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Pakistan

No choices, no options

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After an American intelligence report stated that Saudi Prince Mohammad Bin Salman was directly involved in the murder of Washington Post columnist and journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the US State Department placed restrictions and travel bans on 76 individuals belonging to the desert kingdom.

Tahir Malik Profile Tahir Malik

They were responsible for the murder, the State Department said.

Pakistan, however, immediately rejected the report and stood by its old ally.

Questions are being asked now, whether standing by Saudi Arabia instead of the only super power in the world, was a wise thing to do.

There are no permanent friends nor permanent enemies in the world of International Relations. Permanence is granted only to benefits. In our foreign policy, money, whether in the form of foreign aid or in the form of remittances, constitutes a very important cornerstone. Pakistan’s Achilles heel, if you will.

During the past 7 months, remittances have been rising steadily, now averaging about $2 billion monthly or more. From July last year till January, a record increase of 24.9% saw the amount reach $14.2 billion.

Approximately 60% of this amount is sent from Gulf countries, mainly Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. Between July and December 2020, the country received $4 billion from the former and $3 billion from the later. A combined $1.2 billion came from the other gulf countries. One of the reason for this increase is the preference for banking channels instead of hundi. “Roshan Digital Accounts” have made it easy for the   diaspora to send money back home. I am happy that in just six months, over 86000 accounts were opened and $550 million made their way over to our banks.

More than 9 million Pakistanis are settled or working abroad. If just half of them open these accounts, then a sizable amount will start pouring in, providing much needed stability to our foreign reserves.

Perhaps it is now easier for the reader to understand why Pakistan stood by Saudi Arabia. Its not just about the brotherly or friendly relations between two Islamic countries but also the much needed foreign reserves. At no cost whatsoever, will Pakistan spoil its equation with the desert kingdom. Especially not now when it is going through a particularly rough patch. Loans from fleecing international organisations such as IMF and ADB have become a given; we just cannot survive without them.

Just recently, Pakistan revived the IMF program of $6 billion, implementing harsh conditions which were a prerequisite for the loan. Foreign loans have now reached the sum of $113 billion.

Can we afford to oppose Saudi Arabia? Do we have a choice here? No. Not in such a severe financial crunch. 

Tahir Malik

Tahir Malik is a seasoned journalist and analyst at GNN

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Pakistan

With 73 new fatalities, Pakistan's COVID-19 death count nears 27,000

Islamabad: Pakistan is witnessing daily surge in COVID-19 cases with authorities linking the upswing to the deadly fourth wave. Today country’s positivity rate is on 4.78%.

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As per National Command and Control Center (NCOC), around 2,714 cases of coronavirus were reported while 73 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 26,938.

Pakistan conducted a total of 56,733 tests in the last 24 hours.

As per the NCOC, total confirmed cases are 1,212,809 whereas 5,122 are under critical care.

Punjab           

The number of patients swelled to 416,901 in the province with 12,291 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 446,840 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,192.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 169,429 in the province with 5,310 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 32,658 confirmed cases while 344 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 33,490 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 727. On the other hand, there are 10,198 cases in GB with 182 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 103,293 cases in the capital city while 892 people have lost their lives.

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Pakistan

COVID-19: Pakistan reports 3,747 new cases, 61 deaths

Islamabad: Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than previous three waves.

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According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 3,747 cases of coronavirus were reported while 61 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 26,175.

The total number of cases has reached 1,179,305.

As many as 1,060,881 patients have recovered from the disease with 5,606 critical cases.

Punjab                     

The number of patients swelled to 401,373 in the province with 12,039 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 437,311 in the province, while the death toll has reached 6,955.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 164,732 in the province with 5,087 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 32,374 confirmed cases while 340 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 32,718 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 706. On the other hand, there are 10,039 cases in GB with 175 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 100,758 cases in the capital city while 873 people have lost their lives.

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Pakistan

83 more succumb to COVID-19 in Pakistan

Islamabad: Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than previous three COVID waves.

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According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 3,902 cases of coronavirus were reported while 83 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 26,413.

The total number of cases has reached 1,190,136.

As many as 1,071,976 patients have recovered from the disease with 5,389 critical cases.

Punjab                  

The number of patients swelled to 406,960 in the province with 12,118 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 440,164 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,030.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 165,980 in the province with 5,155 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 32,456 confirmed cases while 342 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 32,942 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 712. On the other hand, there are 10,084 cases in GB with 179 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 101,550 cases in the capital city while 877 people have lost their lives.

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