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As Allah as my witness, I have tears in my eyes, as I post this. Pls try and go the extra mile in this Holy month.
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Unable to buy Eid clothes, man throws 4 children into canal

Web Desk On May 4, 2021

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FAISALABAD: Depressed over poverty, a man killed his four children by throwing them into a water stream in Faisalabad, police said on Tuesday.

The incident occurred in the city’s Bandala area within the remits of the Khurrianwala police station.

The police said the man has been taken into custody on a complaint of his wife. He admitted to having thrown his four children, including three daughters and a son into the Bhakhi canal, following which a search has been launched to fish out their bodies.

The police said the man took the extreme step due to poverty as he lacked resources to buy his children new clothes for upcoming Eidul Fitr.

Four days back, he took his children out on the pretext of Eid shopping and threw them into the canal.

Last year in December, a man had thrown his four young children and wife into a canal in Pattoki. The enraged father threw his four children and wife into the canal over some domestic dispute.
 

BATMAN

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As Allah as my witness, I have tears in my eyes, as I post this. Pls try and go the extra mile in this Holy month.
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Unable to buy Eid clothes, man throws 4 children into canal

Web Desk On May 4, 2021

View attachment 17671
FAISALABAD: Depressed over poverty, a man killed his four children by throwing them into a water stream in Faisalabad, police said on Tuesday.

The incident occurred in the city’s Bandala area within the remits of the Khurrianwala police station.

The police said the man has been taken into custody on a complaint of his wife. He admitted to having thrown his four children, including three daughters and a son into the Bhakhi canal, following which a search has been launched to fish out their bodies.

The police said the man took the extreme step due to poverty as he lacked resources to buy his children new clothes for upcoming Eidul Fitr.

Four days back, he took his children out on the pretext of Eid shopping and threw them into the canal.

Last year in December, a man had thrown his four young children and wife into a canal in Pattoki. The enraged father threw his four children and wife into the canal over some domestic dispute.
Sign of newly turned poor.
Imran Khan and his core team is on a mission to push Pakistan into civil war.
Militia of millions of Pakistanis has been already trained and brain washed by Iran to counter Pak army.
 

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Army chief in Riyadh ahead of PM visit

May 04, 2021
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Gen Qamar is being received by Pakistan’s recently-appointed Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Lt-Gen (retd) Bilal Akbar and Saudi military officials. PHOTO COURTESY: ARAB NEWS

ISLAMABAD:
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa arrived in Riyadh on Tuesday ahead of the crucial trip by Prime Minister Imran Khan to Saudi Arabia later this week.

The army chief was received by Pakistan’s recently-appointed Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Lt-Gen (retd) Bilal Akbar and Saudi military officials. He will meet Saudi civil and military leadership in what seems to be part of the preparation of the prime minister's scheduled to take place on May 7.

The visit of army chief and upcoming trip by the premier is seen as significant as these developments suggest a thaw in ties between the two countries.
#WATCH: #Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday arrived in Riyadh on an official visit. || #SaudiArabia
https://t.co/nk8c8KEw4P pic.twitter.com/bxpfU3ByP1
— Arab News Pakistan (@arabnewspk) May 4, 2021
The resumption of high level visits comes against the backdrop of quiet efforts by two sides to remove hiccup in their ties. The hectic behind the scene efforts finally led to a telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Imran and Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman in March.

This was the first contact between the two leaders in 15 months.

Prior to the telephonic conversation, foreign ministers of the two countries also spoke to lay the ground for the prime minister’s visit.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have enjoyed longstanding strategic relationship, which in recent years met with certain road blocks. The first real test of their ties came in 2015 when Pakistan refused to send troops to join the Saudi led military campaign in Yemen. The relationship returned to some normalcy after Pakistan joined the Saudi led Islamic military alliance against terrorism and sent former army chief General (retd) Raheel Sharif to attend the group.

When Prime Minister Imran took charge in August 2018, Saudi Arabia extended $6 billion financial package to Pakistan to shore up its depleting foreign reserves.

