Category Archives: Business & Finance

Railways operation affected by ongoing protests

The ongoing protests in different parts of the country have affected Railways operation partially.

This was stated by Pakistan Railways spokesperson Ms. Quratul Ain while talking to Radio Pakistan Lahore on Sunday.

She said Karachi to Sahiwal and Lahore section is open while sections, including from Lahore to Sheikhupura, Sheikhupura to Faisalabad, Sheikhupura to Jaranwala, and Lahore to Lala Musa have been closed.

Source: Radio Pakistan

US Has Tripled Number of Air-delivered Munitions in Afghanistan in 2017

PENTAGON � The United States has tripled the number of air-delivered munitions in Afghanistan this year and is training hundreds of soldiers who will soon start advising the Afghan army in combat areas outside of military bases.

U.S. General John Nicholson, the top commander of international forces in the country, said via teleconference from Afghanistan Tuesday that the increased air power has allowed Afghans to more aggressively pursue the Taliban.

The increased air power is made possible by new authorities granted to U.S. forces in Afghanistan under the administration of President Donald Trump. Under former president Barack Obama’s administration, U.S. airstrikes were limited to cases of self-defense when the Taliban were in close enough range to present a direct threat to American and Afghan forces.

As of October of this year, the U.S. had conducted more than 2,700 airstrikes in Afghanistan, Resolute Support spokesman Army Lt. Col. Kone Faulkner told VOA.

1,000 US soldiers outside the wire

During the briefing, Nicholson outlined a major effort aimed at improving the Afghan offensive that is expected to begin when the weather warms next year.

The U.S. Army is training 800-1,000 soldiers, whom Nicholson calls volunteers, for its first security force assistance brigade.

The Army will produce a total of six security force assistance brigades to advise the Afghan army at the battalion level, known as the “kandak” level in Afghanistan. U.S. military officials say this strategy has been successful with American troops who have been advising Afghanistan’s special forces at a lower level during the past two years.

This will enable us to help the Afghans with their offensive operations simultaneously in multiple corps, Nicholson said.

The general said the advisers will operate in teams that will be backed up by additional American enablers, in order to protect the U.S. forces and their Afghan counterparts.

The new strategy, however, puts hundreds more Americans at risk of getting caught in combat as they advise their Afghan partners in the field.

The goal is to secure portions of the population who are living in contested areas before the upcoming Afghan election. The government controls about 64 percent of the population, the Taliban controls about 12 percent of the population and the other 24 percent live in contested areas.

Trump’s Afghan strategy

The new Afghanistan strategy Trump announced in August adds about 3,000 American troops and additional NATO coalition partners to the Afghan fight, the bulk of whom will advise and assist Afghan forces down to the brigade level.

The strategy also aims to focus on major players in the region, including India, China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan. U.S. leaders have expressed frustration over Pakistan’s seeming unwillingness to prevent terrorists from using their territory to escape pressure in neighboring Afghanistan.

Tuesday, when asked if the coalition has seen any significant change in Pakistan cracking down on militants crossing into Afghanistan, General Nicholson told Pentagon reporters, “We are hoping to see those changes, we are hoping to work together with the Pakistanis going forward to eliminate terrorists who are crossing” the border.

Source: Voice of America

CM Punjab takes notice of murder of three brothers at Barki Hadyara

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has taken the notice of murder of three brothers at Barki Hadyara in Lahore on Monday.

In a statement, he expressed condolence with the braved family.

He sought report of the incident from Lahore CCPO and directed to arrest the culprits as early as possible.

Source: Radio Pakistan

Rs 7.26 bln to be spent on 352 development projects in DG Khan Division

Seven point two six billion rupees will be spent on three hundred and fifty two development projects in Dera Ghazi Khan Division under annual development program this year.

This has been told by Commissioner Dera Ghazi Khan Division Ahmad Ali Kamboh while presiding over a meeting of Divisional Coordination committee on Saturday.

Source: Radio Pakistan

US Asks Pakistan to Arrest Freed Cleric, Charge Him with Terrorism

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN The United States has called on Pakistan to arrest and charge an Islamist cleric accused of masterminding the 2008 attacks on India’s financial capital.

