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News Desk
Economic Affairs Editor

News's Articles

Afghan defence minister, army chief resign after Taliban attack

KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani accepted on Monday the resignation of the defence minister and army chief of staff after more than 140 government soldiers were killed in a Taliban attack on an army base last week, the president´s office said. "Defence Minister Abdullah Habibi and Army Chief of Staff Qadam Shah Shahim stepped down with immediate effect," the presidential palace announced in a post on its Twitter account. Shah Hussain Murtazawi, acting spokesman for Ghani, told Reuters the resignations were because of Friday´s attack in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. At least 140 soldiers were killed and many wounded, an official in the city said on Saturday. Other officials said the toll was likely to be even higher.

April 24, 2017 at 1:01 pm | News Desk

Cost of Brexit: The impact on business and the economy so far

Brexit negotiations have yet to begin but already the prospect of the UK splitting from the rest of the European Union has roiled the world of business, sending shockwaves through a slew of sectors. Thousands of jobs look set to move and while it’s impossible to attach a price tag to Brexit, industry bodies, consultants, economists and accountants have already published dozens of reports on the possible impact of new tariffs and a restriction on the movement of people. Here’s an overview of what we know. The broader economy  The most dramatic and salient economic impact of the Brexit decision came on the night of the decision itself. The pound suffered its biggest one-day fall against the dollar on record as currency trade...

April 22, 2017 at 4:19 pm | News Desk

New Suzuki Cultus Launch in Pakistan

Pak-Suzuki, Pakistan’ largest auto manufacturer, has introduced the new Suzuki Cultus on April 22, 2017. The car in question is aimed to bring more diversity in the locally manufactured 1000 cc car category. With its launch, Pak-Suzuki will be looking forward to curb the influence of imported cars in Pakistan. Market analysts predict that this new car from Pak-Suzuki will sit comfortably between WagonR and Swift and that Pak-Suzuki will have a complete range of products in the price range of product tiers including Mehran, WagonR, Cultus, Swift, Ciaz and a premium product – Suzuki Vitara. It is important to highlight that Pak-Suzuki embarked on the journey to revise its product lineup back in 2016 by launching Suzuki Kizashi. Althoug...

April 22, 2017 at 4:05 pm | News Desk

Habib Bank eyes opportunities connected with CPEC in Xinjiang

BEIJING: Habib Bank, one of the largest private banks in Pakistan which opened its branch in Urumqi, is eyeing opportunities connected with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key component of the Belt and Road Initiative. Xinjiang is the starting point of the CPEC, which links the region with the Gwadar port in Pakistan. The CPEC is estimated to draw infrastructure investment of $45 billion. “We have always been very active on the frontlines of the CPEC,” a top bank official said on Tuesday. Bank of Beijing has also established its branch last week in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. According to experts, domestic and foreign financial institutions have been pouring into Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Aut...

April 22, 2017 at 3:53 pm | News Desk

Pakistan issues NoC to Raheel Sharif for Saudi alliance

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has issued No Objection Certificate (NoC) to former army chief General Raheel Sharif to join Saudi military alliance, Defence Minister Kh Asif said on Friday. The former military chief has requested the government for NoC, Kh Asif said adding that the permission was given after GHQ approval. After the formalities, Raheel Sharif flew to Saudi Arabia in a special plane from Lahore accompanying family members. Raheel Sharif’s Saudi assignment has been a matter of controversy in and outside Pakistan. Opposition parties have objected to Pakistan’s involvement in any military alliance fearing that it may flare up sectarian conflicts among Muslim states. Iran too had expressed reservations on the military allian...

April 21, 2017 at 3:12 pm | News Desk

Arrest of Wikileaks founder is top “priority” says US Attorney General

WASHINGTON: The arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a US “priority,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday, as media reports indicated his office was preparing charges against the fugitive anti-hero. “We are going to step up our effort and already are stepping up our efforts on all leaks,” Sessions, America’s top cop, said at a news conference in response to a reporter’s question about a US priority to arrest Assange. The Justice Department chief said a rash of leaks of sensitive secrets appeared unprecedented. “This is a matter that’s gone beyond anything I’m aware of. We have professionals that have been in the security business of the United States for many years that are shocked by the number ...

