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Saturday, 06 February 2016

 

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UN officials call for ending “violent practice” of female genital mutilation by 2030 -
UNITED NATIONS, Feb, 5 (APP): Top United Nations officials are urging the world to eliminate female genital mutilation (FGM) by 2030, calling it a “violent practice” that scars girls for life, endangering their health, depriving them of their rights, and denying them the chance to reach their full potential.  “Never before has it been more urgent  or more possible to end the practice of female genital mutilation, preventing immeasurable human suffering and boosting the power of women and girls to have a positive impact on our world,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message ahead of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) marked annually on February, 6.


Saudi Arabia donates $59 million to UN agency assisting Palestine refugees -
UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 5 (APP): Shelters, schools and health centres in Gaza, the West Bank and Jordan will benefit from $59 million donated by Saudi Arabia to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in the Near East under three agreements signed Friday. The first agreement for $43.5 million will support ongoing projects in Gaza, including the repair of more than 7,500 shelters for Palestinians whose homes were damaged during the 2014 conflict with Israel and the maintenance of three UNRWA schools.


At UN, speakers at Pak sponsored event call for boosting interfaith cooperation -
app01-05newyork.jpgUNITED NATIONS, Feb 5 (APP): Pakistani Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi and other speakers at an event held at the United Nations Thursday voiced serious concern over the increasing hate crimes targeting Muslims in the West, saying that the most effective action to reverse this dangerous trend lay in promoting interfaith cooperation. They also stressed the need for unity among Muslims as they build bridges to other religious communities through stepped up interaction.


Kashmiris and Pakistanis in New York to observe Kashmir Solidarity Day on Friday -
NEW YORK, Feb 4 (APP): Kashmiri and Pakistani people living in and  around New York will gather at the Pakistan House on Friday to show their solidarity and support to the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir struggling for their right to self-determination. The event has been organized by the Consulate General of Pakistan to  mark the annual Kashmir Solidarity Day.


IMF praises Pakistan for robust economic growth, macroeconomic stability -
WASHINGTON, Feb 4 (APP): The International Monetary Fund acknowledged strong performance of the government in the second quarter of the fiscal year 2015-16, after the conclusion of successful review under a three-year Extended Fund Facility which will pave the way for the release of about $500 million to Pakistan. An IMF mission led by Harald Finger, visited Dubai during January 26-February 4, 2016 to conduct discussions with Pakistani officials on the tenth review of Pakistan’s economic program supported by the EFF arrangement. 


Sport News
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.
 
PSL going to be more like IPL than other leagues: Sethi
ISLAMABAD, Feb 4 (APP): Chairman Pakistan Super League (PSL) Governing Council Najam Sethi has said that the PSL is going to be more like the Indian Premier League IPL than the other leagues.   "I say that because there are 200 million Pakistanis at home and abroad. This is by far the single biggest eyeball market in the cricketing world outside of India," he said in an interview with prominent cricket website ESPNcricinfo.   Sethi expressed the desire to hold to the PSL in Pakistan stating, "That is our aim. It is dependent on two things: the financial success of the PSL, how it catches the imagination of the Pakistanis and the world, and on the security situation."
 
Current generation missing Indo-Pak rivalry: Shoaib Akhtar
ISLAMABAD, Feb 4 (APP): Former pacer Shoaib Akhtar feels the current generation is missing out the unique rivalry of cricket matches between Pakistan and India saying he was looking forward to the Asia Cup where both the countries will meet each other. The cricket lovers around the globe can now take a sigh of relief as they don't have to wait too much to see the Indo-Pak encounter as both the sides will be face to face in the Asia Cup on February 27 in Mirpur, Bangladesh, which will be in its new avatar as a Twenty-20 tournament.
 
