Begging in Beijing? Pakistan sacks state TV chief after broadcast gaffe

“Begging” ran on screens for 20-25 seconds on Monday while Khan was making a speech in China. (AFP)
Updated 07 November 2018
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Begging in Beijing? Pakistan sacks state TV chief after broadcast gaffe

  • PTV apologized after “Begging” ran on screens for 20-25 seconds on Monday while Khan was making a speech, kicking off a debate on social media as to whether the misspelling was deliberate
  • Khan was in Beijing seeking financial aid to help end a spiralling balance of payments crisis after securing $6 billion in support from Saudi Arabia and before Pakistan sat down to talks with the IMF

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has removed the acting chief of state-run television after a caption read “Begging” instead “Beijing” during a broadcast of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China, which has promised economic aid to the impoverished South Asian country.
Khan was in Beijing seeking financial aid to help end a spiralling balance of payments crisis after securing $6 billion in support from Saudi Arabia and before Pakistan sat down to talks with the IMF.
An official Ministry of Information order seen by Reuters said the ministry had withdrawn the services of Hasan Immad Mohammadi, who had served as acting managing director of Pakistan Television for just a matter of weeks.
PTV apologized after “Begging” ran on screens for 20-25 seconds on Monday while Khan was making a speech, kicking off a debate on social media as to whether the misspelling was deliberate.
Khan has criticized Pakistan’s many international bailouts and decried previous leaders as roaming the world with a begging bowl.
An information ministry spokesman said the misspelling had nothing to do with Mohammadi’s removal, saying it was a “routine affair.”
Finance Minister Asad Umar said on Tuesday that “Pakistan’s immediate balance of payment crisis is over,” adding that the combined Saudi support plus as-yet-unspecified aid promised by China had shored up foreign currency reserves.
Umar spoke a day before the arrival on Wednesday of an IMF team for a two-week visit to Islamabad to negotiate Pakistan’s request for a 13th IMF bailout since the 1980s.
He has previously said the country needs $12 billion in immediate relief.


UK’s Hunt to make first visit to Iran

Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt leaves 10 Downing Street in London on November 14, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 28 min 4 sec ago
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UK’s Hunt to make first visit to Iran

  • Jeremy Hunt: “The Iran nuclear deal remains a vital component of stability in the Middle East by eliminating the threat of a nuclearised Iran. It needs 100 percent compliance though to survive”

LONDON: British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will visit Iran for the first time on Monday for talks with the Iranian government on issues including the future of the 2015 nuclear deal, his office said in a statement.
In May, US President Donald Trump abandoned the deal, negotiated with five other world powers during Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration, and earlier this month the United States restored sanctions targeting Iran’s oil, banking and transportation sectors.
Hunt’s office said he would meet Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and would stress that the UK is committed to the nuclear deal as long as Iran sticks to its terms. He will also discuss European efforts to maintain nuclear-related sanctions relief.
“The Iran nuclear deal remains a vital component of stability in the Middle East by eliminating the threat of a nuclearised Iran. It needs 100 percent compliance though to survive,” Hunt said in a statement ahead of the visit.
“We will stick to our side of the bargain as long as Iran does. But we also need to see an end to destabilising activity by Iran in the rest of the region if we are going to tackle the root causes of the challenges the region faces.”
Hunt will also discuss Iran’s role in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, his office said, and press Iran on its human rights record, calling for the immediate release of detained British-Iranian dual nationals where there are humanitarian grounds to do so.
“I arrive in Iran with a clear message for the country’s leaders: putting innocent people in prison cannot and must not be used as a tool of diplomatic leverage,” he said.