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SBP governor to be nominated next week: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail

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  • Finance Minister Miftah Ismail says Acting SBP Governor Murtaza Syed has no hand in depreciation of rupee.
  • Defence Minister Khawaja Asif says govt will take all necessary steps needed to revive the economy.
  • If we had gone home, country could have gone bankrupt. We made a political sacrifice for the sake of country, says Asif.

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announced on Thursday that the government will nominate a new governor of the State Bank of Pakistan — a post that has remained vacant for more than two months — in the next week.

Addressing a press conference along with Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, the finance czar of the country said that the new governor will be nominated next week.

While talking about the depreciating rupee, Miftah also assured the reporters that Acting SBP Governor Murtaza Syed had no hand in the depreciation of the rupee.

He added that the local currency would stabilise against the greenback next month. 

“Due to import payments of $7.5 billion, pressure is coming on the rupee,” said the finance minister, adding that the rupee had also come under pressure due to the political crisis that resulted following PML-N’s thrashing in the July 17 by-polls.

“The demand for dollars in banks will decrease. Last month, there were imports of $7.5 billion and this month’s imports are less than last year,” said Miftah.

He further stated that the government was focusing on minimising imports and increasing exports.

The finance minister also stated that there has been a significant decrease in the import of diesel and furnace oil, adding that the country has a couple of months of furnace oil in its reserve.

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“The economy is moving in the right direction,” said the finance minister, repeating what his colleague Khawaja Asif had said in the press conference that the coalition government would sacrifice its political capital for the sake of the country.

Talking about the pressure on him, Miftah dismissed those rumours by saying that no one in the federal cabinet has accused him of the loss the PML-N took in the July 17 by-polls.

Reviving Pakistan’s economy main priority: Khawaja Asif

On the other hand, Asif assured the reporters that the coalition government’s main priority was to revive the economy.

“Will take all necessary steps needed to revive the economy,” the defence minister said while noting that his party may face the voters’ wrath in the elections.

“How many finance ministers did the previous government change? Whatever we did in three months, we did it sincerely,” said Asif.

The ministers also spoke about the PML-N’s thumping in Sunday’s by-polls, saying that compared to 2018, the PML-N’s vote bank had increased.

“In the constituencies where we took 6,000 votes last time, we grabbed 45,000 votes. Compared to 2018, we took 200,000 more votes in the recent by-elections,” said Asif.

The PML-N stalwart noted that there were some districts where his party had no vote banks in the past but received a large number of votes from those areas on Sunday. He also noted that the party had given tickets to PTI defectors instead of its workers in some places which had made them heartbroken.

“Ever since we took an oath, we have tried to bring stability rather than doing politics. We will learn from the experience of July 17,” said Asif.

The minister also reminded the media persons that the coalition government had taken over the charge themselves. 

“If we had gone home, the country could have gone bankrupt. We made a political sacrifice for the sake of the country,” said Asif.

Pakistan

Terrorist who martyred two ISI officials in Khanewal gunned down in IBO

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  • Terrorist was at large after killing security officials.
  • Security forces conduct joint operation to nab militant.
  • Niazi succumbs to injuries after being injured in fire exchange.

A terrorist who martyred Naveed Sadiq and Nasir Hussain — the director and inspector of the Inter-Services Intelligence’s (ISI) Counter-Terrorism Wing — was gunned down by law enforcement agencies on Monday in an intelligence-based operation (IBO) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) Kurram Agency.

The slain terrorist, identified as Umar Niazi, was at large after he martyred the two ISI officials on January 3.

The security agencies arrested the terrorist with serious injuries following an exchange of fire. Niazi succumbed to his injuries after a while.

Intelligence agencies nabbed the terrorist before he could slip into Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, the terrorist martyred ISI officials Sadiq and Hussain when they were at a local hotel in Khanewal, Punjab.

Sadiq, meanwhile, was martyred in Khanewal at a time when he was on a mission to take down the network of a banned outfit operating from Afghanistan.

South Punjab Additional Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Sahabzada Shahzad Sultan said the perpetrators were on a motorcycle.

Both officials were posthumously awarded the Hilal-e-Shujaat and Tamgha-e-Shujaat.

Sadiq, who headed the ISI’s CTD wing, was awarded the Sitara-e-Shujaat on March 23, 2021, in recognition of his bravery and courage against anti-national elements.

He joined the police force as a sub-inspector in 2002. After appearing for a high-level exam in 2009, he was appointed to the ISI, the premier intelligence agency, as the assistant director.

During his tenure, the spy agency official exposed key networks of banned outfits. After months of efforts, he gained access to the high command of Daesh. He also neutralised the terrorists after raiding and finding their ambush site in Faisalabad.

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Islamabad court decides to indict Imran Khan in Toshakhana case

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ISLAMABAD: A local court in Islamabad has decided to indict Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case.

The court has set February 7 as the date for the indictment of the PTI chairman. 

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Blast in Balochistan’s Kachhi leaves one injured

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  • Blast takes place in Kachhi district.
  • Police say explosives were placed on roadside.
  • Balochistan under constant terror attacks recently.

In yet another terror incident in the restive province of Balochistan, at least one person was injured after an explosion took place in the Kachhi district of the province, police said on Monday. 

The police told media persons that the explosives were placed on a roadside.

Balochistan has been under constant terror attacks recently with several incidents taking place in the province. 

Bolan incident

Recently, at least 18 people were injured after a remote-control bomb detonated on a railway track in Bolan, forcing the train’s engine and seven carriages off the track.

Railway authorities said that the injured had been shifted to Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Sibi.

The Jaffer Express train was travelling from Machh to Sibi, when the blast occurred, local authorities said.

“A relief train was dispatched from Sibi to rescue passengers of the train and bring them to Sibi safely. Passengers on the Jaffer Express coming from Peshawar to Machh were stopped at Sibi and are now being brought to Quetta via buses,” they added.

According to Deputy Commissioner Kachhi Agha Samiullah, the blast was carried out by a remote-control device.

On the other hand, the carriages of the derailed train are being lifted from the railway track.

Terror attacks

In the annual report issued by the Centre for Research & Security Studies (CRSS), Balochistan suffered from 110 attacks last year, becoming the second most vulnerable province in the country.

Over 250 people lost their lives in terrorist attacks and counter-attacks, whereas over 200 sustained serious injuries in the province.

The last month of the year witnessed over two dozen attacks in quick succession, and that became one-fourth of the total fatalities that occurred in Balochistan, a province which has just 6% of the country’s population.

According to reports, the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and Baloch Nationalist Army (BNA), the terrorist organisations, are mainly involved in terror incidents in the area-wise largest province of the country. In Balochistan, at least 14 major attacks took place mostly on security forces targets.

Security forces remained the primary target of terrorist attacks in the province.

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