ISLAMABAD: Hundreds of teachers, mostly females, from different provinces, Azad Kahmir and Gilgit-Baltsitan working in Islamabad under the wedlock policy continued protesting against Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) demanding withdrawal of their repatriation orders.
Starting their protest from outside the press club and then at D-Chowk on Jan 11, the teachers have been staging a sit-in outside Parliament House for four days but no government functionary came to listen to their grievances.
The wedlock policy was evolved by the government in 1998 to protect family units. Under this policy, working couples are entitled to live and work at the same station. However, the FDE issued orders for repatriation of about 300 teachers and sent the repatriation and relieving ordered to them through Whatsapp.
The female teachers are of the view that they have spent 15to 20 years of their service in Islamabad and their children are continuing education and they cannot shift to their native areas in KP, Balochistan, Punjab, Sindh, AJK and GB, leaving behind their families in the federal capital.
They said over 57 teachers had obtained permanent no-objection certificates (NOCs) from their parent departments on the direction of the FDE about six years back for absorption but the FDE also ordered their repatriation.
The teachers said they would continue their protests till their repatriation orders were withdrawn and those having permanent NOCs were absorbed by the FDE.
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ISLAMABAD, Jan 26 (APP): Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, while reaffirming Pakistan’s commitment to multilateral cooperation for preserving peace, preventing conflict and realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on Tuesday announced a token contribution of 25,000 dollars to the Secretary General’s Peace-building Fund.
“The pledge underscores Pakistan’s longstanding political, human and financial commitment to UN’s endeavors in peacekeeping and peace-building,” Qureshi said while speaking in a virtual High Level Replenishment Conference for UN Secretary General’s Peace-building Fund.
The Foreign Minister said like most developing countries, Pakistan has been severely affected by COVID-19 pandemic, stretching our healthcare systems, contracting our economy and constricting our fiscal space.
“Yet despite our ongoing financial difficulties, I am pleased to announce a token contribution of 25,000 dollars to the Secretary General’s Peace-building Fund,” he added.
The Foreign Minister said as a major troop and police contributing country, Pakistan took pride in its rich UN peacekeeping history.
“Over the last 60 years, our peacekeepers have represented the blue flag in 46 UN Missions across 4 continents of the world,” he added.
The Foreign Minister welcomed the UN Secretary General’s Peace-building Fund Strategy 2020-2024 which focused on the imperative of conflict prevention.
“I hope the strategy will galvanize actions to address the root causes of conflicts: which arise from injustices and inequality as well, as the suppression of the fundamental rights of peoples especially the right of self-determination of peoples under foreign occupation, colonial oppression and alien domination,” he added.
The Foreign Minister further said that together with a ‘quantum leap’ in support for the Fund, an effective strategy was required to optimize its scope and impact.
While the Fund may continue financing projects directly in conflict-prone countries, its resources could also be utilized to prepare viable projects for seeking investment from other sources, including multilateral Development Banks as well as Private Equity and Sovereign Wealth Funds, he added.
The Foreign Minister said that a major handicap of developing countries in mobilizing international investment was their inability to prepare commercially viable projects.
“Let us leverage the Peace-building Fund to support these countries in bringing projects to a bankable feasibility status,” he added.
The Foreign Minister, however emphasized that ‘national ownership’ must remain the core principle of peace-building and determine all PBF investment decisions. “Durable peace within nations cannot be externally imposed,” he maintained.
MIRPUR (AJK): Jan 26 (APP): Kashmiris on Tuesday observed the Indian Republic Day as black day to reiterate complete dissociation towards India and to apprise the world of the urgency of the early peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute in line with aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
The day also marked severe hatred and protest against the continued long Indian subjugation of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) as well as against the continued massive human rights abuses in the valley.
Kashmiris observe the Indian Republic Day as black day every year to protest and apprise the world of the continued brutalities and massacre of the innocent Kashmiris and the massive violations of human rights by the Indian occupying forces in IIOJK and the importance of early peaceful resolution of the 74 year old Kashmir dispute.
This year, too, Kashmiris observed the Indian Republic Day as black day at the time when the hardliner Modi-led Indian government, by violating all international norms and commitments on the global issue of Jammu Kashmir, scrapped special status of the internationally-recognized disputed status of the Jammu Kashmir revoking article 370 and article 35-A of her (India) constitution through August 5, 2019 sinister act at the gun point through fresh deployment of at least a million of its occupational military and para-military troops in IIOJK, turning the occupied valley the largest prison on the planned for the last 17 months.
Besides the observance of the day also aimed at to apprise the world community of the continued hostile attitude of India denying Kashmiris their legitimate right to self determination and deviating all international norms escaping from the peaceful solution of the much delayed Kashmir issue.
