–Govt agrees to provide electricity to textile sector at 7.5cents/kWh, withdraw all additional surcharges till June 2020LAHORE: The federal government has agreed to provide electricity to the textile and other zero-rated industries at the rate of 7.5 cents/kWh (which is approximately Rs11.58 as of today) all-inclusive till June 2020. Sources told Pakistan Today that the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) also managed to persuade the government to take back all additional surcharges and add-ons over and above the concessionary rate till June. Prime Minister Imran Khan was scheduled to meet the textile sector and address the issues faced by the export-oriented sector, however the premier could not attend Wednesday’s meeting. Economic Affairs Minister Hammad Azhar, PM’s Adviser on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, Federal Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan and Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar were also present. The APTMA delegation was led by Gohar Ijaz and comprised APTMA Chairman Dr Amanullah Kassim Machariya, APTMA Punjab Chairman Adil Bashir, APTMA Punjab Senior Vice Chairman Abdul Rahim Nasir, APTMA’s Executive Director Shahid Sattar and other leading textile millers and office-bearers of the association.

February 26, 2020 18:11 UTC

The Committee of International Arbitration Tribunal has issued a stay order on the request of Pakistan in the Reko Diq case. According to a media report, the decision of arbitration tribunal was challenged by Pakistan in November 2019. Pakistan requested that tribunal’s decision should be reversed and a stay order be issued until the final decision. It is pertinent to mention that The International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) announced a massive $5.976 billion award against Pakistan in the Reko Diq case in July 2019, which is one of biggest in ICSID history. ICSID awarded a $4.08 billion penalty and $1.87 billion in interest.

February 26, 2020 18:11 UTC

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday ordered to release of Saqlain, who was convicted in a blasphemy case, after the completion of his sentence. The accused Saqlain was arrested in 2015 from Faisalabad for posting a controversial post about the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) on Facebook. A two-member bench comprising Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin heard the case. During the course of proceedings, Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin said that no one had the right to write on Facebook against any person. The court had issued release orders on completion of the sentence.

February 26, 2020 18:00 UTC

“There are 4,000 seats vacant for patwaris and almost 2,500 to 3,000 patwaris are presently working while most of them are near retirement. However, Punjab Revenue Minister Malik Muhammad Anwar, while speaking to this scribe, agreed to the integration of patwaris in the planned system. Justifying the importance of patwaris, he said, “Until now many of the tasks related to land are being carried out through patwaris. “The patwaris working with us have to be assigned with some work, therefore, they will have to continue working. These SCOs should have hands-on knowledge of this because all the works whether manual or digitised are according to the Land Revenue Act and have the same technicalities,” he added.

February 26, 2020 17:37 UTC

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah said on Wednesday that the provincial government had planned to set up three more Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the province under Public-Private partnership (PPP) mode. “These proposed SEZs will be established at Naushehro Feroze, Bolhari and Navena,” he told a 33-member delegation of the Advanced Diplomatic Course at his office. Shah informed the foreign delegates that the proposed SEZs were in addition to the Korangi Special Economic Zone, the Bin Qasim Special Economic Zone and the Khairpur Special Economic Zone. Another important project Dhabeji Special Economic Zone was also in progress to be set up under CPEC, the CS told the trainee diplomats. Besides coal, Sindh could produce 50,000mw electricity through wind corridor as it had added 1,200mw power to the system in the last two years, the CS added.

February 26, 2020 17:15 UTC





In a tweet, PM’s Special Assistant on Health Dr Zafar Mirza said, “I can confirm first two cases of coronavirus in Pakistan. The confirmation came moments after the Sindh Health Department announced that a young man had tested positive for the coronavirus in Karachi. The patient travelled from Iran to Karachi by plane on Feb 20. So far, over 2,700 deaths have been confirmed from coronavirus in the world and over 81,000 others have been infected. On Wednesday, the World Health Organisation said there are now more new cases of the coronavirus reported each day outside China than inside the hardest-hit country.

February 26, 2020 17:03 UTC

The plane door of a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight was mistakenly opened by a passenger while landing at the Sukkur Airport. The national flag carrier’s flight PK631 from Islamabad to Sukkur had just touched down when the door opened. However, we have launched an investigation into the incident.”It’s not the first time a plane door has opened unexpectedly. But she mistakenly opened door L5, at the rear of the aircraft on the left-hand side, rather than the adjacent toilet door. In a statement, PIA said: “A passenger erroneously opened the emergency door causing the emergency slide to activate.”The article originally appeared in The Independent

February 26, 2020 16:07 UTC

PESHAWAR: Following Afghanistan’s confirmation of its first case of coronavirus, authorities at the Torkham border crossing point have begun screening people entering Pakistan in order to block the possible transmission of the virus into the country. According to a statement issued by the district administration of Khyber tribal district, quarantine facility is also available at Torkham border for suspected coronavirus cases. The DHO said isolation wards have already been set up at hospitals in Torkham, Landikotal and Jamrud to deal with suspected coronavirus cases. He said ambulances have also provided in these hospitals which shift the suspected patients to Police and Services Hospital Peshawar which is specially designated to deal with coronavirus patients. Pakistan has already closed its border with Iran, while Turkey has also done so to prevent the spread of the virus.

