newsdailyFebruary 23, 2021


ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz Tuesday said Prime Minister Imran Khan had accepted the challenge of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for re-polling at 20 polling stations in NA-75.

Talking to the media here, he said the prime minister had always faced the challenges boldly and in this particular case, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was ready for the re-polling. He said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), an independent institution, would take the final decision about the by-election held in NA-75 Daska and the PTI would accept it.

Shibli said it was ironic that the PML- N which was the inventor of Chhanga Manga style of politics and horse trading in the politics was today crying foul. He said whenever the opposition parties won elections, they termed them fair and transparent but when they lost, they started crying hoarse. Criticizing the duplicity of the opposition parties, he said those who promote corruption and horse trading were opposing open ballot in the Senate elections.

He said only those opposed open ballot who planned to indulge in horse trading and malpractices. He said the PTI government wanted to introduce electronic voting system in general elections to ensure transparency in the election process. The PML-N had always pursued a policy of bullying and rigging and people like Rana Sanaullah and Javed Latif were sent in the constituency on the election day for the purpose.

He said the PML-N goons disturbed the law and order situation in by-polls. He said keeping its tradition of changing stances, the PML-N had backtracked from its earlier stance and now demanding new elections in the entire constituency.

The minister said the  PML-N leadership was known for its narrative of deceit and lies and Calibri font and the statement of owning no property even in Pakistan what to speak of England were its examples.

He said the politics of opposition parties, PML-N and Pakistan Peoples Party, was based on deceit and lies. He said the final decision regarding the re-election in NA-75 constituency would be taken by the ECP which was an independent institution and the PTI would accept it.

Shibli said the PTI believed in institutions whereas the opponents believed in bullying and violence and opened fire on women and children in Model Town, Lahore. He said the PML- N vote bank in the Punjab was shrinking whereas the PTI’s vote bank was increasing with every passing day. He said the PML-N would again bite the dust after prime minister’s challenge of holding re-polling at 20 polling stations. He said after plundering trillions of rupees from national exchequer, the PML- N leaders had taken refuge in luxury flats of London and had the audacity to lecture on morality.—APP

newsdailyFebruary 23, 2021


COLOMBO: Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Tuesday agreed to further strengthen bilateral relations in diverse areas including trade, investment, science and technology and culture through enhanced connectivity.

“My visit is aimed at strengthening bilateral relationship [with Sri Lanka] specially trade and economic ties through enhanced connectivity…,” said Prime Minister Imran Khan while addressing a joint press conference with his Sri Lanka counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa here after holding one-on-one and delegation talks.

Imran Khan since Pakistan was part of the Chinese President’s Belt and Road Initiative through its flagship China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, Sri Lanka can benefit from the project through enhanced connectivity up to the Central Asian States.

The Prime Minister, who was in Sri Lnaka on a two-day visit, said that he had asked his delegation to find ways and means to enhance trade and economic relations between the two countries through increased connectivity.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said that with Pakistan having faced the worst kind of terrorism for 10 years which took the lives of over 70,000 people and Sri Lanka also facing the menace for 30 years, the two countries shared the common problem.
He mentioned the role played by Pakistan in addressing the problem of terrorism in Sri Lanka that was hindering progress and development.
The Prime Minister said that with 10 years of terrorism, there hardly came any investment in Pakistan and Sri Lanka also faced similar problems.
 He said that now Pakistan and Sri Lanka like other countries of world faced the situation of coronavirus. The poor and developing nations were badly hit by COVID-19 in terms of economy, he remarked.
The Prime Minister said that during the talks with Sri Lankan counterpart, the two sides discussed how the poor and developing countries could get debt relief from the developed world as well as the international financial institutions.
Highlighting the gravity of economic situation faced by the developing countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Imran Khan said that Pakistan had provided a stimulus package of US $ 8 billion as compared to US $ 3000 billion provided by the United States to its people.
The Prime Minister said that with the situation of this discrepancy of resource allocation found between the developed and developing world to COVID-19, the United Nations and other international institutions should step in to help the poor and developing nations.
Coming back to bilateral relations, Imran Khan said Pakistan having various heritage sites was home to ancient civilizations of Gandhara and Budhism. Pakistan has also recently discovered a biggest Budha in the country, he added.
The Prime Minister, who extended an invitation to his Sri Lankan counterpart visit Pakistan, also stressed for enhanced cooperation between the two countries in the field of cultural tourism. Imran Khan said he was not stranger in Sri Lanka as he has been visiting the country from his cricketing period and played matches. The Prime Minister recalled how Sri Lankan cricket revolutionized and became the world class team.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa told the media-persons that they discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest, besides ways and means to strengthen bilateral ties.
He said during the meeting, the two sides agreed to enhance cooperation between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in diverse areas, including trade, investment, science and technology, education and culture.
Imran Khan and his Sri Lankan counterpart on the occasion also witnessed the signing of five memorandums of understanding (MOUs) for enhanced bilateral cooperation in the fields of investment, science and technology, and industrial technology.
Prime Minister Imran Khan is the first head of government to visit Sri Lanka after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa assumed office last year, which was reflective of the importance both the countries attach to their important relationship.
Imran Khan is visiting Sri Lanka on the invitation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.—APP

