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On her 69th birth anniversary: Remembering Benazir Bhutto

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On what would have been her 69th birthday, Benazir Bhutto’s family, friends and well-wishers took to Twitter in memory of the slain former prime minister.

Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, who is the federal minister for foreign affairs and the son of the late leader, wished his mother by posting several snapshots of the mother-son duo in a series of tweets.

“On the longest day of the year, we remember Shaheed Benazir Bhutto on what would have been her 69th birthday,” he wrote.

Highlighting her contributions to the country, Bilawal added: “She fought for 30+ years for the restoration of democracy, economic emancipation of the poor, and for the peaceful message of Islam.”

Bilawal lamented that “terrorists, dictators and cowards” have assassinated her. But she lives on in the hearts and minds of the people of her country and across the world. “In life, she was Benazir, in death she is Benazir. To her assassins, we say: “Tum zinda ho kr murda howo mar kr phir bhi zinda hai.”

The foreign minister also shared a video released in 2019 where all renowned journalists paid tribute to the former prime minister: “Happy birthday to my mother, our leader, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto,” Bilawal captioned the video.

Benazir’s elder daughter Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari also shared a portrait of her mother to pay tribute to her on her birthday.

Democracy is poorer without her: PM Shehbaz

“I pay my rich tribute to Shaheed Mohtarama Benazir Bhutto on her 69th birthday,” Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif wrote on Twitter. 

“Our democracy is poorer without her [and] the void left by her martyrdom will never be filled. She fearlessly [and] staunchly advocated the causes she believed in,” he added.

‘Journey together is still unfinished’

Federal Minister for Climate Change and PPP Vice President Sherry Rehman also shared her picture with the slain leader claiming that she lives on in the hearts in ways no one else could.

“Our journey together is still unfinished. Your redemptive light still guides many of us on a path you trod with infinite grace and courage. May you shine on forever,” she wrote on Twitter.

The life and times of Benazir Bhutto

Benazir was a Pakistani democratic socialist who served as the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms from 1988 until 1990 and 1993 until 1996. She was the daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto‚ a former prime minister of Pakistan and the founder of the PPP.

In 1982‚ at the age of 29‚ Benazir became the chairperson of PPP, making her the first woman in Pakistan to head a major political party. In 1988‚ she became the first woman elected to lead a Muslim state and was also Pakistan’s first (and thus far‚ only) female prime minister. 

Noted for her charismatic authority and political astuteness, she drove initiatives for Pakistan’s economy and national security‚ and she implemented policies for industrial development and growth.

Benazir’s popularity waned amid recession‚ corruption‚ high unemployment which later led to the dismissal of her government by then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan.

In 1993‚ Benazir Bhutto was re-elected for a second term after the 1993 parliamentary elections. She is also respectfully referred to as B.B. In 1996‚ the charges of corruption levelled against her led to the final dismissal of her government by President Farooq Leghari.

Benazir conceded her defeat in the 1997 Parliamentary elections and went into self-imposed exile in Dubai‚ United Arab Emirates in 1998.

After nine years of self-exile‚ she returned to Pakistan on October 18, 2007‚ after having reached an understanding with Pervez Musharraf‚ following which she was granted amnesty and all corruption charges were withdrawn.

Benazir was assassinated on December 27, 2007‚ after leaving PPP’s last rally in the city of Rawalpindi‚ two weeks before the scheduled Pakistani general election of 2008 in which she was a leading opposition candidate. 

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Train hits dumper at Gojra level crossing

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At an unmanned level crossing in Gojra late on Sunday night, a train carrying two Rehman Baba Express drivers was injured when it struck a dumper.

Rehman Baba Express struck a dumper at Gojra level crossing No. 99 while traveling from Peshawar to Karachi, according to details. Two train drivers were stranded inside the debris, and the train’s engine sustained significant damage in the crash.

When rescue personnel arrived, they broke the engine’s body to free the drivers who were still in critical condition. All of the passengers were safe throughout the collision, according to railway authorities.

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There won’t be a total solar eclipse today in Pakistan.

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This Wednesday will be the first full solar eclipse of the year. But it won’t be visible in Asia.

Around 11:07 am PDT, or 9:07 pm local time in Pakistan, the eclipse will initially be visible near the Pacific Coast of Mexico. After that, the eclipse will pass through a large region of the United States, from Texas to Maine, and into Canada.

The total eclipse will last for four minutes, and the eclipse will continue for five hours and ten minutes.

The eclipse will proceed into Texas, passing through over a dozen states before reaching southern Ontario in Canada, according to NASA. At around 5:16 p.m. NDT, the eclipse will leave mainland North America and go out of Newfoundland, Canada.

According to NASA, there is a path where the eclipse will be visible in its entirety, and outside of this area, spectators may notice a partial eclipse, in which the moon covers part of the sun but not all of it.

In the ensuing two decades, there won’t be another full solar eclipse. On October 2, South America will witness the second solar eclipse of the year. Yet it will just be a portion of it.

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Pakistani stocks are rising, and the KSE-100 breaks the 69,000 barrier.

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The benchmark KSE-100 Index increased 1.76 percent on Monday, passing beyond the 69,000 barrier for the first time in its history. This maintained Pakistani stock market’s record-breaking run, as investors remained upbeat about potential rate cuts by the central bank.

The most recent advances also follow Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s iftar dinner given by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Makkah, at a time when Riyadh is anticipated to announce an approximately $1 billion investment in Reko Diq, one of the world’s greatest reserves of copper and gold.

After reaching a high of 69,720.03, the KSE-100 Index concluded at 69,619.98 with a net gain of 1,203.20 points by the time trading was closed for the day. This was due to international investors, both individual and institutional, making purchases.

The meeting between Shehbaz and the Saudi crown prince, also referred to as MBS, may open doors for investment in a variety of industries, including mining, energy, and agriculture.

With record-high energy and interest rates driving up the cost of conducting business to an unaffordable level, investors are clamoring for foreign investment to prop up the economy.

Any improvement in this area would not only contribute to the rupee’s appreciation but also increase the value of cheap equities due to the anticipated purchasing frenzy, as buyers will not pass up the chance to purchase at the reduced prices.

However, there is a big question mark over the heightened expectations that the State Bank of Pakistan will begin reducing interest rates following the consumer price index (CPI) showing a steady fall in inflation over the past three months, particularly the greater than anticipated decline in March.

The reason is that, given Islamabad’s desperation to secure another package from the Washington-based lender, there is an impending hike in gasoline costs in addition to power and gas charges. This move will further sustain the inflationary pressure under the IMF criteria.

Meanwhile, the most recent US data has reduced expectations for potential rate reduction by the Federal Reserve, which is driving up the price of gold as speculative purchasing occurs.

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