Pakistanis Upset by High Electric Bills

Consumers are taking to Pakistan’s streets to protest recently increased taxes on electricity bills.In response, Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has called for an emergency ministers’ meeting Sunday to discuss the high electrici…

Consumers are taking to Pakistan’s streets to protest recently increased taxes on electricity bills.

In response, Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has called for an emergency ministers’ meeting Sunday to discuss the high electricity bills.

“In the meeting, a briefing will be taken from the ministry of power and distribution companies and consultations will be held regarding giving maximum relief to consumers regarding electricity bills,” the prime minister posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

One person told the newspaper Dawn that his electricity bill was so high he could not afford to pay his children’s school fees. Another person said his bill had doubled.

Source: Voice of America

Umar Akmal Was Unable to Pay Daughter’s School Fee During His Ban From Cricket

Renowned Pakistani cricketer, Umar Akmal, opened up about the financial and emotional hardships he faced during his ban from cricket-related activities in the past.In an interview, Umar Akmal recounted the struggles of not being able to afford the sch…

Renowned Pakistani cricketer, Umar Akmal, opened up about the financial and emotional hardships he faced during his ban from cricket-related activities in the past.

In an interview, Umar Akmal recounted the struggles of not being able to afford the school fees for his daughter, which resulted in her missing school for eight months.

Addressing the disciplinary case and ban from cricket, he refrained from blaming anyone, choosing instead to focus on the challenges faced during that period.

The middle-order batter shared that many friends abandoned him during the hard times, but he was grateful for the support of his brothers and a few loyal friends.

Akmal emotionally recalled the toll the ban took on his family, revealing that he had invested the earnings of his life in fighting the case with the Pakistan Cricket Board.

The 33-year-old batter also expressed gratitude to his wife, the daughter of the late cricketer, Abdul Qadir, for her unwavering support during that difficult period.

Regarding match-fixing allegations, Akmal stated that he had been approached multiple times but always reported the incidents to the PCB and ICC for investigation.

The controversies around Umar began when he supported his elder brother, Kamran Akmal, by feigning an injury to protest the removal of the wicketkeeper from the team.

Akmal was banned from all cricket activities by the cricket board back in 2020, but his sentence was later reduced to allow him to resume cricket at the domestic level in 2021.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Jubilee Life Insurance and Telenor Pakistan to facilitate insurance access through Telenor’s Apollo app

Jubilee Life Insurance, Pakistan’s largest private sector insurance company, has signed an MOU with Telenor Pakistan, one of the country’s largest telecommunications service providers to bring unprecedented ease and accessibility for health and life i…

Jubilee Life Insurance, Pakistan’s largest private sector insurance company, has signed an MOU with Telenor Pakistan, one of the country’s largest telecommunications service providers to bring unprecedented ease and accessibility for health and life insurance services. Under this collaboration, insurance products from Jubilee Life will be directly integrated into the Apollo app, Telenor’s flagship platform which caters to a robust network of 120,000 retailers across Pakistan.

Apollo, a trademarked product of Telenor Pakistan, stands at the forefront of innovation. It’s a comprehensive digital solution that redefines the conventional retail distribution landscape into a modern digital space, ensuring easy access to the Apollo retailers. Through its ingenious design, Apollo enables retailers to connect with the audience more efficiently than ever before.

Through an effective collection of their expertise, Jubilee Life Insurance and Telenor Pakistan are set to revolutionize insurance penetration in the country. This initiative will enable millions of Pakistanis to be empowered in terms of securing insurance policies through Telenor Pakistan retailers, ushering in a new era of swift and simplified insurance acquisition. The streamlined, user-friendly process caters to the modern dynamics of the nation, where convenience and efficiency are being given the utmost importance, especially by younger audiences.

Mr. Farhan Faridi, Group Head – Retail Operations, Marketing, and Administration at Jubilee Life Insurance, stated,

Mr. Omer Bin Tariq, Chief Marketing Officer of Telenor Pakistan, stated,

By harnessing the power of digital technology and catering to the preferences of the younger generation, the integration of insurance products within the Apollo app marks a significant step towards increased insurance coverage, simplified processes, and enhanced financial security for Pakistanis.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Justice Ibrahim Sworn in as Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court

Justice Mohammad Ibrahim Khan took the oath of office as the Chief Justice of the Peshawar High Court on Friday. The oath-taking ceremony was held at the Governor’s House, with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Haji Ghulam Ali administering the oath. The ev…

Justice Mohammad Ibrahim Khan took the oath of office as the Chief Justice of the Peshawar High Court on Friday. The oath-taking ceremony was held at the Governor’s House, with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Haji Ghulam Ali administering the oath. The event was graced by the presence of the Chief Minister, judges of the high court, lawyers, caretaker ministers, government officials, and other dignitaries.

