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JS Bank and Ghandhara Partner to Offer Commercial Vehicles on Installments

Building its Prime Minister Youth Business Loan (PMYBL) portfolio further, JS Bankhas collaborated with Ghandhara to extend financing solutions to existing and potential customers of Ghandhara Nissan Limited, Ghandhara Industries Limited and Ghandhara DF (Pvt.) Limited.

JS Bank will provide financing solutions to organizations and individuals, who intend to purchase Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV's) marketed by these three companies, including ISUZU, JAC & DongFeng variants. Applicants will be able to avail a markup rate of just 6% per annum.

Speaking at the occasion, Kamran Jafar, Group Head � Corporate & Retail Banking Group at JS Bank stated,

This agreement will revolutionize the dynamics of the commercial vehicle industry and provide convenient access to low-cost financing solutions to thousands of deserving individuals across Pakistan.

Muazzam Pervaiz Khan, Senior Executive Director Marketing and Sales � Ghandhara Nissan Ltd. stated,

The collaboration between JS Bank and Ghandhara Group underpins our resolve to provide value added services to our esteemed customers. This venture will provide the necessary growth impetus for customers who wish to capitalize on the growing number of opportunities in national economy.

Iftikhar Ahmed Khan, Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary -Ghandhara Industries Limited added,

This alliance will help us to combat soaring unemployment in the country by providing self-employment opportunities to the youth and the underprivileged.

Through this alliance, JS Bank is helping drive growth within the domestic transportation and logistics industry keeping in view the increased demand for commercial vehicles in Pakistan's growing economy, especially in the backdrop of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Source: ProPakistani

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Pakistan Places Travel Ban on American Diplomat Involved in Fatal Wreck


Pakistan has barred a U.S. diplomat from leaving the country pending a court case stemming from his involvement in a recent fatal traffic accident.

Authorities say that on April 7, Defense Attache Colonel Joseph Emanuel Hall was driving an embassy vehicle when it collided with a motorcycle, killing 22-year-old Attique Baig and injuring another person on the bike.

The deputy attorney general, Raja Khalid, informed the court on Tuesday that the federal government had placed Hall's name on Pakistan's "black list," preventing him from leaving Pakistan. He went on to add that all airports around the country have been alerted.

The dead man's family has petitioned the capital city's High Court, asking that Hall's name be placed on the so-called Exit Control List, or ECL, which bars people facing judicial proceedings from leaving Pakistan.

Khalid told the court that placing the U.S. diplomat's name on the ECL required a long legal process.

He argued during Tuesday's proceedings that Hall could neither be tried nor arrested because the Vienna Convention guarantees immunity to designated diplomats from criminal jurisdiction.

The deputy attorney general emphasized the diplomat could only be tried if the U.S. waived his immunity.

Before adjourning the proceedings until next week, the single-judge court ordered the Foreign Ministry to submit its report on the question of diplomatic immunity and on putting Hall's name on the ECL.

A day after the fatal accident, Pakistani police released to media identification documents of the U.S. diplomat along with video footage which showed the vehicle running a red light and hitting the motorcycle.

The family of the deceased, 22-year-old Attique Baig, has also staged a street demonstration, demanding the government ensure justice is served.

U.S. officials have expressed their "deep sympathy to the family of the deceased and those injured," and pledged to fully cooperate with local authorities in the investigation.

Diplomatic Tension

The accident comes amid increased diplomatic tensions with Washington over allegations insurgents in Afghanistan are using Pakistani soil to plot deadly attacks. Pakistani officials reject the allegations.

On Monday, a senior Department of State official, Alice Wells, visited Islamabad and discussed, among other subjects, the diplomat's case in discussions with top Foreign Ministry officials.

The Pakistani side during the meeting demanded a waiver of diplomatic immunity enjoyed by Hall so that he could be prosecuted, the DAWN newspaper reported Tuesday quoting its sources. It gave no further details.

The U.S. embassy, in a brief post-visit statement, did not give details on issues Wells discussed with Pakistani interlocutors.

"In her meetings, she discussed the status of the U.S. South Asia strategy and efforts to make progress on regional security and stability," it said.

The U.S. government recently notified Islamabad that Pakistani diplomats will be placed under new travel restrictions starting May 1, underscoring a consistent deterioration in bilateral ties.

