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US urges Pakistan to hunt debt aid from China



ISLAMABAD: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday urged Pakistan to hunt debt aid and restructuring from China, its single-largest creditor after the nation has seen widespread flood-induced devastation.

No less than 1,600 individuals have misplaced their lives whereas the estimated price of flood damages and losses stands at a staggering $28 billion with almost a 3rd of the nation nonetheless submerged by the deluge.

Pakistan has made comparable appeals for “debt swaps for local weather motion” to different international locations.

“I additionally urged our colleagues to have interaction China on among the essential problems with debt aid and restructure in order that Pakistan can extra shortly recuperate from the floods,” Blinken instructed International Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in Washington, in keeping with a state division readout of the assembly.

The 2 officers additionally mentioned the US flood aid, counter-terrorism cooperation and Pakistan’s relations with India.

Pakistan has to repay round $1.1 billion to the Paris Membership international locations. General Pakistan owes $10 billion to wealthy international locations that embody Japan, France, Germany, the US and others.

The nation has to pay $16 billion {dollars} to the non-Paris Membership international locations. Out of that Pakistan owes $14.6 billion alone to China.

In line with the worldwide information company Bloomberg, Pakistan owes a few third of its complete exterior debt to its neighbouring nation. Beijing has made almost $26 billion briefly and medium-term loans to Pakistan and Sri Lanka over the previous 5 years as its abroad lending shifts from funding infrastructure towards offering emergency aid, in keeping with AidData, a analysis lab at William and Mary, a college within the US.

Plans are in place for the federal government to talk with China after speaking with the members of the so-called Paris Membership, a casual group of rich nations that bailed out governments from Argentina to Zambia, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif instructed Bloomberg in an interview final week.

Pakistan is a flagship for China’s Belt and Highway Initiative with initiatives price greater than $25 billion accomplished.

The Worldwide Financial Fund (IMF) additionally cautioned Islamabad that investments within the second section of the China-Pakistan Financial Hall (CPEC) may elevate progress prospects however the mission loans may “pose a danger to debt sustainability”, it mentioned in a report launched this month.

The influence of the historic flooding grew to become extra evident by the tip of August, about the identical time that Pakistan secured a $1.1 billion mortgage from the IMF to assist avert a default.

Pakistan has spoken with the Fund and World Financial institution about rapid debt aid as properly.

The US on Tuesday introduced $10 million in help for Pakistan’s flood aid efforts along with the already introduced help of $56.1 million after FM Bilawal met with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Washington DC.

In line with the International Workplace spokesperson, Bilawal apprised Blinken about “the devastation attributable to the cataclysmic floods with greater than 33 million individuals displaced and an enormous lack of lives and livelihoods”.

The minister additionally highlighted the aid efforts of the federal government and other people of Pakistan and thanked the US authorities for its help.

US urges Pakistan to enhance ties with India

In the meantime, the US has suggested Pakistan to enhance ties with India whereas sidestepping New Delhi’s considerations over improve help for Islamabad’s F-16s.

“In our discussions as we speak, we talked concerning the significance of managing a accountable relationship with India,” mentioned Blinken.

Blinken’s feedback got here after India’s defence and overseas ministers opposed a US determination to supply a assist package deal of about $450 million for Pakistan’s fleet of US-made F-16 fighter jets.

When requested about Indian Exterior Affairs Minister S Jaishankar calling on the US to overview its warming relationship with Pakistan and criticising the authorisation of $450 million for the F-16 programme, US State Division spokesperson Ned Worth reportedly mentioned, “the connection we now have with India stands by itself; the connection we now have with Pakistan stands by itself. We additionally wish to do all the pieces we will to see to it that these neighbours have relations with each other which can be as constructive as will be doable.’’

“We don’t view our relationship with Pakistan, and then again, we don’t view our relationship with India as in relation to 1 one other. These are each companions of ours with totally different factors of emphasis in every, and we glance to each as companions as a result of we do have in lots of instances shared values, we do have in lots of instances shared pursuits,’’ he elaborated.

The Pakistan-US assembly got here hours earlier than Jaishankar met Blinken, Indian information every day The Tribune reported.

Earlier, Jaishankar had mentioned the US-Pakistan relationship has “neither ended up serving Pakistan properly nor serving the American pursuits’’ when requested at an open occasion on the primary US arms package deal for Pakistan since 2018.

