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Multidimensional Pak-US relationship is in the larger strategic interest of both nations: Ali J. Siddiqui

Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), one of the world’s leading international relations and national security think tank, invited Ambassador Ali Jehangir Siddiqui to speak on the scope of an evolving Pak-US relationship that looks beyond common security interests.

Senior scholars and policy influencers Daniel Runde and Seth Jones engaged in a series of conversations with Ambassador Siddiqui on topics including the limited scope of the current US-Pak relationship, future of economic partnerships, CPEC, and regional connectivity at the CSIS headquarters in Washington. The events were attended by politicians, academics, and policy makers.

Areas for an economic partnership, in sectors such as energy and agriculture, were identified along with developments in, and potential for, tourism in Pakistan. The hosts appreciated Government of Pakistan’s efforts in the recent opening of the Kartarpur corridor for followers of the Sikh faith. Ambassador Siddiqui observed that many interested US companies have missed out on opportunities in Pakistan against their competitors in Europe and Asia. He gave the example of telecommunication services in Pakistan an industry that has experienced immense growth to the benefit of numerous international investors. He mentioned many more similar opportunities related to increased regional connectivity with Central Asia that continue to be available for exploration.

CPEC and the Pak-China relationship was a topic of detailed discussion. The hosts shared aspects of negative view held in US when it comes to CPEC. The Ambassador while relaying Pakistan’s perspective also addressed common misconceptions that fuel the negative opinion. While talking about its openness the Ambassador elaborated that US companies such as General Electric were also benefitting from CPEC.

During a session dedicated to envisioning a broader Pakistan US relationship, not limited to security interests, Ambassador Siddiqui contributed that Pakistan offers tremendous economic growth. He stated that a partnership that benefits from economic cooperation, profit, technology exchange and shared regional interests would be in the greater strategic interest of both nations. The Ambassador added that it was time to stop looking at Pakistan through a limited third country prism, whether it be India or Afghanistan.

Mr. Runde observed that, if considered impartially, Pakistan shares the league of Brazil and Indonesia when it comes to population and potential, and thus the bilateral relationship between Pakistan and the US must encompass the multidimensionality enjoyed with other similarly large nations. Ambassador Siddiqui acknowledged the positive direction set during the summit and following meetings between President Trump and Prime Minister Imran Khan, highlighting the steps being taken to build upon multidimensional relationship. Ambassador Siddiqui also presented Pakistan’s support of the peace process in Afghanistan and opportunities post peace for Pakistan and the US.

The event closed with a vote of thanks to Ambassador Ali Jehangir Siddiqui.

Pakistan cables launches ‘SHAHBASH USTAAD’ for its loyalty club electrician members

Pakistan Cables announced the launch of an experience based program, ‘SHAHBASH USTAAD’ for its Loyalty Club members recently. ‘Shahbash Ustaad’ is developed to recognize the efforts of top performing electricians, who work diligently and support the company’s mission of providing world class wiring solutions manufactured by Pakistan Cables.

Winners of Shahbash Ustaad are selected, among members of the company’s ongoing Loyalty Club, followed by a series of verifications. Upon successful selection, the selected ‘Ustaad’ is rewarded with a fun filled day with his family.

As part of the roll out, MUHAMMAD ASLAM from Karachi, MUHAMMAD NAVEED from Lahore, SHABIR AHMED from Islamabad and MUJAHID HUSSAIN from Multan were selected. Members have widely appreciated the efforts by the company for celebrating and rewarding their hard work in a unique way.

Pakistan Cables set up the Loyalty Club in 2005. Since then a number of electricians have been part of it and continue to earn rewards through it. Upon purchase of a product, members can take the coupon out of the box and submit points against each coupon. The points are redeemed against prizes, information of which members can access through catalogues and a dedicated call center facility.

About Pakistan Cables Ltd.

Founded in 1953, Pakistan Cables is the oldest and most reputable cable manufacturer in Pakistan. It is the only wire and cable manufacturer listed on the PSX since 1955. The company has the largest geographical footprint in Pakistan with presence in over 180 cities. It is ISO9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 AND OHSAS 18001:2007 certified and various cables type tested by KEMA, Netherlands.

Metro’s solar power solution plan

METRO Pakistan organized inauguration ceremony of its Solar Power Solution at its Capital Store in Islamabad as part of its pledge to reduce Co2 emissions and towards its Clean & Green Pakistan initiative. Picture shows the honorable chief guest Mr. Malik Amin Aslam Khan, Federal Minister/Advisor to PM on Climate Change, H.E. Bernhard Schlagheck, Ambassador of Germany in Pakistan, and Mr. Marek Minkiewicz, Managing Director METRO Pakistan with senior team members of METRO at the inauguration site.