April 21, 2017 at 11:48 am | News Desk

Trade associations see stability

KARACHI: The leaders of major trade associations heaved a sigh of relief at the Supreme Court’s verdict. They said it cleared the clouds of uncertainty that was causing an adverse impact on business activities for the past few weeks. Talking to media, most businessmen sounded happy over the outcome. A leader articulated the community’s sentiment and said it was ‘like a big storm passing away without causing devastation’. Zubair Tufail, president Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) advised political parties to accept the SC verdict with an open heart and try to work for the stability of the country. He appealed not to adopt a path of agitation till the investigations under the JIT were complet...

April 21, 2017 at 11:35 am | News Desk

KSE-100 surges 1,800 points after Panamagate case verdict

The benchmark KSE-100 index has reacted positively to the Panama case verdict, with the index surging more than 1,869 points in the moments following the verdict. Volumes surged as 126 million shares worth Rs12.46 billion were traded. However, the benchmark index could not maintain the full momentum and adjusted to a gain of approximately 1,000 points in the hour after the verdict was announced. The Panama Papers scandal had taken a toll on the stock exchange in recent weeks, with the market mostly hovering between 47,000 and 49,000 points. Yesterday’s trading session had seen the greatest single day volatility when the benchmark index made an enormous swing of 1,668 points between the intra-day high and low.

April 20, 2017 at 3:03 pm | News Desk

Panamagate verdict: Supreme Court orders JIT probe of Sharif family

Neither a clean chit nor a conviction: the drawn out Supreme Court (SC) case probing the Sharif family’s alleged corruption ended today as the court ordered the formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe how money was transferred to Qatar. The prime minister and his party breathed a sigh of relief, as the fear of an 'extreme verdict' — the premier's ouster — dissolved and gave way to celebrations. A five-judge bench, comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, had examined arguments presented by the PTI, the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), the Watan Party and the All Pakistan Muslim League, who framed the case out of court as a campaign against ...

April 20, 2017 at 2:57 pm | News Desk

British PM calls for early general election on June 8

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May called Tuesday for an early general election on June 8 in a surprise announcement as Britain prepares for delicate negotiations on leaving the European Union. "We need a general election and we need one now. We have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done... before the detailed talks begin," May said, despite previously denying that she would do so. Speaking outside her Downing Street residence in London, May warned that "division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit". She said parliament would be asked to vote Wednesday to decide on whether or not to hold an election. The dramatic announcement comes after months of tumult in British politics followi...

April 18, 2017 at 4:34 pm | News Desk

Pakistan’s economy to grow 5.2% in 2017: World Bank

ISLAMABAD – With growth prospects continuing to improve and inflation remaining contained, the Pakistani economy would continue to grow at 5.2 percent in 2017, the World Bank (WB) predicted in its recent report. In its report, the Bank said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has supported construction activity, which is expected to stimulate industrial sector growth. It said that these projects should help accelerate growth in the domestic construction industry and increase electricity generation, adding that sustainable and inclusive growth and poverty reduction will require greater private sector investment and longer-term development of infrastructure. “In Pakistan, economic activity expanded by 4.7 percent in 2016 and i...

April 18, 2017 at 4:21 pm | News Desk

Trump congratulates Erdogan on disputed Turkey poll

Donald Trump called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to congratulate him on winning a referendum granting him sweeping new powers that exposed bitter divisions in the country. The White House said they also discussed a US missile strike in Syria and the fight against the Islamic State group. Trump's congratulations on Monday were in contrast with EU leaders who have been reserved in their reaction to the narrow victory and even his own State Department, which earlier noted concerns expressed by international observers over the "uneven playing field". Returning in triumph to his presidential palace in Ankara, Erdogan angrily rejected the criticism, telling the monitors: "Know your place." The referendum was seen as crucial ...

April 18, 2017 at 3:54 pm | News Desk

Delhi seeks ICJ intervention to secure Jadhav release

A PIL was filed in the Delhi High Court on Tuesday seeking international court's intervention in securing the immediate release of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death over spying allegations by a military court in Pakistan. The PIL seeks response from the Centre on exploring remedies via International Court of Justice (ICJ) for securing Kulbhushan Jadhav's release. The move comes a day after Pakistan's Army categorically ruled out consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav despite the Indian government making a strong case for gaining access to the Indian prisoner on death row. Jadhav, 46, was awarded death sentence by the Field General Court Martial last week, evoking a sharp reaction in India which warne...

