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ISSUE # 51 ----- Dec 22 - Dec 28, 2014

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PAGE CONDOLENCE
PAGE stands with the Nation to express deepest condolences on the tragic incident at Army Public School in Peshawar where school children sacrificed their precious lives on December 16, 2014 (23 Safar 1432 Hijri) a date of monumental value that will be imprinted in the history of Pakistan
The value of their blood cannot be measured. The Nation owes them earnest homage and a
commitment that this huge sacrifice will not go in vain........
 

PAGE TOP STORIES

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS
& PAGE SPECIAL REPORTS

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SEVERE ENERGY CRISES MAKING HINDRANCE IN PROGRESS OF TEXTILE SECTOR
INTERVIEW WITH MR HASEEB AHMAD, AN ANALYST
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Indeed there is a great potential in textile business. A quick payback of investment in this sector is always there provided that spindles and looms run uninterrupted around the clock. Presently, main losses are acquired by this industry with foreclosure threatening around. The reason for turning down are mainly added by high cost of production because of growing in energy and labor cost. Sooner there will be revival of prevailing textile crunch the more investments will be encouraged. Chinese investors have shown interest to invest in the textile sector of Pakistan...........

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GLITTERY PAKISTANíS TEXTILE SECTOR HANGS ON POWER, REBATE ISSUES
INTERVIEW WITH MR. MUHAMMAD AHMAD, AN ANALYST
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The government sure has its hands full right now and I am not sure they have played a substantial part in helping the textile sector grow any further, which by the way is single biggest labor employer in Pakistan. There is shortage of gas, banks are hesitant to give this sector any money, and you know how bitter the situation of electricity and energy is in Pakistan. Let's hope it improves in next 2-3 years, only then we can expect something good happening in this sector. However, government can improve rebate payment process and increase the rate of rebate, which is at least comparable to neighboring countries like India, China and Bangladesh to offset some of the production costs........

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OIL PRICES
OIL WEEKLY BASKET PRICE

 (US Million $)
PERIOD PER BARRELS
Dec 19, 2014 56.44
Dec 12, 2014 61.32
Dec 5, 2014 66.69
Nov 28, 2014 72.67
Nov 21, 2014 74.35
Nov 14, 2014 76.37
Nov 7, 2014 78.87
Oct 31, 2014 82.56
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PREVIOUS ISSUES

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PAKISTAN WEATHER
3 DAYS FORECAST

  MIN MAX HUM% FORECAST.
KARACHI
TODAY 16 27 49 sunny
TOMORROW 16 27 62 cloudy
DAY AFTER 16 26 50 cloudy
LAHORE
TODAY 7 21 57 cloudy
TOMORROW 6 20 64 cloudy
DAY AFTER 6 21 68 sunny
ISLAMABAD
TODAY 7 18 46 cloudy
TOMORROW 7 17 52 cloudy
DAY AFTER 4 18 61 cloudy

updated: Sun-Tue, Dec 21 - 23, 2014

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SOCIETY

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PERSISTING DEATHS AND STARVATION IN THARPARKAR
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A latest report prepared by the provincial government shows that in Thar 311 children under five years of age have died between December, 2013 and November this year. The main causes of death of the children include birth asphyxia, pre-term, low birth weight, respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia, delivery of babies through traditional birth attendants. 118 children who died were newborn babies (one day age), 82 children died were of age two days to one month, 28 children of age 1.5 months to three months and 29 were those whose age ranging between eight months and one year. The report says that the Thar communities, particularly women, lack awareness of their health concerns.......

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COVER STORY
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SOLAR POWER OFFERS FOREIGN INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY IN PAKISTANóDR NASIM
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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has recently allowed duty free import of solar panels and other accessories with a view to strengthen our power generation capacity by adding solar power generation in our energy mix. He has also invited the private sector to import solar panels for generating electricity for their own consumption and sell out the surplus to utilities of their respective franchise area.

Presently around 20 megawatt of solar power is generated in Pakistan but with this facility of duty free import of solar panels and plants, the power generating capacity will increase rapidly, which is certainly a good sign to cope with the current power shortage, which is a serious stress on the economy of the country a long time and has been a major constraint for economic growth of the country.........

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COVER STORY
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NEED FOR CHANGING ENERGY MIX

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One of Pakistanís biggest problems is that the country is heavily dependent on fossil oil. With growing gap between demand and supply of gas its industrial units are operating far below optimum capacity utilization, worst hit is the fertilizer sector. Pakistan has not been able to benefit from grant of GSP Plus status by the European Union, mainly because of outages of electricity and gas.

