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Monday, 15 February 2016

 

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Afghan casualties hit record high 11,000 in 2015: UN report -
UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 14 (APP): Hostilities in Afghanistan left more  than 3,500 civilians dead in 2015, including an unprecedented number of children one in four casualties over the past year was a child and nearly 7,500 others wounded, making this the highest number of civilian  casualties recorded, the United Nations reported Sunday. "This report records yet another rise in the number of civilians hurt or killed. The harm done to civilians is totally unacceptable," Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan  and head of the UN Assistance Mission in the country (UNAMA), said in  a press statement.


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.



Sport News
Shaharyar welcomes Afghan players to use boardís facilities
ISLAMABAD, Feb 14 (APP): Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan has welcomed the Afghan players to use the board’s cricketing facilities saying Afghanistan team will go a long way in the days to come. Shaharyar said the Afghanistan team has got a lot of talent and have improved their cricket skills a lot. “Afghanistan showed impressive performance in the series they won against Zimbabwe,” he said while talking to a private news channel.
 
Shaharyar welcomes Afghan players to use boardís facilities
ISLAMABAD, Feb 14 (APP): Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan has welcomed the Afghan players to use the board’s cricketing facilities saying Afghanistan team will go a long way in the days to come. Shaharyar said the Afghanistan team has got a lot of talent and have improved their cricket skills a lot. “Afghanistan showed impressive performance in the series they won against Zimbabwe,” he said while talking to a private news channel.
 
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.

 
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Complete text of address of Bilawal Bhutto PDF Print E-mail
NAUDERO, April 3 (APP): Following is the complete text of the speech of Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari delivered during the Central Executive Committee meeting of the PPP on the eve of 33rd death anniversary of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto on Tuesday.

Text beings:
Bismillah-ir-rahman Rahim
When we mourn Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, we mourn, more than just a great man, the first popularly elected Prime Minister and first ever Sindhi President and Prime Minister of Pakistan.
We mourn the murder of democracy.
We mourn the murder of justice.
We mourn for our country.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan sentenced Shaheed Bhutto to death by hanging for a crime he did not commit. This judicial murder was not the first nor the last flawed decision our courts have made.
Unfortunately our courts have often stood on the wrong side of history. From the Doctrine of Necessity, to the judicial murder of Shaheed Bhutto and the continued legitimization of violations of our constitution our court shave not performed the role required of them by the constitution of Pakistan.
In 2007, in the final months of the Dictatorship of the day, our courts gave us hope. The brave stance adopted by our judges and the support of the lawyers movement gave us hope that Pakistan would have a truly independent and impartial judiciary.
The restoration of these judges by our Prime Minister was a truly historic milestone for our country.
Now it is up to the courts to redeem their institutions sullied reputation in the eyes of history. Was their brave stance evidence of the beginning of a new era in Pakistan where the judges of our courts will be remembered for dispensing justice, supporting democracy and refusing to do the bidding of our establishment? Or was their stance in 2007 just the exception that proves the rule, were our hopes raised for naught? Must we learn the hard way that once a PCO judge always a PCO judge?
Time will tell. I am confident that the PPP will finally get the justice we deserve in the eyes of history. I am confident the Supreme Court will deliver us this justice. I am confident the Supreme Court will not stand in the way. The Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto reference case is a golden opportunity for the Supreme Court. I expect the Supreme Court to finally provide us justice. Justice in the eyes of history - the court must set the record straight. Justice in the eyes of the law - the unholy judgment and the precedent set by it must be revoked. Justice in the eyes of the People, the PPP and Shaheed Bhutto’s family - we expect the Supreme Court to apologise for the role it played in the judicial murder of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
The Supreme Court once told us Shaheed Bhutto was
Guilty. The court of history is on our side and has proved his innocence.
There have been some positive developments in the decisions taken by the court to right the wrongs of the past. These developments give me the confidence to believe that the Bhuttos of Larkana will also get the justice they deserve.
The Sharifs of Lahore have had their trumped up charges squashed by the courts. I do not believe there will be double standards. I do not believe that Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Larkana is hanged but he does not get justice from these courts while the Sharifs of Lahore are vindicated.
Similarly the Asgar Khan case has finally been taken up by the Supreme Court. Shaheed Benazir Bhutto fought for more than a decade for this case to be heard. It is a positive development that following Imran Khan of Lahore’s demand the case has finally been heard. I have no doubt the forces that conspired against the PPP and Shaheed BB shall finally be exposed.
Despite these positive developments there are also some worrying signs. More than 50% of terrorists presented before our courts have been freed. I am told there is a lack of evidence and the fault lies with the prosecution.
The rapists of our sister Mukhtara Mai have been freed by the courts. Presumably for the same reasons. How can there be enough evidence to hang SZAB but not enough evidence to keep terrorists and rapists in prison. How can there be enough evidence to keep Benazir Bhutto Shaheed, President Zardari and Prime Minister Gillani in prison for so long without a conviction but rapists and terrorists are set free. How can there be enough evidence to attempt to try the grave of Shaheed Mohatarma Benazir Bhutto but rapists and terrorists are set free? I urge the courts to proceed with caution. I urge the courts to revisit their flawed decision in the Mukhtara Mai case. I urge the court to help keep our country safe by convicting terrorists for the atrocities they have committed.  I urge the court to remember how they got where they are today. On May 12, 2007, 40 members of my party lost their lives supporting this Chief Justice and the cause of an independent judiciary. Is this what they deserve? When will we get justice?
The courts are dangerously close to repeating the mistakes of the past. They should resist the temptation to obey the dictation of the establishment.
We cannot allow the court to dig up my mothers grave and put her martyred corpse on trial.
Mr. Prime Minister you will not violate Vienna convention, you will not violate the Constitution of Pakistan, you will not desecrate the graves of our martyrs. You may lose your office. You may lose your government but you must do what is right. There is not only the Supreme Court, there is also the court of the people and the court of history.
The Supreme Court told us Shaheed Bhutto was guilty. They hanged Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Larkana, but the court of the people and the court of history was on our side and we have been vindicated. Just as Shaheed Bhutto was vindicated, you too shall be vindicated.
They can threaten to send Yousuf Raza Gillani of Multan to prison but he is a follower of Bhutto Shaheed. We do not fear prison cells.  We do not fear death cells. As Shaheed Bhutto said. We would rather die at the hands of a dictator than at the hands of history.
Let us pray that cooler heads prevail. Let us pray that our Supreme Court will once again choose to stand on the right side of history.  Let us pray that there will not be double standards. That Shaheed Bhutto of Sindh was hanged but another Prime Minister from Punjab is freed. That Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto fought in every court in this country and around the world to maintain her innocence. While a former Prime Minister from Punjab, a self confessing, convicted accused is vindicated, while Shaheed BB is put on trial from her grave.
That a Prime Minister who ransacked the Supreme Court is given better treatment over our Serikie speaking prime minister who obeys the constitution and presents himself before the court is stripped of his constitutional rights.
I have faith in the Pakistan Peoples Party. I have faith in democracy. I have faith in Pakistan. I have faith in you Mr. Prime Minister. You will make Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto proud. We will get justice. If not now. If not by this court. We will be vindicated in the courts of history.
The people have spoken. We are all agreed.
“Hum Benazir Bhutto Shaheed ki Qabar ka trial nahi honay den gay” “Ya Allah, Ya Rasoolh, Benazir Bayqossor.”
 
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