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Saudi women driving ban ends

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Saudi Women allowed to drive

Saudi women are officially allowed to drive after a ban ended at midnight (Saudi Arabia time).

The Saudi government had earlier announced to end the decades-old ban in September

The Saudi government, largely under Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s leadership, had announced last September to end the decades-old ban. It started issuing driving licenses to women earlier this month.

It should be noted that Saudi Arabia was the only country left in the world where women were not allowed to drive.

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Saudi Women allowed to drive

Families previously had to hire expensive chauffeurs to drive female relatives.

The move comes amid an intensified crackdown on activists who campaigned for the right to drive

The decision to allow women to drive, however, came after an aggressive campaign by various women’s rights groups for the right to drive last year.

The Saudi government has since arrested the activists and the detained could face trial in the Saudi counter-terrorism court and could receive heavy fines and long prison sentences, human rights group Amnesty reported.

They include Loujain al-Hathloul, a well-known figure in the campaign for women’s driving rights.

Amnesty has also called for wider reforms in Saudi Arabia, where women remain subject to male guardianship laws.

 

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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.

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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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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, 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.

Berlin

Bus in Berlin. Photo: Irfan Aftab

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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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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.

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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.

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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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