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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

 

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American Muslim leader says inter-faith dialogue critical to fostering peace -
WASHINGTON, April 16 (APP): A prominent American Muslim leader has urged a sustained inter-faith dialogue effort towards fostering mutual understanding, peace and socio-economic development in the post-9/11 world, riddled with wars and violent extremism. Frank Islam, a leading entrepreneur and philanthropist, was speaking  at premiere screening of acclaimed Pakistani scholar Akbar S Ahmed’s play Noor, which focuses on implications of conflict between forces of moderation and extremism within the Muslim societies and the United States’ strained relationship with some Muslim countries.


UN rights expert urges Israel to prevent settlers’ takeover of West Bank building near Ibrahami Mosq -
UNITED NATIONS, April 15 (APP): A United Nations human rights expert Tuesday urged Israel to prevent settlers from taking over Al-Rajabi House, a building in the West Bank city of Hebron that was built by Palestinian families but whose ownership was granted to the settlers after a protracted legal battle. The four-story building capable of housing 40 families is located  strategically between the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba and the Ibrahami Mosque, also known as Cave of Patriarchs, in the old city of Hebron.


Iran protests UN Ambassador's visa denial -
UNITED NATIONS, April 15 (APP): Iran has lodged a protest at the United Nations over the U.S. refusal to grant a visa to its new U.N. ambassador, saying the move sets a "dangerous" precedent. The White House has said that Iran's selection of Hamid Aboutalebi to be  its United Nations envoy is not "viable". Aboutalebi was reportedly involved with a group of Iranian students responsible for the 1979 takeover of the U.S.



Pakistan set to reap benefit from Chinese experience -
BEIJING, Apr 15 (APP): Pakistan enthusiastically participates in all regional cooperation initiatives led by China whether they are strategically important or economically crucial, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA). Equated by some with the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the latest BFA just concluded in South China’s Hainan Province, reports infuential English daily Global Times. Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif delivered a plenary speech titled “Reviving the Silk Road.” The forum reflects the major contours of the Asian Century under the dynamic leadership of a rising China. Chinese


UN expert urges less military spending, more investment in development -
UNITED NATIONS, April 14 (APP): A United Nations expert Monday called on all governments to boost transparency and cuts in military expenditures, and increase investments in nutrition, health, environmental protection and other major sustainable development challenges. “Every democracy must involve civil society in the process of establishing budgets, and all sectors of society must be consulted to determine what the real priorities of the population are,” Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order Alfred de Zayas said in a statement marking the Global Day of Action on Military Spending.


Sport News
Indo-Pak clash, dire need of subcontinent: Zaheer Abbas
ISLAMABAD, Apr 15 (APP): Asian Bradman Zaheer Abbas while praising the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi for doing all-out efforts for the Indo-Pak clash said Pakistan and India face-to-face is just like the Ashes series of the subcontinent.After an ICC meeting in Dubai, the PCB announced it would conditionally support the reforms to be officially signed in June this year which Sethi said will bring major benefits to Pakistan. Sethi had said that Pakistan will get eight years of series, including archrivals India, earning $300 million, after agreeing to the revamp of the game’s governing body.
 
Keeping Pakistani players away from IPL is a great blow: Wasim Akram
ISLAMABAD, Apr 15 (APP): Former captain Wasim Akram feels keeping Pakistani players away from the Indian Premier League (IPL) is a great blow for cricket-lovers saying mixing sports and politics won’t do any good. Pakistani players have been barred from participating in the IPL since 2008. Howevevr, Akram feels this is the right time for the Pakistani players to be reinstated, for the benefit of subcontinental sports fans.Akram, who is the bowling coach for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), said whenever Pakistan and India players have played either against each other  or together, they have attracted lot of crowds. “I hope in near future Pakistani players will be able to participate because we have great talent,” Pakpassion.net quoted Akram as saying.
 
21th Jeevay Pakistan cycle rally to start on April 23
MUZAFFARGARH, Apr 13 (APP): The 21th Jeevay Pakistan cycle rally will leave for Islamabad, here from April 23, Wednesday. The rally titled ‘Anti-drugs and love with sports’ will start from Missali Public school Muzaffargarh and conclude at Jinnah Stadium Islamabad on May 8. A meeting with Commissioner Dera Ghazi Khan Division, Suhail Shahzad was held in the chair at Commissioner’s office on Sunday to review arrangements for the rally. Commissioner DG Khan lauded for holding cycle rally and urged the participants of the rally to play their role in eradicating menace of narcotics and promote sports and other positive activities.
 
