Islamabad, Jan 03: Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a press conference on Wednesday asserted that the PML-N government does not care for United States (US) threats to cut funding to Islamabad in the war against terrorism.
The former premier’s statements come amid a war of words between Islamabad and Washington, as US President Donald Trump lashed out at Pakistan in a harshly-worded tweet on New Year’s day after which the administration suspended $255 million in military aid to Pakistan.
Describing Trump’s tweet as “non-serious” and “sad”, Sharif said, “A head of state should remember the rules of engagement while addressing a fellow state.”
“We should not be taunted [about US aid],” he said, speaking to reporters in Islamabad, a day after his return from Saudi Arabia, where he met top officials with his brother Shahbaz Sharif.
The ex-PM said he would “advise Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to formulate a plan that ensures we don’t need any US aid so that such attacks are not made on our self-respect.”
“Pakistan is the only country to have paid such a heavy price since 9/11. No other country has faced the kind of human and economic losses as Pakistan has,” he said.
“We have been engaged in a war for 17 years, even though it is technically not even our war.”
“The US president should know that as soon as we, the PML-N, came into power in 2013, we took effective steps to end terrorism in Pakistan,” he said.
“At that time, we began Operation Zarb-i-Azb, and today the backs of terrorists have been broken and the rest will soon be taken care of. This is not 2001. A dictator is not ruling the country, and one telephone call will not scare us.”
“A coalition fund should not be called ‘aid’. We do not even need such a fund and our support should not be demanded in return,” he asserted.
“I am sure if in 2001, a democratic government was in place in Pakistan instead of a dictatorship, then it would never have sold its expertise to the US. It would neither have sold our expertise, nor our self-respect,” he added.
“I have been the PM of this country thrice. A lot of facts are in front of me. As a respectable citizen of Pakistan, I would like for us, as a nation, to assess our own situation,” he urged, quoting poet Allama Iqbal who said that a nation which keeps assessing itself is like a sword in the hands of fate.
“I have always said that we should look at ourselves often and ask ourselves why the world does not take us seriously. But every time I have said this, the comment has not been taken seriously and sometimes it has been termed as ‘Dawn leaks’ and at other times as other conspiracy theories.”
“We should ask ourselves why the world never listens to us in spite of the countless sacrifices that our police, security forces, civilians and even children have given over the past 17 years. Why is our narrative not being accepted?” he questioned. “We need to search for the answers to these questions.”
“If these questions are sidelined and the answers for them are not sought, then it would count as self-deception. It is because of these self-deceptions that Pakistan has been polarised in the first place. We should step away from this self-deception now, and the country’s leadership – all its institutions – should join hands to find the answers to these questions and provide solutions to them.”
“If we want our future to be different than our present and our past, and that no country should take a shot at our self-respect, then we will have to act like a living nation and go through this process of self-assessment.”
Joint Hurriyat hails Pak SC’s ruling on Kashmir, GB
Srinagar, Jan 20: Joint Hurriyat Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Yasin Malik Sunday held a meeting at the octogenarian leader Geelani’s residence.
At the meeting, the leadership, as per a statement, expressed satisfaction over the verdict announced by the seven judge-bench of Pakistan Supreme Court that upheld the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir and directed the Pakistan government to provide more citizenship, legal and social rights to the people of Gilgit and Baltistan (GB) besides stating that the lingering dispute of J&K be resolved by means of plebiscite.
“Pakistan Supreme Court in its fresh verdict has laid stress on the fact that till the issue of Kashmir stands unresolved, Pakistan and India must ensure that the people of this region enjoy maximum rights for areas within each country’s control,” the statement read.
At the meeting, the leadership expressed serious concern over the “perpetual incarceration” of many political prisoners languishing in Indian jails and the ill plight and inhuman treatment meted out to Kashmiri political prisoners lodged in various jails including Tihar Jail ,Kathua, Udhampur, Kotbalwal, Samba, Haryana, Rajasthan, Jodhpur and other prisons stating that world organizations should take strong note of the condition of Kashmiri prisoners lodged in these prisons and how legal processes and procedures are misused to detain them and prolong their detentions.
JK Bank quarterly results: Market experts predict 65% long-term upside potential
Srinagar, Jan 20: J&K Bank results for the third quarter have come up with numbers having enough indicators to tell the market pundits that the bank is bound to see a positive growth in the coming days, starting the current quarter.
