Last updated when July 29, 2020 4:44 p.m.
Dr Zafar Mirza and Tania Aidrus have resigned from their posts.
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday accepted the resignation of Special Assistant to Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on National Health Services Dr. Zafar Mirza and Special Assistant to Prime Minister Digital Pakistan Tania Aidrus.
Previously, Dr. Zafar Mirza and Tania Aidrus had resigned from their positions. Zafar Mirza took to the social networking site Twitter and made an announcement, stating that he had resigned as a special assistant because of ongoing negative discussions about the role of SAPM and criticism of the government.
<352> I have resigned as SAPM. I came at a personal invitation @ImranKhanPTI leaving WHO. I work hard & honest. It is an honor to serve Pakistan. I am satisfied that I left when COVID-19 declined as a result of a major national effort.
– Zafar Mirza (@zfrmrza) July 29, 2020
I came to Pakistan at the personal invitation of PM Imran Khan after leaving the World Health Organization (WHO). I am satisfied that I left when COVID-19 declined in Pakistan as a result of a major national effort, he added.
Mirza further said that Pakistanis deserve better health care and that she has worked honestly and sincerely to contribute to this goal. It is an honor to serve this country, he said.
Because of the ongoing negative discussion about the role of SAPM & criticism of the government, I chose to resign. Pakistanis deserve better health care. I have worked sincerely to contribute to this goal. God willing, will emerge from COVID-19 with a stronger health care system.
– Zafar Mirza (@zfrmrza) July 29, 2020
Earlier today, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Digital Pakistan Tania Aidrus also resigned from a post on dual citizenship.
In his resignation letter to PM Imran Khan, Tania said that he returned to Pakistan with the sole intention to contribute and develop the vision of Digital Pakistan, a concept that the PM always voiced and shared.
He added that the recent discourse in the public sphere about his Canadian citizenship, which was a consequence of his birth and not the acquisition of choices, was a disruption to his ability to execute on a long-term vision for Digital Pakistan.
MANILA / KARACHI: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $ 500 million loan to Pakistan to help the country’s coronavirus health and economic response and “protect the poor,” he said in a statement issued Wednesday.
Development – part of the COVID-19 Active Response and Expense Support Program (CARES) – took place after a meeting of the ADB Board of Directors in the Philippine capital, Manila.
In a statement, the bank said the loan would help the Pakistani government “provide a social protection program for the poor and vulnerable, expand the ability of the health sector, and provide fiscal stimulus in favor of the poor to encourage growth and create jobs when the country fights for the novel. pandemic coronavirus (COVID-19) “.
In this regard, ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa said: “The COVID-19 pandemic struck Pakistan at a critical point in the ongoing economic recovery program. We are fully committed to supporting Pakistan through this difficult period.
“This loan will help close the funding gap chosen because the government is implementing countercyclical development plans, including strengthening the social safety net and capacity of the country’s health sector.”
Regional development financial institutions note that the coronavirus pandemic is expected to hamper Pakistan’s economic growth, revenue collection and employment opportunities. The country’s response to the outbreak of respiratory disease is hampered due to the low ration of health workers to the population and the lack of hospital beds.
The ABD CARE program will assist “various government initiatives, including payment of cash assistance to 3 million daily wage workers, of whom around 23% are women, and cash grants to 7.5 million families under the Kifalat social protection program”, the statement added.
“This program will also help fund the acquisition of additional ventilators and COVID-19 protective kits for medical staff, including personal sized personal protective equipment for women.
“To prevent job losses, the loan will support young entrepreneurs, including at least 25% of women, through the government’s young entrepreneurial scheme, Kamyab Jawan,” he said further.
The $ 500 million loan, he explained, was funded through the COVID-19 (CPRO) pandemic response option – part of an additional $ 20 billion in aid announced on April 13 for developing countries’ responses to the coronavirus – under the ADB’s Cyclical Support Facility.
The financial agency said the program would facilitate parallel financing of $ 500 million each from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Secure Human Investment from the World Bank to Encourage Transformation (SHIFT) development policy credit programs.
Last week, the Pakistani bank and government signed an agreement to support the country’s response to the new coronavirus in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF).
Under the agreement, the Norwegian government will provide a $ 5.28 million grant to strengthen the emergency response system at KP in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. These grants are taken from unused resources from the Pakistan Earthquake Fund and will be managed by ADB.
Last month, when Pakistan had recorded more than 43,000 cases of the virus, the ADB had approved a $ 300 million emergency assistance loan to improve the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
It was said that the loan would be used to purchase medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospital staff and their training, purchase of emergency vehicles, and strengthen awareness of COVID-19 among marginal communities with limited television or internet connectivity.
Prior to that, in April, ADB had reallocated $ 30 million from Pakistan’s National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) Project and the NDRMF Board of Directors allocated an additional $ 20 million to procure medical equipment to strengthen hospitals and other medical facilities in the country.
It also mobilized existing technical assistance – capacity building of the Disaster Risk Management Institute – to provide training for at least 5,000 doctors, nurses, and technical staff working at the forefront in intensive care facilities.
