Pakistani PM thanks Saudi crown prince for $3 billion deposit in central bank
Pakistani PM thanks Saudi crown prince for $3 billion deposit in central bank/node/1956121/pakistan
Pakistani PM thanks Saudi crown prince for $3 billion deposit in central bank
A handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace on October 25, 2021 shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R) welcoming Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (L) in Saudi capital Riyadh. (AFP)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday thanked Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for depositing $3 billion dollars into the Pakistani central bank and agreeing to $1.2 billion in financing for refined petroleum products.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are longtime allies. Riyadh gave Pakistan a $3 billion loan and a $3.2 billion oil credit facility in late 2018.
Khan said the kingdom “has always been there for Pak in our difficult times.”
I want to thank HRH Prince Mohammad bin Salman for supporting Pak with $3 bn as deposit in Pak's central bank & financing refined petroleum product with $1.2 bn. KSA has always been there for Pak in our difficult times incl now when world confronts rising commodity prices.
Late on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia’s state news agency SPA said the latest funds will “help the Pakistani government support its foreign currency reserves and support it in facing the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Pakistani information minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain confirmed on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia would support Pakistan with the $3 billion deposit in the central bank and also “finance refined petroleum products with 1.2 billion US dollars during the year.”
Saudi Arabia announcement support Pakistan with 3 billion US dollar as deposit in Pakistan central bank
and also financing refined petroleum prodcut with 1. 2 billion us dollars during the year https://t.co/z2izW1avIThttps://t.co/z2izW1avIT
Pakistan’s finance chief Shaukat Tarin thanked the kingdom for the “generous” contribution.
“We thank the Crown Prince & the KSA for this kind gesture,” he wrote on Twitter.
Yesterday evening the Finance Minister of Saudi Arabia informed me of the generous gesture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to place US$3bn with SBP & a $1.2bn deferred oil facility to help the balance of payment of Pakistan.We thank the Crown Prince & the KSA for this kind gesture
The news comes after Pakistani Prime Minister returned from a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia.
On Monday he met with the Saudi crown prince on the sidelines of the Middle East Green Initiative summit in Riyadh and discussed with him a range of issues, including climate change, measures to tackle it and the Afghanistan situation.
Pakistan mob sets fire to police station over alleged Quran desecration
Crowd of up to 5,000 people surrounded police station in Charsadda town on Sunday night
On Monday morning, 2,000 people remained outside police station burning uniforms of officers
Updated 29 November 2021
PESHAWAR: Thousands of people mobbed a Pakistani police station, setting fire to it and nearby checkposts after demanding that officers hand over a man accused of burning the Quran, police said Monday.
The crowd of up to 5,000 people surrounded the police station in Charsadda town in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Sunday night, also setting fire to more than 30 cars.
On Monday morning, around 2,000 people remained outside the police station burning uniforms of officers.
"The mob stormed the police station asking to hand over the man to them so they could burn him alive like he burnt the Holy Quran," district police chief, Asif Bahadur told AFP.
The identity and religion of the accused has not been disclosed by police, Bahadur said.
"The motive behind burning the copy of the Holy Quran is still unknown but we are investigating."
Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where even unproven allegations can stir mobs and violence.
Rights groups say the legislation is often hijacked for personal vendettas, with minorities largely the target.
A Christian couple was lynched then burnt in a kiln in Punjab in 2014 after being falsely accused of desecrating the Quran. A former Punjab governor Salman Taseer was gunned down by his bodyguard, Mumtaz Qadri, in Islamabad in 2011 over his call for reforms of the blasphemy law.
Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman and a labourer from central Punjab province, was convicted of blasphemy in 2010 and was on death row until her acquittal in 2018, which prompted days of violent demonstrations by hardliners. She and her family later fled the country for Canada.
The country has frequently been paralysed in recent years by anti-blasphemy protests waged by the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan party, often linked to the publishing of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) by a French satirical magazine.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, represented by the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), on Monday formally signed an agreement under which SFD will deposit $3 billion in the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
In October, SFD announced a financial package of $4.2 billion to help the South Asian nation as it struggled with depleting foreign reserves. The amount includes suppling $1.2 billion worth of oil to Pakistan on credit.
A deposit agreement was signed in Karachi by SFD Chief Executive Officer Sultan Bin AbdulRahman Al-Marshad and SBP Governor Dr. Reza Baqir, the SBP said in a statement on Monday.
“The deposit amount under the agreement shall become part of SBP’s Foreign Exchange Reserves. It will help support Pakistan’s foreign currency reserves and contribute toward resolving the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement said.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy deep-rooted strategic ties. Around 2.5 million Pakistani expats are living in the kingdom, and are the biggest single source of foreign remittances to the South Asian nation.
Saudi Arabia also supported Pakistan in 2019 with $3 billion deposits and a $1.2 billion deferred oil payments facility.
“The deposit agreement reflects the strong and special relationship and will augment economic ties between the two brotherly countries,” the SBP said.
2/2 The deposit agreement reflects the strong and special relationship and will augment economic ties between the two brotherly countries.
DUBAI: The Pakistan Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai on Sunday organized an evening of music and inspiration where speakers and musicians highlighted and celebrated tolerance, inclusivity and equality.
