No meaningful evidence of coup against Imran Khan: Noam Chomsky

On Sunday, Noam Chomsky, a severe critic of US foreign policy, said that there was “no meaningful evidence of a coup” by his country against former prime minister Imran Khan. Responding to a left-wing blogger Chomsky said, “the US is powerful, but not all-powerful. There is a tendency to attribute everything that happens in the world to the CIA or some diabolical Western plan. There is plenty to condemn, sharply. And the US is indeed powerful. But it’s nothing like what is often believed.” Chomsky also maintained that he did not consider the cable of Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US, Asad Majeed, as “substantial evidence” of American intervention for a regime change in the country.

NSC rejects allegations of ‘foreign conspiracy’

Islamabad: On April 22, Pakistan’s National Security Council (NSC) rejected ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s accusations that the United States had concocted to overthrow his government through a parliamentary vote of confidence. A statement from the office of new Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said: “The NSC after reviewing the contents of the communication, the assessment received, and the conclusion presented by the security agencies, concludes that there has been no conspiracy”.

India, World Bank consider $2 billion for Sri Lanka

Colombo: On April 22, Sri Lanka’s finance minister said that its neighbour India and the World Bank were considering extending about $2 billion in bridge finance. The decision is taken outrightly so Sri Lanka can continue essential imports. “Talks with the World Bank have also been very positive,” Ali Sabry said, adding: “In the next four weeks to six months we expect about $500 million from them, which will be partly used to provide direct cash transfers to the poor”.

Massive blasts in Kunduz mosque

Kabul: On April 22, it was reported that a blast tore through a Sunni mosque during Friday prayers in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz. According to the report, it killed 33 people and wounded dozens more. Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Taliban administration, in a Tweet confirmed the death toll and said 43 people had also been wounded. “The perpetrators of these incidents are…evil elements and serious efforts are being made to arrest and punish them,” he said.

Britain and India aim for free trade

New Delhi: On April 22, Britain and India agreed to beef up defense and business cooperation during a visit to New Delhi by Boris Johnson. Boris said that the bilateral free-trade deal could be wrapped up by October. On his first visit to the Indian capital as UK’s prime minister, he discussed with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi strategies to boost security ties with India. India’s foreign secretary, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, said that Johnson did not put pressure on Modi over New Delhi’s position on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Israeli police clashes, injures Palestinians in Al-Aqsa

Jerusalem: On April 22, at least 57 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli police within the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem. The violence persisted again during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at the site also revered by Jews. The surge of violence has raised fears of a relapse into a broader conflict like last year’s war between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas Islamists ruling the Gaza Strip. Hamas fighters “have their fingers on the rifle triggers, and we will defend Al-Aqsa mosque with all our might”, Hamas official Mushir al-Masri stated.

Imran Khan spent millions on air travel during Premiership: PML-N govt

Islamabad: On April 2022, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb claimed that Rs980 million were spent on former prime minister Imran Khan’s back-and-forth travel from the Prime Minister House to his private residence in Bani Gala via helicopter during his time in office. According to the detailed breakdown of expenses, the total expenditure from June 2018 to March 2022 was Rs984m — Rs512m for maintenance and Rs472m for “expenditure during flight”. The helicopter was used for a total of 2,723 flying hours from August 2018 to March 2022 with an average cost of Rs275,000 per hour, the report said.

PTI alleges govt of blocking roads

On Thursday, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leaders Shireen Mazari and Faisal Javed blamed the government for blocking routes to Minar-i-Pakistan in an attempt to impede the party’s power show in Lahore. The Minar-i- Pakistan jalsa is underway where former premier Imran Khan is scheduled to deliver his speech later tonight. “First blocking all the roads leading to Minar-i-Pakistan, and now shutting off internet service!” Mazari tweeted. ” … imported govt & desperate crime minister (Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif) think they can stop the nation from rising against this criminal mafia of an imported govt!” She added.

