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Bilquis Edhi passes away at 74

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  • Bilquis had congestive heart failure and she had already undergone a heart bypass twice
  • She was a professional nurse and headed the Bilquis Edhi Foundation.
  • She spent more than six decades of her life serving humanity.

Bilquis Bano Edhi, the wife of renowned humanitarian and philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, passed away at the age of 74 on Friday after a brief hospitalisation.

Earlier today, her family had said that her condition had stabilised. She was admitted to a hospital in Karachi for three days and was rushed there after her blood pressure had suddenly dropped. According to an Edhi Foundation spokesperson, Bilquis was ill for the last one month.

“Though she is not in a serious condition, she will remain in the hospital for a couple of more days,” the spokesperson of the Edhi Foundation Muhammad Bilal had said. 

Bilal had added that Bilquis had congestive heart failure and she has already undergone a heart bypass twice.

First Lady Tehmina Durrani had also visited her during Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s maiden visit to the port city on Wednesday.

Earlier, Pakistan’s towering philanthropist and humanitarian was declared the “Person of the Decade”, along with human rights rapporteur of the UN Prof Yanghee Lee and the US ethicist Stephen Soldz.

A spokesperson for the Edhi Foundation had told APP that as per the domino effect verdict, announced on Friday by the Impact Hallmarks, Bilquis Edhi was declared the most impactful person of the first two decades of the 21st century.

Bilquis was a professional nurse and headed the Bilquis Edhi Foundation. Abdul Sattar Edhi had proposed to her and they got married in April 1966. 

She spent more than six decades of her life serving humanity in need.

Her charity has saved over 42,000 unwanted babies so far by placing “jhoolas” [cradles] at the Edhi Homes and centres across the country.

She leaves behind four children, Faisal, Kubra, Zeenat and Almas from her marriage with Abdul Sattar Edhi. 

Funeral prayers to be offered on Saturday: Faisal Edhi

Bilquis Edhi’s son Faisal Edhi said that the funeral prayers of his mother will be offered at the New Memon Masjid Kharadar after Zuhr prayers on Saturday.

Faisal added that Bilquis Edhi’s burial will be carried out at the Mewa Shah Graveyard as per her wishes.

“My mother’s efforts are not hidden from anyone and we will be carrying forward our mother’s mission,” said Faisal.

Condolences pour in

President Arif Alvi expressed his sadness on the passing of Bilquis Edhi. 

“She had always been shoulder to shoulder with Abdul Sattar Edhi in his philanthropic efforts and continued his work even after his death. May Allah bless the departed soul,” tweeted the President House. 

PM Shehbaz Sharif said that Bilquis Edhi continued the humanitarian work of her husband. 

Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah expressed deep grief and sorrow over the demise and lauded her for the philanthropic works she did for the country.

Former foreign minister and PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote: “I am deeply saddened to hear of the demise of Ms Bilqis Edhi.”

Renowned author Fatima Bhutto also expressed sorrow and mentioned that Bilquis served Pakistan’s poor and abandoned with great spirit her entire life.

MQM-P Senator Faisal Subzwari said Pakistanis would remember her for eternity as he prayed for her forgiveness.

PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan also expressed sadness over the death.

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government contests Imran Khan and Qureshi’s exoneration in the cipher case

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On Thursday, the federal government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court contesting the exoneration of former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and former Prime Minister Imran Khan in the well-known cipher case.

Citing procedural and jurisdictional issues, the Ministry of Interior has appealed the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) ruling.

In hearing the cipher case, the High Court allegedly overreached its power, arguing that judges cannot change laws where Parliament has not expressly passed legislation.

Despite receiving government-funded legal representation, the petition emphasized Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s lack of cooperation during the trial, submitting 65 separate motions and neglecting to cross-examine witnesses.

The petition contended that in order for a retrial to satisfy legal standards, the High Court should have ignored important evidence that was given during the trial. It requests that the appeals contesting the IHC’s June 3 acquittal be given a hearing date by the Supreme Court.

