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  1. #41
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    Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif resigns over Panama Papers verdict

    28th July 2017

    Nawaz Sharif has resigned as prime minister of Pakistan after the country’s Supreme Court disqualified him from office over the Panama Papers leak.


    The judgement came after an investigation was launched into Mr Sharif’s family wealth following the 2015 Panama Papers dump linking his children to offshore companies.


    Mr Sharif has denied all the allegations throughout the legal process.


    The ruling was given unanimously by a five-member bench in the court.


    A spokesman for Mr Sharif’s office said in a statement: “Following the verdict, Nawaz Sharif has resigned from his responsibilities as prime minister.”


    The court was packed to capacity today, and there was increased security across Islamabad with thousands of extra soldiers and police deployed.


    Reuters news agency reports that one of the judges at the Supreme Court, Ejaz Afzal Khan, said that Mr Sharif was no longer “eligible to be an honest member of the parliament.”


    Pakistan’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan advised Mr Sharif to accept today’s judgement.


    The Supreme Court has recommended anti-corruption cases against numerous individuals, including Mr Sharif, his daughter Maryam and her husband Safdar, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar amongst others.


    Mr Sharif served as prime minister from November 1990 to July 1993, and from February 1997 until he was toppled in a military coup in October 1999.


    Allegations of corruption have haunted Mr Sharif since the 1980s, and most of what the Panama Papers exposed was the subject of a federal inquiry in the 1990s.


    It is not clear who will succeed Mr Sharif, but his brother Shehbaz, who is chief minister of Punjab province, is seen believed to be a strong candidate for the position.


    The court has instructed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to put together, and send four references to accountability courts against Mr Sharif and others before the proposed anti-corruption investigations.


    NAB has been directed to file these references within six weeks.


    The accountability courts have been told to complete hearings in these cases in six months.


    The leaks in April 2016 revealed that three of Mr Sharif’s children owned offshore companies and assets not shown on his family’s wealth statement.


    The companies were allegedly used to channel funds to acquire foreign assets, including some apartments along Park Lane in London’s prestigious Mayfair area.

    http://5pillarsuk.com/2017/07/28/pak...apers-verdict/

  2. #42
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    Pakistan's holidays


    Official Holidays:

    February (23-26) :: Pakistan Flower Show ---- Flower Show at Karachi
    February - March :: Jashn-e-Baharaan ----The celebrations with the start of Spring season

    March 23 :: Pakistan Day ----Republic Day and to commemorate the Lahore Resolution
    May 28 :: Youm-e-Takbir ----Celebrated in commemoration of the first Nuclear test

    August 14 :: Independence Day

    September 6 :: Defence Day ----Celebrated in memory of those who were killed in the Indo-Pak war of 1965
    September 7 :: Air Force Day ----Celebrated to commend the role of Pakistan Air Force in the 1965 war with India
    September 8 :: Navy Day ----Celebrated to commend the role of Pakistan Navy in the 1965 war with India
    November 9 :: Iqbal Day ----Birthday of Muhammad Iqbal, a great poet of Pakistan

    December 25 :: Quaid-e-Azam Day ----Birthday of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founding Father of Pakistan


    Other festivals:

    Kalam Festival
    Shandur polo festival
    Horse and cattle show
    Lok Mela festival (Islamabad)


    Details:

    Pakistan Flower Show - It is an annual flower show and a festival held every year in Karachi, Pakistan. It is organized by the Horticulture Society of Pakistan. It was established in 1948 and held every year in February.

    Jashn-e-Baharaan - is celebrated very enthusiastically in Punjab. People on this occasion are in yellow dresses. People make arrangements in grounds and on their rooftops to fly kites. On this day sky is full of bright and colorful kites, although now banned after few kids fell from rooftops and died.

