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Pakistan

Agreement with IMF expected in 'one or two' days, finance minister hopes

Miftah Ismail tells reporters that new taxes will be applicable to well-to-do people

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Agreement with IMF expected in 'one or two' days, finance minister hopes
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Islamabad: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Monday expessed hope that the government is expected to strike an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a day or two to revive the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme.

He was speaking to reporters after attending a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance.  

The minister told reporters that the IFI had nothing to do with the government's announcement of increase in 15 per cent salaries of the government employees, and tax exemption for those earning less than Rs1.2 million annually. 

When asked whether prime minister Shehbaz Sharif was working on imposing taxes or giving relief to the masses, Ismail said it depended on the kind of people they were.

"If they are well-to-do, then taxes will be applicable but the poor will be provided relief."

 

 

World

Morocco: 27 migrants die in stampede to enter Spain’s Melilla

The incident at the border crossing was the first since Spain and Morocco boosted their bilateral cooperation after Madrid decided to support Rabat’s position on the independence of Western Sahara. 

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Morocco: 27 migrants die in stampede to enter Spain’s Melilla

Moroccan authorities said that 27 migrants were killed and dozens of migrants and police officers were injured in a “stampede” of people trying to cross into the Spanish North African enclave of Melilla.

According to the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH), the death toll of migrants who died trying to cross from Morocco into the Spanish enclave of Melilla rose to 27 today (June 25). 

On Friday, around 2,000 migrants—many from Sudan—tried to cross the militarized border fence.

At first, five people were reported dead, but later, Moroccan authorities raised the figure to 18. 

“The victims of the tragedy in Melilla agonized for hours under the cruel gaze of those who were supposed to help them and did not do so,” tweeted founder of Walking Borders Helena Maleno Garzon, who also confirmed the report of 27 dead.

Spanish officials said 49 Civil Guards sustained minor injuries while four police vehicles were damaged by rocks thrown by some migrants. 

Videos from the Moroccan side of the border show what appear to be dead bodies and people with severe injuries strewn out on the ground without receiving medical attention. 

Other images show hundreds of people, some with clear injuries, lying in a pile on the ground with their hands tied behind their backs.

Moroccan police used tear gas to disperse those trying to climb the border fence.

Following the horrific incident, several NGOs are calling for an immediate investigation into the treatment of migrants. 

The incident at the border crossing was the first since Spain and Morocco boosted their bilateral cooperation after Madrid decided to support Rabat’s position on the independence of Western Sahara. 

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Friday applauded the “extraordinary work of the Moroccan government in coordination with Spain to try to stop a violent assault, which was, in this case, well resolved.”

Last year, Moroccan authorities stood passively by as thousands swam into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta amid a diplomatic spat over Spain treating the separatist leader of Western Sahara for coronavirus.

According to Spanish authorities, just 133 people managed to reach Spain during Friday’s border crossing attempt. 

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Pakistan

Saudi Arabia confers Order of King Abdulaziz on Pakistan’s Army Chief

Saudi Crown Prince gives "King Abdulaziz Medal" to General Bajwa  

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Saudi Arabia confers Order of King Abdulaziz on Pakistan’s Army Chief

Riyadh: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defence, decorated Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, with King Abdulaziz Medal of Excellent Class, in implementation of the order of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

This comes in recognition of General Bajwa’s distinguished efforts in consolidating and strengthening bonds of friendship and joint cooperation and developing Saudi-Pakistani relations, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

General Bajwa was in the Saudi Kingdom on Saturday for a visit. 

The Crown Prince met General Bajwa in Jeddah on Saturday, where they reviewed bilateral relations, especially in the military fields, and opportunities for developing them. They also discussed a number of issues of common interest.

The occasion was attended by Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Minister of Defence; Chief of General Staff Lieutenant-General Fayyad Al-Ruwaili and a number of senior officials from the two sides.

Saudi Arabian in Pakistan also broke the news through its Twitter handle on Sunday morning.

Another Saudi Embassy tweet said “Order of Shah Abdul Aziz for General Bajwa, Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army: "The award is a recognition of General Bajwa's significant efforts in strengthening and developing Saudi-Pakistani relations."

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Regional

Polling underway for Swat PK-7 byelection

Four major candidates compete for the KP assembly seat

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Polling underway for Swat PK-7 byelection

Swat: The polling process is underway for the byelection in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa constituency of PK-7 in Swat.

The seat, which fell vacant after the demise of ANP MPA Waqar Khan, is being contested by four major candidates: Hussain Ahmed from ANP, Fazal Mullah from PTI, and two independent candidates.

A total of 183,308 registered voters in the constituency are expected to exercise their electoral rights, including 102,088 male and 91,220 female voters.

The ECP completed its arrangements Saturday evening, setting up 124 polling stations with 308 booths.

The polling started without any delays Sunday morning and will continue until 5 pm.

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