Pakistan PM Sharif conveys Eid Al-Adha greetings to Qatari emir

Pakistan PM Sharif conveys Eid Al-Adha greetings to Qatari emir
Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif (L) speaks with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani in Doha, Qatar on August 24, 2022. (PID/File)
Short Url
Updated 15 June 2024
Follow

Pakistan PM Sharif conveys Eid Al-Adha greetings to Qatari emir

Pakistan PM Sharif conveys Eid Al-Adha greetings to Qatari emir
  • Eid Al-Adha marks Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son on God’s command
  • The three-day event is one of the two major Muslim festivals on the Islamic calendar

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday held a telephonic conversation with Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and conveyed him Eid Al-Adha greetings, Sharif’s office said.
Several Muslim countries, mainly in the Middle East, will celebrate the three-day Eid Al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice, this week, while others will mark the occasion on Monday. It commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son, Ismail, as recounted in the Holy Qur’an.
During his conversation, the prime minister extended warm greetings and best wishes to the emir, the government, and the brotherly people of Qatar on behalf of the government and the people of Pakistan.
“The two leaders exchanged views on the importance of Eid ul Adha, which symbolizes sacrifice, compassion, and unity,” Sharif’s office said in a statement.
“Both leaders also spoke about the plight of the brave and innocent people of Palestine and urged the international community to redouble peace efforts and ensure an immediate end to violence and bloodshed in the region.”
The prime minister and the Qatari emir reaffirmed the strong bond of friendship and brotherhood between both countries and discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields.
“The Prime Minister expressed his appreciation for Qatar’s support and cooperation with Pakistan, particularly in the areas of trade, investment, and labor,” the statement read.
“The two leaders agreed to continue to work together to promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and beyond.”
Sharif thanked the Qatari emir for accepting the invitation to undertake an official visit to Pakistan and said the dates of his visit would be worked out soon.
Islamabad signed several agreements and letters of intent with Qatari companies in January this year to enhance employment opportunities for Pakistani workers in Qatar.
In 2021, the Qatari government announced conditional arrival visas for Pakistani nationals, while Qatar established an air bridge and sent urgent aid to Pakistan including food, tents and hygiene kits after the 2022 floods.


Pakistan seeks review of court ruling declaring ex-PM Khan party eligible for reserved seats

Pakistan seeks review of court ruling declaring ex-PM Khan party eligible for reserved seats
Updated 21 sec ago
Follow

Pakistan seeks review of court ruling declaring ex-PM Khan party eligible for reserved seats

Pakistan seeks review of court ruling declaring ex-PM Khan party eligible for reserved seats
  • Khan’s PTI party was denied its share of reserved seats in national and provincial assemblies, benefitting the ruling coalition
  • Government says the issue of granting reserved seats to PTI was not even in pleadings before the election commission, courts

ISLMABAD: The government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday filed a petition seeking review of last week’s ruling by the Supreme Court of Pakistan that declared former prime minister Imran Khan’s party eligible for reserved seats in parliament.
The July 12 verdict in favor of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party dealt a blow to the ruling coalition of PM Sharif, which may lose its two-thirds majority in Pakistan’s parliament. PTI candidates contested the Feb. 8 national election in Pakistan as independents after the party was barred from polls on the technical grounds that it did not hold genuine intra-party polls, which is a legal requirement.
Subsequently, they won the most seats in the election, 93, but the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said independents were ineligible for their share of 70 reserved seats — 60 for women, 10 for non-Muslims. The reserved seats were then distributed among other parties, mostly those in the ruling coalition, a decision appealed by the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) that was joined by Khan-backed independents to claim their share of reserved seats.
In its review petition, the government noted the issue of granting reserved seats to the PTI was not even in the pleadings of the SIC before the election commission, the Peshawar High Court and the Supreme Court.
“SIC and PTI are two separate political parties and two separate entities. The Order under Review, it seems has treated them as one party with different names which cannot be permissible under the Law,” the government petition read.
“It is submitted and reiterated here that PTI neither filed any case before the ECP, nor before Peshawar High Court, nor before the Supreme Court, hence it is not entitled to any relief, let alone a relief which was not even pleaded.”
The petition stated that all returned candidates had already joined the SIC and hence there was no question of giving them an option of joining the PTI that too after many months of the election. It was also against Rule 92 (6) of the Election Rules, 2017 which states that once an independent candidate has joined a political party, there is no option to recall or cancel, it added.
“The Order under Review is against the settled principles of interpretation of the Constitution. By carving out a procedure which is not provided under the Constitution, Order under Review might have gone into the realm of creating and not just interpreting the Constitution which is against the long standing jurisprudence of this Honourable Court,” the petition read.
The government requested the top court to accept the review petition for hearing and stay implementation of its order declaring the PTI eligible for reserved parliamentary seats.
All candidates from Khan’s PTI party were forced to contest the February polls as independents after the party was stripped of its election symbol of the cricket bat by the ECP on the technical grounds that it did not hold intra-party elections, a prerequisite for any party to take part in polls.
The PTI is currently entitled to around 78 reserved seats in the national and provincial assemblies, which does not affect the parliamentary majority of the Sharif-led coalition government.
The July 12 verdict also bolstered political position of Khan’s supporters, whose rallying cry has been that the election commission and a pro-military caretaker government that oversaw the polls indulged in electoral fraud to deprive it of a victory. The ECP denies this.