 

On top of all the bad policy of diverting gas to power plants during winter is further plunge capacity utilization. The situation demands immediate corrective steps.
The root cause of power crisis in Pakistan is massive theft of electricity and gas and mounting receivables of electricity and gas distribution companies. Since coming into power PML-N government has paid more than half a trillion rupees to resolve circular debt issue but around the same amount is still outstanding......

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COVER STORY
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TERRORISM ERODING THE COUNTRYíS SOCAL STRUCTURE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND POLITICAL SYSTEM
ECONOMIC COST OF TERRORISM TO PAKISTAN IS OF $102.51 BILLION
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In a chat, Mr. Shah Faisal Afridi shared his views about the menace of terrorism facing the country. He said, Pakistan is facing the menace of terrorism, which is eroding the countryís social structure, economic development and political system. During the last 13 years, the direct and indirect cost incurred by Pakistan on the war on terror and the losses due to terrorist attacks amounted to $102.51 billion.

He said the acts of terrorism are threatening Pakistanís law and order situation, violating human rights of the citizens, damaging basic infrastructure and economic opportunities.
Referring to the recent terror attack, he said, it was nonetheless a senseless act of unspeakable brutality that claimed lives of the most innocent of human beings -- young children in their school..........

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COVER STORIES
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SHIPPING
NEWS

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CHEAP OIL NOT TO BENEFIT EUROPEAN SHIPPERS
Shipping firms operating in northern Europe will not get the full benefit of plunging oil prices as they face higher fuel costs and potential insurance problems from sulphur regulations coming into force early next year.
Shipping companies and industry watchers also say that moving to a low sulphur fuel that is around two thirds more costly than the current standard will drive some companies to skirt the rules, putting those who do comply at a major disadvantage.
"The total costs for all will go up, despite the drop in prices, because you are about to burn much more expensive bunkers," Chief Shipping Analyst Peter Sand with industry association BIMCO quoted as saying during a Global Oil Forum conducted this week.
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COVER STORY
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SOLAR ENERGY -- AN INEXPENSIVE ENERGY OF THE FUTURE
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Solar energy is positioned to become a new source of power to lead the world to a low-carbon future and hopefully, away from a global climate catastrophe, which is caused by rising emissions from burning fossil fuels.
For solar energy to become so cheap that it can compete with coal and oil, its deployments needs to be greatly scaled up. Solar energy is now causing trade wars between the US, Europe and China, which depicting that this sector is growing and is lucrative hence having all the competitiveness.
In South Asia, Bangladesh and India are quickly deploying this technology, which is becoming cheaper every passing year. Pakistan is also looking for Chinese investment in Pakistan for generation of electricity through solar.......

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COVER STORY
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CHEERFUL RELIEF OVER THE IMPORT OF SOLAR PANELS

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The Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif has exempted customs duty as well as GST on the import of solar panels with the hope of promoting alternative renewable energy in the country. At present, the customs duty is applicable at 5% while the GST stands at 17% on the imports of not only finished solar panels but on their inputs as well. Following this decision by the Prime Minister, local manufacturers will be able to import inputs freely for assembling solar panels within the country. Alongside this, importers too will be able to enjoy an exemption on duties applied on the import of finished solar panels. By doing so, a healthy competition will be promoted within the local market as it would also allow the local manufacturers to come up at par with those importers of finished solar panels.....

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RESEARCH CORNER

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FESCO: A BEST OPERATIONAL PRESENTER AND BILL COLLECTOR

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In Pakistan, FESCO (Faisalabad Electric Supply Company) is the best electricity distribution company in terms of operational presentation, as it has low degree of distribution losses and a high rate of bill collection. The companyís key service area is Faisalabad. FESCO supplies and distributes energy to about 3.23 million users within its service territory with a population of more than 21 million under a Distribution License granted through NEPRA (National Electric Power Regulatory Authority) pursuant to the NEPRA act. Geographical service region of FESCO consists Faisalabad, Khushab, Jhang, Bhakker, Sargodha, Mianwali, Chiniot and T.T. Singh districts........

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CAPITAL MARKETS
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INSURANCE
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PROMOTING INSURANCE SECTOR THROUGH SHARIAH-COMPLIANT PRODUCTS IN BALOCHISTAN
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Though Balochistan has vast potential in insurance sector, yet the sector could not play its due role in the local economy. Insurance business generally grows on risk perception in a society. Larger the risk level, higher the growth of insurance industry. The risk perception -- risks to life, assets and public and private properties -- has been higher and widely prevalent in Balochistan where the incidents of target killings and attacks on public and private properties have witnessed a phenomenal growth over the past five years. The reason is the poor law and order situation in the province, which is facing an insurgency-like situation......

