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Banks to remain closed for 9th, 10th Muharram

"The SBP will remain closed on 8 and 9 August being 9th and 10th Muharram-ul-Haram, 1444 AH on the occasion of Ashura"

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Banks to remain closed for 9th, 10th Muharram
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Karachi: All commercial banks as well as the State Bank of Pakistan will remain closed for public dealing on August 8 and 9 on the eve of Ashura (Muharram 9-10).

"The State Bank of Pakistan will remain closed on 8 and 9 August (Monday and Tuesday) being 9th and 10th Muharram-ul-Haram, 1444 AH on the occasion of Ashura," an SBP statement read.

The federal government, a day earlier, had approved two holidays on account of Ashura in a notification issued by the Cabinet Division, as Pakistanis and Muslims across the globe prepare to mark the religious occasion with grief, sorrow and prayers.

Earlier, the interior ministry on Friday announced two public holidays in view of the 9th and 10th of Muharram on August 18-19.

The holy month of Muharram-ul-Haram, marking the beginning of the new Islamic year, 1444 AH, started on July 31.

World

UN envoy warns Israel-Gaza ceasefire is ‘fragile’

Hundreds of homes and other civilian infrastructure were destroyed.

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UN envoy warns Israel-Gaza ceasefire is ‘fragile’

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting Tuesday to assess a fragile truce between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) militants in Gaza after three days of deadly fighting, with a UN envoy calling on all sides to abide by the agreement and the Council members denouncing the deliberate targeting of civilians, notably children.

Tor Wennesland, the UN’s special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, told an emergency meeting of the 15-member Council that the cycle of violence will only stop with a political resolution to the decades-old conflict that ends the Israeli occupation and includes a two-State solution, based on the June 1967 borders and in line with UN resolutions and international law.

“The ceasefire remains in place as I speak,” said Wennesland, updating on events between 5 and 7 August, which marked the worst outbreak of fighting since May 2021.

Alongside efforts by the UN, Qatar, United States, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, he welcomed Egypt’s crucial role in brokering the accord.

“Together these efforts helped prevent the outbreak of a full-scale war,” he said, adding that it and allowed for the delivery of humanitarian relief into Gaza earlier that day.

“The situation is still very fragile, and I urge all parties to observe the ceasefire.”

Wennesland said that 46 Palestinians were killed and 360 injured during the recent escalation, during which Israel launched 147 strikes on Gaza and Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired 1,100 rockets and mortars into Israel.

Hundreds of homes and other civilian infrastructure were destroyed. The figures are provisional and “verification is ongoing,” he added.

“While fully recognizing Israel’s legitimate security concerns I reiterate that under international law, all use of force must be proportionate and take all feasible steps to avoid civilian casualties,” Wennesland said. “Children, in particular, must never be the target of violence or put in harm’s way.”

Wennesland said that the escalation had exacerbated already chronic shortages of essential medicines in Gaza, and that the closure by Israel of the Erez crossing into the Strip for six days had severe humanitarian consequences for Gazans, including preventing patients traveling for medical treatment in Israel.

“The closures also worsened the already precarious food-security situation in the Gaza Strip, reducing stocks of basic foods, particularly wheat flour,” he said.

Wennesland thanked Egypt for the role it played in securing the ceasefire, alongside the UN, and also thanked Qatar, Jordan, the US and the Palestinian Authority for their deescalation efforts.

“Together, these efforts helped prevent the outbreak of a full-scale war and allowed for the delivery of much-needed humanitarian relief to the people of Gaza starting earlier today,” he told the council members.

He welcomed the “timely reopening” of the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings by Israel following the ceasefire, and he called on the leaderships of Israel and Palestine, along with the international community, to step up diplomatic efforts to resume negotiations aimed at securing a viable, two-state solution.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian permanent observer to the UN, accused Israel of “murdering and oppressing an entire nation.” He added that Israel’s “right to security has become a license to kill and needs to be revoked,” as he urged the Security Council to “act now.”

“If you are against violence, do not exclude Israeli violence,” he added. “Do not justify it. Are you ready to say, ‘Enough is enough,’ as the highest authority responsible for the maintenance of peace and security?

“Israeli kills our people because it can. When will the world show them that it cannot?”

Mansour told council members that “defenceless Palestinian families need your support; not a nuclear power, not an occupying power,” as he asked council members “to drag the two parties to the peace process, today before tomorrow.”

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s permanent representative to the UN, accused PIJ members of taking their orders from Iranian puppet masters, adding: “Their hate knows no boundaries.”

 

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Pakistan

Iraqi Commander appreciates Pakistan Navy's role in regional maritime security

The Iraqi Commander appreciated Pakistan Navy's role in regional maritime security. 

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Iraqi Commander appreciates Pakistan Navy's role in regional maritime security

Iraqi Navy Commander Ahmed Jasim Maarij Abdullah Al-Zayed held a meeting with Naval Chief Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi in Islamabad on Wednesday and discussed cooperation in the maritime sector.

The Iraqi Commander appreciated Pakistan Navy's role in regional maritime security. 

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Sports

‘Countdown’ to retirement has begun: Serena Williams

She won the last of her 23 Slams at the 2017 Australian Open

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‘Countdown’ to retirement has begun: Serena Williams

California: US tennis great Serena Williams announced on Tuesday that “the countdown has begun” to her retirement from the sport.

“There comes a time in life when we have to decide to move in a different direction,” the 40-year-old, 23-time Grand Slam winner said in a post on Instagram.

“That time is always hard when you love something so much. My goodness do I enjoy tennis. But now, the countdown has begun.

“I have to focus on being a mom, my spiritual goals and finally discovering a different, but just exciting Serena. I’m gonna relish these next few weeks.”

Williams won the last of her 23 Slams at the 2017 Australian Open when she was already pregnant with daughter, Olympia.

However, she has failed to add a 24th major which would take her level with Margaret Court’s all-time record.

Her final attempt will come at the US Open in New York later this month.

Williams stepped onto a hardcourt for the first time in a year and a half on Monday in the WTA Toronto tournament where she fought through to the second round with a straight sets victory over Nuria Parrizas Diaz.

It was her first singles victory since the 2021 French Open, some 14 months ago.

The former world number one had played her first singles match in a year following a lengthy injury layoff during a first round defeat at Wimbledon in June.

Earlier Tuesday, Williams wrote in the September edition of Vogue where she featured on the cover that she was “evolving away” from the sport after the US Open where she has won six of her major singles titles.

“Unfortunately I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon this year,” she wrote in Vogue.

“And I don’t know if I will be ready to win New York. But I’m going to try. And the lead-up tournaments will be fun. I know there’s a fan fantasy that I might have tied Margaret that day in London, then maybe beat her record in New York, and then at the trophy ceremony say, 3See ya!3 I get that. It’s a good fantasy.

“But I’m not looking for some ceremonial, final on-court moment. I’m terrible at goodbyes, the world’s worst.”

SOURCE: AFP

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