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Resolution to designate 23 March as ‘Pakistan Day’ introduced in US House of Representatives

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  • Resolution introduced in House of Representatives. 
  • Masood Khan thanks Congressman Bowman for his initiative.
  • It was an honour to have introduced the resolution, says Bowman.

WASHINGTON: For the first time in the history of Pak-US relations, a landmark resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Jamaal Bowman recognising 23 March 2023 as “Pakistan Day“.

According to Radio Pakistan, the resolution was presented to “honour and celebrate the important role played by the Pakistani-American community in strengthening and inspiring the people of the United States.”

The resolution stated that it is proper and desirable for the United States to recognise and pay tribute to those who foster ethnic pride and enhance the profile of cultural diversity which strengthens the fabric of the communities of the United States. 

It further said that “Pakistan Day provides an excellent means by which all residents of the United States can learn more about the rich Pakistani heritage while fostering an appreciation for the ancient culture among future generations,”

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Masood Khan thanked Congressman Bowman for his initiative which he said would not only help further strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries but would also help bring the people of the two countries closer to each other.

Congressman Jamaal Bowman while meeting with  Pakistans Ambassador to the US, Masood Khan on March 22, 2023. — Radio Pakistan
Congressman Jamaal Bowman while meeting with  Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, Masood Khan on March 22, 2023. — Radio Pakistan

He also thanked the leadership of the American Pakistan Advocacy Group, including its president and prominent community leader Ali Rashid and other officer-bearers, who had been working hard, maintaining a close liaison with the congressman for the introduction of the landmark resolution.

He said that recognising 23rd March 2023 as “Pakistan Day” and acknowledging the valuable contributions of Pak-American citizens reflects the importance of Pak-US ties and a desire to further strengthen this relation.

Masood Khan also met Congressman Bowman in his chamber, who received him warmly and shared his views about the importance of the relationship and the critical role being played by the Pakistani diaspora in various fields including education, medicine, science, technology, business and industry.

Meanwhile, talking to media outside Capitol Hill, Congressman Bowman said that it was a matter of an honour for him to have introduced the resolution. 

He said: “It is incredibly important for us at this moment, as the United States government, to stand with the people of Pakistan who are dealing with a catastrophe that we have not seen in history. 10 million people still struggle to find access to clean water and energy. A third of the country was destroyed. All of this because of what some would call a natural disaster but as we know is related to the issue of climate change.”

Later, in his message to the people of Pakistan, Congressman Bowman greeted the nation on “Pakistan Day” and the commencement of the month of Holy Ramadan and conveyed his message of “Peace and love to the people of Pakistan.” 

He said: “Let us continue to work together to bring our two countries together.”

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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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