    Pakistan Day - Lahore Resolution and to celebrate the adoption of Pakistan's first constitution. Pakistan's national flag is hoisted on public and governmental buildings at dawn on Pakistan Day. A 31-gun salute in Islamabad and a 21-gun salute in provincial capitals are fired. A change of guard occurs at the mausoleums of Muhammad Iqbal (commonly known as Allama Iqbal) and Muhammad Ali Jinnah (commonly known as Quaid-i-Azam or the Supreme Leader), followed by garlands being laid.

    A main feature of Pakistan Day celebrations is a parade at Constitution Avenue in Islamabad. An award ceremony is organized where the president gives military and civilian awards to recognize recipients' achievements and contributions to Pakistan. Pakistan Day festivals, parties, national songs and debate competitions are featured throughout the day, which sees many people spend time with families, friends and loved ones. Pakistan Day specials are broadcast on radio and TV. Special prayers are offered for peace and prosperity.

    Youm-e-Takbir - (The day of greatness) is celebrated as a national day in Pakistan on May 28 in commemoration of Chagai-I and Chagai-II when Pakistan detonated seven nuclear devices in response to India's five detonations of Pokhran-II in 1998, 17 days after the incident. The tests made Pakistan the seventh nation to possess nuclear weapons, and the first in the Muslim world. It was first celebrated by giving awards such as Chagai Medal to various individuals and industries in the field of science and industries.

    Defence Day - Army of Pakistan displays their latest missiles, tanks, guns, army aviation helicopters and armament being used by Engineers, Electrical and Mechanical Corps, Army Air Defense, Signals, Army Service Corps and Army Medical Corps live on various places. Everyone is allowed to watch such functions live by going to the specific places. These shows are displayed on national channels as well. National songs and special documents about 6 September 1965 and martyred people of 6 September are displayed on TV. It is told to people how people gave sacrifices for the defense of the country and what is the responsibility of young generation now especially the children who are the future of Pakistan.

    Defence Day celebrates the discipline, professionalism and patriotism of the Pakistan Armed Forces. It essentially celebrates the defence of Lahore and decisive victory over an overwhelming force in 1965. The change of guard ceremony takes place at Mazar-e-Quaid, Karachi, where the cadets of Pakistan Air Force Academy present Guard of Honour and take the charge.

    Air Force Day - is celebrated in Pakistan as a national day on 7 September, after the annual celebration of the Defence Day. Airshows and other programs mark the Pakistan Air Force's (PAF) role in defending the nation in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. A notable event of the war was that Pakistan Air Force flying ace Muhammad Mahmood Alam shot down five Indian Air Force Hawker Hunter Mk.56 fighters in less than a minute, four being in first 30 seconds and became one of the few aviators who became ace in a day and the only jet age ace-in-a-day. He was awarded the Sitara-e-Jurat ("The star of courage") and bar for his actions.

    Iqbal Day - The day is a public holiday in some provinces of Pakistan. Iqbal, a poet and philosopher, was a great inspiration for the Pakistan Movement towards Indepdence from colonial British India. The well documented influence of Muhammad Iqbal on Jinnah (founder of Pakistan), with regards to taking the lead in creating Pakistan, has been described as "significant", "powerful" and even "unquestionable" by scholars. Iqbal day is organized and celebrated on 9 November every year in all the provinces as a tribute to Allama Muhammad Iqbal, the "Poet of the East", and the Government of Pakistan officially declared him the national poet.


    Kalam festival, kalam mela or Swat Summer festival - is a cultural and recreational event, held every year in the month of July or August in the scenic valley of Kalam and Mahodand,100 kilometers from Swat city. The festival is organized by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tourism Department in collaboration with the Pakistan Army. Sports, cultural and recreational activities are arranged during the week, such as paragliding, handicraft display, Jeep rally, Cycling, Canoeing, with Cultural shows, and Music concerts. Traditional Khattak dance, horse dance, Chitral dance and regional dances are also part of the festival. A large number of tourists from across Pakistan and abroad attend the festival. In 2012, about 0.5 million tourists visited Swat Summer festival. This number has increased in the coming years.