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GOVERNANCE
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OUR ACHILLES HEEL
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The three major problems Pakistan faces are terrorism, law and order and poverty and corruption. Terrorism is a global issue now but for Pakistan its dynamics are quite complex. The US used Pakistanís religiously fanatic elements to raise an army of Jihadists to fight the godless forces of USSR stationed in Afghanistan. With the help of US dollars and war equipment, Mujahideen defeated Russian army forcing it to leave Afghanistan in 1989. Pakistan had helped the US achieve its lifetime objective Ė defeating the red army and that too far away from its homeland........

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INDIA IN THE NEWS

BENGALURU: Michael Dell's decision to take Dell private last year has started showing signs of change for the company in India, where it has grown to become a $2-billion entity. Growing at close to 50% in the last one year, India has now become Dell's third largest market in terms of revenue after the US and China. "Our pace of growth makes India the fastest growing market for Dell globally and India has now emerged as the third largest market for Dell, next only to the US and China," Alok Ohrie, managing director at Dell India, told ET. "India is also the largest workforce for Dell outside of the US and representative of every single business of Dell".....

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IN THE NEWS

Federal government has allocated 110 MMCFD gas to Khyber Pakhtunkhawa that is produced in the province to set up Combined Cycle Power Plant (CCGT). Official source told that KPK consistently pursued the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources for allocation of 100 MMCFD gas for setting up CCGT power generation project(s) in the province under article 158 of the Constitution which stipulates that the province in which a wellhead of natural gas is situated shall have precedence over other parts of Pakistan in meeting requirements from wellhead subject to commitments and obligations as on the commencing day........

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GULF NEWS

TEHRAN: The third summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) will be held in Tehran in 2015. The 16th ministerial meeting of the GECF was convened in the Qatari capital Doha last week.
The meeting discussed the global gas market report, which covered the latest developments in the energy market in general and in the gas market in particular, including but not limited to: short term trend of supply and demand for natural gas worldwide and in specific regions and countries, the evolution of LNG trade across the regions, developments of the gas prices, according to the GECF official website...........

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ANNOUNCEMENT

Yakoob H. Karim, President,  Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has stressed upon the authorities for completion of the second lane of Lyari Expressway in shortest possible time, as it has taken a long time since the commencement of its construction. He urged the National Highway Authority to remove all impediments in the way of construction of the Lyari Expressway and provide maximum relief to masses through 100 per cent completion of this project.
He said that in Karachi due to the increasing magnitude of road transport and the lack of adequate maintenance, rehabilitation and renovation, the road system often face a premature collapse........

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COVER STORY
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NO END TO CIRCULAR DEBT
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The circular debt issue emerged in 2006-07 when the international oil prices skyrocketed. The government at that time decided to freeze the tariff whereby not passing on this increased oil prices to the consumers in the form of high electricity prices. The Rs111.26 billion of circular debt in 2006 reached its peak in June 2013.
Due to the inability of the government to end circular debt, the economy of Pakistan is forgoing around 2 percent of its growth potential resulting in unemployment, reduced output and ultimately leading to fiscal deficit....
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EXCHANGE RATES
Pakistan Open Market Rates

BUYING SELLING
US $ 100.4 100.65
UK POUNDS 157.1 157.35
KUWAITI DINAR 343.1 343.35
SAUDI RIYAL 26.65 26.9
UAE DIRHAM 27.4 27.65
CANADIAN DOLLAR 86.6 86.85
EURO 124 124.45
JAPANESE YEN 0.83 0.96

MORE RATES

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US-PAK RELATIONS
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PAKISTAN-US RELATIONSHIP MOVING BACK TOWARDS NORMALCY
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One should not forget the US and Pakistan bitter relationship developing since the bleak days of Raymond Davis, who had killed two men in Pakistan and released back to US and the 2011 Salala check post incident, which saw 24 of our soldiers killed by American gunship helicopters destruction. It is now clear that the relationship between Pakistan and US is changing. The mistrust between the two countries cannot be settled in a matter of a few days but as things are, there are chances of improvement in relation between these two countries..

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COVER STORY
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SOLAR POWER OPTION
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Although sufficiently provided with natural resources like water, coal and sunshine, our energy issues remain unresolved even after 67 years of the creation of Pakistan. This has been one of the major failings of our leadership. We have failed to draw a line between pressing national needs and trivial political issues. Leaving the decision of making dams in the hands of divided political leadership is nothing short of suicidal. And suicide we have already committed....

