King Saud University gets US patent on biometrics security invention by Pakistani scientist

King Saud University gets US patent on biometrics security invention by Pakistani scientist
The undated picture shows the King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (King Saud University)
Short Url
Updated 18 January 2024
Follow

King Saud University gets US patent on biometrics security invention by Pakistani scientist

King Saud University gets US patent on biometrics security invention by Pakistani scientist
  • Khan is distinguished professor of cybersecurity from KSU’s Center of Excellence in Information Assurance
  • In October, KSU won another US patent for developing biometrics-based iris recognition system invented by Khan

KARACHI: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted a patent to the King Saud University for an invention entitled “Methods and Systems for Implementing Secure Biometric Recognition” designed by a team led by a Pakistani scientist, the university announced this week.

The invention is the outcome of a research grant funded by Saudi Arabia’s National Plan for Science, Technology, and Innovation, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. The project is led by Pakistani Professor Dr. Muhammad Khurram Khan as the principal investigator.

Khan is a distinguished professor of cybersecurity from KSU’s Center of Excellence in Information Assurance, and his co-inventors, Dr. L. Leng and PhD student Mr. W. Tengfei, have invented a “groundbreaking approach by developing an AI-enabled, highly secure palmprint biometrics cryptosystem,” KSU said on its website.

“This invention harnesses the deep hashing network by leveraging deep learning, which is considered a game changer in the field of computer vision,” KSU said.

“It utilizes a fuzzy commitment scheme based on deep hashing codes, whose templates are much smaller than traditional texture-coded templates, thereby significantly reducing storage and computation requirements. A set of rigorous experimental results have demonstrated robustness of the system against security attacks and privacy leakage.”

Biometrics is a commonly used authentication factor that utilizes human behavior and physical attributes for the purpose of personal identification and identity management. 

Biometrics has recently become the de facto method of authentication for smartphones, computing devices, border control systems, payment gateways, and online services for consumer and commercial applications. But a biometrics system can however suffer from a variety of attacks that compromise its data privacy and security.

In October, King Saud University won another patent from the United States by developing a biometrics-based iris recognition system also led by Khan, who is the founding CEO of the US think tank, Global Foundation for Cyber Studies and Research.

He has contributed to cyber policy work for the G20 (Saudi and Italian Presidencies) in shaping a safer cyberspace for children, protecting the masses and vulnerable populations in cyberspace, and empowering and enabling women in the cybersecurity profession. In 2019, he played an instrumental role as a cybersecurity subject expert for a $6 million series B investment in a South Korean startup, “SecuLetter,” which has received a corporate valuation of over $100 million (2023).

Khan is the Editor-in-Chief of the well-reputed international journal, ‘Telecommunication Systems’, published by Springer-Nature for over 27 years, with a recent impact factor of 2.5 (JCR 2023). He is also the Editor-in-Chief of Cyber Insights Magazine.
 


Pakistan ex-PM Imran Khan urges IMF to call election audit, his lawyer says

Pakistan ex-PM Imran Khan urges IMF to call election audit, his lawyer says
Updated 5 sec ago
Follow

Pakistan ex-PM Imran Khan urges IMF to call election audit, his lawyer says

Pakistan ex-PM Imran Khan urges IMF to call election audit, his lawyer says
  • Pakistan’s bailout program with the international lender expires next month 
  • Khan and his party say results of Pakistan’s 2024 general elections were rigged

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s jailed former prime minister Imran Khan will write to the IMF urging it to call for an independent audit of the country’s controversial Feb. 8 national elections before it continues talks with Islamabad, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Pakistan averted default last summer thanks to a short-term International Monetary Fund bailout, but the program expires next month and a new government will have to negotiate a long-term arrangement to keep the $350 billion economy stable.

Khan and his party alleged that the polls, which did not return a majority for any party, were rigged. Candidates backed by Khan won the most seats, but an alliance of his rival parties has more seats and is in a position to form the next government.

“The letter from Imran Khan we will say clearly that if the IMF wants to talk to Pakistan, they should place conditions of an independent audit (of the polls),” Khan’s lawyer, Ali Zafar, told reporters outside the jail where the former premier and cricket hero is imprisoned.

Pakistan’s election commission denies widespread rigging and is hearing complaints by various applicants who allege irregularities.

