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Nawaz Sharif should blame himself for allowing Musharraf to leave the country: Qureshi

F.P. Report 

ISLAMABAD: Vice Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that Nawaz Sharif should blamed himself for allowing General (retd) Pervez Musharraf to leave the country.

He added that if Nawaz Sharif have so many problems from Pervez Musharaf than why he allowed him to leave the country and why his name was not put on the ECL and adding that it is very strange that interior ministry removed the name of General Musharaf from ECL without taking permission of the prime minister.

Qureshi said this while addressing in the National Assembly on Thursday. He added that Nawaz Sharif statement regarding Musharaf that he left the country without his permission was not correct.

Earlier on Wednesday while concluding his statement before the accountability court, Nawaz Sharif said that cases against him were a result of the treason trial being initiated against former president General (retd) Musharraf.

Nawaz alleged that once the proceedings started against Musharraf he had realized that it would be hard to get the former military ruler convicted.

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Pakistan ranks 154 among 195 countries in healthcare

Monitoring Desk

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan ranks 154th among 195 countries in terms of quality and accessibility of healthcare, behind its South Asian counterparts Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka, according to a Lancet study.

The study, carried out by the leading medical journal The Lancet, mentioned that Pakistan has seen improvement in healthcare access and quality since 1990, with its HAQ index increasing from 26.8 in 1990 to 37.6 in 2016.

But despite the gains, Pakistan continues to lag behind India, which ranks 145th, China (48), Sri Lanka (71), Bangladesh (133) and Bhutan (134). Afghanistan, ranked 191st, fares far worse.

According to the study, Pakistan performed poorly in tackling cases of tuberculosis, diarrhoeal diseases, neonatal diseases, uterine cancer, leukemia, among others.

The five countries with the highest levels of healthcare access and quality (in 2016) were Iceland (97.1 points), Norway (96.6), the Netherlands (96.1), Luxembourg (96.0), and Finland and Australia (each with 95.9).

The countries with the lowest scores were the Central African Republic (18.6), Somalia (19.0), Guinea-Bissau (23.4), Chad (25.4), and Afghanistan (25.9).

The study pointed out that subnational inequalities were particularly pronounced in countries such as China and India, although high-income countries, including England and the US, also saw considerable local gaps in performance.

“These results emphasise the urgent need to improve both access to and quality of healthcare across service areas and for all populations; otherwise, health systems could face widening gaps between the health services they provide and the disease burden experienced by local communities,” it stated.

The study used an index to measure the quality and accessibility of healthcare, based on 32 causes of death which should be preventable with effective medical care.

In 2016, the global average healthcare access and quality score was 54.4, increasing from 42.4 points in 2000.

Each of the 195 countries and territories assessed were given a score between 0-100.

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Jay Ryan to be part of ‘It: Chapter Two’

Monitoring Desk

NEW YORK: Stephen King’s “It: Chapter Two”, has found another actor to play the adult version of the member of the Loser’s Club.

According to reports in Variety, actor Jay Ryan has been cast as the adult version of Ben Hanscom, previously played by actor Jeremy Ray Taylor.

Ryan joins the ranks of Andy Bean and James Ransone who will play Stanley Uris and Eddie Kaspbrak respectively.

Earlier it was announced, James McAvoy was in talks for the role of Bill Denbrough, who was played by Jaeden Lieberher in the first installment, while Bill Hader was in talks for the role of Richie Tozier, which was played by Finn Wolfhard previously.

Jessica Chastain has already signed on to play the role of Beverly Marsh.

Meanwhile, Bill Skarsgard will reprise his role as Pennywise from the first movie.

“Chapter One” of “It” followed the first half of Stephen King’s novel, telling the story of a group of children who are terrorized by Pennywise the Clown and forced to face their own demons to defeat him.

“Chapter Two” will follow the last half of the novel, when the characters return to their hometown years later as adults to face Pennywise once again.

Andy Muschietti and Gary Dauberman are back as director and screenwriter, while Barbara Muschietti, Dan Lin and Roy Lee will be producing the film.

“Chapter Two” is scheduled to begin production in July and is set to be released in theatres by Warner Bros on September 6, 2019.

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Money laundering allegations: Nawaz Sharif serves legal notice to Chairman NAB

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif has sent a legal notice to Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal for leveling baseless allegation against him of transferring $4.9bn to India.

According to report, Nawaz Sharif has termed Chairman NAB accusations just before the election as pre-poll rigging.

PML-N supermo demanded him to publish an apology in English and Urdu newspapers within 14 days otherwise legal proceedings would be started against him in this regard.

According to notice sent by Nawaz Sharif, it stated that Nawaz Shairf was maligned during a press conference on May 9 despite clarification from World Bank and State Bank on May 8.

The notice also said that it is dishonesty to say such remarks without confirming from credible sources.

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Miftah claims around $2bn to be added in foreign exchange reserves before expiry of govt term

Monitoring Desk

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Dr Miftah Ismail anticipates $1-2bn prior to the expiry of the PML-N government tenure on May 31.

Speaking to a leading national English daily, Ismail declined to identify the source and exact inflow amount, saying things were in process but insisted $1 to 2 billion dollars would be added to the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

Informed sources, however, said inflows were expected from a state-owned Chinese Bank and would support declining foreign exchange reserves which stood at $17.067bn as of May 11 – $10.8bn held by the State Bank of Pakistan and $6.268bn by commercial banks.

Pakistan had earlier received a $1bn loan from China at end-April that would be due for repayment in three years.

