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Ambassador of Oman visits ICCI

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Al Sheikh Mohammed Omar Ahmed Al Marhoon Ambassador of Oman to Pakistan visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and said this his country was keen to further enhance bilateral trade with Pakistan as both countries have great scope to do trade with each other in many items.

He said Oman was a gateway for Pakistan to enter Gulf Region, Africa and Far East while Pakistan was a gateway for Oman to get better access to Asia. He stressed that private sectors of both countries should step up efforts to exploit this huge unrealized potential for mutual benefit.

He said that Sultanate of Oman has planned a big railway project which is one of the strategic projects and its implementation will contribute not only to the better development of Oman, it will also link Oman with Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

He said with enhanced cooperation with Oman, Pakistan could achieve many benefits for its economy by getting easy access to GCC countries. He said CPEC has attracted the world’s attention towards Pakistan and Pakistani private sector should fully gear up to reap full benefits from this mega development project.

He said a company of Oman was going to sign MoU with Pakistan in oil & gas sector and hoped that it will open new opportunities for business collaboration between the two countries. He advised ICCI to enhance cooperation with the diplomats of Arab countries for exploring new areas of cooperation with this region.

Speaking at the occasion, Sheikh Amir Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that Pakistan and Oman were very near to each other through Gwadar, but bilateral trade was not up to the desired level.

He stressed that both countries should give more focus to promoting trade and economic relations that would bring highly beneficial results for both nations.

He said Pakistan could provide many products to Oman including food products, fruits & vegetables, pharmaceuticals, textiles and others. He urged that Pakistan and Oman should encourage frequent exchange of trade delegations to explore all potential areas of mutual cooperation.

He said many Special Economic Zones (SEZs) would be set up in Pakistan under CPEC with attractive incentives to foreign investors and emphasized that this was the right time for Oman’s investors to explore Pakistan for joint ventures and investment. He said ICCI would like to sign MoU with Oman Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Oman Embassy should cooperate in this effort.

Nisar Mirza, Vice President ICCI said that environment was improving in Pakistan for business activities and entrepreneurs of Oman should pay more attention to Pakistan.

He said both countries could cooperate in many areas including agriculture, energy, oil & gas and they should focus on strong business linkages between their private sectors to realize untapped potential of business cooperation between both countries.


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Russia wants to develop trade ties with Pakistan

F.P. Report

SIALKOT: Trade Representative of Russian Embassy in Islamabad, Yuri M Kolzov stressed the need for promoting strong mutual trade relations between Pakistan and Russia.

He stated this while addressing a meeting held here at the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) on Thursday.

SCCI Vice President, Abid Ahmed Khawaja presided over the meeting. The Russian envoy discussed in detail the matters of mutual interest with SCCI members.

He also gave a detailed briefing about the growing trade opportunities in Russia and scope of joint ventures in different trade sectors between Russia and Pakistan.

Yuri M Kolzov stressed the need of enhancing the private sector interaction and mutual collaboration to promote trade between the two countries.


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NBP opens first Islamic Banking Branch in Chitral

F.P. Report

KARACHI: The President National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Saeed Ahmad visited the Chitral valley and its adjoining areas where he inaugurated the first Islamic Banking Branch of the area.

The ceremony was attended by Irshad Ahmed Sodhar, Deputy Commissioner, Shahzada Iftikhar Uddin, Member National Assembly, Saleem Khan and Saeed Sardar Hussain Shah, Member Provincial Assembly, Col. Mueen Uddin and Commandant Chitral scouts among others. NBP’s senior executives present at the occasion included, Muhammad Aasim Akhtar, Group Head – CRBG, Syed Waseem Akhtar, Regional Head-Peshawar and Ms. Saima Rahim, Regional Head Aitemaad Islamic Banking Group (AIBG). The dignitaries acknowledged NBP’s valuable efforts to promote local businesses.

This was the first such visit by the President of the bank since its inception almost 70 years ago. The local business community expressed their gratitude to the President for taking personal interest in the area.

Shahzada Iftikhar Uddin, MNA said that Chitral is a far flung area and remains neglected in many ways for want of development and basic infrastructure requirements. The President’s visit was aimed to understand first-hand the problems faced by the customers as well as the NBP staff and to take corrective measures to alleviate these problems.

Islamic Banking is taking the centre stage at NBP and its growth continues to be the focus of the Board and the Senior Management. The President attaches great importance and special personal attention to this area of business.

Saeed Ahmad said, “The people of Chitral have expressed their preference for the Islamic mode of financing and it was this desire of the local population that motivated NBP to open its first branch in Chitral”. The branch was inaugurated by the Irshad Ahmed Sodhar, DC, Chitral and the President NBP. The august gathering at this event included the local elected representatives of National and Provincial Assemblies, senior government officials and customers.

