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Hajj 2018 in pictures

More than two million pilgrims from around the world started arriving at Mount Arafat to perform the main ritual of Hajj on Monday.

Pilgrims arrived in the kingdom last week for the five-day pilgrimage — a once-in-a-lifetime religious duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it.

On Sunday night, the pilgrims started leaving for Mina or Mount Arafat. They will listen to a sermon delivered at Namira Mosque and will then perform Zuhr and Asr prayers combined at Arafat, where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is believed to have delivered his final sermon.

After sunset, the pilgrims will head to Muzdalifah, where they will stay until midnight, engaged in prayers after performing Maghreb and Isha prayers combined.

Here are some pictures as pilgrims began Hajj:

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Happy Independence Day Pakistan | Youm-e-Azadi | 14 August 2018

Happy Independence Day Pakistan ( یوم آزادی‎; Yaum-e Āzādī), observed annually on 14 August, is a national holiday in Pakistan. It commemorates the day when Pakistan achieved independence and was declared a sovereign nation following the end of the British Raj in 1947. Pakistan came into existence as a result of the Pakistan Movement, which aimed for the creation of an independent Muslim state in the north-western regions of South Asia via partition. The movement was led by the All-India Muslim League under the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The event was brought forth by the Indian Independence Act 1947 under which the British Raj gave independence to the Dominion of Pakistan which comprised West Pakistan (present-day Pakistan) and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). In the Islamic calendar, the day of independence coincided with Ramadan 27, the eve of which, being Laylat al-Qadr, is regarded as sacred by Muslims.

The main Independence Day ceremony takes place in Islamabad, where the national flag is hoisted at the Presidential and Parliament buildings. It is followed by the national anthem and live televised speeches by leaders. Usual celebratory events and festivities for the day include flag-raising ceremonies, parades, cultural events, and the playing of patriotic songs. A number of award ceremonies are often held on this day, and Pakistanis hoist the national flag atop their homes or display it prominently on their vehicles and attire.

Happy New Year 2018

Happy NEW YEAR:  It’s time to bid 2017 a goodbye and lets hope for a bright new year set in. As every year ends, people spend time evaluating the time gone by and make plans for the year to come. The new year brings hopes and promises to accomplish all that one couldn’t in the past year. Whether it is improving your skills or going on new adventures, the new year gives 12 new chapters and 365 new chances. Many people set personal goals to achieve in the new year. It is also the time when people plan and list out their new year resolutions in order to prove   themselves better in their lives. If you’re among those looking to create a better tomorrow – one with new possibilities and new dreams to be fulfilled – and need some inspiration to follow through on those plans, these quotes will give you the motivation. Everyone knows that change of any kind is never easy and it may take one sometime in order to achieve the target one has set for themselves. However, it is not impossible and these quotes will motivate you to welcome 2018 with enthusiasm and excitement. Happy new year!

Pakistan ranked world’s leading adventure travel destination

LONDON: The British Backpacker Society, an adventure travel project followed by thousands of people online, has declared Pakistan to be the world’s leading adventure travel destination.

The British Backpacker Society announced the result after having counted down the top 20 adventure travel countries throughout the course of the year and implored travelers to visit. Samuel Joynson of the British Backpacker Society, who visited Pakistan with his colleague Adam Sloper, told The News that the team has travelled to over 100 countries worldwide and described Pakistan as a “clear winner”.

The British Backpacker Society announcing the #1 ranking described Pakistan as “one of the friendliest countries on earth, with mountain scenery that is beyond anyone’s wildest imagination”. The article particularly recommended travel on the Karakoram Highway, contending that taking the road from Islamabad to the Pakistan-Chinese border on the Khunjerab Pass is “the world’s greatest road-trip”.

Samuel Joynson, 26, and Adam Sloper, 25, both from southern England visited Pakistan in the summer of 2016, crossing the Indian-Pakistani border at Wagah before spending a few days in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad. From Islamabad, they travelled overland through the Kaghan Valley to Naran, before heading over Babusar Top to Gilgit. They finished their journey by heading to the idyllic Hunza Valley, where they climbed to the top of the Hon Pass (4257m) from Karimabad.

Samuel commented that adventure travel is at its best when it changes your perceptions and “I have never experienced this more than during my two weeks in Pakistan”. He told The News: “Travel in Pakistan is an experience that just keeps surprising. Whether it is gazing at the astonishing peaks of the Karakoram, dining in the delicious back-street restaurants of Rawalpindi, or finding a new group of friends on a long-distance bus journey, it is a country that offers tourists a new intrigue at every corner. I have no doubt that as the story of Pakistan’s wonders spreads to travelers around the world, the country will enjoy a true renaissance of international tourism and adventurous travelers will soon be filling the markets of Lahore and the hiking shops of Hunza. I wish the Pakistani tourism industry all the best on this journey, and hope that the British Backpacker Society can assist Pakistan in this endeavour wherever possible!”

