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Showing posts with label Pakistan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pakistan. Show all posts

Monday, July 22, 2019

One Woman’s Small Step for Chitral Marks a Giant Leap for Pakistan in Football [via Arab News]

One Woman’s Small Step for Chitral Marks a Giant Leap for Pakistan in Football [via Arab News]

One Woman’s Small Step for Chitral Marks a Giant Leap for Pakistan in Football [via Arab News]

ISLAMABAD: Twenty two-year-old Karishma Ali is used to a lot of firsts.

She was the first girl from her hometown of lower Chitral to represent Pakistan in football at both the national and international levels.

She took part in the Jubilee Games in Dubai, UAE three years ago and also represented Pakistan’s women football team in the Australian Football International (AFL) Cup.

Ali is also the first from Chitral to be featured on Forbes Asia’s 30 under 30 list.

Now, she has her eyes set on realizing her dream of seeing more girls participating in sports. For this purpose, she established the Chitral Women’s Sport Club (CWSC), the region’s first.

She says it all began when she kicked her first football at the age of nine. “I didn’t properly play football, but I became a football lover back then when I was a little kid,” Ali told Arab News. “I remember watching the World Cup with my father in 2006 and fell in love with the game.”

Ali’s decision to foray into sports was supported by her family, particularly her father, who always pushed her to excel in the game.

In Pakistan, women’s participation in sports is abysmal, mostly due to cultural restraints, patriarchal and conservative attitude, and a lack of infrastructure. For her part, Ali says she factored in all these conditions before taking the leap.

“In Chitral, there was no facility and there is still no facility for girls — which is why I am working on it,” Ali told Arab News, adding that she “never had the opportunities to play football.”

“The only time I would get to play football in Chitral was when I would go on a picnic with my father or rarely with my classmates. The boys would be playing, I would come and kick, they would stare at me, laugh and bully me but I never cared — I still went for it,” she said.

And while she had the backing of her family – and the support of coaches and mentors after moving to Islamabad at the age of 13, leading to her eventual placement on the national team – Ali says that, initially at least, the community was not receptive to the idea of girls playing sports.

“A lot of people do not appreciate the inclusion of girls in sports, so for me I thought starting [this club] and making it for girls under the age of 16 would be crucial,” she said, adding that the sports club “is not just about sports or football.”

“We are trying to teach girls about their rights, we are trying to educate them about health,” she said.

Last year, the CWSC hosted a seven-day camp for 70 girls from across Chitral and surroundings villages, resulting in the first all-women football tournament in the area.

Ali’s aim is to not just encourage athleticism, competition and confidence among young girls, but to also demonstrate how the sport can empower women and be a source of pride for the country.

“Last year [starting out] was very hard, when I told people I wanted to do this in Chitral, people thought I was crazy,” she said. “People never appreciated that I was playing sports to begin with, so to want to invite others in… I was bullied and threatened.”

However, Ali found strength in her usual source – her father. “[He] said to me: ‘You have taken this step for so many girls and, now, if you give up, that means the end of sports for every other girl back home. You decide whether you can be brave and keep fighting or people will forget you. Remember, if you stand up people will remember you, people will get inspired and get their girls involved’,” she said.

And they did.

From among the 70 girls who enrolled in the club, several live in villages and would commute for three to four hours every day just to participate.
“They would not miss the training session even for a single day and would wake up at 6am to reach the ground, play sports and go back,” Ali said of the girls, teeming with pride.

This year, Ali’s camp hosted nearly 200 girls, more than doubling last year’s attendance.

For her party, Ali, who has earned herself the “Pride of Pakistan” award that recognizes tremendous contribution made by Pakistanis, wants the same for other girls, too.

“I remember when I was a kid watching the World Cup with my cousin, I’d told him I want to play for the national team, but there was no such concept of girls playing football. When I got to the national team I sank into this confidence,” she said.

“I think of the little girl back in the village and myself in the national uniform and that fills me with happiness. We have amazing people, we have girls who want to play sports and for Pakistan and I want to be a good ambassador for them,” she said.

Published on Arab News, 10 July 2019

Pakistan’s exports to increase to $36 billion in 5 years: IMF

Pakistan’s exports to increase to $36 billion in 5 years: IMF

Pakistan’s exports to increase to $36 billion in 5 years: IMF

ISLAMABAD  (APP):  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that Pakistan’s exports will increase to US $ 36.7 billion in five years by the year 2023-24.

The pressure of current account deficit on the country will also ease out gradually from its peak US $ 19.9 billion in 2017-18 to as low as $6.95 billion in current fiscal year while US $ 5.49 billion in 2020-21, the IMF said in its recently published staff report on Pakistan.