    Shandur Polo Festival
    - organized by the Tourism Corporation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP), there is a polo match played on Shandur Top between the teams of Chitral District and Ghizer District. Shandur Top (el. 12,200 feet (3,700 m)) located in Chitral District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Shandur is often called the 'Roof of the World'. The top is flat, a plateau and can be crossed between late April and early November. The grade is very gradual, and the area is crossed by plentiful small streams during summer.Free-styled mountain polo is arguably polo in its purest form. This version of the game played at Shandur-Top has attained legendary status and is of great interest to international and domestic adventure tourists alike. There are no umpires and there are no holds barred. The rules are: There are no rules! In "The Roof of the World" Amin/Willets/Tetley write: "by comparison, an American Wild West rodeo might pass for choir practice." Players rarely wear helmets, The horses' legs often have no bandages, and mallets often have no grips or straps.


    National Horse and cattle show
    - From February till March horse & cattle shows are held in different agricultural centers of Pakistan. The famous ones being at remount stadium Sahiwal horse show , Dera Ismail Khan horse and cattle show, Sibi mela and Lahore. Such shows are held to provide an opportunity to breeders to exhibit their stock and ex- change views and learn about cattle and horse breeding. The National horse and cattle show in Lahore is held at the Fortress Stadium usually in end feburary early march. The festival features livestock from all over Pakistan, as well as folk dancing , camels and horse dancing displays, traditional music, Military pipe bands give a colourfull display,. There is tent-pegging competitions between different regions, games and handicraft exhibitions are held. Dates of these festivals are not fixed and need to be coordinated.

    Lok Mela festival - largest cultural activity in Pakistan held in October each year. Pakistan tourism government website had this to say about it:

    Over the past two decades, this festival has taken on an international flavour and more than 20 different countries have sent their artisans and performers to participate in the festival. Nationally, the festival has become a thing of pride for artisans and performers, who come on their own to participate. Most important of all, the Provinces of Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir put up beautifully decorated pavilions and visitors have the unique opportunity to see an assortment of Pakistan's traditionally rich culture in the federal capital of Islamabad for an exciting ten days.

    An exhibition of artisans at work under the banner of the Heritage Museum forms the core of this festival. The Research & Media Centre of Lok Virsa arranges groups of dancers that perform all over the festival grounds, inviting visitors to join in, and in the evening, arranges music concerts from all parts of Pakistan. Documentation of the festival is carried out by Lok Virsa's researchers, who interview all the artisans and artists.

    Participants come from all over Pakistan. You would be able to feel and experience the variety in tastes, cultures and heritage of Pakistan all under one roof. One may find different pavilions displaying the crafts of their respective provinces. The Kashmir pavilion may display major crafts from Azad Jammu and Kashmir like Embroidered shawls, Namda and Gabba (floor rungs and wall hangings), wood works, basketry, metal crafts and jewellery etc.

    The Punjab Pavilion may host traditional food items along with singing and listening pleasures of Punjab folk songs. Punjabi style handicrafts also manages to catch viewer attention.

    From the Balochistan pavilion one may expect to get depictions of nomadic balochi life styles and traditional artisans displaying their skills of various Baloch crafts. Leather embroidery crafts and crafts using date leaves are also prime choices of interest in this pavilion. Apart from this one may expect to get a taste of Balochi folk songs and their all famous dish called "Sajji".

    The Sindh pavilion may offer depcitions of Sindh life style, village scenes and working men and women. Artisans preparing different crafts and their traditional folk songs and instruments. "Ajrak" a traditionally made shawl is by far the most highlighted attraction of this pavilion.

    The N.W.F.P Pavilion features the pushtoon culture, customs, crafts and cuisine. Glittering metal crafts of Brass and Copper are displayed in a great variety along with stalls of traditonally made baskets. Stone carving which was traditionally done on tomb stones is also shown in a diversified fashion which can be used on planters, table tops and wall hangings. Along with this Pathan dancers perform their famous "Khattack Dance" and offer their traditional "Chappli Kebab" for your eating pleasures.