However, ties between the two countries suffered another blow after Pakistan first decided to attend a conference of Saudi Arabia's rivals in Kaula Lampur. Islamabad had to withdraw from the summit after Riyadh warned of serious consequences.
#Pakistan's army chief, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa arrived in #Riyadh on an official visit ahead of a visit by PM Imran Khan to #SaudiArabia later this week, #Islamabad’s mission in Riyadh said Tuesday
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Read: https://t.co/1B7Hl2yqIv pic.twitter.com/IxgrPeihpO
— Arab News Pakistan (@arabnewspk) May 4, 2021
Pakistan skipped the Kaula Lampur summit after Saudi Arabia assured that it would convene the OIC meeting on Kashmir. However, that proposal never saw light at the end of tunnel, compelling Foreign Minister Qureshi to publically criticise Saudi Arabia.

The relationship became so tense that Pakistan had to return $3 billion to Saudi Arabia. It was rare that Saudi Arabia asked for the return of loan as on previous occasions Riyadh had either rolled over the loan or converted into grant.

But the change of government in Washington appears to have also led to rethink in the Saudi strategy.

The Biden administration has not only withdrawn US support to the Yemen war but also said Washington would not turn a blind eye towards the alleged human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia.

The new US government's intention to revive the Iran nuclear deal also pushed Saudi Arabia to revisit its strategy.

Against the backdrop of these developments, Saudi Crown Prince MBS in an interview said his country wanted to have "good and special" relationship with Iran. Pakistan immediately welcomed the statement by the de facto Saudi ruler.

Officials said Pakistan would unlikely see financial support from Saudi Arabia for the balance of payment issue. Instead the prime minister’s visit would focus on project financing and investment, they added.
 

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Club of 31 families dominate PSX

Boards of KSE-100 companies include people close to these families
Shahbaz Rana
May 05, 2021

ISLAMABAD:
Only 31 families dominate the Pakistan Stock Exchange and boards of directors for KSE-100 index companies are mostly filled with people close to these families, some of them are their employees, reveals a study by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE).

In 2018, when the data was collected, 31 families dominated the KSE-100, states the “Small club: distribution and networks in financial markets of Pakistan” - a study by vice chancellor of PIDE, Dr Nadeemul Haq and Amin Husain.

The study paper sheds light on corporate groups and their ownerships in the stock market and secondly the corporate governance by looking at how company boards are structured to examine the influence of the owner and its family on the structure and professional management of the company.

The paper underlined that the families had a fair degree of influence in the businesses because of haphazard privatisation and relatively lax multinational regulations.

“It appears that while Mahbubul Haq talked of 22 families dominating Pakistan in 1967, in 2018, some 50 years later, the wealth in the stock market may be largely owned or controlled by 31 families.”

The boards comprise similar people - corporate, business founders and family, retired and current member of the civil service, and the army. “In other words, it parallels the membership of an elite club in Pakistan”.

The paper findings challenge the deeply-held notion that the stock market is a reflection of strong economy and a vibrant financial sector of Pakistan.

The study noted that the network of directors of companies listed at the stock exchange showed that there was a high degree of connectivity, “which should be of concern”.

Boards of directors for KSE-100 companies are all connected in small clusters, where a few members act as go-betweens through memberships on multiple boards, or as part of identifiable family groups, it added.

Pakistan’s stock market tends to make headlines, sometimes because of record highs that make it the “best performing market of the region”, and sometimes because of crashes. The paper stated that the KSE was heavily skewed with the top 10 companies constituting more than half of the total market capitalisation - the value of companies traded at the stock exchange.

Their annual reports showed that the directors or significant shareholders held ownership of over Rs4.963 trillion out of the total market capitalisation of Rs6.8 trillion, according to PIDE.

The ownership of KSE-100 market cap is heavily skewed towards a few large investors. The single largest shareholder is the government of Pakistan. Together, the top 10 owners account for 37% of the market capitalisation of KSE-100.

The ownership of KSE-100 can be traced to 374 entities, but actually the market is influenced by 31 families.

Foreign shareholders and government ownership account for the bulk of the ownership of KSE-100 market capitalisation, at an estimated 61%.
Multinational companies, or MNCs, are the largest category of shareholders in KSE-100, typically denoting a holding-subsidiary relationship with a foreign principal and a local subsidiary.

Collectively, close to 41% of ownership of KSE-100 index firms is held by MNCs, whether foreign holding companies or other foreign entities, with a significant shareholding of over 5% each.

