KARACHI: Pakistan’s exports of cement to South Africa may face serious problems as the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa has accepted an application in which it is alleged that Portland Cement imported from Pakistan is being dumped on the South African Customs Union (SACU) market.
The application was lodged by Afrisam (South Africa) (Proprietary), Lafarge Industries South Africa (Proprietary) Limited, NPC Cimpor (RF) (Proprietary) Limited and PPC Limited (the applicant) pleaded that Portland Cement, classifiable under tariff subheading 2523.29 arriving from Pakistan, was causing material injury to the SACU industry concerned.
The applicant submitted sufficient evidence and established a prima facie to enable the Commission to arrive at a reasonable conclusion that an investigation should be initiated on the basis of dumping, material injury and/or threat of material injury and casualty.
The period of investigation for purposes of determining the dumping in the country of origin will be from Jan 1, 2013 to Dec 31, 2013 while the period for determining material injury and/or threat of material injury will be from Jan 1, 2010 to Dec 31, 2013.
The allegation is based on a comparison between the normal value in Pakistan and the export price from Pakistan. The domestic selling price for Pakistan was determined based on a report by Genesis Analytics, titled “Pakistan cement price data for January 2013 to December 2013”. The export price for Pakistan was determined based on the official South African Revenue Service (SARS) import statistics. The dumping margin for Pakistan was determined to be 48 per cent.
On this basis, the Commission found that there was a prima facie proof of dumping, a threat of material injury and causal link.
Cement industry sources said that South Africa is the biggest market in terms of sea route where some 1.5 to 1.6 million tonnes of cement from Pakistan is exported, fetching around $125 million per annum. Some nine to 10 leading cement manufacturers were exporting cement to South Africa.
The application was brought on “Portland Cement” whether in “bulk” or “bagged cement”, and although the applicant provided injury information for the subject product, being “Portland Cement,” it requested the commission to focus the analysis of injury on “bagged cement” due to the following reasons:
Portland cement originating from Pakistan is imported in bag form only. There are no bulk cement imports from Pakistan.
This is because, it would be prohibitively expensive to import the product in any form other than in bagged form.
The bagged cement market comprises the major portion of the combined bag and bulk cement market (comprising the SACU industry). Bulk cement is used in large construction projects and sold to concrete product manufacturers, ready mix producers and blenders while bagged cement is mainly used in small construction projects. Bagged customers are mainly retailers which sell to customers for small projects.
It is, therefore, in the bagged cement market where Pakistani imports compete with the domestic industry and where the domestic industry is suffering material injury as clearly demonstrated in the injury information furnished.
RIYADH: A Pakistani national was beheaded by sword in the south west of Saudi Arabia on Wednesday for the murder of an Afghan, the interior ministry said.
Mohammed Ayub Ajab Khan was convicted of having killed Khair Mohammed Saz by striking him with several blows from a metallic object, according to a ministry statement carried by official SPA news agency.
The execution raises to 34 the number of executions announced in Saudi Arabia so far this year, according to an AFP tally.
Oil-rich Saudi Arabia has large communities of people from Asian countries, especially Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Rights watchdog Amnesty International on Monday denounced in a statement what it called a “disturbing surge” in the use of the death penalty in Saudi Arabia.
“The Saudi Arabian authorities must halt all executions,” it said after two sets of brothers were beheaded on Monday after being convicted of drug smuggling.
The rights group said Monday's beheadings brought the number of state killings in Saudi Arabia in the past two weeks to 17 -- a rate of more than one execution per day.
“The recent increase in executions in Saudi Arabia is a deeply disturbing deterioration. The authorities must act immediately to halt this cruel practice,” Amnesty's Said Boumedouha said.
Last year, there were 78 executions in Saudi Arabia and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights denounced a “sharp increase in the use of capital punishment”.
Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under the kingdom's version of Islamic sharia law.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has termed Indian accusations coming from the neighbouring country’s highest political levels as most unfortunate.
"It would be in the larger interest of regional peace that instead of engaging in a blame game, the two countries focus on resolving all outstanding issues through dialogue and work together to promote friendly and cooperative relations,” Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam said in a statement.
Referring to news reports on accusations attributed to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modiover Pakistan engaging in a proxy war, the spokeswoman recalled that Pakistan had consistently condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
The spokeswoman said such was the case especially since Pakistan’s leadership wishes to establish good, neighbourly relations with India.
"Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to India in May was in this spirit and generated a fresh momentum in the bilateral relationship,” she recalled.
Aslam pointed out that having lost the lives of 55,000 of its citizens as a result of terrorism, Pakistan was the biggest victim of the scourge.
"The entire world has time and again acknowledged the unprecedented sacrifices rendered by our valiant armed forces with over 5,000 soldiers having embraced Shahadat,” she remarked.
Responding to any form of threat from the eastern borders, the spokeswoman warned that Pakistan’s armed forces were ready to defend the country’s borders and thwart any threat of aggression.
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday night paid tribute to soldiers who have laid down their lives for Pakistan and in particular those who have died in Operation Zarb-i-Azb.
During his speech at Parliament House, Sharif urged the people of Pakistan to come forward and secure the country's future for the sake of freedom.
The prime minister said that Pakistan was determined to defeat terrorism.
"Pakistan's future is only safeguarded in democracy and the Constitution," he said.
He condemned any attempt to derail the democratic process in the country.
"We have all the resources to face the challenges that this country must tackle," Nawaz Sharif said.
When speaking of foreign affairs, the prime minister said that Pakistan was a peaceful country and wants good relations with all the nations of the world.
