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Pakistan, Saudi Arabia Likely To Sign MoUs Worth More Than $10bn

He said that four Malaysian firms were also due this month and would invest in four sectors - halal meat, gemstone, information technology and hi-tech education

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Imran Khan, taliban
Pakistan Decides To Shelve Major CPEC Power Project. VOA

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are likely to sign memoranda of understanding (MoU) worth more than $10 billion this month, the media reported on Thursday.

The announcement was made at the second meeting on ease of doing business (EoDB) presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday.

Speaking to Dawn news after the meeting, Finance Minister Asad Umar said Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz would visit Pakistan next month and most of the MoUs were expected to be signed during his trip.

Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman Haroon Sharif said Saudi Arabia was interested in Pakistan’s four sectors – oil refinery, petrochemicals, renewable energy and mining.

“According to a survey, 65 per cent of the investments will take place in the country’s commercial hub Karachi and 35 per cent in Lahore,” he added.

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Imran Khan, wikimedia commons

The $10 billion investment will be in addition to the $6 billion bailout package given by Riyadh to Islamabad during Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia in October 2018.

Similarly, Pakistan will also sign MoUs with China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Malaysia over the next two months.

Sharif told Dawn that he had recently visited China and signed MoUs on industrial cooperation under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPC).

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The BoI chief said the UAE was interested in agriculture, housing and other sectors.

He said that four Malaysian firms were also due this month and would invest in four sectors – halal meat, gemstone, information technology and hi-tech education. (IANS)

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Women of Pakistan Protest Against Workplace Harassment, Child Marriage

Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif lauded "the incredible work our women are doing to strengthen their families, communities and the country"

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Following this, a National Security Committee was also held to discuss Sharif's
Pakistan Flag, wikimedia commons

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, women took to the streets across Pakistan on Friday to protest against sexual harassment in the workplace, child marriage ‘honour killings, wage inequalities and limited political representation.

Organisers hope that the “aurat march” (women’s march) and “aurat azadi march” (women’s liberation march) will draw attention to the struggle for reproductive, economic, and social justice across in Pakistan, reports the Guardian.

The first “Aurat March” was held last year in Karachi; this time, the rally has been extended to more cities, including Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Larkana and Hyderabad.

The aim is to reach ordinary women in factories, homes and offices, says Nighat Dad, an “aurat march” organiser in Lahore.

“We want an organic movement by women demanding equal access to justice and ending discrimination of all kinds.”

Speakers at the Lahore march ranged from a woman fighting to reform marriage laws to the women who worked on the landmark Punjab Domestic Workers’ Act — a legislation that outlaws child labour in homes and provides maternity benefits to workers.

Another activist, Leena Ghani, noted that Pakistani women have a history of taking to the streets, famously during military dictator Zia ul-Haq’s martial law in the 1980s.

Krishna Kumari works in her office in Hyderabad, Pakistan, Feb. 12, 2018. VOA

While Pakistan has made major strides towards gender equality, poorer, marginalised women and transgender citizens continue to struggle, Ghani added.

Designer Shehzil Malik created a series of striking posters for the “aurat march” that counter typical representations of Pakistani women as docile and subservient.

Women are also protesting against discriminatory policies in universities, where male and female students are afforded different levels of freedom, the Guardian said.

A Pakistani university recently caused a furore on social media by banning women from wearing skinny jeans and sleeveless shirts.

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In his message on Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan reaffirmed his government’s commitment to providing women a safe environment so that they could contribute to the country’s development, Dawn news reported.

“We reaffirm our commitment to ensuring women a secure and enabling environment to play their rightful role in our nation’s development.”

Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif lauded “the incredible work our women are doing to strengthen their families, communities and the country”. (IANS)