Imran to Munir

Armed Forces Are Servants Of People: Imran To Munir, Military Leaders

In a message to the newly appointed military leaders, including army chief Asim Munir, former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday expressed hope that they will work to end the prevailing trust deficit between the nation and the State.

“Congratulations to Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza as the new CJCSC and Gen Syed Asim Munir as the new COAS. We hope the new leadership will work to end the prevailing trust deficit that has built up in the last 8 months between the nation and the State. Strength of the State is derived from its people,” Khan said in his congratulatory tweet for the newly appointed military leadership.
In his Twitter post, the PTI chief quoting Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah, “Do not forget that the armed forces are the servants of the people and you do not make national policy; it is we, the civilians, who decide these issues and it is your duty to carry out these tasks with which you are entrusted.”

This comes a day after General Asim Munir took over the command from outgoing Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa. Marking an end to his six-year tenure as the most powerful person in the country, Bajwa passed the baton of command to Lt Gen Munir at a ceremony held at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi, the Dawn newspaper reported.

Since his ouster from power in April this year, Imran Khan has had a fallout with the country’s coalition government and military establishment.

The hype and hoopla created over the appointment of Pakistan’s new army chief came to rest after General Asim Munir and General Sahir Shamshad Mirza were notified as the next chief of army staff (COAS) and chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) respectively on November 24.

Munir, who was to retire on November 27, two days before Bajwa completed an extended tenure of almost six years, was among six generals in the race for the top post — a cause for much uncertainty and speculation till this week.

There was an unprecedented hysteria and frenzy in Pakistan by the former Prime Minister, his followers, and his social media brigade after the PTI government was thrown out of the power corridors of Islamabad in April. The Shehbaz Sharif government has accused Khan of making the appointment of the new army chief controversial for political gains.

For the last month, Pakistan was literally paralysed administratively and economically because of the delay in the appointment of the army chief who is considered the most powerful personality with all political stakeholders dying for his blessings.

Notably, Pakistan’s military has directly ruled the country of 220 million people for nearly half of its 75-year history. (ANI)

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Pakistan army chief General Asim Munir

Lt Gen Asim Munir Takes Command As Pakistan’s Army chief

Pakistan army General Asim Munir on Tuesday took over the command from outgoing Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Marking an end to his six-year tenure as the most powerful person in the country, Bajwa passed the baton of command to Lt Gen Munir at a ceremony held at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi, the Dawn newspaper reported.
The hype and hoopla created over the appointment of Pakistan’s new army chief came to rest after General Asim Munir and General Sahir Shamshad Mirza were notified as the next chief of army staff (COAS) and chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) respectively on November 24.

Munir, who was to retire on November 27, two days before Bajwa completed an extended tenure of almost six years, was among six generals in the race for the top post — a cause for much uncertainty and speculation till this week.

People familiar with the matter in Pakistan said Munir’s reputation as a straight military officer who played by the book helped him clinch the post.

There was an unprecedented hysteria and frenzy in Pakistan by former Prime Minister Imran Khan, his followers, and his social media brigade after the PTI government was thrown out of the power corridors of Islamabad in April. The government has accused Khan of making the appointment of the new army chief controversial for political gains.

For the last month, Pakistan was literally paralysed administratively and economically because of the delay in the appointment of the army chief who is considered the most powerful personality with all political stakeholders dying for his blessings.

Notably, Pakistan’s military has directly ruled the country of 220 million people for nearly half of its 75-year history.

Gen Munir was promoted to the rank of a three-star general in September 2018, but he took charge two months later. As such, his four-year tenure as Lt Gen ends on November 27, around the same time when incumbent Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Nadeem Raza and Chief of Army Staff Gen Bajwa will be doffing their army uniform, reported Dawn.

Lt Gen Munir entered the service via the Officers Training School programme in Mangla and was commissioned into the Frontier Force Regiment.

He has been a close aide of Gen Bajwa ever since he commanded troops in the Force Command Northern Areas as a brigadier under the outgoing army chief, who was then Commander X Corps.

Lt Gen Munir was later appointed Military Intelligence director general in early 2017, and in October next year was made the Inter-Services Intelligence chief, Dawn reported. (ANI)

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Pakistan army chief General Asim Munir

Lt Gen Asim Munir Named Pak’s New Army Chief

Lieutenant General Asim Munir was on Thursday appointed as the new chief of army staff (COAS) of Pakistan, ending weeks of intense speculation and political tussle in the country.

