Alia Bhatt
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Here’s what’s happening across the border: Supreme Court Chief Justice says he would have been a clerk if there were no Pakistan; and former Pakistan minister refutes US claim on country’s China debt.

Film Producers Association of Pakistan demands ban on release of Indian movies 

The Pakistan Film Producers Association (PFPA) will ask the country’s government to ban the release of all Indian films. The association has also submitted a similar plea in the Lahore High Court, reported The Express Tribune.

“If Indian stakeholders and organisations can take a stand and do everything for the welfare of their industry, then why can’t we?” PFPA member Chaudhry Ejaz Kamran was quoted as saying, “They have banned our artistes and films in the past, so what’s stopping us?”

The body is writing to Prime Minister Imran Khan with an appeal to “take a final decision on the matter”.

Kamran was quoted as saying that they were seeking the ban to ensure Bollywood movies did not eat into the local industry’s profits. “We have struggled for the welfare of our local film industry and this is why we decided to contact Imran Khan,” he added.

Earlier, Bollywood films like Padman, Veere Di Wedding, Mulk, Raazi, and Raees were not released in Pakistan for various reasons.

Chief justice of Pakistan says he would have been a clerk without Pakistan

The chief justice of the Pakistan Supreme Court, Mian Saqib Nisar, said at an event in Lahore Friday that he would have been a clerk “if there were no Pakistan”, reported Ary News.

In his speech, Nisar also implored fellow judges to ensure that cases of common people were dealt with in a timely manner, saying it was the responsibility of the judiciary to eliminate injustice from society. He also questioned whether judges were doing justice to the fact that Rs 55,000 was spent every day on each one.

“I would have been a clerk if there were no Pakistan, so I keep a check on myself too and ask myself if I am fulfilling all my responsibilities and obligations as a Pakistani,” he added.

US claims Chinese debt responsible for Pakistan’s financial woes

US officially stated Thursday that Pakistan’s debts to China were partly responsible for its economic and financial woes, reported The News International.

US state department spokesperson Heather Nauert said at a news conference that Pakistan had formally requested the IMF for financial assistance, adding that the US will “examine that closely from all angles… including Pakistan’s debt position, in evaluating any type of loan programme”.

The US is the largest financial contributor to the IMF, and has 17.68 per cent of voting rights on major issues. China comes third, and reserves 6.49 per cent of the vote.

However, former Pakistan planning minister Ahsan Iqbal refuted Washington’s claims.

Iqbal, previously an important official in CPEC, tweeted Thursday that it would be incorrect to hold Chinese loans responsible for Pakistan’s debt crisis. He said Islamabad will start paying China back only after 2022, adding that it will not cost the country more than $2 billion per annum.

Scientists find cause of mysterious eyeball disease

Scientists from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Pakistan, and the University of Geneva Medical School (UNIGE), Switzerland, have discovered a new genetic mutation that is responsible for an eye defect that leads to blindness in the country, reported The Express Tribune.

Geneticists from both the universities analysed the genome of several families with mutations – either changes or abnormal copies – in a new gene called MARK3.

The research revealed mutations in the MARK3 gene in a family with three affected children. Both parents were cousins and the children thus carried two copies of the mutations.

According to the report, marriages among close relatives, a trend common in Pakistan, are the reason behind many genetic ailments.

Muhammad Ansar, a researcher at the Department of Genetic Medicine and Development at UNIGE, said, “We found a pathogenic mutation in a new gene – that was not linked to any disease before – named as MARK3 in a Pakistani family of three affected individuals. These individuals developed progressive Phthisis bulbi (shrinkage of the eyeball).”

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