Sep 292016

HYDERABAD: At least five children were burnt alive when an accidental fire broke out in a boarding house located in Mirpurkhas district late Thursday night, it has been learnt.

The incident happened at Pakistan Sweet Home located in Liaquat Colony, Satellite Town, of Mirpurkhas district.

According to an officer of Satellite Town police station, the in charge of boarding facility will be taken into custody.

"The bodies were found in a corner as if they tried to escape from the room, which they perhaps found locked," said the police official.

The deceased have been identified as Nasir, Abdul Waheed, Abdul Samad, Javed and Tajamul.

The boarding facility is set up in a double storey bungalow where around 40 children are living, most of them orphans, who belong from different districts of Mirpurkhas division. It is operated under Baitul Maal and funded by the federal religious ministry.

The police official further said that it doesn't appear to be a case of short circuit. "The children were using mosquito coils and it seems that the mosquito nets caught fire," he said.

A haze of smoke filled the room where the children were staying and police source said that strong chances are that children might have suffered severe suffocation and then they could not run away.

Another report suggests that the watchman, after serving dinner, locked the room from outside.

Rescuers arrived at the spot and shifted the children who had fallen unconscious. Some of them were stated to be in critical condition but doctors have so far confirmed death of five children.

Health Services Director General Dr Hassan Murad Shah confirmed the deaths and said ambulances are shifting the injured to nearby hospital.

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Sep 292016

WASHINGTON: India and Pakistan should improve their communications to avoid an increase in tensions over Kashmir, the US State Department said on Thursday after Indian troops reportedly fired across the Line of Control in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

“An attack like [this] that escalates tensions,” US State Department spokesman John Kirby said, adding: “Our message to both sides is the same, to encourage them to increase communication to deal with this threat and avoid steps that escalates the tension.”

Know more: United States to urge India for holding talks with Pakistan over Kashmir issue

At least two Pakistan Army soldiers were killed as Indian troops fired across the LoC, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said. The Pakistani military,however, dismissed the Indian claim of 'surgical strikes'.

Moreover, an Indian soldier has been captured by the Pakistan army, while Indian soldiers have also been killed in the episode of firing across the LoC.

Soaring tensions

The latest incident of cross-border firing comes as tensions simmer between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir issue.

Last week, India initiated a diplomatic drive to isolate Pakistan after blaming it for the Sept 18 attack on the Uri army camp in IHK which killed 18 soldiers ─ a claim which Pakistan has rejected.

Tensions between the South Asian rivals have been high since an Indian crackdown on dissent in IHK following the killing by Indian forces of Burhan Wani, a young separatist leader, in July.

On Wednesday, India pulled out of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit scheduled to be held in November in Islamabad. Several other Saarc members followed suit, leading to the postponement of the summit.

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Sep 292016
Funeral of fallen Pakistan Army soldier offered in Faisalabad

FAISALABAD: The funeral prayers of the fallen Pakistan Army soldier, who was killed by Indian firing earlier today, were offered in his village in district Faisalabad on Thursday evening.The soldier, Naik Imtiaz Ahmad, was killed in the Bhimber sector of Line of Control (LoC). Senior military and civil officials attended the funeral. Later he was laid to rest with full military honours.Besides army officers, relatives and friends, hundreds of people attended the soldier’s funeral. They also chanted slogans in the favour of the military. Naik Imtiaz Ahmad. According to a statement issued by the military, Naik Imtiaz Ahmed is survived by a wife and three children. At the funeral, Ahmed’s father told DawnNews that he had five sons and three daughters, and Ahmed was the youngest among them."He was a very obedient son and we all loved him very much," said the father of the slain soldier. Earlier today, at least two Pakistan Army soldiers were killed as Indian troops fired across the Line of Control in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.The Pakistani military confirmed the deaths of its soldiers and also dismissed the Indian claim of 'surgical strikes'. Click for detailed story

Sep 292016

Amid intense tensions between India and Pakistan, the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) has passed a resolution to temporarily ban Pakistani artists from working India. “Indian Motion Picture Producers Association(IMPPA) passes resolution banning Pakistani actors and technicians in India till normalcy returns,” ANI reported. Indian Motion Picture Producers Association(IMPPA) passes resolution banning Pakistani Actors & technicians in India till normalcy returns — ANI (@ANI_news) September 29, 2016 Pakistani artists threatened to leave India However, the ban does not apply on Pakistani artists already working on projects in India. “If there’s any ongoing project from which [Pakistani artistes] cannot be removed now, on which everything has been done, they can come for that,” it said. This puts in the clear films such as Fawad Khan-starrer Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Mahira Khan-starrer Raees. IMPPA, however, said no further talent from Pakistan is hired until normalcy returns.  “IMPPA in its AGM paid homage to the martyrs who were killed in Uri. It therefore felt its responsibility towards the nation and passed a resolution banning Pakistani actors and technicians in India till normalcy returns. For IMPPA nation comes first, ” said Ashoke Pandit, Vice President of IMPPA. The Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association, popularly know as IMPPA, is the first and the only internationally recognised association of the Indian film production sector. It is the original mother organisation and all other associations which exist now are the offshoots of IMPPA, according to its website. The resolution comes after Indian nationalist party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) warned all Pakistani artists in India to [Read More…]

