Economic & Political Weekly 06-02-2019




  • A longtime, disgruntled city employee opened fire at a municipal building in Virginia Beach in the United States on 31st May, killing 11 people before police fatally shot him, authorities said.

Six other people were wounded in the shooting, including a police officer whose bulletproof vest saved his life, said Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera. Five patients were being treated at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital and a sixth was being transferred to the Trauma Center at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Sentara Healthcare tweeted.

  • 16 charged in Bangladesh for burning a teenager alive after she reported harassment


Sixteen people have been arrested and charged in Bangladesh for the immolation death of a teenager in April, after she had reported sexual harassment. Nusrat Jahan Rafi had filed a complaint of sexual harassment with local police and named her school principal as one of the accused, “She protested [against the harassment] and complained that the principal of the school was harassing her and she filed that case,” he explained. The principal, Siraj Ud Doula, was subsequently arrested by police. He is suspected to have orchestrated her murder from prison, Muzumdar said. Doula allegedly contracted several people to kill the teenager and instructed the perpetrators to make her death look like a suicide, the official said.

  • South Africa makes history as women make up half of cabinet for first time.

Women will now make up half of South Africa’s new cabinet for the first time in the country’s history. President Cyril Ramaphosa who announced the move on Wednesday said the decision was to create a line of leaders that would advance the country’s future. “For the first time in the history of our country, half of all the ministers are women,” Ramaphosa said in a televised press conference. Patricia de Lille, former Mayor of Cape Town and leader of the Good political party has been appointed the minister of public works. The women are due to be sworn in Thursday when newly appointed ministers take their oath of office. Ramaphosa said he was downsizing the number of cabinet ministers from 36 to 28 is an effort to “downscale” the “bloated government.” While many South Africans have applauded the announcement, critics say Ramaphosa has only recycled the same crop of leaders.

  • Rare earths could be the next front in the US-China trade war. Here’s what you should know

As the trade war between the United States and China escalates, Beijing may be preparing to play a new card i.e. control of rare earth minerals. Rare earths refer to 17 minerals with magnetic and conductive properties that help power most electronic devices. They are vital to the production of smart phones, tablets and smart speakers. They are not actually “rare,” and can be found in other countries — including the United States. But they’re difficult to mine safely. About a third of the world’s rare earth deposits are found in China. Yet the country controls more than 90% of production, according to the US Geological Survey, in part due to its lower labor costs and less stringent environmental regulations. In addition to their use in electronics, rare earths are vital to many of the major weapons systems that the United States relies on for national security. That includes lasers, radar, sonar, night vision systems, missile guidance, jet engines and alloys for armored vehicles, according to a report the Pentagon prepared for President Donald Trump last year. “China has strategically flooded the global market with rare earths at subsidized prices, driven out competitors, and deterred new market entrants,” the report said.

  • Narendra Modi has been sworn in for a second term as India’s prime minister after an overwhelming election victory for his Hindu nationalist party in a country of 1.3 billion people seeking swift economic change.


Missing from the new Cabinet are former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who stepped aside for health reasons. The portfolios of the Cabinet ministers were expected to be announced later on Thursday. They include new appointee Amit Shah, who has headed Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party as president since 2014. In the recent elections, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party won 303 seats in the 542-member lower house of Parliament, giving him huge authority. However, he faces immense challenges including a slowing economy, high 6.2 per cent unemployment and low agricultural prices that have hurt farmers.

·Israel will hold new elections after Netanyahu fails to build coalition

Israel will hold new national elections in late summer after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to put together a coalition government from the parties elected to parliament on April 9th. It’s the first time in Israel’s history that a general election has failed to produce a government. The new elections, scheduled for September 17th, are the result of a bill to dissolve parliament introduced into the Knesset earlier this week.


GLOBAL INDICES AS OF 30th and 31st May 2019

As compared to 24th and 25th May 2019

Global indices as of 30th and 31st May 2019
Name Current Value       Prev.


 FTSE (May 31) 7,142.60 7218.16


 CAC (May 31) 5,172.76 5202.49


 DAX (May 31) 11,683.01 11755.12


 SGX NIFTY (May 31) 11,910.50 11938.00


 NIKKEI 225 (May 31) 20,601.19 20823.10


 STRAITS TIMES (May 31) 3,117.76 3130.58


 HANG SENG (May 31) 26,901.09 27155.36


 TAIWAN WEIGHTED (May 31) 10,498.49 10515.10


 KOSPI (May 31) 2,041.74 2048.90


 SET COMPOSITE (May 31) 1,620.22 1627.33


 JAKARTA COMPOSITE (May 31) 6,209.12 6209.12


 SHANGHAI COMPOSITE (May 31) 2,898.70 2922.91



Global indices as of 24th and 25th May 2019
Name Current Value       Prev.


 NASDAQ (May 24) 7,637.01 7675.57


 FTSE (May 24) 7,277.73 7231.04


 CAC (May 24) 5,316.51 5307.80


 DAX (May 24) 12,011.04 12027.31


 SGX NIFTY (May 25) 11,854.00 11880.00


 NIKKEI 225 (May 24) 21,117.22 20980.79


 STRAITS TIMES (May 24) 3,169.89 3152.08


 HANG SENG (May 24) 27,353.93 27368.68


 TAIWAN WEIGHTED (May 24) 10,328.28 10313.15


 KOSPI (May 24) 2,045.31 2047.30


 SET COMPOSITE (May 24) 1,614.12 1604.67


 JAKARTA COMPOSITE (May 24) 6,057.35 6042.58


 SHANGHAI COMPOSITE (May 24) 2,852.99 2847.84




  • Leaders from across the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) met in Saudi Arabia early Ist June for the 14th session of the Islamic Summit, which follows two emergency Arab meetings the night before in Makkah criticising Iran’s behaviorand influence in countries like Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. Prime Minister Imran Khan was among the leaders who spoke at the summit.

