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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

 

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World leaders to meet at U.N. amid Islamic State, Ebola crises -
IFTIKHAR ALI
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 22 (APP): Leaders from around the world, including Pakistan's Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif,  gather in New York this week to tackle a host of crises: the situation created by Islamic State militants' attacks in Iraq and Syria, the rapid spread of the deadly Ebola virus in Africa and framing of a post-2015 economic and social development agenda.



Sartaj Aziz, Iranian FM Zarif discuss bilateral, regional issues -
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 22 (APP): Adviser to Pakistan's Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz,  and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif discussed subjects of  bilateral interest, including the Pak-Iran gas-pipeline, at a meeting on Monday.



UN welcomes signing of agreement on Afghan unity government -
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 21 (APP): After months of deadlock, the United Nations has welcomed Sunday’s agreement signed by Afghanistan’s two presidential candidates, Ashraf Ghani  and Abdullah Abdullah, to establish a government of national unity as an important step to move the country towards a period of stability. 


US welcomes Afghan agreement on government of national unity -
WASHINGTON, Sep 21 (APP): The United States has congratulated Afghan politicians Dr. Ashraf Ghani and Dr.  Abdullah Abdullah, on the two lead election candidates’ striking an agreement on formation of a government of national unity.


UN chief lauds Pakistan's efforts to provide relief to flood-hit people, offers world body's help -
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 21 (APP): Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has commended the efforts of the Pakistani government in providing relief to the flood-affected people across Pakistan, and offered United Nations help, if requested.



Sport News
Have to improve as a fielding unit: Hafeez
ISLAMABAD, Sep 22 (APP):Mohammad Hafeez the Lahore Lions captain in Champions League Twenty20  2014 in Hyderabad said that we believe the way they are showing their talent in the field, as batsmen and bowlers, it's really good but we have to improve as a fielding unit, we really have to raise the standard of fielding against Kolkata Knight Riders.

 
Mohammadan Club outclass Youngman in Rawalpindi Soccer
RAWALPINDI, Sept 22 (APP): Mohammadan Club beat Youngman Club 2-1 in the Rawalpindi District A Division Football League on Monday at Municipal Stadium.
 
Pak judokaís father optimistic his son will show talent in Asian Games
ISLAMABAD, Sept 22 (APP): Pakistan’s Japanese-raised judoka, Shah Hussain’s father is hopeful that his son would show talent in the ongoing Asian Games.
 
Younis Khan sure of Pakistanís victory WCí15
ISLAMABAD, Sep 22 (APP): Former Pakistan captain Younis Khan has said   that the Green Shirts have great potential to win the coming cricket World Cup 2015.
 
Pakistan faces Japan in Asian Games baseball opener on Tuesday
INCHEON, Sept. 22 (APP): Pakistan hoping to improve their standing in baseball event of the XVII Asian Games as they prepared to face Japan in their opening group A match at Munhak Baseball Stadium on Tuesday.
 