"We want a peaceful resolution to the Kashmir dispute," he said.
When speaking about Afghanistan, the prime minister said that Pakistan wants lasting peace in the neighboring country.
He spoke about the Israeli assault on Gaza and condemned it in the strongest terms.
Earlier PM Sharif arrived arrived at Parliament House where he is delivering a speech to commemorate Independence Day.
Among the people attending the parade include Chief Of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif along with Members of the Cabinet, and the elected assemblies.
ISLAMABAD: Army troops would soon be guarding sensitive buildings in Islamabad, and patrolling the streets later, as the federal government’s decision to deploy them in aid of the civil administration came into effect on August 1.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had sent shockwaves across the country last week by revealing that the government had issued a notification on July 24 to requisition services of the armed forces under Article 245 of the Constitution.
A day after a military spokesman disclosed on July 26 that the decision to call army was taken in a meeting, on the launch of the military operation against militants in North Waziristan, held on June 15, the minister accused those criticising the decision were making army controversial in a war-like situation. He said 352 troops were being requisitioned to assist police and other civic agencies secure Islamabad.
Also read: Political parties oppose govt move to deploy army in Islamabad
They would be deployed from August 1 at the call of district magistrate and operate under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997, he said. And provincial governments could similarly take help of the armed forces to ensure security.
A senior police official told Dawn, on condition of anonymity, that army troops had arrived in Islamabad just after the launch of the Zarb-i-Azb operation in mid June but had to wait for a legal cover for their deployment.
“So the government invoked Article 245 of the Constitution. Now army can be used for patrolling in city, security of important places and buildings,” he said.
“It has been decided to deploy five companies (of army) at the Presidency, the Prime Minister’s House, the Parliament House, buildings of the judiciary, the Foreign Office, Diplomatic Enclave and some other important buildings,” he said.
“One company will be deployed at Margalla Hills because sensitive places can be targeted from the hills. Moreover soldiers will also be deployed at the entry point of federal capital,” he said. “They might be deployed at entry points of capital from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but initially only the latter is being considered for such deployment,” said the police officer.
More on this: No fresh deployment in capital, says army
“Army soldiers will be all over the city and will be able to reach a hotspot in case of an emergency within 10 minutes. The army will coordinate with police and Rangers directly and through the district administration,” he said.
Senior Superintendent of Police Mohammad Ali Nekokara told Dawn that deployment of the soldiers under Article 245 will be finalised after consultation with the district administration.
“I believe that collaboration between the Army, police and district administration became necessary for national security in the wake of Operation Zarb-i-Azb. Police have been collaborating with all agencies. That is why not a single untoward incident has been reported in the federal capital since the launch of Operation Zarb-i-Azb,” he said.As of now SSP Nekokara did not feel the need to put troops on patrol duties in the city, however.
“They can be called to that duty if and when required,” he said.
ISLAMABAD: The German government has announced one million Euro in immediate assistance to support the relief activities of the World Food Programme (WFP) in the north-west of Pakistan through a project ‘Enhancing Food and Nutrition Security and Rebuilding Social Cohesion for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of North Waziristan tribal agency.
"The ongoing military operations have displaced significant parts of the population in that area; a fact which is exhibited in the recent exodus from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata)’s North Waziristan Agency," a spokesperson for German embassy in Islamabad said.
"The assistance would ensure the food security and nutrition of IDP in the north-west, support their return and facilitate recovery and would restore and stabilise the nutritional status of vulnerable populations in Pakistan’s most food-insecure areas," the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, sources in the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the organisation has provided medicines worth USD 250,000 for internally displaced persons (IDPs) from North Waziristan tribal region.
The sources further said that the medicines were sufficient to cater the needs of over 114,000 patients and added that necessary equipment was also provided to District Headquarters Hospital Bannu.
Pakistan's military launched Zarb-i-Azb operation against Taliban militants in North Waziristan Agency following a brazen attack on Karachi International Airport and failure of peace talksbetween govt and Taliban nominated negotiators.
Around one million IDPs belonging to 90,750 families had been registered since the beginning of the operation.
BANNU: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday said his government would build 2,000 homes for those displaced in the North Waziristan operation.
He said terrorists were trying to cause irreparable damage to Pakistan, adding that there was still time to take measures to improve conditions in the country.
The chief minister made these remarks while addressing those displaced as a result of the military operation under way in North Waziristan at the camp of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Baka Khel.
Accompanied by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Mehtab Abbasi, Shahbaz had arrived at the camp which is located in a vast open field a good half-hour drive from Bannu city to meet with the IDPs and distributed gifts among them.
Addressing the IDPs at the camp, Shahbaz said Operation Zarb-i-Azb was necessary to fight against those who wanted to enforce their own ideologies on the people of Pakistan.
Shahbaz moreover announced that a hospital, a university and Danish schools would be constructed in North Waziristan. He also promised that along with these ventures, he would ensure the construction of 2,000 houses in the tribal region.
The IDPs had started pouring in at the camp soon after the military launched an offensive against the Pakistani Taliban in the North Waziristan tribal region in mid-June.
The assault, which was rumoured for months, followed a brazen insurgent attack on Karachi airport that left dozens dead and a peace process with the Pakistani Taliban in tatters.
North Waziristan had become a major base for the TTP which rose up against the state in 2007, while the United States had long called for action in the area against militant groups targeting Nato forces in Afghanistan.
More than 500 militants and 27 soldiers have been killed in the assault so far, according to the military, though their death toll for insurgents cannot be independently confirmed.