Pakistan has sought support from Washington to unlock a stalled International Monetary Fund programme that would release $1.1 billion to its strained economy as the country rebuilds after last year's devastating floods, Dawn newspaper said on Thursday.

The IMF and Pakistan signed a $6 billion bailout in 2019, that was topped up with another $1.1 billion last year, but that came with conditions attached, aimed at reducing the budget deficit before the loan is released.

The long-awaited winter energy crisis has finally hit…but it wasn’t in Europe after all. On Monday, almost the entirety of Pakistan was left without power when a misguided energy saving strategy by the government backfired. Runaway inflation, a severely weakened currency, and rapidly emptying foreign exchange reserves have left Pakistan on the brink of economic collapse.

On the afternoon of January 10, Van Bawi Mang, a member of an armed resistance group fighting against the Myanmar military, was resting in his barracks at a camp on the country’s northwestern border with India when a loud explosion jolted him back to the reality of war.

He scrambled into a nearby ditch as jet fighters flew overhead, glass shattering with the reverberation of the falling bombs.

Pfizer never came to India. Pfizer applied for clearance for its vaccine in 2020. Indian regulators demanded a local safety and immunogenicity study. Such bridging studies are the common world over.

All other foreign vaccine makers had conducted similar studies in India.  But Pfizer refused to do a local trial.  In addition, Pfizer wanted legal immunity and protection against injury, which India refused. The USA provides legal immunity to vaccine manufacturers. India does not have any such law, and we did not change our laws for Pfizer.

A massive power breakdown across Pakistan continued after night fell on Monday, affecting most of the country's 220 million residents, including in the mega cities of Karachi and Lahore.

Pakistan's national power system is a complex and delicate web where problems can quickly cascade.

The breakdown was caused by a fault in the national grid at around 7:30 am (0230 GMT), plunging much of the country into darkness.

"We hope that the electricity will be restored throughout the country by tonight," Energy Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan said in a video statement.

With Russia and Pakistan holding talks this week on strengthening bilateral trade and energy cooperation, RT talked to the Pakistani minister of petroleum, Musadik Malik, about Russian oil supply in the face of Western sanctions.

Pakistan currently imports about 70 million barrels of crude oil and its demand will be rising as the country’s population grows, according to the minister. “So, if we can have Russian crude flowing through our system, it would be very helpful,” he said.

The world’s third-biggest crude importer purchased an average of 1.2 million barrels a day from Russia in December
 

Webmaster addition: Oh yes, the sanctions are working!

 

India’s army chief said on Thursday the border situation with China is stable but unpredictable after a nearly two-and-a-half-year standoff between tens of thousands of soldiers from both countries in the eastern Ladakh area.

Gen. Manoj Pande told reporters the countries were continuing to talk both at the diplomatic and military levels, and that India’s military maintains a high level of preparedness.

“We have adequate forces. We have adequate reserves in each of our sectors to be able to effectively deal with any situation or contingency,” Pande said.