K-Electric, Engro Energy sign MoU to set up Karachi’s first waste-to-energy plant

Aimed at reducing the climate change impact by converting Karachi’s municipal solid waste into indigenous and renewable resource of energy, K-Electric and Engro Energy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a 50MW Solid Waste to Energy Plant at an estimated cost of US$ 175 million. The MoU was signed by Moonis Alvi, CEO, KE and Ahsan Zafar Syed, CEO, Engro Energy MoU at KE’s head office today.

Through the project, Karachi’s municipal solid waste will be reduced by 3,000 tons per day to generate electricity, which will play a key role in addressing the municipality’s waste issue and simultaneously contribute in meeting the city’s growing power needs.

According to Moonis Alvi, CEO KE said, “KE is committed towards providing clean, reliable and affordable energy for the sustainable development of the city. Signing of this MoU today is yet another testament of our efforts towards a cleaner and greener Karachi. We are hopeful to complete this project as soon as possible with the right facilitation from all concerned quarters and regulatory approvals. As per reports, Karachi produces around 12,000 to 15,000 tons of solid waste daily and therefore has the potential to generate more than 200MW of electricity. Successful commissioning of this project will encourage development of more such projects in the future to address the pressing waste disposal issues while also resolving the problems of limited landfill spaces and gas emissions.”

Ahsan Zafar Syed, CEO of Engro Energy also spoke and said, “Engro is always at the forefront of solving the pressing issues of our time and one such challenge that our country faces is waste management in our Cities. This collaboration with Karachi Electric signals our resolve to find a solution around the waste management issues of one of Pakistan’s major cities. Karachi is home to a populace of over 20 million people and the waste-to-energy plant will not only add clean energy to K-Electric’s energy mix but will also provide a sustainable way to manage solid waste which is important for the environment whilst improving livability index of Karachi.”

Going forward, project site will be identified through surveys keeping in view availability of solid waste as well as suitability for evacuating power from the plant. Simultaneously, studies will also be undertaken to develop solid waste supply chain with concerned authorities to propose a suitable mechanism for its collection, sorting and transportation to the project site. Construction of the plant will commence after land acquisition, tariff determination and other required approvals.

KE is actively working to diversify its fuel mix towards clean energy and in this regard, two 25-year EPAs with IPPs have already been signed for addition 100 MW of renewable energy to KE’s system, out of which offtake of 50MW solar power has already commenced. Additionally, KE is also evaluating another 300 MWs of renewable projects to further increase the share of renewable energy based on solar, wind and biogas, in its system. The power utility has always been a responsible and environment-friendly organization which is reflected in its environmental sustainability initiatives. The power utility has till date planted more than 150,000 trees under its #PlantForPakistan campaign in collaboration with different schools, universities and organizations.

 

Jazz world empowers over 3 million active users

Jazz, Pakistan’s leading digital communications company, celebrates another milestone with Jazz World crossing three million monthly active users and more than one million daily active users.

Jazz World, a customer engagement platform, was released on iOS and Android in January 2019 to offer a variety of services to its subscribers. These include checking prepaid mobile balance and postpaid bills, ability to recharge account, pay phone bills, and access usage history along with information on the best packages. The platform also allows subscribers to submit complaints, buy SIMs and much more.

Commenting on this achievement, Jazz Chief Executive Officer Aamir Ibrahim said, “Jazz has always been at the forefront of serving its customers through delivery of innovative services and features. Continuing its journey as the largest digital communications company, Jazz is proud of its customers’ acknowledgment who have helped Jazz World grow to its current level. We are grateful to all of our customers and hope that they will continue to repose their trust in us.”

“Achieving three million monthly active users is a testament to the rising popularity of the platform. Our focus has been to continuously provide the best customer centric digital products. We thank our customers for trusting us and being part of this journey,” added Jazz Chief Digital & Strategy Officer Aamer Ejaz.

Jazz World is now the fastest-growing Pakistani digital platform. The platform is also enriched through its best in class user experience which was developed after continuous feedback from our customers. Engagement features like daily rewards, cricket updates and Ramzan timings have been well liked by customers. Jazz World can also be accessed in Urdu language.

Jazz World can be downloaded from Google & Apple app stores and is available for both postpaid and prepaid customers.

