many more soon will be. Scientists predict that climate change will increase the frequency, duration and geographic spread of droughts, with three out of four people in the world affected by 2050. Areas across all regions are becoming drier, and while there is not yet a consensus on where exactly the most acute drought conditions will emerge, scientists agree that land degradation exacerbates the problem. Worse, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth assessment report warns that we are not making sufficient progress in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avert even more severe conditions in the decades ahead. Taken together, recent traumatic experiences and the latest scientific projections should convey a sense of urgency, compelling everyone to build resilience against future drought risks. Drought is a natural phenomenon but it need not become a natural disaster. Land degradation can be mitigated, at least partly, through better decisions about land and water use and land restoration initiatives. In a recent report, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification highlighted successful examples of systems that have reduced the drought risk among vulnerable populations. In Brazil, Ethiopia, India and Tunisia, a combination of water harvesting and sustainable land management practices are being used to reduce the impact of droughts. While it might take time, all countries can adopt similar strategies to help move their people from water scarcity toward water security. A major shortcoming of the current approach, however, is that it is based on national systems, even though droughts do not observe political boundaries. Proactive planning across sectors within countries is essential; but without international collaboration, the effects of drought eventually will reach other countries. Common knock-on effects include conflicts over diminished water resources, soaring food prices or shortages, wildfires, mass wildlife and livestock losses, sand and dust storms, human displacement and forced migration, and civil unrest. Collaborative arrangements to anticipate and respond to droughts quickly can avert or reduce the scale of these outcomes. Australia and the US, for example, have long had policies and planning protocols in place to ensure that affected communities can endure droughts with dignity. Building such resilience globally will take time and political will. Fortunately, even in the world’s most vulnerable regions, policymakers already have foundations on which they can build. For example, Africa’s Sahel — the area between the Sahara in the north and the Sudanian savanna to the south — has a regional drought-risk system that was set up 50 years ago. It brings together a broad range of stakeholders, from producer associations to political decision-makers, and benefits from the pooling of scientific and technological capabilities at the regional level. India has adopted an even more comprehensive approach that includes drought management as part of its national disaster management plan. An intricate strategy is in place to include all the relevant government ministries and closely coordinate responses at the national, state and local levels. Thanks to a process that began 15 years ago, India now has an integrated water management system that also serves as a drought warning system. In June, the US announced that drought is now considered a strategic domestic and foreign policy priority. As home to one of the most sophisticated and advanced drought-monitoring and response mechanisms in the world, the US could help to fast-track the development of better risk-management systems globally. Around the world, there is a strong appetite among governments to act quickly, before the effects of increasingly frequent and severe droughts become unmanageable. And following the creation of an intergovernmental working group on drought during the UN summit in May, we now have a platform for mobilizing collective action according to what science tells us is necessary. We can rein in the effects of drought, together. But all leaders, from the very top all the way down to the community level, will need to commit to doing what it takes to build effective resilience — starting immediately. Ibrahim Thiaw is executive secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. ©Project Syndicate

We can rein in the effects of drought, together. But all leaders will need to commit to doing what it takes to build effective resilience

Unless govts act, rising cost of living will exact a heavy price

YOSSI MEKELBERG

There is no escape from the fact that after a prolonged period when price stability was one of the characteristics of the global economy, we have entered a new and volatile era of high inflation and a possible economic slowdown. Due to the unique set of circumstances that is driving this rise in living costs, it is reasonable to expect that it will remain a major characteristic of the world’s economies for the foreseeable future. Ominously, there is a generation of political and business leaders who have no experience of living and operating in such an environment, with all the risks it entails. After all, this is the first time in living memory that this phenomenon has been the result of an unholy combination of a global pandemic and a major war that is affecting the supply chain. All segments of global society are feeling the pinch as a result of the rising cost of living but it hits hardest those who are already worse off, both in developed and developing countries. In its harshest form it deprives people of the most basic commodities, including food, shelter, education and health, forcing them to make painful choices with both immediate and long-term effects on their well-being, including life expectancy. If not dealt with quickly, this crisis will lead not only to human suffering and loss of potential but could also result in social unrest and even social revolution. There are obvious and tangible hardships that are associated with unchecked price increases but rampant inflation leaves psychological scars, too, as a result of the uncertainties it creates and, with them, widespread and chronic anxieties for individuals, families and businesses, too. In the more than two-and-a-half years since the world was hit by an unprecedented pandemic, some of the suppositions of global economic stability have been thrown out of the window. Governments with conservative instincts have poured billions of whatever currency they use into their economies to prevent a total collapse, and then into COVID-19 testing and vaccination programs, and rightly so. For the poorer countries this was not even an option, and many have suffered not only human but also economic losses as a result of stalled manufacturing, trade and tourism activities, without the social safety nets and benefits for their citizens that are enjoyed in wealthy countries. The rise in energy prices had accelerated inflation in many countries even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and it has further intensified since the conflict began in February, resulting in huge uncertainty over gas and food supplies to Europe and causing prices of goods and services to spiral out of control. This episode of inflation is not a sign of economies overheating; rather, it is more a result of shortages created by unusual conditions, with a real fear that it could lead to stagflation — a most harmful mix of stagnating growth and inflation caused by pressures on the supply side. Inflation was once described as the cruelest tax of all, as it disproportionately affects the poor. Global polling by World Bank and International Monetary Fund researchers has found that individuals who identify as very poor have a 10.5 percent higher probability of naming inflation as a top concern than those who identify as rich, as it almost instantly reduces their quality of life. To begin with, those who are worse off economically have to spend a bigger proportion of their income on basic commodities such as food and energy, which leaves them more vulnerable to price hikes. In addition, those who are more affluent are better equipped to protect themselves from inflation as they hold diverse assets, and in times of austerity they can tap into their savings until the dark clouds of hardship have passed. This privilege is not afforded to those who live from day to day and who struggle at the best of times to provide for themselves and their families. Social safety nets and benefits are more generous in some countries than in others but inflation erodes their value. Worse, if the forecast stagnation materializes it is likely to be followed by tighter fiscal policies which, once again, hurt the poor and lower-middle classes who rely more heavily on public services, including for education and health, and even on subsidized food or programs that facilitate economic and social mobility. There is no expectation that the global economy is going to emerge from this inflationary crisis any time soon, as the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over and new variants might create further economic pressures. Meanwhile there is no end in sight to the war in Ukraine. The IMF predicts that the next two years are going to be tough, with a genuine risk of a full-blown recession. In the midst of these crises, the issue of climate change has been pushed to the margins but, as recent heat waves in Europe have demonstrated, the need to deal with its devastating consequences is becoming ever more urgent — and these consequences, once again, are hurting the most vulnerable in our societies. Yossi Mekelberg is professor of international relations and an associate fellow of the MENA Program at Chatham House. He is a regular contributor to the international written and electronic media.