Jaishankar on Monday night time had a gathering with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin to debate extra information-sharing and logistics cooperation to additional enhance operational coordination between the US and Indian militaries.


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Govt workers to get electrical bikes



LAHORE: Caretaker Provincial Transport and Livestock Minister Ibrahim Hasan Murad stated that the federal government was all set to launch electrical bikes to forestall smog depth.

He stated that the E-bikes could be cost-effective and authorities workers would even be offered electrical bikes on lease.

Speaking to state-run information channel, the minister stated: “In goal to cut back the utilization of high-priced gasoline and defend the surroundings of the cities, authorities has determined to introducing electrical bikes and protected metropolis digicam initiatives during which smoke-emitting automobiles shall be detected by the cameras and speedy alerts had been relayed to the sector forces.”

The Electrical Automobiles Coverage is the necessity of the hour to advertise a protected surroundings, native manufacturing of e-vehicles, offering incentives, with the final word objective of capturing a considerable share of the market, he added.

E-bikes being zero-emission automobiles would use lithium-ion batteries which can emerge as an economical and eco-friendly various to conventional transportation, he talked about.

The minister confused that the media ought to play its position by creating consciousness campaigns on personal TV channels and radio for the conservation of vitality and for carrying face masks throughout smog climate.

Replying to a query, the administration has began a strict crackdown and introduced to cost heavy fines for violations of the site visitors guidelines.

Punjab authorities was taking steps in accordance with PM’s eco-friendly measures, he stated, including that Punjab could be the primary province within the nation to present such an amazing incentive to homeowners of electrical automobiles.

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Breakthrough in lacking individuals case as police efficiently find three particular person



KARACHI: The native police on Wednesday efficiently traced three people together with a girl throughout a listening to of a petition in Sindh Excessive Courtroom (SHC) for restoration of lacking individuals.

In keeping with the report, the police confirmed the hint of three people – named Muhammad Iqbal, Saima Bibi, and Shahnawaz – all three have been wished by police in a number of instances.

The report acknowledged that Muhammad Iqbal is underneath the custody of Zaman City police in a case, whereas the opposite two are fugitives as a case has been registered in opposition to them at Mehmoodabad police station.

The court docket dismissed the case associated to the restoration of the three lacking individuals.

Earlier this week, the police declared the arrest of a lacking individual throughout the Sindh Excessive Courtroom (SHC) listening to of petitions for the restoration of 10 disappeared males.

The police confirmed the arrest of a lacking citizen Saddam in its progress within the case. The court docket dismissed the petition about restoration of Saddam.

Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto directed motion in opposition to the folks concerned in enforced disappearances. “It’s the accountability of the state to go looking a lacking citizen,” Justice Phulpoto stated.

“It was stated {that a} lacking man Usman has been in Landhi Jail, a letter was written to the jail authorities, however they replied that the person was not in jail,” the investigation officer knowledgeable the court docket.

“Document the jail superintendent’s assertion, and if required take motion in opposition to the jail official,” the court docket directed the IO.

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Pakistan implements ban on wheat imports from India and Israel



ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has imposed a ban on the import of Indian and Israeli wheat, whereas the commodity can even not be imported from Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, and the Ukrainian territories managed by Russia.

Pakistan has imposed a situation on international buying and selling firms to not provide wheat from India and Israel. Wheat provide has additionally been banned from nations going through worldwide sanctions, together with Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria.

In response to a doc, wheat can even not be bought from the Ukrainian areas beneath the management of Russia in addition to Crimea.

In the meantime, the moisture content material of wheat in a young for the acquisition of 110,000 metric tons of the commodity has been set at 14.5%, whereas the presence of different objects, together with soil, is not going to exceed 1%.

Wheat is scheduled to begin arriving in Gwadar or on the Karachi port on two ships by February 12.

The Buying and selling Company of Pakistan (TCP) not too long ago issued a world tender to acquire and import 110,000 metric tons of wheat, in response to European merchants.

The deadline for submitting value presents on this tender is December 27. As a situation, the wheat must be from the most recent crop.

Cargo is requested for 2024, in consignments of not less than 50,000 tons throughout two intervals between January 10-15 and January 17-22. The wheat should arrive in Pakistan by February 12, 2024.

The TCP has the choice to purchase 10% kind of than the tender quantity. Merchants recommend that Pakistan, going through monetary difficulties, has a major import requirement to handle rising flour costs.

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