The trade deficit would also decline to US $ 24.9 billion in current fiscal year from US $ 29.46 billion in 2018-19, however it will further go up to US $ 26.8 billion mainly on the back of growing import needs in coming years.

Meanwhile the report also estimated that due to policy measures committed by the Pakistan authorities, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is likely to collect around Rs 5.5 trillion during current fiscal year which would increase to Rs7.001 trillion in next year while in 2021-2022 the revenues would reach Rs8.3 trillion and Rs9.48 billion in the subsequent year.

The overall revenues of the country will surge to Rs7.165 trillion in 2019-20 followed by Rs8.9 trillion in 2020-21, Rs10.6 trillion in 2021-22, Rs12.12 trillion in 2022-23, and Rs13.37 billion in 2023-24.

With less than 1.5 million taxpayers filing tax returns and tax compliance generally very low, tax policy and tax administration measures will center on broadening the tax base while maintaining a low tax rate, aiming to ensure progress of the tax system, it added.

Staff and the authorities concurred that an additional 4-5 percentage points of GDP in additional tax revenues could be achieved by the end of the program, bringing Pakistan tax ratio in line with peer Emerging Markets.

In the near term, measures include removing exemptions and preferential treatment to reduce distortions in the tax system and broaden the tax base. These include the removal of GST exemptions and preferential rates, except for basic food and medicines, a measure that would significantly improve revenues, the report added. Greater inter-provincial harmonization and coordination of GST will also simplify filing procedures and increase compliance.

Canadians urged to invest in Pakistan

Pakistan High Commissioner to Canada Raza Bashir Tarar has said that Pakistan is a promising market of 220 million people and Canadian businessmen should take benefit of investment opportunities available in the country.

Addressing a launching ceremony of Canada-Pakistan Affiliated Chambers of Trade (CPACT) in Ottawa, he said that the incumbent government of Pakistan had reinvigorated the Board of Investment to develop a close coordination mechanism with the foreign missions abroad and local chambers and business houses to increase the flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Pakistan.

The high commissioner assured the Canadian Chambers and businesses of extending all possible support and assistance in bringing together business delegations and traders from the two countries to participate in joint ventures and benefit from existing profit-making opportunities, a press release on Sunday said.

The high commissioner said despite visa and adverse travel advisory related obstacles Pakistan-Canada bilateral trade has increased to C$ 1.5 billion.

He highlighted that Pakistan’s investment policy was one of the most liberal in the region and provided a conducive environment for attracting FDI.

“Canadians can benefit from investment opportunities in food processing, automobiles, Information Technology, Conservation of forests, recycling industry and services sectors which are priority areas for the government of Pakistan,” he added.

Referring to energy demands in the country, the high commissioner underlined that Canada’s expertise in hydel, renewable and clean technology power generation could be the areas where the two countries could further cooperate for mutual benefit.

Earlier, Abdul Hayee Bokhari, Founder CPACT gave a detailed presentation on roadmap of the chamber’s deliberations to bring together business community of both the countries to discuss possibilities of joint ventures.

Cricket: PCB looks to commercialize Bugti Stadium to boost regional cricket

Cricket: PCB looks to commercialize Bugti Stadium to boost regional cricket

Cricket: PCB looks to commercialize Bugti Stadium to boost regional cricket

Karachi (PPI): Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is looking to commercialize the area surrounding the Bugti Stadium in Quetta and vows to reinvest the revenues generated from commercialization into regional cricket.

A high-powered delegation of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will visit Bugti Stadium on July 26 to discuss and explore commercialization opportunities around the picturesque stadium.

The visit is scheduled as a follow-up to the Board of Governors meeting in which the PCB announced to take a proactive lead on creating avenues around the Bugti Stadium. This would generate employment and revenue opportunities, whilst serving as a venue for healthy activities for families and youngsters alike.

Revenue generated from the commercialization of the area surrounding the Bugti Stadium will be reinvested into regional cricket. This will aid in bolstering PCB’s strategic plan to enhance the capacity of all its affiliated units and the employment opportunities within the game itself.

The Bugti Stadium visit will be led by IPC Secretary, Akbar Durrani, and will include Shah Dost and other PCB officials. The BoG, at its previous meeting, had constituted a Working Group that also included PCB Managing Director, Wasim Khan, Chief Operating Officer, Subhan Ahmed, Chief Financial Officer, Badar Manzoor, and Director Infrastructure and Real Estate, Khayyam Qaiser.

During the inspection, the delegation will be given briefings and presentations by National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK), who is PCB’s consultants.

Bugti Stadium, like the National Stadium in Karachi, Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, and Multan Cricket Stadium, is the property of the PCB.

“It is the PCB’s commitment to the people of Balochistan that it will leave no stone unturned in playing its role to not only increase and improve cricket activities but to also provide employment, revenue and entertainment opportunities,” Subhan Ahmed said.

