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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
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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Top UN official urges avoidance of civilian casualties in Syrian fighting PDF Print E-mail
UNITED NATIONS, July 30 (APP): Amidst reports of heavy fighting in the city of Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria, the UN top humanitarian official Monday urged all parties in the Middle Eastern country to avoid civilian casualties and allow humanitarian access to people caught up in the violence. “I am extremely concerned by the impact of shelling and use of tanks and other heavy weapons on people in Aleppo, Syria’s most populous city, as well as in the capital Damascus and surrounding towns,” the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, said in a statement.

“I call on all parties to the fighting to ensure that they do not target civilians and that they allow humanitarian organizations safe  access to bring urgent and life-saving help to people caught up in the fighting,’ she added.
According to media reports, Aleppo has been the centre of intense combat between Government and opposition forces over recent days. Syria has been wracked by violence, with more than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began some 16 months ago.
In addition to Aleppo, there have been reports of an escalation in violence in many towns and villages, as well as Damascus. In her statement,  Amos noted that the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent estimate that some 200,000 people have fled fighting in Aleppo and surrounding areas over the last two days.
“It is not known how many people remain trapped in places where fighting continues today,” Amos said.
“Many people have sought temporary shelter in schools and other public buildings in safer areas. They urgently need food, mattresses and blankets, hygiene supplies and drinking water.”
The humanitarian official said the security situation in  cities and along main transport routes has made it difficult for humanitarian agencies to reach displaced families in Aleppo, Hama and other areas.
“Despite the very dangerous situation, the Red Crescent, UN agencies and partners have continued to deliver food, blankets and hygiene kits whenever and wherever they can, and are dispatching thousands more items”  Amos said.
Also over the weekend, the Joint Special Envoy for the UN and the League of Arab States for the Syrian Crisis, Kofi Annan, expressed his concern over reports of the concentration of troops and heavy weapons around Aleppo.
“I remind the parties to the conflict of their obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law, and urge them to exercise restraint and avoid any further bloodshed,” Annan said in a statement.
“I believe that the escalation of the military build-up in Aleppo and the surrounding area is further evidence of the need for the international community to come together to persuade the parties that only a political transition, leading to a political settlement will resolve this crisis and bring peace to the Syrian people,” he added.
On Friday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Navi Pillay, expressed ‘deep alarm’ over the increased threat to civilians in Syria, and urged the country’s Government and armed opposition to protect civilians and abide by their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law or face the consequences.
“Civilians and civilian objects including homes and other  property, businesses, schools and places of worship ‘must be protected  at all times’. All parties, including the Government and opposition  forces, must ensure that they distinguish between civilian and military targets,” she added, while expressing particular concern about the likelihood of a major confrontation in Aleppo.
 
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