Due to the unique set of circumstances that is driving this rise in living costs, it is reasonable to expect that it will remain a major characteristic of the world’s economies for the foreseeable future

Last hope for Tunisia

HAFED AL-GHWELL

Next week, Tunisians face a difficult yet familiar decision. After more than a decade, unmet aspirations will likely be usurped by a return to Ben Ali-esque centralization of power in a revised presidential system envisioned in the draft of a new constitution. Or, sensing the urgency of the moment, Tunisians could rally once more to reignite the fury that took the Arab world by storm in 2011 to decisively put an end to President Kais Saied’s designs for the presidency in what should have been the Arab world’s first full-fledged democracy. Most external observers expect the planned constitutional referendum to pass, albeit narrowly, owing to calls for a boycott by the opposition that will likely dampen turnout. Widespread apathy among Tunisians, frustrated by socioeconomic woes and almost a decade of political chaos, will also impact who will show up and what their ultimate choice will be when they cast their ballots. Faced with the simmering summer heat, soaring food prices and dwindling job prospects, there is simply very little energy to fill the streets and make a raucous challenge to Saied’s power grab, especially without an organized and united opposition movement. As a result, the president’s pillaging of hard-fought democratic norms culminating in next week’s referendum that the government is barely prepared for will write the final chapter of Tunisia’s experiment with democracy. It begs the question: What lies ahead for Tunisia in this Saied era? In a nutshell, a dizzying patchwork of contradictory principles and complicated procedures strewn together in the draft constitution are going to become the foundation of the country’s political future. Tragically, the public’s “reward” for its justifiable indifference and apathy is a confusing, illiberal landscape — a stark contrast to the highly touted accomplishments made eight years ago, at the peak of Tunisia’s democratization. Furthermore, if an expected 30 percent of Tunisians grant Saied what is basically a blank check on July 25, it would cement a process that the president began advocating as far back as 2011. In it, the presidency will essentially become the state itself, making a mockery of the separation of powers by usurping the legislature, erasing the autonomy of the judiciary and rendering the electoral commission obsolete — all hallmarks of the 2014 constitution. Of particular concern is the focus on establishing an inverted pyramid of power to ensure popular representation in Tunisia’s political processes. Saied’s ideas are not exactly groundbreaking, nor are they feasible, since such a system of governance closely resembles Muammar Qaddafi’s Jamahiriya, which strangled neighboring Libya for 42 years until its downfall in 2011. In it, Qaddafi attempted to invert traditional power structures in Libya by establishing local councils at its foundation, while decision-making remained vested in the presidency, and a notorious intolerance of dissent chastened the public. Tunisians need not look too far into the future to see their fates years into Saied’s dissonant era. After all, the natural conclusion of an inverted pyramid of power is playing itself out right across Tunisia’s eastern border, and remains a crucial, tragic reminder of the need to resist the allure of something “different” over the unavoidable pains of establishing a functioning democracy. On paper, Saied’s hyper-presidentialism disguised as returning power to the people sounds appealing, especially to a public exhausted by an ineffectual political elite that prized feckless squabbling over taking decisive action to preempt socioeconomic collapse and end Tunisia’s political malaise. By feigning to give a voice to the voiceless, so to speak, it became possible to center this fringe take on direct democracy. In addition, by waffling on economic reform and echoing populist vagaries, Saied was able to secure the tacit collusion of a traditionally vocal, heavily unionized Tunisian urban middle class. This group is increasingly unnerved by the prospect of successive governments acquiescing to demands for painful austerity in order to secure a $4 billion lifeline from the International Monetary Fund. Strangely, however, even after Saied greenlit talks between the government and the IMF, in addition to dissolving the High Judicial Council, Tunisia’s largest labor union — Union Generale Tunisienne du Travail — shied from opposing the president’s political agenda. By resisting the temptation to corral an opposition movement in disarray to deliver a resounding rejection of Saied’s brand of politics, the union’s fence-sitting indirectly sponsors the president’s unilateralism that will ultimately put the focus on any potential sources of dissent. The firing of almost 60 judges from the Judicial Council should have engineered a split within the union, given the threat that the judiciary posed to Saied’s political machinations penned in this draft constitution. Should a small plurality create an unconstrained and unaccountable President Kais Saied, there is little hope that the union’s vast ranks would be sufficient for countering inevitable designs to curb its power and influence going forward. Besides Saied’s war on the judiciary being a sign of what the opposition can expect after the referendum passes, empowering local councils to send representatives to regional councils that will, in turn, appoint representatives to a reworked parliament, has a sinister end-goal. Pursuing this formula for direct democracy will result in elections only happening at a very local level, completely eradicating national political parties — a possible last refuge for the opposition, leaving Tunisia, ironically, with the exact opposite of a democracy. The June 2022 draft constitution also envisions a bicameral legislature, but none of the representatives will be elected directly by average Tunisians, and new electoral laws are anticipated to favor independent candidates instead — but, even then, nothing is guaranteed. After all, the new constitution is as vague as it is full of loopholes that the presidency can and will exploit to strengthen and consolidate its autocratic rule. Take, for instance, what the 34 articles in the June 2022 draft say about personal rights and civil liberties. On cursory examination, it appears as though the constitution will protect a range of freedoms, but digging deeper, additional articles appear to qualify those rights according to vague cultural, religious and even moral criteria. Much like in the autocratic constitutions of other Arab countries, nothing is ever as it seems since intentionally vague stipulations or conditions make it possible for aspiring despots to exploit gaping loopholes, particularly in how personal rights and liberties are interpreted, in order to limit or eradicate them. The same goes for proposed procedures and articles that, in theory, read as checks on executive authority but, in practice, tend to be enablers of gross overreach and abuse of power. It may be premature to declare that Tunisia’s experiment with democracy is over. However, there is less and less faith in Tunisians overcoming their apathy and dispiritedness to confront a gathering storm now threatening to decimate their once cherished aspirations. In addition, Tunisia’s woes are unlikely to cause any ripples or receive any more attention other than perfunctory statements expressing moral outrage. The only hope remaining is that it will take more than a shoddy referendum to transition the North African country back to autocracy, especially given the still formidable opposition movement that is yet to mobilize. Hafed Al-Ghwell is a non-resident senior fellow with the Foreign Policy Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He is also a senior adviser at the international economic consultancy Maxwell Stamp and the geopolitical risk advisory firm Oxford Analytica, a member of the Strategic Advisory Solutions International Group in Washington, and a former adviser to the board of the World Bank Group.

