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New bldg. for US-Pak Center for Advanced Studies in Water inaugurated

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M. M. ALAM

JAMSHORO: USAID Mission Director Jerry Bisson & Deputy Mission Director Denise Herbol has jointly inaugurated a new building and research center here at Mehran University of Engineering & Technology (MUET).

Speaking on the occasion Herbol highlighted the US’ long-term commitment to strengthen Pakistan’s education sector and help find practical solutions for the country’s water challenges.

Addressing the researchers, Herbol predicted that their work will have important implications for the growth of the country.  

The facility was constructed with the support of the U.S. government under the U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water (USPCAS-W) project.  

Education Minister Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar expressed his appreciation for USAID support and thanked US for assisting in many projects in the province, including basic education and health.

Conspicuous among others there were  Vice Chancellor of MUET, Dr. Muhammad Aslam Uqaili and Former Vice Chancellor MUET Prof. S. M. Qureshi.

The new three-story state-of-the-art building has a covered area of 54,721 square feet with an additional 108,600 square feet of open area for landscaping and future expansion.

The facilities include five classrooms, six research labs, a library, a lecture theater/auditorium, a conference room, student common rooms, research scholars’ room and administration offices.

PS: Through USAID, the U.S. government has provided $20 million for the construction of four new research centers at Pakistani universities.  This initiative is part of USAID’s larger $127 million U.S.-Pakistan Centers for Advanced Studies program that is harnessing applied research to find innovative solutions for Pakistan’s water, energy, agriculture, and food security challenges.

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Europe

DG ISPR briefs British parliamentarians

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LONDON: Director General Inter-Services Public Relations, Major General Asif Ghafoor here on Tuesday visited British  Parliament and briefed the parliamentarians about the Pakistan Army’s role in the war against terrorism.
He visited the British Parliament at the invitation of the parliamentarians of House of Commons and House of  Lords, a statement of Pakistan High Commission said.
The parliamentarians highly appreciated the role of Pakistan in the war against terrorism. Lord Nazir Ahmed and Baroness Syeeda Warsi were also present on the occasion.

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Economy

Pakistan to bridge the gap of $12b: Asad Umer

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Economic situation to be cleared

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance Asad Umer on Tuesday expressed the hope that the country would bridge the gap of 12 billion US dollars through loans being sought from various foreign institutions and banks.
Pakistan needed to fill this and for this, the present government would seek the loan facility from International Monetary Funds, World Bank, and Asian Development Bank, etc., he stated while talking to a private news channel.
Taxes had been levied on luxuries items including cars, he said, adding focus would be given to expedite exports by improving industrial sectors.
To a question about power and gas pilferage, he said through modern technology, we would control such heinous activities.
To another question regarding the current account deficit, he said the previous governments were responsible for damaging the economy and other institutions.
The PTI government had put the 100-day plan on the website, he said adding that we were trying to stabilize the economy of the country.
Replying to a question about the housing project, he said it was a difficult task but we would implement this gigantic project for benefiting the low-income group.
He said the government would provide shelters to low-income people and the private sector would invest to achieve the target of 50,00,000 houses.
Asad Umer said the government would make legislation and formulate the policy for the housing project.  Good governance, he said, would address the challenges being faced by the country. People had expressed full confidence in the honest leadership of PTI chief Imran Khan, he added.

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Pakistan

US announces sanctions on key Iranian paramilitary force

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WASHINGTON: The US Treasury Department today slapped sanctions on an Iranian paramilitary group along with a network of businesses that were providing it financing, as part of Washington’s campaign of maximum economic pressure against Tehran.
In announcing the sanctions, Treasury said a network of more than 20 businesses known as the Bonyad Taavon Basij was financing the Basij Resistance Force, a component of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
“The international community must understand that business entanglements with the Bonyad Taavon Basij network and IRGC front companies have real-world humanitarian consequences,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The Basij, a paramilitary force formed soon after the 1979 revolution, is one of the Iranian regime’s primary enforcers of internal security with branches in every province and city of Iran, according to the US Treasury.
The Bonyad Taavon Basij is said to provide the Basij militia social welfare services, including housing and financial support, and manages economic activities by funding small companies. “Bonyad Taavon Basij has expanded its reach into Iran’s economy by establishing several investment firms through its financial and investment offshoot Mehr Eqtesad Bank,” the Treasury statement said.
Among the other companies singled out was Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company (ITMC), the largest tractor manufacturer in the Middle East and North Africa which predates the Iranian revolution, that generates millions of dollars in profit for the investment firms that represent the Basij. Also targeted was Iran’s Zinc Mines Development Company, described as the country’s “preeminent, multibillion-dollar zinc and lead mining and processing holding company.”

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