The government has already revised its estimates for external resources to almost $12bn from the original budget estimates of around $8bn; more than doubling commercial loans to almost $7.2bn from around $3bn for 2017-18.

The current foreign exchange reserves can cover less than three months of imports that have grown at an average rate of 15.6pc in the first nine months to $38.4bn despite the recent slowdown to 6pc in March. Exports, in comparison, have posted a 13pc growth in nine months over the last year to reach $15bn, despite a healthy 24.4pc growth in March.

At the end of 2017-18, exports are estimated to reach $25bn compared to full-year estimated imports of about $54.5bn, leaving a trade deficit close to $29.5bn.

After accounting for healthy remittances estimated at $20bn, the government expects the current account deficit by the end of the current year at about $16bn or 5pc of GDP. Reserves have been depleting at an average rate of $475-$500 million a month.

For next year, the government expects exports to go up to $27.3bn against estimated imports of $56.5bn, leaving a trade deficit of $29.2bn and current account deficit estimated at a conservative $12.5bn (3.8pc of GDP) for next fiscal year.

The full year current account deficit for the outgoing fiscal year is estimated at $13.7bn or 4.4pc of GDP. Therefore, the government concedes that high fiscal and current account deficits in 2017-18 may pose a challenge on the external front going forward.

 

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JIT report irrelevant in Avenfield reference, Maryam tells court  

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Maryam Nawaz has said that JIT report is irrelevant in the Avenfield case.

Daughter of former premier Nawaz Sharif said this while recording her statement in accountability court on Thursday in Avenfield reference.

Judge Muhammad Bashir presided over the hearing. Maryam Nawaz said that she is 44 years old and it’s true that my father held public offices.

Maryam claimed that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report is irrelevant to the NAB reference.

Earlier on Wednesday, Maryam Nawaz Sharif said that Nawaz Sharif clearly revealed the reasons behind his ouster and those who ousted him.

She added that after so many investigations and hearing not a single penny of evidence was not provided against Nawaz Sharif and adding that people will cast more votes in favor of Nawaz Sharif.

Maryam Nawaz added that Nawaz Sharif had not been framed in Panama Papers, yet he had appeared before accountability court for 70 times and those framed in Panama Papers have not been summoned by any court.

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Still saying PTI leaders are thieves: Daniyal Aziz

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Privatization, Daniyal Aziz has said that he stands by his words what he said about the leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s and believed that they are ‘thieves’.

PML-N leader said that Naeemul Haque needs to apologize but in return he slapped me and this is a shameful act. Daniyal Aziz said this while talking to media person outside accountability in Islamabad on Thursday.

Regarding the incident when PTI’s Naeemul Haque slapped him in talk show, he said that he is still saying that PTI leadership are thieves and still stand by my words for the PTI leaders.

Aziz claimed that Imran Khan and Jehangir Tareen have admitted in written statements that they stole public money and adding that the PTI chairman benefitted from the amnesty scheme.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Aziz had said PTI has been pre-planning against him in order for him to retaliate.

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11 Taliban militants killed in NDS operation

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: National Directorate of Security claimed that at least 11 Taliban militants including two commanders, were killed in a operation conducted in Farah province of Afghanistan on Wednesday.

The NDS started operation in Bala Blook district of the province and killed 11 Taliban militants in the operation including two commanders identified as Maulavi Abdul Razaq and Maulavi Mohibullah.

The NDS forces also recovered seven RPGs, Kalashnikovs, a Ranger vehicle, three Toyota Corollas and two motorbikes.

The Taliban has not yet commented.

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Tesla slashes up to $14,000 off Model X in China

BEIJING (Reuters) – Tesla Inc has slashed up to $14,000 off its Model X in China after Beijing announced major tariff cuts for imported automobiles, a potential sales boost for the U.S. firm as the world’s largest auto market pivots towards electric cars.

The carmaker will lower prices of its Model S and Model X cars by just over 6 percent, a Beijing-based sales representative told Reuters on Wednesday.

China said on Tuesday it will cut import tariffs for automobiles to 15 percent from 25 percent, a fillip for premium car brands like Tesla and BMW which import a significant number of vehicles.

Tesla said on Tuesday that any of its cars sold in China would be subject to adjusted prices, even before the tariff change comes into effect on July 1.

The price of a top-of-the range Model X will be cut to 1.3 million yuan ($203,830) but that remains well above the $140,000 cash price-tag before savings for the priciest version in the United States – Tesla’s Model X P100D.

The move by the California-based electric carmaker likely foreshadows wider price cuts for imported cars in China as foreign firms look to narrow a price gap with domestic rivals. Imports, however, only make up a fraction of the overall market and tend to be upper-end models.

Yale Zhang, head of Shanghai-based consultancy Automotive Foresight, said price cuts by foreign premium brands will likely force them to adjust the price tag for vehicles they produce locally in China. This in turn will gradually impact the price of more affordable, mainstream cars – even local Chinese brands.

“With imminent price adjustments in the higher-end segment, that will over time lead to a pricing adjustment for the entire market,” Zhang said.

Other carmakers, including Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp and BMW, said after the tariff cut that they would look at adjusting their retail prices in China to provide competitive offers to consumers.

 

 

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China and Germany to support free trade, says Li Keqiang

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday China has always supported a unified and prosperous Europe and that China and Germany uphold free trade.

Li said at a joint news briefing at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel there was huge potential for cooperation between China and Germany.