Adam Sloper added: “The only real concern for tourists in Pakistan is the number of selfies that they will be asked to bein. I would advise all prospective visitors to prepare to smile for the camera, and get ready to enjoy some of the best hospitality on earth.”

The British Backpacker Society has ranked the top 20 adventure travel destinations as: Pakistan, Russia, India, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Tajikistan, China, Georgia, Uganda, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Jordan, Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, Algeria, Montenegro, Egypt, Rwanda, Uzbekistan and Kosovo.

The British Backpacker Society will be returning to Pakistan in 2018 to travel to Skardu and the base camp of K2. Noting the occasionally complex process for obtaining a tourist visa for the country, the team hopes that the Pakistani authorities continue to cut-back any red-tape in respect of issuing Pakistani tourist visas and permitting travel to Gilgit-Baltistan.

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According to new umrah policy 1439 of Saudi Government, we have highlighted these points,

  • Fee of 2000 Sr will impose on every passenger who performed umrah in previous year i.e during 2016-2017.
  • First-time traveler or the passenger who is travelling the first time in Islamic calendar year will not have to pay 2000 SR.
  • According to new umrah policy 1439 for Pakistan and 36 other Countries Finger prints of every passenger who intended to perform umrah will be collected by Etimad (Saudi authorized body).
  • Fee of finger print is almost 5 dollars.
  • Validity of finger print is three months and it will revoke on travel. If you get finger print today and travel tomorrow and again you need to get umrah visa and travel with in 3 month of previous travel you will have to get new finger prints receipt from etimad.

Previous Umrah Policies:

⇒If any person travels to perform umrah in the month of Muharram and again travel in the same year will have to pay 2000 for the second trip and so on.
⇒If any person travels to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on visa other then Umrah and travel again in the same year on Umrah visa will not have to pay 2000 SR.

• The person who never performs umrah before and the person who had not performed umrah in previous three years will not have to pay any tax.

• And, the person who had performed umrah in previous three years (2014,2015,2016) will have to pay 2000SR. Kindly note, this condition only apply if you had performed umrah on umrah visa if you went on visit visa or any other this fee will not apply. also, note that This fee of 2000SR will be collected by travel agents.


 According to new umrah policy, any person who enters Kingdom frequently but not on Umrah visa will not have to pay 2000SR for umrah visa. I have done Hajj in the year 2016 but I have not done Umrah in consecutive 3 years so these charges are not applicable to me.


IF you able to change any number of passport you can able to save this 2000SR even though you are travelling for the second time in a year. But by changing the number I don’t say amend manually but you can make new passport in such case the last digit will change and SR2000 will not reflect in the agent system.


Above mentioned solution is just what we think but there is above 50 percent chance that at the airport of Royal kingdom of Saudi Arabia they will charge 2000SR there and penalised the Saudi Companies also. The above-mentioned solution in just theory and we didn’t do any experience so the use of above solution is your choice.

How to check whether 2000SR fees are applicable or not?

Go to app store on your android mobile and search for Umrah eservices. Download the app you will able to check visa status and fee of 2000 Sr is applicable or not.

Second option click eservices umrah and enter nationality, captcha and passport number to check whether fee is applicable or not.

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Quaid’s 141st birth anniversary being celebrated today

KARACHI: The nation is celebrating the 141st birth anniversary of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the father of the nation throughout the country with national fervor today.

All the arrangements have been finalized for the change of guard ceremony would be held at the Quaid’s mausoleum in Karachi in the morning.

Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and other high officials would visit the mausoleum to pay homage to the father of the nation, where they will place floral wreaths and offer Fateha.

To mark the day, several programs including seminars, conferences and sports events have been arranged in different cities and towns to pay tribute to the great leader and highlight his life and leadership who acquired a separate homeland for the Muslims of sub-continent.

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Chinese firm blacklisted for making false claims

LAHORE: The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) on Thursday blacklisted Chinese company Jiangsu Yabaite Co Ltd and fined it 900,000 yuan for alleged forgery and fraud.

According to a press release, Yabait had claimed that it had earned Rs2.5bn from the Multan Metro Bus project and sent it to China.

Highlighting the claim of the Chinese company, a section of of the Pakistani media said Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was involved in money laundering and had sent a huge amount of kickbacks to China through Yabaite.

Shahbaz had condemned the media reports and served legal notices on some media organisations over alleged misreporting. The case of alleged money laundering was then referred to the FIA by SECP and later the NAB’s Multan wing launched an investigation into the project to look into money laundering, if any.

