One Pakistani dead, two critically injured in blast — Pakistan embassy in Beirut

Debris is seen on a main road in Beirut at sunset following a twin explosion that shook the port of Lebanon's capital on Aug. 4, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 05 August 2020

One Pakistani dead, two critically injured in blast — Pakistan embassy in Beirut

  • Sajid Arshed Ali, 14-year-old son Zulbab Sajid and three-year-old daughter Hadeed Sajid were brought to hospital in critical condition
  • Boy succumbs to injuries in what has been called the most powerful blast ever suffered by Beirut

KARACHI: A 14-year old Pakistani boy has died in the Lebanon port blast that killed more than 100 people on Tuesday, the Pakistani embassy in Beirut said on Wednesday.
The prime minister and president of Lebanon have said 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilizers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the Beirut port without safety measures, and had blown up.
“A 14-year old who was admitted to the hospital died today,” Aman Ullah, head of chancery at the Pakistani embassy in Beirut, told Arab News over the phone.
Sajid Arshed Ali, his son Zulbab Sajid and three-year-old daughter Hadeed Sajid were brought to the hospital in critical condition, Aman Ullah said in a written statement.
“14 years [old] Zulbab Sajid could not survive and breathed his last on Wednesday morning while father and daughter are still in ICU,” he said.
Pakistan’s ministry of overseas Pakistanis has said there are around 1,000 Pakistanis in Lebanon.
Tuesday’s explosion was the most powerful ever suffered by Beirut, a city still scarred by civil war three decades ago and reeling from a deep financial crisis rooted in decades of corruption and economic mismanagement.
The head of Beirut port and the head of customs both said on Wednesday that several letters were sent to the judiciary asking for the dangerous material be removed, but no action was taken.


Pakistan to establish 18 markets on Afghanistan, Iran borders to boost trade, curb smuggling

Updated 18 September 2020

Pakistan to establish 18 markets on Afghanistan, Iran borders to boost trade, curb smuggling

  • Under the plan, the government will set up 12 markets along the border with Afghanistan and six along the Iran frontier
  • Prime minister approves setting up two border markets in Balochistan and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by February next year

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government has decided to set up markets along its borders with neighboring Afghanistan and Iran to boost trade opportunities, foster peace and check smuggling, the commerce ministry said on Friday.
Main crossing point into Pakistan for both goods and people from Iran and Afghan also serve as major smuggling routes.
“The border markets will help create job opportunities and establish a peaceful relationship with the neighboring countries,” Aisha Humera Moriani, joint-secretary at the Ministry of Commerce, told Arab News.
Under the plan, the government is establishing 18 markets: 12 along the border with Afghanistan and six along the Iran frontier.
In a meeting on Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan approved setting up two border markets in Balochistan and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province as a pilot project, to be functional by February next year.
Moriani said the markets would contribute to local development and help the government address “smuggling and boost legal trade across the border.”
Pakistan is fencing its borders with Afghanistan and Iran to check cross-border militancy, illegal movement of people and smuggling, which is a major source of income for people living along border towns and villages.
Sardar Shoukat Popalzai, President Balochistan Economic Forum, said the government should have built “common markets” along the Afghanistan and Iran borders with the mutual consent of the neighboring governments to maximize benefits for people on both sides of the borders.
“The government has not released a feasibility report, if there is any, of these markets as to how are they going to help the local population,” he told Arab News.
Popalzai said Balochistan border areas were sparsely populated and establishment of a few shopping terminals would “hardly make any difference in the lives of the people.”
He said cross-border smuggling was a major source of income for people living in the frontier areas of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, so “this requires a lot more effort than mere setting up of markets to check this undocumented economy.”
Zubair Motiwala, chairman of the Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the government should establish cold storages and warehouses in the border markets to boost the export of perishable and other items to the neighboring countries.
“The taxation system on the exports and imports of different items through the land routes should be well defined to encourage businessmen and locals to boost the legal trade with Afghanistan and Iran,” he said.