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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

General Sahir Shamshad Mirza assumes charge as CJCSC

General Sahir Shamshad Mirza, who is also recipient of Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military), reviewed the guard of honour and March past.

Published by Muhammad Akram

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RAWALPINDI – Genral Sahir Shamshad Mirza on Sunday assumed the appointment of Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee in an impressive ceremony held at Joint Staff Headquarters, Rawalpindi.

Besides large number of serving and retired officers from tri-services, the ceremony was attended by former Chairmen Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, said ISPR in a statement.

A smartly turned out Joint Services guard presented salute as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee arrived at the venue.

General Sahir Shamshad Mirza, who is also recipient of Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military), reviewed the guard of honour and March past.

Earlier this week, the federal government appointed General Asim Munir as next Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and General Sahir Shamshad Mirza as CJCSC.

Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza was serving as a commander for Rawalpindi Corps before being promoted as CJCSC.

The recipient of Hilala-e-Imtiaz (Military) has served at various senior leadership positions, including director-general military operations (DGMO), Chief of General Staff, and Adjutant General at the General Headquarters.

During his assignment at Military Operations, Sahir Shamshad Mirza also commanded 40th Infantry Division in Okara.

As DGMO, he was member of former Army Chief General Raheel Sharif s core team at the GHQ, which supervised the military operation against the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other militant groups in North Waziristan.

He has also served in United Nations-led peace keeping missions in foreign countries and was conferred with UN Medal for Service in Sierra Leone (UNOMSIL Medal).

Mirza was commissioned in the 8th Battalion of the Sind Regiment as second lieutenant in 1985.

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Pakistan

Egypt and Bolivia expressed interest in buying JF-17 Thunder Block 3 aircraft

Pakistan Air Force plans to induct more than 50 JF-17 Thunder Block 3 into the fleet. Pakistan Air Force currently operates more than 135 JF-17 Thunder aircraft.

Published by Muhammad Akram

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ISLAMABAD: Egypt and Bolivia have expressed interest in buying JF-17 Thunder Block 3 aircraft.

The demand for Pakistani fighter jet JF-17 Thunder started to increase. According to sources, Egypt and Bolivia have expressed interest in buying JF-17 Thunder Block 3 aircraft.

Argentina, Iraq, Azerbaijan and others are also looking to buy these advanced fighter jets. Next year, the number of JF-17 Thunder aircraft in the world will increase to 200. Currently, more than 150 JF-17 Thunder aircraft are in use by Pakistan, Myanmar and Nigeria.

The Block 3 version of the fighter jet is equipped with advanced radars, digital systems, advanced avionics, lethal weapons. The JF-17 Thunder is the $15 to $25 million cheapest multi-role fighter jet for the developing world.

Pakistan Air Force plans to induct more than 50 JF-17 Thunder Block 3 into the fleet. Pakistan Air Force currently operates more than 135 JF-17 Thunder aircraft.

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Pakistan

Imran Khan announces to quit provincial assemblies

Imran Khan announces to quit provincial assemblies

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

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Rawalpindi: Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan has announced that his party has decided not to remain part of the current political system and will instead resign from all the assemblies.

“We will not be part of this system. We have decided to quit all the assemblies and get out of this corrupt system.”

It is pertinent to mention here that Imran’s PTI is in power in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Addressing his workers at the conclusion of the long march in Rawalpindi, the PTI leader said the date of resigining from the provincial assemblies would be decided after parliamentary party's meeting. 

 

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