Sep 292016
UnionPay International Builds A Cross-border Consumer Service System

SHANGHAI, Sept. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — UnionPay International announced today that, QUNR, KingPower Duty Free and five well-known brand stores subordinate to Singapore Valiram Group have joined its cross-border marketing platform. Customers can get exclusive coupons via mobile phones and enjoy the highest discount available at participating merchants. The platform now covers about 300 stores across Hong Kong and Southeast Asia and will expand to the US, Australia and Japan this year, after which it will have about 1,000 participating stores. The rapid expansion of the cross-border marketing platform is attributed to UnionPay’s extensive network across 160 countries and regions, as well as its rich card-using privileges. UnionPay cards satisfy customers’ diverse payment needs, from booking airline tickets and hotels, to withdrawing cash at ATMs, to spending at merchants, to taking public transportation and taxis, to claiming tax refunds. There is now a fully formed UnionPay cross-border consumer service system. In building this system, UnionPay International has launched global privilege programs to enrich its service, including two this year that feature “100 airport duty free shops” and “50 selected travel destinations”. About 100 duty free shops at over 70 airports offer up to a 10% discount for UnionPay cardholders. In the 50 selected travel destinations, over 300 merchants provide up to 15% discount for UnionPay cardholders. The “50 core commercial districts” privilege program is also about to go live. With these three privilege programs, UnionPay International’s new marketing platform offers more accurate cross-border consumer service. As the world’s first open cross-border marketing platform launched by a bankcard scheme, it realizes [Read More…]

Sep 292016

MADRID: Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is not pressing the panic button despite a third straight draw for his team ahead of Sunday’s home game against Eibar. The La Liga leaders failed to beat Villarreal and Las Palmas and then drew 2-2 at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday. Real twice led against Borussia but were pegged back, but Zidane told his club’s website what he felt Real were missing. “Perhaps another goal,” said Zidane. “When you lead by just the odd goal these things can happen to you. Real Madrid Foundation comes to Pakistan “Such is football and we’re on a bad run, but we are still in there fighting. We have drawn our last three games but we’ll continue to work hard and will come through it.” Cristiano Ronaldo snapped out of his recent lean spell with his 95th Champions League goal after failing to find the net against Villarreal and Las Palmas — a game in which the Portuguese was substituted, much to his apparent disgust. Real are currently without Casemiro, the Brazilian midfielder who fractured a bone in his leg in a win at Espanyol on Sept. 18 — the last time his team won. Ronaldo, Bale back for record-chasing Real Madrid The mood is more upbeat at Barcelona, one point adrift in La Liga, who tuned up for Sunday’s game at Celta Vigo by beating Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday. Arda Turan came off the bench to equalise for the [Read More…]

Sep 292016

KABUL: The United States may consider lifting sanctions on one of Afghanistan’s most notorious warlords after a peace accord was signed in the Afghan capital on Thursday, a US official said. Afghan president Ashraf Ghani formalised the controversial arrangement with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in a deal the government hopes will lead to more peace agreements. Surrounded by hundreds of Afghan officials, many former warlords and rivals themselves, Ghani signed a pact that opens the door to the militant faction of Hezb-i-Islami, led by Hekmatyar, playing an active role in politics. A controversial figure from the insurgency against the Soviets in the 1980s and the civil wars of the 1990s, Hekmatyar has been designated a “global terrorist” by the United States, which has been leading an international military mission in Afghanistan for the past 15 years. ‘Butcher of Kabul’ calls for peace as signs Afghan pact As part of the deal, the Afghan government agreed to lobby international organizations to lift sanctions on Hekmatyar and Hezb-i-Islami. “We will seriously consider any sanctions delisting request put forward by the government of Afghanistan,” the US official, who did not want to be identified, told Reuters. “If the security council deems the sanctions imposed on certain individuals to be outdated and no longer in the interest of Afghan peace and stability, then we will need to reconsider these measures.” The US Embassy, the United Nations, and other international organizations have publicly praised the accord as a step toward resolving the conflict in Afghanistan. Despite the rhetoric [Read More…]

