President leaves for Turkey, grateful for Saudi help for Pakistani economy

President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi, center, at the Islamabad airport before leaving for Turkey, Oct. 28, 2018. (Photo courtesy: @Mustafa_MFA/Twitter)
Updated 10 November 2018
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President leaves for Turkey, grateful for Saudi help for Pakistani economy

  • Pakistan president will attend the inauguration ceremony of new international airport in Istanbul
  • KSA supported Pakistan in hour of crisis, Alvi said

ISLAMABAD: President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi left for Turkey on a three-day visit on Sunday, at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
While talking to the reporters at Islamabad airport, President Alvi thanked the Saudi Government for supporting Pakistan in its hour of crisis by agreeing to provide $3 billion to address the imbalance of payments and supply oil worth $3.2 billion on deferred payment, the President’s office said in a statement.
Alvi said Pakistan was open to investment in the mining and oil refinery sectors.
The president hoped that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China in the first week of November would also bring about positive developments.
“He said Pakistan also desired to expand its cooperation, investment and exports with the UAE,” the statement said.
Talking about Islamabad’s ties with Ankara, the president told reporters at the airport before departure: “Turkey is an important friend of Pakistan, which has always supported us on all issues, including Kashmir.”
The president said during his visit to Turkey that he would also interact with the Turkish leadership to further strengthen these brotherly ties, besides interacting with other leaders attending the opening of the new Istanbul International Airport.
The Turkish Government claims the new airport will be the world’s largest once it is completed.


In Peshawar prison, women inmates share food and prayers in Ramadan

Updated 56 min 9 sec ago
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In Peshawar prison, women inmates share food and prayers in Ramadan

PESHAWAR: Located next to iconic landmarks like the Provincial Assembly and the High Court, the central prison in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar is a handsome old building bursting at the seams with over 1,800 prisoners. 38 of them are women.

The existing building was established in 1854 with an occupancy limit of 425 prisoners, but with the influx of thousands of inmates, a new block is now under construction and slated for completion by the end of the year. 

Inside the prison kitchens, convicted prisoners make round traditional bread and prepare Iftar meals for other inmates. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)

The prison department provides basic facilities and food to inmates still under trial and to those convicted in the male, female and juvenile sections. During the month of Ramadan, these facilities extend to include special meals at Iftar, like sweet rice, chicken and potatoes served with a side of milky hot tea. 

A female inmate cooks chicken gravy for herself and other prisoners in the prison barracks before Iftar. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)

“We get good food in this month (of Ramadan) and are free to offer our prayers and recite the Holy Quran at any time,” said Shahida, an inmate who has been in the prison for five years but was convicted for murder late last year. 

Acting superintendent of the prison releases prisoners after the court orders arrive. The inmates receive the good news right before Iftar time in Ramadan. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)

The large hall of the women’s section has a scattering of beds, but most inmates sleep, eat and pray on quilts spread out on the floor. 

A police officer stands guard outside the entrance to the women’s section in Peshawar’s central jail. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)

"Some of the women get sick often,” said Iffat Shaheen, assistant superintendent of the women’s prison section. “Right now we have two pregnancy cases and one case of HIV AIDS, so we try to give them good meals. A few prisoners have small children inside prison with them and they get milk as well.” 

A female inmate gives English lessons to some of the children at the Peshawar central prison. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)

Another female inmate convicted for possession of drugs has been in prison for seven months. She declined to be identified but said they had a lot of free time in Ramadan that could be put to good use. 

Women in Peshawar’s central prison spend their days reading the Quran and reciting prayer beads during the month of Ramadan. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)

“This is a helpful time for us to learn skills like handicrafts and sewing,” she said. “When we leave prison, perhaps these things will pave the way for a good, halal living.” 

A woman inmate at Peshawar’s central jail has decorated her hands with henna in anticipation of the holy festival of Eid, which will mark the end of Ramadan. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)
Rooh Afza, a popular indigenous drink made from herbs and flowers, is served around Peshawar’s central prison by the bucketfuls before Iftar. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)
Weekly menu written out for prisoners at Peshawar’s central jail in Urdu. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)