Malik Saad Memorial Snooker Cup begins, Saleh, M. Asif, Asif Toba advance
PESHAWAR, Apr 12 (APP): Former World Amateur Snooker Champion, Muhammad Asif, former World No. 2 Saleh Muhammad and current National Championship Muhammad Asif Toba recorded easy sailing on the opening day of the first Malik Saad Shaheed Memorial Snooker Cup, which got under way here at Snooker Club Gulbahar on Saturday. Surprisingly no one is there for inauguration the prestigious snooker championship despite participating of big guns of the game here in provincial metropolis. The tournament is being organized by Malik Saad Shaheed Sports Trust with former World Amateur Snooker Champion Muhammad Asif is the top seed, former world no. 2 Saleh Muhammad is seeded second and current national champion who won the 39th edition of the National Championship, is seeded third.
 
Peshawar District Handicap Twenty20 Cricket begins
PESHAWAR, Apr 12 (APP): Peshawar White defeated Peshawar Red by four wickets in the opening match of the Peshawar Dsitrict Handicap Twenty20 Cricket Tournament, which got under way here at Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium on Saturday. President of the Peshawar District Handicap Cricket Association and Governor National Youth Assembly Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Muhammad Amar Khan was the chief guest on this occasion who formally inaugurated the tournament in which a total of four teams from Peshawar District are taking part. Organizing Secretary, Syed Jaffar Shah, Coordinators Khalid Aman and Kifayat Ullah, Amjad Khan, players, officials were also present.
 
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US nominee for Afghan envoy favors economic, military support for Pakistan PDF Print E-mail
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WASHINGTON, Mar 26 (APP): As President Barack Obama prepared to lay out a revamped U.S. policy on way forward in militancy‑hit Afghanistan‑Pakistan border region, his nominee for American ambassador in Kabul, Lt Gen Karl Eikenberry, favored economic and military support for Islamabad as part  of a regional security effort.

Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee  for his confirmation hearing, Eikenberry said success  against militants along the porous mountainous border region “is in America’s vital national security interest.”

He said al‑Qaeda and its affiliates “seek to create fear  and chaos in Afghanistan and Pakistan in order to regain  the territorial control that (in Afghanistan) allowed them to so horrifically overturn the peace and tranquility of our Homeland seven years ago (with 9/11 attacks).”

Asked by chairman of the committee Senator John Kerry as to what steps he would recommend to immediately make a difference in the security and stability efforts along the border region, Eikenberry, who has been engaged with the Afghan mission from NATO headquarters in Brussels, replied:

“Trying to get immediate gains is very difficult in Afghanistan‑Pakistan but what will be important is a more honest collaborative exchanges of intelligence and willingness to conduct combined operations between the United States, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“Secondly, focused aid and assistance programs to the Pakistan military that can give them capability and the wherewithal to attack al‑Qaeda and the extremists that are along the border areas in the northwest frontier province.

“And thirdly, helping the Pakistanis to develop (economic) aid programs which just as you have talked on the Afghan side of the border, (it is) important that the Pakistani authorities adopt the same approach on their own side of the border and perhaps finding ways to collaborate between Afghanistan and Pakistan they have combined economic programs that will be win‑win across the border.”

Questioned by a lawmaker about India’s role in Afghanistan and its implications in the context of India‑Pakistan historical tensions, Eikenberry said India has played a role in economic development efforts in the insurgency‑wrecked country. 

At the same time, he noted that “Pakistan and India have had, of course, a very difficult relationship at times, which is over the years, which has seen points of severe tension and points of rapprochement.

“(But) what is critical is that within the region facilitated by the United States to the extent that we can and we can try, and facilitated by other critical nations, that we find ways to have cooperative approaches made toward Afghanistan (so) that it does not become a location of competition (but) it becomes a location for cooperation.”

He claimed that al‑Qaeda and its allies operating in Afghanistan and the Pakistani border areas are planning attacks against the United States and Pakistan itself.

Zeroing in on problems inside Afghanistan he acknowledged that “the situation in Afghanistan is increasingly difficult.”

“Time is of the essence. There are areas of instability and poor governance inside the country and threatening dangerous terrorist sanctuaries beyond its borders. Within these spaces, extremists try to exploit the weakness of the existing political system to impose their own vision of social order characterized by brutality and barbarism. There is no silver bullet and no quick, cheap, or easy solutions. There is no substitute for more resources and sacrifice.”

The United States, its international partners, and most importantly, the Afghans, must work to reduce corruption and strengthen the rule of law, he added. 

“Without real progress on these issues, success will be very difficult to achieve. We need to expand training and education for Afghan judicial and law enforcement officials who are dedicated to serving their people’s access to justice and protection. 

“Today’s sobering reality is that Afghanistan supplies more than 90 percent of the world’s illicit opiates. The corrupting effect of drugs and the steady revenue stream provided by the narcotics trade fuel the insurgency and are a scourge, eroding Afghan aspirations for security, government probity, and economic development. We must acknowledge that the drug trade also affects Afghanistan’s neighbors, who suffer from high rates of addiction and narco‑trafficking associated crime and violence. Accordingly, a coordinated and cooperative regional approach is essential to counter this growing threat.”

 

     

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