However, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked the government to make such borrowing from commercial banks instead of the central bank. State Bank borrows Rs187b in T-bills auction“Borrowing from the central bank increases inflation as the central bank provides the financing by printing new currency notes,” Taurus Securities’ analyst Mustafa Mustansir added. They bought six-month T-bills worth Rs1.4 billion and submitted no bids for 12-month T-bills, according to the central bank. However, it would be too early to say as to how much rate increase would be made and when, but T-bills’ auction showed the trend, he added. “Had they not been expecting a further rate hike, they would have placed higher bids for 12-month T-bills rather than aggressively participating in the three-month T-bills auction,” he said.

May 24, 2019 02:51 UTC

Renowned businessmen Aqeel Karim Dhedhi and Arif Habib recently said the housing scheme and other construction projects were the backbone of the economy. Construction of 5m houses for poor to kick off in April: PMThe Naya Pakistan housing project will help revive economic activities, they noted. The housing scheme is being launched in cities across the country including Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Faisalabad, Peshawar and Multan. Malaysia, Turkey, Dubai and the US also launched similar housing projects that boosted their economies and helped them achieve new milestones. Therefore, Dubai and Malaysia stand as one of the best examples for Pakistan to follow by constructing low-cost to high-end housing projects.

May 24, 2019 02:37 UTC

The low economic growth target coupled with higher inflation will make it difficult for the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan to implement its plan of creating 10 million jobs and building five million housing units. Wildlife achieves 80% revenue target: DG“The economic growth target for the next fiscal year is 4% and inflation target is 8.5%,” said Federal Minister for Planning and Development Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, after a meeting of the Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC). The 4% target is slightly higher than the outgoing fiscal year’s growth rate of 3.3%. The government’s macroeconomic targets seem optimistic as compared to IMF projections which have put economic growth at around 3% for the next fiscal year. In first 10 months of the outgoing fiscal year, exports turned slightly negative and imports contracted nearly 8%.

May 24, 2019 02:36 UTC

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has rejected a scandalous audio and video aired by a private news channel against its Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal wherein he has been accused of inappropriate interactions/conversation with an unidentified woman. The woman in the video alleged that she had been threatened with NAB inquiries if she failed to submit to Justice (r) Iqbal’s wishes. The NAB press release claimed that 42 cases of blackmail and kidnappings for ransom had been registered against the gangsters. NAB claimed that the concocted video is an attempt to discredit the bureau’s name and an attempt to influence the impending inquiries against the blackmailing group. The press release said that the gang’s leader, Farooq, was already imprisoned at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore.

May 23, 2019 19:35 UTC

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday congratulated India’s premier Narendra Modi on his victory in the country’s national elections. “I congratulate Prime Minister Modi on the electoral victory of BJP and allies. Look forward to working with him for peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia,” the prime minister said on Twitter. Modi, in a tweet, thanked Imran Khan for his “good wishes”. Last month, Prime Minister Imran had said there may be a better chance of peace talks with India if BJP wins the general election.

May 23, 2019 17:37 UTC

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday admitted ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s bail plea in Al-Azizia reference on medical grounds for hearing after Eidul Fitr, on June 11. A division bench comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiani will hear the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader‘s bail plea. Earlier in the day, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz met Nawaz Sharif at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore. Other PML-N leaders including Rana Sanaullah, Mushahidullah and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi were also present on the occasion. On May 8, PML-N supremo reached Kot Lakhpat Jail after expiry of six-week bail in a corruption case.

May 23, 2019 17:26 UTC

Bharat­iya Janata Party ahead in 302 of the 542 seats up for grabsWASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Thursday congratulated India’s Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP party on their landslide election victory. “Congratulations to Prime Minister @narendramodi and his BJP party on their BIG election victory!” Trump tweeted. Congratulations to Prime Minister @NarendraModi and his BJP party on their BIG election victory! Great things are in store for the US-India partnership with the return of PM Modi at the helm. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 23, 2019PM Imran congratulates Modi as Pakistan renews call for talks“Great things are in store for the US-India partnership with the return of PM Modi at the helm.

May 23, 2019 17:26 UTC

Sajid Mehmoo­d allege­dly strike­s father fatall­y with sharp object when he was asleep­A man allegedly killed his father for cross-questioning and scolding him after losing his mobile phone in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat area on Thursday. Khalid Mehmood, the victim, was a street vendor and had returned home and asked his son, Sajid Mehmood, about how he lost his cellphone. The father then scolded him and suspected that he gifted the phone to a girl. Man kills father, sisters before committing suicide in LahorePolice said that the alleged culprit then went up to the roof and attacked his father with a sharp object with the blow having led to his death. Other family members then contacted local police who have now registered a case against Sajid with an investigation underway.

