The World Bank (WB) says conditions are conducive for investment in Pakistan and there is marked improvement in economic condition of the country. A WB delegation, led by Kristalina I. Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) WB Group of IBRD/IDA, called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last week. The WB CEO in her remarks after the meeting said, “Pakistan has made great progress in energy, infrastructure and overall economy” while visiting the Tarbela hydropower extension project and that there is a sea of positive change in Pakistan as compared to 2011 when she last visited. “Conditions are conducive for investment in Pakistan and there is marked improvement in economic condition of your country due to your leadership and personal commitment,” she added.
The prime minister discussed the resolution of dispute arisen between Pakistan and India regarding construction of hydro-electric plants (specifically Kishenganga and Ratle hydro-electric plants) and water reservoirs on the western rivers by India in violation of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT), 1960, to which the WB is a signatory. He expressed hope that the WB will play a lead role in resolution of disputes through establishment of a court of arbitration.
134,000,000 people banned from US’; cell phone screening may be next
President Trump signed an executive order closing US borders to all refugees for a period of at least four months and temporarily banning all travellers from half a dozen countries including: Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Iran, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia. Trump made the announcement of the new vetting measures at The Pentagon. Wit.h just a few quick strokes of the pen, President Trump banned more than 134 million people from entering the US.
It’s unclear how many more countries will be added to the list, but the official said the administration will be “very aggressive” as it weighs how many more countries to add to the list.
The administration will also consider screening cellphones in the next phase.
US courts suspend Trump’s decision against Muslims
Federal judges in three states followed one in New York in barring authorities from deporting travelers affected by US President Donald Trump’s executive order imposing restrictions on immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations. The judges in Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington State issued their rulings late on Saturday or early on Sunday, the US media reported. Earlier on Saturday, US District Judge Ann Donnelly in New York City's Brooklyn borough ordered authorities to refrain from deporting previously approved refugees from those countries.
She ruled on a lawsuit by two men from Iraq being held at Kennedy Airport. The US Department of Homeland Security said in a statement on Sunday that it would comply with court rulings while at the same time implementing Trump’s order "to ensure that those entering the United States do not pose a threat to our country or the American people."
Across the US, lawyers worked overnight to help travelers caught up in confusion at airports after the new Republican president halted immigration from the seven countries and temporarily stopped the entry of refugees.
In Boston, US District Judge Allison Burroughs on Sunday issued a temporary restraining order blocking the removal of two Iranians who taught at the University of Massachusetts who had been detained at the Logan International Airport.
The order, set to last seven days, appeared to go further than Donnelly's by barring officials from detaining, in addition to removing, approved refugees, visa holders and permanent U.S. residents from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.
Pakistan conducts test of ballistic missile ‘Ababeel’
Pakistan last week conducted its first successful flight test of surface-to-surface ballistic missile ‘Ababeel’, Inter Services Public Relations said. The statement issued by the ISPR, said the missile has a maximum range of 2200 kilometers and is capable of carrying multiple warheads, using Multiple Independent Re-entry (MIRV) technology. The test flight was aimed at validating various design and technical parameters of the weapon system. Ababeel is capable of carrying nuclear warheads and has the capability to engage multiple targets with high precision defeating the enemy’s hostile radars.
Act against JuD or face sanctions, US tells Pakistan
Pakistan has again been pushed to decide whether it’s going to declare Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) as defunct or continue to give it a clean chit. However, this time the United States has clearly told Islamabad that in case of not following the ‘advice’, Pakistan may face sanctions. On the other hand, JuD may also change its face again with a new name, highly-placed government sources told The News.
“Consultations are going on whether to declare JuD as defunct or not. However, the final decision will be taken after consultations between the civilians and military authorities,” one of the key senior officials directly linked with the matter revealed.
JuD is also alleged to be the front for the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). The organisation, which is headed by Hafiz Saeed Ahmed, is allegedly involved in militant activities in Indian held Kashmir and has already been declared as a ‘foreign terrorist organisation’ by the United States in June 2014.
The sources claim that the United States assistant secretary of state in his meeting with Jalil Abbbas Jilani, Pakistani High Commissioner to the US, on January 11 this year, raised the issue in the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG)’s latest report.
Slogans, abuses, scuffle in NA
The National Assembly proceedings on Monday witnessed ugly scenes of sloganeering, exchange of abuses, indecent gestures and physical clash among the members of the ruling PML-N and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), who punched and slapped each other. The situation reached such a stage that the security staff of the National Assembly was called in to separate the members who were also pushing and holding one another. The security staff also made a human chain between the government and the opposition benches in order to control the situation.
Some PTI members, including Shahryar Afridi and Dr Amjad Khan Niazi and an independent member Jamshed Dasti, were seen standing and climbing over the desks. The situation emerged when the PTI members, led by Shah Mehmood Qureshi, raised slogans against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while pressing for moving a privilege motion against him and Federal Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi moved towards the opposition benches to silence the sloganeering parliamentarian. During the scuffle, PTI member Dr Amjad Khan Niazi punched Khaqan Abbasi in front of the opposition benches. Moin Wattoo, the PML-N member slapped Shahryar Afridi of the PTI in his face, which further complicated the situation.
Second royal letter traces trail of money to buy UK flats
Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz, sons of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, filed some additional documents, including a second letter from the Qatari royal, with the Supreme Court hearing a set of petitions in the Panama Leaks case. The case is being head by a five-member bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa. The fresh documents give details of business with the Sharif family. Shahid Hamid, counsel for Maryam Safdar and her spouse Captain (retd) Safdar, continued his arguments.
Salman Akram Raja, counsel for Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz, submitted replies on their behalf, including a fresh letter issued by the Qatari Prince Sheikh Hamad Bin Jasim Jaber Al Thani on December 22, 2016, clarifying the questions raised in connection with the earlier letter issued by him in November last year. In November last year, the Sharif family revealed that the four luxury apartments were purchased through offshore investments involving a member of the Qatari royal family. The letter claimed that the London properties were the proceeds of their real estate businesses in which the prime minister’s father, Mian Muhammad Sharif, had invested 12 million dirhams in 1980. In the earlier letter, the Qatari prince stated that his father had longstanding business relations with PM Nawaz’s father which were coordinated through the prince’s eldest brother.
“As per my understanding at that time an aggregate sum of around 12 million dirhams was contributed by Mian Sharif, originating from the sale of business in Dubai, UAE,” it said.