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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

 

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American Muslim leader says inter-faith dialogue critical to fostering peace -
WASHINGTON, April 16 (APP): A prominent American Muslim leader has urged a sustained inter-faith dialogue effort towards fostering mutual understanding, peace and socio-economic development in the post-9/11 world, riddled with wars and violent extremism. Frank Islam, a leading entrepreneur and philanthropist, was speaking  at premiere screening of acclaimed Pakistani scholar Akbar S Ahmed’s play Noor, which focuses on implications of conflict between forces of moderation and extremism within the Muslim societies and the United States’ strained relationship with some Muslim countries.


UN rights expert urges Israel to prevent settlers’ takeover of West Bank building near Ibrahami Mosq -
UNITED NATIONS, April 15 (APP): A United Nations human rights expert Tuesday urged Israel to prevent settlers from taking over Al-Rajabi House, a building in the West Bank city of Hebron that was built by Palestinian families but whose ownership was granted to the settlers after a protracted legal battle. The four-story building capable of housing 40 families is located  strategically between the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba and the Ibrahami Mosque, also known as Cave of Patriarchs, in the old city of Hebron.


Iran protests UN Ambassador's visa denial -
UNITED NATIONS, April 15 (APP): Iran has lodged a protest at the United Nations over the U.S. refusal to grant a visa to its new U.N. ambassador, saying the move sets a "dangerous" precedent. The White House has said that Iran's selection of Hamid Aboutalebi to be  its United Nations envoy is not "viable". Aboutalebi was reportedly involved with a group of Iranian students responsible for the 1979 takeover of the U.S.



Pakistan set to reap benefit from Chinese experience -
BEIJING, Apr 15 (APP): Pakistan enthusiastically participates in all regional cooperation initiatives led by China whether they are strategically important or economically crucial, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA). Equated by some with the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the latest BFA just concluded in South China’s Hainan Province, reports infuential English daily Global Times. Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif delivered a plenary speech titled “Reviving the Silk Road.” The forum reflects the major contours of the Asian Century under the dynamic leadership of a rising China. Chinese


UN expert urges less military spending, more investment in development -
UNITED NATIONS, April 14 (APP): A United Nations expert Monday called on all governments to boost transparency and cuts in military expenditures, and increase investments in nutrition, health, environmental protection and other major sustainable development challenges. “Every democracy must involve civil society in the process of establishing budgets, and all sectors of society must be consulted to determine what the real priorities of the population are,” Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order Alfred de Zayas said in a statement marking the Global Day of Action on Military Spending.


Sport News
Indo-Pak clash, dire need of subcontinent: Zaheer Abbas
ISLAMABAD, Apr 15 (APP): Asian Bradman Zaheer Abbas while praising the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi for doing all-out efforts for the Indo-Pak clash said Pakistan and India face-to-face is just like the Ashes series of the subcontinent.After an ICC meeting in Dubai, the PCB announced it would conditionally support the reforms to be officially signed in June this year which Sethi said will bring major benefits to Pakistan. Sethi had said that Pakistan will get eight years of series, including archrivals India, earning $300 million, after agreeing to the revamp of the game’s governing body.
 
Keeping Pakistani players away from IPL is a great blow: Wasim Akram
ISLAMABAD, Apr 15 (APP): Former captain Wasim Akram feels keeping Pakistani players away from the Indian Premier League (IPL) is a great blow for cricket-lovers saying mixing sports and politics won’t do any good. Pakistani players have been barred from participating in the IPL since 2008. Howevevr, Akram feels this is the right time for the Pakistani players to be reinstated, for the benefit of subcontinental sports fans.Akram, who is the bowling coach for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), said whenever Pakistan and India players have played either against each other  or together, they have attracted lot of crowds. “I hope in near future Pakistani players will be able to participate because we have great talent,” Pakpassion.net quoted Akram as saying.
 
21th Jeevay Pakistan cycle rally to start on April 23
MUZAFFARGARH, Apr 13 (APP): The 21th Jeevay Pakistan cycle rally will leave for Islamabad, here from April 23, Wednesday. The rally titled ‘Anti-drugs and love with sports’ will start from Missali Public school Muzaffargarh and conclude at Jinnah Stadium Islamabad on May 8. A meeting with Commissioner Dera Ghazi Khan Division, Suhail Shahzad was held in the chair at Commissioner’s office on Sunday to review arrangements for the rally. Commissioner DG Khan lauded for holding cycle rally and urged the participants of the rally to play their role in eradicating menace of narcotics and promote sports and other positive activities.
 