Call for observing black day was given by All Parties Hurriyat Conference and various freedom-monger Kashmiri parties and was fully supported and backed by the AJK government.
In Azad Jammu & Kashmir the protest rallies and demonstrations against continued illegal Indian occupation of a bulk part of the Himalayan State of Jammu & Kashmir in all ten districts of the liberated territory, were the hallmark of the day.
The day also mark complete solidarity with the freedom-loving people of IIOJK in their just and principled struggle for freedom and for the achievement of their legitimate right to self determination.
The protest rallies followed by processions were held by various social, political and public representative organizations representing people of all spheres of life including lawyers, journalists, members of the business community, laborers, students and social and political workers to express hatred against the Indian imperialism besides protesting against the continued denial of all global norms and commitments on Kashmir and the persistent deviation and denial of the Kashmiris birth right to self determination since over last 74 years by India.
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ISLAMABAD, Jan 26 (APP): The Cabinet Committee on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CCoCPEC) on Tuesday reviewed the progress on various projects undertaken by the Working Groups under CPEC.
A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CCoCPEC) was held under the Chairmanship of Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar here, said a press release issued by Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives.
The meeting was briefed on the overall progress of CPEC projects in Industrial Cooperation, Energy, Infrastructure, Gwadar, Science and Technology, Socio-Economic Development, Agriculture, Transport and Communications and issues faced in the implementation of these projects.
The committee noted that significant progress had been achieved on various projects. Chair stated that CPEC is a priority project for enhancing Pak-China economic cooperation.
He stressed that the Ministries/Divisions should maintain the momentum of CPEC projects and follow the timelines for early completion of projects.
He said that the second phase of CPEC which focuses on industrial cooperation will significantly enhance the benefits of CPEC for both sides.
The committee also emphasized that unresolved inter- ministerial issues should be brought before the CCo-CPEC directly by the respective Ministries along with recommendations for their resolution.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Quareshi, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Federal Minister for Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar, Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati, Abdul Razak Dawood Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Advisor to Prime Minister for Institutional Reforms & Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission and official of various Ministers and Divisions.
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KARACHI, Jan 26 (APP): Scores of villagers belonging to Rehri Goth, located in the coastal area of Karachi were provided with an opportunity to be examined and provided with treatment, in accordance to their needs, by a team of experts almost at their door steps, here on Tuesday.
During the free medical camp organized by Green Star many people, mostly women, were found to be suffering from diabetes mellitus besides tuberculosis and some also inflicted with breast cancer.
The doctors referred many of these people to hospitals while asking others for follow-ups. Rehri Goth is among the most dilapidated and ignored areas of Karachi where vast majority of people are living beneath the poverty line and hence this free camp was no less than a blessing for them.
A mother of an ailing child said her son was ill for past many days but she could not visit any physician because she had no money to bear the expenses.
Another woman said she was not only examined by experts but also provided medicines absolutely free of cost.
The Free Medical Camp held with due provision for all necessary COVID induced SOPS was also visited by former MPA, Mehtab Akber Rashdi.
She on the occasion highlighting importance of free medical camps in the under privileged areas said presence of hundreds of women in the camp showed the dismal affairs of the health system in coastal villages.
Ms. Rashdi urged the area elders to look after the health of women and children as they are the most neglected segments of the community .
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KARACHI, Jan 26 (APP): Governor of Sindh, Imran Ismail here on Tuesday inaugurated a state of art operation theater for children with cleft palate and lips at Al Mustafa Trust Hospital, with the support of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).
On the occasion, he felicitated Haji Hanif Tayyab, Chairman, Al-Mustafa Trust and TIKA Coordinator, Ibrahim Katirci for upgradation and expansion of the surgical intervention facilities for children inflicted with a condition that if not treated timely hold a debilitating impact on their personalities and lives.
Appreciative of the fact that so far more than 60,000 surgeries have been performed and cited condition corrected of the kids belonging to families with limited resources, Imran Ismail thanked the people of Turkey for coordinating with Pakistanis in the fields of health service, education, I.T and so-forth through the platform of TIKA.
“TIKA reminds us of the historical ties between the people of the two brotherly countries,” said the governor.
Acknowledging the service rendered by Surgeon Mohammad Ashraf Ganatra and his team for committing themselves for the much needed cause, Governor Imran Ismail also paid tributes to the local philanthropists for coming forward to help humanity and focusing on public service with the motive to ease the miseries of less fortunate and ultimately please their Creator, The Allah.
He also assured to help find a proper site for establishment of Al Mustafa cardiac unit in Karachi adding that organizations managed by selfless people like Haji Hanif Tayyab and his dedicated team comprising doctors, managers and development experts must be duly acknowledged.
Haji Hanif Tayyab in his detailed presentation discussed series of public welfare projects undertaken by the organization.