It may be premature to declare that Tunisia’s experiment with democracy is over. However, there is less and less faith in Tunisians overcoming their apathy and dispiritedness to confront a gathering storm now threatening to decimate their once cherished aspirations

Conservative leadership contest in UK has an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ feel to it

ANDREW HAMMOND

Conservative MPs in the UK on Wednesday selected their final two candidates to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister, in a contest that increasingly has an “Alice in Wonderland” fantasy quality to it. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss was a Remain campaigner during the 2016 Brexit referendum but has since moved to the party’s right wing and is seen as a continuity candidate by Johnson’s supporters. Her opponent is Rishi Sunak, a former finance minister and a long-time Brexiteer who was once Johnson’s closest ally but is now facing criticism from some Conservatives, especially friends of Johnson, for being too “left wing.” There are two phases to the Conservative leadership contest. During the first, now completed, the party’s MPs voted to choose two candidates, from the 11 who were standing, to progress to the second and final stage. In the vote on Wednesday, Sunak received 137 votes and Truss, 113. Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt, with 105 votes, performed best among the others who were eliminated. Now, all of the party’s members, of which there are about 200,000, will vote for their choice of new leader, with the winner of the postal ballot due to be announced on Sept. 5. These party members, which account for about 0.3 percent of the UK population, are disproportionately old (44 percent of them are over 65), white (97 percent), and geographically skewed toward London and southern England (54 percent), so they are not very representative of the wider UK population. Unlike in 2019, when Johnson was the clear favorite to win the Conservative leadership contest from start to finish, there is no overwhelmingly strong frontrunner this time. While Sunak won the most support in the vote by Conservative MPs, polls suggest he could lose to Truss when the wider party membership votes. However, the result is considered too close to call. At this early stage, Truss is a modest favorite but Sunak could definitely still emerge victorious in the coming weeks if he can outshine her in the upcoming leadership debates, known as hustings, around the country. With Wednesday’s vote revealing Conservative MPs to be split into three broadly equal groups, Sunak and Truss will now try to secure an endorsement from third-placed Mordaunt, a vote of approval that could prove to be very influential among party members. In return, Mordaunt is likely to receive a significant Cabinet role in the next government if she backs the eventual winner. So far, the leadership contest has hurt the national image of the Conservatives as a result of significant party infighting. Meanwhile, the opposition Labour Party will be relieved that an “outsider” such as Mordaunt has not been selected, as such a candidate would perhaps have had more of a chance to “shake up” the political landscape in a way that Truss and Sunak, as established, senior Cabinet ministers for the past few years, might not be able to. Labour has also been adding up the cost of the policy pledges made by the Conservative leadership candidates and claims that they amount to £330 billion ($395 billion) of unfunded spending commitments. This includes an estimated £38 billion of tax cuts Truss has promised to introduce if she wins, including the reversal of an increase in corporation tax due next April, estimated at £14.5 billion. It is too early to assess the full policy implications of the leadership contest, which will not start to become clearer until at least next month. Tax will be one of them, however. While Sunak favors fiscal prudence, Truss has said she wants early, significant personal tax cuts, including the scrapping of a rise in National Insurance planned for April, which was introduced by the government while Sunak was still at the Treasury. Sunak has rubbished her proposals, saying that tax rises are needed to repair public finances after the pandemic and accusing Truss of peddling the idea of “something-for-nothing economics.” He has said he wants to lower the tax burden but this should only be done when inflation, which is currently running at its highest level for 40 years, has been brought under control. Ultimately, party members will take a long, hard look at both candidates and decide which of them seems best placed to beat Labour at the next election.

The right of Palestinians to travel freely is a simple matter of dignity

DAOUD KUTTAB

If you ask any Palestinian living under occupation, or any of their relatives living in the rest of the world, what is the one issue that bothers them the most about the Israeli occupation, there is no doubt that movement within the occupied area, and between the occupied areas and the rest of the world, would figure very high, if not highest, on the list. Ironically, this issue is clearly and unambiguously answered in Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Sub-article 1 deals with internal movement by stating: “Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.” Sub-article 2 deals with movement in and out of the country: “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” Naturally, when reading about these rights the first question that comes to mind is whether the areas that Israel occupied in 1967 represent a single country or not. As has been seen and shown over and over, Israel treats the entire area between the sea and the river as one area. In fact, at one time former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir was asked by a reporter where the borders of Israel were and she replied that the edge of the border was where the farthest Israeli soldier stands. Of course, Israel does not treat all the people under its control in the same way, dividing Palestinians into three distinct areas: Gaza, Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank. Within the West Bank, in fact, Israel has additional divisions defined as areas A, B and C, with only area A under full Palestinian administration and security (although Israel often violates that as well.) If we accept Meir’s definition, then Israel is clearly violating Article 13 by preventing Palestinians in Gaza from traveling to other occupied territories. The same applies to the fact that Israel restricts Palestinians in the West Bank from traveling to East Jerusalem, which was occupied along with the rest of the West Bank in 1967, and to Gaza. As for the second part of Article 13, namely travel outside the country, Israel also bans all Gazans from traveling via Israeli border crossings, prevents West Bankers (except for those in East Jerusalem) from using its airport, and imposes time restrictions on travel by land using the only border crossing allowed to West Bankers, the King Hussein Bridge on the border with Jordan. Furthermore, most Palestinians living outside Israel and Palestine face severe restrictions on their right to visit the areas under occupation in general, and Gaza in particular. The issue of traveling via the King Hussein Bridge has been the focus of many political interventions by Jordanian officials of late due to a huge problem that arose there during the second half of July. As Palestinians who had participated in the Hajj pilgrimage arrived there on their journeys home, along with many foreigners, mostly American citizens, who wished to cross the border to visit relatives and the general increase in visitor numbers during the summer, conditions at the bridge became inhuman. Literally thousands of travelers, most accompanied by children, were stranded on the Jordanian side of the bridge because of severe restrictions on the number of people that Israel would allow to cross the border, largely due to restricted hours of operation. While most border crossings around the world are open 24/7, Israel operates limited hours during the week and even shorter hours over the Friday and Saturday weekend. In previous years, the Israelis have extended the border opening hours during the summer, and on more than one occasion kept the bridge open 24/7, but so far this year it seems that they are not paying attention to the suffering of Palestinians, and ignoring the pleas of the Jordanian government and international diplomats. US President Joe Biden, who recently visited the region, has repeatedly stated that his administration seeks peace, freedom and dignity for Palestinians. While peace and freedom have been sorely absent, and according to Biden will continue to be so because the situation is not in a mature enough state for negotiations, the issue of dignity has been adopted by the US as a priority. Yet even having some semblance of dignity while traveling in and out of the Occupied Territories, as well as within the Occupied Territories (including Jerusalem and Gaza) — which should be a no-brainer for the occupying powers, whose single most powerful ally has made it clear that Palestinians under occupation should, at a minimum, be granted dignity — is denied. Palestinian officials call the King Hussein Bridge border crossing in Jericho the Karameh border point. Karameh is the Arabic word for dignity. But for decades, dignity has been sadly denied to Palestinians, their relatives and their friends who want to travel within their own country, or leave it and return. Is that really too much to ask for? Daoud Kuttab is an award-winning Palestinian journalist from Jerusalem.

For decades, dignity has been denied to Palestinians, their relatives and their friends who want to travel within their own country

Online tuitions

Education is an important part of everyone’s life but today the world is going to be more competitive than in past years which enhances tuition needs. Nowadays, people move towards the technological side like the usage of computers, laptops, and mobile phones. In ancient times, school/university students joined home tuition and used to have less interest in technological tools. No doubt more than half of students are stuck in physical tuition due to feasibility and reliability. Meanwhile, online tuition increases technological knowledge and experience. However, it reduces the reliability in terms of hiring other persons to do their assignments and quizzes on their behalf. Thus, the gap of quality increases between physical and online tuitions with decreasing knowledge and experiences. In addition, creativity also affected when the gap between online and physical tuition is enhanced. It has the opposite influence as compared to quality. Although online learning reduces quality, it promotes creativity. Hence, the young generation should take benefit of the online system and encourage personal grooming. Selecting the way of learning depends on the preferences of individuals. After comparing the flexibility in both ways, still, students are comfortable in physical tuition. Effective learning and the feasibility of physical tuitions encourage them to rely on this method. but there is still a need for improvements. Because online tuition is an advanced method, if people are reluctant to do physical things in the era of technology, then it is not good for the country’s own growth as well.