Hysab Kytab partners with Telenor Pakistan to personalize consumer experience

Hysab Kytab (HK) has entered into a strategic partnership with Telenor Pakistan to collaborate on gaining a deeper understanding of consumer preferences. The collaboration will help drive a deeper and more holistic understanding of consumers that will lead to the individual-level personalization of products and services in Pakistan.

The partnership will involve collaboration in the domains of Market Research, Credit Risk Profiling, Analytics as a Service, Data insights and Targeted Advertising.

Yasir Ilyas, Country Head, Hysab Kytab, while sharing his views about the partnership said, “Despite the increasing trend of electronic payment systems with higher rates of adoption by the general public in Pakistan, the most common transacting medium is still cash. Last year, 45.8% of all transactions alone were made using cash (PKR 75.9 Million) while ATMs processed PKR 470.6 million. Since the last visibility point for cash transactions is when cash is withdrawn from the ATM, the insights into cash-based consumer spending is virtually nonexistent. Hysab Kytab and Telenor can achieve higher rates of customer satisfaction and understanding through the addition of many more data-points that lead to a 360-degree view of the customer.”

“We see a lot of value in partnering with one of the largest telcos in Pakistan as it would enrich the insights with the great work that the Telenor team has done with their analytics portal,” he added further.

Both Hysab Kytab and Telenor Pakistan see this as the first step towards the establishment of a consortium with other major players to further enhance the consumer experience.

Employer of the year award

Employers Federation of Pakistan (EFP) organized 7th Employer of the Year Award 2018 ceremony. During the occasion, EFP announced the winners of the 7th Employer of the Year Award 2018 to companies demonstrating good practices in the area of corporate and general management, employment practices, labor laws and ILC compliance, CSR, health and safety, social protection floors, strategic alliance with SDGs, training and skill development, and women empowerment. Group Picture showing Award Winners with the Chief Guest Saeed Ghani, Minister Labour & HR Sindh, Majyd Aziz President, and Zaki Ahmed Khan Vice President, EFP.

Fourth Karachi International water conference ends on a positive note

Day two of the two-day Fourth Karachi International Water Conference aiming to bring together thought leaders, actors and players of the water sector that are working on Water-Energy-Food Nexus concluded successfully. Major global, regional and national organizations and their representatives, researchers, professionals, decision-makers, business innovators, practitioners, experts, women’s groups, youth groups and leaders on WEF Nexus exchanged ideas on fostering new thinking, developing innovative solutions and work on the water agenda for the 21st century.

Day 2, began with Session 5 ‘Fireside Chat on Valuing Water’, with free-flowing conversation with three defenders of water, Dr. Adil Najam, Ms. Ayesha Khan and Ms. Naida Naqi. – the discussion explored the intrinsic value of water in protecting our ecosystems. Session 6A ‘Water Governance and Security – Food Production and Agriculture Development’ explored food security solutions for Pakistan and the panelists shared global and regional good practices that can be adopted locally. Moving towards Session 6B ‘Nexus Approaches for Water Policy and Strategy’ assessed whether the much needed WEF Nexus is reflected in our policy discourse. Session 7A ‘Water Infrastructure and Investment – A Bespoke Model for Water Financing’ chaired by Dr. Reza Baqir, Governor State Bank identified water financing instruments and financing models for water, especially for Pakistan in the 21st century. Session 7B ‘Leaving No One Behind – Young People Calling for Climate Change Emergency’ highlighted the efforts of youth in connection to the nexus and climate emergency. The conference closing session featured talks by Country Director World Bank, Ilangovan Pachamuthu and FAO representative to Pakistan Ms. Mina Dowlatchahi. Ms. Simi Kamal unveiled and gave an overview of the first of its kind Water Center being set up at NED University Karachi, The Panjwani-Hisaar Water Institute. Ms. Meher Noshirwani read the conference declaration wrapping up the intellectual discourse and discussion from two days. Towards the end, Governor Sindh, Mr Imran Ismail gave his remarks and lauded the efforts of Hisaar Foundation.

The centrality of water in the Water Energy Food Nexus as a tool for analysis and the paradigm for action is obvious. Delivering water, energy and food for all in a sustainable and equitable way is one of the major challenges faced by our societies. By the end of the conference emerged an agenda for research, policy and action on WEF nexus, pledges of government and people working together, and connection between developed and developing countries. The Water-Energy-Food nexus was explored through various lens of valuing water, water governance, water infrastructure and investment, and social inclusion (gender and youth).

The day ended successfully with the attendees hopeful that the water problems of the country could be addressed in a more positive and innovative way in the near future.

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