Malik Saad Memorial Snooker Cup begins, Saleh, M. Asif, Asif Toba advance
PESHAWAR, Apr 12 (APP): Former World Amateur Snooker Champion, Muhammad Asif, former World No. 2 Saleh Muhammad and current National Championship Muhammad Asif Toba recorded easy sailing on the opening day of the first Malik Saad Shaheed Memorial Snooker Cup, which got under way here at Snooker Club Gulbahar on Saturday. Surprisingly no one is there for inauguration the prestigious snooker championship despite participating of big guns of the game here in provincial metropolis. The tournament is being organized by Malik Saad Shaheed Sports Trust with former World Amateur Snooker Champion Muhammad Asif is the top seed, former world no. 2 Saleh Muhammad is seeded second and current national champion who won the 39th edition of the National Championship, is seeded third.
 
Peshawar District Handicap Twenty20 Cricket begins
PESHAWAR, Apr 12 (APP): Peshawar White defeated Peshawar Red by four wickets in the opening match of the Peshawar Dsitrict Handicap Twenty20 Cricket Tournament, which got under way here at Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium on Saturday. President of the Peshawar District Handicap Cricket Association and Governor National Youth Assembly Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Muhammad Amar Khan was the chief guest on this occasion who formally inaugurated the tournament in which a total of four teams from Peshawar District are taking part. Organizing Secretary, Syed Jaffar Shah, Coordinators Khalid Aman and Kifayat Ullah, Amjad Khan, players, officials were also present.
 
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Indo-U.S. N.deal aggravates strategic tensions in South Asia: nuclear experts PDF Print E-mail
ISLAMABAD, Feb. 1, (APP): The U.S. nuclear deal with India has negatively impacted the deterrence stability in South Asia, as it has enabled India to fast track its fissile stockpiles that will enable it to spare more fissile material for its nuclear weapons programme. This was the dominant perspective at a roundtable on ‘Imperatives of Strategic Stability in South Asia: Challenges and Prospects” organized by the Institute of Regional Studies (IRS), here on Tuesday. 
Mr. Toby Dalton, Deputy Director, Nuclear Policy Programme, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, was the guest speaker of the roundtable discussion, which was participated by subject and policy experts, scholars, and serving and retired government officials.
In his talk, Mr. Dalton expressed deep concern over the future of strategic stability in South Asia and strongly felt that “strategic stability is weakening, in particular the crisis stability.”
“Conventional wisdom on South Asian stability among U.S. analysts is that since its nuclearization in 1998, the region’s strategic stability is weakening,” said Mr. Dalton in his opening remarks.
“Pakistani officials plan against worst-case assumptions about Indian intentions and capabilities.”
Mr. Dalton observed that increase in India’s conventional and nuclear capabilities, aided by the U.S.-India strategic partnership are perceived to threaten the survivability of Pakistan’s strategic deterrent.
His pessimism was based on three main challenges to nuclear stability in the region that emerged from improvement in technology leading to growth of nuclear weapons on both sides; evolution of conventional and nuclear postures - moving away from minimum deterrence; shortened crisis time lines as each side (India and Pakistan) ‘seeks to make maximum use of conventional and nuclear advantages; and finally, an open ended question mark whether Sino-India rapprochement will contribute to strategic stability in South Asia or not.
The discussion that followed strongly challenged this U.S. perception and discriminatory policy over nuclear stability regime in the region.
Mr. Adil Sultan said that the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal is a non-proliferation disaster. He pointed out that the Fissile Material Control Treaty (FMCT) is “Pakistan specific” and is meant to restrain Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities. If the international community has any reservations over Pakistan’s position on FMCT, which is entirely based on principles of international law, it may go ahead as Pakistan’s stockpiles are too small and that too in safe hands and thereby pose no threat to international security.
Prof. Nazir Hussain said that if Kashmir issue is resolved, half of the problem would be over. He said that on the one hand, the U.S. is defending the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal and on the other, it is blaming Pakistan on nuclear issues, which is a blatant contradiction of American policies towards South Asia.
Mr Bashir Ahmad, acting President IRS, said that the South Asian region is beset with strategic instability and pointed out that international community is not playing its positive role to ease out strategic tensions in the region. Furthermore, the Indo-U.S. deal has aggravated this problem.
Former ambassador, Asif Ezdi emphasized that the U.S. should assure Pakistan by offering a nuclear energy deal similar to the Indo-U.S.  deal. The U.S. has meted out a discriminatory attitude towards Pakistan by indirectly legitimizing India’s nuclear program in the form of the civil nuclear deal, and de-legitimizing Pakistan’s nuclear programme.
Dr. Shaheen Akhtar pointed out that America’s strategic backing to India is going to create strategic imbalance in South Asia. She said that the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal has fast tracked India’s fissile stockpiles and enhanced Indo-U.S. military cooperation which does not auger well for strategic stability in the region.
Ammara Durrani commented that it seems as if the U.S. is not willing to move on from its “conventional fears” viz-a-viz both India and Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, and highlighted the emerging new role of democratic political leadership and diplomacy - as opposed to conventional security tactics—in defusing the 2008 Mumbai crisis.
 

     

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