Here’s what’s happening across the border: Pakistan eyes first space mission in 2022 with China’s help; two Pakistan universities in list of Asia’s ‘top 100’.
Jamaat-ud-Dawa no longer banned outfits, Islamabad High Court informed
Terrorist outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) of 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed and its charity arm Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) are no longer banned in Pakistan, Dawn reported, after a presidential ordinance proscribing them expired earlier this year.
The JuD and the FIF are, however, still listed as organisations to watch. The JuD is as an alias of the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, which remains banned.
The expiry of the ordinance, issued by former president Mamnoon Hussain, came to notice as the Islamabad High Court took up a petition filed by Saeed challenging it. Hussain had introduced the ordinance in February, amending the 1997 Anti-Terrorism Act to proscribe those terrorists and outfits that have been listed by the United Nations Security Council.
The court was informed by Saeed’s counsel that the ordinance had expired (within 120 days of passage), and that it had neither been renewed by the Imran Khan government nor tabled in the nation’s parliament.
Pakistan deputy attorney general Raja Khalid Mehmood Khan confirmed that the ordinance had lapsed. But he turned down Saeed’s counsel’s request for declaring the same on behalf of the country’s interior ministry, since the latter was not a respondent in the case.
Pakistan plans its first space mission in 2022 with China’s help
Pakistan is set to launch its first space mission in 2022, with the cabinet giving the operation its nod Friday, reported The News International.
The Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission has already struck a deal with a Chinese company in this regard, information & broadcasting minister Fawad Chaudhry said.
Space has emerged as a new frontier of cooperation for friends Pakistan and China, with the latter launching two satellites for Islamabad just earlier this year.
Two Pakistan universities among Asia’s top 100
Two Pakistan universities feature in the QS University Rankings 2019 for the top 100 Asian schools, up from one in the list for 2018, reported The News International.
The National University of Science and Technology (NUST), ranked 91 in the list for 2018, has moved four slots up to 87, with Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) entering the rankings at 95. There are 23 more universities in the top 500 list for Asia.
A British company, Quacquarelli Symonds or QS, specialises in education and overseas study, and issues excellence rankings based on academic and employer feedback and the number of PhDs, among other factors.
Asked about Imran Khan’s national address, Nawaz Sharif says he doesn’t watch TV
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif dashed the hopes of scribes looking for a byte on his successor, Imran Khan, as he brushed off queries about the latter’s national address Wednesday, reported Geo TV.
“I seldom watch TV and did not listen to his address,” Sharif replied as media persons asked him questions about the address as he arrived at a court for a hearing in a corruption case against him.
In his address Wednesday, Imran Khan had said that his government will not offer amnesty to any politician accused of corruption, blaming them for Pakistan’s current debt crisis.
Supreme Court cracks down on smuggled Indian DTH boxes
Pakistanis watching Indian content through smuggled direct-to-home (DTH) set-top boxes face a blackout.
Looking to stem revenue leaks, the Pakistan Supreme Court has formed a committee to suggest measures to curb the smuggling of set-top boxes from India, The Express Tribune reports. The committee has been asked to submit its report in 10 days.
According to a report in Samaa TV, at a hearing Thursday, the attorney general said the illegal trade was leading to money laundering, with the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), the media watchdog, stressed the importance of seizing “illegal” DTH devices from the market.
During the proceedings, chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar expressed regret that such instances of smuggling were draining Pakistan of “hard-earned” money.