Prime Minister Imran said “The OIC heads of states — owes a responsibility to the Muslim world when somebody blasphemes our Prophet (PBUH), it is a failure of the OIC that we have not been able to explain to the other countries the love and affection we feel for our Holy Prophet,”. “Some western countries are suffering from Islamophobia. The West should differentiate between moderate Muslim and extremist Muslim.” He also touched upon the plight of the people of Kashmir as well as Palestine, saying Pakistan supports the two-state solution and recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

· The Pakistan city where almost 700 people have been infected with HIV

Twenty-one people in Allah Dino Seelro — which has an estimated population of 1,500 — have been diagnosed with HIV in the past month, including 17 children, according to Dr. Ramesh Lal Shetiya, the medical superintendent at the area’s main hospital. Literacy levels here are low and education about the disease is scant, meaning many do not understand how they got the virus. This village’s problems are the tip of the iceberg in this region. HIV is a familiar fear in Pakistan, where an estimated 150,000 adults and children are living with the disease. The outbreak in Sind is unusual, however, because it mostly affects children. Prior to the crisis, only 1,200 children in all of Pakistan had been receiving treatment for HIV, according to the World Health Organization. That unusual demographic in Sind has given investigators potential insight into the cause of the latest outbreak. HIV can be spread primarily through transfusions of unscreened blood, unprotected sex, or injections. Given the age of some of the children infected, unsafe injections were the most likely cause of the outbreak. Receiving drugs via injection is popular in Pakistan, due to a cultural belief that injected drugs or drips work better than pills, Research published in 2005 found injections were overused in the Sind province of Pakistan.

  • Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa endorsed punishment to two senior retired Army officers and one civil officer “on the charges of espionage/ leakage of sensitive information to foreign agencies prejudice to the national security”, a statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations said on 30th

The officers were tried under Pakistan Army Act (PAA) and Official Secret Act by separate Field General Court Marshal (FGCM) for separate cases,” said the statement issued by the military’s media wing. The following details, quoted verbatim, list the names of the three individuals and the punishment accorded to them:

  1. Retired Lieutenant General Javed Iqbal — awarded 14 years rigorous imprisonment
  2. Retired Brigadier Raja Rizwan — awarded death sentence
  3. Doctor Wasim Akram (Employed at Sensitive Organization) — awarded death sentence
  • The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) on 30th May issued notices to Supreme Court’s Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Karim Khan Agha of the Sind High Court over references filed against them.


The SJC — the only constitutional forum that can examine the conduct of superior court judges and recommend their removal — will hold a hearing of the two references on June 14. According to media reports, the references accuse the two judges of concealing their assets and recommend action against them under Article 209 of the Constitution.


  • MNA Mohsin Dawar has been taken into custody by law enforcement personnel from Miranshah in North Waziristan.


According to informed sources, Dawar surrendered himself to the law and was subsequently produced before an anti-terrorism court in Bannu for physical remand. The investigation officer of the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Bannu requested the court for a 30-day police custody of the lawmaker. However, special ATC judge Babar Ali Khan after perusing the record remanded Dawar in police custody for eight days. Police have been directed to re-produce the MNA before the court on June 7. However due to mismatch between statements of two sides PPP and PML N are demanding for production of MNAs to have their statements.


  • The price of petrol was raised by Rs4.26 to cost Rs112.68 per liter in June. In May, the per liter price was Rs108.42.


High speed diesel, which saw the maximum hike, was increased by Rs4.50 to cost Rs126.82 per liter from the previous Rs122.32 per liter. Meanwhile, the prices of kerosene and light diesel oil saw an increase of Rs1.69 and Rs1.68 per liter respectively. Kerosene will now cost Rs98.46 per liter as opposed to the previous price of Rs96.77, whereas light diesel oil will now cost Rs88.62 per liter in contrast to the previous price of Rs86.94.


F.C Exchange Rates of PKR as of 31st May 2019 as compared to 24th May 2019
Countries PKR rate as of 24th  May 2019 PKR rate as of 31st May 2019
U.S.A. 151.70 149.30
U.K. 194.00 190.00
Euro 170.00 167.00
Japan 1.3000 1.3600
Saudi Arabia 40.00 39.50
U.A.E. 41.00 40.40


Pakistan Stock Exchange Indices

As of 30st May 2019 As Compared

To 24th May 2019 (31sat being holiday)


Position as of 30th May 2019
Symbols KSE100 Index PSX-KMI All Shares Index
Advance 118 (Curr) Current 35974.79 Current 16874.82
Declined (High) 168 High 36536.78 High 17129.78
Unchanged (Low) 24 Low 35655.25 Low 16763.36
Total change 310  15.36  -10.13
Position as of 24th May 2019
Symbols KSE100 Index PSX-KMI All Shares Index
Advance 138 (Curr) Current 35703.81 Current 16709.54
Declined (High) 137 High 35766.70 High 16766.99
Unchanged Low 15 Low 35435.91 Low 16612.28
Total Change 290  122.47  -57.45


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