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Pakistan’s desire for peace should not be considered its weakness: PM Shehbaz

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  • PM Shehbaz Sharif arrives in Karachi on a day-long visit.
  • Holds meetings with MQM-P and PML-N delegations.
  • Visits Nawabshah to condole with Asif Zardari over his mother’s death.

KARACHI: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Saturday that Pakistan wants to have good relations with its neighbouring countries, but its desire for peace should not be considered a weakness.

In his address at the passing out ceremony at the naval academy, the prime minister — who is on a day’s visit to Karachi — said the navy plays an important role in guarding the country’s maritime borders.

“…I am also proud of the Pakistan Army for making the defence impregnable,” he added.

The prime minister expressed happiness over witnessing women cadets in the passing out parade.

“You are a guiding light for all Pakistani women,” he said.

On his arrival in the city, Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah received PM Shehbaz and later the premier inspected a guard of honour during the passing out parade at the naval academy.

Political meetings

The prime minister held a detailed meeting with CM Sindh to discuss the overall political and development situation in the province, sources said.

Apart from this, he also met with delegations from the PML-N and MQM-P.

The MQM-P delegation stressed the appointment of a governor and the implementation of the agreement that was made with the PPP when the then-opposition sought MQM-P’s support to oust the PTI government.

MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui led the delegation, while Federal Minister for Information and Technology Aminul Haque, and senior party leaders Wasim Akhtar and Kanwar Naveed Jameel were also part of it.

MQM-P complains to PM over non-implementation of agreement

After the meeting concluded, sources told Geo News that MQM-P complained to PM Shehbaz over non-implementation of the agreement the latter had signed with the PDM parties to topple the Imran Khan-led government.

Sources said that the MQM-P complained to the premier over PPP’s “slowness” in implementing of the agreement that had made with the PDM parties. It also expressed regret over the delay in the legislation that the MQM had demanded to be made on the Sindh local government law in light of the Supreme court decision.

On the other hand, PM Shehbaz assured the MQM-P that he will form a committee for the implementation of the agreement made with the Karachi-based party. He also assured the MQM-P that he will speak to the PPP, which is ruling in Sindh, over the implementation of the agreement.

The sources also told Geo News that the premier took the MQM-P into confidence over the decisions taken by the federal government on the economy.

PM condoles with Asif Ali Zardari

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif (centre right) offers prayers for PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardaris (centre left) mother who passed away earlier this week in Nawabshah, on June 25, 2022. — Prime Ministers Office
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif (centre right) offers prayers for PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari’s (centre left) mother who passed away earlier this week in Nawabshah, on June 25, 2022. — Prime Minister’s Office

Later, the prime minister travelled to Nawabshah to offer condolences to PPP Co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari on the demise of the latter’s mother.

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government contests Imran Khan and Qureshi’s exoneration in the cipher case

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On Thursday, the federal government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court contesting the exoneration of former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and former Prime Minister Imran Khan in the well-known cipher case.

Citing procedural and jurisdictional issues, the Ministry of Interior has appealed the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) ruling.

In hearing the cipher case, the High Court allegedly overreached its power, arguing that judges cannot change laws where Parliament has not expressly passed legislation.

Despite receiving government-funded legal representation, the petition emphasized Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s lack of cooperation during the trial, submitting 65 separate motions and neglecting to cross-examine witnesses.

The petition contended that in order for a retrial to satisfy legal standards, the High Court should have ignored important evidence that was given during the trial. It requests that the appeals contesting the IHC’s June 3 acquittal be given a hearing date by the Supreme Court.

Case history

The cipher issue concerns a supposed diplomatic document that disappeared from Imran Khan’s custody. The cipher allegedly contained threats from the US to remove Khan from office, according to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. Shah Mehmood Qureshi and several aides, including Asad Umar, are named in the First Information Report (FIR) submitted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in accordance with Section 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code and Sections 5 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act.

The then-foreign secretary received a diplomatic cipher from Washington on March 7, 2022, according to the FIR. The lawsuit claims that by manipulating the data for their own benefit, Khan and Qureshi put the safety of the country at risk. It alleges that on March 28, 2022, Khan secretly met at his Bani Gala home and gave his Principal Secretary, Muhammad Azam Khan, instructions to change the content of the cipher to his advantage, jeopardizing national security.

The document asserts that Khan still has custody of the cipher, jeopardizing Pakistan’s encrypted messaging systems and possibly helping foreign forces, which would be detrimental to the nation. A complaint has been filed by the FIA’s Anti-Terrorism Wing against Khan, Qureshi, and other individuals for improper use of state secrets and unapproved possession of the cipher.

Acquittal by the Islamabad High Court

In the cipher case, on June 3, the IHC cleared Khan and Qureshi when Justice Aamir Farooq issued a succinct ruling in their favor. Their sentences were appealed in the case, which has since been a source of political and legal controversy, leading to their acquittal.

This acquittal and the ongoing legal and political struggles surrounding the cipher case are highlighted by the government’s subsequent move to contest it.

With potentially huge ramifications for the parties involved and the larger political scene, the Supreme Court’s decision over whether to hear the appeal will be keenly scrutinized.

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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi urges political stability in order to accelerate economic expansion.

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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the former prime minister, emphasized on Thursday how important political stability is to Pakistan’s economic development and how the nation cannot prosper without it.

His concern was that export growth had not progressed, and he emphasized that stability in the current climate is vital to draw investments and carry out the necessary reforms.

In his criticism of the tax system, Abbasi brought up the erratic nature of tax laws and the transient nature of the most recent tax slab implementation. Insisting that difficult choices are unavoidable for economic recovery, he emphasized the necessity of designing a tax system that is equitable and does not burden the people.

Furthermore, arguing that the effectiveness of organizations like the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is essential for economic governance and transparency, Abbasi urged for changes within these and other organizations.

Abbasi, in his discussion of more comprehensive fiscal plans, suggested that the National Finance Commission (NFC) award be reviewed again and that power distribution companies (DISCOs) be decentralized to the provinces.

In order to reduce inefficiencies and corruption at the provincial level, he recommended looking into ways to share the cost of defense spending and decentralize the management of energy resources.

In closing, Abbasi emphasized that Pakistan’s economic trajectory will stay stagnant unless comprehensive changes are implemented immediately. To move the nation towards sustainable progress, he urged policymakers to give stability and structural reforms first priority.

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Through in-app QR payments, Zindigi and SBP streamline transactions involving sacrificial animals.

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With its in-app QR code payment system based on Raast, Zindigi—powered by JS Bank—has elevated the convenience of cashless payments for the procurement of sacrificial animals to a whole new level for Eid ul Adha.

This program uses QR code payments to streamline transactions for sacrificed animals for the general public and traders. It is a component of the State Bank of Pakistan’s Raast quick payment service.

This feature enables users of Zindigi and users of any digital banking apps or wallets to safely and easily make payments at certain cattle markets throughout Pakistan using Zindigi QR. The consumer must scan the QR code of the livestock merchant and pay the transaction amount in order to complete the payment.

In order to further financial inclusion and digital innovation in Pakistan’s developing economy, Zindigi and the State Bank of Pakistan have partnered. Both organizations are committed to improving the efficiency and accessibility of financial services, especially on holidays such as Eid ul Adha, by utilizing the most recent developments in fintech.

One of the most important steps toward promoting financial inclusion and economic empowerment at the local level is the integration of livestock markets into the digital economy. Farmers and retailers may take charge of their financial operations and help realize the larger goal of an inclusive digital Pakistan by adopting digital payments.

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