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Pakistan’s foreign policy in good hands, says Najamuddin Shaikh

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Mr. Najamuddin A. Shaikh, Pakistan’s former foreign secretary has said that a country’s foreign policy emanates from its domestic policy. If it’s internal policies are strong, this will certainly lead to strong external policies.

He said this in a Talk on ’Foreign Policy Challenges and the New Government,’ given on Saturday, September 1, 2018. It was organized by the Society for Global Moderation (SGM) in Karachi.

Mr. Shaikh hoped that the new government in Pakistan will start moving towards a new identity and that it would recognize terrorism as a recurrent theme.

He was of the view that since every country has its own interests to look after, Pakistan must also accept the realities surrounding it and must accept that the Taliban are a reality though it must make sure that it does not become a party to the conflict.

He said he was aware of the fact that for India, it was important to maintain the façade that terrorism was coming from across the border but this still meant that Pakistan must engage with India and hold talks with them. He said he was encouraged by the fact that many countries were willing to mediate in this regard. He was of the view that while New Delhi talks to Srinagar regarding various issues, it must also talk to Islamabad.

Mr. Najamuddin Shaikh believed that Pakistan’s foreign policy was in very competent hands under Shah Mahmood Qureshi who had the ability to steer foreign affairs in a very able manner and that now a new chapter would be opened in Pakistan’s external relations.

The former foreign secretary saw Pakistan as a country with great potential and said that if the new government utilized even 30 per cent of its potential and laid the foundations of a new service structure, it could move forward with prestige and pride.

Earlier, Syed Jawaid Iqbal, Chairman, Society for Global Moderation (SGM), welcomed Mr. Najmuddin Shaikh for sparing time to give the Talk.

Co-founders of the Society for Global Moderation, namely Dr. Azmat Khan and Mr. Zahid Hussain Khan, were also present on the occasion.

NHA Chief Underlines importance of planting saplings

Chairman NHA Jawwad Rafiq Malik has underlined the importance of planting saplings on emergency basis to further strengthen the country. Addressing a ceremony held here the auspices of federal government’s initiative “Plant for Pakistan 2018”, he noted that plantation of trees was only solution to overcome environmental issues.

Chairman NHA Jawwad Rafiq Malik said that trees not only help make environment pleasant but also tackle issue of floods. He said planting trees was our national duty. He sought cooperation of entire nation for the success of the tree plantation drive and to make Pakistan green and prosper.

Chairman further stressed the need to adopt a monitoring system for growth of saplings. He instructed strict supervision of saplings from plantation till growth.

Member Admin Mr. Ali Sher Mehsud said that following directives of the federal government, NHA has planned well to plant trees at national level. He added saplings are being planted at Islamabad, Multan, Hyderabad-Karachi motorway (M-9), M-1 Burhan interchange and Chowngi no 26 (N-5) Rawalpindi while target of planting over 7000 saplings has been achieved.

Earlier, GM Islamabad Airport Manzoor Ahmed Arbab Project Director Samiullah Chatham briefed that over 5000 saplings would be planted from Chowngi no 26 jurisdiction of airport. They added 1.5 billion trees Tsunami drive would be preceded with optimism.

Chairman NHA stressed the need to adopt a monitoring system for growth of saplings. He instructed strict supervision of saplings from plantation till growth.

Member Admin Ali Sher Mehsud said that following directives of the federal government, NHA has planned well to plant trees at national level. He added saplings are being planted at Islamabad-Multan Hyderabad-Karachi motorway (M-9), M-1 Burhan interchange and Chowngi no 26 (N-5) Rawalpindi while target of planting over 7000 saplings has been achieved.

Earlier, GM Islamabad Airport Manzoor Ahmed Arbab Project Director Samiullah Chatham briefed that over 5000 saplings would be planted from Chowngi no 26 till jurisdiction of airport. They added 1.5 billion trees Tsunami drive would be preceded with optimism.

