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Sunday, 14 February 2016

 

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UN voices concern over Europeís restrictive measures as refugee and migrant influx continues -
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 13 (APP): With the number of refugees and migrants arriving in Europe showing no signs of easing in 2016, the United Nations refugee agency has expressed its concern over increasing restrictive measures on the part of European Member States and called for protecting the human rights of the more than 2,000 people who continue risking their lives every day to reach Europe. Speaking at a press briefing in Geneva, Melissa Fleming, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), underscored that despite rougher seas, harsh winter weather and numerous hardships endured upon arrival, more than 80,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Europe by boat during the first six weeks of 2016, with more than 400 dying in their attempt. Comparably, large numbers began arriving in Europe only by July 2015.


Pakistan snubs NYT for allegation over ISIS, Afghanistan -
WASHINGTON, Feb. 12  (APP): The Pakistan Embassy in the U.S. rejected a report carried out by the New York Times  (NYT) that blamed Pakistan for  deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, adding such accusation would harm the reconciliation process in that country. In a strong rejoinder to the editor, a spokesman for the embassy challenged the assertions made in the report titled "Pakistan's Hands in the Rise of International Jihad" and drew the attention of the author to the world praise for Pakistan for its role in fighting global terrorism.     



UN marks 1st Intíl Day of Women and Girls in Science -

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 12 (APP): More than ever today, the world needs science and science needs women, the head of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said Thursday, marking the first International Day of Women and Girls in Science. “UNESCO’s message is clear “the new [2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development] will not meet its promise without investing in women’s and girls’ empowerment through and in science,” Director-General Irina Bokova highlighted in a message.



At Chicago event, Pakistani diplomat says ending polio top national priority -
faisal_niaz_tirmizi.jpgCHICAGO, Feb. 12 (APP): Over 500 people in Chicago on Thursday attended an event organized by Rotary International, in collaboration with the Pakistani Consulate Genetral, to honour the ‘selfless commitment’ of the people and the government of Pakistan for their tireless work to eradicate polio from the country. “Polio eradication is our national priority and the prime minister of Pakistan is supervising efforts to eliminate this debilitating disease,”  Pakistani Consul Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, told the gathering in the course of discussion on “Ending Polio in Pakistan”. 


Pakistan rejects claims of its role in deteriorating situation in Afghanistan -
NEW YORK, Feb 12 (APP): A Pakistani diplomat has debunked allegations made in an article published in a leading American newspaper last week  that Pakistan had facilitated the recent Taliban offensive in Afghanistan. The article, titled ‘Pakistan’s Hand in the Rise of International Jihad’, was written by Carlotta Gall, a New York Times correspondent who reported from Pakistan from 2001-13.


Sport News
Pakistan beat India 1-0 to claim hockey gold in SAG
ISLAMABAD, Feb 12 (APP): Pakistan continued their supremacy in men's hockey in the region as they defeated historical rivals India 1-0 in the summit clash to clinch gold in the 12th South Asian Games (SAG) at the Moullana Tayabullah Hockey Stadium Guwahati, India on Friday. According to information received here, Awais-ur-Rehman scored the lone goal of the match in dying moments of the first half as Pakistan clinched a hat-trick of titles in the SAG.

 
BCCI has banned me without any evidence: Asad Rauf
ISLAMABAD, Feb 12 (APP): Pakistan umpire Asad Rauf Friday hit out at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for imposing a five-year ban on him for corruption, saying that the Indian Board did not have any evidence to pronounce him guilty. "What authority does the BCCI or IPL have to ban me when the court in Mumbai told the police they had no evidence against me," Rauf asked.

 
World Champion Asif gearing up to regain National Snooker crown
KARACHI, Feb. 12 (APP)- Former IBSF World Amateur Snooker Champion Muhammad Asif was gearing-up to regain his crown in the 41st edition of National Snooker Championship which break-off here from February 15. "Yes I am fully ready to regain my crown after last winning it in 2012," country's premier cueist told APP in an interview on Friday as he prepared to travel to Karachi from Faisalabad to figure in prestigious national event.