“The Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has decided to appoint Lt. Gen. Sahir Shamshad Mirza as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Lt. Gen. Syed Asim Munir as the Chief of the Army Staff using the constitutional authority,” Pakistan Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb tweeted.
Aurangzeb said that a summary of the same had been sent to Pakistan President Arif Alvi.

On Wednesday, the Pakistan government confirmed that it had received the summary from the Ministry of Defence with a “panel of names” for the appointment of the new COAS.

“The PM office has received the summary from the Ministry of Defence with a panel of names for the appointment of Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Army Staff. The Prime Minister will take a decision on the appointments as per the laid down procedure,” the Pakistan prime minister’s office said in a statement.

Gen Bajwa, 61, is slated to retire next week after a three-year extension.

On Tuesday, Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said the summary had been forwarded to the PMO from the defence ministry. “The rest of the steps will be completed soon,” he tweeted.

Pakistan’s defence minister has warned opposition leader and former Prime Minister Imran Khan, saying that the coalition government will deal with him, after the completion of the appointment process of the new Army chief.

“The process will complete in two to three days. The excitement will end, after which we will deal with Imran Khan,” the Pakistan defence minister was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.

He made these remarks on the floor of the Pakistan National Assembly, hinting at the formal announcement of the key appointment within the next three days.

This comes after the process to appoint the new army chief started on Monday as Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif wrote a letter to the country’s Defence Ministry for a summary of the potential candidates. (ANI)

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pakistan government

Pakistan Govt, Oppn Try To Reach Consensus On New Army Chief

The coalition government in Pakistan has initiated dialogue with Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), The Express Tribune newspaper reported citing sources.

The report said that this move follows the meeting between Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and President Arif Alvi on Friday. Dar offered dialogue to resolve political issues, the sources said. Meanwhile, the Pakistan President, a member of PTI, told him his message would be conveyed to the party leadership which has shown a willingness to hold talks.

Dar held two meetings with the president in the last three days.

“The PTI wants the announcement of a date for the early general elections. If the government agrees, then the PTI is willing to rejoin parliament for a dialogue on the electoral framework,” the Tribune newspaper quoted the sources as saying.

According to the report, the purpose of the meeting between the finance minister and the president was to ensure that the process regarding the appointment of a new army chief would culminate smoothly.

Ahead of the deadline for installing a new army chief, the political standoff between the government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Imran Khan has polarized the country and threatened to erupt in violence.

“The battlelines are sharply drawn now, making the situation untenable,” Maleeha Lodhi, a former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, wrote in an op-ed this week, as quoted by The Washington Post.

According to Lodhi, the former Pakistan Prime Minster is making matters worse by “hurling allegations” at the army but also privately seeking its support.

The looming fear is that the situation will “snowball into civil strife,” Lodhi was quoted as saying by The Washington Post. (ANI)

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Pakistan's total debt

Pak’s Debt Surges To Rs 12 Trill In First Quarter

Pakistan’s total debt and liabilities spiked by Pakistani Rupees (Rs) 12 trillion or 23.7 percent in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, the loan trance from the International Monetary Fund and the devaluation of the rupee pushed the numbers up significantly, The News International reported citing analysts.

In the fiscal year, 2022-2023, in July-September the debt and liabilities stood at Rs 62.46 trillion which is more than the same period of last fiscal year, accounting for Rs 50.49 trillion.
The country’s debt rose 24.7 percent to Rs59.37 trillion, while total liabilities increased 23 percent to Rs3.56 trillion.

Fahad Rauf, head of research at Ismail Iqbal Securities said the increase in the debt was mainly by external sources. “Mostly the IMF [International Monetary Fund] loan tranche of USD 1.2 billion and the impact of the rupee depreciation on overall external debt.”

The government’s domestic debt increased by 18.7 percent to Rs 31.40 trillion. The foreign debt stood at Rs 17.99 trillion in July-September FY2023, 30.2 percent up from a year earlier, according to the figures from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), according to The News International.

Total external debt and liabilities jumped 33.4 percent to Rs 28.94 trillion.

“Managing debt obligations is one of the biggest challenges facing the government,” said Mustafa Mustansir, head of research at Taurus Securities.

However, there are concerns about the conclusion of the ninth review of the IMF’s bailout package.

Although the date has not yet been set, the IMF staff mission is anticipated in Islamabad by the end of this month because the Fund needs Pakistan to make necessary modifications first.