Prime Minister led economic advisory council will help in curbing economic issues: Mian Zahid Hussain

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said that not for the first time in the country’s history, Prime Minister is leading the economic advisory council which shows his interest in resolving economic issues of the country on priority.

The veteran business leader while talking to the business community said that in the past, minister finance used to lead the EAC with no consistency in their meetings, but current government has announced monthly meetings of this council which shows its sincerity in resolving economic problems of the country on priority. Under economic advisory council, measures in accordance with recommendations of the economic experts will be taken to get the country out of the ongoing economic troubles. The members of the council are comprised of experts in the field and highly qualified; 11 out of 18 members of the council are from the private sector.

The former minister said that business community expects from that this council will form immediate, long term and effective policies to develop business, trade, industry and human resource and government will take revolutionary measures in light of those policies. It is also expected from EAC that immediate measures will be taken to grow exports, stabilize currency and supportive environment for foreign investment. Foreign exchange reserves has fallen to a greater extent for which government needs to form a vibrant investment policy for overseas Pakistanis and Prime Minister Imran Khan, should initiate bonds and sukook according to his announcement in order to reduce stress on the foreign exchange reserves, he added.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that in July export has increased by 1.16 pc to $ 1.65 billion but simultaneously imports have also reached to $ 4.84 billion widening the trade deficit to more than $ 3 billion. The finance minister and members of the economic advisory council are required to take measures to cater the worst economic situation using their full potential. The relevant departments and ministries should take instant implementation of the recommendations of this council to develop the Country’s economy and practical measures will be required to get benefits of the this important council.

Key Journalists Call On the New JS Bank President

The President and CEO of JS Bank, held a media engagement event at its Head Office located at Shaheen Complex, Karachi.

The session was hosted by JS Bank’s President and CEO, Basir Shamsie. Attendees included leading journalists from a cross-section of the print and electronic media community. The reporters felicitated Mr. Shamsie on having taken over the role of President of JS Bank and congratulated him on the Bank’s rapid growth.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Shamsie shared the Bank’s history stating, “Our journey of success had humble beginnings. When we took over the operations of American Express Bank in Pakistan, we had just 4 branches with approximately 150 people nationwide. Today we have 322 branches in 160 cities and one international branch in Bahrain, staffed by over 5,000 employees. This translates into a new branch being opened practically every fortnight. Our evolution from an investment bank in 2007 to one of Pakistan’s leading consumer, retail, SME, corporate and digital banks is a testament to the Bank’s vision and team.”

Commenting broadly on the overall financials, Mr. Shamsie informed the attendees that JS Bank’s equity has risen to PKR 16.7 Billion while Profit Before Tax stands at PKR 1.1 Billion as of June 30th, 2018. JS Bank remains fully compliant with the Capital Adequacy Requirement (CAR) of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) while limiting the non-performing loans (NPL) ratio to less than 2%.

He also spoke on how the Bank is amongst the top 5 banks when it comes to a variety of customer focused offerings including SME, Home and Auto loans. Considerable efforts are also being made in the sphere of Youth Development, Entrepreneurship Clean Energy and Agriculture lending. JS Bank is amongst the top banks in the Prime Minister Youth Business Loan (PMYBL) program. Alliances with leading companies such as Careem, Engro and Nestle have allowed JS Bank to give ordinary people the means to earn a decent livelihood. Other innovative offerings launched include JS Gold Finance where people can just walk into a branch, pledge their gold ornaments and walk out with cash within just 100 minutes.

JS Bank is committed to the progress and prosperity of Pakistan and is working day and night to take the country to new heights.

Indus Motor Company becomes the official women leaders partner in Markhor 2018

Indus Motor Company (IMC) will serve as the official Women Leaders Partner in the upcoming youth leadership conference Markhor 2018 to be held in Mukshpuri, Nathiagali this week.

