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Pakistan slips down press freedom index



— Sharif says his authorities is ‘absolutely dedicated’ to press freedom

— Media curbs undermine Islamabad’s picture, means to progress: Washington 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan plunged 12 locations in Reporters With out Borders’ annual press freedom rating for 2022 and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday stated the drop has positioned the democracy in a “unhealthy gentle”.

Pakistan positioned 157th out of 180 international locations surveyed by the organisation recognized by its French acronym, RSF or Reporters Sans Frontiers.

“Regardless of adjustments in political energy, a recurring theme is obvious: political events in opposition assist press freedom however are first to limit it when in energy,” RSF stated in an evaluation connected to the rating.

The “media regulators are immediately managed by the federal government and systematically put the defence of the manager authorities earlier than the general public’s proper to data.”

The brand new authorities of Pakistan Democratic Motion (PDM) part events, led by Sharif, has cracked down on journalists giving protection to its rival Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) social gathering, taking Samaa TV anchor Imran Riaz Khan off-air and finishing up evening raids on the residence of ARY Information anchor Arshad Sharif.

Personnel claiming to be from Federal Investigation Company (FIA) additionally carried out evening raids on the residence, and harassed the septuagenarian mom, of defence analyst retired Maj. Aadil Raja, forcing him to search exile in the UK.

The Paris-based marketing campaign group additional noticed the Prevention of Digital Crimes Act (PECA), adopted by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) authorities in 2016, is “used extra to limit on-line freedom of expression than to crack down on on-line crime.”

However Sharif, as an alternative of wanting into the shortcomings of his personal authorities, selected to launch a scathing assault in opposition to his predecessor. “Pakistan fell 12 factors […] throughout final 12 months of Imran Khan’s [government and] 18 factors throughout his tenure. It not solely earned him [the] shameful title of “press freedom predator” but additionally positioned our democracy in [a] unhealthy gentle,” he tweeted.

“We’re absolutely dedicated to freedom of press [and] speech!”


Commenting on the event, Minister for Info and Broadcast Marriyum Aurangzeb stated the final word conscience of society was a accountable, conscientious free press.

In a tweet, she stated the contribution of the press was transparency, accountability and wholesome discourse with excessive requirements of ethics and journalism.

She was of the view that it was the collective responsibility of all to face unified in condemnation of persecution and intimidation of the press.


In the meantime, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated Washington is conscious of the curbs on media and civil society in Pakistan and such restrictions on freedom of speech undermine Islamabad’s picture and talent to progress.

Responding to a query from a Pakistan reporter throughout a press briefing on World Press Freedom Day, Blinken stated Washington “take this [issue of press curbs] up in our engagements with Pakistani counterparts.”

“In fact, that is additionally a function of the annual Human Rights Studies that we put out, and, in fact, we’re conscious of great restrictions on media shops and civil society extra broadly in Pakistan,” he added.

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CPEC phase-2 to spice up B2B investments, industrial development



PESHAWAR: The 2nd section of China-Pakistan Financial Hall (CPEC) is ready to prioritise Enterprise-to-Enterprise (B2B) investments, aiming to additional strengthen ties and foster industrial development.

The Board of Funding (BOI) has reaffirmed its dedication to facilitating B2B enterprises and attracting overseas investments, signaling a shift within the CPEC’s strategy to industrial growth.

Rise in Chinese language FDI

Khashihur Rehman, Further Secretary of BOI, highlighted the sustained enhance in overseas direct funding (FDI) from China because the inception of CPEC. This pattern underscores China’s place as Pakistan’s major supply of FDI, reflecting the robust curiosity of Chinese language buyers in increasing their footprint inside Pakistan. In distinction to the primary section of CPEC, which centered on government-to-government (G2G) relations, the second section will emphasize B2B and people-to-people (P2P) connections. 

Strategic Position SEZs

Particular Financial Zones (SEZs) are poised to play a pivotal position in Pakistan’s industrial coverage. These zones are anticipated to drive nationwide financial development by enhancing industrial competitiveness, producing job alternatives, facilitating know-how switch, and contributing considerably to total financial progress.

Pakistan’s attract for Chinese language industries lies in its deep market and cost-effective younger labor drive. The relocation of sunshine manufacturing from China to Pakistan is seen as a catalyst for fast industrialization and structural transformation within the nation.

BOI has been diligently engaged on rushing up industrialization in Pakistan since 2012. Pakistan’s liberal funding coverage locations no restrictions on the remittance of capital, earnings, and dividends. It permits for 100% overseas fairness and full repatriation of earnings, coupled with tax exemptions for importing capital items. All sectors are open to funding, with overseas buyers having fun with equal privileges as native counterparts.

