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Sunday, 07 February 2016

 

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World News
UNSC to hold emergency meeting on North Korea missile launch -
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 7 (APP): The United Nations Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting on Sunday to discuss the North Korean missile launch, as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Pyongyang to  halt its "provocative actions and return to compliance with its international obligations. Following a request by United States, Japan and South Korea, the 15-nation Council  will hold closed-door consultations on Sunday, the U.N. press office said.



Migration, multilateralism will be hallmarks of 2016: UN official -
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 6 (APP): The top United Nations migration official has called for deceive multilateral action to tackle "the global issues lurking behind today's vast movement of people" fleeing war, instability or persecution. The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration, Peter Sutherland, said in Geneva Friday that 2016 "is the year of migration and multilateralism," and that series of comprehensive initiatives was needed to drive home - and effectively address - the global nature of the issue.



European speakers oppose India's bid for UN Security Council, call for resolution of Kashmir issue -
WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 (APP):  Speakers at a gathering on Friday to mark the Kashmir Solidarity Day in the United States strongly opposed attempts by India to seek a seat in the UN Security Council and called on New Delhi to honor UN resolutions on Kashmir that recognized right of Kashmiri people to self-determination. Mr. Lars Rise, a former Norwegian lawmaker and Founding Chairman of Norwegian Parliamentary Kashmir Committee and  European Parliament member Eija-Riitta Korhola were the guest speakers at the function held in the state of Virginia which was attended by a large number of Kashmiri leaders and people from all walks of life.     


Speakers at event in Chicago call for UN-supervised plebiscite in Kashmir -
CHICAGO, Feb 6 (APP): Speakers at a large gathering of Pakistani and Kashmiri community members in Chicago on Friday fervently called for a just and equitable settlement of the decades-old Kashmir dispute on the basis of United Nations resolutions that call for a plebiscite for the Kashmiri people to decide their future The gathering marked the Kashmir Solidarity Day which is held to  commemorate the struggle of the Kashmiris people  for their right of self-determination and to remember the countless sacrifices of those who had laid down their lives in the quest to attain their inalienable right to freedom.



Pakistan to stand by Kashmiris as they struggle for freedom: Maleeha -
maleeha.jpgNEW YORK, Feb 6 (APP):  Pakistan will continue to support the valiant struggle of Kashmiri people for freedom and self-determination as it has always done, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told a large gathering of Kashmiri and Pakistani community members on Friday evening. "Until Kashmir is free, our moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people will continue," Dr. Lodhi, Pakistan's permanent representative to the United Nations, declared at the meeting organized by the Consulate General of Pakistan to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day.  



Sport News
Pakistan victorious in squash quarterfinals
ISLAMABAD, Feb 6 (APP): Pakistan earned victories in squash quarter finals of the South Asian Games (Men & Women) played at Guwahati, India. In the Men Event (Individual) Farah Zaman (Pakistan) beat Ravindu H Laksiri (Sri Lanka) 11/8, 16/14, 11/9. Nasir Iqbal (Pakistan) beat Arhant Keshar Simha (Nepal) 11/4, 12/10, 11/0.
 
Irfan, Bacha to face Nouman, Taimur in Men Badminton doubles final
PESHAWAR, Feb 6 (APP): Irfan and Bacha Khan of Tarnab village will face Nouman and Taimur Khan of Palosia village in the final of the Peshawar District Inter-Club Men Badminton Championship played here at local Hujra at Landi Arbab, a suburban village of Peshawar, on Saturday. In the first semi-final Nouman and Taimur Khan defeated Sajid and Sana Ullah of Tehkal Payan by 3-1, the score was 21-18, 21-19, 21-16 and 21-19 while in the second semi-final Irfan and Bach outclassed Tahir and Arif of Landi Arbab village by 3-0, the score was 21-19, 21-15 and 21-19.
 
Aamer bags first hat-trick in PSL
ISLAMABAD, Feb 5 (APP): Mohammad Aamer becomes the first bowler to bag a hat-trick in the ongoing Pakistan Super League 2016 after he dismissed Dwayne Bravo, Zohaib Khan and Kevon Cooper. It was the 19th over of the second match of PSL 2016, when Aamer entertained the crowd with PSL’s very first hat-trick, a private news channel reported.
 
Saleem Rajput elected chairman of Karachi Softball Association
KARACHI, Feb 5 (APP): Muhammad Saleem Rajput has been elected unanimously as chairman of the Karachi Softball Association. An announcement on Friday said that the decision to this effect was taken at the annual general body meeting of the Karachi Softball Association (KSA) chaired by its president Asif Azeem.
 
Board decides to review ICC’s constitution and governance structures
KARACHI, Feb 4 (APP): The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board considered amendments that had been made to the ICC’s constitution in 2014 and agreed that, ICC announced on Thursday. “In order to avoid any potential conflicts of interest and to follow best practice principles of good governance, it would seek to re-establish as quickly as possible the independent position of ICC Chairman,” world governing body announced in a statement.
 
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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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