 
Zeeshan/Saif steers Pakistan 5th spot in ICC U19 CWC
KARACHI, Feb. 12 (APP)- Pakistan ended its campaign in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup on a winning note, defeating England by seven wickets in Fatullah on Friday to finish fifth in the 16-nation tournament. Batting duo of opener Zeeshan  Malik and Saif Badar starred in their team's triumph with sizzling batting.

 
TDCP Cholistan Jeep Rally starts
BAHAWALPUR, Feb 12 (APP): Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP) 11th Cholistan jeep rally has started here Friday. A total of 80 vehicles have got registered in 8 different categories. Two female drivers are also participating in the event. Qualifying round of the rally will be held on Saturday.

 
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Pak-US strategic cooperation strengthening: US Under Secretary of Defence PDF Print E-mail
ISLAMABAD, Feb 16 (APP): US Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Michele Flournoy Tuesday said Pak-US strategic cooperation has been increasing and both the countries are cooperating in the war against terror.Talking to newsmen here, Michele Flournoy, who is on her maiden visit to Pakistan in this capacity said, “We are looking towards long term strategic partnership with Pakistan.”
She said both the countries have been cooperating in the war against terror and seeking strength in facing common energy of extremism and terrorism.
Michele Flournoy held meetings with Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Tariq Majeed, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Air Force Chief Rao Qamar Suleman, Secretary Defence and Senate Defence Committee Chairman besides other military officials.
Referring to these meetings, she said, she held very useful, productive and effective interaction and discussed defence cooperation between the two countries.
Michele Flournoy referring to the statement of US Secretary of Defence Gates that past mistakes should not be repeated, she said, her visit to Pakistan was to improve the relations.
She said US is also serious to help Pakistan to meet its security needs and especially mentioned provision of F-16 aircraft, other military equipments and training to Pakistan Military to face the menace of terrorism.
She said, “US wants to see the region as stable and peaceful.” Appreciating the operation of Pakistan Army in Swat, Malakand, South Waziristan and other areas, she said, it has proved very helpful for the international forces fighting in Afghanistan.
Replying to a question about disbursement of funds under Coalition Support Fund to Pakistan, she said, it has been linked with the resolution of the visa issue to the US auditors.
She however said US has already been providing assistance to Pakistan and financial assistance has also been increased to meet the requirements of Pakistan Army in its fight against terrorism.
Responding to misunderstanding between the two countries, the Under Secretary of Defence for Policy said, this misunderstanding is on both sides.
She said, “Both sides need to work to talk to the public to resolve this misunderstanding.”    
Most of the Pakistanis, she said, are not aware of the support and cooperation being provided to Pakistan adding that even the Pakistani people are not aware of provision of F-16 aircraft and other military equipments.
Referring to US efforts, she said, the American government took a number of steps and made concrete efforts in the American media about potential of Pak-US relations.
Answering a question about withdrawal of the forces from the posts near Pakistan’s border in Afghanistan before the start of operation by NATO forces in Helmand, she refuted the allegations.  She explained the American General visited Pakistan and talked about the operation with Pakistan Army and operation was launched after conscious discussion with Pakistani forces.
She further said, the pushing of the taliban was not towards Pakistan, rather it was towards north and there has been strict screening in the South to avoid any infiltration of talibans to Pakistan.
Al-Qaida and Taliban, she said, are still threat to the region and the US.
Replying to another question about providing drone technology, she said, US has offered two types of such technology for surveillance without the facility of striking. She said Pakistan is now examining the offer and assured the US would provide such facility of drone technology to Pakistan.
Answering a question about Pak-India relations, she said, “US wants to see resumption of peace process between the two countries.” She said US would support the start of dialogue process.
 
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