newsdailyFebruary 23, 2021


GENEVA: Turkey on Monday raised the Kashmir issue at the United Nations Human Rights Council, with a call for resolving the decades-old dispute on the basis of UN resolutions and the “legitimate” expectations of Kashmiri people who are struggling for their right of self-determination.

“We reiterate our call to the Government of India to ease current restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the 47-member Council in Geneva. “We wish for the resolution of the issue through peaceful means on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions and the legitimate expectations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” the Turkish foreign added.

The Council on Monday began its month-long, 46th session, which is being held almost entirely remotely to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In Washington, Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary-General of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum, welcomed Cavusoglu’s remarks about the deteriorating situation in Indian occupied Kashmir.

“This has been the consistent policy of the Erdogan administration to sensitize the world opinion to help bring parties concerned together to resolve the Kashmir dispute for the sake of peace and security not only in Kashmir but in the region of South Asia,” he said.

“The people of Jammu & Kashmir were heartened to listen to Mr. Cavusoglu explaining before the world body the principle aspect of the Kashmir issue,” Dr. Fai said. He added that the time has come for the world powers to find a solution to the Kashmir dispute between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan.—APP

newsdailyFebruary 23, 2021


ISLAMABAD: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), under its refinancing scheme for protecting businesses from the impact of COVID-19, has so far deferred Rs657.14 billion principal repayments of loans up to one year. The bank also allowed restructuring or rescheduling of around Rs235.8 billion so far, according to the updated data of the central bank.

The number of borrowers that would benefit from this rescheduling relief has risen to 1,767,599 with outstanding amount of Rs 2.54 billion, it said. Under its Rozgar scheme for protecting businesses and employees working with them from the impact of COVID-19, the central bank has so far approved Rs238.2 billion for 2,958 businesses. Meanwhile, the bank under this refinancing scheme for hospitals to combat COVID-19, approved financing of Rs10.073 billion for 43 hospitals so far.

As many as 46 hospitals had requested for the financing amounting to Rs13.8 billion.With respect to progress on refinance scheme for setting up new projects or expansion, the central bank approved 457 projects with an amount of Rs385.7 billion for which it received requests for 629 projects with amount of Rs 704.8 billion.

Furthermore, from March 20, 2020 to February 19, the Bank had issued fresh currency notes to the commercial banks worth of Rs1.411 trillion. Similarly an amount of Rs 46.6 billion was quarantined during the period that was received from hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies. While overall the bank received cash worth of Rs1.45 trillion which was quarantined for 14 days.

It is pertinent to mention here that in order to combat the impact of COVID-19 and to help the businesses in payment of wages and salaries to their workers and employees and thereby support continued employment in this challenging environment, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has introduced a temporary refinance scheme for payment of wages and salaries to the workers and employees of the business concerns.

This scheme was aimed at easing cash flow constraints of the employers and thereby avoid layoffs. In addition, the SBP had expanded the scope of existing refinancing facilities and introduced a scheme to support hospitals and medical centers to purchase equipment to detect, contain and treat COVID-19 patients besides, stimulating investment in new manufacturing plants and machinery, as well as modernization and expansion of existing projects.—APP

newsdailyFebruary 23, 2021


LAHORE: West Indies veteran stroke player, Chris Gayle has reasons to be emotional and he is in Pakistan after a long 15-year gap to feature in the HBL PSL 6. As such, the “Universe Boss” is featuring in the shortest format for the first time in the country.