At this occasion, the speakers appreciated the services which NBP is providing for the last many years to the people of Chitral and its adjoining and far flung areas. They were especially appreciative of the services provided by the bank and its staff under difficult and inhospitable conditions.

The President in his speech once again reiterated his commitment towards providing better banking services to the people by introducing new products and further enhancing the Islamic Banking network in the area.

During his trip to the Chitral valley, the President NBP visited the under construction Hydel power station which after completion of the first phase will provide electricity to the entire area, while upon completion of the project, electricity will be added to the national grid.

This project has a special significance due to the upcoming CPEC project, as Chitral is located on the main crossroad of the CPEC. NBP is actively looking at expanding its reach and supporting various business opportunities in the area.

The President also visited the site of the proposed Marble City in the outskirts of Chitral, where he assured the local investors of the bank’s full support in providing financing facilities to augment their business initiatives. “This project is the harbinger of change for the area and its people, and NBP attaches great importance to this project.” said Saeed Ahmad.

In the evening Saeed Ahmad, President & CEO, NBP attended a dinner which was graced with the presence by NBP customers as well as various notables of the area.

At this occasion the speakers highlighted the role played by NBP in promoting the local economy and providing banking services at the doorstep in areas where no other bank provides such services.

They welcomed the first ever visit by any President of NBP and declared it as a good omen for the people of Chitral.

The President also met the respective Deputy Commissioners of Chitral, Upper Dir and Lower Dir, and discussed the role which NBP could play in the development of the local areas.


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ADR centers resolves 300 cases

F.P. Report

HAFIZABAD: The Establishment of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Centre in the Judicial Complex here proved very successful and during the past few months 300 compoundable civil and criminal cases have been adjudicated amicably with the free consents of the parties, District and Session Judge Ch. Muhammad Nawaz said here.

While addressing media, he said that the performance of the centre was very encouraging and the litigants involved in petty cases have expressed their confidence in the conciliation centre, as the decision in such cases are being decided with love and affection between the parties and to prevent atmosphere of hatred between them.

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Govt officials are public servants: DC

F.P. Report

TIMERGARA: Deputy Commissioner Sarmad Saleem Akram has asked the government officials to consider themselves as public servants and work devotedly to mitigate their grievances. He was addressing to an open katchery held at Degree College Lal Qila, Maidan today. The Open Katchery was held as per directive of the Chief Secretary, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the redressal of the public problems at local level.

On this occasion beside others, chairman DDAC and MPA Saeed Gul, DPO, local representatives, elite of the area and District heads of various nation building departments including Administration were also present. The people at large complained about the prolong unscheduled loadsheding, non-availability of Fire Brigade Vehicle, Shortage of Potable water, non-provision of facilities at education institutions and non-availability of medicines at government hospitals.

They also complained about the slow pace of work of Developmental Schemes, illicit cuttings of forests and appealed for review of the decision regarding the confiscation of Arms without any notice from Administration which the people have for self-protection. The people declared the performance of Government departments unsatisfactory and not upto the mark. The DC asked the government officials to ensure their attendance at time. He added efforts would be made to solve public problems at the earliest adding that for this end Open Katcheries to be held at the Sub-Division level at district Dir (lower).

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Officials directed to simple interest-free loan for growers

Hafiz Muhammad Aziz-ur-Rehman

HAFIZABAD: Deputy Commissioner Saleha Saeed has stressed upon bank representatives to simplify the disbursement of interest-free loan to the growers without waste of time. While addressing District Agriculture Advisory Committee and Agriculture Task Force Sub Committee, she said that government has provided Rs. 459.964 million as interest-free loan to 6514 registered cultivators in the district to facilitate the growers to maximise food production as well as to better their socio-economic condition. It was, therefore, imperative for all concerned particularly banks to facilitate the loanees to get the loan without any obstacles and well in time.

She also directed the concerned officials to launch crackdown on such dealers who are selling fake and substandard insecticides and fertilisers and if any one proved defaulter, his premises should be sealed so as to protect the interest of cultivators. The officers of agriculture, water management, fishers and livestock departments and market committee briefed the DC regarding the functioning of their departments. She, however, stressed upon them to improve their functioning and take necessary steps to achieve the targets well and time and warned that those found indifferent and negligent would face the music.



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12 km Marathon race held in Dir, Winner awarded Rs 100,000 cash prize

F.P. Report

TIMERGARA: The Pakistan army Maidan Battalion on Thursday arranged 12 kilometer ‘Azm e Nao’ marathon race the winner of which was awarded Rs 100,000 cash prize by the commandant Dir Task Force colonel Shehzad Aamir. A total of 70 teams of civilian and Pakistan army took part in the race that started from Maidan and concluded at the Dir Scouts’ ground. Residents of different villages on the way shed floral flowers on the contestants and cheered for them.

