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Gold price rises by Rs200 per tola in Pakistan

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  • Gold price settles at Rs142,200.
  • 10 gram gold rate settles at Rs121,914.
  • Silver prices in domestic market remained unchanged.

KARACHI: Despite the appreciation of the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar, the gold price in Pakistan extended gains on Friday.

The price of the precious commodity rose by Rs200 per tola and Rs172 per 10 grams to settle at Rs142,200 and Rs121,914, respectively.

A day earlier, the precious commodity closed at Rs142,000 per tola and Rs121,742 per 10 grams.

Moreover, the demand for gold is slightly picking up pace due to the ongoing wedding season.

Meanwhile, silver prices in the domestic market remained unchanged at Rs1,520 per tola and Rs1,303.15 per 10 grams today.

Gold steadies in international market

In the international market, gold prices steadied but were set for a fourth straight weekly drop, as the US dollar resumed its rally. At the same time, the focus shifted to US non-farm payroll print that could influence expectations of interest rate hikes.

US gold futures firmed at $1,739.90. The dollar was set for its second consecutive week of gains, making bullion less attractive for overseas buyers.

“A strong payrolls number and another strong CPI number (next week) will merely serve to drive the dollar higher and gold lower.” Still, weaker readings could signal a policy shift and reset expectations around the September Fed meeting, said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

On the technical front, gold’s break below the $1,760 level could signal a further slide to $1,720, and potentially the 2021 lows near $1,680, Hewson added.

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The message from Karbala

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As millions of pilgrims converged upon Karbala, southern Iraq this week to observe ‘Arbaeen’ or ‘Chehlum’ – the 40th day after the massacre of Imam Hussain (RA) and his followers more than 1,400 years ago, the event carried multiple lessons that have served Muslims worldwide from centuries past to this day. The observance takes place across Pakistan today [Saturday] with gatherings of mourners planned in numerous urban and rural centres.

Together, these events are a powerful reminder of the aftermath of the resistance by Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) grandson Imam Hussain (RA) who refused to accept allegiance to Yazid ibne Muawiya, the Damascus-based caliph of the time. So powerful was Yazid’s yearning for an overkill to suppress Imam Hussain and his followers that he dispatched anywhere between 30,000 and 70,000 soldiers for an encounter with a handful of opponents no more than 72, according to different historical accounts. And yet, the defiance shown by Imam Hussain (RA) and his small group of followers remained unwavering.

But the carnage on that day just did not end the clash between two vastly opposed individuals and their followers, each armed with a radically different view of the world. In brief, the encounter at Karbala far from a military battle was instead a conflict between vastly opposed ideas.

As Mohamed Ali Albodari wrote in ‘Understanding Karbala’ – abridged and adapted from the original work by The Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Saeed Al-Hakeem: “He [Imam Hussain] wanted to draw a clear example of a righteous statesman, so that the public can see the villainous and deviant nature of the others by comparison. He aimed to create a clear and unequivocal distinction between the true teachings of the Prophet [PBUH] and the fabrications that had been popularized by the chieftains before and after him. In this he was successful”.

The same division of ideas was successfully put on full display even after the massacre at Karbala. Bibi Zainab (RA), the younger sister of Imam Hussain (RA) took up the mantle of leadership of the women, children and a sole surviving adult male, Imam Zainul Abideen (RA), a son of Imam Hussain who was too frail to go into battle. In brief, she is still remembered as the heroine of that monumental tragedy.

They were all seized after the encounter, their tents were burnt, they were kept in inhuman conditions and forcibly taken first to Kufa and then to Yazid’s court in Damascus. Along the way, many infants and young children fell from their camels and died instantly. To this day, there are no reliable historical accounts of exactly how many of the victims from Karbala began their journey and the numbers who survived.

The prisoners of Karbala along the way were introduced as family members of dissidents who fought the army of Yazid and were killed in battle. Indeed that was a powerful display of disinformation and censorship at its worst in the early days of Islam.

And yet, the credit for the powerful remembrance to this day must go to Bibi Zainab (RA). Her eloquence, displayed repeatedly during the journey from Karbala onwards has been widely characterized as a shining example of her determination to not only spread the message of her brother Imam Hussain (RA) but also to stand up as the de facto leader of the survivors of Karbala. Bibi Zainab has been widely celebrated in poetry and literature across languages as a pivotal figure in the journeys to and from Karbala.