Pakistan-China B2B Funding Portal

To additional promote enterprise partnerships and investments, BOI has collaborated with the China Council for Worldwide Funding Promotion (CCIIP) to determine a devoted Pakistan-China B2B funding portal. This platform permits potential companies from each international locations to search out appropriate companions for joint ventures (JVs) and funding alternatives in Particular Financial Zones (SEZs), facilitating enterprise enlargement and know-how switch.

The second section of CPEC, with its concentrate on B2B investments and industrial development, marks a significant milestone within the financial relationship between China and Pakistan. As each international locations attempt for nearer collaboration and financial progress, these developments are anticipated to have far-reaching impacts on regional and international commerce dynamics.

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Actions in opposition to ‘spectrum of unlawful actions’ to proceed to rid Pakistan of financial losses: COAS



RAWALPINDI: Chief of Military Employees Basic Asim Munir on Thursday vowed that actions in opposition to a “spectrum of unlawful actions” will proceed with “full pressure” to rid Pakistan of “substantial financial losses”.

The military chief handed these remarks at a gathering of the Provincial Apex Committee of Punjab. Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi was additionally in attendance.

Throughout the assembly, the COAS — who was acquired by the Lahore corps commander — was briefed in regards to the general safety state of affairs, together with actions in opposition to electrical energy and gasoline theft, hoarding and international forex smuggling, in keeping with a press release launched by the Inter Companies Public Relations (ISPR).

It mentioned the discussion board was briefed on measures taken for the safety of minorities and the progress of operations in riverine areas. The individuals additional reviewed the repatriation of unlawful international nationals.

The ISPR mentioned the discussion board was additionally apprised of progress on the Particular Funding Facilitation Council and Inexperienced Punjab initiatives.

“Regulation enforcement actions in opposition to a spectrum of unlawful actions will proceed with full pressure in collaboration with the LEAs and the involved authorities departments to rid Pakistan of the substantial financial losses it continues to undergo on account of pilferage accomplished by completely different strategies,” the navy’s media wing quoted Gen Munir as saying.

The COAS underscored the necessity for synergy amongst all related departments for the gainful results of the landmark initiatives.

“The individuals affirmed that state establishments, authorities departments and persons are united for the progress and prosperity of the province,” the ISPR assertion added.

Earlier this month, the military chief had additionally met the enterprise group in Lahore and guaranteed them of fostering transparency in greenback trade and interbank charges.

Throughout the four-hour-long assembly, Gen Munir had signalled in the direction of the nation’s brilliant future in view of the upcoming big international investments in varied sectors.

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Govt to renew talks with IMF on quarterly assessment subsequent month



ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Income was on Thursday knowledgeable that the caretaker authorities would start talks with the Worldwide Financial Fund on the quarterly assessment of the $3bn Standby Association subsequent month, the panel’s chairman, Saleem Mandviwala, stated.

In July, the IMF government board had permitted the much-needed nine-month SBA with Pakistan “to help its financial stabilisation programme”. The approval had allowed for a direct disbursement of $1.2bn, with the remainder to be phased over the programme’s period — topic to 2 quarterly critiques.

The second quarterly assessment underneath the SBA, due in October, can be primarily based on end-September information that may safe the disbursement of about $710 million value of the second tranche in December.

The IMF had made it clear whereas signing the SBA that given the challenges, the brand new SBA would supply a coverage anchor and a framework for monetary help from multilateral and bilateral companions within the interval forward however had warned that “the total and well timed implementation of the programme shall be important for its success in mild of the troublesome challenges”.

Final month, Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar had an introductory digital engagement with the employees mission of the worldwide lender and was reported to have promised steadfast implementation of the coverage actions dedicated underneath the SBA throughout the tenure of the caretaker authorities to make sure financial stability.

In his go to to New York final week for the United Nations Common Meeting, Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar additionally met IMF chief Krist­alina Georgieva. Throughout their engagement, the pinnacle of the worldwide lender urged PM Kakar to “tax the wealthy and shield the poor”. In the meantime, the premier characterised the assembly as constructive, which centered on mutual commitments.

In the course of the in digital camera Senate committee assembly immediately, Shamshad informed the Senate committee that the IMF assessment would start subsequent month, in response to PPP’s Mandviwala.

“She stated a assessment was held in each quarter,” he stated.

“The finance minister informed the panel inflation was declining however the one risk to the federal government was a rise in petrol costs, which she acknowledged would mess up the plan,” Mandviwala stated.

Shamshad, he continued, additionally harassed the necessity for a constitution of economic system and highlighted that politicians ought to develop a consensus.

“She stated all of the political events ought to work collectively on the economic system, including that politicians, not caretakers might resolve these issues.”

Moreover, she informed the committee that the federal government was now critically engaged on privatisation and outsourcing of public entities, together with electrical energy distribution firms, the PPP senator added.

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