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Saturday, 12 July 2014

 

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UN rights chief voices alarm over rising civilian deaths in Gaza -
UNITED NATIONS, July 11 (APP): Voicing alarm at the Israeli military operations resulting in the killing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza, as well as firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel, the United Nations human rights chief Friday appealed to all sides to abide by their obligations to protect civilians. 


More than half of world’s population now living in urban areas, UN survey finds -
UNITED NATIONS, July 11 (APP): An additional 2.5 billion people are predicted to live in urban areas by 2050, the United Nations today reported, highlighting the need for a successful urban planning agenda and greater attention to be given to smaller cities where nearly half of all people currently reside.


Pakistan urges drug companies to provide affordable medicines -
UNITED NATIONS, July 11 (APP): Reaffirming its commitment to tackle  non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like heart ailments, cancer, respiratory diseases and diabetes, Pakistan has urged world’s leading pharmaceutical companies to fulfil their corporate social responsibility by offering medicines at affordable prices in developing countries.


De Mistura to succeed Brahimi as new UN envoy for Syria -
UNITED NATIONS , July 11 (APP): Veteran diplomat Staffan de Mistura, a former U.N. special envoy to Afghanistan and Iraq, will replace Lakhdar Brahimi as the new special envoy tasked with seeking a peaceful resolution of the ongoing conflict in Syria.


At UN, Pakistan says it is boosting drive to achieve Millennium Development Goals -
UNITED NATIONS, July 10 (APP): Pakistan is stepping up efforts to achieve the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals—a set of time-bound targets agreed on by heads of state in 2000 -- despite being hampered by security concerns, the fight against terrorism and natural disasters, a high-level U.N. panel was told Wednesday.


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PCB announces 15-member teams against Srilanka for ODI, Test series
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Babar’s knock guides Advance Telecom in Peace Cup cricket quarters
KARACHI, July 6 (APP): Pakistan junior star Babar Azam smashed another spectacular 75 as Advance Telecom advanced in the quarterfinal rounds by inflicting 73 runs defeat on Royal Cricket Club in the second Peace Cup Ramazan Floodlight Cricket Tournament here at the Lawai Stadium Naya Nazimabad on Saturday night.
 
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KARACHI, July 5 (APP): International Rameez Raja smashed the first century in the 29th Omar Associates Trophy Karachi Gymkhana Ramazan Cricket Tournament as the holders Omer Cricket Club thrashed Brothers CC Dadu by whooping margin of 104 runs at KG Ground on Saturday.
 
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Drone war far from over even after Obama’s promise to rein in strikes:Ex-Pakistani diplomat PDF Print E-mail
NEW YORK, May 31 (APP): A former Pakistani diplomat has urged the United States to put an end to U.S. drone strikes against suspected terrorists in Pakistan’s tribal areas to pave the way for rebuilding the crumbling pillars of tribal authority in an effort to stabilize the restive region. In an opinion piece published in The New York Times on Friday, Dr. Akbar Ahmed, former High Commissioner to Britain and the Islamic Studies chair at American University, noted President Barack Obama’s pledge to scale back the strikes, but said the “drone war is alive and well in the remote corners of Pakistan where the strikes have caused the greatest and most lasting damage.” “Drone strikes like Wednesday’s, in Waziristan, are destroying already weak tribal structures and throwing communities into disarray throughout Pakistan’s tribal belt along the border with Afghanistan,” Dr. Ahmed wrote.“The chaos and rage they produce endangers the Pakistani government and fuels anti-Americanism. And the damage isn’t limited to Pakistan. Similar destruction is occurring in other traditional tribal societies like Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen.
The tribes on the periphery of these nations have long struggled for more autonomy from the central government, first under colonial rule and later against the modern state. The global war on terror has intensified that conflict. “These tribal societies are organized into clans defined by common descent; they maintain stability through similar structures of authority; and they have defined codes of honor revolving around hospitality to guests and revenge against enemies.”
In recent decades, Dr. Ahmed wrote, these societies have undergone huge disruptions as the traditional leadership has come under attack by violent groups like the Taliban, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Somalia’s Al Shabab, not to mention full-scale military invasions. 
“America has deployed drones into these power vacuums, causing ferocious backlashes against central governments while destroying any positive image of the United States that may have once existed.
“American precision-guided missiles launched into Pakistan’s Pashtun tribal areas aim to eliminate what are called, with marvelous imprecision, the ‘bad guys’ ... In this context, Dr. Ahmed underscored the need for relying on the three pillars of authority that have traditionally provided stability in Pashtun tribal society: elders, religious leaders and the central government.
“Over the past few decades, these pillars have weakened. And in 2004 ... the pillars of authority began to crumble. “In the vacuum that followed,the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or Pakistani Taliban, emerged.
Its first targets were tribal authorities. Approximately 400 elders have been killed in Waziristan alone, a near-decapitation of traditional society.
“Mr. Obama should not assume that his pledge to scale back the drone war will have an appreciable impact on America’s image or Pakistan’s security unless the strikes stop and the old pillars of tribal authority can gradually be rebuilt.”
 

     

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