Supreme Court will not be influenced by criticism: CJP Umar Ata Bandial

On Thursday, Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial remarked that the Supreme Court (SC) would not be affected by criticism as long as there are people who abide by the Constitution. The CJP’s remarks came during the hearing of the presidential reference seeking the interpretation of Article 63(A). He also added that the SC stands for the supremacy of the Constitution. “The courts are open for critics as the court’s job is to do justice with everyone,” Justice Bandial said, adding that the court will continue to serve its objective despite the fuss it is subjected to.

Imran Khan ‘sold’ our economic sovereignty: Khawaja Asif

Islamabad: On April 21, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif restated concerns over the autonomy granted to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) during the PTI-led government’s tenure. “IMF is an institution in which America has a lot of stakes as it is the largest shareholder. Imran Khan sold out our economic sovereignty to them as he handed over our central bank to the IMF,” he said. Asif also asserted the coalition government would reverse the move and reestablish Pakistan’s economic sovereignty, but noted that the central bank would be given independence when it comes to the monetary policy.

Massive casualties in Afghanistan blast

Kabul: It was reported that at least 14 people were killed by bomb blasts in Afghan cities on Thursday. This is the second attack against a Shia target this week which killed 10 at a mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif. The militant Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack in the northern Afghan city and Kunduz.

AELTC bans Russian, Belarusian athletes

Grand Slam’s organizer, All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), said in a statement that tennis players from Russia and Belarus would not be allowed to compete at Wimbledon due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. “We recognize that this is hard on the individuals affected, and it is with sadness that they will suffer for the actions of the leaders of the Russian regime,” Ian Hewitt, chairman of the AELTC said in a statement. The players have also been banned from the UK grass-court tournaments held in the build-up to Wimbledon, he added.

Russia launches new ballistic missile amid tensions

London: On April 20, Russia said that it had conducted a first test launch of its Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile. This is a new addition to its nuclear arsenal which President Vladimir Putin said would give Moscow’s enemies ‘something to think about’. “The new complex has the highest tactical and technical characteristics and is capable of overcoming all modern means of anti-missile defense. It has no analogues in the world and won’t have for a long time to come,” Putin said.

Russia should refrain from G20 meeting: France

Paris: On April 20, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire urged his Russian counterpart not to take part in Wednesday’s meeting with finance ministers from the Group of 20 economic powers. “We demand that Russia ceases right now its military action and we ask Russia to refrain from attending G20 meetings. War is not compatible with international cooperation,” Le Maire said during the meeting by an online connection.

Toshakhana Case: Court orders to take back gifts

Islamabad: The Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) Justice Mian Gul Hassan instructed to take back the Toshakhana gifts from the individuals who took them home. “People come and go but the Office of the Prime Minister remains at the same place. Every gift given [to the head of the state/government official] belongs to their office, not to be taken home,” Justice Hassan remarked during the hearing of Cabinet Division’s petition. Moreover, the Information Commission had ordered the provision of Toshakhana gifts’ details to the complainant.

Russian envoy warns Poland of consequences

Warsaw: The Russian ambassador clarified that Russia would retaliate against Poland if its embassy in Warsaw ceased working because it could not receive fresh funds from Moscow. In March, Poland ousted 45 Russian diplomats over allegations of working for Russian intelligence and blocked the embassy’s bank accounts. Moscow, which dismissed the accusations as baseless, retaliated in kind.

Czech companies to repair damaged Ukrainian tanks

Prague: On April 19, the Czech Defence Ministry declared that Czech defense companies would repair Ukrainian tanks and other military vehicles that had been damaged in fighting or need servicing after long-term storage. “Small faults or fighting damage will be repaired by the Ukrainian army’s and Ukrainian defense industry’s efforts,” the ministry said. “Czech assistance will utilize the capacities of Czech defense industry companies for more extensive works, including overhauls and bringing equipment in long-term storage to service.”

