Author: Javaneh Buriro

COLOMBO – Sri Lanka needs $100 billion to become a net zero emitter by 2040, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Tuesday, as the island also attempts to build climate change resilience while navigating its worst financial crisis in decades. Sri Lanka will focus on green financing tools, including debt for nature swaps as it attempts to reach the net zero target, Wickremesinghe told Reuters in an interview. But he added it does not have immediate plans to utilise green bonds. “Some (funds) will come from investors who are interested, and I think we have an early start compared to others.…

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ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday stressed the need to improve Pakistan’s relations with neighboring countries, including India and Afghanistan, to pursue more effective diplomacy on the world stage and raise the country’s international status. The ex-premier’s statement comes amid Pakistan’s frosty bilateral relations with the neighboring states, particularly India and Afghanistan, over a spectrum of issues, including a protracted territorial dispute and cross-border militancy. Pakistan severed diplomatic and economic ties with India in August 2019 after New Delhi stripped the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir of its special constitutional status. Its relationship with Kabul is also…

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WITH the 12th parliamentary elections in Bangladesh scheduled to be held in January 2024, two critical questions are echoing concerns from three previous elections: Will there be a caretaker government? And will the principal Opposition party, Begum Khaleda Zia-led Bangladesh National Party (BNP), take part to challenge Sheikh Hasina’s bid for a third consecutive term as Prime Minister? A visit to Dhaka last week made it clear that the ruling Awami League’s (AL) Hasina is unlikely to support a caretaker regime, making it improbable for the BNP to contest the elections. A cross-section of the people whom I conversed with,…

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India is planning to invite bids for an 80 billion rupees ($960 million) incentive program for production of electric vehicle batteries, according to people familiar with the matter. The program will require winning bidders to set up advanced chemistry battery plants with a total output of 20 gigawatt hour, said the people, declining to be named as the plans are private. The government will seek bids from potential investors next month, they said. Companies including Korea’s LG Energy Solution Ltd., and local heavyweights such as Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., Amara Raja Energy & Mobility Ltd., Exide Industries Ltd. and Larsen…

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There were no beheadings, daggers, nor pools of blood: The curtain fell on two centuries of Durrani imperial rule with an anticlimax unmatched since Borachio confessed his villainy in Much Ado About Nothing. The ageing King Zahir Shah, in Rome to treat a minor eye condition, exiled himself to Trichia, an idyll on the Tyrrhenian Sea. The only casualty was Habibullah Khan Zurmatai, a dashing young officer of the 4th Brigade, who drove his tank into the Kabul River to avoid hitting a bus. Even as the king’s cousin and prime minister, Prince Daud Khan, declared Afghanistan a republic and began calling himself…

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QUETTA: Workers, supporters and members of all party traders’ alliance continued their sit-in in Chaman for the second consecutive day on Sun­day, protesting against the government’s decision to make valid pass­ports and visas mandatory for crossing Pak-Afghan border. The Pakistani government has decided to restrict border crossing to only those with valid passports and visas, effective from November 1. After October 31, no one will be allowed to cross the Pak-Afghan border using a Pakistani identity card or Afghan permit (Tazkira). However, the leaders of all parties, traders’ organisations and business community, who have formed an alliance, rejected the government’s…

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Pakistan is gearing up for the introduction of 5G mobile phone connectivity in the country, with plans for a rollout slated for August 2024, said the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication on Tuesday.   This marks a pivotal moment in technological advancement as Pakistan moves closer to joining the ranks of countries with 5G capabilities. This announcement comes as a response to the growing demand for faster and more advanced telecommunications services. Officials, in this regard, have unveiled a comprehensive business plan for the launch of 5G services in the country. Moreover, the demand of telecom operators for free 5G…

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Nawaz Sharif, the fugitive former prime minister of Pakistan, has returned to the South Asian nation after nearly four years in self-exile, stirring up the country’s already fraught political scene as it awaits what is expected to be a tumultuous national election. Sharif, who has served as Pakistan’s prime minister three times and was once ousted in a military coup, landed at Islamabad airport on Saturday, according to airport officials. Sharif was the former head of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), or the PML-N, one of two dynastic parties that have traditionally dominated the country’s politics. He was disqualified from…

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Ahead of the festive season, Nepal is set to import 20,000 metric tonnes (MT) of sugar from India, which meets at least 70% of the Himalayan country’s domestic annual demand of approximately 3,00,000 MT. In view of the upcoming festivals, including Vijaya Dashami and Deepawali, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies has asked the Finance Ministry to give customs waiver for importing 60,000 MT of sugar to meet the local demand. The Finance Ministry has, however, given permission to import only 20,000 MT for the time being. According to Finance Ministry spokesperson, Dhaniram Sharma, the Ministry has given 50%…

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Pakistan has a stockpile of approximately 170 nuclear warheads which could realistically grow to around 200 by 2025 at the current growth rate, according to top American atomic scientists. “We estimate that Pakistan now has a nuclear weapons stockpile of approximately 170 warheads. The US Defense Intelligence Agency projected in 1999 that Pakistan would have 60 to 80 warheads by 2020, but several new weapon systems have been fielded and developed since then, which leads us to a higher estimate,” the Nuclear Notebook column published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on September 11 said. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and…

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