Local companies, even after 60 years of financial market development, remain a small part of the market at about 30%.

Board members
The study has largely focused on the boards of companies that are listed at the stock exchange.

The board members are a well-connected group with very easy information flows and connections. They are drawn from a fairly narrow group of bankers, accountants and former corporate professionals, and are mainly from Karachi, according to the study.

The 100 firms in the index have 880 positions and these positions are filled by 756 unique individuals, with some occupying several positions.
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and the corporate governance code require independent directors. “Here is little clarity on what ‘independent’ means. In many companies, independent directors are long-standing employees of owners and their
‘independence’ in decisions by the board may be questionable,” it added.

There were 220 positions for independent directors on these companies, averaging at over two independent directors per firm. About 14% serve on two boards, 6% serve on three boards and 3% serve on four or five boards. As many as 297 directors had corporate background, 148 were from the government, 32 were bureaucrats, 22 were from the army and 154 were from families, according to PIDE.

Women make up only about 10% of board members in Pakistan and a significant number of non-executive directors have served as government employees in the past, whether as bureaucrats, in the military or in regulatory bodies such as the SECP.

Most companies in the KSE-100 are connected to each other through directorships. Only a very few (at most 15) do not share common directorships with other companies in the index, according to the study.

It said that highly influential and well-connected directors were more likely to control the hiring process, exercise political power derived from positions previously held as elected representatives, bureaucrats, or military personnel, or offer an understanding of the functioning of key accountability institutions such as the SECP, amongst many others.

Kamal Chinoy, a former banker, Tariq Iqbal Khan - an accountant, Aamir Sherazie - owner of Honda company, and Qasier Javed - an accountant, were or have served on boards of 17 companies.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2021.
 

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Pakistan cannot increase tariffs or taxes, IMF told: Shaukat Tarin

May 5, 2021 - Updated about an hour ago
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Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said on Wednesday that Pakistan would seek space from the IMF on raising tariffs and taxes. — DawnNewsTV

Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said on Wednesday that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had been informed that Pakistan didn't currently have the capacity to raise its tariffs or taxes under the IMF programme, adding that the World Bank and IMF had been sympathetic to the point of view.

Addressing his first press conference in Islamabad after assuming the charge as finance minister, Tarin said: "Pakistan has not yet come out of the IMF programme, we have discussed with them and told them that our revenues were increasing at 92 per cent but the third wave of Covid came and they decreased after that. "

"At this time, we don't have the capacity to increase tariffs or [adopt] incremental taxes, our common man is completely fed up of this inflation," he said, adding that this had a cascading effect and inflation would increase once fuel charges were increased.

He added that this stance was conveyed and both the World Bank and the IMF had been very sympathetic to it. "We have to tell them that we won't come out of the IMF programme but give us some space and we will change the method. Tariff increase is not the only way to raise money."

He said they were concerned that Pakistan's circular debt was increasing and there "should be some brakes" and stability in it. Tareen added that the government would prove that through various measures, but it didn't mean that it would increase tariffs on the common person since Prime Minister Imran Khan was against it.

"We will apologise to them on this and they are sympathetic to us."
 

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External debt servicing to stay above $10b next fiscal

Country will also pay $3.8b to external creditors during last quarter of current fiscal
Shahbaz Rana
May 05, 2021

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Pakistan’s reliance on foreign loans has almost doubled, as there was a 73% increase in commercial borrowing in the first eight months of FY21 as compared to the same period of last year. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:
The country’s external debt servicing will remain over $10 billion a year for the next two years, as the government weighs its debt-related foreign inflows position to meet the mounting foreign obligations that keeps it dependent on global lenders.

The $10 billion a year external debt servicing is exclusive of the foreign loans that Pakistan has taken in the shape of deposits from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and China, the ministry of economic affairs informed the finance ministry on Tuesday.

The $2 billion of the UAE and China’s $4 billion are expected to be rolled over, reducing the repayments by the same amount.

The ministries of finance and economic affairs held a meeting to take stock of the situation, which suggested that the government would have to keep the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on its right side, sources told The Express Tribune.

Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin and Economic Affairs Minister Omar Ayub Khan led their ministries to the review of the inflows and the outflows.

