Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday assured that Saudi Arabia had placed no conditions in exchange for the bailout money it pledged to Pakistan during the premier’s visit to the Kingdom to attend an investment conference, DawnNewsTV reported. He made these remarks on Wednesday during an informal conversation with media persons in Islamabad. “We have received a total package of $6.2 billion,” the minister said. FM Qureshi said there has been no change in Pakistan’s role in the Islamic military alliance and asserted that “a clear message has been conveyed to the United States that dialogue is the only way forward when it comes to the Afghanistan issue”. “Unless and until the Taliban are integrated into the system, it is not possible to move forward [to address the Afghanistan issue],” he said. “The US itself is currently trying for initiating talks with the Taliban. It is wrong to say that Pakistan must do everything. The Taliban are not in our pockets,” FM Qureshi commented. Also read: Shah Mehmood Qureshi: Always next in line Speaking about the war-torn region of Yemen, the foreign minister said that Pakistan’s stance will remain the same, in that, the state does not believe in a military solution to the problem. “We will not send our forces there,” he affirmed. Referring to the Pak-Iran gas pipeline project, he said that there were difficulties in completing the project due to the fact it was marred by multilateral sanctions imposed by the United Nations and unilateral sanctions [Read More…]
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Wednesday denounced the murder of critic Jamal Khashoggi as a “heinous crime”, insisting the kingdom was cooperating with Turkish authorities and “justice will prevail”. “The crime was very painful to all Saudis. And it is painful, heinous to every human being in the world,” Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in his first comments since the murder of the journalist. “Those behind this crime will be held accountable… in the end justice will prevail,” he said during an address to the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyadh. Saudi leaders have denied involvement in Khashoggi’s murder inside Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate on October 2, pushing responsibility down the chain of command. But the kingdom is under mounting international pressure over the killing amid US accusations of a monumental cover-up by the kingdom. Prince Mohammed, widely known as MBS, said Saudi Arabia was working with the Turkish authorities to investigate the case. “Many are trying to exploit the Khashoggi affair to drive a wedge between Saudi Arabia and Turkey,” he said. “But they will not succeed as long as there is a king named Salman and a crown prince named Mohammed bin Salman.”
A youthful Pakistan crushed Australia by 66 runs in the first Twenty20 international in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Pakistan scored 155-8 in their 20 overs as Babar Azam struck an unbeaten 68 before Imad Wasim took 3 for 20 to bowl Australia out for 89 in 16.5 overs — their joint-third lowest total in all T20 Internationals. Paceman Faheem Ashraf and Shaheen Afridi both took two wickets apiece for Pakistan. Fast bowlers Billy Stanlake (3-21) and Andrew Tye (3-24) were the main wicket-takers for Australia. Australia left out paceman Mitchell Starc and off-spinner Nathan Lyon and included leg-spinner Adam Zampa in their XI. Pakistan were without senior batsman Shoaib Malik who joined the team late as he was with his wife, Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, for the birth of their first child. The second and third matches will be played in Dubai on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Squad: Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf Australia: Aaron Finch (captain), Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa Umpires: Ahsan Raza (PAK) and Shozab Raza (PAK) Tv umpire: Asif Yaqoob (PAK) Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)
The US Secret Service has intercepted a bomb that was addressed to Hillary Clinton and also discovered a possible explosive that was sent to former President Barack Obama. Also on Wednesday, a police bomb squad was sent to CNN’s offices in New York City and the newsroom was evacuated because of a suspicious package. A US official told The Associated Press that investigators believe the explosive that was discovered near the Clintons’ home in Chappaqua, New York, is linked to one found Monday at the compound of liberal billionaire George Soros. The official wasn’t authorised to publicly discuss an ongoing investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity. The official said one of the packages had the return address of Rep Deborah Wasserman Schultz, an ironic reference to the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. The package addressed to Obama was intercepted Wednesday by Secret Service agents in Washington. Neither Clinton nor Obama received the packages, and neither was at risk of receiving them because of screening procedures, the Secret Service said in a statement. The White House condemned “the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and other public figures.” “These terrorising acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that that referred to the senders as “these cowards.” Hillary Clinton was attending campaign events for Democrats in Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday and was not at [Read More…]
Prime Minister Imran Khan will address the nation today evening at 7:15pm, the official Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Twitter account announced. During his address, the premier is expected to take the people into confidence on the country’s economic status, DawnNewsTV reported. The address follows his return from Saudia Arabia, a trip he undertook on the invitation of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud to attend the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference. Late Tuesday the government announced that Saudi Arabia has agreed to provide Pakistan $3 billion in foreign currency support for a year to address its balance-of-payments crisis. The Kingdom has also agreed to provide Islamabad with a one-year deferred payment facility for import of oil, worth up to another $3 billion.
