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Business Recorder
  1. KARACHI: The weather report on Friday (September 30, 2022) and the forecast for Saturday (October 01, 2022)

    CITIES                     TODAY                          TOMORROW
    Hyderabad         37-24 (ºC) 00-00 (%)        37-24 (ºC) 01-00 (%)
    Karachi           31-25 (ºC) 01-00 (%)        31-25 (ºC) 01-00 (%)
    Lahore            37-25 (°C) 01-00 (%)        38-24 (°C) 01-00 (%)
    Larkana           40-23 (ºC) 00-00 (%)        39-23 (ºC) 00-00 (%)
    Mirpurkhas        37-23 (ºC) 00-00 (%)        36-23 (ºC) 01-00 (%)
    Muzaffarabad      32-17 (°C) 41-00 (%)        32-16 (°C) 02-00 (%)
    Peshawar          37-22 (ºC) 02-00 (%)        36-23 (ºC) 01-00 (%)
    Quetta            31-10 (ºC) 00-00 (%)        31-10 (ºC) 00-00 (%)
    Rawalpindi        35-21 (°C) 02-00 (%)        36-20 (°C) 01-00 (%)
    Sukkur            39-24 (ºC) 00-00 (%)        38-24 (ºC) 00-00 (%)
    Sunset:                       6:19 pm                      (Today)
    Sunrise:                      6:23 am                   (Tomorrow)

    Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

  2. ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat has directed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to ensure an ample supply of Paracetamol, anti-snake venom, and anti-diarrhoea medicines in the flood-affected areas.

    The committee met with MNA Kishwer Zehra in the chair at the Parliament House on Friday. The committee discussed the flood relief activities and the Civil Servant (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

    The committee also directed the NDMA to also assess the losses caused to the livelihood of womenfolk due to recent floods.

    The committee was briefed by Representative Operations NDMA about the relief and rehabilitation activities carried out during recent floods.

    The National Assembly Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat was informed that a total of 1,666 people including 718 males, 333 females and 615 children have been died due to massive floods in the country.

    The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) briefed the committee in detail about the current situation and relief activities after floods in the country. While briefing the committee, the NDMA official said that a total of 12,864 people have been injured including 5,406 males, 3,452 females and 4,006 children.

    He said that according to the report, a total of 325 people including 147 males, 80 females, and 98 children have died so far in Balochistan. He said that 747 people including 292 males, 136 females, and 319 children have died in Sindh, while 216 people including 92 males, 48 females, and 76 children have died in Punjab due to floods. He said that 22 people in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) and 48 people have died in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

    About the flood damage to infrastructure, the NDMA official told the committee that 5.3 million acres of agriculture land were affected while 973,632 cattle heads were killed due to the floods. He said that 13,074-km main roads, 410 bridges, and 105 dams were affected. He said that according to an initial report, a total of two million houses were damaged. He said that as many as 84 districts including 32 of Balochistan, 17 of KP, three of Punjab, 23 of Sindh, nine of Gilgit-Baltistan, and three of Punjab were directly affected by the calamity.

    About relief activities, the NDMA official said that 551,000 tents, 3,573,914 mosquito nets and 1,781,046 food packets have been distributed among the flood-affected people across the country.

    Answering a question, he said that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was at the top of the list, Turkey at second number while China at third which was providing maximum relief goods to Pakistan for flood-affected people.

    According to the brief document, a total of Rs46.54 billion cash has been disbursed among the beneficiaries through the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).

    In view of the metrological predictions, more than usual rainfall during the monsoon was expected. However, according to the 30-year rainfall record, different areas of the country received unprecedented rainfall. He further informed that the extent of rain recorded in Sindh province was huge.

    He said that Sindh was the worst-affected being at the lower riparian. Apprising the committee about the rescue operations, he informed that affected people were shifted to relief camps and provided them with clothes, food and financial assistance through the assistance of provincial disaster management authorities, Pakistan Army, and private individuals/civil society.

    He said that floods had caused major blow to the economy and the assessment was being carried out which will be completed till 15 October. He said that based upon that assessment the federal government and the provincial governments would announce financial assistance packages. He said that rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure is a major challenge for the authorities.

    The committee asked the NMDA for ensuring supply of medicines in the flood-affected areas.

    The committee pended discussion on the Civil Servants Amendment Bill and the Federal Employees Benevolent and Group Insurance Amendment Bill till the next meeting of the committee.

    The committee disposed of the matter raised by Ali Khan Jadoon, MNA and referred it to the committee of the House regarding losses due to rain in Abbottabad. The committee was of the view that the member was continuously absent; however, the measures taken by the NMDA and PDMA KPK were appropriate to provide relief and rehabilitation to the affectees.