The government is requesting some exceptions on performance criteria due to flood losses and the Fund’s insistence on maintaining the agreed tax-to-GDP ratio of at least 11 percent.

The delay in the IMF’s review is making foreign investors more anxious, reported The News International.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s risk of default, measured through the five-year currency default swap (CDS) index, on Monday increased by 4.2 percentage points reaching a new high at 64.2 percent. The development indicates that Pakistan did not have the resources to make the growing import payments and foreign debt repayments in time, The Express Tribune reported.

Pakistan is due to repay USD 1 billion against a five-year Sukuk (Shariah-compliant bond) which is scheduled to mature on December 5, 2022. According to Topline Research, the yield (rate of return) on the Sukuk increased by 964 basis points in a day to 69.96 percent. The increase in the yield is hinting that investors were thinking that Pakistan might default on the $1 billion Sukuk.

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Jameel Ahmad has said that Pakistan had foreign exchange reserves of “over USD 9 billion, which are more than enough” for paying imports and repaying foreign debt.

The five-year CDS indicated a high risk of default after Pakistan announced that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had postponed his visit to Islamabad, as per reported by The News International. (ANI)

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China about Pakistan and Afghanistan

China’s Confirmation In, No Money For Terror Conference Awaited; Pak, Afgh Not Participating

As the third edition of the ‘No Money For Terror’ Ministerial Conference is beginning from Friday, India on Thursday said confirmation from China is still awaited while Pakistan and Afghanistan are not participating in the international event.

However, a total of 78 countries and multilateral organisations, including Ministers from 20 countries, have confirmed their presence at the two-day conference being organised on November 18 and November 19 here in the national capital.
“A total of 78 countries and multilateral organisations are participating in the third edition of the ‘No Money For Terror’ Conference beginning from tomorrow (November 18),” said Dinkar Gupta, Director General, National Investigation Agency (NIA), India’s anti-terror agency which works under the Ministry of Home Affairs, while speaking in a press briefing.

Asked about the presence of Pakistan and Afghanistan in the conference, the NIA Director General said, “Pakistan and Afghanistan are not participating in this conference”.

On a query over the presence of China in the international event on terror financing, Secretary West (MEA) Sanjay Verma said “the participation of China is not yet confirmed”.

However, Verma clarified “China has been invited”.

Replying to another query about whether Pakistan was invited and did not come or it was not invited, Verma said, “China has been invited”.

Giving details of the event in the Curtain Raiser press conference on the third ‘No Money for Terror’ Conference, NIA DG said, “This is the third edition of ‘No money for Terror’ conference. The first was held in France in 2018… The second edition was organised in Melbourne, Australia in 2019.”

“India was offered to host the third conference but it could not take place in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19,” said Gupta.

Noting “this is a very crucial way to stop terror financing and activities”, the NIA DG said a total 72 countries along with multilateral organisations are participating in the event”.

“India would be the 73rd country taking part in the conference.”

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the conference and Union Home Minister Amit Shah will conclude the event and convey India’s determination in its fight against terrorism as well as its support systems for achieving success against it.

India will raise major issues like lack of universal consensus on laws regarding cybercrimes; weak control mechanisms of social media platforms and their misuse by terrorist and extremist groups, dark web, and crypto-currency in the international ‘No Money For Terror’ Ministerial Conference.

Crowdfunding; anonymous, decentralised, and untraceable nature of terror financing; effective multilateral and multi-stakeholder approach in identification and mitigation of threats of emerging terror-financing mechanisms; misuse of non-profit and nongovernment organisations as front structures for financing terror activities are among other serious agendas to be raised in the event.

This Conference aims to make progress in the discussions on combating terrorist financing held by the international community in the previous two Conferences in Paris and Melbourne. It also intends to include discussions on technical, legal, regulatory, and cooperation aspects of all facets of terrorism financing. It attempts to set the pace for other high-level official and political deliberations, focused on countering terrorist financing.

India will point out how additional challenges rise in terms of the inclusion and regulation of the private sector as well as the extension of technical assistance to smaller financial institutions.

India will also emphasize the cooperation among states carried out at the international, national, and regional levels which need coordinated responses from intergovernmental and national law enforcement agencies.

The focus of the conference will be on “more coordination” among all stakeholders.

The conference will further India’s efforts to build understanding and cooperation among nations in the fight against terror financing.

