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Buses showcasing Pakistan’s beauty hit roads of Berlin on Independence Day

The iconic yellow buses of Berlin are carrying Pakistan as a brand on the streets of the city and to commemorate the country’s 71st independence, these vehicles are running under the theme titled ‘Emerging Pakistan’.

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Berlin

BERLIN, Germany: As Pakistanis celebrate the country’s 71st independence day all over the world, the iconic busses of Berlin got a makeover as well – the busses were see carrying Pakistan as a brand on the streets of the German capital.

“We are endeavouring to showcase beautiful Pakistan, [which is] perhaps the best-kept secret in the world of tourism,” Pakistan’s ambassador to Germany, Jauhar Saleem, told Pakistani media outlet Geo News.

The initiative is part of celebrations planned by the Embassy of Pakistan in Berlin for the 71st Independence Anniversary of Pakistan this year.

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Bus in Berlin. Photo: Irfan Aftab

Take a quick look: Top 10 schools of Pakistan

The buses have photos of Pakistan’s highest peaks, majestic landscapes, football that was made in Pakistan and played with in the FIFA World Cup 2018 and monuments representing the country’s magnificent architecture and diverse culture.

Berlin is full of tourists, especially during summer, who will get to see the buses daily.

The banners on the buses in Berlin aim to attract foreign tourists to Pakistan which remains unexplored by many.

For many Europeans, the northern areas of Pakistan offer a promising adventure, but the ancient civilisation of Moen-jo-Daro (mound of the dead) has also fascinated German archaeologists and researchers.

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Karachi ranked among world’s least livable cities

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU,) the research and analysis division division of the Economist Group, has ranked Karachi among the least livable cities in the world.

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Karachi

KARACHI, Pakistan: The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU,) the research and analysis division of the Economist Group, has ranked Karachi among the least livable cities in the world.

140 cities were ranked in the annual EIU survey on a range of factors, including political and social stability, education, crime, and access to healthcare.

Provincial capital Karachi was only able to top three cities, namely Damascus in Syria, Dhaka in Bangladesh, and Lagos in Nigeria, this year around, taking the 137th slot.

Karachi

DATA: ECONOMIST INTELLIGENCE UNIT

According to the EIU report, civil war and terrorism played a “strong role” in determining the worst performing cities.

The cities held the lowest ranks, 11 occupied the very bottom tier of livability, where ratings fell below 50 per cent and most aspects of living were severely restricted.

This is not only because stability indicators had the highest single scores but also because factors defining stability could spread to have an adverse effect on other categories, the EIU observed.

Take a quick look: Top 10 schools of Pakistan

The [low] rankings of these cities like Damascus, Karachi and Tripoli saw conflict responsible for many of the lowest scores.

Moreover, the survey found Middle East, Africa and Asia scoring the lowest ranks; due to the factors determining stability had adverse effects on other categories too.

The EIU stated that the only cities that had seen a decline in their stability indicators over the past six months were Abu Dhabi (71st) and Dubai (69th) in the United Arab Emirates, Colombo (130th) in Sri Lanka and Warsaw (65th) in Poland.

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Indus Motor to introduce Toyota Rush in Pakistan soon

Indus Motor Company (IMC) will import completely built units (CBU) of Toyota Rush from next month as it aims to capture the price segment between its Corolla and Fortuner vehicles amid increasing competition from green- and brown-field beneficiaries.

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Toyota Rush

KARACHI, Pakistan: The Indus Motor Company (IMC) has announced that it will start importing completely built units of Toyota Rush from next month.

Toyota dealers in Karachi confirmed that the company will launch the model next month. They expect the price to be between Rs3.8 million and Rs4.8 million.

Take a quick look: Top 10 schools of Pakistan

Mohammad Aziz, a dealer of used imported cars, told Pakistani media outlet Express Tribune that Toyota previously tested the market with the Hybrid Prius but the experiment failed.

“The new imported Prius was priced at Rs4.5 million while a couple of years old imported Prius was selling at half the price in the markey. One could literally have bought two cars in the price of new Prius,” he said.

Another dealer, Syed Anjum, said it would be plain stupidity of a person to buy a new Rush when they can buy 2013 Rush model for half the price.

However, he added that the market reaction would only be known once the car is officially launched next month.

Research analyst Farheen Irfan believes that the company has taken the initiative in order to maintain its market share when several new OEMs like Kia, Hyundai and Changan have prepared to tap Pakistan’s auto industry.

“Moreover, there’s a big gap between Toyota’s main brands. The company could have also thought to increase its presence at a segment in between them to cater to a larger market amid increasing competition,” she said.

Take a quick look: Once a city of gardens, Lahore is now a concrete jungle

However, she believes that under the present macroeconomic variables, no existing auto manufacturing company would think of starting another assembly plant in the country.

“This cannot be considered as a precursor that Toyota might establish an assembly plant for Rush in the future even if this experiment of selling CBUs is successful.”

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Imran Khan-led government plans to plant 10 billion trees in five years

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Billion Tree Tsunami

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Imran Khan-led government is set to plant 10 billion trees in its five years in office starting mid-August this year, Climate Change News reported.

Imran Khan, former world cup winning cricket captain’s political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won last week’s election. The party had campaigned on several environment initiatives and promised to deliver if voted into power. Among these promises was the promise to plant 10 billion trees in five years.

This ambitious pledge builds on Khan’s Billion Tree Tsunami, a reforestation project that added 350,000 hectares of trees in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa between 2014-2017. The aim was to restore the region’s depleted forests and fight the effects of global warming.

“If you plant trees, we have discovered, by the river banks it sustains the rivers. But most importantly, the glaciers that are melting in the mountains, and one of the biggest reasons is because there has been a massive deforestation. So, this billion tree is very significant for our future,” Khan told US media outlet Voice of America after the billionth tree was successfully planted last August.

It should be noted that Pakistan is no stranger to mass reforestation efforts. In 2013, the Sindh Forest Department at Kharochan in Pakistan’s Thatta district set a Guinness World record for planting 847,275 trees in 24 hours.

Erik Solheim, the head of the United Nations’ Environment Program, praised the new tree-planting program.

“Good to see this strong message from @ImranKhanPTI to plant 10 billion trees! Pakistan is one of the countries at the frontlines of climate change,” he tweeted.

Pakistan could run out of forests in the next 50 years

According to Pakistani media outlet Pakistan Today, the country has as little as 2.2 percent of total forest cover. Many experts in the forestry department have warned that Pakistan could very easily run out of forests in the next 50 years if nothing is done to tackle the deforestation problem.

What’s more, Pakistan is among the six countries that will be most affected by climate change, meaning that reforestation is critical to mitigate the impacts of global warming.

“PTI is the one party which has taken a bold initiative on the green platform,” Malik Amin Aslam, who drafted the climate section of the PTI manifesto and is poised to become environment minister, told Climate Home News. “Pakistan is facing the brunt of climate change, so I think climate preparation, making sure our development is totally climate compatible, our infrastructure is resilient to climate shocks, is going to be very high priority.”

The party’s environmental pledges include water conservation initiatives, green building codes and supporting clean energy. However, as Climate Change News pointed out, it also promotes increased use of domestic coal reserves from Thar province in order to reduce reliance on imports.

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