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SDPI enters club of top 100 global index

ISLAMABAD: Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) has entered 100 top think tanks’ global club with its ranking on 15th in the index in Asia and the Pacific. It is declared 38th as World’s top trans-disciplinary research think tank and on the similar ranking in Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedures category, said an SDPI press release.

According to the 2015 Global Go To Think Tank Index, the ranking is done among 6486 Think Tank (TT) globally nominated by eminent experts, policy makers, and public thought leaders, said a news release issued here on Monday.

TT and civil society programme of University of Pennsylvania on an annual basis has been doing the ranking since 2008. The report was launched in Washington, DC, (World Bank and Wilson Center), Philadelphia (University of Pennsylvania) and in New York (United Nations).

The index ranks Brookings Institution (US) as world’s TOP TT. Among non US Think Tanks Chatham House is World’s TOP TT while SDPI has been ranked 38th as World’s Top Trans-disciplinary Research TT.

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (US); RAND Corporation (US); Brookings Institution (US); Chatham House (UK) and Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) (US) are the top five TTs in this category.

SDPI has been placed 65th as World’s Top Environment Policy TT. World Resources Institute (US); Stockholm Environment Institute (Sweden); Worldwatch Institute (US); Brookings Institution (US); and Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (US) are the top five TTs in this category.



We welcome Saudi Envoy H.E. Rear Admiral (R) Nawaf Saeed Almalki to Pakistan: Nazir Ahmed, CEO Royal Group

Interview by M. M. ALAM


KARACHI: Nazir Ahmed CEO Royal Group of Companies (that enjoys reputation of being one of the leading tour operators in Pakistan) has appreciated the measures taken by newly arrived Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia H. E. Rear Admiral (R) Nawaf Saeed Almalki.

H. E. Rear Admiral (R) Nawaf Saeed Almalki, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Thanking for the exceptional cooperation extended by the Consul General Muhammad Abdullah Abdul Daim vis-à-vis Hajj/Umra/Employment visas and other issues, Nazir Ahmed said that right from the beginning Saudi Consulate has been facilitating Pakistani citizens, going out of the way.

KARACHI: H. E. Muhammad Abdullah Abdul Daim Consul General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia here snapped with Mr, Nazir Ahmed CEO Royal Group of Companies.  


Harboring on the subject Nazir Ahmed quoted the efficient way crisis apropos backlog of 35,000 Umra visas was handled recently. As soon as the visa stickers were received the Consul General, taking personal interest, made sure that 33,000 visas were delivered within 48 hours enabling pilgrims perform Umra during the holy month: “This year (1438/2017) too there was a visa sticker problem. H. E. the Consul General has taken personal interest and got them from Saudi Arabia within 2 days. Saudi and Pakistani staff worked 24/7 on Saturday & Sunday to issue 18000 visas to private tour operators with booked flights”.

Express gratitude to the Consul General Muhammad Abdullah Abdul Daim [on behalf of Hajj Organizers Association of Pakistan (HOAP) and Pakistan Overseas Employment Promoters Association (POEPA)] Nazir Ahmed hoped that the cherished partnership will grow further. Nazir Ahmed further informed that the Consulate and Embassy had entertained all the new licenses issued regarding their registration. 

Answering to a query apropos the instigation of Royal Group of Companies, CEO Nazir Ahmed told that he, along with his brother Usman Ahmed had commenced a joint venture as ticketing agent and travel/tour (including Umra) operators some three decades ago. Later they obtained Overseas Employment Promoters License and also undertook Hajj operations.

Some seventeen years ago Nazir Ahmed started his own business under the banner of Royal Air Travels and Tours. He further told that today his overseas employment business Airview Associates ( was amongst one of the top manpower exporters in Pakistan, particularly for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

When private hajj operation started in 2005, Nazir Ahmed got his company registered with Ministry of Religious Affairs. And the business grew to the extent that now they are considered as country’s one of the leading Hajj Operators offering economy as well as 5-star VVIP packages.

Nazir Ahmed lauded the efficiency and teamwork of staff that contributed towards enterprise’s success. His four sons [Shehzad Nazir (MD), Ejaz Nazir (Director Admin & HR), Sajjad Nazir (Director Sales & Marketing), Imtiaz Nazir (CFO)] are also involved in the business. Sajjad, who is permanently based in Saudi Arabia, looks after the Hajj/Umra-related arrangements. 

Head office of Royal Group of Companies is located in Karachi at Khayabaan-e-Ittehad (Jami Commercial). Being GSA of PIA, Shaheen Air, SereneAir and Air Blue, their main office also offers round the clock ticketing service. Then there are other offices too in various locales of the country.

Nazir Ahmed, while suggesting abolishment of government Hajj Schemes, noted that 107,000 Hajjis availing this service, get into trouble. Further elaborating he said that private tour operator makes sure that atleast four of his staff members accompany each batch of 100 Hajjis. This way all the problems are handled efficiently. Hence the Saudi Government as well its Ministry of Religious Affairs are content with the private arrangement that distinguishes itself as one of the top three best such services in the world.

On the contrary, Nazir Ahmed told, Government lacked personnel making it impossible to assign adequate escorts with each batch of hundred Hajjis.  Moreover, the exchequer is overburdened due to staff’s travel, board and lodging: “Performing Hajj is a hard task. In search of cost-cutting, Hajj pilgrims end-up suffering from hardships (including going astray while voyaging between sacred places) instead of concentrating on worship itself”, Nazir Ahmed concluded.


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PSX: Bourse closes in the green gaining 54 points!


KARACHI: Buying by foreign institutional investors helped benchmark KSE-100 Index gain 0.13% closing at 42,841.41 points on the first day of the trading week.  

With 17.3m shares changing hands Engineering sector led the trade today. Other sectors that dominated the session were Technology and Fertilizer. Rs. 7.5b worth of 115m shares of indexed companies changed hands today.

Of all the trading that occurred today value of shares of 128 companies augmented while 197 plummeted.

Today’s top five traders were: Dost Steels Ltd., 10.8m shares (+3.96%); TRG Pak Ltd., 8.5m shares (+2.69%); Engro Fertilizer, 6.5m shares (+4.65%); Attock Refinery, 4.3m shares (+4.81%); Aisha Steel Mills, 4.2m shares (-1.07%).

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PSX: Bullish bourse on week’s last day of trading session closes at 42,787 points!


KARACHI: Green was the bourse’s color on week’s last trading session as benchmark KSE-100 Index augmented 0.24 per cent.

Pundits at the helm of affairs believe that traders were apprehensive because of the international strain due to N. Korean belligerent stance (latest being firing of missile over Japan) and the IED incident in London tube that has been termed an act of terrorism by Metropolitan Police.

Rs. 13.13 billion worth of 200 million shares changed hands today. Value of shares of 126 entities augmented, 209 plummeted and 19 remained stagnant.

Commercial Banking, Engineering and Technology Sectors led the trading with 28.7m, 27.4m and 23.8 million shares respectively.

Today’s top five traders were: Dost Steels Ltd., 16.3m shares (+9.00pc); TRG Pak Ltd., 10.3m shares (+1.05pc); Bank Al-Falah, 9.7m shares (-1.66pc); Aisha Steel Mills, 9.3m shares (0.00pc); WorldCall Telecom, 8.4m shares (-5.17pc).

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