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Pakistan establishes relief fund for Turkey earthquake victims

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  • Pakistan dispatches rescue team, relief goods to Turkey.
  • Third plane carrying winterised tents, blankets to take off today.
  • PM Shehbaz to travel to Turkey to condole with Turkish president. 

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has decided to establish a relief fund to help the victims of a deadly earthquake in Turkey that has claimed over 5,000 lives.

“To help the victims of the earthquake in Turkey at this difficult hour, PM Shehbaz Sharif has decided to establish PM Relief Fund,” Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said Tuesday after a plane load of relief goods and rescue team from Pakistan reached Turkey.

The minister said that the federal cabinet has announced to contribute one month’s salary while the PM has appealed to the philanthropists to extend help. 

Turkey and Syria have witnessed a devastating earthquake of a magnitude of 7.8, killing over 5,000 people and injuring innumerable people.

Pakistan dispatches rescue team

Earlier, Pakistan sent two aircraft carrying a 51-member search and rescue team and relief goods to Turkey to provide assistance in rescue operations.

According to a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) statement, a C-130 Hercules aircraft carrying rescue team members and blankets from PAF Base, Nur Khan has landed in Istanbul.

“The PAF aircraft is carrying relief goods from the people of Pakistan for the earthquake-affected brethren of Turkiye. The transport fleet of the Pakistan Air Force has always been at the forefront to respond to natural disasters and calamities both inland and abroad,” said the spokesperson of the Foreign Office. 

The spokesperson said that Pakistan had dispatched the necessary items for the victims including search and rescue teams, a 30-bed makeshift hospital and medicines. A third plane will also leave for the quake-struck country. 

PAF planes carrying rescue teams and relief goods land in Turkey on February 7, 2023. — PAF
PAF planes carrying rescue teams and relief goods land in Turkey on February 7, 2023. — PAF

The rescue team includes a search squad and two technical rescue squads while a seven-member medical team has also landed in Istanbul. 

In a separate statement, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said: “As part of Pakistan Support for Turkiye, urban search and rescue (USAR) and Rescue 1122 team boarded through PIA flight from Lahore to Istanbul today.” 

It said that a second C-130 aircraft carrying winterised tents and blankets will take off from Lahore today.

PM Shehbaz to visit Turkey

PM Shehbaz will travel to Turkey on February 8 to condole with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the devastating earthquake that hit the country.

Taking to Twitter, Aurangzeb wrote: “Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will leave for Ankara tomorrow morning, he will express his condolences to the Turkish president and to the people of Turkey over the destruction caused by the earthquake and the loss of life.”

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Business

Moody’s says the IMF programme will increase Pakistan’s foreign financing.

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Moody’s, a reputable international rating agency, has stated that Pakistan’s chances of acquiring funding will increase as a result of the recent agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which offers dependable sources for that purpose from both friendly countries and international financial institutions.

According to a recent Moody’s analysis on Pakistan’s economy, social unrest and tensions could result from Pakistan’s ongoing inflation. The country’s economic reforms may be hampered by increased taxes and potential changes to the energy tariff, it continued.

Moody’s, on the other hand, agrees that the coalition government headed by Shehbaz Sharif of the PML-N is in danger of failing to secure an election mandate, which may potentially undermine the successful and long-lasting execution of economic reforms.

The government’s capacity to proceed with economic changes may be hampered by societal unrest and poor governance, according to Moody’s.

In order to appease the IMF by fulfilling a prerequisite for authorising a rescue package, the government raised the basic tariff on electricity, which coincided with the most recent increase in fuel prices announced on Monday. This report was released by Moody’s.

Food costs have increased in the nation, where the vast majority is experiencing an unprecedented crisis due to the high cost of living, following the government’s earlier presentation of a budget that included a large increase in income tax for the salaried classes and the implementation of GST on commodities like milk.

The most recent comments were made following Islamabad’s achievement of a staff-level agreement for a $7 billion contract that spans 37 months and is contingent upon final approval by the IMF Executive Board.

It states that Pakistan will need foreign financing totaling about $21 billion in 2024–2025 and $23 billion in 2025–2026, meaning that the country’s present $9.4 billion in reserves won’t be sufficient to cover its needs.

Therefore, according to Moody’s, Pakistan is in an alarming position with regard to its external debt, and the next three to five years will be extremely difficult for the formulation and implementation of policies.

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Business

Base Of bilateral relations: China And Pakistan Reiterate Their Support For CPEC

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China-Pakistan economic corridor is a major project of the Belt and Road Initiative, and both countries have reiterated their commitment to it. It remains a fundamental aspect of their bilateral relations.

Vice Chairman Zhao Chenxin of the National Development and Reform Commission of China and Minister Ahsan Iqbal of Planning and Development met in Beijing, where Ahsan Iqbal made this assurance.

The summit made clear how committed China and Pakistan are to advancing their strategic cooperative partnership in all weather conditions.

The focus of the discussion was on how the CPEC was going, with both parties reviewing project development and discussing how the agreement made at the leadership level will lead to the launch of an enhanced version of the CPEC.

In order to improve trade, connectivity, and socioeconomic growth in the area, they emphasised the need of CPEC projects.

The Ml-I Project, the KKH realignment, and the Sukkur-Hyderabad motorway—the last remaining segment of the Karachi-Peshawar motorway network—were all to be expedited.

Expanding the partnership’s horizons to include technology, innovation, education, connectivity, and renewable energy sources was another topic of discussion.

Specifically in the special economic zones being built under the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (CPEX), Vice Chairman NDRC emphasised the possibility of China investing more in Pakistan.

In addition to expressing confidence in the ongoing success of the two nations’ collaboration, Zhao Chenxin reiterated China’s support for Pakistan’s development aspirations.

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9th Muharram: Processions Happen Throughout the Nation Today Under Strict Security

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Nineth Muharram: Today, the nation observes the ninth day of Muharram with the appropriate seriousness and respect, honouring the ultimate sacrifice made by Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and his followers.

In addition to Tazia and Alam processions being held in certain cities, Majalis will take place in all major and minor cities.

A thorough traffic and security strategy for the ninth day of Ramadan has been finalised by the Islamabad police.

Starting from the Imambargah at G/6-2, the main 9 Muharram al haram procession will travel a predetermined itinerary before ending back at its starting position.

The traffic measures are in place to guarantee the parade proceeds smoothly. General traffic will not be allowed on the route that runs from Fazal Haq Road, Polyclinic, to Kulsoom Plaza.
Today, amid strict security, there are processions across the nation.

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