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Pakistan

Mushahid calls Hamas a legitimate political force in Gaza

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ISLAMABAD:

Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed on Tuesday highlighted Pakistan’s historical commitment to the Palestinian cause, emphasising the importance of recognising the legitimate political organisation, Hamas, and its significant role in representing the Palestinian people.

Addressing the Senate session convened to address the ongoing crisis in Gaza, Senator Mushahid quoted the legacy of Pakistan’s founder, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, underscoring the strong solidarity between Pakistan and Palestine and drew attention to the deep-rooted historical connections between the two nations.

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Referring to Israel’s recent bombardment of hospitals in Gaza, Senator Mushahid condemned these actions as “war crimes”, calling for an immediate cessation of such heinous acts.

He recounted the historic Lahore gathering of March 23, 1940, which saw the passing of two seminal resolutions – the first emphasising the self-determination of Muslims in the subcontinent and the second advocating for the rights of the Palestinian people.

Mushahid highlighted Pakistan’s strong solidarity with Palestine, referencing the formal invitation extended to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) at the 1974 OIC in Pakistan, where Yasir Arafat was in attendance.

Emphasising the democratic process in Gaza, Mushahid underscored the legitimacy of the elected party, Hamas, and its subsequent rise to power following what were deemed as fair elections in the Middle East.

In 2006, he noted, the foreign minister of the Hamas-led Palestinian government visited Pakistan, and the country extended crucial financial aid to its brotherly nation.

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Pointing to Pakistan’s historical role in the Arab-Israeli conflicts, he highlighted the nation’s unwavering support for Arab countries in the face of Israeli aggression.

Mushahid also criticised the role of certain Western countries, urging an end to their double standards and hypocritical policies and highlighted the need for a unified global stance against Israeli aggression.

Further, he called upon Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani to appeal to parliaments of Western nations through a letter, urging them to take a decisive stand against Israel’s atrocities.

The Senate chairman agreed to forward such along with resolution to be passed by the Senate in this session.
Senator Dilawar Khan emphasised the need for increased support and aid to the Palestinian people, and Senator Mohsin Aziz proposed a one-month salary donation by senators to assist the distressed people of Gaza.

Senator Quratulain Marri underscored the significance of the recent UN resolution for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, calling for heightened pressure on Israel to adhere to the resolution’s provisions.

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Speaking on the motion, Sherry Rehman termed Israeli aggression “state-sponsored terrorism”.

She said that even Save the Children – an international organisation – reported that thousands of children in Gaza had lost their lives.

Israel had launched a second ground attack on Gaza and innocent civilians, including children, women and old people, were being targeted intentionally, she said.

The senator said even hospitals and aid conveys were not spared which was a blatant violation of the Geneva Convention.

“Such things might have happened in darks ages earlier,” she added.

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She said it was a “state-sponsored terrorism” and all international laws were violated in this occupation war. Unfortunately, she said, many western powers were also sponsoring this war.

She said innocent people were trapped in volcanized Palestine and they were being massacred. They (people of Palestine) were not being given the right to live and it was the worst type of genocide, she said.



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Pakistan

Dar credits his policies for decline in dollar

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ISLAMABAD:

Former finance minister and Leader of the House in Senate Ishaq Dar on Monday said that the international financial institutions considered him an enemy of rupee devaluation, stressing the depreciation in the dollar value today was because of his policies.

During a debate on a motion moved by Senator Kamran Murtaza to discuss the rise in inflation and devaluation of the rupee, Information Minister Murtaza Solangi said that the rupee’s value had improved against the dollar because of the administrative measures adopted by the caretaker government.

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The minister told the house that the Pakistani currency would further stabilise after the release of the second tranche of $700 million by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He added that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) was also introducing structural reforms, especially in the currency exchange companies.

Earlier, Dar termed depreciation of the rupee mother of all economic evils.

Read Dar to continue as house leader

“There are characters, who cause losses to the country for their own benefit,” he said. He recalled that in 1999, one day the dollar soared to Rs69 but after a crackdown, it came down to Rs52.
Dar said that the rupee remained stable for four years from 2014.

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“The central bank used to intervene to some extent, but the intervention increased to reduce the dollar value during the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government,” he added.

“I am considered an enemy of the rupee devaluation by the financial institutions but see what happened when the PTI government left the dollar unfettered on the advice of those financial institutions. How much our debt has increased,” he asked.

Dar stressed that the term of previous coalition government was not enough to fix the economy. “Depreciation destroys the economy. We should come together to find a solution to the devaluation of the rupee,” he said.