Zafar said that multilateral agencies such as the IMF and international blocs such as the European Union can only give financial assistance on the condition that there is good governance and democracy, including free and fair elections.

The IMF met with political parties last year to seek assurances of their support of key objectives and policies under the bailout program.


Pakistan introduces significant gas find in Sindh province to strengthen energy independence

Pakistan introduces significant gas find in Sindh province to strengthen energy independence
Updated 14 min 3 sec ago
Follow

Pakistan introduces significant gas find in Sindh province to strengthen energy independence

Pakistan introduces significant gas find in Sindh province to strengthen energy independence
  • Pakistan has experienced a sharp decline in gas reserves, raising concerns about potential increase in energy imports
  • Pakistani authorities say the new reserve can significantly contribute to the national energy resources of the country

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) announced the discovery of a new natural gas reserve in southern Sindh province this week, saying it could significantly contribute to the country’s energy resources.

Last year in June, the Energy Planning Resource Center reported a sharp decline in gas reserves, raising concerns about future gas production and supply in Pakistan.

The center projected that natural gas production might shrink to 2,306 million cubic feet per day by 2030.

Pakistanis have traditionally relied heavily on natural gas for their energy needs. Its significant decline could impact not only the lifestyle of its people but also increase the country’s energy import bill, which has been a major government expenditure.

“By the grace of Almighty Allah, the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) is honored to announce a significant gas-condensate discovery from its exploration efforts at Kharo-1, a well drilled in the Khewari exploration license area, located in District Khairpur, Sindh Province,” the OGDCL said in a note.

“The execution of drilling and testing operations for the Kharo-1 well structure, undertaken with the proprietary expertise of OGDCL, achieved a depth of 3,762 meters,” it added. “Subsequent testing procedures registered 14.3 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) of gas, in addition to 93 barrels per day (bbls/d) of condensate.”

It added the new well had “the potential to significantly enhance the hydrocarbon reserves of OGDCL and its esteemed joint venture partners, and ultimately contribute to the national energy resources of the Country.”

Pakistan is trying to reduce its dependence on energy imports by developing indigenous resources and tapping into alternative energy options.


Islamabad United face rejuvenated Quetta Gladiators in PSL 9 clash today

Islamabad United face rejuvenated Quetta Gladiators in PSL 9 clash today
Updated 22 February 2024
Follow

Islamabad United face rejuvenated Quetta Gladiators in PSL 9 clash today

Islamabad United face rejuvenated Quetta Gladiators in PSL 9 clash today
  • Under new skipper Rilee Rossouw, Quetta Gladiators have won both of their PSL 2024 matches so far
  • Islamabad will look to their right-arm pacers Naseem Shah, Ubaid Shah to keep Quetta batters at bay

ISLAMABAD: Former two-time Pakistan Super League (PSL) champions Islamabad United will face a rejuvenated Quetta Gladiators squad in Lahore’s Qaddafi Stadium on Thursday, as the PSL 2024 tournament continues. 

Under new skipper Rilee Rossouw, the Gladiators have shown promise by winning the two matches they have played in this year’s PSL tournament. The Gladiators sit at the number two spot in the PSL points table after beating Peshawar Zalmi and defending champions Lahore Qalandars in their opening two fixtures of the tournament. 

United won the opening match of the PSL 9 tournament by beating Qalandars but lost their last match against the Multan Sultans after a tough fight. With a win and a loss, they are placed at number three on the PSL points table. 

“#WeTheGladiators take the field against Islamabad United today,” the Gladiators wrote on social media platform X. 

The Gladiators will be looking toward 22-year-old Karachi batter Khawaja Nafay, who stunned the Qalandars on Monday after taking stellar pacers Haris Rauf, Shaheen Shah Afridi and others to the cleaners in his unbeaten knock of 60 runs from 31 balls. 

They also have a strong bowling line-up in the form of Muhammad Hasnain, Mohammad Amir and Akeal Hosein. 

United, on the other hand, will look to their explosive batters Alex Hales, Azam Khan, Shadab Khan and Salman Ali Agha to put up a stellar batting display tonight. 

In right-arm pacers Naseem Shah and Ubaid Shah, both brothers, Imad Wasim and Tymal Mills, United also boast a strong bowling attack that can upset any franchise in the world on a given day. 

The match between the two sides kicks off at 7:30 p.m. (Pakistan Standard Time). 


