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PDM dares Imran to identify MNAs who ‘sold votes’

“Imran Khan has said on national media that his party members have sold their votes. Imran Khan used to say that in the past they had sacked 20 members from the party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. If he still stands by his words and if he is speaking the truth then I challenge him to tell the names of those MNAs and remove them from the parliament,” said Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari while talking to reporters after his meeting with Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) vice-president Maryam Nawaz along with a party delegation, hours after the prime minister’s address to the nation.

Earlier, Ms Nawaz had attended a meeting of the general council of her party which was also addressed by PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif through video link from London, in which he once again delivered a hard-hitting speech and accused the “undemocratic forces” and “violators of the constitution” of “imposing an inexperienced and incompetent person on the nation” through fraudulent elections in 2018.

During the news conference with Mr Bhutto-Zardari, Ms Nawaz said that on one hand the prime minister was dubbing his party members as corrupt and thieves while on the other he was planning to seek a vote of confidence from the same members.

“With what face will you (PM) seek vote of confidence from those who, according to you, are available for sale,” she said.

Ms Nawaz said she had not heard the prime minister’s speech but people had told her that it was a speech by a “defeated person.” She said after his rejection by the members of his own party and “humiliating defeats” in the by-elections, the prime minister was fuming with anger and his state of mind was understandable.

Replying to a question about the prime minister’s criticism of the Election Commission of Pakistan, she said it was the same ECP which had been protecting the ruling party in the foreign funding case.

Asked what action the opposition parties had taken against their members who had ditched them during the vote of no-confidence motion against Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani last year, the PPP chairman said like Mr Khan, they had never called their members “thieves”. However, they formed a committee and taken action over it.

Mr Bhutto Zardari said the PDM would soon decide about the place and timing for moving a no-confidence motion against the prime minister and claimed that at that time more members sitting on the treasury benches would support them. He said they had defeated a “puppet government” and the whole nation was celebrating the victory of Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani in the Senate election.

Earlier, speaking at a news conference at Zardari House, the PPP chairman said that now the PDM would call the shots not Imran Khan who had lost confidence of his own members of the National Assembly. He said the democratic forces would now contest against this “selected and puppet government” for the Senate chairman office.

He said after the Senate defeat, the entire government addressed a press conference. He recalled that Imran Khan had once said that he would dissolve the government if the opposition won the Senate seat from Islamabad.

“Now he (PM) should have at least announced his own resignation,” he said.

The PPP chairman said Imran Khan now once again wanted to stage a drama in the next two days.

Responding to a question, he said they were in contact with their allies and Mr Gilani would be their candidate for the position of the Senate chairman.

He refuted the charge that the PPP had used money in the Senate poll and said Imran Khan had promised Rs500 million to every MNA of his party, adding that no one could compete the state in using money in elections.

Mr Bhutto-Zardari said every institution would have to remain within its own domain and the PPP had been struggling for it for the last three generations.

He said the “beginning of the end” had started for the government and it was “too late” for anyone to try to save the government now.

“Now this puppet show won’t continue, now this drama won’t continue,” he said.

He said Mr Gilani’s win had shown the world that the prime minister had lost the confidence of the National Assembly.

Pakistan still remain on FATF’s grey list until June

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Thursday said that Pakistan remains under “increased monitoring” when it comes to terror financing, therefore, it will remain on the grey list until June 2021.

The decision comes after a three-day virtual meeting of the FATF that began on February 22, during which steps taken by Pakistan against terror financing were reviewed.

Speaking via a live video link, the FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer said that while FATF recognises Pakistan’s counterterrorism efforts, there are still some serious deficiencies that the country needs to address.

“Out of the 27 conditions of the action plan, three still need to be addressed,” he said. “I recognise Pakistan’s efforts, and out of the six tasks that it had to complete, three had been done, but it substantially needs to work on the remaining three in terms of terror financing.”

Pleyer stressed that Pakistan must continue to work on the items that it has committed to and make sure that it meets all the requirements, adding that FATF will once again review Pakistan’s efforts in June 2021.

Replying to a question related to terrorists’ prosecution in Pakistan, he said that the body is “not an investigative organisation,” and that it “does not look at single incidents but takes a look at the entire framework” [to decide a country’s status].

He said that the risk of Pakistan being put on the blacklist had not gone, and that the country must continue to work on outstanding action points to fix its financial monitoring mechanisms.

“The deadline for Pakistan [to meet the 27 conditions] had expired, that is why the body had urged Pakistani authorities to ramp up their efforts in dealing with the items.”

Regarding India, he said that the country has been subjected to the “same rules as others,” adding that the watchdog would take a look at India when the time comes.