Al Aqsa clashes: UAE summons Israeli ambassador

Cairo: The United Arab Emirates summoned the Israeli ambassador to protest against clashes at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, the Gulf state’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. Reem bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, emphasized the need “to immediately stop these events (and) provide full protection for worshippers”, the ministry said in a statement. She also called for “respect for the right of Palestinians to practice their religious rites, and halt any practices that violate the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

UN Security General asks for four day humanitarian truce

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for a four-day Orthodox Easter humanitarian pause in fighting in Ukraine. It is for providing the safe passage of civilians to leave areas of conflict and the delivery of humanitarian aid to hard-hit areas. Guterres also said the United Nations was submitting detailed plans to the parties and was ready to send humanitarian aid convoys to Mariupol, Kherson, Donetsk, and Luhansk beginning on Holy Thursday and running through Sunday, the date of Orthodox Easter, which is celebrated by most Ukrainians and Russians.

Russian invasion bolstered food insecurity: US Treasury Secretary

Washington: U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that Russia’s war in Ukraine is to blame for exacerbating “already dire” world food insecurity, with price and supply shocks adding to global inflationary pressures. Yellen told that high-level panel countries should avoid export bans that could further increase prices while stepping up assistance for vulnerable populations and smallholder farmers. “I want to be clear: Russia’s actions are responsible for this,” Yellen said, adding that the United States was working urgently with partners and allies to “help mitigate the effects of Russia’s reckless war on the world’s most vulnerable.”

‘Court works for 24 hours’: CJP to Imran Khan

Islamabad: Courts work for 24 hours, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial said Monday in response to former prime minister Imran Khan’s question. Imran Khan asked the court why the courts had to open at midnight on April 9 — the night he was ousted as the prime minister. “No one needs to point a finger at the courts,” CJP Bandial said during the hearing on a presidential reference seeking interpretation of Article 63A of the Constitution of Pakistan. The top judge also said: “We don’t care about what is being said on social media; [we] are the protector of the Constitution”.

Toshakhana controversy: ‘Mera tohfa, meri marzi’, says Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: On Monday, former prime minister Imran Khan responded to the Toshakana controversy and said those were his gifts, so it was his choice whether to keep them or not. “Mera tohfa, meri marzi [my gift, my choice],” the PTI chairman told reporters during an informal conversation. The issue came to light last week when Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif reported that Imran Khan, during his term, sold Toshakhana gifts in Dubai worth Rs140 million.

Govt exposes lies of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf

On Monday, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said that another “lie” of Imran Khan had been revealed after the government “exposed” the PTI’s recent Twitter trends. “Imported government not acceptable (imported hukumat na manzoor)” has been trending for several days after Khan was voted out of power on April 10. “Another IK lie exposed, another conspiracy unveiled,” Maryam said in a tweet adding: “Turns out that the slander campaigns against state institutions and lies about international conspiracy were churned out and spread by no more than a handful of people employing hundreds of fake accounts and bots.”

Reference against justice Isa was a ‘mistake’: Imran Khan

On Monday, former prime minister Imran Khan termed the PTI government’s decision to file a reference against Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa a “mistake”. He also said that it “should not have unnecessarily confronted the judiciary”. He made the remarks in an informal meeting with journalists.’The reference against Justice Isa was sent by the law ministry, according to Khan. Khan also added that he did not have “personal enmity” with anyone in the judiciary.

Int’l Community should hold India accountable: Foreign Office

On April 18, the Foreign Office on Monday vehemently condemned the recent rampage of targeted attacks against the Muslim community by “fanatic Hindu mobs” in various Indian states. It called the international community to hold the country accountable “for its gross and widespread human rights violations”. “This incident has re-kindled the horrific memories of the Delhi pogrom of February 2020, which was aimed to discriminate, dispossess and dehumanize the Muslim community,” the FO said.

Five people commit suicide in Sindh

Five persons, including a V-logger, committed suicide in different districts of Sindh early Sunday morning due to financial difficulties. According to reports, a 23-year-old Vlogger Sagar Gopang s/o Rasheed Gopang, a student of the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) Islamabad and a resident of Irrigation Colony Badin, committed suicide at Sehri hours, leaving a letter stating that despite his continuous hard work, he had failed in every field, including photography and film making, and that he could no longer carry out his activities because of undue financial constraints. In the end, he apologised to his father and other members of his family for his suicide.  