Pakistan’s Punjab province gears up for inaugural legislative session following governor’s order

Pakistan’s Punjab province gears up for inaugural legislative session following governor’s order
Updated 22 February 2024
Follow

Pakistan’s Punjab province gears up for inaugural legislative session following governor’s order

Pakistan’s Punjab province gears up for inaugural legislative session following governor’s order
  • PML-N candidate Maryam Nawaz Sharif is expected to take over as the first female chief minister of the province
  • The inaugural session has been called by the governor after Sharif’s first parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday

ISLAMABAD: The post-election wheeling-dealing in Pakistan’s most populous Punjab province reached its culmination on Thursday after Governor Muhammad Baligh-ur-Rehman summoned the inaugural session of the legislative assembly for the oath-taking ceremony tomorrow.

The governor called the session only a day after the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) held a parliamentary party meeting under the leadership of Maryam Nawaz Sharif who is expected to take charge as the first female chief minister of the province soon.

The PML-N emerged as the largest party in the Punjab Assembly in the wake of the last general elections held earlier this month. According to media analyzes, the party is in a comfortable position to form the next provincial administration after its parliamentary party meeting was attended by well over 200 newly elected lawmakers.

“In exercise of the powers conferred under Article 109 read with Article 130(2) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, I, Muhammad Baligh-ur-Rehman, Governor of the Punjab, hereby summon the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab to meet on 23rd February 2024 (Friday) at 10:00 am, in the Provincial Assembly Chambers Lahore,” said the short order circulated by the Governor’s House.

A party requires 186 members to form the government in Punjab. The PML-N that won 137 seats has been joined by about two dozen independent members and is likely to bag a significant number of reserved seats.

Punjab holds a pivotal position in Pakistan’s politics due to its population density that gives it 141 out of 266 general seats in the National Assembly.

Historically, the party that secures a stronghold in Punjab often manages to form the government at the center.

The PML-N’s candidate for the position of chief minister, Sharif plans to set new governance benchmarks and shared her vision for the province during the parliamentary party meeting only a day earlier.
 


Pakistan’s finance ministry outlines fiscal challenges in annual risk report

Pakistan’s finance ministry outlines fiscal challenges in annual risk report
Updated 22 February 2024
Follow

Pakistan’s finance ministry outlines fiscal challenges in annual risk report

Pakistan’s finance ministry outlines fiscal challenges in annual risk report
  • Inflation, climate change and increasing debt burden are some of the challenges to the country’s fiscal position
  • The ministry says moderation in international commodity prices is likely to contribute to a reduction in inflation

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s finance ministry released the Fiscal Risk Statement FY2023-24 on Wednesday, providing an overview of potential risks and uncertainties that could impact the country’s fiscal outlook in the coming years.
The ministry is legally bound to prepare the statement under the Public Finance Management Act, 2019, which requires the annual budget to mention fiscal risks.
Pakistan’s economy has faced multiple challenges in recent years, affecting the economic growth and fiscal deficit.
The government has implemented several economic reforms to contain fiscal deficit and make the key sectors more efficient to attract more investment in the country.
However, this has also increased the inflationary pressure in the economy, with food prices touching record high levels in recent months.
“The inflation outlook has deteriorated, and there is heightened risk to external stability,” the ministry while specifying a key macroeconomic challenge. “The uncertainty surrounding the future adjustment path in energy prices is the main upside risk to the inflation outlook.”
However, the ministry said a potential moderation in international commodity prices was expected to contribute to a reduction in inflation in the country.
It also mentioned Pakistan’s debt problem as yet another risk factor.
“External debt constitutes 40.8 percent of total public debt, which may make the Government’s fiscal position vulnerable in the face of high current account deficits, low foreign exchange reserves, and a weakening exchange rate,” it said.
“Ongoing fiscal deficits require refinancing of the Government’s maturing debt while raising additional debt to fulfill the fiscal shortfall. A high level of short-term debt creates potentially significant refinancing challenges during periods of slower economic growth, higher fiscal deficits, and/or lower investor confidence,” it added.
The report warned that climate and natural hazard events could pose challenges to the government’s fiscal risk position.
The ministry recommended a restrictive monetary policy through higher interest rates, both to reduce inflation and help address external imbalances.
It also advocated for measures to improve the business environment by creating a fair and level playing field for the organizations to increase investment and trade.