“Bugti Stadium underwent a facelift in the first phase. Now, in its second phase of renovation, it is being commercialized. This initiative is being taken to ensure Bugti Stadium becomes a resourceful complex, which along with staging regular cricket activities and events becomes a sustainable source for local employment and revenue generation.

“The PCB expects this new development will encourage the local families to visit the Bugti Stadium more regularly to spend quality time.”

In a related exercise, and as part of the PCB’s vision to enhance the infrastructure of all its stadia, a team of senior officials visited the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Thursday, July 18, to review existing facilities for the spectators, players and match officials, media right partners, media, and commercial partners.

This inspection shall pave the way for chalking out a plan within a set timeline for NESPAK to handover the venues in time for the 2019-2020 session matches.

The PCB events team will also visit Multan Cricket Stadium soon to inspect the existing facilities. The team will then submit its recommendations to NESPAK to commence the upgradation work – to be completed in time for high-profile matches – as per the PCB’s requirements.

The PCB is carrying-out a phase-wise upgradation work. It commenced with the renovation of the Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium and will conclude with the refurbishment of the Multan Cricket Stadium.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Only 300 companies paying 70-pc tax in Pakistan: PM Imran Khan

Only 300 companies paying 70-pc tax in Pakistan: PM Imran Khan

Only 300 companies paying 70-pc tax in Pakistan: PM Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: Around 70 percent of Pakistan’s tax comes from 300 companies, says Prime Minister Imran Khan. He said FBR chief Shabbar Zaidi gave him this figure. The premier was speaking to members of the Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce an Industry in Islamabad on Wednesday.

He said the service sector accounts for over 20% of the economy, but only 1% pays tax. The agriculture sector makes a contribution of 20% to 25% to the GDP, but again, its tax contribution is a mere 1%, he said. The premier reiterated his arguments in favour of setting up a governance system using Madina as a model.

It had justice and mercy, he sad. The governance system took responsibility for all, including the poor, marginalised and elderly.

They didn’t have money, but there was justice and rule of law, PM Khan said, explaining how Madina’s model of governance was important and can be used by Pakistan. The country needs to move forward, he said, repeating his appeal to the public to come into the tax net.

Speaking about the treatment given to prisoners in Pakistan, PM Khan said those who have looted billions of rupees are provided ACs in jail while the poor man who has committed a small crime rots in a small cell.

He again spoke about taxing the rich and spending on the poor. The West refers to this technique as progressive taxation, the premier said.

“I don’t have any properties or bank balance outside of Pakistan. I live for Pakistan and this is where I will die so everything I do [for the country] is also or myself,” he said.

“He told the business community that he needed them to be on his team, which is why he was sharing Pakistan’s situation with them.

The tax we collected over one year last year, half of it went into paying off the interest on our loans, he said, emphasising that Pakistan can’t go on like this.

EEEI, #Chitral concludes ECD Female Teacher Training Program

EEEI, #Chitral concludes ECD Female Teacher Training Program

EEEI, #Chitral concludes ECD Female Teacher Training Program

By Gul Hamaad Farooqi

CHITRAL: A private education institute marked the successful completion of an Intensive Early Childhood Development (ECD) Program organized at Seen Lasht, Chitral.

Chitral participants of ECD reeving certificates after completing two weeks training. Photos by Gul Hamaad faroqui

15 women teachers participated in the 2 week program consisting of 125 hours and received hands on training in how to engage 3-5 year old children in an active learning environment so as to enhance their social, physical, emotional, cognitive, creative and moral development. These participates, belonging to various villages in Chitral were involved in learning about the brain, child development, preparing effective teaching aids, learning poems and stories, creative and artistic activities, etc. – all in an effort to make learning interesting and engaging for children. They presented practical lessons whereby helping each other to enhance their capacities.

The trainee teachers eagerly participated in the program with enthusiasm and were actively engaged. The visiting Consultant from Toronto, Canada, Ms. Yasmin Khan who travelled to Chitral to share best practices was very impressed by the eagerness and commitment of the participants. A local trainer with ECD experience, the Principal of the EES, Mrs. Gul Hawa was part of the faculty and local visiting ECD trainers, Ms. Rashida Rahim Baig and Ms. Farhan Mussarat Khan were invited to share their expertise.

According to the Director of EEEI,  Zohran Shah, this ECD training program, is part of a Five Year Strategic Plan of EEEI which aims to provide quality Early Childhood Education at the village level through its PARVARISH Program. The PARVARISH program will also endeavor to empower educated women in the villages to use their education for gainful employment while serving their own communities. 6 pilot ECD canters will be set up this year by the graduating teachers with management support from EEEI and financial provision from Dr. Mir Baiz Khan.

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