Afghan President says yes to trip to Pakistan

Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani is planning to visit Pakistan after getting an invitation from the Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. This goodwill gesture took place during Bajwa’s recent visit to Afghanistan.

Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal reported this news to various media outlets, saying Ghani had accepted the invitation last week. No schedule has yet been announced.

PIA considers suspending flight operations to the US amidst financial crunch 

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) facing a financial crunch is seriously considering suspending its flight operation for the United States from January next year, as it is becoming uneconomical to continue the route due to ‘low traffic’.

The national airline is also considering shutting their New York office, however, PIA spokesman, Masood Tajwar held out the assurance that no retrenchment would be done in case the management decided to suspend the US flight operation. “There will be transfers and postings according to the PIA’s needs,” he added.

Pakistan dismisses US concerns on CPEC

Islamabad responded to the concerns raised by the United States over the China-Pakistan Econo­mic Corridor (CPEC) and urged the international community to focus on human rights violations committed by Indian forces in held Kashmir.

CPEC is considered to be “a development and connectivity project for the betterment of the people in the region and beyond” Islamabad said in response to the Trump administration’s statement to Congress about CPEC. The $56 billion CPEC passes through Pakis­t­an’s northern areas, which India claims is part of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir territory.

“The international community should focus on human rights violations and heinous crimes committed by Indian occupation forces in Indian occupied Kashmir,” the Foreign Office said on Saturday.

Number of testifying witnesses in Mashal Khan’s murder case rises to 27

During the sixth hearing of Mashal Khan’s murder in the Central Prison Haripur, Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Special Judge Fazl-e-Subhan recorded the statements of Arbab Sohail, Senior Civil Judge Mardan and Mohibur Rehman, Judicial Magistrate, taking the total number of testifying witnesses to 27 in the case. The court adjourned the hearing till October 11.

Read here about Mashal Khan’s death when he was lynched by a mob for alleged blashpemy this April.

Second Test: Pakistan 51-0 responded to Sri Lanka’s total of 482

Having lost the first clash last week, the home side in Abu Dhabi responded well to Sri Lanka’s mammoth total, closing on 51-0 at stumps.

Karunaratne’s career-best was the mainstay of Sri Lanka’s score, while the fifties from their five, six and seven of Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella and Dilruwan Perera boosted the scoreboard beyond 450. Yasir Shah (6-184 from 55.5 overs) led the way for Pakistan’s bowling attack.

Microfinancing Pakistan’s female entrepreneurs 

In Pakistan, more and more women are turning to microfinance, which emerged globally in the late 1980s as a tool for community development through the provision of financial services to low-income entrepreneurs, including the self-employed, who wouldn’t otherwise qualify for a standard bank loan.

An estimated five million people out of a population of almost 200 million borrow 170 billion rupees ($1.6bn) in microloans, according to the latest figures by the NGO Pakistan Microfinance Network.

Photo Essay: The last shepherdesses of Pakistan’s remote northwest 

In Pakistan’s remote Shimshal Valley in the northwest,  the Wakhi ethnic community is witnessing the end of a unique tradition of women shepherds. The desire of the Wakhis for better education led young people – both girls and boys – to leave for cities, initially to study, which gave them better employment opportunities.

Faced with these conditions, the end of this singular feminine pastoralism seems inevitable. The shepherdesses of Pamir are conscious of living the last years of a beautifully harsh tradition; of being the custodians of a fading ancestral knowledge.

Nawaz Sharif’s daughter, son-in-law to return to Pakistan today

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar will reach Islamabad from London Sunday morning. Both are required to appear before an accountability court over corruption references filed against them in the Panama case.

Bailable arrest warrants were re-issued against Maryam, Safdar, and Nawaz Sharif’s two sons after they did not appear before the court on October 2. They were also been directed to submit surety bonds worth Rs1 million each.


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