Turkey’s president kept up pressure on Saudi Arabia on Wednesday as the kingdom’s powerful crown prince was to address an international investment summit in Riyadh, his first such comments since the killing earlier this month of The Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s anticipated remarks alongside other Arab leaders at the Future Investment Initiative summit in Riyadh come as the event, which was created by the royal, has been overshadowed by Khashoggi’s slaying and the international outrage over it. International business leaders, officials and others have pulled out of the summit, and the event’s first day saw several speakers acknowledge the killing of the Saudi writer whose columns criticised the prince’s campaign of arrests and governance. Turkish officials say Khashoggi was killed on Oct 2 by a 15-man Saudi hit squad that included a member of Prince Mohammed’s entourage on overseas trips. Saudi Arabia has suggested, without offering evidence, that the team went rogue. However, no major decision in the kingdom is made without the approval of the ruling Al Saud family. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan kept up his pressure on Wednesday. “We are determined not to allow the murder to be covered up and for those responsible from the person who gave the order to those who executed it not to escape justice,” he said in the capital, Ankara. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, continued to criticise the kingdom over Khashoggi’s killing. “The cover-up was horrible. The execution was horrible,” [Read More…]
National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) special prosecutor on Wednesday began his arguments in the corruption watchdog’s appeal challenging the Sept 19 order of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for suspension of the jail terms awarded to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Capt Mohammad Safdar in the Avenfield reference. As the hearing began today, NAB special prosecutor Akram Qureshi explained to the apex court bench the basic facts and developments in the case. “According to the NAB Ordinance’s Section 9(b), the options of writ had been abolished,” he said. “The clauses related to bail and punishments had been eliminated.” Qureshi argued that “the writ is permissible only in hard circumstances,” adding that “the high court had not mentioned any such hardships in its judgment.” Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar noted that “there may not be another judgement on suspension of sentences” that is 43 pages long. “Show me another such judgement that exceeds more than a page and a half,” he said. The special prosecutor concurred with the chief justice’s observation, adding: “Sir, in my career I have never seen this long a judgment on suspension of sentences. Ask someone wise, and maybe [you] would find another instance. Qureshi also questioned the basis on which the IHC had used the “hardship” principle. “The principle of hardship is adopted either in extremely severe cases of ailments whose treatment may not be possible in jail or cases where appeals had not been filed in years,” the prosecutor [Read More…]
Italy’s competition authority on Wednesday said it was fining Apple and Samsung 10 and five million euros ($11.5 and $5.7 million) respectively for the so-called “planned obsolescence” of their smartphones. The ruling is believed to be the first against the manufacturers following accusations worldwide that they encourage operating system updates for older phones which slow them down, thereby encouraging the purchase of new phones. Two “complex investigations” by the anti-trust authority AGCM revealed that Apple and Samsung implemented unfair commercial practices, a statement said. “The two companies have induced consumers to install software updates that are not adequately supported by their devices, without adequately informing them, nor providing them with an effective way to recover the full functionality of their devices,” the AGCM said. Operating system updates “caused serious malfunctions and significantly reduced their performance, in this way speeding up their replacement with more recent products.” Samsung “insistently suggested” to owners of its 2014 Note 4 phone to install a new version of Google’s Android operating system intended for the more recent Note 7, the ACGM said. But that was “without informing them of the serious malfunctions that the new firmware could cause due to greater stress of device’s hardware and asking a high repair cost for out-of-warranty repairs connected to such malfunctions”. Likewise, Apple “insistently suggested” to iPhone 6 owners to install an operating system designed for the iPhone 7, “without warning consumers that its installation could reduce the speed of execution and functionality of devices”. ‘No support’ Apple [Read More…]
India’s skipper Virat Kohli on Wednesday became the fastest-ever batsmen to reach 10,000 One-day International (ODI) runs, making history in his 205th innings against the West Indies in Visakhapatnam. The 29-year-old surpassed fellow Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar, who first crossed the 10,000-run mark in 259 innings in 2001. Kohli, playing his 213th ODI, took a single off spinner Ashley Nurse to reach the milestone. He is just the 13th batsman, and fifth Indian, to join the elite list.
The government says it has arrested a man in connection with the killing of ex-senior intelligence officer in Madaba.