The five-day conference will be held under the theme ‘Rise with the Sun.’ It will bring together 100 participants from Pakistan and other countries in South Asia on a rigorous training platform, focused on instilling the Markhor Spirit amongst the youth. The Markhor Spirit signifies the ability to go beyond one’s limits and achieve the unachievable.

The conference is being organized by Youth Impact (YI), a non-profit organization committed to develop leadership potential in the youth, with the support of several corporate sponsors.

10 female delegates in the conference will be fully sponsored by IMC to encourage female participation in this leadership conference and facilitate women empowerment. The females, aged between 17 and 24, hail from cities such as Gawadar, Chakwal and Gilgit, among others.

CEO of Indus Motor Company, Ali Asghar Jamali said, “We are delighted to collaborate with Youth Impact for yet another Markhor conference this year with the ambition to encourage women empowerment and leadership. Some 10 female students are being sponsored for the conference, which is double the number of delegates we had sponsored last year.”

He added that IMC’s collaboration with Markhor 2018 supports the company’s commitment to United Nations Sustainability Development Goal 5 of gender equality by empowering women. “The challenging conference will serve as a means for young Pakistani women to enhance their self-awareness and will empower them to function with a renewed sense of confidence, competence and character. With these character traits and a fueled passion to Start Their Impossible, these women will be able to make a sustainable impact on our society.”

IMC’s contribution to Markhor supports Toyota’s Global ’Start Your Impossible’ campaign that demonstrates values of humility, hard work and never giving up with the aim to create a more inclusive and sustainable society where everyone can challenge their impossible to achieve their dreams. IMC encourages gender diversity in its employee base and ensures equal compensation and opportunities. The purpose is to take this beyond the walls of IMC and to embed within the community a sense of gender equality.

The Markhor 2018 program entails physically challenging tasks along with keynote speaker sessions by international and local social, public and corporate leaders. The speakers will delve into topics pertaining to the values and ideologies of compassion, positivity, creativity, making an impact, responsibility and altruism, among others.

Karachi’s safe city project needs early initiation, new police chief appointment supportive: Mian Zahid Hussain

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain said that Karachi rating on international crime index has declined to 69th position a credit given to the military operation against terrorism in Karachi for which civil military leadership deserved congratulations. However, Karachi’s crime rating is still 58 percent and safety rating is 42 percent; Sindh Police is responsible for improvement of situation.

The veteran business leader while talking to the business community on Friday said that appointment of Dr. Amir Shaikh as police chief is helpful in improving the performance of Karachi police given to his high qualification and serving on leading positions in Sindh Police. He had obtained masters degree in Criminology from London School of Economics and Political Science. He served as DIG Finance, Traffic, Rapid Response Force, Crime Investigation Department, Commandant Police Training Centre Saeedabad, DIG South, East, Mirpur Khas, Sukkur and SSP investigation. He has brought major reforms in traffic rules. He formed computerised database for traffic challans and connected the driving licenses to it. He introduced the concept of friendly policing and took various measures to develop police community links.

The former minister said that overall crime situation in Karachi has been improved however, street crimes could not curbed, rather in the last 6 months gradual increase has been observed in the street crimes. Karachities have been deprived of 16,000 mobile phones, 400 cars and 11,000 motorcycles after recovery, given to the ongoing street crimes in the city. Kidnapping for ransom has decreased significantly, only 5 incidents have been reported so far while 30 incidents of extortion have also been reported. Ratio of snatching is far higher in the industrial areas which need special measures.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the safe city project needs early implementation in order to make the biggest metropolis city of Pakistan. Currently so far 3,000 cameras have been installed in 300 different places, which cannot suffice the city’s needs. Last year, video surveillance projected was approved under which 10,000 cameras to be installed on 2,000 spots in the city. The safe city project needs to be initiated immediately after taking all stake holders in confidence. Sindh government needs to take collective measure with Sindh Police to develop the force on modern lines and use all available resources to make Karachi a safe city.