The meeting was informed that against the current fiscal year’s expected inflows of $14.4 billion, the disbursements of loans might remain around $12 billion, the officials said. Up to $2.5 billion shortfall will be because of only $500 million disbursements by the IMF and no disbursement from the $1 billion Saudi oil facility.

The IMF programme remained derailed for one year and is again being reviewed just after one month of its revival. Tarin is currently weighing his options to keep the economy afloat, as he has already showed his reservations over the harsh IMF conditions.

The finance minister on Monday hoped that the IMF staff would understand Pakistan’s position as the government requested for a sympathetic view due to the pandemic. Tarin is opposed to further increasing the electricity prices and slapping new taxes – the two conditions that Pakistan has agreed in writing to meet by March this year.

Tarin said that the IMF target could be met through alternative measures, as higher electricity rates were only promoting corruption. The finance minister said he did not believe in increasing taxes to increase revenue collection but those outside the tax net would be tapped.

Another $1.5 billion lending by the World Bank was also at stake due to Pakistan’s inability to meet some of the conditions, including notifying increase in electricity prices.

Tarin has held meetings with World Bank officials to secure the $1.5 billion loan, as the country does not have an immediate solution but to take more loans due to the failure in enhancing exports and foreign direct investment.

The government has received loans worth $10.4 billion during July-March period of this fiscal year, including $2.5 billion Eurobonds. However, the World Bank has so far disbursed only $938 million as against annual estimates of $2.3 billion.

Pakistan will also have to pay $3.8 billion to external creditors during the last quarter (April-June) of the current fiscal year and any shortfall against the projected disbursements might put some strain on the foreign exchange reserves, which have largely been built by taking loans.

Along with exports, the foreign direct investment is also not picking up. The Chinese investment under the special economic zones is also not materialising after the government has failed to finalise an SEZs incentive package. China has also showed reluctance to sign an Industrial Framework Agreement, according to the sources.

The ministerial meeting also reviewed the possibility to fast track disbursements of over $16.5 billion foreign loans that Pakistan has signed but remain undisbursed due to long gestation periods of the projects and not fulfilling conditions.

The meeting was informed that these loans would be disbursed subject to resolution of all the outstanding issues. The government also does not have sufficient fiscal space in the budget to provide rupee cover to these foreign loans.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had set up a National Coordination Committee on Foreign-Funded Projects (NCC-FFP). The committee had been set up after the existing government bodies and approving authorities failed to undertake measures that are needed for swift disbursements of stuck-up foreign loans.

At present, 14 foreign-funded projects – including power generation, transmission and distribution amounting to $3.4 billion are under implementation.

Foreign funding would be utilised for supporting social protection and skill development programmes to protect under-privileged groups of the society and to empower youth by imparting valuable skills, Tarin said during the meeting.
 

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‘No Chance’ of Eid-ul-Fitr moon sighting on 29th Ramadan: PMD

May 5, 2021

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Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has predicted that there will be no chance of sighting the new moon of Shawwal 1442 AH on the evening of May 12 i.e. 29th of Ramadan (Wednesday).

The Eid-ul-Fitr (1st Shawwal) will most likely to fall on Friday.

The new moon of Shawwal, 1442 AH will born on crossing conjunction point at 00-01 PST on 12 May, 2021 (Wednesday), weather department said in a statement.

According to astronomical parameters, there is ‘no chance’ of sighting the new moon of Shawwal, 1442 AH on the evening of Wednesday 12 May i.e. 29th of Ramadan, 1442 AH, the met office said.

The weather is expected to be fair or partly cloudy in most parts of the country on the evening of May 12, according to the climate record.

The crescent of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic lunar calendar, will most likely to be sighted on Thursday evening, the May 13.

Thus the Eid-ul-Fitr will fall on Friday (May 14).

A meeting of the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee has been convened on May 12 for the Shawwal 1442 AH moon sighting.

The meeting of Zonal and District Ruet-e-Hilal committees also expected to be held for collecting evidence in respect of sighting of the the Eid-ul-Fitr moon.
 

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PM Imran Khan to depart for Saudi Arabia on Friday

May 5, 2021
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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will depart for Saudi Arabia on May 7 (Friday) on an official visit, his Special Assistant on Religious Harmony Maulana Tahir Ashrafi said on Wednesday.