February 26, 2020 16:07 UTC

MIRPUR: Commenting on the offer of mediation made by United States President Donald Trump during his visit to India, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan said that the people of Pakistan and Kashmir were always open to mediation and intercession. The AJK president made these remarks while interacting with a multi-national delegation led by the Institute of International Peace Leaders (IIPL) Chairman Muhammad Attaur Rehman and IIPL Vice-Chairperson Lady Mya Amarise in the federal capital on Wednesday. The AJK president said that such a process should be credible and take aboard all the parties to the dispute – Pakistan, India, United Nations (UN) and the people of Kashmir. When Trump, Khan said, made his initial offer of mediation last July, it was welcomed by the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan. However, its lustre started wearing thin when caveats and conditions were added to the original offer to assuage India, he said.

February 26, 2020 16:07 UTC

Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain has said US President Donald Trump should pitch the idea of an autonomous Kashmir instead of pushing for the 72-year-old UN resolutions on the disputed Himalayan region. President Trump should push for other options, including an autonomous Kashmir, as the 72-year-old UN resolutions “appear to have faded” in the record books of the international body, said the PML-Q chief while speaking to AJK’s former prime minister Sardar Atiq during a meeting on Wednesday. “If he [Trump] can help resolve the Kashmir dispute and end the suffering of millions of Kashmiris, President Trump would easily win another term in office,” Shujaat said. President Trump, who recently toured India for two days, reiterated his offer to mediate between Pakistan and India to find a political solution to the Kashmir dispute. I am ready to help, to mediate,” he said at a joint news conference with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

February 26, 2020 16:07 UTC

LAHORE: The Punjab government in a letter informed the federal government to approach the concerned court and trial court and ask them not to extend the bail of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, provincial law minister Raja Basharat said on Wednesday. “We have sent a letter to the federal government now they will take action,” the law minister said. Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry lauded the Punjab government and said the decision was a ‘good step’. The Punjab law minister added that a special board was constituted by the chief minister which kept requesting for fresh reports. “Since no new reports were sent, the Punjab cabinet reached a decision on them and decided not to extend the bail,” Basharat said.

February 26, 2020 16:07 UTC

ISLAMABAD: The executive board of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has given the approval to file series of new corruption references and inquiries against various officials, including Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Leader Adil Siddiqui. The members of the executive board in a meeting chaired by NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal approved two references against former PPP minister Adil Siddiqui and former secretary Ghulam Mustafa over charges of corruption. The anti-corruption watchdog also approved filing references against former secretary law Sindh Syed Ghulam Nabi Shah and others. The meeting also approved five inquiries against various former officers. Chairman NAB addressing the meeting said that the mega corruption cases will be led to their logical end.

February 26, 2020 16:07 UTC

Rossouw got Multan back on track before he was slowed down with a hip injury after getting pinged by Wahab to end the 12th over. Another six yanked flat over square leg off Wahab in the 15th by Khushdil put Multan one stroke away from victory. After the spinners worked through the rest of the middle order, Tanvir came back to claim Hasan Ali and No.11 Rahat Ali. It opened the door for Rossouw to form a 77-run stand with Khushdil to see Multan across the line. Peshawar are equal with Karachi Kings on two points but technically in fifth place way behind Kings on net run-rate.

February 26, 2020 15:45 UTC

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday disposed of an interim bail petition of Mustafa Kamal, the brother of former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal, after the submission of an affidavit by National Accountability Bureau (NAB). A division bench comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Ghulam Azam Qamber conducted the hearing on the pre-arrest bail petition of Mustafa Kamal. The chief justice said the bench could not hear this case after the statement of NAB. It would be a fraud with the court if the NAB arrested the petitioner so early after the affidavit submission, he further said. The court directed the NAB to ensure the implementation of relevant laws and disposed of the petition.

February 26, 2020 15:45 UTC

CANBERRA: Pakistan claimed the scalp of West Indies as they outplayed the 2016 winners and began their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup campaign with an eight-wicket victory in Canberra. The ICC Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup match was played between the West Indies and Pakistan at Manuka Oval on February 26, 2020 in Canberra, Australia. West Indies struggled for rhythm with the bat and only posted 124 for seven, going on to struggle in the field. Pakistan openers Javeria Khan and Muneeba Ali controlled the chase expertly and put on 57, with captain Bismah Maroof’s unbeaten 38 steering her side to a seventh win at the Women’s T20 World Cup. Hayley Matthews, star of the 2016 Women’s T20 World Cup Final, fell for a diamond duck as Diana got the game’s first ball to move in the air and rap the opener on the pads.

February 26, 2020 15:18 UTC