Father Christopher Paul Clohessy, a South African Catholic missionary in his widely acclaimed title; ‘Half of my heart – the Narrative of Zainab, Daughter of Imam Ali (RA)’ commended Bibi Zainab (RA) when he wrote; “In her decisive role as spokesperson for her brother’s cause, she became the first to drive the adversity of Karbala into perpetuity by moving her brother’s creed and conviction off the battlefield and into the palaces of Kufa and Damascus, not only completing Imam Hussain’s [RA] ‘jihad’ [holy war] but becoming the agent through whom Karbala would become undying”.

Clohessy has gained respect for his research on Islam, notably also with a title dedicated to Bibi Fatima (RA), the daughter of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). He provides a vivid account of the central role of Bibi Zainab (RA) in the story of Karbala.

To this day, the sermon of Bibi Zainab (RA) in Yazid’s court stands out as a unique example of a captive ignoring the very likely risk to their own life and bluntly rebuking their captor in an open court. Clohessy acclaims Bibi Zainab (RA) for the long-term impact of her words on her immediate surroundings and well beyond: “Zainab [RA] meets the needs of the hour, advancing her brother’s principles and so altering the course of history, assuring devotees that they can face the future with strength, courage and wisdom”.

The all-too-powerful impact of the tragedy of Karbala was witnessed yet again this week as anywhere between 15 million and 25 million pilgrims, according to different accounts, passed through the city. Exactly how such a massive buildup is absorbed in a city with a size that can only take far fewer remains an unresolved mystery.

The final convergence of pilgrims upon Karbala on ‘Arbaeen’ was preceded by many setting out on foot from the holy city of ‘Najaf’, walking a 100-km distance along a road that becomes increasingly alive around the commemorations of Karbala. There are roadside volunteers who are eager to offer foot massages free of charge while affluent businessmen host well-stocked rest and eating places every half a kilometre. Unlike challenges in daily lives for Iraq’s mainstream population, makeshift medical camps along the route readily serve any pilgrim in need.

The most powerful message that continues to resonate from Karbala to this very day is just one: that truth and righteousness indeed prevail, irrespective of the passage of time.

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Maulana Tariq Jameel needs ‘prayers’ as he departs for Umrah

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Renowned religious scholar Maulana Tariq Jameel said Wednesday he was departing for a pilgrimage to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“After 2 years, travelling to Saudi Arabia for performing Umrah. Your prayers [are] needed,” the religious scholar said in an Instagram post.

The oil-rich state allowed entry into the kingdom to foreigners for Umrah after a gap of two years in light of the falling coronavirus cases. This year, however, a large number of Umrah pilgrims from different countries arrived in the Kingdom after the coronavirus situation was controlled to a considerable extent. 

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj and Umrah had earlier this month announced that the Umrah season would continue until the end of the month of Shawwal, i.e. May 31.

During this period, the Kingdom will allow foreigners wishing to perform Umrah to enter the country, the ministry said, adding that the issuance of Umrah visas will be stopped once the preparations for the Hajj season begin, i.e. on the 1st of Zeeqad.

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‘Written threat’: PM Imran Khan sees ‘foreign hand’ behind efforts to topple his government

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday revealed that “foreign elements” are involved in the attempts to topple his government and said, “some of our own people” are being used in this regard. 

The premier was speaking during one of the “biggest” rallies in his party’s history at the Parade Ground in Islamabad as the Opposition has geared up to oust the premier from office through the no-confidence motion, the session for which is scheduled to take place tomorrow (Monday).

The premier, while flashing a letter before the public, said that he has “written evidence” that “money has been pouring in from abroad,” while “some of our people are being used to topple the government.”

He said that for months, “plotting and planning were being carried out to destabilise the economy of Pakistan from the outside.”

“We know who is behind it,” the premier said, adding that “there are a lot of things that will be revealed before the nation but at the right time.”

“The nation wants to know who the man in London [Nawaz] meets and they also wish to find out who is instructing those politicians living in Pakistan.”

He said that the government has “evidence” of foreign hands in Pakistan’s matter but refrained from giving too much information, saying that since he “cares for the security and interest of the country, he was not at liberty to share further details.”

Referring to the PPP and PML-N, he said that ever since the two political families came to power, the country has lagged behind in all domains. 

“I have been struggling against them for the last 25 years and I never fight for so long for personal interests,” he said.