    Apart from these pavilions one may witness all kinds of cuisine, musical galas, crafts bazar, lok virsa's display and sale stalls. A richly cherishable experience bound to create a lasting impression.


    Youtube videos may be available for most of these holidays/festivals.

  3. #43
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    How Pakistanis Became Happier Than Indians

    by Panos Mourdoukoutas - Mar 23, 2017

    Pakistanis are happier than Indians.

    That's according to the recently published World Happiness Report, which ranks Pakistan in the 80th position, and India in the 122nd position.

    That's music to the ears of investors in Pakistan's equity markets, as happy citizens usually help the economy grow and prosper -- taking equity markets to new highs.

    Index/Fund 12-month Performance
    Global X Pakistan (PAK) 38.44%
    iShares S&P India 50 (INDY) 1.03%

    Source: Finance.yahoo.com 3/22/17


    The World Happiness Report ranks 155 countries by their happiness levels, combining quantitative data -- such as per capita GDP growth -- and qualitative data, such as social support, freedom to make life choices, and perceptions of corruption.

    Pakistan's big lead in the happiness ranking over India may come as a surprise to some. India has been beating Pakistan in a number of indicators that monitor the performance of the two countries, like world competitiveness, GDP growth, and unemployment rates - see table.

    Pakistan’s, India’s Key Metrics

    Country India Pakistan
    GDP $2074 billion $270 billion
    GDP Growth yoy 7.1% 4.24%
    Unemployment 4.9% 5.9%
    Inflation Rate 5.05% 3.56%
    World Competitiveness Ranking 39 122
    Economic Freedom Ranking 143 141
    Capital flows -$300 million -$1882 million
    Government Debt to GDP 67.2% 64.8%

    Besides, India is a democracy that has yet to be interrupted by military coups and terrorism.

    So what have Pakistanis done better than Indians in the pursuit of happiness?

    It’s hard to say. Most of the variables included in the calculations are quantitative, and therefore, prone to measurement errors. Still, the gap between the rankings of the two countries is too big to be ignored.

    One of the places to look for an answer to the above question is Pakistan’s lead over India in the index of economic freedom ranking. That’s according to 2017 Index of Economic Freedom ranking, which places Pakistan in 141st position and India at 143th.

    Published by the Heritage Foundation, the Economic Freedom report measures such things as trade freedom, business freedom, investment freedom, and the degree of property rights protection in 186 countries.

    Pakistan’s lead over India in this ranking may not be big deal to most observers, as it is too narrow to seem meaningful. Besides, both countries are ranked too close to the bottom.

    Still, Pakistan’s ranking has consistently beaten India's in recent years.

    In fact, a closer look at the ranking components of the two countries reveals that Pakistan has fared better than India in the areas of business development and government spending, which matter a great deal when it comes to the freedom of people to make economic choices.

    Country Overall Ranking Score Property Rights Business Freedom Labor Freedom Government Spending
    Pakistan 141 52.8 36.40 61.20 37.80 87.30
    India 143 52.6 55.40 52.80 41.60 77.40
    Source: The Heritage Foundation

    Simply put, Pakistan has been getting ahead of India in working towards the right cocktail between market and government institutions--deploying each institution in areas of the economy where it excels.

    And this strategy has begun to make a difference in the way Pakistanis create and spend wealth in the pursuit of happiness.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/panosmo.../#445532794a63

  4. #44
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    Pakistani student develops stick to cure Parkinson’s

    September 25, 2017



    A Pakistani student at University of West England (UWE) has come up with a latest technology to cure patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

    A stick, that can possibly prove to be a solution to the ailment, can benefit thousands of patients around the world.