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Sherry Rehman seeks strategic space for Pakistan PDF Print E-mail
WASHINGTON,  Sept 14 (APP)  : “Pakistan is with the United States for the long haul. However, rather than calls for “do more”, Pakistan needs to be given strategic space and sympathy”, Ambassador Sherry Rehman said. She was speaking at an event of the 50-member Pakistan Caucus in the US House of Representatives, organized by Caucus Co-Chairs Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (Democrat, Texas) and Dan Burton (Republican, Indiana). The caucus had not met for five years despite its existence in Congress. In a two-hour long discussion on the subject of “Pakistan and the United States: The Road Ahead”, the Ambassador took the opportunity to thank the United States for its friendship towards Pakistan while also laying before the legislators and their staffers, Pakistan’s priorities, concerns and apprehensions.
She also highlighted the numerous instances of close, and in some cases,historical cooperation between the two countries since 1947.
“We do not want to be seen as just a function of US concerns in Afghanistan. We are an important country in our own right that has a history of close friendship with the United States”.
Responding to a query about the trust erosion between the two countries relating often to the region, she said that Pakistan is seeking to build a relationship based on transparency and predictability, and there is a clear strategic shift in our calculus in the region, with proactive diplomatic engagement on both sides of the border as well as with all other regional countries.
“We are pivoting our policy initiatives on new economic opportunities in the region. This means we seek to maximize trade and economic investments in the region as much as we continue to focus on the prospects for stability in the neighbourhood”., unlike what we routinely hear in the media.
She thanked Representatives Jackson Lee and Burton for arranging this event, which provided the opportunity for a frank discussion on a relationship of tremendous importance to both sides. “We are looking to be better understood and to understand better”, she said. She also thanked them for their friendship and leadership towards Pakistan.
Ambassador Rehman also spoke about the constitutional and legislative achievements of the democratic government, at the same time thanking the US Congress for its support for restoration of democracy in Pakistan.
“While some in the US Executive Branch cooperated with dictators in Pakistan for short-term gains, the people of Pakistan have always counted on the US Congress to stand with them in their battle for democracy and human rights”, she said.
“ Pakistan is undergoing a challenging transition in a very volatile region, but it is important to recognize that in six months Pakistan will go into an election supervised by a n autonomous election commission. We are on the way to making our first peaceful constitutional transfer of power, and are poised to join the club of big democracies.” She said that “ we seek to build our relationship with the US on trade and investment as much as any other kind of dynamic, because that will create ties that bind.”
Earlier, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who is the Co-Chairperson of Pakistan Caucus since its inception, expressed her appreciation of the long Pakistan-US relationship and Pakistan’s support for the US. Speaking about the current mood in the Congress about Pakistan, she said that negative amendments relating to Pakistan in various bills may seem to respond to the immediacy of the moment, but did not always “capture the true spirit and extent of the relationship”.
She paid glowing tributes to the Ambassador in her capacity not only as a representative of Pakistan but as a journalist, parliamentarian and human rights activist. She also acknowledged the threat of terrorism to Pakistanis saying that Pakistanis were living with this threat daily. “Pakistan is truly in the eye of the storm”, she noted. Rep. Jackson Lee also expressed concern about the detention of Dr. Shakeel Afridi and the blasphemy case against Rimsha Masih.
Congressman Dan Burton was also effusive in praising Pakistan’s longstanding friendship with the United States. He said that Pakistan-US relationship was extremely important and the present difficulties should not be allowed to detract from its strategic and long-term significance. “It is important that the two countries look past the present differences”, he said.
Regional peace and stability depended on a good Pakistan-US relationship.
Congresswoman Karen Bass (Democrat, California) said that “Pakistan is an indispensable and strategic ally of the United States and that the two countries are bound together by peace, democracy, human rights and the rule of law”.
Congressman Hank Johnson (Democrat, Georgia) said that Pakistan was ally of the United States though the relationship was complicated.
“There are problems on your side, such as the presence of groups who attack Americans in Afghanistan, and there are problems on our side”. He tried to allay Pakistan’s fears about the situation in Afghanistan after 2014. “We don’t plan to abandon the area. We will have a long term presence there”, he said.
Responding to concerns about Afridi,who is cast as a hero in the US, Ambassador Rehman said , “Don’t valorize him. He was a free agent working for the highest bidder. By masking his actions behind humanitarian work, he has not only endangered the lives of brave humanitarian workers, both foreign and local, but done tremendous damage to Pakistan’s crucial vaccination program. He was working with Lashkar-i-Islam, a group that was fighting and killing Pakistanis.” Rehman also spoke at length about the state of vulnerable communities in Pakistan, saying that while we have real concerns about protecting women and minorities, it is a long, often dangerous road ahead for reformist initiatives in a volatile environment.
The event was attended by a number of legislators and their staff.
 

     

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