The most poignant reason for him is he is playing cricket in a pandemic. Although less, but there are some people to cheer him and he plays for people. “I am glad to be playing cricket at this particular time,” Gayle, who is the only player to smash more than a thousand sixes in T20 cricket, said on Tuesday . “Playing during this particular time is a blessing. Hopefully, things can get better in the future.

“When you look at what’s happening in the world there are no fans in the stadiums and people have to watch [cricket] on television. It is something people and players look back and say we have to appreciate times when we actually had good things and not take them for granted.

“Things are tough with the world in pause. We must not take life for granted when things can open. We’re going to try to live the best life and live it to the fullest, spend more time with family and friends and reach out to the people a lot more.”

“People were actually at a distance from their families and friends and when all this happened around the world, it brought them closer.”
Gayle hoped cricket will start again at its fullest. “I am sure players are still hungry for it. “It is our livelihood, it is our job, our earning and that is what we know.”

The 41-year-old Jamaican smashed a 24-ball 39 in the first match and followed it up with a rapidfire 40-ball 68 for Quetta Gladiators against Lahore Qalandars on Monday. Gayle striking big was no surprise for the fans and followers of the game alike as he boasts a staggering record in T20 cricket.

He is the leading run scorer in the format with 13,691 runs at an average of 38.35 and a staggering strike rate of 146.86. Along with being the only batsman to have smashed over a thousand sixers – 1,008 to be precise – Gayle has also smashed 1,050 fours. In the first two HBL PSL seasons, Gayle donned Lahore Qalandars’ and Karachi Kings’ colours in 2016 and 2017, respectively. On touring Pakistan for the first time since being part of the West Indies team on their 2006 tour, Gayle acknowledges it’s pleasing to tour the country.

“It’s good to be in Pakistan after 15 years,” said Gayle, who will leave shortly to feature in the West Indies’ T20I against Sri Lanka back home. “It’s fantastic! I did not get a full house based on restrictions, but it was good to see some people. It was good to have a blast. I am looking forward to continuing playing in Pakistan.”

Recalling the bitter-sweet memories of the 2006 tour, Gayle said: “My memory of playing a Test in Multan is good as I scored 94 [93 off 182], but missed out on a hundred. I was leg-before to Danish Kaneria. Then Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan kept us in the field for a long time under a boiling sun.

“I also remember Brian Lara smashing Kaneria for something like 26 runs after a bit of a banter. It was fantastic to see that as a youngster.” On his self-styled claim of being “Universe Boss,” Gayle acknowledged it as a blessing.
“It is good when you are someone who has that impact around the world. It is a joy that people turn out for you. So, that makes me happy. It is fantastic.”—APP

newsdailyFebruary 22, 2021


GENEVA : China on Monday rejected “slanderous attacks” about conditions for Muslim Uighurs and other minorities living in its Xinjiang region, insisting that they enjoyed freedom of religion and labour rights.

Activists and U.N. rights experts have said that at least 1 million Muslims are detained in camps in the remote western region. China denies abuses and says its camps provide vocational training and are needed to fight extremism.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the U.N. Human Rights Council that it was taking counter-terrorism measures in accordance with the law and that Xinjiang enjoyed “social stability and sound development” after four years without any “terrorist case”.

There were 24,000 mosques in Xinjiang, where people of all ethnic groups also enjoyed labour rights, he said.

“These basic facts show that there has never been so-called genocide, forced labour, or religious oppression in Xinjiang,” Wang said. “Such inflammatory accusations are fabricated out of ignorance and prejudice, they are simply malicious and politically driven hype and couldn’t be further from the truth.”

The Biden administration last month endorsed a last-minute determination by the Trump administration that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang and has said the United States must be prepared to impose costs on China.

Earlier, British foreign secretary Dominic Raab denounced torture, forced labour and sterilisations that he said were taking place against Uighurs on an “industrial scale” in Xinjiang. “The situation in Xinjiang is beyond the pale,” he said.

Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas said: “Our commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights also leaves no room for the arbitrary detention of ethnic minorities like the Uighurs in Xinjiang or China’s crackdown on civil liberties in Hong Kong.” Wang invited U.N. scrutiny but gave no timetable.

