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Pakistan’s Khan to stay jailed despite suspension of graft conviction



A court in Pakistan on Tuesday ordered the release of former prime minister Imran Khan after suspending his conviction on graft charges, his lawyers said, but another tribunal extended his arrest in a separate case.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) said Khan should be released on bail, his lawyer Babar Awan said.

Then, around an hour later, a different court ordered Khan to be kept in jail on charges of leaking the content of an officially classified document during his tenure as prime minister.

The 70-year-old former sports star faces a flurry of charges since his removal as premier through a parliamentary vote of confidence last year.

Judge Mohamed Zulqarnain, who heads a court overseeing the investigation of the leak of a diplomatic cable, issued the order that Khan be kept in jail until Wednesday and be brought before him.

Former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi is already in police custody for the probe of leaking the content of a cable about a conversation between a U.S. and a Pakistani diplomat.

Weeks before his ouster in April 2022, Khan claimed the U.S. hatched a conspiracy with his opponents to remove him because he got close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He waved a paper at a public rally in Islamabad claiming that this cable sent by the Pakistani ambassador to the U.S. was proof.

A conviction on the charges of leaking the content of a classified document can result in a jail term.

Khan was convicted and jailed for three years by a local court in Islamabad earlier this month on charges of stealing expensive gifts that were in state possession.

He had received them from other countries during his tenure as prime minister between 2018 and 2022.

Under Pakistani law, gifts received from other countries have to be submitted to the state kitty.

Khan’s conviction also resulted in his disqualification from any public office for five years.

The suspension of the conviction would not yet end Khan’s disqualification, lawyer Ihsan Ahmed said.

Pakistan has been in a political mess since Khan was removed through a parliamentary vote of confidence last year.

The country’s economy faces a risk of default due to low productivity aggravated by last year’s mega flooding.


IMF/World Bank meetings to hold in Marrakech despite devastating Moroccan earthquake



IMF/World Bank

The managements of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), together with Moroccan authorities have agreed to hold their 2023 Annual Meetings in Marrakech despite recent devastating earthquake in the country.

This is contained in a joint statement signed by World Bank President, Ajay Banga; IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva; and Kingdom of Morocco Minister of Economy and Finance, Nadia Fettah Alaoui.

They however said that the meetings, scheduled between Oct. 9 and Oct. 15, would hold by “adapting the content to the circumstances”.

“Since the devastating earthquake in Morocco on Sept. 8, the World Bank and the IMF staff have worked in close coordination with the Moroccan authorities and a team of experts to thoroughly assess Marrakech’s capacity to host the 2023 Annual Meetings.

“In undertaking this assessment, key considerations were that the meetings would not disrupt vital relief and reconstruction efforts, and that the safety of the participants can be assured.

“Based on a careful review of the findings, the Managements of the World Bank and IMF, together with the Moroccan authorities, have agreed to proceed with holding the 2023 Annual Meetings in Marrakech from October 9 to 15,” they said.

According to them, the meetings would be conducted in a way that does not hamper the relief efforts, and respects the victims and Moroccan people.

“At this very difficult time, we believe that the annual meetings also provide an opportunity for the international community to stand by Morocco and its people, who have once again shown resilience in the face of tragedy.

“We also remain committed to ensuring the safety of all participants,” they said.

The World Bank plays a key role in the global efforts to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.

Working in more than 100 countries, the bank provides financing, advice, and other solutions that enable countries to address the most urgent challenges of development.

The IMF is a global organisation that works to achieve sustainable growth and prosperity for all of its 190 member countries.

It does so by supporting economic policies that promote financial stability and monetary cooperation, which are essential to increasing productivity, job creation, and economic well-being.

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Zelensky among leaders arriving in New York for high-level UN summit



Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is among the world leaders descending on New York on Monday as the United Nations prepares to kick off a high-level summit.

The summit is aimed at rescuing its largely ignored Sustainable Development Goals for economic growth.

The UN General Assembly in New York, would formally start on Tuesday and will last a week.

It is set to focus on dusting off its 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at avoiding poverty, hunger, poor education and poor health care, among other things.

In 2015, the countries of the world set themselves these central goals for global development with the key aim of ending hunger and extreme poverty by 2030.

However, the pandemic, the Ukraine war and a debt crisis in poor countries are among the setbacks that have left the UN well off its target.

According to the UN, if things continue as they are, 575 million people will still be living in great poverty and more than 600 million in hunger in 2030.

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