Pakistani authorities acting on a court order Friday freed Hafiz Saeed from nearly 11 months of house arrest in the eastern city of Lahore. The detention had stemmed from the terrorism allegations against the firebrand cleric.

Washington has been offering a $10 million reward since 2012 for information leading to Saeed’s arrest and conviction.

A judicial panel hearing the cleric’s appeal against his “unlawful” detention Wednesday, however, ordered authorities to free him for lack of evidence.

In a video message released by his Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) Islamist charity, Saeed told supporters his freedom was vindication of his innocence.

“Praise be to God, it is a matter of great happiness for me that nothing has been proven against me which could be detrimental for me or for Pakistan. Thank God, we have been vindicated,” the cleric said.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert promptly criticized Saeed’s release, saying the U.S. was “deeply concerned.” In a statement, she went on to say the cleric leads an organization that has been responsible for the death of hundreds of innocent civilians in terrorist attacks, including a number of Americans.

“The Pakistani government should make sure that he is arrested and charged for his crimes,” the statement read.

The U.S. and the United Nations have both declared Saeed’s JuD a global terrorist organization, calling it a front for the outlawed Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group blamed for carrying out the Mumbai carnage.

Saeed denials

Saeed has consistently denied any link to the Mumbai violence that left 166 people dead, including U.S. nationals. He has also alleged his detention was the outcome of U.S. and Indian pressure on the Pakistani government.

India blames Saeed for masterminding the Mumbai strikes and has linked resumption of normal ties with Pakistan to putting the cleric on trial. New Delhi also alleges supporters of the Pakistani cleric are assisting armed Muslim separatists in the divided Kashmir region.

Hours after his release from house arrest, the cleric addressed a massive Friday congregation of supporters at a Lahore mosque, urging that the government not engage in talks with India until the rival country withdraws its troops from Kashmir.

Saeed credited Pakistan’s independent judiciary for his freedom, saying he was put under house arrest for highlighting the Indian “atrocities” against Kashmiris.

“I want Kashmir’s freedom from India and this is my crime. I was arrested for it,” he told worshippers, who chanted, “God is Great.”

Regional tensions

Saeed’s release angered India, where a Foreign Ministry spokesman said that a “self-confessed and U.N.-proscribed terrorist was being allowed to walk free and continue with his evil agenda.”

A statement quoted Raveesh Kumar as alleging the cleric “was not only the mastermind, he was the prime organizer of the Mumbai terror attacks in which many innocent Indians and many people from other nationalities were killed.”

The foreign ministry in Islamabad, while responding to the criticism, said the country’s courts are determined to uphold rule of law and due process for all citizens of Pakistan.

“Legal processes are anchored in rule of law, not dictates of politics and posturing,” stated the ministry spokesman. He reiterated that Pakistan condemns all forms of terrorism by any individual or group.

The cleric is a major irritant in Pakistan’s traditionally uneasy relations with the U.S., and has developed as a main source of historically strained ties with India. New Delhi has linked resumption of peace talks with Islamabad to putting Saeed on trial for planning the Mumbai bloodshed.

Islamabad maintains that neither Washington nor New Delhi has offered any evidence substantiating their allegations.

Senior Pakistani officials in background interviews maintain that Pakistan has, under its international obligations, imposed travel restrictions on Saeed and frozen his assets and bank accounts. His arrest and successful prosecution in a court of law, however, would require solid evidence linking him to the Mumbai attacks, they maintain.

Saeed’s organization, meanwhile, continues to collect financial and other donations to support its charity work around Pakistan, causing a major embarrassment for the country, officials acknowledge. They say the cleric’s attempts to also associate himself with the Kashmir issue “are also not helping the cause of Kashmiris.”

The divided Kashmir region has sparked two of the three wars between India and Pakistan, and continues to be the primary source of regional tensions.

Source: Voice of America

Karachi is economic hub of Pakistan: Zubair

The Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair has said that Karachi is the economic hub of Pakistan and is one of the most important cities of this region.

He expressed these views while talking to Australian High Commissioner Miss Margaret Adamson in Pakistan who called on him at Governor House in Karachi on Thursday.

He emphasized on expansion of economic, trade and cultural relations between the two countries.

During the meeting, Australian High Commissioner stated that her government was interested to invest in wind energy project in Sindh.

Source: Radio Pakistan