Speaking to the media before his departure for Saudi Arabia, he said the prime minister will be visiting the Kingdom on the invitation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. During his visit, PM Khan will meet the crown prince and other Saudi political as well as religious leaders.

The incumbent government’s vision as to ties with the brotherly country is clear, Maulana Ashrafi said, adding the two sides will discuss deepening cooperation in various fields, including trade, tourism and culture.

Also Read: COAS Bajwa arrives in Saudi Arabia on official trip

“The relation between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan is like that between body and soul,” he said.

It is noteworthy that Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa arrived in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on an official visit yesterday, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations. He will meet the Kingdom’s civil-military leadership during the visit.
 

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COAS emphasises on need to enhance military to military cooperation between Pakistan, KSA

Pakistan-KSA cooperation will have a positive impact on peace and security in the region, says army chief


May 05, 2021
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Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa emphasized the need to further enhance military to military cooperation between the two Armed Forces. PHOTO: ISPR

Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa emphasised the need to further enhance military to military cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

The army chief’s remarks came during a meeting with the Chief of General Staff (CGS) Saudi Armed Forces General Fayiadh Bin Hamed Al Rowaily in Riyadh on Wednesday.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), matters of mutual interest, regional security situation including the Afghan peace process, defence, security and military to military cooperation were discussed during the meeting.
“Pakistan-KSA cooperation will have a positive impact on peace and security in the region,” the ISPR stated quoting the army chief.

CGS KSA thanked the COAS for his sentiments and assured of full cooperation and support from the kingdom in all initiatives aimed at improving regional cooperation, peace and stability.

Earlier it was reported that Gen Bajwa reached Riyadh on May 4 ahead of the crucial trip by Prime Minister Imran Khan to Saudi Arabia later this week.

The army chief was received by Pakistan’s recently-appointed Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Lt-Gen (retd) Bilal Akbar and Saudi military officials.
During the visit, the army chief would be meeting Saudi civil and military leadership in what seems to be part of the preparation of the prime minister's scheduled to take place on May 7.

The visit of the army chief and upcoming trip by the premier is seen as significant as these developments suggest a thaw in ties between the two countries.

 

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Today during fencing activity in Manzakai Sector, Distt Zhob, Balochistan along Pakistan - Afghanistan Border, Terrorists from across Afghanistan ambushed FC troops moving for fencing.

Rawalpindi - May 05, 2021
No PR-83/2021-ISPR


Today during fencing activity in Manzakai Sector, Distt Zhob, Balochistan along Pakistan - Afghanistan Border, Terrorists from across Afghanistan ambushed FC troops moving for fencing. 4 FC soldiers embraced shahadat while 6 got injured. FC troops responded promptly.

The injured are being evacuated to CMH Quetta.

Those shaheed include Havaldar Noor Zaman, Sepoy Shakeel Abbas, Sepoy Ehsan Ullah and Naik Sultan.
 

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4 FC soldiers martyred, 6 injured in terrorist attack on Pak-Afghan border

May 5, 2021 - Updated about 2 hours ago

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Four Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers were martyred while six others were injured after terrorists ambushed them during a fencing activity at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, the military's media wing said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that the troops were moving for fencing activity along the border in the Manzakai sector in Balochistan's Zhob when "terrorists from Afghanistan ambushed" them.

FC troops responded to the attack promptly, it said.

The injured soldiers were evacuated to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Quetta, the ISPR added.

The martyred soldiers include Havaldar Noor Zaman, Sepoy Shakeel Abbas, Sepoy Ehsan Ullah, and Naik Sultan.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid condemned the attack, terming it "very saddening".

"Terrorists cannot dampen the courage of Pakistan's forces. Fencing work at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border will be completed under any condition," he emphasised in a tweet.

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif also strongly condemned the "cowardly attack".

"Our brave FC soldiers laid down their lives today while defending the motherland at Pak-Afghan border ... send my heartfelt condolences to the families who lost their loved ones. Prayers for the quick recovery of the injured," he tweeted.

In October of last year, a soldier was martyred and another wounded when terrorists fired gunshots from across the Pak-Afghan border on the Pakistan Army post in Bajaur. Another such attack had taken place a month earlier in which a soldier was martyred as well.