Over 10 ministers expected to take oath in first phase

According to reports, PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari asked Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to grant cabinet places to all coalition members in the first phase, with PPP joining in the second phase. According to Baaghi Tv, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and PPP co-chairman met PM Shehbaz to finalise the cabinet on Saturday night at PM House. According to insiders, roughly 10-12 ministers are anticipated to take oath on Monday or Tuesday in the first phase of the government.  

PM Shehbaz Sharif inaugurates Metro Bus service

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif launched the Orange Line Metro Bus service from Peshawar Mor to Islamabad on Monday morning, barely days after entering office. PM Shehbaz Sharif addressed the inauguration ceremony in the federal capital, saying, “The former prime minister is worried because I have been elected as the representative […] I will work at the pace I am used to.” “You [Imran Khan] may be concerned about my speed of work, but the people are not.”    

Pakistan seeks peaceful relations with India: PM Shehbaz Sharif

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has informed his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi of his desire for amicable relations with India. In a letter to Prime Minister Modi, PM Shehbaz, who was sworn in earlier this week, expressed Pakistan’s desire for peaceful relations with India. The letter was written in response to an Indian leader’s message congratulating PM Shehbaz on his win in the National Assembly. According to sources, PM Shehbaz told his Indian counterpart that Islamabad wishes to resolve all concerns with New Delhi, including Kashmir.    

Pakistani delegation to participate in IMF, WB meeting today

A high-level Pakistani team is scheduled to visit Washington this week for the annual spring conference of the Bretton Wood Institutions (BWIs), which includes the IMF and the World Bank, with the possibility of new talks with the IMF on the sidelines of the meeting. However, given the present expanding gap caused by twin deficits, including the budget and current account deficits for the current fiscal year, the resumption of the IMF programme remains a long shot.      

No meaningful evidence of coup against Imran Khan: Noam Chomsky

On Sunday, Noam Chomsky, a severe critic of US foreign policy, said that there was “no meaningful evidence of a coup” by his country against former prime minister Imran Khan. Responding to a left-wing blogger Chomsky said, “the US is powerful, but not all-powerful. There is a tendency to attribute everything that happens in the world to the CIA or some diabolical Western plan. There is plenty to condemn, sharply. And the US is indeed powerful. But it’s nothing like what is often believed.” Chomsky also maintained that he did not consider the cable of Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US, Asad Majeed, as “substantial evidence” of American intervention for a regime change in the country.

NSC rejects allegations of ‘foreign conspiracy’

Islamabad: On April 22, Pakistan’s National Security Council (NSC) rejected ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s accusations that the United States had concocted to overthrow his government through a parliamentary vote of confidence. A statement from the office of new Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said: “The NSC after reviewing the contents of the communication, the assessment received, and the conclusion presented by the security agencies, concludes that there has been no conspiracy”.

India, World Bank consider $2 billion for Sri Lanka

Colombo: On April 22, Sri Lanka’s finance minister said that its neighbour India and the World Bank were considering extending about $2 billion in bridge finance. The decision is taken outrightly so Sri Lanka can continue essential imports. “Talks with the World Bank have also been very positive,” Ali Sabry said, adding: “In the next four weeks to six months we expect about $500 million from them, which will be partly used to provide direct cash transfers to the poor”.

Massive blasts in Kunduz mosque

Kabul: On April 22, it was reported that a blast tore through a Sunni mosque during Friday prayers in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz. According to the report, it killed 33 people and wounded dozens more. Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Taliban administration, in a Tweet confirmed the death toll and said 43 people had also been wounded. “The perpetrators of these incidents are…evil elements and serious efforts are being made to arrest and punish them,” he said.

