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Nasirul Mulk takes oath as caretaker Pakistan PM to hold transparent elections

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Islamabad, June 1 : Retired Justice Nasirul Mulk took oath as Pakistan’s seventh caretaker Prime Minister at a ceremony on Friday, hours after the National Assembly was formally dissolved to hold free and fair elections.

President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath to Mulk, who was unanimously nominated for the post by both the government and opposition, with former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi describing the retired judge as a someone whose appointment “no one would object to”, reports Dawn news.

The oath-taking ceremony comes hours after the third National Assembly in a row managed to complete its five-year constitutional term.

However, it is only the second National Assembly under civilian rule which completed its tenure, as the one which came into existence in 2002 continued to function under the former President Pervez Musharraf.

The three National Assemblies have elec­ted seven prime ministers over the last 16 years, reports Dawn.

Justice Mulk is one of the seven judges who signed a restraining order on November 3, 2007, when Musharraf imposed emergency and forcibly sent the judges home.

(IANS)

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Trump taxes are ‘national security’ issue: Nancy Pelosi

Mr Trump departed from decades of tradition among presidents and presidential candidates when he refused to release his federal income tax returns the first time he ran for president in 2016.

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Trump Speaker PelosTrump Speaker Nancy Pelosii

Washington, Sep 29 : The top-ranked Democrat in Washington has called US President Donald Trump’s alleged tax avoidance a question of “national security”.

The Republican president responded in a series of Twitter posts to a New York Times report that he paid just $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017, after years of reporting heavy losses from his business enterprises.

“I paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled, like everyone else, to depreciation & tax credits,” he wrote on Twitter.

“I am extremely under leveraged – I have very little debt compared to the value of assets.”

The Republican president, who will face Democratic rival Joe Biden on Tuesday night for their first presidential debate, said he had “extraordinary assets” and boasted a “very IMPRESSIVE” financial statement.

Mr Trump has hundreds of millions of dollars in debt amid chronic business losses that he uses to avoid paying taxes, the Times reported. It said it has obtained tax-return data covering more than two decades for Mr Trump and his businesses.

Mr Trump’s reported debts raise national security issues, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, as the public deserves to know to whom he owes money because it could be used as leverage against him. “To me this is a national security question,” she told MSNBC.

Mr Trump departed from decades of tradition among presidents and presidential candidates when he refused to release his federal income tax returns the first time he ran for president in 2016.

He says it is because he is under audit by the Internal Revenue Service but the agency has said there is no reason he cannot release his taxes while under audit.

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Middle East

UK PM Boris Johnson raises concerns with Turkey’s Erdogan over east Med tensions

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Boris Johnson

LONDON : UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday that he was concerned about tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, welcoming news that Turkey and Greece had agreed to talks, Johnson’s office said in a statement.

NATO allies Greece and Turkey, at loggerheads on a range of issues, have agreed to resume exploratory talks over contested maritime claims following weeks of tension, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was beginning a two-day trip to Greece.

“The Prime Minister expressed his concern about recent tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean. He stressed the need for calm and welcomed the news that Turkey and Greece have agreed to talks,” Johnson’s office said.

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India

India Offers $100 Million Line of Credit To Sri Lanka For Solar Projects

India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay called on Minister of Power Dullas Alahapperuma and reiterated India’s commitment towards a strong and multi-faceted bilateral partnership including in the power sector, the Indian mission said in a statement.

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solar plant at Jamia

Colombo: India has offered a Line of Credit worth $ 100 million to Sri Lanka for three solar projects in the country, according to an official statement.

India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay called on Minister of Power Dullas Alahapperuma and reiterated India’s commitment towards a strong and multi-faceted bilateral partnership including in the power sector, the Indian mission said in a statement.

They discussed various issues of mutual interest including ways to expedite progress on bilateral power projects currently under discussion between the two sides.

The Indian envoy also handed over a copy of a letter conveying an offer from India to Sri Lanka for a Line of Credit (LoC) worth $100 million for three solar projects announced during the International Solar Alliance Founding Conference held in March, 2018 in New Delhi, the statement said.

The LoC will cover financing for rooftop solar systems meant for 20,000 households and 1,000 government buildings all across the island. The combined generation capacity of these rooftop systems will be about 60 MW, it said.

The LoC will also provide financing for a floating solar power plant. The implementation of the LoC will begin with the conclusion of an LoC agreement between the two sides, it said.

The Indian High Commissioner conveyed that the $100 million LoC is in line with the national priorities of India and Sri Lanka to enhance the share of solar and renewable energy in overall energy generation, the statement added.

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