Oct 122017
 

PARIS: The United States announced on Thursday that it was withdrawing from UNESCO, the UN’s cultural and educational agency, complaining about how it is run and about what Washington described as bias against Israel. “This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects US concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organisation, and continuing anti-Israel bias,” State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement. The withdrawal of the US, which provides a fifth of UNESCO’s funding, is a severe blow for the Paris-based organisation which began work in 1946 and is known for designating World Heritage sites such as the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria and the Grand Canyon National Park. UNESCO report places Pakistan in bottom 10 in female education Under UNESCO rules, the withdrawal will become effective as of the end of December 2018. Until that time, the US, which provides around $80 million to UNESCO annually, will remain a full member. The organisation, which employs around 2,000 people worldwide, most of them based in Paris, has long been the object of criticism over its use of resources and resolutions that have been perceived by Israel and other countries as biased. Director General Irina Bokova expressed disappointment at the US decision. “At the time when conflicts continue to tear apart societies across the world, it is deeply regrettable for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations agency promoting education for peace and protecting culture under attack,” she said. “This is a loss to the United [Read More…]

Oct 122017
 

OTTAWA: Canada voiced relief Tuesday at the release of a Canadian man, his American wife and their three children born in Taliban captivity. The kidnapped couple were taken hostage in Afghanistan while backpacking in Central Asia in 2012. “We are greatly relieved that after being held hostage for five years, Joshua Boyle and his wife Caitlan Coleman, as well as their young children, have been released and are safe,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland. “Joshua, Caitlan, their children and the Boyle and Coleman families have endured a horrible ordeal over the past five years,” she added in a statement. Pakistan Army recovers US-Canadianfamily abducted in Afghanistan in 2012 Freeland said Canada had been “actively engaged with the governments of the United States, Afghanistan and Pakistan” in trying to free the couple, but provided no details. The post Canada hails family’s release from Taliban captivity appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Oct 112017
 

The government of Pakistan has communicated to the International Court of Justice its designation of former chief justice of Pakistan Justice (retd) Tassaduq Hussain Jillani as its ad hoc judge in the Kulbhushan Jadhav Case. Justice Jillani served as a judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan from July 31, 2004 to December 11, 2013 and subsequently as the 21st Chief Justice of Pakistan from December 11, 2013 until July 5, 2014. Ex-CJP to be Pakistan’s ad-hoc judge for Jadhav case The procedures of the International Court of Justice allow a party to nominate an ad hoc judge in circumstances where there is no judge of the court that has that party’s nationality. Currently, there is no Pakistani judge on the court; whereas India has Judge Bhandari. Ad hoc judges have the same authority on the court as any of the sitting judges. The court will now notify India that Justice Jillani has been nominated by Pakistan. The post Justice Jillani notified as ad-hoc judge in Jadhav Case appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Oct 112017
 

ISLAMABAD: A constitutional petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) decision not confirm job  to Lahore High Court (LHC) female judge Erum Sajjad Gul. The petition has been filed by former LHC judge Nasira Iqbal through Shah Khawar advocate under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution against the commission’s decision not confirm the job of LHC female judge. Erum worked as LHC judge for two years. The plea states that non-confirmation of Justice Erum Sajjad Gul is clear violation of Article 25 of the Constitution and it is major setback for women in Pakistan and discouraging female lawyers that they are not competent to be high court judges. G-B’s first female judge: Amna Zamir – making her mark in a male-dominated world It is contended that she was a competent judge but she was not confirmed for the unknown reasons. The petition also states that the apex court’s senior most judge had left a note that all judges seeking confirmation be confirmed but the JCP gave no weightage to the note left by him. It is also submitted that the Parliamentary Committee unanimously sent the matter to the commission for reconsideration of her confirmation. The petitioner requested the top court to set aside JCP’s May 4 decision for not confirming the job of the female judge and directed the commission to decide the matter sent by the Parliamentary Committee. The post Female LHC judge challenges decision to not confirm her appeared first on [Read More…]

Oct 112017
 

ISLAMABAD: There is a need for new legislation to enable authorities to hold someone responsible for enforced disappearances. At the same time, the extent of the issue is being confused by activists such as Mama Qadeer, who could not back up his claims regarding the number of missing persons. These were among the comments made by Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances head Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal on Wednesday. He was sharing details of the committee’s performance before the Senate’s Standing Committee on Human Rights. Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM) Nasreen Jalil chaired the meeting. PHC seeks reports of 10 missing persons every week “Despite challenges, we have disposed of 2,899 cases out of a total of 4,329 cases received by the commission… We are currently processing 1,386 cases,” he said. A host of problems, he said, could be resolved if the parliament modified relevant sections the Criminal Procedures Code. Parliament, he said, should play a proactive role by empowering the committee. Nobody, he pointed out, had asked former president Pervez Musharraf when he extradited more than 2,000 Pakistanis to foreign countries despite the fact that the country had terrorism laws and regulations. “This is not a banana republic … Nobody has bothered to … hold him accountable for what he did,” he said. Missing persons details to be given in three days He also lamented that he was being blamed for not making the Abbottabad Commission Report public. “Only the government and the parliament can decide to make it public,” he [Read More…]