    During her study at the university, Neha Chaudhary invented this stick that is able to help 12,500 Parkinson’s patients in Britain alone. The stick induces movement in frozen muscles enabling the patients to walk again. In order to keep people’s attention away from the patients and their pain, the design of the stick has been kept simple and plain.

    Having witnessed the disease from close, Neha invented this stick after her own family members suffered from the ailment repeatedly. Her father, in particular, sustained serious injuries due to the seizure of his muscles and his inability to walk.

    Seeking pride in her achievement, Neha in an interview said that the success of this invention is her biggest accomplishment so far. Parkinson’s disease is one of the diseases that still do not have a proper treatment as yet and the medication only delays the effects of the disease temporarily. Neha also shared that she started this intervention as her university’s final year project, back in 2014.

    The stick has been tested on a lot of people in England. National Health Services (NHS) and Parkinson’s organization in England has shown a keen interest in Neha’s incredible project.

    Moreover, Neha even established her own company by the name of ‘Walk to Beat.’ According to Neha, when the patients were given the sticks they were overcome with immediate joy and majority of them expressed satisfaction that the stick does actually work.

    Made of plastic, the light weighted, easy-to-carry-around stick makes use of high-tech sensors installed in it. The sensors, thus, activate dead muscles and help the patients to move around again.

    https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/23...ure-Parkinsons

  5. #45
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    World’s Largest Solar Power Plant in Pakistan



    One of the biggest problems of Pakistan is the shortage of electricity, a dilemma that none of the previous governments have been able to solve till now.

    But the initiative taken by this government, currently in power gives us some hope. Thanks to the recent inauguration of Pakistan’s first and world’s largest solar power park at Bhawalpur Pakistan.


    The solar power park is to generate 1000 MW electricity by 2016.


    This new initiative has been launched under the name of Pakistan’s founder, i.e. Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park, aiming to hold an investment of 131 Million Dollars by Government of Punjab, Bank of Punjab and TBEA Ltd. of China.


    Entering in its first phase this December, the Solar Power Park will have 400,000 solar panels installed that will be able to produce 100 MW of electricity.


    Some of the key highlights of this Solar Power project are:



    • Overall capacity: 1,000 Mega Watts
    • Phase 1 Capacity: 100 MW
    • Completion of Phase 1: December 2014
    • Phase II Capacity: 300 MW
    • Phase III Capacity: 600 MW
    • Final Capacity: 1,000 MW
    • Completion of final phase: Dec 2016
    • Dedicated Area: 6500 Acres (Phase 1 Area: 500 Acres)
    • Boundary Wall: 9 KM
    • Annual Solar Energy Generation after Completion: 2,000 kWh/m2


    After the completion of this project Pakistan will be listed amongst the top 10 countries that are producing more than 1000 MW of electricity from solar power.


    The current electricity production capacity of Pakistan is only 23,000 MW which is half the amount required. Thus, initiatives like the electricity generation from Solar Power and those currently under initial phases in Thar provide a hope for solution of this major issue.

    http://www.brandsynario.com/worlds-l...t-in-pakistan/

  6. #46
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    Pakistan economy doubled to $400 billion in last 4 years

    September 23, 2017

    The Finance Ministry has strongly rejected misconceptions being created in a section of media about the state of country's economy.

    A spokesperson of the ministry , in a statement on Saturday, pointed out that the country has witnessed tremendous economic growth over the last four years.

    The size of the economy grew from two hundred and twenty-five billion dollars in 2013 to over four hundred billion dollars in 2017.

    This was only made possible by the prudent policies of the government that included historically low domestic interest rates, low inflation, and significant surge in private sector credit and huge increase in the PSDP.

    The spokesperson clarified that the total debt stood at 19.6 trillion rupees at the end of June 2017.

    He said Pakistan's economic indicators are performing well which has been acknowledged internationally and led to an improvement in country's credit rating.
    https://timesofislamabad.com/pakista...rs/2017/09/23/


 

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