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Pakistan, China to stay together through thick and thin, says Gen. Bajwa

ISLAMABAD (INP): Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday declared that China and Pakistan will stand through thick and thin, shoulder to shoulder to safeguard their sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Our friendship is unique and unparalleled in country-to-country relationship at all levels, he said while speaking as a chief guest at a reception held here in connection with the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

The ceremony was largely attended by high-ranking civil and military officers. Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong and his wife Madam Dina Bao were also present on the occasion. General Bajwa joined the Chinese side in cutting a cake to celebrate the anniversary. He had also a look of pictures, displaced on the occasion, showing the two- countries’ high-level exchanges at top-military levels, as well as growing PLA’s military strength.

The ceremony was hosted by Chinese Military, Naval and Air Attaché Major General and Mrs. Chen Wenrong who praised high the growing Sino-Pak friendship particularly at the military-to military level, reaffirming his country’s commitment to keep-up this every-green partnership, that meets the fundamental interest of their countries.

General Qamar Javed Bajwa, while warmly facilitating President Xi Jinping and other Chinese civil and military leadership on the 90th anniversary of the PLA, said his country high appreciates China’s peaceful role world over. Pakistan, he said is highly indebted to China for its support on Kashmir issue, and its joining to Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a full member.

He was of the view that Sino-Pak military-to-military relationship is pillar of their strategic multifaceted all-round friendship. They, he pledged would continue to work together to promote regional peace, stability and development. General Bajwa also mentioned the two countries’ cooperative partnership on counter-terrorism as well as addressing other issues of regional and international concern.

He also praised high PLA’s professional standard and its sacrifices for the cause. The PLA, he said, has today emerged one the finest army in the World. He also eulogized the PLA’s tremendous sacrifices as peace-keeping forces World over. The Army Chief also referred to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and said it was testimony of their growing relationship. The CPEC will be implemented at all cost, he added.

Major General Chen Wenrong in his address further said, China and Pakistan are close neighbors connected by mountains and waters. The china-Pak relationship is based on the principles of peaceful co-existence, commonality of interests and shared perception of regional and global issues.

He said we have always stood by each other through thick and thin, and at every critical juncture of our history. The military relationship between our two armed forces has always served as the pillar to our bilateral relationship. He said construction of the CPEC projects is in full swing. CPEC is bringing us even closer.

He said we highly the tremendous efforts contributions as well as the sacrifices made by Pakistan security forces in fighting against terrorism, in maintain peace and stability of the region and protecting all the Chinese living and working in Pakistan. China and Pakistan are strategic cooperative partners, no matter how the world situation changes, the brotherly friendship between China and Pakistan will remain unchanged, he added.

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Boeing expects India to order up to 2,100 aircraft over 20 years

NEW DELHI (AFP): Boeing Co said on Monday it expects Indian airlines to order up to 2,100 new aircraft worth $290 billion over the next 20 years, calling it the highest-ever forecast for Asia’s third-largest economy.

The planemaker said it expected single-aisle planes, such as the next generation 737 and 737 Max, to account for the bulk of the new deliveries, with India likely to take 1,780 such planes.

India is one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets, with domestic passenger traffic growing at around 20 percent in the past few years.

“The increasing number of passengers, combined with a strong exchange rate, low fuel prices and high load factor bodes well for India’s aviation market, especially for the low-cost carriers,” said Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president, Asia Pacific and India sales at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

The world’s biggest maker of jetliners said it expected passenger growth of about 8 percent in South Asia, dominated by India, over the next 20 years, compared with the world average of about 4.7 percent.

Last year, India overhauled rules governing its aviation industry, liberalizing norms for domestic carriers to fly overseas and incentivizing air travel to smaller cities by capping air fares and opening airports.

Boeing could increase its demand forecast next year depending on how quickly India’s plan for regional connectivity takes off, Keskar added.

The U.S. planemaker dominates the wide-body aeroplane market in India, with Jet Airways and state-owned carrier Air India among its biggest customers, while competitor Airbus sells the bulk of small planes preferred by low-cost carriers such as InterGlobe Aviation’s IndiGo.

Low-cost carriers dominate Indian skies, accounting for more than 60 percent of flights in the country.

To plug this gap in its portfolio, and following runaway sales of Airbus’ A321neo, Boeing launched the 737 MAX 10 single-aisle jet at an air show in Paris in June. India’s SpiceJet airline has already placed a provisional order for 40 737 MAX 10 aircraft.

Boeing also expects Indian carriers to order its new 777X family, comprising the 350-375 seat 777-8 and the 400-425 seat 777-9, due to enter service in 2020, but said it would take several years for this to happen.

Air India still has to take deliveries of three of its 777-300ER and Jet Airways is on the 787-9, Keskar said, adding that when these planes need to be replaced after a few years the airlines could look at the 777X family.