The hosting of this conference shows the importance being given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government to the issue of international terrorism as well as its zero-tolerance policy against this menace and having discussions on this issue in the international community.

Globally, countries have been affected by terrorism and militancy for several years. The pattern of violence differs in most theatres but is largely engendered by a tumultuous geo-political environment, coupled with prolonged armed sectarian conflicts. Such conflicts often lead to poor governance, political instability, economic deprivation, and large ungoverned spaces. The involvement of a complaint State often exacerbates terrorism, especially it’s financing.

India has suffered several forms of terrorism and its financing over more than three decades, hence it understands the pain and trauma of similarly impacted nations. In order to display solidarity with peace-loving nations and to help create a bridge for sustained cooperation on countering terrorist financing, India has hosted two global events in October – the annual General Assembly of the Interpol in Delhi and a special session of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee in Mumbai and Delhi. The forthcoming NMFT Conference will further our efforts to build understanding and cooperation among nations.

Discussions at the third ‘No Money For Terror’ Conference will be focussed on global trends in terrorism and terrorist financing, the use of formal and informal channels of funds for terrorism, emerging technologies and terrorist financing, and requisite international cooperation to address related challenges. (ANI)

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US supports Pakistan for F-16 fighter jets

It’s Not Monetary Help, US On Support To Pakistan For F-16 Fighter Jets

In response to a question regarding Washington’s financial aid to Pakistan for F-16 fighter jets, the US State Department Spokesperson Zed Tarar said that it was part of the contract between the two nations and does not represent monetary assistance.

Speaking to ANI in Bali, Tarar stressed that the fighter aircraft were three decades old and its spare parts were part of the old agreement.
“It’s not monetary help. These are 30-year-old aircraft and the spare parts were in the same contract,” Zed Tarar said.

The statement of the US State Department comes as Washington has approved the foreign military sale of the F-16 case for sustainment and related equipment worth $450 million to Pakistan. Earlier in September, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) in a statement said that the Pakistan government had made the request to consolidate prior F-16 sustainment and support cases to support the Pakistan Air Force F-16 aircraft.

“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Pakistan of F-16 Case for Sustainment and related equipment for an estimated cost of $450 million,” US Defence Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement.

It added, “The Government of Pakistan has requested to consolidate prior F-16 sustainment and support cases to support the Pakistan Air Force F-16 fleet by reducing duplicate case activities and adding additional continued support elements.”

In the statement, US Defence Security Cooperation Agency noted that the proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security aim of the United States by allowing Pakistan to retain interoperability with Washington and partner forces in counterterrorism efforts.

Citing US President Joe Biden’s statement, Zed Tarar asserted that the US will give a response to terrorism. Speaking to ANI, Tarar said, “As for terrorism, the US keeps a close eye on terrorism.” Speaking about PM Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden’s brief meeting, Zed Tarar said that there is a friendship between the two leaders.

Biden and Modi greeted each other with a warm hug and shared some light moments before heading into the day’s engagements at the G20 summit. He stated that the schedule for a bilateral meeting between the two leaders is in progress but he could not confirm whether or not there would be a meeting between the two leaders.

“The two leaders have met and both have met very warmly. The schedule for the bilateral meeting is in progress, right now I cannot say whether the meeting will happen or not, but hopefully, we will continue the conversation,” Zed Tarar said.

“There is a friendship between President Biden and PM Modi which is apparent. There are several world topics that both nations do not see face to face. But that does not affect our relationship. Every country moves as per their own strategy, most important is we are keeping pressure on Russia, not on our friends,” he added. (ANI)

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Will Expose The Reality Of What Pak Did To Me: Adnan

Singer Adnan Sami, who renounced his Pakistani citizenship and became a citizen of India in 2016, has penned a shocking note on Instagram, criticising the establishment of his former country.

In his Instagram post, he promised to “expose the reality ” of what Pakistan did to him.
He wrote, “Many people ask me why I have such contempt towards Pakistan. The hard truth is that I have absolutely no contempt towards the people of Pakistan who have been good to me. I love everyone who loves me– period. I have major issues with the establishment. Those who truly know me will also know what that establishment did to me for many years which ultimately became one of the big reasons for me to leave Pak.”

“One day, soon, I will expose the reality of how they treated me which not many know, least of all the general public which will shock many! I have remained silent about all this for many years, but will choose the right moment to tell all,” he added.

