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News Desk
Economic Affairs Editor

News's Articles

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

US OKs sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan

Washington: The US government said on Friday it had approved the sale to Pakistan of up to eight F-16 fighter jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp, radar and other equipment in a deal valued at $699 million (Dh2.5 billion). The Pentagon’s Defence Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees foreign arms sales, said it had notified lawmakers about the possible deal. The agency said the F-16s would allow Pakistan’s Air Force to operate in all-weather environments and at night, while improving its self-defence capability and bolstering its ability to conduct counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations. Lawmakers have 30 days to block the sale, although such action is rare since deals are well-vetted before any formal notifica...

February 14, 2016 at 9:06 am | News Desk

Telenor raises concerns with CCP over Mobilink-Warid merger

Telenor Pakistan has raised its concern over Mobilink-Warid merger and has approached Competition Commission of Pakistan over the anticipated Mobilink-Warid deal that is currently being heard by CCP for mandatory regulatory approvals, we have checked with sources. According to sources, who are directly aware of the development, Telenor Pakistan has approached CCP with its concerns to ideally block the Mobilink-Warid merger. Mobilink and Warid had agree to merge their businesses in Pakistan. Both companies are currently in process of getting approvals from competition commission. Telenor Pakistan, at the same time, has raised its concerns with the Commission and said that deal — in its current form — could negatively impact the ...

February 14, 2016 at 8:48 am | News Desk

Manpower export deal with Qatar to double remittances

Pakistan Overseas Employment Promoters Association (POEPA) on Saturday said business community unconditionally supports economic and energy vision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who has put country on the path of progress and prosperity. Economy is growing, investors’ confidence continue to improve while energy import and manpower export deals with Qatar are highly significant, said Chairman POEPA Chaudhry Muhammad Afzal. Talking to POEPA leaders Rashid Sheikh, Ishaq Janjua, Aqeel Awan, Raja Sultan and others, he said that LNG deal would benefit industry, agriculture and domestic consumers while government will be in a position to reduce tariff to provide relief to masses. He said that deal over such a reduced price is great achi...

February 13, 2016 at 4:04 pm | News Desk

Trump wins in New Hampshire, Sanders defeats Clinton

MANCHESTER: Bernie Sanders won a commanding victory over Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday, and Donald Trump also scored a big win in a triumph of two candidates who have seized on Americans' anger at the Washington political establishment. Both outcomes would have been nearly unthinkable not long ago. Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, beat a former secretary of state and first lady once seen as the all-but-certain Democratic nominee. While Clinton remains the favourite in national race for the Democratic nomination, the win by the Vermont senator could be a springboard into a competitive, drawn-out primary campaign. For Trump, the brash real estate magnate and television personality who has neve...

February 10, 2016 at 4:26 pm | News Desk

U.S. Energy Department announces $3 million clean energy support program for Pakistan

Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Jonathan Elkind joined Pakistan’s Ministry of Planning, Development, and Reform, the Ministry Water and Power, and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to announce the launch of a $3 million multi-agency technical assistance program designed to support Pakistan’s energy development efforts. The three-year Program, conducted in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development, will bring experts from the Department of Energy  national laboratories together with Pakistani experts to develop strategies and resources for integrated energy planning, energy efficiency, and promoting private investment in renewable energy and integration. “The Uni...

February 10, 2016 at 10:50 am | News Desk