Boeing has won 326 orders for the latest version of its 777 but apart from an order from Singapore Airlines earlier this year, demand for the world’s largest twin-engined airplane has been relatively slow since it was launched with a barrage of orders mainly from Gulf carriers in 2013.

The planemaker expects worldwide demand for 41,030 aircraft over the next 20 years, putting India’s share of the total at about 5 percent.

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Pakistan always support efforts for peace, development in Afghanistan: Nafees

ISLAMABAD (APP): Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakria on Monday said that Pakistan had always supported
initiatives for peace and development in Afghanistan.

Talking to a private news channel, he said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), projects are instrumental for progress in the region.

Pakistan wants economic development in Afghanistan and for this, it will continue to play role to maintain peace in the region, he said.

To a question about Kashmir, he said that Pakistan had highlighted the issue of Kashmir at all important forum. The members participated in foreign ministers conference held recently in Abid Jan, had condemned the Indian atrocities in the Occupied Kashmir, FO Spokesman said.

To another question he said that Prime Minister of Pakistan had apprised the United Nation General Assembly about the plight of Kashmiri people.

He said that Pakistan will continue its diplomatic, political and moral support for Kashmir cause.

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NAB to file four references against Sharif family, Dar

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday decided to file four references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his three children, son-in-law and former finance minister Ishaq Dar.

The references would be filed under orders from the Supreme Court as part of the verdict which disqualified Nawaz from the office of prime minister.

References would be filed by NAB, Rawalpindi, against Nawaz Sharif, Hassan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz, Maryam Nawaz, Capt (retd) Safdar and Ishaq Dar. The case will be pursued in an accountability court.

The references will be prepared on the basis of the material collected and referred by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in its report and some other material which may be available with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and NAB having nexus with the assets in the below mentioned cases or which might subsequently become available including material that may become available in pursuant to the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) requests sent by JIT to different jurisdictions.

References

a) Reference relating to the Avenfield Properties (Flat No.16 and 16-A, 17 and 17-A Avenfield House, Park Lane, London, United Kingdom).

b) Reference relating to establishment of Azizia Steel Company and Hill Metal Company.

c) Reference relating to the companies mentioned in paragraph 9 of the judgment.

d) Reference relating to respondent No.10 for possessing assets beyond his known sources of income.

Earlier, NAB Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry chaired a meeting to chart how to proceed with the Supreme Court’s orders in the Panama Papers case.

The participants of the meeting were given a briefing by the bureau’s prosecution wing.

A source close to the NAB chief had said the apex court’s decision will be fully implemented by the anti-graft body.

The deputy chairperson of the bureau, deputy prosecutor general, director general operations and director general of NAB Rawalpindi are attending the meeting, according to sources.

After the Supreme Court announced the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif as prime minister on July 28, NAB was ordered to file several references against Nawaz Sharif, his children Hussain, Hasan and Maryam, son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar and then finance minister Senator Ishaq Dar.

The accountability bureau was given six weeks, from the date of the court’s order, to file the reference in an accountability court.

In its order, the five-member-bench also requested the Chief Justice of Pakistan to nominate a judge of the Supreme Court to supervise and monitor implementation of the judgement and oversee proceedings of NAB and the accountability court.

Disqualified by SC, Nawaz Sharif steps down as prime minister A reference against Nawaz, Maryam, Hussain, Hasan and Capt (retd) Safdar, relating to the Avenfield properties (flats 16, 16-A, 17 and 17-A Avenfield House, Park Lane, London, United Kingdom), has been directed to be filed by NAB.

“In preparing and filing this Reference, the NAB shall also consider the material already collected during the course of investigations conducted earlier, as indicated in the detailed judgments,” the court ruled.

The court also ordered the filing of a reference against respondents Nawaz, Hussain and Hasan regarding Azizia Steel Company and Hill Metal Establishment. Then finance minister Ishaq Dar after his session with the Panama case JIT.

A reference was ordered against Dar possessing assets and funds beyond his known sources of income, “as discussed in paragraph 9 of the judgment”.

The court also ordered NAB to include in its proceedings all other persons including Sheikh Saeed, [nephew of Dar’s wife] Musa Ghani, [son of a retired officer from London Stock Exchange] Kashif Masood Qazi, [Nawaz’s friend] Javaid Kiyani and [National Bank of Pakistan President] Saeed Ahmed, who have any direct or indirect nexus or connection with the actions of Nawaz, Hussain, Hasan, Maryam and Dar, leading to acquisition of assets and funds beyond their known sources of income.

