Two FC men killed in Awaran IED blast

Two FC men killed in Awaran IED blast

QUETTA/GWADAR: A fresh wave of violence swept through Balochistan’s insurgency-hit areas as two more security personnel were killed in an improvised explosive device blast in Awaran while bodies of as many kidnapped government employees were found in the neighbouring Kech district on Saturday. This month Quetta alone witnessed three bomb attacks in which security personnel were targeted. Also on Saturday, security forces claimed to have killed three suspected militants and arrested two in a gunbattle in remote Barkhan district. Official sources said that personnel of the Frontier Corps were checking…

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Haj row escalates as S. Arabia, Iran again miss deal

Haj row escalates as Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: An Iranian delegation has left Saudi Arabia without an agreement for its citizens to perform Haj this year, Saudi media have reported. It was the second failure by the rival Middle East powers to strike a deal over Haj arrangements. Relations between the two countries worsened after hundreds of Iranians died in a crush during last year’s Haj and after Riyadh broke diplomatic ties when its Tehran embassy was stormed in January over the Saudi execution of a Shia cleric. “At dawn on Friday, the Iranian mission expressed its…

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Pemra withdraws ban on contraceptive ads

Pemra withdraws ban on contraceptive ads

ISLAMABAD: Within days of imposing a ban on airing advertisements for contraceptive products on electronic media, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) realised that promoting birth control measures was part of the national agenda and could not be banned. A revised notice issued on Saturday said that until a policy is devised by the authority, there will not be a blanket ban on such advertisements. However, Pemra has now directed all TV channels and FM radio stations that such advertisements should not be aired in primetime, i.e. until 11pm….

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Govt reaches out to Popalzai for sake of ‘one Eid’

Govt reaches out to Popalzai of ‘one Eid’

ISLAMABAD: In a bid to ensure that the holy month of Ramazan and Eidul Fitr are observed on the same day across the country, the ministry of religious affairs has sought a meeting with Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai of Peshawar’s Masjid Qasim Ali Khan on May 31. But the ministry, or any other federal and provincial department for that matter, will be helpless if Mufti Popalzai decides not to accept the decisions of the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee. “If he declines the official request and refuses to accept the Ruet-i-Hilal Committee’s decision,…

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PTI wants committee to prepare ToR by June 10

PTI wants committee to prepare ToR June 10

ISLAMABAD: The Pakis­tan Tehreek-i-Insaf wants the Parliamentary Commit­tee on Panamagate to complete its task of preparing the terms of reference (ToR) for the judicial commission within the stipulated time. Speaking at a news conference here on Saturday, PTI’s spokesman Naeemul Haq said that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had assured the opposition that he would come out with some new proposals at the next meeting of the committee on Monday. “The committee should complete its task around June 10 so that the issue that has been lingering on for almost two…

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Govt may drop duty on currency dealers’ gross profits

Govt may drop duty on currency dealers’ gross profits

KARACHI: The Ministry of Finance has assured the exchange companies of withdrawing the 16 per cent federal excise duty (FED) on their gross profits, but could double the recently imposed withholding tax to 0.3 per cent from the next fiscal year. Sources said the government has also decided to withdraw notices, worth Rs150 million, issued to the exchange companies for payment of excise duty. However, money changers said the decision has not been enforced so far. The exchange companies previously threatened to close down their outlets if the FED and…

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Poultry sector may get relief in budget

Poultry sector may get relief in budget

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar assured the poultry industry on Saturday that some relief would be provided to the poultry sector in the federal budget for 2016-17. Pakistan Poultry Asso­ciation, led by its Chairman, Khalid Salim Malik, held a meeting with Ishaq Dar. During the meeting, Ishaq Dar emphasised that while the government was willing to extend all possible facilitation to poultry sector, it also expects poultry farmers to provide maximum relief to the general public in terms of poultry prices, especially during Ramazan. The PPA delegation assured the finance…

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Traders unimpressed with rise in pre-Ramazan sales

Traders unimpressed with rise in sales

KARACHI: An increase in sales of readymade garments, unstitched clothes, shoes, etc, ahead of Ramazan isn’t enough to impress traders and shopkeepers who say they have to offer bigger discounts to attract customers this time around. Those who offered 10 per cent discount last year are now clearing the stocks with 25-40pc discount. Some leading shoemakers are even offering discounts of up to 70pc. Many departmental garment stores are also luring shoppers with price cuts ranging between 20pc and 70pc. However, traders said one reason for depressed sales was the…

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Manufacturers deny shortage of medicines

Manufacturers deny shortage of medicines

KARACHI: Only one to two per cent of all drugs manufactured in Pakistan are in short supply in the market and the price increase under `hardship cases’ is also`very nominal’, senior executives of multinational companies claimed on Friday. Talking to reporters at the Pharma Bureau Office on Friday, Vice President and CEO of GlaxoSmithKline Pakistan M. Azizul Haq, Country Manager of Lundbeck Pakistan Muhammad Aslam Shaikh, MD of OBS Pharmaceutical Arshad Hussain and PB Chairman Kazim Hasnain said that the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) was focusing more on…

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