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5Dec14 12Dec14 19Dec14
NASDAQ

4,769.44

4,708.16

4,748.40

H.SENG

24,069.63

23,276.38

23,131.86

SENSEX

28,566.29

27,563.95

27,447.70

NIKKEI

17,920.45

17,371.58

17,621.40

CAC-40

4,323.89

4,225.86

4,249.49

DAX

9,851.35

9,862.53

9,811.06

FTSE

6,679.37

6,461.70

6,466.00

S&P

2,071.92

2,035.33

2,061.23

DJIA

17,900.10

17,596.34

17,778.15

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As On Dec 19, 2014

TENOR

BID

OFFER

1 Week

9.36

9.86

2 Week

9.41

9.91

1 Month

9.42

9.92

3 Month

9.42

9.67

6 Month

9.42

9.67

9 Month

9.45

9.95

1 Year

9.47

9.97

2 Year

9.93

10.43

3 Year

10.13

10.63

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PAGE RESEARCH
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LOWERING OF ENERGY TARIFF A VITAL STEP TO BOOST ECONOMY, RELIEF MASSES
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Energy is a vital input to sustain industrial, commercial and local activities. Energy shortages and energy disruptions not only result in loss of economic development and leaving many jobless but unfavorably affect social cohesion in the society. In Pakistan, energy crisis had been brewing since 2007 and deepened in 2012 causing hugely negative impression and affected the economic development and indicators. Absence of effectual planning, a financially and economically viable policy and incapacitated regulator resulted in demand-supply gap.......

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BUSINESS QUOTATIONS
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Solar power is the last energy resource that isn't owned yet - nobody taxes the sun yet.
BONNIE RAITT
I hope climate science becomes the big thing. And then what I want is electrical engineers to solve the world's energy problems, energy distribution problems. I want mechanical engineers to make better transportation systems. I want chemical engineers to develop better solar panels, and so on.
BILL NYE
'Easter' is a movable event, calculated by the relative positions of sun and moon, an impossible way of fixing year by year the anniversary of a historical event, but a very natural and indeed inevitable way of calculating a solar festival. These changing dates do not point to the history of a man, but to the hero of a solar myth.
ANNIE BESANT
It's time for the human race to enter the solar system.
DAN QUAYLE
The planet Earth, though not threatened with destruction by man-made global warming, is by no means indestructible. There are many unpredictable events within our solar system, and still more outside it, that could make Earth uninhabitable by humans.
PAUL JOHNSON
I've had experiences in my life that leave no doubt in my mind about the fact that God exists. I'm quite willing to debate people who don't think so because I want them to explain to me how did our solar system get so organized and how is the universe so complex and yet well-organized that we can predict 70 years hence when a comet is coming?
BENJAMIN CARSON

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COVER STORY
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EXPLORING SOLAR ENERGY OPTION

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There canít be two opinions regarding changing energy mix of Pakistan, presently heavily skewed towards fossil oil. However, it is yet to be decided which of the alternatives is cost efficient and economically viable. One of the much talked about option is solar power option. On the face value and keeping in view Pakistanís climatic conditions the option looks attractive.

The other benefits are: 1) installation in far flung areas which are still not connected to national grid and construction of transmission and distribution lines is too capital intensive, 2) capital cost may be high but running cost is very low, 3) photovoltaic (PV) cells could be imported at modest cost and 3) local production can also be undertaken by forming joint ventures and entering into technology transfer arrangement.......

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CURRENCY CONVERTER
(Open Market)

 EURO:

 US DOLLARS:

 UK POUNDS:

 Japanese YEN:

 SAUDI RIYAL:

 UAE DIRHAM:

 KUWAITI DINAR:

 CANADIAN DOLLARS:

 PAKISTANI RUPEES:

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THIS WEEK TOP STORIES

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K-ELECTRIC ANNOUNCES DEVELOPMENT OF 225MW LNG POWER PLANT (DAWN NEWS)
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COMPANIES FACE 'BLOODBATH' IN RUSSIA (BBC NEWS)
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GOVT LOSING UP TO $3,781 ON EACH USED CAR IMPORT (THE NATION)
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RAILWAYS TO RUN TWO SPECIAL WINTER HOLIDAYS' TRAINS (BUSINESS RECORDER)
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QATARíS ECONOMY HAS AN INBUILT RESILIENCE (GULF NEWS)
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LSM EXPANDS BY 2PC IN JULY-OCT (DAWN NEWS)
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ECC APPROVES $65M FOR NBP BíDESH BRANCH (THE NATION)
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FINANCE
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UNITY IS A MUST TO BRING ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL STABILITY
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While the shock wave of the tragic incident of Peshawar Army Public School where the innocent children were martyred in a terror attack were felt not only by Pakistanis as a nation but the entire world condemned the brutal and barbaric act by extremists. The huge sacrifice of the innocent children was however moved the hearts of every Pakistani as every segment of the society including politicians have come on the same page to retort the ghastly crime as a one nation. The terrible act took the lives of 148 innocent people, including 132 students.

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