The bank has exceeded expectations according to the market experts who say the numbers are quite assuring and the script is being strongly recommended for buying with upside potential of 65% in the long term.
As per recommendations by major broking houses like Prabhudas Leeladhar, ICICI Direct, Anand Rathi and Elara Securities, the bank looks strong in long term perspective. At the current price the stock is a great investment opportunity to those interested in the stock market.
Commenting upon the expected move of J&K Bank, Rakesh Kumar, Analyst at Elara Securities said in a written statement: “Jammu & Kashmir Bank’s operating performance was above market estimates as margin improved by 22bp QoQ (basis points Quarter-on-Quarter) due to higher credit yield.”
Kumar, as per the statement, said that lower-than-expected provisions and higher operating profit beat “led to significantly higher net profit of Rs 1.07bn versus our estimates of Rs 0.17bn.”
He added on the balance sheet front, credit grew by 12 per cent YoY while deposits witnessed growth of 18 per cent YoY.
“Within deposits, the rest of India’s (RoI) term deposits grew at an average 48% over the past two quarters, and we believe that such a continued phenomenon will result in increased cost of funds over the long term,” Kumar said.
He said that JKBK has exposure worth Rs 13.5 bn to stress-laden IL&FS Group, of this, the bank has reclassified exposure as sub-standard in Q3FY19, and this resulted in higher slippages at Rs 10.3bn (past two quarters average at Rs 5.1bn), and, as a consequence, both GNPA and NNPA saw a sharp uptick. However, despite higher credit cost, coverage ratio at 66 per cent was close to its past four-quarters average at 68 per cent.
In sync with Elara Securities views, Simi Bhaumik, Technical Equity Analyst (Offficially registered with SEBI) told Zee Business online: “Technically the J&K Bank strip looks strong in long-term perspective. In short-term, the stock has moved from Rs 39 levels to Rs 41 levels. If it breaks the Rs 41-42 levels, it can move for its another resistance at Rs 48. After breaking this level and sustaining above that, one can expect the Rs 65 target.”
Khyber Gulmarg wins best destination hotel award 2018, again
Srinagar, Jan 20: The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, Gulmarg’s first luxury resort, has once again been awarded by Outlook Traveller, India’s prestigious travel magazine.
At the recently held Outlook Traveller Boutique Hotels Awards 2018, the resort was conferred with the Best Destination Hotel Award.
The 3rd edition of the Outlook Traveller Boutique Hotel Awards was held in Haridwar recently where the best boutique properties around the country were awarded for their contribution to the hospitality industry.
The chief guest for the night was Satpal Maharaj, the Minister of Tourism, Government of Uttarakhand.
“We are truly overwhelmed with the response from both guests and traveller writers and of course the eminent jury. This honour is testimony to the hard work by the team at The Khyber ensuring a superlative, international class guest experience and a memorable time in Gulmarg enjoying the natural beauty and activities available all year round,” said Umar Tramboo, MD, Pinnacle Resorts Pvt. Ltd, promoter of The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, Gulmarg.
In a short span, since it opened six years ago, The Khyber Himalayan Resort and Spa has been hugely appreciated for its impeccable service, warm hospitality, and facilities at par with international standards.
The Khyber has consistently received recognition from several hospitality and travel awards including Condé Nast Traveller India, the Last Word in Travel, as Favourite Boutique Hotel –India, for six consecutive years.
In addition to luxurious guest rooms, The Khyber has a Wellness Block, which houses the world-class international spa, The Khyber Spa by L’OCCITANE along with a state of the art gym with the latest equipment, separate steam and sauna chambers for men and women. It also offers an impressive heated indoor pool offering dramatic views of the mountain ranges.
About the Outlook Traveller Boutique Hotel Awards
Outlook Traveller Boutique Hotel Awards 2018 are meant to celebrate an industry that is well in its prime and will remain so long as people seek new experiences and retain their wanderlust.
These are much coveted travel awards, which are given to brands that have left an everlasting impression on their guests through their hospitality and services.
The esteemed jury members along with EY, the process advisors for the event, made the celebrations on the banks of the holy Ganga a great success.
The jury for the 2018 edition was: Aman Nath, chairman, Neemrana Hotels; Dilip Puri, founder & CEO, Indian School of Hospitality; fashion designer Anupamaa Dayal; Anurag Mallick & Priya Ganapathy of Red Scarab Media; and Charukesi Ramadurai, travel writer and blogger.