The Punjab government also held an inquiry into the allegations and learnt that Yabait had never worked for the Multan Metro project nor any project contractors had acquired its services at any stage.

The Chinese government investigated the matter and imposed a heavy fine on the company chairman and blacklisted it. Its other officials were also penalised.

The Yabait, through a letter, has confessed to committing the crime and accepted the sentence given by the Chinese government. It admitted that the money sent to China by it has no connection with Metro Bus and this letter is available at company’s website.

The CSRC official website also contains the Yabait letter.

Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2017

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Desert Spring Festival kicks off in Sharjah

The 23-day festival is targeted to provide a natural and recreational outlet to enable police staff and residents to spend the best time with their family.

The Sharjah Police launched the second Spring Desert Festival on Wednesday at the desert park in Dhaid city’s Al Batayeh area.

The 23-day festival is targeted to provide a natural and recreational outlet to enable police staff and residents to spend the best time with their family. It also includes cultural and community events, which are organised at the theatre of the new park established by the Sharjah Police in the heart of the desert and is surrounded by majestic sand dunes in Al Kihaif.

The first day of the festival witnessed a number of entertainment activities, cultural competitions, theatre performances, folklore and popular competitions while the police band created an atmosphere of fun for families and children.

The activities are designed to strengthen the ties between the members of the family and to enjoy the beauty of nature, away from the routine of work.

The festival on its first day welcomed visitors of different categories who expressed their happiness for what they have seen from a variety of innovative activities. The police also distributed prizes for the winners of the competition.

Brigadier Abdullah Mubarak bin Amer, deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Sharjah Police, said that the second Spring Desert Festival said that the park was inaugurated last year by Brigadier Saif Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of the Sharjah Police.

He said the desert park is the “first of its kind in the country”. “It has been established as part of the police’s efforts to make its staff happy. It will give opportunities for families of the police staff and the general public to camp in the desert in a safe environment that offers the best facilities.

The park is equipped with a children’s play area, a cycling area, desert train, and separate majlis for men and women, designated grilling areas, food corners, a small zoo and football and volleyball courts.


Several flights delayed as thick fog engulfs Abu Dhabi

Visibility was between 500m to 1km, the National Center of Meteorology said

Residents in the Capital woke up to a dense cover of fog on Friday. The weather conditions affected both incoming and outgoing flights from the airport.

Entire Abu Dhabi City and western regions of Madinat Zayed, Ruwais, Sila and Ghayathi areas of Al Dhafra region were covered in fog. Visibility was between 500m to 1km, the National Center of Meteorology said.

With changing weather conditions, the NCM has urged residents to be on the alert.

“Residents should be careful while on the road and engaging in any outdoor activity,” the NCM said and urged residents to comply with advice issued by the authorities.

Making a forecast, the NCM said: “It will be fair to partly cloudy in general and hazy at times. There will be light to moderate winds. The relative humidity will increase during the night and early morning over some internal and coastal areas, with a chance of fog and mist formation.”

The Arabian Sea and Oman Sea are set to be slight to moderate.

Several flights delayed

There was overnight fog formation over Abu Dhabi International Airport and it affected travel plans of holidayers and weekend flyers as most of the flights got delayed.

Flights departing to Jeddah, Bahrain, Muscat, Cairo, Khartoum, Islamabad, New Delhi, Mumbai, Dhaka, Jakarta, Kathmandu, Colombo, Manila, Melbourne, Sydney, Los Angeles, Dallas, Dusseldorf, Seychelles, Paris, Puket, Athens, Rome, Dublin, Beirut and Amsterdam got delayed.

Also, flights arriving from Jeddah, Muscat, Bahrain, Kuwait, Cairo, New Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Brisbane and Dhaka were late by half-an hour to few hours.

“Abu Dhabi Airport experienced operational disruption early on Friday due to low visibility weather conditions,” Etihad Airways spokesman said.

“The airline continues to monitor the weather conditions and has contingency plans in place should there be any further disruption to its flight schedule.”

Passengers are advised to contact the Etihad Airways Contact Centre on +971 (0) 2599 0000 for information.


Dubai Govt Ban visas services for Pakistani passport holders

Dubai : To celebrate the beginning of the new year and Christmas, 300,000 Pakistani reached Dubai, however, the rest aspiring to are in for disappointment as new applications for visit visa are being denied, according to Chairman Travel Agents Association Naeem Ashraf

The association chairman said that the applications sent to Dubai visit visa on Monday were rejected without reason.

He said that the applicants have been issued a notice,advising not to file new applications.

Vice President Nadeem Ashraf  said that due to a huge number of Pakistanis being already present in Dubai, the new applications will not be accepted for now especially the time around new year and Christmas.

The restriction is temporary and will be lifted in January, said Ashraf.

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