Pleyer added that FATF continues to monitor financial crimes and terror financing which have become more complicated due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Back in October 2020, FATF had acknowledged that of the 27 conditions that were put forth to Pakistan, 21 had been fulfilled while six were left.

At that time, Dr Pleyer had said that once the remaining six conditions are fulfilled, an “on-site visit” will be approved under which a team from the FATF will visit the country for the next review.

“Our discussions are confidential […] the members decided by consensus that Pakistan needs to complete these six items for an onsite visit to be granted.

Pakistan completed 90% of FATF’s requirements responding to the development, Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar said that Pakistan had completed as much as 90% of the FATF’s action plan.

The minister said that the FATF has acknowledged Pakistan’s high-level political commitment since 2018 that led to significant progress.

“It was also noted by FATF member countries that Pakistan is subject to perhaps the most challenging & comprehensive action plan ever given to any country,” he wrote on Twitter.

We are also subject to dual evaluation processes of FATF with differing timelines, the minister said.

“Pakistan remains committed to complying with both FATF evaluation processes and I would like to commend the hard work done by dedicated teams in multiple govt depts at Federal & provincial tiers,”.

Microsoft Finally Announces Windows 10 Version 21H1

We’ll never know what took so long, but Microsoft today formally announced Windows 10 version 21H1, and it released the first pre-release 21H1 build to the Beta channel of the Windows Insider program.

“Today, we are introducing the next feature update to Windows 10, version 21H1,” Microsoft’s John Cable writes in an announcement post that should have been published months ago. “For the first time[,] an H1 (first half of the calendar year) feature update release will be delivered in an optimized way using servicing technology, while continuing our semi-annual feature update cadence.”

In other words, Windows 10 version 21H1 is a very minor update, as we discussed the other day, or as Microsoft belabors it, this version “will have a scoped set of features improving security, remote access[,] and quality.”

New features will include multicamera support for Windows Hello and security-related performance improvements. And yeah, that’s it.

“Customers running either Windows 10 version 2004 or 20H2 who choose to update to the new release will have a fast installation experience because the update will install like a monthly update,” Cable continues. “For consumer or commercial users coming from versions of Windows 10 earlier than the May 2020 Update (version 2004), the process of updating to the new release will be the same as it has been and will work in a similar manner to previous Windows 10 feature updates, using the same tools and processes. As this Windows 10 release is targeted for the first half of 2021, all Windows 10 editions of version 21H1 will receive 18 months of servicing.”

Concurrent to this announcement, the Beta channel of the Windows Insider program has finally moved off of Windows 10 version 20H2, which was released several months ago, and onto 21H1, and it’s getting its first 21H1 build today.

Save Up to $585 on Galaxy Book Flex 13.3″ with S Pen in US & Canada

Samsung is running tons of discounts on several of its products this month, including a massive discount on its Galaxy Book Flex 13.3” QLED. The 2-in-1 PC that Samsung calls “revolutionary” is on a $400 discount in Samsung’s Canadian site and on a $585 discount in the US store.

“The Samsung Galaxy Book Flex features a vivid QLED display packed with lifelike detail and stunning colors, combined with an ultra-slim, convertible design,” the company writes. “A formidable 10th gen Intel Core processor delivers split-second responsiveness, and the Wireless PowerShare turns your trackpad into a charger.” The product comes with a Bluetooth-enabled S Pen, making it an extremely useful product for all kinds of educational and work needs.

Some of the Galaxy Book Flex specs include

  • Intel Core i7-1065G7 Processor
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • 13.3″ FHD QLED Display (1920 x 1080) with Touch Screen Panel
  • 8 GB LPDDR4x Memory (On BD 8 GB)
  • 512 GB NVMe SSD
  • Windows 10 Home
  • Multimedia:
    • AKG Stereo Speakers (Max 5 W x 2)
    • Smart Amp
    • SoundAlive
    • Internal Dual Array Digital Mic
    • 720p HD Camera
  • Network:
    • Bluetooth v5.0
    • Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+), 802.11 ax 2×2
  • Input:
    • Island-type keyboard
    • (Backlit keyboard)
    • Touch screen
    • S Pen
    • Clickpad
  • Security
    • TPM, FingerPrint Reader
  • Power
    • 4546mAh
    • 69.7 Wh (Typical)
    • 65 W USB-C Adapter
  • Included in the box: AC adapter(Wall mount) | Quick start Guide(paper) | Ejection pin | S Pen nib | Tweezers

Samsung promises to deliver Galaxy Book Flex by February 16 in the US; in Canada, it might take 2-3 weeks due to “extraordinary demand.”