RAGNI LUND, Sindh

Pope's Canada trip to make amends for Indigenous school scandal

Vatican City: Pope Francis will go to Canada where he will have the opportunity to personally apologise to Indigenous victims of abuse that occurred at Catholic Church-run residential schools over a period of decades. After arriving in Edmonton from Rome, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will greet the leader of the world's 1.3 billion Catholics. The 85-year-old pope, who has been dealing with knee discomfort that has required him to use a cane or wheelchair in recent outings, will be travelling for the longest period of time since 2019 during the course of the 10-hour flight. Francis' travel to Canada, which he has referred to as a "penitential pilgrimage" of "healing and reconciliation," is primarily intended to express regret to survivors for the Church's part in the crisis, which a national truth and reconciliation commission has referred to as "cultural genocide."About 150,000 First Nations, Metis, and Inuit children were transported by the Canadian government into 139 residential schools managed by the Church between the late 1800s and the 1990s, where they were separated from their family, language, and culture. were mistreated physically and sexually by teachers and school administrators. Numerous children are thought to have perished from illness, hunger, or neglect. At the locations of the defunct schools, more than 1,300 unmarked graves have been found since May 2021. Prior to Francis' six-day visit, an Indigenous group visited the Vatican in April and had a meeting with the pope. The pope will give a speech to an anticipated 15,000 people in the town of Maskwacis, some 100 kilometres (62 miles) south of Edmonton, which is expected to include former pupils from all around the nation. In a media interview conducted in June, 44-year-old Charlotte Roan stated, "I would like a lot of people to come." The Ermineskin Cree Nation member stated that she want for people to go "to hear that it wasn't made up." Others, like Linda McGilvery of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation near Saint Paul, some 200 kilometres east of Edmonton, think the pope's visit is too little, too late. The 68-year-old replied, "I wouldn't go out of my way to see him. "For me, it's kind of too late; many people have already experienced suffering, and the priests and nuns have already passed away. From the age of six to thirteen, McGilvery attended one of the schools for eight years of her early life. "While attending a residential school, I significantly lost my culture and ancestry.That's a lot of lost years," she told the media. Tuesday after celebrating mass in front of tens of thousands of worshippers in Edmonton, Francis will travel to the Lac Sainte Anne, a significant pilgrimage site. He will complete his journey in Iqaluit, the city with the biggest Inuit population in Canada, where he will meet with former residential school pupils, before flying back to Italy. His visit to Quebec City will take place from July 27 to 29. The percentage of Catholics in Canada is about 44%.

In port strikes in Odessa, Russia claims that missiles sank a Ukrainian warship

WEB DESK

KYIV: After the attack provoked outrage from Ukraine and its allies, Russia claimed Sunday that its missile barrage on a Ukrainian port crucial to a recently signed grain export deal had targeted military installations at the facility. The attack on the Odessa port on Saturday, which came just one day after the warring parties agreed to resume exports that had been halted by the fighting, was condemned as "Russian brutality" by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. After the two cruise missile assaults, Turkey, which assisted in negotiating the agreement, claimed Moscow had assured it that Russian forces were not to blame. On Sunday, however, a spokesperson for the Russian foreign ministry attempted to retract that denial by claiming that a Ukrainian cruiser had been damaged in the strikes. Using a high-precision hit, Kalibri missiles "destroyed military facilities in the port of Odessa," claimed Maria Zakharova in a message on social media, adding that a "patrol boat" had been wrecked. The historic pact to alleviate a worldwide food crisis, which was thrashed out over months of negotiations and signed in Istanbul, has been called into question in the wake of the port attack. Zelensky claimed that engagement with Moscow was becoming increasingly impossible and that the strikes on Odessa demonstrated that Moscow could not be relied upon to keep its commitments. In a late-night address to the nation, Zelensky declared, "This apparent Russian brutality puts us even closer to gaining the very weapons we need for our victory." Odessa is one of three designated export centres under the agreement negotiated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Mykolaiv attacks Despite the fact that it didn't appear that the food supplies were impacted, Ukrainian officials said that grain was being stockpiled in the port at the time of the strike. The signing event was presided over by Guterres, who "unequivocally" denounced the assault. Josep Borrell, the head of EU foreign policy, said the "reprehensible" strikes demonstrated Russia's disdain for its obligations. According to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the attack "highly criticised" by the US and "casts considerable doubt on the reliability of Russia's commitment to yesterday's pact." Moscow had no comment in response to Zakharova's charges until Sunday, but Hulusi Akar, the defence minister of Turkey, claimed that Moscow had refuted responsibility for the strike. He told the state news agency Anadolu, "The Russians told us that they had absolutely nothing to do with this attack. Without mentioning the number or seriousness of the injuries, Maksym Marchenko, the governor of the Odessa area, stated that the strikes caused injuries and harmed the port infrastructure in Odessa. The first significant agreement between the nations since Russia invaded Ukraine in February seeks to alleviate the "acute hunger" that the UN estimates an additional 47 million people are experiencing as a result of the war. At the signing, Ukraine issued a warning that should Russia break the agreement and attack its ships or launch an incursion near its ports, it will launch "an urgent military response." Zelensky claimed that the UN, which is a co-guarantor of the agreement along with Turkey, was in charge of enforcing it. After the incident, Turkey declared its commitment to the agreement. The agreement contains provisions for routing Ukrainian grain ships through safe routes that steer clear of known Black Sea minefields. In order to prevent an anticipated amphibious attack, Kyiv mined Ukrainian ports and Russian warships stopped massive amounts of wheat and other goods. According to Zelensky, the agreement would allow for the export of almost 20 million tonnes of product from both the current crop and last year's harvest, valued at about $10 billion. Sergei Shoigu, the minister of defence of Russia, said he anticipated the transaction to begin "in the next few days," but diplomats believe the grain won't begin to flow fully until about mid-August. According to Ukraine's presidency on Sunday, the agreement reached in Istanbul hasn't done much to stop Russian forces from bombarding the wide-open front line throughout the weekend.

King of Jordan denounces border assaults by militias with ties to Iran 

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AMMAN: In a Sunday interview, King Abdullah II expressed his outrage about attacks on Jordan's borders by "militias linked to Iran," which came after deadly skirmishes with drug traffickers on the country's border with Syria. He informed the Al-Rai daily that Iranian militias often strike Jordan's borders. Abdullah stated that Jordan "does not desire problems in the area" and urged Iran to "alter its behaviour." According to the monarch, Jordan wishes healthy ties with Iran that are based on mutual respect, good neighbourliness, respect for other governments' sovereignty, and non-interference in their internal affairs. Abdullah claimed that traffickers of narcotics and weapons who he claimed were travelling to Europe were targeting Jordan along with other Arab countries. He declared, "Jordan is working with its brothers (Arab nations) to combat this and defend its borders." Regular anti-smuggling operations are carried out by the Jordanian army along the Syrian border, where in 2011 the Damascus regime was supported by fighters with Iranian support. Amman reported that on January 27, its forces killed 27 drug dealers who were assisted by armed organisations while seizing a sizable amount of drugs. In a related altercation earlier in the same month, a border guard and an officer were both slain.