Exhibitors from almost 200 countries, including Pakistan, are participating, with many countries and companies looking to the expo — the first major global event open to visitors since the coronavirus pandemic — to boost trade and investment.
The Pakistan pavilion was officially inaugurated by President Dr. Arif Alvi on October 9. The Expo itself commenced on October 1 and will last till March 31, 2022.
On Sunday, acclaimed motivational speaker Muniba Mazari shared the Jubilee Stage, one of the main event platforms at the exhibition, with singer and actor Meesha Shafi at an evening themed ‘Pakistan — Connected through Diversity.’
Speaking to the audience, Mazari said the world celebrated sameness and labelled those who were ‘different,’ which needed to change.
“What about the people who don’t look alike? Those who look different, unique and want to see the world as they want to see it, people who think out of the box, those people are labelled crippled, handicapped, disabled,” she said. “Tonight, let us change this narrative and replace these negative labels with positive words like courageous and resilient.”
Mazari, who is wheelchair bound since an accident crushed her backbone 13 years ago, said while recuperating in hospital for over two months, she made life-changing decisions to give back to society, started painting and adopted her son, Neil, who is now 10.
“I decided to accept myself as I was and move on and move forward in life,” said Mazari, who delivers motivational talks around the country and beyond, and showcases her paintings globally. She was Pakistan’s first UN goodwill ambassador and named in Forbes 30 under 30, BBC’s Top 100 Women and many other global lists.
“Tonight, I am going to dedicate all these titles to all those people in the world who are unique and who are differently-abled,” she said.
The event was also attended by young upcoming singer Maria Unera, who rocked the stage with her powerful voice while paying tribute to her mother whom she lost to cancer.
Meesha Shafi delivered a surprise performance with Mazari and Unera as a closing to the event.
“Pakistan has a lot of reasons to be proud of at the Expo because the pavilion is very impressive,” Shafi said. “It was not just a show but there was an intention behind it and I was really glad to be part of it.”
ISLAMABAD: Planning Minister Asad Umar, who also heads the national pandemic response body, the NCOC, said on Monday it was “impossible” for Pakistan to block the Omicron coronavirus variant from entering the country and the only protection against it was to increase vaccinations.
The detection of Omicron has triggered global alarm as governments around the world scrambled to impose new travel curbs and financial markets sold-off, fearing the variant could resist vaccinations and upend a nascent economic reopening after a two-year global pandemic.
In its statement, the WHO said it was working with technical experts to understand the potential impact of the variant on existing countermeasures against COVID-19, including vaccines.
Addressing a press conference alongside Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health, Dr Faisal Sultan, Umar stressed the need for citizens to get vaccinated, saying the government would take new measures to protect against the Omicron variant. These include increased testing in high risk areas, and the launch of a booster shot program for high-risk segments of the population such as the elderly and the immunocompromised.
On Saturday, Pakistan banned travel from six South African countries and Hong Kong following the emergence of the new coronavirus variant.
“We can take measures to delay the entry into Pakistan of this variant, we can reduce its numbers, but it will spread all around the world,” Umar said. “As we saw before, once a new variant comes, the world is so interconnected, there is so much travel, that it is impossible to stop it. So what is the solution, what is in our hands? The answer is vaccination.”
“This is a very dangerous variant but vaccination will still be effective against it,” the minister said. "So it is my appeal to Pakistanis, particularly those who've gotten one dose, to get the second dose.”
"This variant will come to Pakistan, and we have the next 2-3 weeks to reduce its threat,” Umar added.
The Omicron variant spread around the world last week, with new cases found in the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia even as more countries imposed travel restrictions to try to seal themselves off.
WHO has said it was not yet clear whether Omicron, first detected in Southern Africa, is more transmissible than other variants, or if it causes more severe disease.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistani commerce advisor Abdul Razak Dawood said on Monday Pakistan’s Tata Best Food Limited had exported the country’s first meat consignment to Jordan.
Last month, Pakistan announced that Jordan had allowed three Pakistani producers to export meat to the kingdom. These are Organic Meat Company Limited (TOMCL), Tata Best Food Limited, Tazji Meat and Food.
Pakistan ranks in the top 20 among global halal meat exporting nations, and a 2017 study by the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) showed that the industry was growing by 27 percent annually.
The country’s exports of meat and meat preparations went up by 10 percent in the last fiscal year to $334 million, though they declined by four percent during the first two months of the current fiscal year to $49.55 million, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
“We congratulate TATA Foods on exporting Pakistan's first ever consignment meat has been exported to Jordan,” Dawood said on Twitter. “Promotion & facilitation of non-traditional products to new markets constitutes MOC’s [ministry of commerce] diversification policy.”
We congratulate TATA Foods on exporting Pakistan's first ever consignment meat has been exported to Jordan. Promotion & facilitation of non-traditional products to new markets constitutes MOC’s diversification policy. pic.twitter.com/fT9hqbRRmH
Last year, TOMCL became the first Pakistani company to get approval from the Saudi Food & Drug Authority to export frozen meat via sea to the kingdom, as it won a high-value contract of $3.9 million to export 100 metric tons of frozen boneless meat to Saudi Arabia.
In September, the Karachi-based halal meat processing and export enterprise secured a $1 million contract to supply frozen boneless meat to Saudi Arabia for a period of 10 months.