Pakistan summons French ambassador to condemn ‘Islamophobic’ campaign 

The photograph shows the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Islamabad on Jan. 22, 2020. (AN photo)
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Updated 26 October 2020

Pakistan summons French ambassador to condemn ‘Islamophobic’ campaign 

  • Islamabad condemns systematic Islamophobic campaign under the garb of freedom of expression 
  • PM Khan also said French President Emmanuel Macron had “attacked Islam” 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has summoned France’s ambassador in Islamabad, the foreign office said on Monday, a day after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said French President Emmanuel Macron had “attacked Islam.” 
The foreign office spokesman confirmed to Reuters that the French ambassador had been summoned and shared a statement from his office which said “Pakistan condemns systematic Islamophobic campaign under the garb of freedom of expression.” 
Khan’s comments came after Macron paid tribute to a French history teacher beheaded by an Islamist radical who wanted to avenge the use of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a class on freedom of expression. 


Pakistan witnesses significant rise in digital banking between July and September — central bank

Updated 03 December 2020

Pakistan witnesses significant rise in digital banking between July and September — central bank

  • Growth in digital payments reflects changing consumer preferences amid the coronavirus pandemic, says State Bank of Pakistan
  • Mobile phone banking users increased by 41 percent while the number people availing internet banking option reached 4.3 million

KARACHI: Digital banking has acquired increasing popularity in Pakistan since the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, said the central bank on Thursday, adding that the country had witnessed 253.7 million electronic transactions worth Rs19 trillion during the first quarter of the current fiscal year.
"The most promising uptake was seen in internet banking and mobile banking transactions as the number of registered mobile phone banking users reached 8.9 million showing an increase of 41% over Q1-FY20 and the number of internet users touched 4.3 million with a growth of 26% over the same period," the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said in its Quarterly Payment System Review (QPSR) for the first quarter between July and September 2020.
During this period, mobile banking transactions increased to 36.4 million or Rs908.7 billion. This implied an increase of 139 percent in terms of volume and 211 percent in terms of value when compared with the same period last year.
Similarly, internet banking transactions increased to 18.9 million or Rs1.1 trillion, registering a growth of 55 percent in volume and 89 percent in value.
"The digital payment transactions in Pakistan have increased significantly largely due to the impact of measures taken by the SBP that created incentives for customers," the central bank said in a statement. "Growth in digital payment infrastructure as well as emergence of new payment aggregators have also been a contributing factor in this increase. Moreover, it also reflects the changes in consumer preferences for digital transactions amid the COVID-19 situation."
The country's total payment transactions increased by 23 percent in volume and eight percent in value when compared to the previous quarter, according to the report.
E-banking transactions comprise real-time online branches transactions, ATM transactions, internet banking transactions, mobile phone banking transactions, e-commerce, and interactive voice response banking.
Another major avenue of e-banking transactions is through points of sale, whereby people make transactions using credit or debit cards for shopping purposes.