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Bilawal Bhutto becomes Pakistan’s youngest foreign minister

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ISLAMABAD: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari Wednesday became the youngest foreign minister of Pakistan, breaking the records earlier set by his grandfather and a party leader.

President Arif Alvi administered the oath to the Oxford-educated PPP chairman, who is 33 years, seven months, and six days of age — a development that came after much delay and deliberation.

Ex-prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was 35 years, five months, and ten days old when he was sworn in as the foreign minister, while Hina Rabbani Khar was 33 years, eight months, and one day old.

Following the oath-taking ceremony, Bilawal took charge of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Foreign Office officials briefed the newly-appointed minister on Pakistan’s international relations.

The foreign minister also paid a visit to the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad, while Minister of State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar, accompanied him.

Bilawal expressed sorrow over the loss of lives in the terrorist attack on Chinese residents in Karachi and told the embassy officials that the relationship between Pakistan and China is a series of loyalty across generations.

He said that the terrorists made a failed attempt to strike on the basis of the Pak-China friendship. “The malicious intentions of terrorists cannot sabotage [this] friendship.”

Four people, including three Chinese nationals, were killed while four others sustained injuries in a suicide bombing on the premises of the University of Karachi.

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The Pakistan Army’s pivotal role in the socioeconomic development of Balochistan

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Along with the province administration, the Pakistan Army has played a key role in leading a number of socioeconomic projects. A determined effort has been undertaken to solve the issues and utilise the potential of the province, realising the intrinsic relationship between the development of Balochistan and the advancement of Pakistan overall.

In the face of security problems, the Pakistan Army has adopted a multipronged strategy that includes peacekeeping as well as socioeconomic development. By means of focused awareness initiatives, communities have been motivated to seize mainstream chances, which has resulted in the voluntary surrender of militants and opened the door to a peaceful cohabitation.

The Army and the Balochistani administration have placed a high priority on the construction of educational facilities, particularly in outlying areas, recognising the role that education plays as a catalyst for advancement. By equipping the public with the knowledge and skills necessary for a better future, this strategic focus seeks to free the people from the hold of extremism.

In addition, the Pakistan Army’s unflinching security has helped to usher in a new era of growth, supported by strategic initiatives like the Gwadar Port and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The Army’s actions to protect CPEC projects have received international recognition, and the Chinese Minister of National Defence has praised them for their commitment to regional peace.

The Reko Diq project is a highly promising venture that has the potential to become the largest gold and copper mine globally. This grand project has the potential to reduce Pakistan’s debt load and spark massive economic expansion, drawing in international capital and improving the nation’s economic prospects.

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$13.44 billion in liquid foreign reserves

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The State Bank’s foreign reserves were $8,040.3 million, whereas Pakistan’s total liquid foreign reserves as of the week ending April 5, 2024, were US$ 13,441.7 million.

The State Bank of Pakistan said that during the week under review, the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves dropped by $0.1 million to $8,040.3 million in a statement released here on Monday.

It further stated that commercial banks’ net foreign reserves were reported to be $5,401.4 million.

The nation’s total liquid foreign reserves as of the previous week, which concluded on March 29, 2024, were $13,378.9 million.

These included the $8,040.4 million in foreign reserves held by the central bank and the $5,338.5 million in net foreign reserves held by commercial banks.

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Today, IHC will hear Qureshi, the founder of PTI,’s arguments against his conviction in the CCI case.

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The PTI founder and Shah Mehmood Qureshi will appeal their convictions in the cipher case to the Islamabad High Court today (Tuesday).

The hearing will be conducted by a division bench that consists of Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Chief Justice Aamir Farooq of the Islamabad High Court.

The attorneys will present their arguments regarding the appeals against the sentencing during the hearing.

However, Bushra Bibi, the wife of the PTI founder, has filed a petition to have her medical examined, and this plea will also be heard today.

Bushra Bibi’s application will be considered by Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb. The petitioner has voiced her concern that the food she was provided was toxic.

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