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Sunday, 14 February 2016

 

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AT U.N., Pakistan calls for delinking terrorism from religion -
maleeha_lodhi.jpgUNITED NATIONS, Feb. 14 (APP): Pakistan is making “focused efforts” to stamp out violent extremism and terrorism, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi has told the U.N. General Assembly, while slamming attempts by unprincipled politicians to build their political fortunes by spreading fear and the deliberate mischaracterization of people of other faiths or cultures. Speaking in the 193 member Assembly’s debate on the proposed UN Secretary General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, the Pakistani envoy regretted that the rising tide in the West of Xenophobia, in particular Islamophobia, had so far gone unchecked.


UN voices concern over Europeís restrictive measures as refugee and migrant influx continues -
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 13 (APP): With the number of refugees and migrants arriving in Europe showing no signs of easing in 2016, the United Nations refugee agency has expressed its concern over increasing restrictive measures on the part of European Member States and called for protecting the human rights of the more than 2,000 people who continue risking their lives every day to reach Europe. Speaking at a press briefing in Geneva, Melissa Fleming, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), underscored that despite rougher seas, harsh winter weather and numerous hardships endured upon arrival, more than 80,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Europe by boat during the first six weeks of 2016, with more than 400 dying in their attempt. Comparably, large numbers began arriving in Europe only by July 2015.


Pakistan snubs NYT for allegation over ISIS, Afghanistan -
WASHINGTON, Feb. 12  (APP): The Pakistan Embassy in the U.S. rejected a report carried out by the New York Times  (NYT) that blamed Pakistan for  deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, adding such accusation would harm the reconciliation process in that country. In a strong rejoinder to the editor, a spokesman for the embassy challenged the assertions made in the report titled "Pakistan's Hands in the Rise of International Jihad" and drew the attention of the author to the world praise for Pakistan for its role in fighting global terrorism.     



UN marks 1st Intíl Day of Women and Girls in Science -

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 12 (APP): More than ever today, the world needs science and science needs women, the head of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said Thursday, marking the first International Day of Women and Girls in Science. “UNESCO’s message is clear “the new [2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development] will not meet its promise without investing in women’s and girls’ empowerment through and in science,” Director-General Irina Bokova highlighted in a message.



At Chicago event, Pakistani diplomat says ending polio top national priority -
faisal_niaz_tirmizi.jpgCHICAGO, Feb. 12 (APP): Over 500 people in Chicago on Thursday attended an event organized by Rotary International, in collaboration with the Pakistani Consulate Genetral, to honour the ‘selfless commitment’ of the people and the government of Pakistan for their tireless work to eradicate polio from the country. “Polio eradication is our national priority and the prime minister of Pakistan is supervising efforts to eliminate this debilitating disease,”  Pakistani Consul Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, told the gathering in the course of discussion on “Ending Polio in Pakistan”. 


Sport News
Pakistan beat India 1-0 to claim hockey gold in SAG
ISLAMABAD, Feb 12 (APP): Pakistan continued their supremacy in men's hockey in the region as they defeated historical rivals India 1-0 in the summit clash to clinch gold in the 12th South Asian Games (SAG) at the Moullana Tayabullah Hockey Stadium Guwahati, India on Friday. According to information received here, Awais-ur-Rehman scored the lone goal of the match in dying moments of the first half as Pakistan clinched a hat-trick of titles in the SAG.

 
BCCI has banned me without any evidence: Asad Rauf
ISLAMABAD, Feb 12 (APP): Pakistan umpire Asad Rauf Friday hit out at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for imposing a five-year ban on him for corruption, saying that the Indian Board did not have any evidence to pronounce him guilty. "What authority does the BCCI or IPL have to ban me when the court in Mumbai told the police they had no evidence against me," Rauf asked.

 
World Champion Asif gearing up to regain National Snooker crown
KARACHI, Feb. 12 (APP)- Former IBSF World Amateur Snooker Champion Muhammad Asif was gearing-up to regain his crown in the 41st edition of National Snooker Championship which break-off here from February 15. "Yes I am fully ready to regain my crown after last winning it in 2012," country's premier cueist told APP in an interview on Friday as he prepared to travel to Karachi from Faisalabad to figure in prestigious national event.

 
Zeeshan/Saif steers Pakistan 5th spot in ICC U19 CWC
KARACHI, Feb. 12 (APP)- Pakistan ended its campaign in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup on a winning note, defeating England by seven wickets in Fatullah on Friday to finish fifth in the 16-nation tournament. Batting duo of opener Zeeshan  Malik and Saif Badar starred in their team's triumph with sizzling batting.