A function later on held at the Dir Scouts ground with Colonel Shehzad Aamir in the chair. Besides area elders, DC Lower Dir Sarmad Saleem Akram, MPA Saeed Gul, Commandant Maidan Battalion Lt. Colonel Umar Rashid and district sports’ officer Bahadar Said were present.

The chief guest distributed shields and trophies among position holders while the winner Irfan Shah was also awarded Rs 100,000 cash prize on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion Colonel Shehzad Aamir said it was a successful event that aimed only to engage youth in healthy competitions. The Commandant said the Lower Dir, once a militancy affected area was totally cleared on terrorists. He said now it was the phase of development so all people should take part in it.

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24 butchers arrested for selling sub-standard meat

Rifaqat Ullah Razarwal

CHARSADDA: Additional Assistant Commissioner City Inayat Ullah on Thursday conducted raids, checked rates and meat quality and imposed fines on 24 butchers for not following the government rate list and selling substandard meat.

The raids were conducted at Tangi, Peshawar and Mardan roads, five butchers found indulged in profiteering and selling unhygienic meat were imposed fines amounting to Rs 20000. “We have received complaints that butchers and general stores shopkeepers are selling substandard meat and food items if the illegal activity continues, we’ll be left with no option but to crack down on it,” said AAC Inayat Ullah.

“We’ll continue crackdown on milk adulterators as well as will take action against encroachments and other food sellers and will be taken more and more samples by the health for laboratory test and necessary action,” he said.

The butchers were warned that strict action would be taken against the violators of the orders. Cases would also be registered against them and they would be sent to the jail. The assistant commissioner along with Traffic contingent .He said the raids would continue and the violators of the law would not be spared.

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JUI-F holds protest demo in Landikotal

Ahmad Nabi

LANDI KOTAL: Jamiat Ullema-e-Islam,Fazal Rehman(JUI-F)Landi Kotal chapter staged a protest rally on Thursday at Bacha square,Landi Kotal bazaar against merging of Federally Administer Tribal Area(FATA) into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and American decision of recognition Jerusalem capital of Israel.

Leading by its leader’s naib ameer JUI-F, FATA Mufti Muhammad Ijaz and the patron Sahibzada Muhammad Umar Banuri dozens of the JUI-F volunteers while holding banner and placards inscribed with sayings in their favor and were chanted full-throat slogans for their demands.

Number of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) local workers also joined the JUI-F agitation and supported their stance against merging.

Speaking on the occasion Mufti Muhammad Ijaz said the last one decade had proved destructive period for the tribal and instead of provision of ease to the tribesmen, strivings were made to merge FATA in KP which was equal to give a crying child lollipop to comfort the baby. “Except three or four districts, resident of rest of the areas of KP are in worse condition than the tribal and are deprived of all basic necessities of life”, he argued and maintained the tribal would resent and react any decision forcibly imposed on them against their will at propaganda of Deewa Radio or other foreign media.

Mufti Ijaz added that they instead of merging a separate province of the tribal belt would be more useful and more beneficiary for the tribesmen. He criticized US for its decision of shifting of its embassy to Jerusalem and urged the Muslim Ummah to be united to disapprove anti-Muslims activities of America.

Sahibzada Muhammad Umar in his speech warned that the tribesmen were unwilling to change their identity and asked the tribal to join set-in of JUI-F, scheduled to be held at 30 December at Faizabad, Islamabad to convoy their grievance to the rulers. Naib ameer JUI-F, Landi Kotal Maulana Yousaf Shah, Maulana Rehmatullah, PTI workers, Lutfullah and Zakria Shinwari also spoke on the occasion. The protesters marched in front of Landi Kotal press club where it dispersed peacefully.


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ECP directs concern authorities to assist in delimitation plan

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Thursday directed federal and provincial authorities to assist the Commission in delimitation of constituencies and revision of electoral rolls as per Article 220.

The ECP directed the relevant authorities to freeze the limits of the Revenue Units from December 22, 2017, till the completion of delimitation process, said a press release.

In a letter written to provincial chief Secretaries, Additional Chief Secretary (FATA) and Secretary Ministry of Statistics have been directed to accomplish various tasks and furnish necessary information as mentioned therein within stipulated dates.

The letter directed all concerned for furnishing the requisite information by January 10, 2018 so that the activities with regard to the delimitation and revision of the electoral rolls are not hampered.

The letter says that through the constitution (Twenty fourth) amendment act 2017, the clause (3) and clause (5) of Article 51 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan have been amended according to which the seats in the National Assembly have been allocated to each province, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the Federal Capital on the basis of provisional results of the census.

The letter further states that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is under constitutional obligation to delimit the constituencies and revised the Electoral Rolls accordingly before the upcoming General Elections.