A reference was also ordered against Nawaz, Hussain and Hasan regarding the companies mentioned in paragraph nine of the judgment. The bench also gave NAB the option to file supplementary reference(s) “if and when any other asset, which is not prima facie reasonably accounted for, is discovered”. Panama Case: Judgement of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The accountability court will then proceed with and decide the aforesaid references within six months from the date of filing.

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Moeen Ali takes hat-trick to seal emphatic England win over South Africa

LONDON (AFP): Despite a major work by Dean Elgar, who composed a defiant 136, England defeated the South Africans by another almighty margin – 239 runs. Joe Root and his squad now head to Old Trafford in a buoyant mood after this copybook victory, which came at a rush, with a Moeen Ali hat-trick polishing off the innings.

That was the icing on the cake, but the major advance in this match has been the advent of new Test bowler. Suddenly an integral part of that squad is Toby Roland-Jones, who enhanced an already burgeoning reputation by making the key breakthrough on the sunniest day of the match.

Elgar and Temba Bavuma had batted without a blemish for almost an hour when Roland-Jones bounded in from the Pavilion end. Soon he managed to beat the inside edge of Bavuma’s bat to take him on the front pad. Aleem Dar, the umpire, was not inclined to raise his finger but after consultation England asked for a review and all the criteria were fulfilled. When the ball strikes Bavuma’s pads above the knee-roll it is no guarantee that it is heading over the stumps. Here was confirmation that England have been more adept at using the decision review system in this match than at Nottingham. A disconsolate Bavuma had to go.

Out came Vernon Philander, who played a captain’s innings. Sadly in this context that means padding up to a straight ball – the first he received – so that he was palpably lbw (no review necessary this time) just as Faf du Plessis has been twice in this match

Thus Roland-Jones had set England on their way. He took eight wickets in the match on his unforgettable debut; the last player to do that for England was James Kirtley at Nottingham against South Africa in 2003. Kirtley only played three more Tests for England after that; Roland-Jones can expect more. There are four more this summer and he will take some shifting from the side after this performance.

After all the headaches over England’s best batting line-up, which still remain despite the encouraging start by Tom Westley, the selectors can at least allow themselves a smidgeon of congratulation over the elevation of Roland-Jones. The pecking order among the pacemen has not been overhauled after this match but the options available have expanded significantly. Chris Woakes and Mark Wood are still in the wings and trying to prove their fitness but now the urgency for their return is reduced by the debut of Roland-Jones.

There will be talk of rotation during the series against the West Indies, though it is highly unlikely that Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad will be volunteering to stand down. They remain hungry for Test wickets and an inexperienced West Indian side batting against a pink ball at Edgbaston in the first Test of that series might well provide quite a few of those. By then Woakes should be fully fit and he is – literally – the poster boy for that Test, as those who drive down Corporation Street in Birmingham can testify. England might want reintroduce him there.

The man most likely to suffer from Roland-Jones’ rise is probably Jake Ball, another paceman who has been hampered by injury this summer. Now Ball may be asking himself the question whether England will take five pacemen plus Stokes to Australia or six, which is fast becoming his preference.

Back at the Oval, meanwhile, England’s second spinner (they are not playing a first spinner in this match) had an impact at the end. Just before lunch Moeen found the outside edge of Chris Morris’s bat and Ben Stokes held a neat catch at slip. An even more satisfying dismissal was that of Elgar, who batted superbly for 227 balls when he was beguiled by a looped delivery outside his off-stump. Out came Kasigo Rabada to face another tempting off-break. Once again Stokes completed the business at slip.

Thus Moeen became the third Englishman to find himself on a hat-trick in this match, but the first to take one. Morne Morkel prodded forward but the umpire, Joel Wilson, declined to give the lbw. England reviewed and soon Moeen was engulfed by his jubilant team-mates. It has been noted before that Moeen has always been a much better bowler to left-handers. A hat-trick comprising exclusively of left-handed batsmen tends to confirm that. His was the first hat-trick ever taken in Test cricket at the Oval.

Against all odds and expectations (including his own one suspects) Moeen is now the leading wicket-taker in the series with 18. One difference between the Moeen of old (no, not his designation as the second spinner) is that he is often propelling the ball more slowly (at about 53mph) than in the past and also tossing it a little higher, subtle changes that seem to be working rather well. The delight of his team-mates at this hat-trick was touching for this most self-effacing and popular member of the side. He now takes his wickets for England more cheaply than John Emburey – and more quickly.

For South Africa there was very little to cheer except the innings of Elgar. He was craggy and resolute in defence yet when he attacked he did so with a free and easy swing of the bat, which sent the ball speeding to the boundary 20 times. But Elgar seems to be the only batsman among the tourists at ease with himself at the crease. The others do not have much time to recover their confidence. The fourth and final Test begins at Old Trafford on Friday.