 
TDCP Cholistan Jeep Rally starts
BAHAWALPUR, Feb 12 (APP): Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP) 11th Cholistan jeep rally has started here Friday. A total of 80 vehicles have got registered in 8 different categories. Two female drivers are also participating in the event. Qualifying round of the rally will be held on Saturday.

 
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Pakistan takes principled stand to protest NATO/ISAF attack PDF Print E-mail
ISLAMABAD, Nov 30 (APP): Pakistan has taken principled and tough stand to protest the unprovoked and uncalled for attacks by the NATO/ISAF helicopters on its border check-posts in Mohmand Agency. The most important decision besides condemning these attacks, taken by the Government of Pakistan was to boycott the forthcoming Bonn Conference on the future of Afghanistan which has disturbed the world community.
International community especially US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Afghanistan Hamid Karzai and other world leaders are using all diplomatic channels to convince Pakistan to withdraw its decision to boycott the Bonn conference.
The Bonn conference on the future of Afghanistan was being held in Bonn, Germany on December 5 and it was the follow-up of the recently held another conference in Istanbul.
Prime Minister Gilani once again clarified that without ensuring protection to Pakistan’s sovereignty, integrity, security and honour, it will not attend Bonn conference.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressing ‘very sorry’ about Pakistan’s announced boycott of a Bonn conference next week on the future of Afghanistan said she would try to convince Pakistan to attend the conference.
Merkel who will open the Bonn Conference said, “We always said that conflicts can only be resolved in the region and Pakistan is part of this region which is why we are very sorry that this cancellation, came today.”
Over 100 foreign minister are expected to attend the Boon Conference including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Merkel said, “I understand Pakistan’s concern about the loss of human life due to NATO troops but this should not distract from the fact that this Afghanistan conference is a very, very important conference.”
Pakistan has also conveyed to the international community and especially the US that there could not be “business as usual” with Washington in the wake of the strikes.
Another important initiative, by the government, which was being appreciated by the political leaders and the public, is the decision, conveyed to Americans to vacate Shamsi Airbase.
Although the United States has expressed concern about the impact of the deadly NATO strike incident on its bilateral relations with Pakistan, which, the State Department described as “vital” to both countries.
The State Department said, “Of course, we are concerned about the impact of this incident on our relations with Pakistan.”
The State Department further said, “We recognize our cooperation with Pakistan, has yielded tangible results and progress and we want to see that continue.”
Pakistan’s decision to boycott of next week’s Bonn Conference is being considered an early blow to US efforts to have Afghanistan’s powerful neighbors, act as guarantors of the post-2014 peace, experts said.
US Ambassador Cameron Munter called on President Asif Ali Zardari to discuss the situation and the President made it clear to him that another incident similar to the Mohmand Agency strikes by NATO, would not be tolerated.
President Zardari told the American envoy that if the US does not take care for Pakistan’s interests and sovereignty, it will deteriorate relations between the two countries.
The President further said Pakistan had rendered innumerable sacrifices in the war against terror but the government, army, and people had strong reservations about the unprovoked Mohmand Agency attack.
Pakistan has conveyed to the international community that it will not compromise on national security and sovereignty.
Pakistan Army while expressing its disgust over NATO attacks has said that it does not accept NATO apology and that this action can lead to serious consequences.
Such incidents have happened in the past that killed 72 soldiers and injured more than 250 troops in three years.
Pakistan has also sealed its border with Afghanistan, shutting down the supply lines for some 130,000 US-led foreign troops in that country.
Pakistan has also approached United Nations Security Council and drawn its attention to NATO raids inside Pakistan.
The statement issued following the meeting of Defence Committee of the Cabinet has been circulated to members of the Security Council.
Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon addressed a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in this regard.
President Zardari also rejected UAE request to review the decision to close Shamsi airbase.
NATO Chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said, “Saturday’s NATO attack in Mohmand Agency was tragic and unintended.”
He wrote a letter to Prime Minister Gilani that the deaths of Pakistani personnel are as unacceptable and deplorable as the deaths of Afghan and international personnel.
He assured, “We will determine what happened and draw the right lessons”.
He further said NATO remained strongly committed to working with Pakistan to improve cooperation to avoid such tragedies in the future.
Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani also strongly condemned NATO/ISAF’s blatant and unacceptable act resulting in loss of precious lives of Pakistani soldiers.
Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar telephoned US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to inform the US government of the ‘deep sense of rage’ felt across Pakistan at the senseless killings of 26 soldiers in attacks on a Pakistani military post in Mohmand Agency.
The Foreign Minister also contacted many countries including China, France, Turkey, Russia, Germany, Iran, UK, OIC and European Union besides United States to convey the sentiments of the Government and people of Pakistan on NATO/ISAF attacks on Pakistani order posts.
 
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