Bazaar, a Pakistani online marketplace that connects retailers directly to wholesalers and manufacturers, has raised a $6.5 million seed round, the second largest ever in the Middle East and North Africa region and the largest in Pakistan, one of the venture capital firms that invested in the project said. Last year, Bazaar raised $1.3 million in Pakistan’s largest ever pre-seed round.
Lt-Gen (retd) Bilal Akbar has been appointed as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. He has replaced a career diplomat, Raja Ali Ejaz. Since the Saudi ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Maliki was from the Royal Saudi Navy and retired as Rear Admiral, both Islamabad and Riyadh now have former military men as each other’s ambassadors in their respective capitals.
The Pakistani science ministry and a newly-appointed chairman of the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, have agreed for the first time to work together and end the decades long ‘moon sighting’ controversy. Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad, the new chief of the moon sighting committee, said his committee would collaborate with the ministries of religion and science to gather scientific evidence to take a final decision.
Seven staff at one of Pakistan’s biggest power plants have been suspended after a technical fault sparked a massive grid breakdown at the weekend, plunging the entire country into darkness. The employees at Guddu thermal power plant in Sindh province were suspended “on account of the negligence of duty”. The suspended staff included a manager and six junior employees.
Lahore, the city of gardens, once an intellectual center of the Indian subcontinent and now considered the cultural heart of Pakistan, has been included in a list of ‘52 places to love in 2021’ by the international newspaper, The New York Times. The Times asked readers to “tell us about spots that have delighted, inspired and comforted them in a dark year.”
The Hazara University located in Manshera has issued a new dress code for the students, faculty and administration staff working there. Female students and staffers have been asked to wear an abaya, scarf and shalwar kameez instead of skinny jeans, tights and t-shirts. Excessive makeup, jewels and carrying large hand bags has also been forbidden.
A viral video on social media has shocked all of Lahore, after a family shared footage of a shawarma sandwich which was served with a dead rat’s meat inside it. Saleh Saleem posted on Facebook that his 10-year-old niece was about to consume the Middle Eastern dish at a local eatery but looked on in horror after finding the meat of the rodent inside.
Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leaders will be offered tea and snacks if they decide to stage a long march towards Rawalpindi, Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar, director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) has announced. DG ISPR’s comments were in response to Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s indication that the opposition could turn the direction of its anti-government movement towards the army leadership.
A UAE official has announced that the UAE will begin to end all measures taken against the State of Qatar, following the signing of the AlUla Declaration in Saudi Arabia recently. The UAE will work to re-open all land, sea and air ports for inbound and outbound movement, and that all relevant authorities in the UAE have been notified of these measures which will go into effect as of 9 January, 2021.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested a five-member gang for hacking email accounts of Punjab Police officers to gain access to the private data of citizens and selling it on WhatsApp. The gang had a network across Pakistan for sharing private data of citizens, including hacking, purchase, and sale of call detail records (CDR), ownership details, and National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA) records.