May 23, 2019 17:15 UTC

With Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party re-elected in a landslide, AFP looks at the challenges facing his government over the coming five years. India’s air is also a health hazard — the country is home to 22 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities, according to Greenpeace. Under Modi, lynchings of Muslims and low-caste Dalits for eating beef and slaughtering and trading in cattle have risen. With a new mandate, Modi will be under pressure from hardline Hindu groups that have long espoused “Hindutva”, or Hindu hegemony. Modi made the S-400 deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin last October, defying US warnings of sanctions on countries buying Russian arms.

May 23, 2019 17:15 UTC

BEIJING: China and Pakistan have agreed to enhance high-level exchanges and strengthen pragmatic cooperation for more progress in the bilateral relations in view of changing international situation, said Lu Knag, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said on Thursday. He was responding to a question regarding a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers Meeting held in Bishkek on Wednesday. He said the State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi ‘who is a good friend’ on the sidelines of their SCO foreign ministers meeting. “Both sides believe that the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership is deepened in our Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) cooperation” he added. The two sides should jointly implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, strengthen high-level exchanges, deepen pragmatic cooperation, and promote China-Pakistan relations.

May 23, 2019 17:15 UTC

The verdict was challenged by the Punjab advocate general on the approval of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar. It has been requested in the petition that SC dismisses the LHC’s order regarding JIT suspension. The new JIT was constituted on January 3 this year for a fresh probe into the 2014 Model Town carnage, following a notification issued by the Punjab chief secretary. On March 22, LHC had dissolved the JIT constituted to investigate the 2014 Model Town incident afresh. On June 17, 2014, Punjab police went to remove the barriers placed outside PAT Chief Dr Tahirul Qadri’s residence and MQI Secretariat in Model Town.

May 23, 2019 16:41 UTC

ISLAMABAD: The Executive Board meeting of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB-EBM) on Thursday accorded approval of filing four corruption references and three inquiries against former Press Information Department (PID) director general (DG) Chaudhry Rasheed Ahmed and others on the allegations of inflicting losses worth millions of rupees to the national exchequer. The meeting was chaired by NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal who accorded approval of filing the corruption references and inquiries against Chaudhry Rasheed Ahmed and others for allegedly making an abortive attempt of withdrawing Rs28.5 million from the national exchequer in collaboration with an advertising agency by sheer abuse of authority. “The attempt was foiled by Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC),” a NAB press release said. The meeting also accorded approval for filing another corruption reference against Naeemuddin Khan, former Bank of Punjab president and others. The meeting also accorded approval of filing a corruption reference against Ghulab Khan, secretary Karachi Port Trust (KPT) Officers Cooperative Housing Society and others for allegedly allotting state land to their personal contacts which inflicted a loss of Rs110 million to the national exchequer.

May 23, 2019 16:18 UTC

The official number of HIV positive patients has reached 654 in Ratodero and its adjoining villages out of which 119 were adults and 535 children. Screening camps organised at Banguldero and Naundero also tested 267 people from general population, but fortunately, found none. So far 22,286 people from general population have been screened out of which 654 have emerged with HIV positive. Talking to reporters, Dr Mirza said that the outbreak of HIV in Larkana had not only shaken the country, but the entire world. Dr Zafar said that some of the causes were very common such as usage of same syringe, transfusion of contaminated blood, spread of infection in the hospitals, unsafe sex and so forth.

May 23, 2019 15:54 UTC

Yemeni rebels' Al-Masira­h TV said the attack target­ed a Patrio­t air defenc­e system­RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Thursday shot down a bomb-laden drone deployed by rebels in neighbouring Yemen to attack an airport in the kingdom, the Riyadh-led coalition fighting on the side of Yemen’s government said. “An explosive-laden drone sent by the terrorist Houthi militia to target Najran airport” was intercepted and destroyed by the Saudi air force, coalition spokesperson Colonel Turki al-Maliki was quoted by state media as saying. The Yemeni rebels’ Al-Masirah TV said the attack — the third against Najran airport in 72 hours — had targeted a Patriot air defence system. An armed drone sent on Tuesday had hit a weapons depot at the same airport, setting off a blaze, according to Al-Masirah. Maliki said on Tuesday that the rebels attacked a “civilian installation” in Najran province bordering Yemen with an explosives-laden drone, but did not report casualties.

May 23, 2019 15:45 UTC

The arrested police officers had reportedly declined to register the case on the plea that the girl might have eloped with a boyfriend. Again, the family was reportedly asked if they were really Pakistani citizens. There is a perception that if police had acted swiftly to locate the girl, she might have been alive today. The same year, a report submitted to the National Assembly’s Committee on Human Rights reported numerous cases of child rape in 2016-17. With little help from the police, the reports of their losses mostly find a place only in researchers’ statistics.

May 23, 2019 15:45 UTC