Sri Lanka president's office to reopen after crackdown 

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COLOMBO: Police said that the besieged presidential office in Sri Lanka will reopen on Monday, days after anti-government protesters were driven from the country in a military response that drew international outrage. Protesters stormed and occupied the colonial-era structure earlier this month as a result of widespread public outrage over the island's catastrophic economic crisis. On the same day, soldiers were had to rescue the then-president Gotabaya Rajapaksa from his neighbouring mansion; the leader afterwards fled to Singapore and announced his resignation. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Rajapaksa's successor, gave the order for troops armed with automatic rifles and batons to empty the 92-year-old presidential secretariat. Security troops dismantled protesters' tents that had been up outside the facility since April during the operation, which left at least 48 people injured and nine people in custody. An unnamed police official who was not authorised to speak to the media on Sunday said, "The office is ready for reopening on Monday." He told media that forensics specialists had gone to the office to gather proof of protester-caused damage. "The secretariat is no longer under siege," was the statement made on May 9. Wickremesinghe has been under fire from Western nations, the UN, and human rights organisations for employing force against unarmed protestors who had made it known they intended to leave the area later on Friday. Protesters are free to carry on their rallies at a designated location close to the presidential office, according to police spokeswoman Nihal Talduwa. "They may continue to protest at the designated location. Even additional locations in the city could be made available to protesters by the administration, "Sunday, Talduwa said. Less than 24 hours after Wickremesinghe took the oath of office and just before a new government was named, the military operation to evacuate the secretariat building and its immediate vicinity took place. Wickremesinghe was chosen by lawmakers on Wednesday to succeed Rajapaksa, who resigned and fled to Singapore from the neighbouring Maldives aboard a military plane. Burning fuel crisis The 22 million residents of Sri Lanka have also had to deal with months-long blackouts, record inflation, and shortages of food, fuel, and gasoline. After defaulting on its $51 billion in foreign debt, the government is now formally bankrupt and is in rescue negotiations with the International Monetary Fund. The government declared Sunday that it will reopen schools that had been closed for more than a month despite the fact that the economic crisis that drove the protest campaign shows no signs of abating. The education ministry announced that because there is still a countrywide gasoline scarcity, students and teachers will only be required to attend class three days a week. Despite the government instituting a system of rationing, Sunday saw miles-long lines of drivers waiting to fill up.

Grand Canal of China - Overseas Tourism Promotion Season 2022 Globally Launched

By Staff Reporter

Islamabad: The “China's Grand Canal Overseas Tourism Promotion Season 2022” is officially launched on July 20, and will continue until August 20, 2022. The launching ceremony of the event was held on 20th July 2022 in Liaocheng City, Shandong Province of China. The event is organized by the Bureau of International Exchange and Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Department of International Cooperation of the State Administration of Radio and Television, and Network of International Culturalink Entities, together with the cultural and tourism departments (bureaus) of eight provinces (cities), including Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Shandong, and Henan. China Cultural Center in Pakistan will host the event online, where each day we will expose you to an intriguing program about China’s Grand Canal, including the promotion of local cultural and tourism projects, the screening of documentaries about intangible cultural heritage, photo exhibitions, and much more. Stay tuned to our social media platforms.

China launches the second space station module of its trio

WEB DEWSK

BEIJING: According to official media, China on Sunday launched the second of the three modules needed to finish building its new space station, marking the latest development in Beijing's ambitious space programme. At 2:22 PM (06:22 GMT), a Long March 5B rocket launched the unmanned spaceship with the call sign Wentian from the Wenchang launch facility on China's tropical island of Hainan. A representative from the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) confirmed the launch's "success" a quarter of an hour later. On neighbouring beaches, hundreds of people gathered to capture the launcher ascending through the air in a cloud of white smoke on camera. The Wentian lab module successfully split from the rocket and achieved its intended orbit after around eight minutes of flight, the CMSA reported. This made the launch a success. In April 2021, Beijing launched the main module of the Tiangong space station, which is Chinese for "heavenly palace." The new module, which is over 18 metres (60 feet) long and 22 tonnes (48,500 pounds) in weight, features three sleeping rooms and room for scientific investigations. It will dock with the current module in space, a difficult procedure that will call for the utilisation of a robotic arm and multiple high-precision manipulations.

In Mathews' 100th Test, Sri Lanka loses two despite a good start

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GALLE: Before leaving the field against Pakistan on Sunday, opener Oshada Fernando gave Sri Lanka a strong start. This was the previous skipper Angelo Mathews' historic 100th Test. At the start of the break, the hosts in Galle lost another wicket when Kusal Mendis was run out on three by Agha Salman's direct toss while the batsman was backing up at the non-strikers' end. By halftime, the home team had 96 for two, with Captain Dimuth Karunaratne batting on 28. Against Pakistani fast bowlers Hasan Ali and Naseem Shah, Oshada and the left-handed Karunaratne got off to a tentative start but soon found confidence to put on 92 runs together. Oshada smashed injured quick Shaheen Shah Afridi's replacement, left-arm spinner Nauman Ali, for a six down the ground before hitting Hasan with a brilliant cover drive for four. With a six off left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz, he scored his sixth Test fifty, but the bowler struck back at him the next ball by having the batsman caught behind. Karunaratne continued to rotate the strike but required assistance from the physio twice, having his ankle strapped and then given a back massage and medication before batting during the second break. At the outset of the Test, Mathews, 35, was honoured by Sri Lanka Cricket and was joined by his family as the hosts attempted to recover from their opening defeat in the two-match series. While fast bowler Asitha Fernando is back after recovering from Covid, left-arm spinner Dunith Wellalage, who is still a teenager, is making his Test debut. The team that won the opener on Wednesday by four wickets at the same location has undergone two changes as well, with the addition of Nauman and left-handed batter Fawad Alam.

Neymar intends to remain at PSG

Brazilian striker claims that after five years with French giants, he no longer "has to show myself"

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SAITAMA: After five years with the French club, Neymar stated on Saturday that he wants to stay at Paris Saint-Germain and does not "need to prove" himself to anyone. The 30-year-old Brazilian claimed that no one from PSG has spoken to him about his future, but he still wants to play for PSG alongside Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe in the French capital. Neymar declared, "I still want to stay here with the club," following PSG's 3-0 victory over Urawa Reds of the J-League during the club's tour of Japan. I don't know what the club has planned for me because they haven't spoken to me yet. I don't have to prove myself to anyone; all I have to do is play football and enjoy myself while doing it, he continued. After joining Messi as a substitute to play the final 30 minutes of Saturday's game, Neymar claimed he felt "fit." He cited the fact that it was "too early to comment about" his opinion of newly hired Christophe Galtier, who joined PSG from Nice at the conclusion of the last campaign. Neymar "has been training well" in preseason, according to Galtier, and "looks happy and very fit." When the transfer window shuts in the near future, Galtier stated, "I don't know what will happen." "I haven't talked to Ney about this, but we announce when he's leaving and when he's staying. But he doesn't appear to care what people are saying about him or his predicament at the club." Mbappe scored as PSG defeated Urawa in front of a 61,000-person crowd in Saitama to make it two victories in a row on their Japanese trip. Following Wednesday's 2-1 victory over Kawasaki Frontale, Mbappe was the only PSG player to remain in the starting lineup. In the 35th minute, he scored a well-taken goal from a difficult angle.