In March, lenders agreed to a $ 2.5 million immediate response grant to help Pakistan purchase emergency medical supplies, PPE, diagnostic and laboratory supplies, and other equipment. It consists of $ 2 million from the bank’s Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund and $ 500,000 for procurement of supplies through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Three Turkish-Islamic Union mosques for Religious Affairs (DITIB) in Germany received threatening letters on three days of Eid, celebrated after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
According to a story shared by TRT Deutsch Wednesday, the first letter was sent on Sunday to the Central Mosque DITIB in the southern city of Munich, the first day of the holiday. The Muradiye Mosque in the western city of Duisburg received a second letter on Monday and the Central Mosque of Duisburg DITIB received a third letter of the same type on Tuesday.
All letters describe piglets and slanders against Islam. Similar letters have been sent to other mosques with racist signatures “Prinz Eugen Group,” which carry the name of a special military group among SS soldiers during the Nazi era. In December, the Muradiye mosque in Duisburg received a similar letter with the same picture and similar insults from the same racist group. But it is still unclear whether the Prinz Eugen Group is an organized right-wing extremist group in Germany.
The head of the Duisburg mosque, Yusuf Aydın and Ramazan Ceylan, immediately notified local police after they received the letters. In a joint statement, they demanded identification of the perpetrators. The police have started an investigation.
Aydın and Ceylan point out that as an Islamic community in the city they always make useful contributions in their districts and are aware of their social responsibilities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the previous year a total of 184 mosque attacks were recorded, which meant that every day Islamic places of worship were targeted in Germany.
Due to an increase in Islamophobic attacks in recent years, the Federation Against Injustice and Racism (FAIR) emerged with an initiative against increasing numbers of attacks, which was named “Brandeilig.” They stated that many attacks and threats were not reported and their aim was to draw attention to this problem because the state tended to ignore these attacks.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has received a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the signing of debt relief from G20 countries for eight months (May 1 to December 31, 2020) a period of up to $ 2 billion.
Pakistan became the first country to apply for debt relief from the G20 countries. Now the draft MoU confirms that the G20 accepted the application and is now ready to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for this effect with Islamabad. The MoU received entered by the government into the government (G2G) and the government guarantees debt for public sector companies (PSE) raises hopes that the amount of debt reduction might rise from the previous projection of $ 1.87 billion to near $ 2 billion.
“Debt relief from multilaterals such as the IMF, WB and ADB is not questionable because they call themselves preferred creditors,” the top official said, adding that Islamabad hoped that the G20 countries would offer another phase of debt reduction for four to six month periods. so that debt reduction can increase in the next few days, weeks and months. A decision on this effect is expected to be taken at the next G20 meeting but preparations for this effect are ongoing.
The official said that the G20 sent its MoU which was shared with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Law for inspection. After signing this MoU, agreements with bilateral countries will be made.
Against a total debt obligation of $ 20 billion, Pakistan requested a debt relief of $ 1.87 billion from 11 bilateral creditors among the G20 countries. In terms of providing publicly guaranteed debt, this facility might be close to $ 2 billion.
China is the largest bilateral donor because of its obligations to Pakistan reaching $ 9 billion, followed by Japan with $ 5 billion and other countries, including South Korea, France, Germany, Canada, the United States, Saudi Arabia and others.
ISLAMABAD: The Chancellor of Islamabad International Islamic University Dr. Masoom Yasinzai is in the midst of controversy for allegedly receiving double salaries without prior notice and approval from the Board of Governors (BOG), the Board of Trustees (BOT).
“I received an honorarium to give consultations to a Saudi university led by pro-chancellor IIUI. It was legal; however; I did not feel to bring the matter to BOG or BOT because it was a task given to me by the pro-chancellor,” said Dr. Yasinzai in his written reply to The News.
Documents available with this correspondent reveal that Dr. Yasinzai has received millions of rupees from Imam Muhammad University in Saudi Arabia over the past few years. According to the documents, the amount was given to him as a monthly salary.
Interestingly, Dr. Yasinzai received this salary from a Saudi citizen, Dr. Sulaiman Aba AlKhel who himself was transferred (as director of the Islamic University of Imam Muhammad bin Saud) on corruption charges. He, as a director, is a former IIUI chancellor. He is still being held; However, the findings of an investigation into him over alleged corruption are still awaiting.
According to the rules, no government employee can receive a salary or amount other than his salary, but in this case it seems that the regulation was not followed by a senior university official. Sources revealed that Dr Yasinzai did not disclose the receipt of this amount to any university authority.
LAHORE: Labor leaders praised the government’s move to cut interest rates from 13 to 9 percent by saying that the business class had praised the move.
Pakistani leader Mazdoor Mahaz and the Mutahida Shaukat Chaudhry Labor Federation, Nazeer Shahzad, Muhammad Yaqoob, Fazl-e-Wahid, Hanif Ramay, Advocates Ishtiaq Chaudhry and Muhammad Akbar said the reality on the ground was that despite the aid package, the working class was swallowed up in severe problems and hasn’t received any benefits from the help package. They have not been paid wages at the time of termination of employment.