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SBP governor to be nominated next week: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail



  • Finance Minister Miftah Ismail says Acting SBP Governor Murtaza Syed has no hand in depreciation of rupee.
  • Defence Minister Khawaja Asif says govt will take all necessary steps needed to revive the economy.
  • If we had gone home, country could have gone bankrupt. We made a political sacrifice for the sake of country, says Asif.

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announced on Thursday that the government will nominate a new governor of the State Bank of Pakistan — a post that has remained vacant for more than two months — in the next week.

Addressing a press conference along with Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, the finance czar of the country said that the new governor will be nominated next week.

While talking about the depreciating rupee, Miftah also assured the reporters that Acting SBP Governor Murtaza Syed had no hand in the depreciation of the rupee.

He added that the local currency would stabilise against the greenback next month. 

“Due to import payments of $7.5 billion, pressure is coming on the rupee,” said the finance minister, adding that the rupee had also come under pressure due to the political crisis that resulted following PML-N’s thrashing in the July 17 by-polls.

“The demand for dollars in banks will decrease. Last month, there were imports of $7.5 billion and this month’s imports are less than last year,” said Miftah.

He further stated that the government was focusing on minimising imports and increasing exports.

The finance minister also stated that there has been a significant decrease in the import of diesel and furnace oil, adding that the country has a couple of months of furnace oil in its reserve.

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“The economy is moving in the right direction,” said the finance minister, repeating what his colleague Khawaja Asif had said in the press conference that the coalition government would sacrifice its political capital for the sake of the country.

Talking about the pressure on him, Miftah dismissed those rumours by saying that no one in the federal cabinet has accused him of the loss the PML-N took in the July 17 by-polls.

Reviving Pakistan’s economy main priority: Khawaja Asif

On the other hand, Asif assured the reporters that the coalition government’s main priority was to revive the economy.

“Will take all necessary steps needed to revive the economy,” the defence minister said while noting that his party may face the voters’ wrath in the elections.

“How many finance ministers did the previous government change? Whatever we did in three months, we did it sincerely,” said Asif.

The ministers also spoke about the PML-N’s thumping in Sunday’s by-polls, saying that compared to 2018, the PML-N’s vote bank had increased.

“In the constituencies where we took 6,000 votes last time, we grabbed 45,000 votes. Compared to 2018, we took 200,000 more votes in the recent by-elections,” said Asif.

The PML-N stalwart noted that there were some districts where his party had no vote banks in the past but received a large number of votes from those areas on Sunday. He also noted that the party had given tickets to PTI defectors instead of its workers in some places which had made them heartbroken.

“Ever since we took an oath, we have tried to bring stability rather than doing politics. We will learn from the experience of July 17,” said Asif.

The minister also reminded the media persons that the coalition government had taken over the charge themselves. 

“If we had gone home, the country could have gone bankrupt. We made a political sacrifice for the sake of the country,” said Asif.


4 dead, 12 injured as sucide blast rips through Hangu mosque




  • Incident takes place within parameters of Police Station Doaba. 
  • Two suicide bombers were involved in attack, says Hangu DPO.
  • 12 people, rescued from rubble, shifted to nearby hospital. 

HANGU: A blast ripped through a mosque in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Hangu, local officials confirmed Friday, leaving three dead — including a policeman — and 12 injured.

The incident took place within the parametres of Police Station Doaba during the Friday sermon — a time when scores of believers are gathered at a mosque for their weekly prayer. 

Hangu District Police Officer Nisar Ahmed said 30-40 people were under the rubble — as the mosque’s roof caved in — and an operation was underway to rescue them.

Ahmed said two suicide bombers were involved in the attack — one targeted the gate of the police station, and the other blew himself up inside the mosque.

The 12 people, rescued from the rubble, have been shifted to a nearby hospital, he said.

Caretaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Azam Khan, taking notice, directed officials to enforce an emergency in all hospitals of the city as he sought a report on the blast from law enforcers.

The police officials said that two militants tried entering the police station and started firing at the gate. They added that one of the terrorists was killed at the gate by the police in retaliatory fire.

Moreover, two policemen were also injured during the firing, officials of the law enforcement agency said, adding that the other militant blew himself up inside the mosque.

The timely action by the police resulted in fewer casualties following the blast, they added. 

This was the second terror attack to hit Pakistan in a single day as earlier today, a suicide blast in Balochistan’s Mastung district killed at least 35 people including a police officer while injuring over 45.

The explosion took place near the mosque where people were gathering to mark Eid Miladun Nabi — the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

For the past year now, Pakistan has been gripped by a spate of terror attacks, with Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa particularly being under the radar of militants targeting security forces and civilians to deteriorate peace.

Security forces, however, continue to conduct operations against terrorists to eliminate terrorism from the country in its resolve to strengthen the sacrifices of its soldiers.

Earlier this month, a report compiled by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) stated a sharp increase recorded in militant attacks across the country in the month of August with 99 terror incidents reported.

This, according to the report, was the highest number recorded in any single month since November 2014. These attacks have resulted in 112 deaths and 87 injuries, mostly targeting security forces personnel and civilians.

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One-month deadline for illegal foreign nationals to be announced soon




  • Major countrywide crackdown to be launched by LEAs.
  • Around 1.1 million Afghan refugees illegally reside in Pakistan.
  • Surge in street crime in capital linked with illegal Afghans.

ISLAMABAD: The government will soon announce a one-month deadline for all illegal foreign immigrants, including Afghans, to leave the country or face the music.

After the one-month deadline, a major countrywide crackdown will be launched by the law-enforcement agencies to identify and deport such illegal immigrants, the vast majority of whom are said to be Afghans.

Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti will announce the policy in a few days time, an informed source said. 

The decision at the highest level has already been taken not to let Pakistan become a haven for illegal immigrants, many of whom are not only involved in criminal activities but are also part of the smuggling mafia, the source added.

It is said the authorities have already arrested many illegal Afghan immigrants who were doing illegal dollar trade at the cost of the country’s economy. A large number of such illegal foreign nationals are also doing different businesses in several major cities including the federal capital. The surge in street crime in Islamabad is also linked with the influx of illegal Afghans.

There are said to be around 1.1 million Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan illegally. 

It is said as many as 400,000 Afghans entered Pakistan illegally since the return of the Afghan Taliban to Afghanistan in August 2021. There are another 700,000 Afghans identified who have been living in the country illegally.

Media reports suggest that 1.1 million Afghan refugees neither possess any visa nor any valid documents, allowing them to stay in the country. Most of these illegal refugees were involved in anti-state and criminal activities.

Therefore, they would be sent back at the earliest, said a report, adding the Afghan Taliban government was also informed about Pakistan’s decision.

Islamabad has hosted millions of refugees for decades, and at one point five million Afghan refugees were residing in Pakistan. 

Some estimates suggest there are still close to four million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan. However, the count of individuals possessing valid refugee cards, as per official records, is considerably lower.

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HEC announces Commonwealth Scholarships for masters, PhD




In a positive development for students, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has announced Commonwealth Scholarships for masters and PhD programmes for the year 2023. 

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC) provides the UK government’s Commonwealth scholarship scheme led by international development objectives. 

The CSC has funded over 30,000 individuals to study in the UK and gain skills, acquire knowledge, and build networks to tackle global development challenges

Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) students can apply for the scholarships till October 17 (Tuesday) on the CSC portal.

The HEC’s website said that 26 nominations are available for masters, 30 for PhD and 10 for teaching faculty PhD.

Applicants are advised to visit the links to apply for the masters, PhD and teaching faculty (PhD) scholarships. 

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