Pakistan PM congratulates Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan on becoming UAE deputy PM

Pakistan PM congratulates Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan on becoming UAE deputy PM
Updated 15 July 2024
Follow

Pakistan PM congratulates Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan on becoming UAE deputy PM

Pakistan PM congratulates Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan on becoming UAE deputy PM
  • Shehbaz Sharif also felicitated Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan on appointment as UAE deputy PM, defense minister
  • The UAE is Pakistan’s third-largest trading partner after China and US as well as home to more than a million Pakistanis

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday extended his felicitations to Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan on his appointment as deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, vice president and ruler of Dubai, announced the appointment of Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah as deputy PM as part of the UAE government amendments on Sunday.
He also announced the joining of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum in the UAE government as deputy prime minister and minister of defense in the UAE cabinet.
In his message on X, Sharif also extended his congratulations to Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan on his appointment.
“Wishing them both success in their new endeavors & looking forward to further strengthening of our bilateral ties & deepening cooperation between our two brotherly nations,” the Pakistan prime minister said.

The UAE is Pakistan’s third-largest trading partner after China and the United States as well as home to more than a million Pakistani expatriates and the second-largest source of remittances to Pakistan after Saudi Arabia. It is also one of Pakistan’s closest allies and has frequently bailed out the South Asian country.
Policymakers in Pakistan also consider the Gulf state an optimal export destination due to its geographical proximity, which minimizes transportation and freight costs while facilitating commercial transactions.


Top Imran Khan aide says party deliberating no-trust motion against Pakistani PM

Top Imran Khan aide says party deliberating no-trust motion against Pakistani PM
Updated 15 July 2024
Follow

Top Imran Khan aide says party deliberating no-trust motion against Pakistani PM

Top Imran Khan aide says party deliberating no-trust motion against Pakistani PM
  • The announcement comes hours after PM Shehbaz Sharif’s government said it was seeking to ban Khan’s party
  • Pakistan has been witnessing renewed political wrangling after court rulings in favor of Khan and his PTI party

ISLAMABAD: Asad Qaiser, a close aide of jailed former prime minister Imran Khan, on Monday said their Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party was deliberating upon a no-confidence motion against Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif in parliament, in what appeared to be a tit-for-tat move in response to the government’s announcement of seeking a ban against the PTI.
Information Minister Attaullah Tarar announced the government had decided to file a high treason case against Khan and pursue a case to ban his party, unleashing a new challenge for the embattled PTI and its jailed leader.
The government’s decision followed a Supreme Court ruling that Khan’s PTI party was eligible for more than 20 extra reserved seats in parliament, which has mounted pressure on the weak coalition led by Sharif.
“We will see and contemplate if we want to bring a no-confidence motion against them or not,” Qaiser, a former National Assembly speaker, said in televised comments. “We will deliberate on that.”
Citing the increase in number of seats, Qaiser said the PTI would fight the government in parliament, clarifying that the PTI was a peaceful political party that believed in the rule of law and the constitution.
Separately, PTI leader Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari responded to Tarar’s announcement and said all cases against the PTI and ex-PM Khan were “politically motivated.”
“This is a sign of panic as they [federal government] have realized the courts can’t be threatened and put under pressure,” Bukhari said in a statement shared with reporters.
“I have been saying for a while now that we are under a soft martial law and this move only proves our point further.”
Khan’s PTI party says it has been facing a crackdown and mass arrest of members for standing by Khan, who has been in jail since August last year. Pakistani authorities deny the allegations.
Among four cases in which Khan was convicted, two have been suspended by courts and he has been acquitted in the others, though new cases have since been brought against him.
Arguably Pakistan’s most popular politician, Khan says all cases against him are motivated to keep him out of politics and behind bars. Authorities deny this.