“The door to Xinjiang is always open. People from many countries who have visited Xinjiang have learned the facts and the truth on the ground. China also welcomes the High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Xinjiang,” he said, referring to U.N. rights chief Michelle Bachelet, whose office has been negotiating terms of access to the country.

newsdailyFebruary 22, 2021


KARACHI: Banks’ lending to rice processing mills more than doubled to Rs57 billion in Jul-Dec 2020 from Rs26.5 billion in Jul-Dec 2019, according to the latest statistics released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). However, this huge growth in lending to rice millers came in the form of restructuring of old loans under the special financial stimulus package announced by the SBP in March 2020 to mitigate the economic fallout of Covid-19 pandemic. express tribune reported.

According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), Pakistan exported a little below 1.825 million tonnes of Basmati and non-Basmati rice in Jul-Dec 2020, against exports of 2.083 million tonnes in the same period of 2019.

Variety-wise, exports of Basmati showed a much sharper decline, from 428,590 tonnes in Jul-Dec 2019 to 265,672 tonnes in Jul-Dec 2020. Exports of non-Basmati rice also fell from about 1.61 million tonnes to 1.559 million tonnes. In terms of value, total rice export earnings slipped from $1.033 billion to $963.4 million, the latest PBS data shows.

So, what actually happened? And, is there any chance for Pakistan to recoup the export losses and boost its annual rice export earnings at the end of current fiscal year in June? A breakdown of export data reveals that export earnings went down due to lower earnings from Basmati rice.

The decline in Basmati rice exports was so sharp (down from $381 million in Jul-Dec 2019 to $263 million in Jul-Dec 2020) that it even diluted a rise (from $652 million to $700.7 million) in export earnings from non-Basmati types of rice. So, the real issue is with the Basmati rice.

According to tribune, Rice exporters say from now onwards Basmati exports will likely increase as they earlier suffered a fall in shipments when India mischievously applied for a geographical indication (GI) tag for what it had presented to the world as Basmati rice. Exports of Pakistani Basmati were being blocked by some European countries due to Indian lobbying on this ground.

On Jan 26, 2021, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood announced that Pakistan had successfully got its GI tag for Basmati. This means Pakistan can now export its Basmati rice more freely to those European countries and its Basmati shipments to European countries will likely increase.

newsdailyFebruary 22, 2021


Islamabad: Special envoy of Qatar Mutlaq bin Majed Al-Qahtani called on Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad in Islamabad today. Matters related to bilateral relations and Afghan peace process came under discussion. Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad said lasting peace in Afghanistan is a long standing dream of Pakistan. Radio Pakistan reported.

Commending the efforts of Qatar for peace in Afghanistan, he stressed on to continue dialogue with the Afghan Taliban for maintaining peace. Mutlaq bin Majed Al-Qahtani said on the occasion that Peace in Afghanistan is essential for the social and economic development of the region. He lauded Pakistan’s civil and military institutions for their countless sacrifices in establishing peace.

newsdailyFebruary 22, 2021


Punjab Government is launching Rehmat-ullil-Aalamin (Hazrat Muhammad Rasool Allah Khatimnabiyyin Sallallaho Alahe Wa Aalayhi Wa Ashabehi Wassalam) Scholarship Program for deserving bright students in the province today.

In a statement, the Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said that a fund of one billion rupees has been allocated for this Program, which is a revolutionary measure to assist deserving students. He said that students can submit their applications through an online system. Radio Pakistan reported.

He said that students’ particulars will be checked online and scholarships will be transferred to students through banking channels. He said that the fund for this Program will be enhanced every year.

newsdailyFebruary 22, 2021


Prime Minister Imran Khan will embark on a two-day official visit to Sri Lanka tomorrow (Tuesday). The Prime Minister is visiting Sri Lanka on the invitation of his counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa and he will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including members of the Cabinet and senior officials.

According to Radio Pakistan, The Prime Minister’s engagements include meetings with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. He will also lead the delegation-level talks, covering all areas of cooperation between the two countries including trade,investment, health, education, agriculture, science & technology, defence and culture tourism. Besides bilateral matters, views will be exchanged on key regional and international issues.

The Prime Minister will also participate in a joint ‘Trade and Investment Conference’ aimed at promoting trade and investment between the two countries. A number of MoUs to enhance bilateral cooperation will be signed during the visit. Pakistan and Sri Lanka have maintained close, cordial and mutually supportive relations and the two countries share commonality of views on a wide range of international and regional issues.

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