IBA-CEJ holds two-day communications training for government officials

The Institute of Business Administration – Centre for Excellence in Journalism (IBA-CEJ) held a two-day ‘Communications Strategy Workshop’ in collaboration with the Multi Donor Trust Fund. The editorial consultant for the Express Tribune, Abul Hasanat trained 20 government officials from Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkwa.

The workshop covered different mediums of communications which government officials can use to improve their work. Guest speakers included Digital Marketing Manager Nashit Munshi, Geo News Reporter Muhammad Qaseem Saeed, Freelance Photojournalist Ayesha Mir, Co-founder of Bolo Bhi Farieha Aziz, Right to Information Expert Dr. Syed Raza Gardezi, CEJ Director Kamal Siddiqi and CEJ Lecturer Shahzeb Ahmed.

On the first day, Mr. Hasanat conducted an interactive session on how the information department works and what tools government officials can use to work more efficiently. He explained the concept of news, feature writing and the inverted style pyramid to the participants.

Mr. Saeed introduced the concept of mobile journalism to the participants and shared tools and tips on how to use smartphones while covering an event. “Every reputed and known news channel and organization in the world today is adopting mobile journalism technology to make news-gathering easier, timely and cost effective. MoJo kits have made work easier and quicker,” he said.

The day ended with a brief on how advertisement and publicity can be optimized and discussed the fast-moving trends of social media marketing by Mr. Munshi.

The second day of the workshop kicked off with a session on ethics and the media landscape by Mr. Siddiqi. He spoke about being part of the communications department and how the personnel should get their message across to the public. He further discussed the issues that government officials face while dealing with the media and also shed light on the Code of Ethics of journalism.

Talking about the basics of photography, Ms. Mir taught the participants about the components of a photograph and how to handle and operate a camera.

Ms. Aziz walked the participants through fake news, safety on social media, and the Cyber Crime Law. Talking about account security, Ms. Aziz added, “We should keep different passwords for all social media accounts and should always have a secondary account associated. You should also check where your account was last logged in which will tell you if whether your account was hacked or not.”

Dr. Gardezi ended the workshop with a session on “Right to Information”. He briefed the audience on what “Right to Information” is and about the law in each province. “We will never know anything if we don’t ask, hence, it is important to use your right to information to know more,” he added.

IBA launches a Center for Urban Studies and Policy

IBA has launched a Centre for Urban Studies and Policy (CUSP) to produce research-based evidence and policy ideas on the challenges generated by rapid urbanization.

The CUSP will host Associates who will be expected to write discussion papers and opinion pieces on critical urban issues as well as engage in dialogue with relevant policy makers and stakeholders at the local, provincial and national levels. Through these activities, CUSP will contribute to the discourse and debate on urbanization in Pakistan.

Nested within the CUSP set-up is the Karachi Urban Lab (KUL), a collaboration between IBA’s Dr. Nausheen H. Anwar and NED University’s Dr. Noman Ahmed. The KUL is an evolving experiment in interdisciplinary urban research and its mission is to serve as an incubator for learning, teaching and practice. KUL also provides students and urban professionals opportunities for training in research methods, cutting-edge theory and concepts to help build a global knowledge base. Currently, the KUL is focusing on three themes: land-use and urban renewal, water infrastructure and environmental justice in Karachi and the wider Sindh region. This allows the KUL to generate insights into the dynamics of migration, planning regimes, infrastructural reorganization, environmental and climate change related shifts and political struggles over resources.

Air University organizes Orientation ceremony

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Vice Chancellor Air University AVM (retd) Faaiz Amir has urged students to prepare themselves to cope with challenges in the digital age. He was addressing the Orientation ceremony, organized by Air University, to welcome more than 1500 newly-enrolled in various undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

The Vice Chancellor of the Air University Air Vice Marshal (retd) Faaiz Amir, while exchanging his views with students, expressed his strong belief about their stay at the Air University being the golden period of their lives. He also advised them to try their best to excel in whatsoever field of study they have opted for along with trying to contribute to the society in progressive and positive ways. “We must do our best to ensure the betterment of our beloved country,” he said, adding that patience and consistency can play pivotal role for achieving desired goals. The Vice Chancellor also emphasized on the importance of time management.