Oct 102017
 
Four Dead After Gunbattle In Indian Kashmir

Two Indian Air Force commandos and two suspected militants have been killed during a gunbattle in Indian-administered Kashmir, the army says.The fighting started when soldiers searching for militants surrounded a neighborhood in the northern town of Hajin on October 10.The deaths came two days after a leader of the banned militant group Jaish-e Mohammad, known as Khalid, was killed in a shoot-out with government forces in Kashmir.The Pakistani national was accused of organizing a series of suicide attacks across the Indian-administered region that Pakistan also claims.The Himalayan territory has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947 but both countries claim it in full.Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036. Click for detailed story

Oct 102017
 

KARACHI: In an unusual incident, a group of armed men robbed on Tuesday a mosque in Soldier Bazaar. According to the police, seven unidentified men climbed the wall of the Qadri Masjid, beat up the mosque’s caretaker and held him hostage. The suspects managed to escape after looting cash from the cupboards and the donation box in the mosque and also took a repeater gun away, which belonged to the mosque’s security guard. Police gun down robber in Sargodha SP Shahla Qureshi said that prayer leader Fariduddin Qadri informed the police about the incident, upon which the police initiated investigations. Police officials said that over Rs300, 000 were looted and an FIR has been registered. The post Armed men rob over Rs300,000 from Karachi mosque appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Oct 102017
 

Twitter users did not react kindly to Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar’s recent National Assembly speech in which he had launched an attack on the Ahmadiyya community. In the speech, Safdar, son-in-law of former premier Nawaz Sharif,  called for a ban on hiring Ahmadis in the armed forces and other important institutions of the country. Khatm-e-Nabuwwat oath: Fazl claims credit for defending religious law Some journalists and social media activists voiced their concern over the consequences Safdar’s words could have on the precarious law and order situation in the country. Capt Safdar's narrative is v dangerous 4 Pakistan's stability &unity. His constant attacks on people's faith must be condemned unequivocally — Mehr Tarar (@MehrTarar) October 10, 2017 One user scathingly reminded Safdar of the contributions prominent Ahmadis had made to the state of Pakistan. These two Ahmadis have done more for Pakistan than Capt. Safdar, PMLN and their forefathers put together. pic.twitter.com/iTK0RyBS3g — Sohaib (@soahb) October 10, 2017 Gen Akhtar Hussain Malik (Ahmadi)the war hero of 1965…Apparently he shudnt have been in the military in the first place acc to Capt Safdar pic.twitter.com/ywKTDoYZkV — Awais Bajwa (@awaisbajwa_) October 10, 2017 Others like journalist Zahid Hussain and activist Jibran Nasir were not so subtle, and called for his arrest outright. Capt Safdar must be tried for making hate speech. He had earlier hailed Mumtaz Qadri. — zahid Hussain (@hidhussain) October 10, 2017 Kh. Asif had told Asia Society that diff between PMLN & PTI is that: PMLN is a liberal party. And now Capt. Safdar [Read More…]

Oct 072017
 

SAINT PETERSBURG: Russian police violently broke up a rally in Saint Petersburg as thousands took to the streets across Russia Saturday on President Vladimir Putin’s 65th birthday, urging him to quit power. Heeding the call of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny to demand competitive elections, around 3,000 people rallied in Russia’s second city and Putin’s hometown while more than a thousand demonstrated in the centre of Moscow, AFP reporters said. Protests were held in 80 cities around the country. More than 270 people were detained nationwide, according to OVD-Info, a group that monitors politically motivated arrests. But while police in rainy Moscow showed restraint, allowing the crowd of mostly young protesters to march in the city centre in an apparent effort to avoid clashes on Putin’s birthday, the rally in Saint Petersburg ended in violence. Russia’s response: New EU sanctions violate law   Activists chanted “Shame” as helmeted police threw some protesters into police vans, injuring several demonstrators and forcing some to run for cover, an AFP reporter and witnesses said. Igor Klimov, a 20-year-old protester, said he was not happy with Putin. “He has been in power for as long as I can remember and there’s corruption everywhere,” he told AFP. Photographs from the scene showed a woman clutching her bleeding head after being detained by officers at the unauthorised protest. Amnesty International called on Russian authorities to immediately release the protesters and investigate instances of violence. “The Kremlin’s intent is clear – to choke the life out of the protest [Read More…]

Oct 072017
 

As the US-led invasion of Afghanistan enters its seventeenth year, Taliban militants have been reported saying that they are not tired of the war at all, according to Afghanistan’s Khaama Press. In a statement, the group called on all the American forces present in the region to withdraw, claiming that only the Taliban represented the Afghan people as a whole. Pakistan urges Afghan Taliban to shun violence The statement spoke at length about the Taliban’s long-term commitment to the war, insisting that they did not feel disappointed but instead had even higher morale for the continued war effort. It also said that the Afghan nation had not become tired of war, nor will it ever become tired of it. “Taliban remain fully committed to driving the Americans out of the country,” the statement reads. RAW supports Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, acknowledges Indian analyst in top daily The group though, did not comment on the recent efforts of the international community to bring it to the negotiation table, aimed at furthering the peace efforts in Afghanistan on behalf of the Afghan government. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had called on the Taliban to opt for “ballots instead of bullets” and to renounce the use of violence as a political tool last week. Ghani has repeatedly asked the group to join peace efforts in the past. Afghan Taliban leaders are in Quetta and Peshawar: Gen Nicholson The Taliban statement comes merely weeks after US President Donald Trump unveiled his new strategy for the conflict-ridden South [Read More…]

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