Britain and India aim for free trade

New Delhi: On April 22, Britain and India agreed to beef up defense and business cooperation during a visit to New Delhi by Boris Johnson. Boris said that the bilateral free-trade deal could be wrapped up by October. On his first visit to the Indian capital as UK’s prime minister, he discussed with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi strategies to boost security ties with India. India’s foreign secretary, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, said that Johnson did not put pressure on Modi over New Delhi’s position on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Israeli police clashes, injures Palestinians in Al-Aqsa

Jerusalem: On April 22, at least 57 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli police within the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem. The violence persisted again during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at the site also revered by Jews. The surge of violence has raised fears of a relapse into a broader conflict like last year’s war between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas Islamists ruling the Gaza Strip. Hamas fighters “have their fingers on the rifle triggers, and we will defend Al-Aqsa mosque with all our might”, Hamas official Mushir al-Masri stated.

Imran Khan spent millions on air travel during Premiership: PML-N govt

Islamabad: On April 2022, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb claimed that Rs980 million were spent on former prime minister Imran Khan’s back-and-forth travel from the Prime Minister House to his private residence in Bani Gala via helicopter during his time in office. According to the detailed breakdown of expenses, the total expenditure from June 2018 to March 2022 was Rs984m — Rs512m for maintenance and Rs472m for “expenditure during flight”. The helicopter was used for a total of 2,723 flying hours from August 2018 to March 2022 with an average cost of Rs275,000 per hour, the report said.

PTI alleges govt of blocking roads

On Thursday, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leaders Shireen Mazari and Faisal Javed blamed the government for blocking routes to Minar-i-Pakistan in an attempt to impede the party’s power show in Lahore. The Minar-i- Pakistan jalsa is underway where former premier Imran Khan is scheduled to deliver his speech later tonight. “First blocking all the roads leading to Minar-i-Pakistan, and now shutting off internet service!” Mazari tweeted. ” … imported govt & desperate crime minister (Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif) think they can stop the nation from rising against this criminal mafia of an imported govt!” She added.

Supreme Court will not be influenced by criticism: CJP Umar Ata Bandial

On Thursday, Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial remarked that the Supreme Court (SC) would not be affected by criticism as long as there are people who abide by the Constitution. The CJP’s remarks came during the hearing of the presidential reference seeking the interpretation of Article 63(A). He also added that the SC stands for the supremacy of the Constitution. “The courts are open for critics as the court’s job is to do justice with everyone,” Justice Bandial said, adding that the court will continue to serve its objective despite the fuss it is subjected to.

Imran Khan ‘sold’ our economic sovereignty: Khawaja Asif

Islamabad: On April 21, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif restated concerns over the autonomy granted to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) during the PTI-led government’s tenure. “IMF is an institution in which America has a lot of stakes as it is the largest shareholder. Imran Khan sold out our economic sovereignty to them as he handed over our central bank to the IMF,” he said. Asif also asserted the coalition government would reverse the move and reestablish Pakistan’s economic sovereignty, but noted that the central bank would be given independence when it comes to the monetary policy.

Massive casualties in Afghanistan blast

Kabul: It was reported that at least 14 people were killed by bomb blasts in Afghan cities on Thursday. This is the second attack against a Shia target this week which killed 10 at a mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif. The militant Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack in the northern Afghan city and Kunduz.

AELTC bans Russian, Belarusian athletes

Grand Slam’s organizer, All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), said in a statement that tennis players from Russia and Belarus would not be allowed to compete at Wimbledon due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. “We recognize that this is hard on the individuals affected, and it is with sadness that they will suffer for the actions of the leaders of the Russian regime,” Ian Hewitt, chairman of the AELTC said in a statement. The players have also been banned from the UK grass-court tournaments held in the build-up to Wimbledon, he added.

Russia launches new ballistic missile amid tensions

London: On April 20, Russia said that it had conducted a first test launch of its Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile. This is a new addition to its nuclear arsenal which President Vladimir Putin said would give Moscow’s enemies ‘something to think about’. “The new complex has the highest tactical and technical characteristics and is capable of overcoming all modern means of anti-missile defense. It has no analogues in the world and won’t have for a long time to come,” Putin said.