On the occasion, one of the most distinguished guests of honor, the CEO of Nayatel Wahaj-ul-Siraj also delivered a keynote speech to the audience. Recalling his student life memories, he urged the participants to adopt positive approach towards tackling challenges in life. “Every one of us has to face hurdles in life but only those who believe in hard work are able to overcome,” he said. Nayatel chief also appreciated the Air University for contributing effectively to Pakistan’s employment sector by molding highly intellectual minds.

To give an accurate description of the students’ life at AU campus, some notable alumnus of the university were also invited at the stage to recall their experience of being a student at the Air University. In addition, the Director Exams briefed the new students about the policies and regulations of the Exams Department. He, like everyone else, also welcomed the students and expressed his extreme trust in their abilities. The parents present at the event were given a full opportunity to get all their queries about the university life and other issues.

Further, the participants were briefed about the co- and extra-curricular activities arranged periodically in the university. This section of the event comprised of the brief intros of various societies, councils, and clubs working in the university. The council members of each society introduced the vision of their respective society and the contributions they have made to the campus life over years. These societies include Air Media Club, Thespian Society, Cultural Society, Music society, Writers’ Club, Shaoor Society, and many others.

New students were also given a chance to enjoy different activities arranged by the university’s societies at their specified stalls. There were also the registration desks of each society for the new students to become a part of any society they feel interested in. The day concluded leaving a positive and encouraging impact on the new students. The regular classes for the semester Fall-2018 commence on Tuesday, September 4th, 2018.

Al Baraka Pakistan and Honda Atlas cars sign Strategic Alliance

Al Baraka Bank Pakistan Ltd. (ABPL) has recently signed a Strategic Alliance Agreement with Honda Atlas Cars Ltd. Through this venture, Al Baraka aims to enhance customer experience and provide priority delivery of Honda vehicles to Al Baraka Carsaaz (Auto Finance) customers. This alliance will not only provide affordable Islamic financing solutions to customers but will also facilitate in ensuring timely delivery of their dream Honda cars, thus cementing the Bank’s position as a dependable service provider.

The agreement was signed by Mr. Ahmed Shuja Kidwai, CEO Al Baraka Bank Pakistan Ltd. and Mr. Amir Nazir, General Manager- Sales, Honda Atlas Cars (Pakistan) Limited. Other senior members present during the signing ceremony were; Ms. Amna Tahir Manager Corporate Sales Honda Atlas Cars, Mr. Akif Imtiaz Head of Consumer Finance, Al Baraka Bank and Mr. Muhammad Hammad Waqar Regional Business Head, Al Baraka Bank.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ahmed Shuja Kidwai, CEO Al Baraka Bank Pakistan Limited said “Al Baraka is committed to provide superior customer services to its consumers and this partnership will add value to the products and services offered to our customers.”

Al Baraka Bank Pakistan Ltd. is a subsidiary of Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG), a Bahrain Joint Stock Company, listed on Bahrain and NASDAQ Dubai stock exchanges. It is a leading International Islamic bank with Standard & Poor’s at BB (long term) / B (short term) and offers Retail, Corporate, Investment Banking and Treasury Services strictly in accordance with the principles of Islamic Shariah. The authorized capital of ABG is US$ 2.5 billion and asset base of over US$ 24.5 billion.

The Group has a wide geographical presence in the form of subsidiary banking units and representative offices in 16 countries, which in turn provide their services through over 700 branches. Al Baraka currently has a strong presence in Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan, Bahrain, Pakistan, South Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Morocco, including two representative offices in Indonesia and Libya.

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