Mukiele will be transferred by RB Leipzig to PSG 

WEB DESK

TOKYO: According to a source close to the discussions, Nordi Mukiele, a French international defender, will be moving from RB Leipzig to Paris Saint-Germain, as reported by AFP on Sunday. The two parties have agreed to a full transfer rather than, as was previously suggested, a loan with a buy option. The 24-year-old still needs to go through a medical screening and sign a contract with PSG. Mukiele's signing at PSG will give Achraf Hakimi an alternative on the right side of defence after he moved from Montpellier to Leipzig in 2018. After signing Vitinha from Portugal and Hugo Ekitike, a promising French striker, Mukiele, who can also play in a three-man defence, will be the French champions' third summer addition. New coach Christophe Galtier favours this defence. As a substitute against Finland in a World Cup qualification in September 2021, Mukiele earned his one and only appearance for France.

Pichardo adds Olympic and world titles 

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EUGENE: On Saturday, Pedro Pichardo of Portugal added a world championship to his Olympic victory, but Damian Warner of Canada lost the decathlon due to injury. The fortunes of two other gold medalists from the Tokyo Olympics last year were mixed. Indian Neeraj Chopra had to settle for silver in the men's javelin, while Dutch runner Sifan Hassan left Eugene without a medal after placing sixth in the women's 5,000m. In the 4x100m relays, the US women defeated a loaded Jamaican team that included Olympic 200-meter champion Andre de Grasse and sprint champions Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson to take gold, but the US men's team was beaten into second place by a Canada squad led by Andre de Grasse. De Grasse, who caught Covid-19 three weeks before the championships and was too exhausted to compete in the 200m, said it was amazing to do it and ruin the celebration for them. "We spoke extensively about this situation. We were all of the opinion that we could have performed better at the Olympics, and it was a fitting way to close the competition." With his signature kick, Korir won the men's 800 metres in 1 minute, 43.71 seconds, easily beating off Marco Arop of Canada for third and Djamel Sedjati of Algeria for silver.

First-round exit is insufficient for the France coach

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LONDON: After defeating the Netherlands 1-0 in overtime on Saturday, France's coach Corinne Diacre stated Les Bleues weren't content with merely making history by becoming the first team to play in the semi-finals of a Women's Euro. The Dutch were finally defeated in Rotherham by Eve Perisset's penalty after 102 minutes, setting up a semi-final matchup with Germany on Wednesday. The teenage goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar's brilliant play kept France from winning for the full 90 minutes, although the scoreboard did not accurately reflect the disparity in class between the teams. The World Cup quarterfinal departure of France on home soil three years ago drew harsh criticism for Diacre, who declared, "We've reached a new level for us tonight but that's not the end." "We hope to advance to the final." For the Dutch, who had been hampered by injuries to key players and coronavirus outbreaks, defeat brought an end to a challenging competition. After missing the group stage victories against Portugal and Switzerland due to Covid, Vivianne Miedema was healthy enough to play again. One of the best players in the world, however, struggled to have any significant impact on the game, and the Arsenal striker appeared to be severely lacking in match fitness. In their opening match against Italy, France scored five goals in the first half and easily could have done it again in the first 45 minutes. In their opening match against Sweden, the Netherlands lost their seasoned goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal for the remainder of the tournament due to a shoulder injury, but Van Domselaar has excelled in her place. Prior to Euro 2022, the 22-year-old had only made one international appearance, but she now appears destined to maintain her position as the Dutch number one moving ahead. In reference to Van Domselaar, Netherlands coach Mark Parsons commented, "I just told her that was the best goalkeeping performance at a Euros since Nadine Angerer in 2013, and she won a Ballon d'Or that year." "She was world class tonight." Also guilty of wasting opportunities, France failed to take advantage of Marie-Antoinette Katoto's predatory presence up front. Diacre's team had to play for an additional 30 minutes in addition to having two fewer recovery days than Germany for the semi-final, so their carelessness might still come back to haunt them. Diacre continued, "We would have liked to score sooner, but we were up against an amazing Dutch goalie." "You usually recover quicker after a victory. That is the schedule, which has been known to us from the beginning." Van Domselaar was first put to the test by Kadidiatou Diani and Delphine Cascarino, who then blasted against the post from outside the box. Then, as France barraged the Dutch goal without success, Stefanie Van der Gragt twice came to the Netherlands' aid with goal line clearances to stop Melvine Malard and Grace Geyoro. The Netherlands' all-time leading scorer would have anticipated more from Miedema when she volleyed over from a corner when unmarked after waiting 55 minutes for a sight of goal. However, as Wendy Renard turned away in shock as her looping header was snatched away by FC Twente goalkeeper with the final act of the 90 minutes, Van Domselaar was soon back in the firing line. ­

Arshad Nadeem finishes fifth in the javelin final at the World Championships

Sports DESK

OREGON: Arshad Nadeem of Pakistan finished fifth in the javelin final of the World Championships in Oregon, becoming the first Pakistani athlete to place in the top eight. According to a report in Global Athletics, Grenada's Anderson Peters defeated Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra to retain his world javelin championship on Saturday. Peters had been in the lead throughout the tournament and saved his finest throw for last with a throw of 90.54 metres. Peters was the only athlete to cross the 90-meter line, and he did it three times at Hayward Field against strong winds. Chopra came in second with a best throw of 88.13 metres, and Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic, who had won silver in Tokyo, placed third with an effort of 88.09 metres. Arshad Nadeem finished fifth with 86.16m, while German Julian Weber remained in fourth. Lassi Etelatalo of Finland finished sixth (82.70m). Oliver Helander of Finland and Andrian Mardare of Moldova both threw more than 82 metres, finishing seventh and eighth, respectively. The majority of throwers prefer a headwind, but today there was one, according to Peters. So, today was a little difficult, but I managed it. It is not simple to defend the title. I had to exert effort. "I already knew I was the champion, but I worked on my technique in every throw until I finally made it through," the contestant said of his most recent try. Chopra's throw was longer than the 87.58m he threw in Tokyo, where he made sporting history by being the first Indian to win an individual gold medal. India had never won a silver medal in a World Championship before, and Anju Bobby George's bronze in the women's long jump at Paris in 2003 was the nation's only other silver medal ever. Chopra claimed he wasn't feeling his best. He was attempting to become the first male javelin thrower since Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway in 2009 to win the world championship after winning the Olympics. "I didn't feel good throughout the first three tosses. I didn't do a good warm-up," he continued. "During the throw, I felt something in my groyne, but I believe it is okay. Today's experience was positive. Next year will also bring the World Championships, so I'll attempt to perform better in Budapest. In a video posted by the Sports Authority of India, Chopra said, "I feel extremely pleased after winning silver for India" (SAI). I'll strive to perform better at the World Championships the following year. Johannes Vetter of Germany, who holds the second-longest throw of all time and won gold in London in 2017, missed the World Championships because of a shoulder ailment.

