PML-N’s Ishaq Dar wins defamation case at UK high court

ICMD, Oct 19, 2021: Former finance minister Ishaq Dar has won a defamation case against New Vision Television (NVTV) at the London High Court over allegations of corruption, money laundering and misuse of authority. NVTV had broadcast allegations made by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior Shahzad Akbar and the Reporters’ Programme by Chaudhry Ghulam Husain and Sabir Shakir, alleging that Ishaq Dar was involved in money-laundering, corruption, had looted billions of rupees belonging to Pakistan, had foreign accounts containing billions of rupees, used undue influence over the Financial Monitoring Unit and was involved in issuing death threats to a government official. In an apology to Ishaq Dar at the London High Court, NVTV has accepted that its allegations against Dar were false, fabricated and baseless. The TV channel has agreed to pay damages and legal costs to Mr Ishaq Dar for the hurt, embarrassment and defamation it had caused him. -- TN

Dubai has signed an accord to build infrastructure in Indian occupied Kashmir: Indian government

ICMD, Oct 19, 2021:: Dubai has signed an accord to build infrastructure in Indian occupied Kashmir, the Modi government said on Monday, at a time when the region is seeing a resurgence in violence. No figure for the value of the accord was given. The memorandum of understanding by Dubai, one of the UAE's seven emirates, is the first investment agreement by a foreign government in the sensitive region following the stripping of Kashmir's autonomy and the division of the Muslim-majority state into two territories directly ruled from New Delhi. The New Delhi government said the agreement will see Dubai building infrastructure including industrial parks, IT towers, multi-purpose towers, logistics centres, a medical college and a speciality hospital. “The world has started to recognise the pace [at] which Jammu and Kashmir is traversing on the development bandwagon,” Indian Trade Minister Piyush Goyal said in a statement. The statement said different entities from Dubai had shown keen interest in investment in Kashmir. However, investment is fraught with risks in the heavily militarised region as evidenced by a spate of attacks on civilians and a widespread crackdown by security forces that has left several people dead. On Monday, Indian authorities moved thousands of migrant workers in Kashmir to safer locations overnight while hundreds have fled the Himalayan valley after a wave of targeted killings.

Pakistan Navy wards off Indian submarine from entering Pakistani waters: ISPR

ICMD, Oct 19, 2021: The Pakistan Navy detected and blocked an Indian submarine from entering Pakistani waters on October 16 (last Saturday), the military's media wing revealed on Tuesday. The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said the navy showed "unremitting vigilance and professional competence" in ascertaining and blocking the attempted entry of the Indian vessel. "During the prevailing security milieu, a strict monitoring watch has been kept by Pakistan Navy to safeguard maritime frontiers of Pakistan," the ISPR said. It added that the Oct 16 incident was the third time an Indian naval submarine had been detected and tracked by the Pakistan Navy's long-range maritime patrol aircraft. "The recent incident reflects the deplorable Indian machinations vis-à-vis commitment and resolve of Pakistan Navy to defend maritime frontiers of the motherland," the statement reads. The last such reported incident occurred in March 2019 when the navy had detected and thwarted a similar attempted entry by an Indian submarine. "The Pakistan Navy used its specialised skills to ward off the submarine, successfully keeping it from entering Pakistani waters," a statement from the navy's spokesperson had said at the time. Another attempt was made in November 2016 when an Indian submarine was tracked and pushed clear out of Pakistan's waters.

Gold climbs as dollar, Treasury yields weaken

ICMD, Oct 19, 2021: Gold prices gained on Tuesday, with weaker dollar and US bond yields providing some support to the precious metal, even as central banks move towards easing economic stimulus. Spot gold rose 0.5pc to $1,773.77 per ounce by 0335 GMT. US gold futures gained 0.5pc to $1,774.40. Supporting gold by making it cheaper for buyers in other currencies, the dollar dropped to a two-week low against a basket of currencies. US benchmark 10-year Treasury yields also weakened, reducing non-yielding bullion's opportunity cost. "Though gold is range-bound, if it holds above $1,760, it could move back to $1,782 and possibly even $1,800," said Nicholas Frappell, global general manager at ABC Bullion, adding that a break below $1,759, could push it down to $1,737-$1,741.

North Korea test fires submarine-launched ballistic missile, S.Korea says

ICMD, Oct 19, 2021: North Korea fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from off its east coast on Tuesday, South Korea's military said, pulling Japan's new prime minister off the campaign trail and overshadowing the opening of a major arms fair in Seoul. The launch, reported by officials in South Korea and Japan, came after U.S. and South Korean envoys met in Washington to discuss the nuclear standoff with North Korea on Monday. Spy chiefs from the United States, South Korea, and Japan were reported to be meeting in Seoul on Tuesday as well. The North Korean launch would be the latest weapons test by the country, which has pressed ahead with military development in the face of international sanctions, imposed over its nuclear weapons and missile programmes. The missile was launched about 10:17 a.m. local time from the sea in the vicinity of Sinpo, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said, where North Korea keeps submarines as well as equipment for test firing SLBMs. It was not immediately clear whether the missile was fired from a submarine or from a submersible test barge, as in most previous tests. "Our military is closely monitoring the situation and maintaining readiness posture in close cooperation with the United States, to prepare for possible additional launches," JCS said in a statement. South Korea's national Security Council held an emergency meeting and expressed "deep regret" over the test, urging the North to resume talks. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that two ballistic missiles had been detected, and that it was "regrettable" that North Korea had conducted a string of missile tests in recent weeks. There was no immediate explanation from South Korea's JCS for the conflicting number of missiles detected. Kishida cancelled scheduled campaign appearances in northern Japan, and the deputy chief cabinet secretary told reporters that Kishida was planning to return to Tokyo to deal with the missile situation. South Korea's unification ministry, which handles inter-Korean relations, said daily routine liaison calls with the North were conducted normally on Tuesday.