The appointment was approved by the President on 22 August, based on the recommendation of the Judicial Commission for judges’ appointment under Article 175-A(13) of the Constitution. Justice Ibrahim Khan has been serving as the acting chief justice since 6 July 2023.

The position of the Peshawar High Court’s chief justice became vacant due to the elevation of the then-chief justice, Musarrat Hilali, to the Supreme Court.

With a distinguished career, Justice Ibrahim Khan earned a solid reputation within legal circles for his fearless and impartial decisions. He was elevated to the high court as an additional judge on 11 August 2016 and later confirmed as a judge on 1 June 2018.

Born on 15 April 1962 in Swabi, Justice Ibrahim Khan’s retirement is scheduled for 14 April 2024. His journey in the legal field began with an LLB from Khyber Law College, University of Peshawar, in May 1984. After practicing law for nearly eight years, he joined the judicial service, assuming various significant judicial roles.

One of his notable achievements was leading the judicial inquiry into the tragic 2014 Peshawar Army Public School massacre, meticulously examining the perspectives of 102 affected individuals, including bereaved parents and government officials. The resulting comprehensive 525-page report was submitted to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Throughout his career, Justice Ibrahim Khan also contributed as a lecturer at the International Islamic University, Islamabad, and the Khyber Law College, University of Peshawar.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Punjab Governor Orders Universities to Put More Effort Into Stopping Sexual Harassment

Punjab Governor Baligh-ur-Rehman has taken a decisive step towards curbing sexual harassment incidents within universities. In an official directive on Friday, the governor established a framework for universities to address and prevent instances of s…

Punjab Governor Baligh-ur-Rehman has taken a decisive step towards curbing sexual harassment incidents within universities. In an official directive on Friday, the governor established a framework for universities to address and prevent instances of sexual harassment. This comes in the wake of incidents of sexual harassment within educational institutions.

The directive orders universities to follow specific measures to establish a safer environment for all members of their communities. The governor emphasized that protection against sexual harassment is vital to maintaining an atmosphere conducive to learning and personal growth. He sternly stated that any form of sexual harassment would not be tolerated.

The outlined measures include the establishment of Inquiry Committees for investigating complaints, expediting the resolution process within 45 days, and designating a senior female faculty member as a focal person to receive all reports. The focal person, situated outside the university’s management structure, will ensure confidentiality and privacy when handling complaints.

Additionally, the policy should be included within the university’s code of conduct, translating it into local languages, raising awareness through various means, and implementing a ‘Code of Conduct’ that clearly defines unacceptable behaviors and their consequences.

Universities have been urged to create a transparent and accessible ‘Complaint Mechanism,’ educating both students and staff on recognizing, preventing, and responding to sexual harassment. The directive also emphasizes the establishment of a robust monitoring and evaluation system to continuously improve the effectiveness of the response mechanism.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Protests Erupt Across KP Against Electricity Bills and Inflation

Widespread demonstrations have erupted in various parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as citizens express outrage over soaring electricity bills and relentless inflation. The civil society in Mingora and the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party in Matta took to the …

Widespread demonstrations have erupted in various parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as citizens express outrage over soaring electricity bills and relentless inflation. The civil society in Mingora and the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party in Matta took to the streets, joined by people from diverse backgrounds.

Protesters, holding electricity bills and united by their frustration, pointed fingers at the WAPDA (used as a catch-all term for all electricity supply companies), the government, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for their mounting misery. Demanding relief from inflation, the demonstrators denounced the recent tariff increases. Protesters set their electricity bills ablaze, a stark representation of their refusal to bear the weight of exorbitant charges.

The All Swat Class IV Employees Association also joined the fray, rallying against the rising power tariffs. President Syed Khittab led the association’s members in a resolute assembly outside the Swat Press Club building, where they condemned the surging electricity costs for their economic downfall.

Even the Mardan district did not remain untouched by the mounting unrest. Residents of the Gulibagh area protested, temporarily halting traffic along Shamsi Road. The crowd, brandishing electricity bills, railed against unjust billing and demanded transparency in their billing statements. Their frustration was palpable as they accused the government and WAPDA of exploiting their financial vulnerabilities.