In particular context of Cleft Palate and Lip Repair project for Children, he said more than 60,000 surgeries had been performed free of cost and provision for an updated and modernized would further strengthen the scheme aimed to help children a confident and complex free future, that was a mentally,physically and emotionally stable life for these kids suffering from a congenital defect.
He also referred to assistance provided by the Consulate of Japan in Karachi for Cleft Palate and Lips Treatment Center in form of operation theater gadgets and x-rays machines.
Haji Hanif Tayyab said TIKA has also provided needed support for the welfare trust’s educational endeavors.
TIKA Program Coordinator for Karachi, Ibrahim Katirci also spoke on the occasion.
ISLAMABAD, Jan 26 (APP): Pakistan Railways has directed the concerned quarters to expedite the efforts for retrieval of department’s precious land by launching crackdown against the land mafia.
The directives had been issued by Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati and in that regard he would hold meeting with all chief ministers for their assistance to retrieve Pakistan Railways land from encroachers, an official told APP.
Giving details of the land, he said Pakistan Railways owned 167,690 acres of land across the country, of which 90,326-acre is in Punjab, 39,428-acre in Sindh, 28,228-acre in Balochistan and 9,708-acre in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
To a question, he said Pakistan Railways had recovered around 383 acres precious land worth over Rs 30 billion under its anti-encroachment operation across the country during last two years.
“The encroachment operation has been launched with the assistance of railway police and district administrations,” he added.
He said in a recent opertation against land grabbers, the Rawalpindi Division had retrieved over seven acres railway land worth over Rs 116 million from the land encroachers.
He said the Geographic Information System (GIS) survey had also been conducted under the project of computerization of railway land records in which all the encroachments and leases had been recorded in the Pakistan Railways Land Management Information System (PRLMS) software.
The official said the database was under verification and being compiled. For the last two years, he said, Pakistan Railways has been doing its utmost to get the problem of land encroachment resolved where thousands of acres of land had been occupied for commercial, residential and agriculture purposes.
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UNITED NATIONS, Jan 26 (APP):A group of UN human rights expertsnhave urged the Sri Lankan Government to end its policy of forced cremation of the bodies of coronavirus victims, saying it ran contrary to the beliefs of Muslims and other minorities in the country, and could foment existing prejudices, intolerance and violence.
In a joint appeal issued in Geneva, Special Rapporteurs Ahmed Shaheed, Fernand de Varennes, Clement Nyaletsossi Voule and Tlaleng Mofokeng, said that no medical or scientific evidence indicated that burying the deceased increased the risk of spreading communicable diseases such as COVID-19.
To date, more than 270 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in Sri Lanka; a significant number have come from the minority Muslim community.
All of the deceased were cremated in line with the country’s amended health guidelines for COVID-19 patients, which were issued on last March.
“We deplore the implementation of such public health decisions based on discrimination, aggressive nationalism and ethnocentrism amounting to persecution of Muslims and other minorities in the country” the experts said.
“Such hostility against the minorities exacerbates existing prejudices, intercommunal tensions, and religious intolerance, sowing fear and distrust while inciting further hatred and violence”, they added.
“We are equally concerned that such a policy deters the poor and the most vulnerable from accessing public healthcare over fears of discrimination”, they said, noting that it would further negatively impact the public health measures to contain the pandemic.
Information received by the experts indicates that cremation often takes place immediately after test results are provided, without granting family members reasonable time or the opportunity to cross check or receive the final test results.
There have been several cases of cremations based on erroneous information about COVID-19 test results, the experts said, while noting that the President and Prime Minister had instructed the health authorities to explore options for burials in Sri Lanka.
“However, we are concerned to learn that the recommendation to include both cremation and burial options for the disposal of bodies of COVID-19 victims by a panel of experts appointed by the State Minister for Primary Health Services, Pandemics and COVID Prevention, was reportedly disregarded by the Government”, they said.
“We strongly urge the Government of Sri Lanka to stop the forced cremation of COVID-19 bodies, to take all necessary measures to combat disinformation, hate speech and stigmatization” of Muslims and other minorities, “as a vector of the pandemic, and to provide remedy and ensure accountability for cremations that were carried out by error.”
Pakistani batsman Azhar Ali batting during the first day of the first test match between Pakistan and South Africa cricket teams at National Stadium
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Pakistan’s batsman Shaheen Shah Afidi bowled by South Africa’s bowler Anich Nortie during first day of the first cricket test match between Pakistan and South Africa at National Stadium
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Ranger officials passing near burn drugs seized by custom officials at Wagah border to mark the International Custom Day
Custom officials destroying bottles of alcohol at the Wagah border to mark the International Custom Day
Pakistan’s bowler Nauman Ali in action during the first day of the first cricket Test match played between Pakistan and South Africa cricket teams at National Stadium
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