April 18, 2017 at 3:39 pm | News Desk

UN rejects Saudi-led coalition call to supervise Yemen port

The United Nations on Monday rejected a call by the Saudi-led coalition battling rebels in Yemen for the key port of Hodeida to be placed under its supervision. The coalition made the appeal following an attack on a boat carrying Somali refugees off the coast of Yemen that killed 42 people, and as the country faced famine. UN spokesman Farhan Haq said the warring sides in Yemen have a responsibility to protect civilian infrastructure and civilians. “These are not obligations they can shift to others,” Haq said. Hodeida, which is a key transit point for desperately-needed imports, is controlled by Houthi rebels fighting the Saudi-backed government. The coalition said in a statement Sunday that it was not responsible for th...

March 21, 2017 at 12:50 pm | News Desk

Turkish giant Arcelik, to focus on Pakistan

LONDON: Arcelik, the home appliances arm of Turkey's biggest industrial conglomerate Koc Holding, is working on acquisitions to speed up its international expansion, particularly in Asia, its chief executive said on Monday. The company, which sells washing machines, dryers and refrigerators under labels including Beko and Grundig, wants more such "white goods" brands, but could also look at small appliances such as coffee makers and food processors. "(M&A) is important because we have global ambitions," CEO Hakan Bulgurlu told Reuters in an interview in London. He forecast "significant demand growth" in southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, including Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, as well as Bangladesh, Pakistan ...

March 21, 2017 at 12:26 pm | News Desk

China prepares to counter US trade penalties

BEIJING: China’s government has been seeking advice from its think-tanks and policy advisers on how to counter potential trade penalties from US President Donald Trump, getting ready for the worst, even as they hope for business-like negotiations. The policy advisers believe the Trump administration is most likely to impose higher tariffs on targeted sectors where China has a big surplus with the United States, such as steel and furniture, or on state-owned firms. China could respond with actions such as finding alternative suppliers of agriculture products or machinery and manufactured goods, while cutting its exports of consumer staples such as mobile phones or laptops, they said. Other options include imposing tax or other res...

March 21, 2017 at 12:17 pm | News Desk

Pakistan re-opens Afghan border after 32 days

The activities at the Pak-Afghan border resumed today after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday ordered immediate re-opening of the crossing as a ‘goodwill gesture’. The crossings -- Torkham at the famed Khyber Pass, and Chaman in Balochistan province -- were closed last month after a wave of militant violence killed 130 people across Pakistan and claimed by the terrorists based in Afghanistan. The prime minister ordered border reopening as it was hurting the common men and affecting the trade activities. According to the statement issued by the PM House, the premier hoped that the reasons for its closure would be addressed by the government of Afghanistan. “Despite the fact that those involved in terrorist activities in Pa...

March 21, 2017 at 12:11 pm | News Desk

China wants Russia to Calm India and save CPEC

China is eager to see Russia join The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, according to a recently published article in Globaltimes, though the Russian embassy in Islamabad denied the reports. “Russia’s participation in the CPEC, including the use of the Gwadar Port, could give a boost to Sino-Russian cooperation and be a demonstration project of One Belt and One Road (OBOR) that will enhance future multinational cooperation,” writes Li Xing. That’s certainly true. A sound infrastructure is a pre-condition for the economic integration of neighboring countries. But the real reason behind China’s eagerness to bring Russia to CPEC project is elsewhere in my opinion: use Russia to appease India, which claims control ...

January 9, 2017 at 7:54 pm | News Desk

Trump election: Russia ‘tired’ of US hacking ‘witch-hunt’

Russia says US allegations that it ran a hacking campaign to influence the American presidential elections are "reminiscent of a witch-hunt". Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Moscow was tired of the accusations. He said a report released by US intelligence agencies detailing the allegations was groundless. It is the first official reaction from Russia since President-elect Donald Trump received the report on Friday. The unclassified report contains allegations that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered the hacking of Democratic Party emails to damage Donald Trump's Democrat rival, Hillary Clinton, and influence the election. In his comments on Monday, Mr Peskov said Russia "categorically denied that Mosco...

January 9, 2017 at 7:24 pm | News Desk

The truth about the luxury of Qatar Airways

DOHA, QATAR. Qatar Airways is regarded as one of the most luxurious airlines in the world, and has received numerous awards for their onboard service. Flight attendants Saga and Gina testify about the other side of the glamour. How employees are forced to sign contracts that prevent them from governing their own life choices. Swedish newspaper Expressen's reporter Johanna Karlsson commutes between Doha and small Swedish towns in her depiction of a five-star airline. Gina knows she is not allowed to speak to the guard. Not while he's been stationed at his post for twelve hours and is starting to get sleepy. Not while he's longing for his Nepalese family and she is just coming off a flight to Kathmandu. Not while he mentioned that he earns...

April 26, 2016 at 5:01 pm | News Desk