In the face of mounting public ire, Mayor Himayatullah Mayar met with top WAPDA officials to address the escalating situation. However, the resolve of the demonstrators remained unshaken. A jirga in Mansehra district, a traditional assembly of tribal leaders, took an uncompromising stance against the unjust bills. The jirga proclaimed that people would refuse to pay the inflated bills, and traders would observe a comprehensive shutdown in protest. A committee was formed to expand this movement across various districts.

The swelling movement represents a collective call for change in the region, where citizens are demanding fair treatment and economic relief in the face of rampant inflation. As the demonstrations gather momentum, the authorities are faced with the challenge of quelling public discontent while addressing the legitimate concerns that have driven the populace to the streets.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Is Pakistan Ready for a Revolution in the Digital Payments Space?

Consumer shopping experiences in the present world are no longer what they were last year or possibly even last season. Shifts are consistently being driven by the evolution of shopping paradigms beyond traditional brick-and-mortar establishments and …

Consumer shopping experiences in the present world are no longer what they were last year or possibly even last season. Shifts are consistently being driven by the evolution of shopping paradigms beyond traditional brick-and-mortar establishments and the ubiquity of digital interactions. The manner in which we engage in transactions for goods and services is undergoing a remarkable transformation every day – and more so now with the advent of newer and more modern omnichannel payment systems.

What are Omnichannel Payments?

These technological systems have revolutionized the customer shopping experience on the front-end by the ability to accept literally anything as payment – Google Pay, Apple Pay, Digital Wallets, you name it. But behind the scenes, it is incredible how enterprises seamlessly process transactions across an array of touchpoints, adeptly catering to the demands of the modern consumer landscape.

In the simplest of terms, an omnichannel payment processing system allows businesses to accept and receive payments across multiple channels and platforms, such as physical retail stores, online e-commerce websites, mobile apps, and social media platforms. The objective is to provide a uniform, consistent, and integrated payment experience for customers, agnostic to the channel chosen to make the purchase.

Given the dynamic business landscape, catering to diverse consumer preferences is paramount, whether they shop in-store, online, on the go, or via various channels. The journey from consideration to conversion could be through variegated means, but when it comes to payment, all consumers want to feel safe and secure. It is, therefore, essential to develop tailored experiences to incorporate their favored payment methods, spanning credit cards, digital wallets, and instant bank transfers.

A comprehensive omnichannel system synchronizes real-time data and offers flexibility in conducting transactions – seamlessly commencing sign-up on one channel and concluding on another without any additional processes.

How do Omnichannel Payment Systems impact SMEs and Businesses?

All customers are exceptionally predictable when it comes to payment – they all want is easy, convenient, and reliable ways to pay for products and services. This simple fact has coerced companies to completely reimagine and redefine how payments can be accepted and then consequently received.

Smart companies don’t just offer different ways to pay, but they do a little something extra – they also provide consumers with different ways to interact with the platform. Imagine this – a customer searches for a product online, such as a perfume. He finds the perfume he’s looking for but then decides to smell it before buying it. So, he clicks the map underneath the perfume on the webpage and searches for the nearest store through his postcode which has the perfume in stock. He then asks to reserve the perfume for a purchase in-store.

The initiation of the purchase was completely digital, but it could be potentially concluded in store. These interactions create a more coherent and wholesome shopping experience.

Security with Omnichannel Payment Systems?

A robust omnichannel payments gateway is essential for businesses that want to provide their customers with a seamless and secure payment experience. The gateway should adhere unwaveringly to strict security standards and compliance regulations, safeguarding customer payment information across all touchpoints. This includes in-store, online, and mobile payments.

The gateway should also be able to collect and analyze data from customer transactions. This data can be used to make smarter decisions about pricing, marketing, and product development. It can also be used to personalize the customer experience, which can lead to increased loyalty.

For example, a business could use data from its omnichannel payments gateway to identify customers who are likely to abandon their checkout carts. The business could then send these customers targeted offers or discounts to encourage them to complete their purchases.

Another example is a business that could use data from its omnichannel payments gateway to analyze the browsing behavior of its customers. The business could then use this data to recommend products that are likely to be of interest to the customer.

By providing a seamless and secure payment experience and by collecting and analyzing data from customer transactions, a resilient omnichannel payments gateway can help businesses to improve their bottom line and to build a more durable customer lifecycle.