Russia should refrain from G20 meeting: France

Paris: On April 20, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire urged his Russian counterpart not to take part in Wednesday’s meeting with finance ministers from the Group of 20 economic powers. “We demand that Russia ceases right now its military action and we ask Russia to refrain from attending G20 meetings. War is not compatible with international cooperation,” Le Maire said during the meeting by an online connection.

Toshakhana Case: Court orders to take back gifts

Islamabad: The Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) Justice Mian Gul Hassan instructed to take back the Toshakhana gifts from the individuals who took them home. “People come and go but the Office of the Prime Minister remains at the same place. Every gift given [to the head of the state/government official] belongs to their office, not to be taken home,” Justice Hassan remarked during the hearing of Cabinet Division’s petition. Moreover, the Information Commission had ordered the provision of Toshakhana gifts’ details to the complainant.

Russian envoy warns Poland of consequences

Warsaw: The Russian ambassador clarified that Russia would retaliate against Poland if its embassy in Warsaw ceased working because it could not receive fresh funds from Moscow. In March, Poland ousted 45 Russian diplomats over allegations of working for Russian intelligence and blocked the embassy’s bank accounts. Moscow, which dismissed the accusations as baseless, retaliated in kind.

Czech companies to repair damaged Ukrainian tanks

Prague: On April 19, the Czech Defence Ministry declared that Czech defense companies would repair Ukrainian tanks and other military vehicles that had been damaged in fighting or need servicing after long-term storage. “Small faults or fighting damage will be repaired by the Ukrainian army’s and Ukrainian defense industry’s efforts,” the ministry said. “Czech assistance will utilize the capacities of Czech defense industry companies for more extensive works, including overhauls and bringing equipment in long-term storage to service.”

Al Aqsa clashes: UAE summons Israeli ambassador

Cairo: The United Arab Emirates summoned the Israeli ambassador to protest against clashes at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, the Gulf state’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. Reem bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, emphasized the need “to immediately stop these events (and) provide full protection for worshippers”, the ministry said in a statement. She also called for “respect for the right of Palestinians to practice their religious rites, and halt any practices that violate the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

UN Security General asks for four day humanitarian truce

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for a four-day Orthodox Easter humanitarian pause in fighting in Ukraine. It is for providing the safe passage of civilians to leave areas of conflict and the delivery of humanitarian aid to hard-hit areas. Guterres also said the United Nations was submitting detailed plans to the parties and was ready to send humanitarian aid convoys to Mariupol, Kherson, Donetsk, and Luhansk beginning on Holy Thursday and running through Sunday, the date of Orthodox Easter, which is celebrated by most Ukrainians and Russians.

Russian invasion bolstered food insecurity: US Treasury Secretary

Washington: U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that Russia’s war in Ukraine is to blame for exacerbating “already dire” world food insecurity, with price and supply shocks adding to global inflationary pressures. Yellen told that high-level panel countries should avoid export bans that could further increase prices while stepping up assistance for vulnerable populations and smallholder farmers. “I want to be clear: Russia’s actions are responsible for this,” Yellen said, adding that the United States was working urgently with partners and allies to “help mitigate the effects of Russia’s reckless war on the world’s most vulnerable.”

‘Court works for 24 hours’: CJP to Imran Khan

Islamabad: Courts work for 24 hours, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial said Monday in response to former prime minister Imran Khan’s question. Imran Khan asked the court why the courts had to open at midnight on April 9 — the night he was ousted as the prime minister. “No one needs to point a finger at the courts,” CJP Bandial said during the hearing on a presidential reference seeking interpretation of Article 63A of the Constitution of Pakistan. The top judge also said: “We don’t care about what is being said on social media; [we] are the protector of the Constitution”.