Adnan’s post has left everyone curious.

“What actually happened? Can’t wait for you to spill the truth,” a social media user commented.

“You can’t imagine how much we love you, Sir. I wish you were here in Pakistan, working with your son Azaan and doing concerts everywhere together. I’m sure there must be some very serious issue that forced you to leave Pak. But always remember, you have your true fans here, who love you soo much and listen to your music since the beginning,” another one wrote.

Adnan was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honor, in 2020. (ANI)

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Gurupurab in Pakistan

Indian Consular Team Facilitating Safety of Sikhs Visiting Pakistan For Gurupurab

Indian consular team in Pakistan is coordinating with the Sikh jatha who are there to visit various Gurdwaras on the occasion of Gurupurab.

They are on the ground facilitating their safety and security during their stay in Pakistan.
“@IndiainPakistan consular team is on the ground, with the Indian jatha visiting Pakistan for Gurupurab, coordinating with jatha leaders, local authorities for their safety, security and to facilitate their visit to various Gurdwaras in Pakistan,” tweeted the High Commission of India, Islamabad.

Meanwhile, Sikh pilgrims expressed disappointment after the Pakistani authorities rejected 586 visas, out of a total 1496 visas, of Indian Sikhs, wanting to visit the Nankana Sahib in Pakistan.

“SGPC had applied for 1496 visas, out of which, 910 were approved but 586 were rejected. The visas are valid for 10 days, and those whose visas were rejected have been disappointed a lot. Government should not reject the religious visa,” said Harbhajan Singh.

“Both governments need to provide the facility of On Arrival Visa. The Visa office must be open at Attari-Wagah Border. The buses which used to run earlier, for the darshan of the Gurdwara of Pakistan were also stopped. That should run again. Like Delhi Lahore bus. Amritsar Nankana Sahib even the Samjota Exores train has been stopped. We should connect the people of both countries through religious places. “, he further stated.

Guru Nanak’s birth celebrations are scheduled to be held in Pakistan from November 6-15.

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee spokesperson Harbhajan Singh said that on November 8, the pilgrims will be celebrating the Guru Nanak Dev’s anniversary at Pakistan’s Nankana sahib.

Indian Sikh pilgrims who will travel to Pakistan would visit Dera Sahib, Panja Sahib, Nankana Sahib and Kartarpur Sahib.

Pakistan on Friday informed that its High Commission in New Delhi has issued nearly 3,000 visas to Indian Sikh pilgrims to attend the week-long birth celebrations of Guru Nanak.

“On the occasion of the birthday celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak, the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi has issued 2,942 visas to Sikh pilgrims from India to attend the Birth Celebrations scheduled to be held in Pakistan from 6-15 November 2022,” the Pakistan High Commission in India said in a statement. (ANI)

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Foreigners Deported in 2021

821 Foreigners Deported in 2021, LTV Granted To 2,439 Pak Nationals

A total of 821 foreigners were deported by the Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRROs) in the year 2021, reads the Ministry of Home Affairs annual report.

The MHA Annual Report 2021-22 was released on Monday.
The report reads that most of the deported foreigners belonged to Nigeria (339), followed by Bangladesh (246) and Afghanistan (105).

A total of 15,24,469 foreigners visited India from January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021. The maximum number of foreigners who visited India during this period were from the United States of America (4,29,860) followed by those from Bangladesh (2,40,554), the United Kingdom (1,64,143), Canada (80,437), Nepal (52,544), Afghanistan (36,451), Australia (33,864), Germany (33,772), Portugal (32,064) and France (30,374). These 10 countries accounted for 74.39 percent of the total arrival of foreigners from January to December 2021 while the rest of the countries accounted for 25.61 percent of the total incoming traffic of foreigners.

Further, Pakistan nationals above 65 years of age who cross the Attari Immigration Check Post on foot are also granted ‘Visa-on-Arrival’ (‘VoA’) for 45 day stay with single entry subject to certain conditions.

From April 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021, a total of 2,439 Long Term Visas (LTV) have been granted by MHA for minority communities from three neighbouring countries. This includes Pakistan (2193), Afghanistan (237), and Bangladesh (9).

During the same period, 08 Pakistani civil prisoners and 15 Pakistani fishermen, who had completed their sentences, were repatriated to Pakistan. And eight Indian civil prisoners and 20 Indian fishermen have been repatriated to India. (ANI)

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