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United States committed to partnership with Pakistan: Anne Patterson PDF Print E-mail
ISLAMABAD, Feb 15 (APP): United States Ambassador Anne Patterson said United States is committed to a partnership with Pakistan that is built on a foundation of mutual interest, respect and trust. Addressing participants of the National Defence Course at the National Defence University here, she said the U.S and Pakistan enjoy close military to military cooperation today than we have had in many years.
She said the cooperation has been the result of a consultative process that has brought so many of their military and civilian leaders here over the past few months.
“National Security Adviser Jim Jones was here this week and Admiral Mike Mullen, our Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was here last month. Our leading combatant commanders, General David Petraeus and General Stanley McChrystal have been regular visitors here too, as have a number of senior Administration officials and Members of Congress.”
“I attend many of the meetings conducted by our senior military and political leaders with your government and with General Kayani and want to assure you that we have had genuine and thoughtful exchanges of ideas and close consultations on U.S. policy in Afghanistan,” she added.
She said President Obama is genuinely interested in Pakistan and its welfare as he believes the U.S. did not do enough in recent years to help Pakistan fight extremism and terrorism, build its economy and develop a democratic society. 
She said the actions President Obama has taken during the first year of his Presidency reflect his belief that the United States should support Pakistan in all of these areas.
In his December 1 policy speech on the way forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan, President Obama said: “In the past, we too often defined our relationship with Pakistan narrowly. Those days are over.”
The Pakistani people must know America will remain a strong supporter of Pakistan’s security and prosperity long after the guns have fallen silent, so that the great potential of its people can be unleashed.”
She said, “as part of their shared vision of the next steps in the campaign against extremism and militancy, we are coordinating our activities and movements as we have never done before.” 
The Ambassador said she personally participated in many meetings chaired by President Obama in which he has repeatedly spoken of his concern for Pakistan’s security and economic development.  The President’s views are accurately reflected in the broad support for Pakistan throughout his Administration and in the Congress.
She said the principles that President Obama has outlined for our way forward are clear:  the U.S. will continue to attack, disrupt and ultimately defeat al-Qaeda and its extremist allies; and the U.S will support Pakistan in its efforts to build a secure, stable, successful state at peace with its neighbors, democratic and economically prosperous.
For the United States, a major foreign policy initiative needs support from Congress and that support is usually accompanied by assistance funds for the State Department, USAID, the Defense Department or other U.S. government agencies, Patterson informed.
Working closely with senior members of the Congress, President Obama endorsed a large assistance package to help Pakistan strengthen its energy, education, health, and agricultural sectors.
The Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act, also known as the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Bill, authorizes $1.5 billion per year for five years - $7.5 billion total - for civilian assistance to Pakistan, beyond the over $1 billion per year provided for military assistance in separate legislation and authorizations.
She said Senator John Kerry has taken a very strong interest in Pakistan’s welfare and has been a regular visitor here we expect him again next week—because in his congressional oversight role, the Senator wants to see that the initiative bearing his name will result in tangible progress for the Pakistani people.
“Making this commitment to Pakistan while the U.S. is still recovering from the effects of the global recession reflects the strength of our vision. Yet we have made this commitment, because we see the success of Pakistan, its economy, its civil society and its democratic institutions as important for ourselves, for this region and for the world.”
In 2009, she said new thinking crystallized among Pakistan’s political and military leadership. 
She recalled that the Taliban takeover of Swat was a wakeup call for all of them. 
“Their edicts restricting personal freedoms, imposing summary justice and banning girl’s education made it very clear to people here and around the world what kind of country the Taliban believe Pakistan should become.”
Pakistan’s successful military campaign to reestablish the writ of government in Swat and, later in South Waziristan enjoyed enormous popular support throughout the country, she said adding, “The Taliban have been no match for your troops, but they have nevertheless managed to kill many soldiers.  Moreover, they have sent suicide bombers to major cities to kill and maim with a clear goal in mind to promote fear and insecurity among the people of Pakistan.”
She said the action of Taliban have succeeded only in strengthening the will of Pakistan’s military and civilian leadership.
She mentioned public remarks of the Prime Minister to a group of parliamentarians on Tuesday in which he sent a message that the government will no longer tolerate challenges to its authority by terrorists. 
 
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