Case history

The cipher issue concerns a supposed diplomatic document that disappeared from Imran Khan’s custody. The cipher allegedly contained threats from the US to remove Khan from office, according to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. Shah Mehmood Qureshi and several aides, including Asad Umar, are named in the First Information Report (FIR) submitted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in accordance with Section 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code and Sections 5 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act.

The then-foreign secretary received a diplomatic cipher from Washington on March 7, 2022, according to the FIR. The lawsuit claims that by manipulating the data for their own benefit, Khan and Qureshi put the safety of the country at risk. It alleges that on March 28, 2022, Khan secretly met at his Bani Gala home and gave his Principal Secretary, Muhammad Azam Khan, instructions to change the content of the cipher to his advantage, jeopardizing national security.

The document asserts that Khan still has custody of the cipher, jeopardizing Pakistan’s encrypted messaging systems and possibly helping foreign forces, which would be detrimental to the nation. A complaint has been filed by the FIA’s Anti-Terrorism Wing against Khan, Qureshi, and other individuals for improper use of state secrets and unapproved possession of the cipher.

Acquittal by the Islamabad High Court

In the cipher case, on June 3, the IHC cleared Khan and Qureshi when Justice Aamir Farooq issued a succinct ruling in their favor. Their sentences were appealed in the case, which has since been a source of political and legal controversy, leading to their acquittal.

This acquittal and the ongoing legal and political struggles surrounding the cipher case are highlighted by the government’s subsequent move to contest it.

With potentially huge ramifications for the parties involved and the larger political scene, the Supreme Court’s decision over whether to hear the appeal will be keenly scrutinized.

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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi urges political stability in order to accelerate economic expansion.

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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the former prime minister, emphasized on Thursday how important political stability is to Pakistan’s economic development and how the nation cannot prosper without it.

His concern was that export growth had not progressed, and he emphasized that stability in the current climate is vital to draw investments and carry out the necessary reforms.

In his criticism of the tax system, Abbasi brought up the erratic nature of tax laws and the transient nature of the most recent tax slab implementation. Insisting that difficult choices are unavoidable for economic recovery, he emphasized the necessity of designing a tax system that is equitable and does not burden the people.

Furthermore, arguing that the effectiveness of organizations like the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is essential for economic governance and transparency, Abbasi urged for changes within these and other organizations.

Abbasi, in his discussion of more comprehensive fiscal plans, suggested that the National Finance Commission (NFC) award be reviewed again and that power distribution companies (DISCOs) be decentralized to the provinces.

In order to reduce inefficiencies and corruption at the provincial level, he recommended looking into ways to share the cost of defense spending and decentralize the management of energy resources.

In closing, Abbasi emphasized that Pakistan’s economic trajectory will stay stagnant unless comprehensive changes are implemented immediately. To move the nation towards sustainable progress, he urged policymakers to give stability and structural reforms first priority.

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Through in-app QR payments, Zindigi and SBP streamline transactions involving sacrificial animals.

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With its in-app QR code payment system based on Raast, Zindigi—powered by JS Bank—has elevated the convenience of cashless payments for the procurement of sacrificial animals to a whole new level for Eid ul Adha.

This program uses QR code payments to streamline transactions for sacrificed animals for the general public and traders. It is a component of the State Bank of Pakistan’s Raast quick payment service.

This feature enables users of Zindigi and users of any digital banking apps or wallets to safely and easily make payments at certain cattle markets throughout Pakistan using Zindigi QR. The consumer must scan the QR code of the livestock merchant and pay the transaction amount in order to complete the payment.

In order to further financial inclusion and digital innovation in Pakistan’s developing economy, Zindigi and the State Bank of Pakistan have partnered. Both organizations are committed to improving the efficiency and accessibility of financial services, especially on holidays such as Eid ul Adha, by utilizing the most recent developments in fintech.

One of the most important steps toward promoting financial inclusion and economic empowerment at the local level is the integration of livestock markets into the digital economy. Farmers and retailers may take charge of their financial operations and help realize the larger goal of an inclusive digital Pakistan by adopting digital payments.

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