The historically turbulent relationship was severely strained in 2011 when a CIA contractor in the city of Lahore shot and killed two Pakistanis riding a motorcycle.

The contractor, Raymond Davis, defended his actions, saying he had to open fire to prevent the robbery of his vehicle. Washington claimed diplomatic immunity for Davis, but Islamabad rejected it and a court later charged the American with murder.

The contractor, however, was later acquitted and freed after families of the victims forgave him in return for financial compensation, an action permitted under Pakistani law.

Source: Voice of America

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As Commonwealth Leaders Meet, Questions Over Purpose, Leadership


Leaders from around the world are gathered in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

Questions linger over the Commonwealth's future: what is it for, and what role should the former imperial power Britain play? In her opening address to the summit, Britain's Queen Elizabeth, the head of the Commonwealth, made it clear she wants its leadership to stay in the family.

It is my sincere wish that the Commonwealth will continue to offer stability and continuity for future generations. I will decide that one day the Prince of Wales should carry on the important work started by my father in 1949 by continuing to treasure and reinvigorate our associations and activities, Queen Elizabeth told delegates gathered Thursday at Buckingham Palace.

The Commonwealth emerged from the breakdown of the British Empire in the last century and critics say it has failed to shake off its colonial legacy. Many argue the organization should sever its royal links � including Professor Philip Murphy, director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London, and author of a new book The Empire's New Clothes: The Myth of the Commonwealth.

The problem in recent decades, really since the 1990s, is that as the Commonwealth has lost its relevance, it's lost any really major unifying issue to make it newsworthy, the only really newsworthy thing about the Commonwealth has been the Royal Family. Imperial transgressions

The Commonwealth has made headlines this week, but not for reasons the British government intended. Prime Minister Theresa May apologized to the leaders of Caribbean member states, after it emerged migrants who arrived in Britain in the 1950s and 60s from what were then British colonies had been refused residency and threatened with deportation.

I want to dispel any impression that my government is in some sense clamping down on Commonwealth citizens, particularly those in the Caribbean, who brought a life here, May told the leaders of several Caribbean countries.

Speaking at the Commonwealth summit, she also later apologized for the role Britain had played in criminalizing same-sex relations in its former colonies.

I am all too aware that these laws were often put in place by my own country. They were wrong then and they are wrong now.

Campaigners say millions of gay, lesbian, and transgender people live in fear of arrest across the Commonwealth. Peter Tatchell led a protest outside the Commonwealth headquarters at London's Marlborough House.

Thirty-six member states still criminalize same-sex relations. Nine have life imprisonment. And in parts of two countries � Nigeria and Pakistan � gay people can be put to death. Quite clearly the rhetoric of the Commonwealth is not matched by the practice of the governments, Tatchell told VOA.

Direction unclear

Despite internal tensions, the Commonwealth heads of government meeting has offered tangible progress: billions of dollars pledged to tackle malaria, a crackdown on plastic waste, and a rainforest conservation drive. It also offers a global platform for countries seeking investment, as South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa said earlier this week.

We are trawling, going to trawl the whole world, right from Africa, Asia, Europe, and Americas, both North and South, to try and campaign for investments that will come to South Africa as we are proceeding on our route of building more confidence in our country, in our economy. And coming here, participating in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is an added boost for us.

Some British lawmakers want to reinvigorate the Commonwealth after Britain leaves the European Union. That will be difficult, says Professor Philip Murphy.

The Commonwealth is a rather difficult soft power vehicle for Britain. It may perform good works, it may channel aid through the Commonwealth. But it's a reminder that Britain used to be the imperial ruler, the imperial master. And there's still a great deal of resentment about that within the Commonwealth.

Until that image is shaken off, questions over the purpose and future of the Commonwealth are likely to persist.

Source: Voice of America

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Govt taking steps for uplifting of education sector: Shahbaz

Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that steps taken by the provincial government in education sector have produced good results.Talking to elected public representatives in Lahore on Friday, he said that students with less resources...

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Govt taking steps for uplifting of education sector: Shahbaz

Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that steps taken by the provincial government in education sector have produced good results.Talking to elected public representatives in Lahore on Friday, he said that students with less resources...

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Rangers arrest five criminals in various parts of Karachi

Sindh Rangers have arrested five criminals including member of a Lyari gang war during operations in various parts of Karachi.According to a spokesman the arrested criminals were wanted in many cases including target killing, extortion, drug smuggling ...

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