Carlos Alcaraz enters the top five

Since Nadal in 2005, Spanish tennis sensation is the youngest person to accomplish this accomplishment

WEB DESK

HAMBURG: Carlos Alcaraz advanced to his fifth ATP final of the season on Saturday in Hamburg, making him the youngest player since Rafael Nadal in 2005 to enter the top five in the ATP rankings. The 19-year-old Spaniard defeated the Slovakian Alex Molcan with ease, winning 7-6 (7/2), 6-1, and will play Lorenzo Musetti in the clay-court competition's final. Alcaraz has won all five of his prior Tour finals, including the Masters victories earlier this year in Miami and Madrid. Alcaraz remarked, "Lorenzo is playing exceptionally well." He's a fantastic player, of course. The final will be fantastic. "Before the championship game, he had some excellent matches. I have a lot of confidence going into the final and am hoping to go six for six because (I have) as well." In the most recent standings, which will be made public on Monday, he will surpass Casper Ruud, who made it to the Gstaad final on Saturday. When serving for the match at 5-3 in the first set, Alcaraz was broken as he attempted to distance himself from Molcan. But he eventually won it in a tie-break on his sixth set point, and he sped through the second set. Musetti of Italy defeated Francisco Cerundolo 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) earlier to go to his first ATP Tour final. The 20-year-old stated, "It means a lot to me. I wasn't playing my best tennis the previous week (in Bastad), so I wasn't expecting to be in the final here. The world number 62, who had the upper hand for the entirety of the match, lost a match point at 5-4 in the second set when an underhanded serve went awry. However, Musetti came back to defeat an in-form Cerundolo who had just won the Bastad title in a tie-break.

Real Madrid lose to Barca in the Vegas Clasico 

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LAS VEGAS: Barcelona overcame Real Madrid 1-0 in their Las Vegas Clasico on Saturday as Raphinha scored his second goal in as many games. Raphinha scored the only goal of the high-profile match at Allegiant Stadium, the $1.97 billion, 65,000-seat home of the NFL's Las Vegas Raiders. Raphinha was acquired from Premier League Leeds United earlier this month for approximately $60 million. He made his debut in a 6-0 thrashing of Inter Miami. A careless ball from Real's Eder Militao along the top of the area was intercepted by the Brazilian who was in the ideal position. In the 27th minute, he sliced a left-footed shot over Thibaut Courtois and into the top right corner of the goal to give Barcelona the lead. The second Clasico ever hosted in the United States showcased all the ferocity of the long-running rivalry in its fourth game played outside of Spain. Real Madrid, playing in their first preseason friendly, came close to scoring in the 18th minute, but Federico Valverde's volley from 25 yards out beat Marc-Andre Ter Stegen but was stopped by the post.

President expresses grief over Punjab BC secretary’s murder 

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Sunday expressed his deep grief and sorrow over the murder of Punjab Bar Council (PBC) Secretary Ashraf Rahi. The president offered a prayer for the fallen man's high positions and commiserated with the grieving family. According to the president, justice should be served to the departed office bearer's family by the prompt capture of criminals. Media reports state that on Saturday night, unidentified criminals killed Punjab Bar Council (PBC) secretary Ashraf Rahi near the Badami Bagh police boundaries.

PML-N leadership decides to form Punjab Cabinet immediately

By Staff Reporter

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) leadership on Sunday decided to form Punjab Cabinet immediately after Hamza Shahbaz retained his post by winning the Punjab Chief Minister election. In this regard, the senior party leaders attended a party meeting that was convened in Model Town under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to discuss the post-Punjab CM election. According to party insiders with knowledge of the situation, it was resolved in the meeting that the Punjab government should be established right away. The Punjab cabinet may include Sardar Awais Leghari, Bilal Yasin, Khawaja Imran Nazir, Muhammad Manshaullah Butt, Khawaja Salman Rafique, and Khawaja Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman.

PML-N will lose institutions by changing narrative: Fawad 

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Hussain Chaudhry said that the ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) is now creating a new narrative against the establishment. He claimed that the PML-N changed its story to remove Imran Khan from office, and that this was a mistake because it cost the party its supporters and will also cost it its institutions. According to a private news channel, Fawad Chaudhry, a former federal minister for the PTI, claimed in a media interview on Sunday that the PML-N was trying to exert pressure on the Chief Justice and other individuals. According to Fawad Chaudhry, the Nawaz League, which is currently in power, has blasted more than 11,000 tweets in the last day against the judges in an effort to exert pressure.

ISLAMABAD: President Azad Kashmir Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry being briefed on the different varieties of mangoes on the occasion of the inauguration of the Mango Festival.

SC full bench should hear PML-N cases: Talal Ch

By Our Correspondent

FAISALABAD: Former state minister Muhammad Talal Chaudhry and central leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has demanded that the full bench of Supreme Court of Pakistan should hear the party cases. Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, he said, “We are being meted out step-motherly treatment, which is against the fundamentals of justice provision.” He said that various cases against Imran Khan were pending a decision including the foreign funding case. He said, “We have full confidence in judiciary, which should take up all cases against the leadership of PML-N, PTI and other parties.” The former minister claimed that the PML-N had introduced significant uplift initiatives, such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and that everyone was aware of the party's support for the nation and its citizens. He claimed that Imran Khan's huge scandals, including the foreign funding issue, were still unresolved whereas Nawaz Sharif's disqualification for office was due to "not receiving salary from his son." He claimed Imran Khan had a practise of threatening governmental institutions in order to influence their judgments. According to Talal Chaudhry, Chaudhry Shujaat received praise for supporting the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) position, but the PTI labelled him "dishonest" when he supported the PML-N nominee.

Sheikh Rashid terms Punjab's situation as 'greatest political instability'

By Our Correspondent

LAHORE: The former Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid on Sunday while terming the current situation in Punjab as the ‘greatest political instability’ explained that the Punjab Chief Ministership had taken oath twice in the span of 2.5 months and the third one is in preparation. In a tweet, the leader of the Awami Muslim League referred to the nation's current financial situation as its worst economic catastrophe. He said that the dollar had jumped by 20 rupees in a week and that Miftah Ismail, the finance minister, had also raised the LPG tax. Rebuking the opposition's top brass, he continued, "They are now aiming for the judiciary, which is Pakistan's final hope." "Fazlur Rehman and Asif Ali Zardari have lost their minds," he declared. He had previously criticised Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif, claiming that they posed a threat to the country's unity and the constitution. He said they are working on a foreign agenda and named Nawaz Sharif as an equal participant in this conspiracy.

SAWAT: Ammer of Jamat-e-Islami Siraj-ul-Haq is holding a press conference.