    While presenting the report of the Sub-Committee of the Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat regarding the issues of private secretaries of the federal government, the Convener Sub-Committee Mohsin Dawar apprised the Committee that the issues assigned to the Sub Committee were thoroughly discussed and appropriate recommendations had been made. He further informed that the private secretaries were being subjected to discrimination which needs to be addressed.

    The committee adopted the report and directed the Establishment and Finance Divisions for submitting their point of view in that regard.

    The meeting was attended by MNAs; Muhammad Sajjad, Seema Mohiuddin Jameeli, Mir Ghulam Ali Talpur, Mussarat Rafiq Mahesar, Muhammad Abu Bakar, Syed Mehmood Shah, Mohsin Dawar, Special Secretary, Establishment Division, Director General Operations NDMA, and senior officers of concerned departments.

    Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

  3. ISLAMABAD: The controversy around the diplomatic cypher has forced the government to put on hold the appointment of foreign secretary for which Asad Majeed Khan was most likely to be picked, but instead gave additional charge of foreign secretary to Jauhar Saleem, a grade 22 officer of the foreign service.

    A notification issued here, Friday, stated that Saleem, a BS-22 officer of Foreign Service of Pakistan, presently posted as Special Secretary, Europe, “is assigned look after charge of the post of Secretary, Foreign Affairs Division, in addition to his own duties, with immediate effect and until further orders.”

    Informed sources told Business Recorder that DrAsadMajeed Khan was almost final to be picked as the new foreign secretary, but the decision has been put on hold following the recent audio leaks of the former prime minister Imran Khan with regard to the diplomatic cypher, which was sent by Dr Asad Majeed to the Foreign Office while serving as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States earlier this year.

    The position of foreign secretary fell vacant after Sohail Mehmood retired on September 29 [Thursday] after reaching the age of superannuation.

    The sources maintained that a decision on the appointment of AsadMajeed as the next foreign secretary could not be made following the surfacing of the new audio leaks, as the government in the recent National Security Committee (NSC), decided to hold a thorough probe into the cypher controversy in which Asad Majeed would also be invited, once the investigation starts.

    The NSC has authorised to form a committee headed by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah to investigate the matter in depth.

    Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

  4. KHOLU: At least one person was killed and 20 injured in an explosion in the main market of Balochistan’s Kohlu district on Friday.

    According to the medical superintendent of the Kohlu District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital, Asghar Marri, more than 21 patients were brought to the facility.

  5. LAHORE: The Special Court (Central) Friday adjourned the hearing to October 08 of the money laundering case filed by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his family members.

    During the hearing, Hamza did not appear before the court as he had sought exemption on medical grounds. Moments into the hearing, the prime minister also sought exemption as he had “important” matters to attend to.

    Earlier the premier’s counsel told the court that his client will appear after some time while and the premier arrived accordingly. Starting his arguments, the counsel said that the first information report (FIR) registered against his clients mentioned that they were involved in money laundering worth rupees 25 billion from 2008-2018 through fake companies.

    “The allegations are general in nature. The FIR also mentioned that the Sharif Group’s companies were used for money laundering. However, in those 10 years, Shehbaz was neither the director nor a shareholder of those companies.” The FIR, counsel said, was lodged after investigation and the initial paragraphs of the report do not mention Shehbaz Sharif.

    The lawyer told the court that it is up to an individual whether they decide to keep movable or immovable property with them. At this, the court noted that they should declare it otherwise it becomes black money.

    The counsel said, the court, with regards to the cases lodged in the previous government’s tenure has already observed that the FIA was used for political engineering. The counsel said that in the FIR it wasn’t mentioned that low-paid employees claimed that they opened bank accounts on Shehbaz’s directions. He said we will still have to review the FIR to confirm whether this comes in the FIA’s jurisdiction or not. “The FBR or the income tax department can take action in this matter,” he said.

    “The prosecution used the name of Sharif group for political purposes. The name Sharif Group is not registered under the companies’ ordinance,” the counsel added. The court also allowed Shehbaz to speak when he interrupted his lawyer and said he wanted to speak to the court.

    “I have some important business in Islamabad. If you excuse me, I will leave. But before that, I want to say something.” The premier told the court that he, in his capacity as the chief minister of Punjab for 20 years, made decisions that “hurt” his family’s sugar business. “I was requested to provide subsidy to sugar mills, but I refused. I refused as the amount was of the poor people of Punjab”, Shehbaz said.

    The Prime Minister termed the money laundering case against him as “fake” and said that he never provided a subsidy to sugar mills. After the court allowed him and Shehbaz left the court.

    Copyright Business Recorder, 2022