Spearheading Digital Payments in Pakistan

Amidst the global surge in omnichannel strategies, Paymob has emerged as a pioneer in leading the charge toward transforming the payment landscape in the country. With a comprehensive product offering payment options such as codeless website links and tap-on phone payment options for small businesses and empowering them to grow their businesses.

MENA-P’s fastest growing fintech is fueled by technology that has been tried and tested in the region, Paymob has jump started its way to redefining the way businesses and consumers interact during transactions.

Paymob is catalyzing a positive shift within the local payments landscape, centered around equipping MSMEs throughout the nation’s urban hubs with digital financial tools, thereby fostering business expansion.

The cutting-edge technology harnessed by Paymob introduces pioneering elements such as seameless digital onboarding, terminal management, cash logging – the first-of-its-kind in Pakistan in many ways. Its proprietary mechanisms are designed to be secure, reliable, and easy to use. It is also PCI DSS compliant, which means that it meets the highest security standards for data related to financial payments.

Paymob’s technology is equipped with advanced fraud detection mechanisms and deploys tokenization to protect sensitive consumer data. Sophisticated algorithms continuously monitor transactions in real-time through a unified dashboard, while 3D secure card transactions helps identify and mitigate fraudulent activities swiftly, safeguarding both businesses and their customers from potential financial losses and security breaches.

Moreover, the platform provides businesses with access to responsive customer support services. Whether businesses require technical assistance, have inquiries about billing or their account details, or need guidance to install new plugins, Paymob’s support team is readily available to address their needs promptly.

Enhanced features of Paymob’s payment gateway and POS device include bin-level discounting capability at the merchant’s disposal, along with robust reporting and analytics tools through a unified dashboard that enable businesses to gain deep insights into their payment processes and customer behavior. Through comprehensive data analysis, businesses can identify trends, track performance, and make informed decisions to optimize their operations and revenue generation.

Through its combination of technology, agility, and commitment to customer and merchant-centric solutions, the company continues to contribute to a payments landscape that is efficient, secure, and constantly evolving based on the needs of businesses and consumers alike.

As Pakistan strides into a promising era of digital transformation, the potential of omnichannel payment gateways to reshape the nation’s commerce landscape is immense. With Paymob leading the way, merchants across the country have the opportunity to harness a powerful suite of tools that transcend traditional boundaries.

The ongoing technological strides in the payments landscape are carving out new pathways that can create a future characterized by success and prosperity. The fusion of modern payment solutions is poised to usher in an era of innovation and progress for businesses across the nation.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Over 1 Million Pakistanis Have Moved to Gulf Countries Since April 2022

Recent numbers by the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment have revealed that over one million Pakistanis have migrated to Gulf countries since April last year, as reported by Middle East Eye.The largest number of migrants, 700,000, went to Sa…

Recent numbers by the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment have revealed that over one million Pakistanis have migrated to Gulf countries since April last year, as reported by Middle East Eye.

The largest number of migrants, 700,000, went to Saudi Arabia, followed by 229,000 to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), over 100,000 to Oman, and around 90,000 to Qatar.

Directorate General of Immigration and Passports recorded a surge in daily applications, which have escalated from 24,000 to 40,000. To address this, efforts are underway to increase the workforce and accelerate the processing time.

Imtiaz Gul, a journalist, told Middle East Eye that the youth in Pakistan are feeling extremely hopeless because of the ongoing problems in the country’s politics and economy.

He said that he knows many people who are moving abroad or selling everything to relocate, adding that something like this has never happened before.

Also, Pakistan’s economy is performing poorly. Last year, the country’s GDP growth rate was recorded at 6.1 percent, but now it is only 0.3 percent, which is a massive dip.

Furthermore, the large-scale manufacturing sector, which is vital for the country’s economy, has entered a recessionary phase. The growth in this sector, which was 10.6 percent last year, has alarmingly dropped to -8.11 percent.

Sales of major car manufacturers in the country have plummeted by 80 percent. A severe crackdown on imports, enforced to reduce the outflow of foreign exchange, has crippled the textile sector, leaving nearly seven million workers unemployed.

Kaiser Bengali, an economist and former government advisor, voiced concern about the grim results of skilled workers leaving Pakistan.

He commented that when these skilled people migrate, they usually take their families with them, which leads to a decrease in remittances.

Kaiser underlined the growing skills gap in the country, stating, “The skills gap is getting bigger and more critical. It’s already affecting Pakistan’s business capacity and killing off our skill capacity.”

He warned that this shortage of skilled labor would be evident to foreign investors when they return to Pakistan in the future.

Source: Pro Pakistani