Fazl says institutions have to stay within limits 

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said that the institutions have to stay within the limits. According to a private news channel, he chaired the party’s core members meeting on the current political situation at his residence in Islamabad on Sunday. At the consultation meeting, choices were made by Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Hyderi, Akram Durrani, Senator Kamran Murtaza, and other leaders. Senior party lawyer Senator Kamran Murtaza gave a legal update on the Supreme Court case involving Hamza Shehbaz during the meeting. The Pakistan Democratic Movement's leadership and party leader Maulana Fazlur Rahman would visit the Supreme Court tomorrow (Monday), according to a decision made by all Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) members Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). Speaking to the party members present at the meeting, Maulana Fazlur Rehman stated that institutions must maintain within certain bounds since the Democratic Movement (PDM) leadership will no longer be mute. Separately, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also made telephonic contact with Maulana Fazl and discuss the strategy for hearing of Hamza Shehbahz case in the Supreme Court. They also discussed the issue of filing a petition for the full court.

Pakistan’s delegation reaches USA to join first-ever Pak-US health dialogue

By Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: The four-member delegation of Pakistan led by Federal Minister of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination Abdul Qadir Patel has arrived in Washington D.C. to participate in the first-ever Pak-US Health Dialogue. Ambassador Masood Khan and other officials of the Pakistan Embassy will be joining the delegation, says a fax message received here from Washington D.C. on Sunday. The group will be hosted by the US on July 25, 2022, at the US State Department, according to a representative for the Ministry of National Health Services. He stated that both parties will be holding conversations all day long on a comprehensive agenda to improve bilateral cooperation in the health sector. According to him, Pakistani experts and representatives from the Health Ministry will take part online in several meetings. In the seven sessions of the health dialogue, the participants will discuss significant topics like creating a Pakistani Center for Disease Control (CDC), ensuring the security of global health, childhood immunizations, participating in COVID-19, regulatory engagements, maternal and child health, and non-communicable diseases. The Health Dialogue is an illustration of the strong links that exist between Pakistan and the United States and is a suitable method to mark the historic 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two nations. The conversation is likely to make good progress.

Ali Raza expresses solidarity with Chairman JKLF Yasim Malik

BRUSSELS: Chairman Kashmir Council Europe (KC-EU) Ali Raza Syed has expressed solidarity with Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Yasin Malik who is on an hunger strike in the Indian notorious Tihar jail. On May 25 of this year, a court in India found Yain Malik guilty of the false charges against him and sentenced him to life in jail. In a recent statement from Brussels, Ali Raza Syed claimed that Yasin Malik, who the Indian government has been depriving of all legal, constitutional, and fundamental rights while also denying him a fair trial, is currently fighting for his life in an Indian prison. According to the statement, Yasin Malik began his hunger strike in protest of the Indian kangaroo courts' denial of him justice and a fair trial. As per a JKLF statement, Yasin Malik had written to the Indian government for a physical appearance before the court in order to response to the false cases registered against him. He also requested for cross examination of witnesses himself and said that he would sit on hunger strike if his request was not accepted by the Indian government. Chair of KC-EU Ali Raza Syed urged the international community including United Nations and international human rights organizations to pressurize India to accept legal demands of Yasin Malik sitting on the hunger strike. Ali Raza Syed asked the international community including European authorities to use their good office to pressurize India for early and unconditioned release of Yasin Maliik. The chair of KC-RU also demanded the immediate and unconditional release of Kashmiri political activists, journalists, and rights activists who were being held in Indian prisons, including Khurram Parvez and Mohammad Ahsan Unto. For bringing up rights violations in Indian-administered Kashmir, these Kashmiri leaders continue to be held in imprisonment under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in Tihar, one of the most congested and filthy prisons in the nation. A few months ago, KC-EU started a campaign in Europe to call for the release of the Kashmiri prisoners. Ali Raza Syed said that these Kashmiri figures are detained because they always helped the people of Kashmir in raising their voices against the Indian brutalism in occupied Kashmir particularly they highlighted the terrible incidents of Indian state terrorism in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Kashmir committee just a ‘drama’, says Mufti Muneeb

By Staff Reporter

MUZAFFARABAD: Former Ruet-i-Hilal committee chairman and well-known religious scholar Mufti Muneebur Rehman on Sunday took a jab at Kashmir committee calling it a ‘drama’. The Mufti was holding a press conference at central Awan-i-Sahafat in Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir. He denounced the Narendra Modi government for changing the status of Indian Held Kashmir in order to alter the demographic landscape of the held territory in favour of Hindus. He said he tried to explain the miserable condition of Muslims living in India through his article. The Pakistan Kashmir Committee was ridiculed by Mufti Muneeb for being a "drama." He questioned how Gandapur could bring the Kashmir issue to light. According to him, the government must sincerely continue to address the Kashmir issue. He regretted that before even going down at the negotiation table with Indian officials, former president General Pervez Musharraf displayed all of his cards. He claimed that country will reject any peace proposal that would damage Kashmir. He insisted that the Pakistani leaders, who were at one other's throats, offered him no hope. He regretted that Christians were being persecuted in India in addition to Muslims. He believed that the country's economic situation was unstable and blamed the previous administration for it. The current administration, according to Mufti Muneeb, is not sincere in its attempts to abolish the interest-based economy. After including Ulema in the consultation process, he urged reaching a consensus on it. He claimed that the Federal Shariat Court played no significant role, only serving as some people's source of income.

Govt committed to turn AJK into a model state: Tanveer Ilyas

By Staff Reporter

MUZAFFARABAD: Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan has said that the government has presented a revolutionary budget and it is now the responsibility of the state machinery to leave no stone unturned in serving the people. Talking to media on Sunday, he said, “In order to make AJK a model state, we shall move forward as per the PTI chairman Imran Khan’s vision. Tourism would be promoted as an industry to make people financially self-sufficient. For the purpose, digital mapping is being introduced for the first time.” He declared that the AJK people who had given the PTI administration the mandate will never be let down. "The PTI will keep every promise it made during the election campaign." He said that the AJK government was making progress in line with its aims. He added that citizens of the liberated territory would soon notice the shift in the environment since "the results of the government's endeavours have started reaching the people." He claimed that the previous administrations encouraged nepotism and favouritism rather than finding solutions to the issues of the common people. In order to make the National Action Plan successful, the PM said that the Counter Terrorism Department was established in the Police Department of Azad Kashmir, for which a significant amount of funds was provided. He said that funds had also been increased for delivery of quality health services to the people at their doorsteps. Hospitals at Samahni and Mang were upgraded to the status of Tehsil Headquarters. He said that the "Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Program," which was started by Imran Khan a few years ago, was being successfully completed by the Forest Department. He claimed that the media was the fourth pillar of the state and that it could not be disregarded. He said that the PTI administration had given the Press Foundation a budget of 70 million rupees, of which 20 million rupees were set aside for the welfare of journalists and the heirs of deceased journalists. Afzal Butt, the president of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Secretary General Arshad Ansari, Asad Pathan, and others were among those to whom the PM sent his sincere congratulations. He expressed the hope that the PFUJ would fulfil its responsibility to draw attention to the current political and human rights situation as well as the media blackout in Indian-occupied Kashmir. He praised the PFUJ leadership for playing a positive role and said that the organisation has always promoted the highest standards in journalism.

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