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Govt requests IMF mission chief to visit Pakistan as dollars dry up

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Govt requests IMF mission chief to visit Pakistan as dollars dry up

The federal government has sent a letter to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), requesting it to send its team to cash-strapped Pakistan next week to complete the ninth review for the release of next tranche of loan pending since September last.

The government, as per reports, has expressed willingness to implement on the four major conditions of the global lender for the revival of the loan programme as the foreign exchange reserves of the South Asian country continues to deplete, putting country’s essential imports at risk and triggering a new wave of inflation.

The four major demands made by the IMF to revive the progrmme, include increase in gas and electricity prices, market-based exchange rate and additional taxes to cover the fiscal deficit.

Secretary Finance Hamed Yaqoob Shaikh has formally written to the IMF mission chief to visit Pakistan next week in a last resort to restart the much-needed loan programme.

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An official told media that the government had completed working to implement the four IMF demands conveyed by the Fund officials in a meeting on the sidelines of the Geneva moot.

Another official said Pakistan was not in position to afford the failure in talks with the global lender as it could adversely affect the country.

The IMF approved seventh and eighth reviews together in August last and released more than $1.1 billion.

Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha on Thursday told the Senate Standing Committee on Finance that the government wants to continue programme with the IMF in such a way that the common man should not bear the burden of tough decisions to be made as per the Fund’s condition.

Mrs. Pasha said that the government’s economic team was having meetings with the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to focus on its programme with the IMF. She said the premier was not in favor of taking tax measures across the board that could put an extra burden on the poor and common people.

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To a question, she did not give any date when to start talks with the IMF team but she said that the government was firm to go with the programme after having a detailed workout. She said the government would try to convince the IMF about the worst situation in Pakistan after the disastrous floods last year. “The people are already suffering due to the disastrous flooding and they are not in a position to afford any further measures”.

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PTI to move IHC against acceptance of 43 resignations

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PTI to move IHC against acceptance of 43 resignations

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Saturday decided to knock at the Islamabad High Court s (IHC) door to challenge the acceptance of 43 resignations tendered by the PTI members of National Assembly (MNAs).

Sources said that the party had drafted the petition which was expected to be filed today or on Monday. A letter written by Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi entailing the acceptance of resignations only after the physical appearance of MNAs in the assembly would also be attached to the plea, sources added.

Mr Ashraf had earlier accepted the resignations of 43 MNAs taking the tally to 123 including a resignation by the AML chief Sheikh Rashid. Later, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) denotified them.

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President imposes fine, orders Shifa hospital to refund Rs2.9 mln over patient’s death

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President imposes fine, orders Shifa hospital to refund Rs2.9 mln over patient's death

President Dr Arif Alvi on Saturday directed the Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority (IHRA) to issue instructions to Shifa International Hospital Islamabad (SHIFA) to refund an amount of Rs2.9 million to the daughter of a patient who died due to the medical negligence, professional misconduct, and malpractice of the doctors of the hospital.

The president also upheld the imposition of fine of Rs900,000 on SHIFA as maladministration and medical negligence had been proven against the hospital, President Secretariat Press Wing said in a press release on Saturday.

The president issued these directions while rejecting a representation filed by IHRA against the orders of the federal ombudsman in which the ombudsman had held that the complainant (deceased patient’s daughter) had been discriminated against as in a similar case in the past, IHRA had not only imposed a fine on SHIFA but had also issued the directions to the hospital to refund the amount in lieu of medical bills.

He ordered that the refund should be paid within a week to the complainant.

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While rejecting IHRA’s representation, the president observed that IHRA had investigated the complaints, found medical negligence and imposed fine of Rs900,000 upon SHIFA which had also been received by IHRA and thus medical negligence had been established upon the healthcare establishment.

He further said that IHRA did not direct the hospital to reimburse actual amount of medical bill incurred on the treatment of the complainant’s mother as per orders of the learned ombudsman whereas in another case namely Dr Iqtidar Mehmood Dara against Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad, IHRA had held that “The medical bill should be refunded to the complainant by SHIFA International Hospital”.

The president held that it was an established principle that similarly placed persons should be treated alike and equal treatment to all is the hallmark of our Constitution i.e. Article 4 and 25.

He said that the object and purpose of the law would be fulfilled only when the complainant was provided relief for any negligence by the hospital. “The Agency must have been more vigilant and watchful to fulfil its responsibilities”, he added.

The president further observed that the main purpose of the establishment of Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority was to provide a regulatory framework to ensure provision of quality health care services, by implementing quality standards by the healthcare sector, to residents of the Islamabad Capital Territory”.

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He noted that IHRA was responsible to “exercise any powers and perform any functions as may be necessary for carrying out the purposes of its Act on the instruction of the Federal Government”, and since maladministration and negligence had been established and it had not been assailed by SHIFA, therefore, the orders had been rightly passed, and the representation deserved to be rejected.

As per details, Mst Farrukh Naeem Tahir (the complainant) had alleged that her mother was diagnosed with COVID-19 who died due to the negligence of the doctors of SHIFA and she lodged a complaint before IHRA against the hospital and IHRA imposed a fine of Rs900,000/- on the hospital for committing negligence but did not ask the hospital to refund the medical bill amounting to Rs2,979,637 as per order of the ombudsman.

Thereafter, she filed a review application and requested to re-open the case and re-visit its earlier decision with the direction to IHRA to issue instructions to the hospital to refund the medical bill.

The ombudsman issued the orders in her favour, which were impugned by IHRA by filing a representation with the president.

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PPP seeks police action against Imran for accusing Zardari of ‘murder plot

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PPP seeks police action against Imran for accusing Zardari of 'murder plot

A request against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan was submitted to register the case by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Hyderabad leader on Saturday, in Baldia Police Station regarding Imran Khan’s accusation of murder against the deposed premier Asif Ali Zardari.

The application was submitted by PPP leader and Information Secretary of Hyderabad Nadeem Jatoi of PS-66.

The application read as “Imran Khan, without solid evidence made serious accusations about Asif Zardari which affected his repute. The application will help start investigation about who pushed Mr Khan to make such statements.”

Earlier, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the allegations levelled by the PTI chief Imran Khan against Asif Ali Zardari had exposed his family to increased threats.

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Mr Khan had earlier alleged that Mr Asif was behind the “new plot” to assassinate him as he had links to a terrorist outfit.

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