Sep 292016

LONDON: Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has been left out of the Wales squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Georgia next week as he continues to struggle with a hamstring injury. The 25-year-old has been sidelined since sustaining the injury during the Gunners’ opening Premier League game last month. Cazorla penalty gives Arsenal late win over Southampton Ramsey, one of the stars of Wales’s run to the semi-finals of this year’s European Championships in France, will miss the Austria game in Vienna next Thursday and the game against Georgia in Cardiff three days later. Wales, who started their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 4-0 home win over Moldova, will also be without midfielder Jonny Williams, who has only recently returned to training following injury. Palace sign former Arsenal midfielder Flamini Wales squad for World Cup qualifiers against Austria (October 6) and Georgia (October 9). Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace/ENG), Danny Ward (Liverpool/ENG), Owain Fon Williams (Inverness/SCO) Defenders: Ben Davies (Tottenham/ENG), James Chester (Aston Villa/ENG), James Collins (West Ham/ENG), Paul Dummett (Newcastle/ENG), Chris Gunter (Reading/ENG), Jazz Richards (Cardiff), Neil Taylor (Swansea), Ashley Williams (Everton) Midfielders: Joe Allen (Stoke/ENG), David Edwards (Wolves/ENG), Emyr Huws (Cardiff), Andy King (Leicester/ENG), Tom Lawrence (Leicester/ENG), Joe Ledley (Crystal Palace/ENG), Shaun MacDonald (Wigan/ENG) Forwards: Gareth Bale (Real Madrid/ESP), Simon Church (Roda/NED), David Cotterill (Birmingham/ENG), Hal Robson-Kanu (West Brom/ENG), Sam Vokes (Burnley/ENG) The post Ramsey out of Wales World Cup qualifiers appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Sep 292016
Pakistan captures one Indian soldier at LoC, several others killed

MUZAFFARABAD: An Indian soldier has been captured by the Pakistan army, while Indian soldiers have also been killed in the episode of firing across the Line of Control, it emerged Thursday. Confusion over the capture of the soldier persists as neither Indian nor Pakistani officials are issuing any official statements on the matter, as yet.An Indian army official based in New Delhi said, “It is confirmed one soldier from 37 Rashtriya Rifles with weapons has inadvertently crossed over to the Pakistan side of the Line of Control”.Avoiding connecting the capture to today's firing incident, he said such incidents of people including civilians crossing the frontier by mistake have happened in the past from both sides. Building a case in favour of India, he added that those who strayed are returned. “Pakistan has been informed [of the soldier's crossing] through the DGMO on hotline,” ANI News quoted Indian Army sources as saying.On Pakistan's side, two officials based in Chhamb sector said the Indian soldier with weapons was captured at 1330 local time on Thursday. Separately, security sources confirmed the same to The sources said a 22-year-old Indian soldier by the name Chandu Babulal Chohan was taken into custody by Pakistani forces. They added that at least eight Indian soldiers were killed. The bodies of the Indian soldiers have not been recovered by the Indian Army from the site of the skirmishes at the LoC. Security sources claim an attempt to recover the bodies by the Indian Army has not been [Read More…]

Sep 292016
Indian soldiers were killed in LoC firing: Sources

MUZAFFARABAD: Soldiers from the Indian army were killed in the episode of firing across the Line of Control, security sources said. Additionally, in his show Capital Talk on Geo News, Hamid Mir said that 14 Indian soldiers were killed in two sectors. Defense analyst Major General (Retd) Ijaz Awan, who was on his show, confirmed his claim.Earlier, sources had said an Indian soldier by the name Chandu Babulal Chohan was taken into custody by Pakistani forces. However, there is as yet no official confirmation of this claim.Early morning firing An exchange of fire between Pakistani and Indian LoC troops began at 2:30am and continued till 8:00am in the Bhimber, Hotspring, Kel and Lipa sectors in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, the ISPR statement said."Pakistani troops befittingly responded to Indian unprovoked firing on the LoC."Shortly after the exchange of fire, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Defence held a joint press conference in New Delhi in which DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh alleged that surgical strikes were conducted by the Indian army on "terror launch pads along the LoC". The strikes will not continue, he said.The Indian DGMO claimed that "some terrorist teams had positioned themselves at launchpads along the Line of Control"."The Indian army conducted surgical strikes last night at these launchpads. Significant casualties have been caused to these terrorists and those who are trying to support them… The operations aimed at neutralising the terrorists have since ceased."Pakistan rubbished the Indian claims of conducting a surgical strike. "The notion [Read More…]

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