England and Wales population rises by most in 75 years amid influx from Pakistan, elsewhere

England and Wales population rises by most in 75 years amid influx from Pakistan, elsewhere
Updated 15 July 2024
Follow

England and Wales population rises by most in 75 years amid influx from Pakistan, elsewhere

England and Wales population rises by most in 75 years amid influx from Pakistan, elsewhere
  • Post-Brexit changes to visas sharply reduced the number of EU migrants to Britain
  • But new work visa rules led to a surge in immigration from Pakistan, India and Nigeria

LONDON: Record immigration caused the population of England and Wales to rise by 610,000 to 60.9 million in mid-2023, the largest annual increase in 75 years, official data showed on Monday.
What statisticians term ‘natural’ population growth — the difference between births and deaths — fell to just 400, the lowest since 1978, while net international migration rose to 622,000, up from 548,500 in the previous 12 months.
A net 13,800 people also moved from England and Wales to Scotland or Northern Ireland.
Britain’s Office for National Statistics said the population increase in England and Wales was the largest since 1948, when a post-World War Two baby boom and the return of British military personnel serving overseas caused a rise of 1.5 million.
The population for the whole United Kingdom was 67.6 million in mid 2022. Data for 2023 is not yet available.
Economic output has not kept up with the rising population. Based on provisional population figures, gross domestic product per head in 2023 was 0.7 percent lower than a year earlier.
Net migration to the United Kingdom hit a record 764,000 in 2022 and fell 10 percent to 685,000 in 2023, but is more than double its level in 2015, just before the Brexit referendum.
Reducing immigration was a key goal of many Britons who voted to leave the European Union.
Britain’s previous Conservative government said it wanted to reduce net immigration, and Prime Minister Keir Starmer’s Labour Party pledged in the election campaign to do so too by making the economy less reliant on foreign workers.
Post-Brexit changes to visas sharply reduced the number of EU migrants to Britain, but new work visa rules led to a surge in immigration from India, Nigeria and Pakistan, often to fill health and social care vacancies.
At the end of last year the government tightened rules to stop low-paid social care workers from bringing dependents.


In fresh case of animal brutality in Pakistan, man arrested for cutting off buffalo’s tongue

In fresh case of animal brutality in Pakistan, man arrested for cutting off buffalo’s tongue
Updated 15 July 2024
Follow

In fresh case of animal brutality in Pakistan, man arrested for cutting off buffalo’s tongue

In fresh case of animal brutality in Pakistan, man arrested for cutting off buffalo’s tongue
  • There has been widespread criticism in recent years of grim conditions at Pakistan’s zoos and the treatment of animals 
  • Animal abuse caught spotlight last month when local landlord was accused of chopping off camel’s leg in Sindh province

ISLAMABAD: A man was arrested in Pakistan’s Punjab province for chopping off a buffalo’s tongue, state media reported on Monday, highlighting the latest instance of animal abuse in the South Asian nation. 

The death of elephant Noor Jehan, 17, at the Karachi Zoo last year revived concerns about animal treatment and criticism of the nation’s zoos. In 2020, after years of campaigning by animal rights advocates and pop star Cher to rescue him from grim zoo conditions with no companion, the ‘world’s loneliest elephant’ Kaavan was airlifted to an elephant sanctuary in Cambodia. 

“A man was arrested on the charge of cutting the buffalo’s tongue here in the jurisdiction of Shahpur City police station,” the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) said on Monday. “The accused Bilal was taking fodder in a loader rickshaw when a buffalo ate the fodder on the way, after which he cut off his tongue with a sickle.”

Sargodha district police took notice of the incident and arrested the suspect, APP added.

Animal abuse in Pakistan caught the spotlight last month when a local landlord in the southern Sanghar district was accused of chopping off a camel’s leg after it strayed into his fields for grazing. The story, which triggered uproar on mainstream and social media, led to the camel being transported to an animal shelter in Karachi for treatment. Six suspects were arrested by the police. 

In another incident in the southern Umerkot district last month, a camel was found dead with its legs amputated. 

Pakistan’s existing animal cruelty laws, rooted in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1890, prohibit various forms of animal cruelty, including beating, overdriving, and mutilation. The legislation also prescribes penalties for breaches of these anti-cruelty provisions, which can include fines and imprisonment, though these are not always effectively enforced.

And despite the laws, officials themselves poison hundreds of dogs yearly in an effort to curb a population of strays that attack thousands of people.