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Imran told me SC would dissolve parliament: Hashmi

F.P. Report

MULTAN: Javed Hashmi said on Monday that PTI chief Imran Khan had told him a couple of years ago that the apex court would dissolve the parliament and Nawaz would be forced to resign.

Addressing a press conference in Multan, Hashmi said that Imran Khan had told him in 2014 that a technocrat government would take the reins of the country after the Supreme Court would dissolve the parliament.

“Imran said that the assemblies would be dissolved and Nawaz Sharif would resign,” he said.

Hashmi said that Imran Khan had said that a few days after the government of technocrats was formed, elections would be held and PTI would come to power. “In that meeting, Arif Alvi, Shafqat Mahmood and Shireen Mazari were present,” he said.

Hashmi said that he told Imran Khan to take back his statement regarding the government of technocrats. The former PTI leader said that he warned Imran Khan that this was not in accordance with the law.

“I was cross at this statement of Imran and parted ways with the party,” he said. Javed Hashmi urged Imran Khan to deny what he was saying on oath.

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Sherry Rehman asks for resignation of Farooq Haider

ISLAMABAD (NNI): Vice-President Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Sherry Rehman on Monday called for the resignation of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister, Raja Farooq Haider, following his statement pertaining to the annexation of AJK in the aftermath of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s ouster.

In a statement, Rehman said, “It was shocking to hear such a statement coming from the PM of AJK. His loyalty should be with Pakistan and the people of AJK. Questioning AJK’s allegiance to Pakistan over partisan loyalty to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is unacceptable.”

AJK’s Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider made his comments while addressing a joint press conference with Gilgit-Baltistan’s Chief Minister Hafiz Hafeez-ur-Rehman on Sunday.

“The PM of AJK has lost his standing to stay in office for questioning AJK’s allegiance to Pakistan. His comment was irresponsible and has made a mockery of his office and the struggle of the Kashmiri people. He must resign immediately,” concluded the Senator.

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MQM-P will vote for Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

F.P. Report

KARACHI: The MQM-Pakistan stated on Monday that its parliamentarians would vote for PML-N’s candidate for interim prime minister.

According to details, MQM-Pakistan would decided to throw their support behind PML-N’s Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and vote for him for the post of interim prime minister.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was declared as PML-N’s choice for deputy prime minister after Nawaz Sharif was disqualified by the apex court on July 28, 2017.

PML-N decided that Shehbaz Sharif would assume the office of prime minister after becoming member of the National Assembly.

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Pakistan to host two int’l tennis events before year end

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) will host two back-to-back International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures (Men’s Professional Circuit events) before the end of ongoing year.

“We will host these events in November-December, this year,” President Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) Salim Saifullah told the media.

He said each event would carry a prize purse of 15000 US dollars. “The ITF has agreed to provide us 5000 dollars for each of the event, while the rest of the amount will be borne by the PTF”, he added.

Salim Saifullah said ITF Manager Training Centres and Events Frank Couraud came Pakistan on a five-day visit to discuss tennis development. He said Frank’s visit would pave the way for high-profile ITF officials to travel to Pakistan.

“I’ll also invite ITF President to witness Davis Cup tie’s final against Thailand in September” he said. He said Pakistan successfully hosted Davis Cup tie against Iran after a gap of 12 years, which he said was a turning point for promotion of tennis in the country.

“The way we conducted Davis Cup tie against Iran has told the world that we are a sports loving nation and know how to respect international stars,” he added.

He said unfortunately Hong Kong decided against playing in Pakistan, otherwise people would have a lot of international activity here.

He said Pakistan was fully prepared to host Thailand for Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group-II final in September. “Hosting of Thailand would further enhance the credentials of Pakistan to hold ITF events.”

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Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif likely to be banned: PCB sources

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Spot fixer cricketers, Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif are likely to be banned for life for their alleged involvement in the spot fixing scandal which rocked the Pakistan Super League earlier this year in Dubai.

“We have requested the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Tribunal probing into the spot fixing scandal to impose a life ban on them (Sharjeel and Khalid) “, the sources in the PCB’s legal department said while talking to media here on Monday.

They were optimistic that justice will be done with both the cricketers and they will be fined heavily besides getting life ban for bringing the game into disrepute and lowering the country’s image. Sharjeel and Khalid were sent home after the first match of the PSL after they were accused of spot fixing in the mega event.

“In the case of Sharjeel concluding written arguments have been submitted to the tribunal “, they said adding ” As far as PCB laywers are concerned we have completed the case and now it is upto the tribunal to announce the verdict and we are expecting that verdict will come shortly “.

They said Khalid initially boycotted the proceedings of the case and now he wants the whole process to be done again and his conduct and attitude were quite ridiculous during the case.

“We hope that the tribunal will announce the verdict soon as there is nothing left to be further done in the case “, they added.