After the September attack, the ISPR director general had said that the issue of border management had been raised with Afghan authorities multiple times to prevent the use of the neighbouring country's soil for attacks against Pakistan.
 

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SC orders govt to determine price of oxygen cylinders within 2 days

Published May 5, 2021 - Updated about an hour ago

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A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard the suo motu case on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the federal government to determine the price of oxygen cylinders needed for coronavirus patients and also devise a mechanism in this regard.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed issued the directions on a plea by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government while hearing a suo motu case regarding measures taken to deal with the Covid-19 crisis.

The KP advocate general informed the court that due to a price not having been set, suppliers were charging exorbitant rates for oxygen cylinders, which are crucial for the treatment of critically ill Covid-19 patients.

After the chief of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) disassociated his agency from the issue, the court ordered the Ministry of Industries and Production to devise a mechanism and determine the price of oxygen cylinders within two days.

During the hearing, the apex court also termed as unsatisfactory reports submitted by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Sindh government regarding measures taken to fight Covid-19.

Chief Justice Ahmed remarked that a large quantity of oxygen could be generated by the oxygen plant of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM), directing authorities to make it functional.

However, the additional attorney general informed the court that the oxygen plant at PSM was 40 years old, and reviving it would cost Rs1 billion.

The court ordered the government lawyer to submit a detailed report regarding the availability of oxygen.

The chief justice also inquired why the government had allowed the import of unregistered drugs and medical equipment, wondering how the government will know which products were being imported.

At this, Drap officials informed the court that a number of medical equipment including ventilators were being manufactured in the country. They said there was no shortage of any medicine used to treat Covid-19 patients.

While expressing concern over the state of quarantine centres in the country, Chief Justice Ahmed directed the NDMA chairman to immediately visit the facilities.

"Tens of millions of rupees were spent on quarantine centres but everyone knows the conditions of Haji Camp quarantine centre [in Karachi] ... there is no water there and neither was it painted," the top judge remarked.

He directed the health secretary to submit a fresh report regarding the government measures to tackle the pandemic.

Justice Ahmed also expressed displeasure at the absence of the Sindh advocate general in today's hearing.

He said the Sindh government had claimed to have spent large sums of money on Karachi and Covid patients, commenting that if the figures were true then "Sindh should have become Paris".

He observed that the Sindh government had also stated that it had spent $2,600 million on education. "With such an expense, all of Sindh's schools should have [become like] Harvard and the literacy rate should have been 100 per cent," Justice Ahmed remarked.

The court sought a clarification on the absence of the Sindh advocate general and a report from the provincial government. The hearing was subsequently adjourned for a month.

Pakistan is currently struggling to contain a third wave of coronavirus infections, with more than 800,000 cases and 18,000 deaths declared and only a fraction of the population having been vaccinated.

After a continuous rise in Covid-19 cases for almost three months, a downward trend was finally witnessed on Monday as both the positivity ratio and the number of cases declined.

However, experts believe that Pakistan has been facing a situation similar to that of last Ramazan and the number of cases may increase again if people violated the coronavirus-related SOPs as they did during the Eid holidays last year.

The country registered 4,113 new cases and 119 deaths during the last 24 hours, according to official data.
 

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Saudi Arabia assures Pakistan of support in peace efforts

May 6, 2021 - Updated about 8 hours ago


ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia on Wednesday assured Pakistan of its support in its initiatives for regional peace and stability.

The assurance was extended by Chief of General Staff (CGS), Saudi Armed Forces, Gen Fayiadh Bin Hamed Al Rowaily during a meeting with Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Bajwa.

Gen Bajwa is currently on a four-day visit to the Kingdom. His trip is taking place ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit scheduled to start from Friday.
“CGS KSA … assured full cooperation and support from KSA in all initiatives aimed at improving regional cooperation, peace and stability,” the Inter-Services Public Relations said in a statement on the meeting.

According to the military’s media affairs wing, the two commanders discussed regional security situation including Afghan peace process, and military-to-military bilateral cooperation.

Gen Bajwa called for greater military-to-military cooperation between the armed forces of the two countries and said it would positively impact regional peace and security.

Published in Dawn, May 6th, 2021
 

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PM Khan received by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on arrival in Jeddah





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