Toshakhana controversy: ‘Mera tohfa, meri marzi’, says Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: On Monday, former prime minister Imran Khan responded to the Toshakana controversy and said those were his gifts, so it was his choice whether to keep them or not. “Mera tohfa, meri marzi [my gift, my choice],” the PTI chairman told reporters during an informal conversation. The issue came to light last week when Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif reported that Imran Khan, during his term, sold Toshakhana gifts in Dubai worth Rs140 million.

Govt exposes lies of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf

On Monday, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said that another “lie” of Imran Khan had been revealed after the government “exposed” the PTI’s recent Twitter trends. “Imported government not acceptable (imported hukumat na manzoor)” has been trending for several days after Khan was voted out of power on April 10. “Another IK lie exposed, another conspiracy unveiled,” Maryam said in a tweet adding: “Turns out that the slander campaigns against state institutions and lies about international conspiracy were churned out and spread by no more than a handful of people employing hundreds of fake accounts and bots.”

Reference against justice Isa was a ‘mistake’: Imran Khan

On Monday, former prime minister Imran Khan termed the PTI government’s decision to file a reference against Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa a “mistake”. He also said that it “should not have unnecessarily confronted the judiciary”. He made the remarks in an informal meeting with journalists.’The reference against Justice Isa was sent by the law ministry, according to Khan. Khan also added that he did not have “personal enmity” with anyone in the judiciary.

Int’l Community should hold India accountable: Foreign Office

On April 18, the Foreign Office on Monday vehemently condemned the recent rampage of targeted attacks against the Muslim community by “fanatic Hindu mobs” in various Indian states. It called the international community to hold the country accountable “for its gross and widespread human rights violations”. “This incident has re-kindled the horrific memories of the Delhi pogrom of February 2020, which was aimed to discriminate, dispossess and dehumanize the Muslim community,” the FO said.

Five people commit suicide in Sindh

Five persons, including a V-logger, committed suicide in different districts of Sindh early Sunday morning due to financial difficulties. According to reports, a 23-year-old Vlogger Sagar Gopang s/o Rasheed Gopang, a student of the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) Islamabad and a resident of Irrigation Colony Badin, committed suicide at Sehri hours, leaving a letter stating that despite his continuous hard work, he had failed in every field, including photography and film making, and that he could no longer carry out his activities because of undue financial constraints. In the end, he apologised to his father and other members of his family for his suicide.  

Over 10 ministers expected to take oath in first phase

According to reports, PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari asked Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to grant cabinet places to all coalition members in the first phase, with PPP joining in the second phase. According to Baaghi Tv, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and PPP co-chairman met PM Shehbaz to finalise the cabinet on Saturday night at PM House. According to insiders, roughly 10-12 ministers are anticipated to take oath on Monday or Tuesday in the first phase of the government.  

PM Shehbaz Sharif inaugurates Metro Bus service

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif launched the Orange Line Metro Bus service from Peshawar Mor to Islamabad on Monday morning, barely days after entering office. PM Shehbaz Sharif addressed the inauguration ceremony in the federal capital, saying, “The former prime minister is worried because I have been elected as the representative […] I will work at the pace I am used to.” “You [Imran Khan] may be concerned about my speed of work, but the people are not.”    

Pakistan seeks peaceful relations with India: PM Shehbaz Sharif

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has informed his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi of his desire for amicable relations with India. In a letter to Prime Minister Modi, PM Shehbaz, who was sworn in earlier this week, expressed Pakistan’s desire for peaceful relations with India. The letter was written in response to an Indian leader’s message congratulating PM Shehbaz on his win in the National Assembly. According to sources, PM Shehbaz told his Indian counterpart that Islamabad wishes to resolve all concerns with New Delhi, including Kashmir.    

Pakistani delegation to participate in IMF, WB meeting today

A high-level Pakistani team is scheduled to visit Washington this week for the annual spring conference of the Bretton Wood Institutions (BWIs), which includes the IMF and the World Bank, with the possibility of new talks with the IMF on the sidelines of the meeting. However, given the present expanding gap caused by twin deficits, including the budget and current account deficits for the current fiscal year, the resumption of the IMF programme remains a long shot.