Karachi: Pakistan on Saturday received $3 billion from Saudi Arabia under a support package signed between the two countries.
According to details, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) received $3 billion from Saudi Arabia, aiming to to improve its foreign exchange reserves.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Shaukat Tarin in his Twitter post confirmed and said, “Good news, US$3 billion Saudi deposit received by SBP”.
Financial Adviser also thanked Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and the kingdom for the “kind gesture”.
Good news, US$3 billion Saudi deposit received by SBP. I want to thank His Excellency Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the kind gesture.— Shaukat Tarin (@shaukat_tarin) December 4, 2021
It is pertinent to remember that the State Bank of Pakistan on Monday signed an agreement with the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) to receive $3 billion, which will be placed in the SBP’s account with an aim to improve its foreign exchange reserves.
The agreement was signed by SFD Chief Executive Officer Sultan Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Marshad and SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir at the State Bank in Karachi, according to a statement issued by the SBP.
Mali ex-president Keita dies two years after coup ouster
Mali’s interim government issued a statement hailing the memory of the illustrious Keita
Bamako: Mali’s former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who led the West African country from 2013 until he was ousted in a coup in 2020, died at the age of 76 in the capital Bamako on Sunday, his family said.
Looming over most of Keita’s presidency was the militant insurgency that has rocked the poor Sahel country since 2012, while his toppling marked the rise of the military junta which is now under regional sanctions for failing to restore civilian rule.
Mali’s interim government issued a statement hailing “the memory of the illustrious” Keita, adding that the former president died “after a long illness”.
Keita was forced out of office on August 18, 2020, by young military officers who staged an uprising at a base near Bamako before heading into the city, where they seized Keita and other leaders.
Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop said he was “saddened to learn of the death of former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita”, adding that “it is with great emotion that I bow before his memory”.
Macky Sall, president of neighbouring Senegal, said in a Tweet he was “saddened” by the news, while Niger’s ex-president Mahamadou Issoufou, a former comrade of Keita’s in the Socialist International, hailed him as “a cultured man, a great patriot and a pan-Africanist”.
Politicians and other public figures went to Keita’s home southwest of Bamako to offer their condolences, with police guarding the entrances, according to AFP journalists at the scene.
The government statement said funeral plans would be announced at a later date.
– Protests, coups –
In the weeks before the 2020 coup, Keita had been struggling with protests fuelled by his handling of the jihadist insurgency and failure to turn around Mali’s floundering economy.
Snail-paced political reforms, decrepit public services and schools, and a widely shared perception of government corruption also fed anti-Keita sentiment, driving tens of thousands of protesters into the streets.
Seized by the putschists, the junta that emerged from the rebellion — under pressure from the West African bloc ECOWAS — released Keita weeks later and returned him to his residence in Bamako, under surveillance.
He suffered a mini-stroke the following month and was sent to the United Arab Emirates for treatment. He had been based at his Bamako home since staying out of public life.
The ruling junta would stage another coup in May 2021, toppling a civilian transitional government.
The junta had vowed to hold elections next month to transition the country back to civilian rule. But at the end of the last year, the junta revised its timetable, saying it could stay in power for up to five years.
In response, ECOWAS agreed to sanction Mali earlier this month, imposing a trade embargo and shutting borders, in a decision backed by the United States, the European Union and former colonial power France.
Landlocked Mali, one of the world’s poorest countries, is already feeling the effects of the sanctions, prompting thousands to protest in Bamako on Friday.
– Political veteran –
The son of a civil servant, Keita was born in the southern industrial city of Koutiala, the declining heartland of cotton production.
After studying literature in Mali, Senegal and France, Keita became an adviser for the EU’s overseas development fund before heading a development project in northern Mali.
He then rose through the ranks under Alpha Oumar Konare, the country’s first democratically elected president.
As a socialist prime minister between 1994 and 2000, he quelled a series of crippling strikes, earning a reputation as a firm leader and helping to set up his landslide election in 2013.
Keita was then re-elected in the 2018 elections, beating opposition leader Soumaila Cisse, who died in December 2020 of Covid.
Cisse’s kidnapping by jihadists in March 2020 further illustrated Keita’s inability to stop the violence, with rising public outrage culminating in the coup months later.
PML-N asks for ‘deal’ for four people: Shahbaz Gill
Special assistant claims Shehbaz Sharif will soon find himself behind the bars
Faisalabad: Special Assistant to PM on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill on Sunday claimed that Opposition Leader in National Assembly and former chief minister Shehbaz Sharif has asked for a deal for four people.
Addressing a press conference in Faisalabad on Sunday, Shahbaz Gill said that the PMLN was demanding that Shehbaz Sharif, his son Hamza Shehbaz Sharif, and Maryam Nawaz be allowed to leave the country. The fourth person, according to Gill, is Nawaz Sharif who is already in London.
Shahbaz Gill also said that the PMLN wants former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to stay in Pakistan and lead the PMLN politics. He said that the government would not give a deal to the Sharifs.
He compared the Sharifs’ demand for a deal with deals served at restaurants. “You are confronted by Imran Khan. We won’t allow you a boiled potato or a corncob and you are asking for a chicken piece. You won’t get a deal … You can only curse and get cursed.”
Shahbaz Gill also said that the law would take its due course and Shehbaz Sharif will soon find himself behind the bars. He said Nawaz Sharif will land in jail when he return to Pakistan.
On the other hand, Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry in a separate media briefing also spoke about the Sharif family, claiming that there is a "race" underway among four leading members.
"When the four big leaders went to meet 'someone', they said that 'Nawaz Sharif did not do right by the country, why don't you consider us?'," the minister claimed further.
Two colleges closed in Islamabad amid rising coronavirus cases
Six cases of COVID-19 have been reported in two colleges of Islamabad
Islamabad: Islamabad administration has closed two colleges after emerging coronavirus cases on Sunday.
According to the details garnered, positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported in two colleges of the federal capital. In this regard, the Islamabad district health officer (DHO) has informed the Deputy Commissioner in a letter.
In the letter to the deputy commissioner (DC), the DHO informed that six cases of COVID-19 have been reported in two colleges. The DHO said that three Corona cases have been reported in IMCG G-6/1, while three Corona cases have also come to light in IMCG F-6/2.
Following to the coronavirus cases, the district health officer directed to close the two colleges immediately till the next order and spray disinfectant.
The letter said that the federal administration should conduct contact tracing and testing in both the colleges, while the tests should also be conducted of close relatives to the infected female students.
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