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Pakistan

Wheat in ample supply, minister confirms

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ISLAMABAD:

A caretaker federal minister on Monday assured the upper house of parliament that Pakistan currently has ample wheat stocks and that the government will take concrete measures to address any flour shortage due to supply chain problems.
“There is no shortage of wheat in the country,” Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Information Murtaza Solangi said in response to a motion moved in the Senate by Sania Nishtar of the PTI under Rule 218.

The minister said Pakistan has over seven million (7,213,884) metric tons of wheat, with an additional imported stock of 10,33,845 metric tons.

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“Public wheat stock comprises 39,24,367 metric tons in Punjab, 8,17,394 metric tons in Sindh, 2,15,082 metric tons in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), and 89,354 metric tons in Balochistan.

“The Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation Ltd (Passco) accounts for 17,18,177 metric tons. Private wheat stock comprises 3,37,270 metric tons in Punjab, 93,165 metric tons in Sindh, 14,918 metric tons in the K-P, and 4,157 metric tons in Balochistan,” he added.

He said the support price for provinces differed, being Rs4,600 in Punjab and Rs4,700 in Sindh.

In her motion, Senator Nishtar had focused on addressing gaps in the wheat supply chain that may lead to flour shortage. She had pointed out the specific lacuna in the wheat policy, citing the conversion of green bags to white bags at the retail level. She also hinted at smuggling as a factor, contributing towards wheat shortages, in addition to the creation of systematic artificial shortages and hoarding.

In discussions on the motion, Senator Dilawar Khan of the PML-N suggested that Pakistan should focus on exporting wheat instead of importing this essential commodity. He further advocated for providing concessions to the agriculture sector to boost farming.

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He said wheat procured in the past was not even suitable for animals’ consumption. He said the method of distributing wheat in the country is flawed. “Fertilizer is being sold in black markets too. The government should force dealers to maintain records of landowners,” he added.

Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri of the JUI-F highlighted Balochistan’s agricultural challenges, emphasizing a lack of canal systems. He expressed concern about the removal of subsidies on electricity for poor farmers of the province.
Senators Dr Zarqa Suharwardy Taimur of the PTI and Rukhsana Zuberi of the PPP stressed the need for a concrete solution to address the issue.

Senator Dr Zarqa said dealers are availing subsidies meant for farmers.

“Pakistan’s black economy is thriving more than the white one. There is a need for measures that increase the country’s income instead of benefiting corrupt individuals. Actions should be taken to break the backbone of the black economy,” she said.

The minister acknowledged the collective wisdom of the Senate, which, he said, ultimately provides guidance to the government. He said that discussions on the topic would be tabled before the federal cabinet and the prime minister for consideration.

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Pakistan

SHC’s stay on executive committee orders irks PBC

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ISLAMABAD:

 

Pakistan Bar Council Vice Chairman Haroonur Rasheed has taken strong exception over the Sindh High Court to grant stay on its executive committee orders, demanding of the chief justice of Pakistan to look into the matter and take appropriate action in this regard.

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In a statement issued on Monday, the PBC vice chairman said, “It is often observed that Orders of Executive Committee of the Pakistan Bar Council which are assailed by the aggrieved person(s) before the Hon’ble High Court of Sindh through civil suit are being taken up by the High Court of Sindh in the Court or in Chamber and injunctive Order has been passed which are not entertainable in the eye of law due to lack of jurisdiction.”

Rasheed said, “The High Court of Sindh has no jurisdiction to set aside any Order assailed which is passed by the Pakistan Bar Council or its Executive Committee at Islamabad the proper forum for that is Courts of ICT, so any order passed by the High Court of Sindh that would be non-existing and nullity in the eye of law as one rather sitting in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab or Balochistan cannot set over the territorial jurisdiction and the High Court of Sindh should not pass injunctive Orders on the matters decided by the Pakistan Bar Council at Islamabad just to please their blue eyed person(s), which amount to undue interference in smooth functioning of a statutory body having its office in Islamabad.”

The statement added, “The tendency of such like issues creates serious doubts upon credibility of those decisions which have been passed without jurisdiction.”

Rasheed said that no high court of any province had jurisdiction, especially the SHC, to create hindrance in affairs of the regulatory body of lawyers who had the mandate under Section 13(2) of the Legal Practitioners & Bar Councils Act, 1973, to decide matters of Provincial/Islamabad Bar Councils and all bar associations of the country, which were challenged before it.



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