PESHAWAR: The first Hajj flight from Bacha Khan International Airport would start on July 14 and as many as 31,000 intending pilgrims from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would perform Hajj this year, said Airport Manager Samar Rafiq during a meeting held here on Thursday.
The meeting was informed that a total of 76 special flights would carry the pilgrims to Saudi Arabia from Bacha Khan international airport while intending pilgrims would be taken to the airport from Haji Camps through special buses.
The meeting attended by Director Hajj and high ups of Civil Aviation Authority, PIA, Press Information Department, Customs, ASF, ANF, district administration, Pak Army and airlines reviewed Hajj arrangements. The meeting expressed resolve to facilitate the pilgrims at the airport, at flights and back to the country.
US stocks end mixed ahead of Fed decision
NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks finished mixed ahead of a Federal Reserve announcement expected to shine a light on the central bank’s thoughts on future interest rate hikes.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.3 percent to 26,492.34.
The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.1 percent to 2,915.58, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.2 percent to 8,007.47.
Analysts view the Fed as almost certain to lift interest rates again on Wednesday but are watching for the US central bank’s outline of additional interest rate hikes down the road.
US economic data remains good, with the Conference Board reporting a jump in consumer confidence in September to a near-18-year high.
Analysts told AFP the central bank was unlikely to signal a change in the pace of interest rate increases but that this could change in the near term, as policymakers take a more hawkish view of trends in inflation.
“They are going to raise rates in September and probably going to give the signal that they going to raise rates in December,” David Wessel of the Brookings Institution, told AFP.
“Where it gets interesting, and there is a lot of uncertainty, is what happens after that.”
Among individual shares, General Electric plummeted 4.1 percent on lingering questions about its prospects following a glitch with electricity turbines that temporarily led to outages at two plants in Texas.
Michael Kors Holdings rose 2.0 percent after announcing it was buying Italian fashion house Versace for $2.1 billion and saying it would rename itself Capri Holdings.
Fast food chain Sonic surged 18.7 percent after announcing it agreed to be bought by Inspire Brands for $2.3 billion.
FM Qureshi seeks more Japanese investment in Pakistan
MANHATTAN: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono Tuesday discussed avenues of multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries.
The two sides had a dialogue on cooperation in political, economic, trade, investment, development, and educational spheres.
The two Foreign Ministers, who met on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, expressed firm resolve to maintain the positive momentum and further increase high-level interaction between the two friendly countries, according to an official statement.
They expressed their commitment to the ideals of peace, democracy, freedom, and rule of law and their shared commitment to promoting peace and security in the region and the world as a whole.
They also exchanged views on the evolving peace and security environment in their respective regions and on international issues of mutual interest.
Foreign Minister Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to a peaceful, stable and secure Afghanistan and support for an Afghan-led and an Afghan-owned reconciliation process.
Foreign Minister Qureshi also briefed Kono on Pakistan’s efforts to enhance regional connectivity and development including through China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
He welcomed the prospect of Japanese investment in Pakistan and also invited Japanese investors to invest in Special Economic Zones (SEZs).
Foreign Minister Qureshi briefed the Japanese Foreign Minister on Pakistan’s counterterrorism efforts, manifested in Operation Radd-ul-Fasad, that is targeting all terrorists, irrespective of their origin or orientation.
He underscored Pakistan’s continued commitment to fight this twin menace.
Foreign Minister Kono expressed appreciation for the enormous sacrifices made by the people of Pakistan in this regard and stressed the need for a common relentless effort in the fight against extremism and terrorism.
The Japanese side was also briefed about Indian atrocities and human rights violations in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir; and Pakistan’s credentials for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the statement said.
Mandra-Chakwal railway line to be revived!
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed assured Senator Lt. Gen (retd) Abdul Qayyum during a meeting in the Parliament House that issue with regard to the revival of 100 years old Mandra -Chakwal Railway Line is under active consideration and he expected positive results.
The Minister was responding to Senator Qayyum’s latest letter sent to the Ministry on the subject in which it was highlighted that the subject Railway Line was an urgent need for a large number of population including students, patients, business people, and poor masses commuting on daily basis between Rawalpindi (Division HQ) and Chakwal district, said a statement issued by Senator Abdul Qayyum here Tuesday.
Besides, Gen Qayyum brought out that precious Railway land of 12 Railway stations and 75 km long railway line was 99 percent still intact but was now being encroached rapidly. Besides thousands of cement factories’ trucks are plying on already frail road infrastructure. Public pressure in this context was mounting because Shiekh Rasheed had committed to reviving this line in his previous tenure when he was Minister.