A few days ago, the premier had said that he would “surprise” the Opposition a day before the no-confidence motion session, adding that he is yet to lay his cards on the table. 

At the beginning of his address, the premier thanked the attendees of the jalsa for responding to his call and gathered in Islamabad from every part of the country.  The premier also lauded his team for arranging the jalsa.

“I pay tribute to my team and the nation [for making this jalsa possible]. Thank you for making me happy,” he said. “Today, I will have a heart-to-heart conversation with the nation.”

The premier, while responding to the criticism about him using religious references during his political speeches, said that when he joined politics 25 years ago, it was for the sake of the ideology of Pakistan.

“Nations are built on ideologies, and the ideology on the basis of which Pakistan came into being was Islam,” he said. The premier then added that he learned through his experience of living in the West that the true teachings of Islam were followed over there instead of Pakistan.

“I learned about the concept of a welfare state after living in the United Kingdom,” he said. “This was exactly the model on which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had established the state of Madinah.”

He said that Muslims ruled the world for a long time as they followed in the footsteps of the holy prophet (PBUH).

“Based on those ideals, I envisioned a welfare state in Pakistan and Alhamdulillah, we have already started a journey on that path. I am proud of the fact that we have introduced a health system in the country based on the principles of welfare.”

The premier then lauded his government’s efforts in terms of the Ehsaas programme, providing housing loans to the poor, and providing a Rs250 billion subsidy to reduce the prices of petrol and electricity.

“Today, I assure you that as I will continue to collect money through taxes, I will utilise that money for the betterment of the country.”

“InshaAllah, once we complete our five-year term, history will show that no other government worked as much as the PTI government did [for the development of the country].

Taking a jibe at the Opposition, the premier called out their “corruption” and said that those robbers continued saving each other by using the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) for the last 30 years.

“These three rats [opposition bigwigs] have been looting the country for three decades and these three have been trying to destabilise my government from day one,” he said. 

PM Imran Khan said that it was because of former president General Musharraf that these corrupt politicians got away with their wrongdoings through the NRO.

“Musharraf pushed the country into turmoil by giving NROs to these corrupt leaders just to save his own government,” he said. “Whether I lose my government or my life, I am never going to forgive them.”

He said that the Opposition vowed to send the government packing, claiming that the country was undergoing turmoil, however, he added that it was only the PTI-led government that demonstrated unprecedented performance. 

The premier then recapped the achievements of his government, including how the country steered itself out of the coronavirus pandemic and how its economy remained stable while the whole world was struggling. 

“I was criticised for not imposing a complete lockdown but later on, the whole world appreciated our strategy of smart lockdowns as we saved our country, our economy, and the livelihoods of the poor.”

The prime minister then talked about how the country established records in terms of economy, exports, tax collection, agriculture, remittances, and construction, among other domains. 

He talked about the construction of dams in the country and the resolution of water problems.

The premier then addressed the media of the country, especially news anchors, to invite economic experts so that they could assess how the government achieved targets. 

The premier then talked about the construction of Ravi city, which is being constructed to save Lahore and the Ravi River and the masterplans of other cities. He also talked about the Reko Diq project and the work the government did to alleviate the condition of Balochistan.

“None of the Opposition leaders, in the past 30 years, could work on these developments.”

PM Imran Khan then said that due to “PPP’s corruption during its tenure”, the country had to pay a fine worth Rs200 billion after negotiation with 
Turkey. “In this way, we helped the country get rid of that debt.”

Referring to the no-confidence motion, the premier then talked about the “conspiracy” hatched against him. 

“When I had joined politics more than two decades ago, I had the resolve never to bow before anyone except for Allah,” he said. The whole world respects a person who respects himself. No one respects a disgraceful person, even if they earn billions.”

Talking about the previous government, the premier said that former leaders deviated from the path of righteousness as prescribed by Allah and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and resorted to bowing before the superpower and the International Monetary Fund.

PM Imran Khan said that the country kept receiving threats because of the actions of the previous leaders. “Governments had been changed in the country through the assistance of our own people”, he said.

He said when former premier Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto tried to introduce an independent foreign policy for the country, at the time, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and the “fugitive Nawaz Sharif” started a campaign against Bhutto. 

“Bhutto had been hanged because of their conspiracies and it is a matter of shame that Zardari and Bilawal have joined hands with those [conspirators].”

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