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Travel Advisory: Pakistan bans travel from Cat C countries, as Covid-19 spikes

Restricted Travel - CAA Travel Advisory

APP DigitalREVISED APRIL 04, 2021

ISLAMABAD (APP): Amidst a spike in the Covid-19 cases, Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority again updated its travel advisory putting a complete travel ban for international travellers from 22 Category C countries.

The Civil Aviation Authority withdrew all earlier exemptions given to Pakistani passport holders, Pakistan Origin Cardholders, and those having National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP).

“The temporary measure is being introduced in continuation to the steps being taken to contain the spread of Covid-19 in Pakistan,” the revised letter said.

The Civil Aviation Authority modified the list of the countries placed in Categories A, B, and C for all international passengers, or all those arriving on chartered private aircraft flights, in view of the third wave of the deadly pandemic.

A CAA letter available with the APP said the Revised Categorized Country List would be effective from April 06, 2021, till further notice.

Category A countries: (20)

Australia, Bhutan, China, Fiji, Japan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago,  Tajikistan, and Vietnam.

International travellers from Category A countries can travel to Pakistan and do not require a Covid19 PCR Test to enter the country.

Category B countries:

All those countries not included in either Category A or C, fall in Category B.

Travellers from all these countries require a Covid19 PCR Test before the commencement of travel to enter Pakistan, and it should not be more than 72 hours old, the CAA instructions say.

Category C countries: (22)

South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Comoros, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Malawi, Seychelles, Somalia, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

“There will be a complete travel ban on inbound travel to Pakistan from Category C countries including withdrawal of exemptions earlier provided,” the Travel Advisory says.

CAA 200321 Clarification

CAA April 4, 2021
CAA letter April 4, 2021

PTI wins Senate; Secures seats of Chairman and Deputy with margin

Senate Chairman congratulates nation on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr
Senate Chairman congratulates nation on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr

APP DigitalThe ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Friday clinched both the crucial positions for the Chairman Senate and the Deputy Chairman, in a knife-edge competition against the eleven-party opposition alliance.

Sadiq Sanjrani of PTI got 48 votes against 42 of Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani of PDM to win the coveted seat of Chairman Senate, while Mirza Mohammad Afridi won the seat by getting 54 votes against the 44 of Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidari, a joint candidate of PDM, out of a total of 98 votes.

For the seat of Chairman Senate, a total of 98 votes were cast through secret ballot, of which eight votes were rejected. Seven of these ballot papers had a stamp on the name of the candidate and not in the required space – in front of the name of the candidate, while one ballot paper had stamps in front of the names of both the candidates.

Senator Farooq H Naek objected to the rejection of the ballots saying it was not mentioned anywhere in the instructions where to stamp the ballot. He demanded that the votes be counted in favour of their candidate.

The presiding officer Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah in a ruling said keeping in view the clear instructions given for the voting, seven votes, polled for Yusaf Raza Gilani were rejected.

Rejected ballot paper in Senate Elections 202, where the voter stamped on the name instead of the empty space in front
Rejected ballot paper in Senate Elections 202, where the voter stamped on the name instead of the empty space in front

The ruling of the chair was welcomed by the government benches with the thumping of the desks. Later Sadiq Sanjrani took the oath of his office as Chairman for a term on the next three years. The Presiding Officer Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah administered him the oath of office.

Sadiq Sanjrani new Chairman Senate File Photo

Senator Mushtaq Ahmed of Jamaat-e-Islami abstained from the voting process, while Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Ishaq Dar was suspended by the Election Commission of Pakistan due to his absence.

The election for the Deputy Chairman was held after Sanjrani’s election, and this time around the PTI-backed Senator Mirza Moha­m­mad Afridi won the joint opposition candidate Maulana Abdul Gha­foor Haideri of the JUI-F, by ten votes, reflecting that seven opposition members voted for the PTI candidate.

The newly elected Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani thanked the Senators who voted for him and again elected him as their chairman.  He also thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan and Jam Kamal Khan, leader of the Balochistan Awami Party, and assured to run the house by keeping everyone together.

Earlier in the day, the Senate session began with the recitation from Holy Quran.

Senator Raza Rabbani pointed that spy cameras have been installed in the polling booths and termed it a violation of Article 226 of the Constitution. These were spotted by Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar of PPP and Dr Musadik Malik of PML-N

Later it transpired that these were the CCTV cameras installed in the Senate for security purposes and the polling booth was set up in close proximity.

Senator Sayed Muzaffar Hussain Shah, who had been nominated as Presiding Officer for a special sitting of the House asked for the setting up of new polling booths.

Later Presiding Officer Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah, Presiding Officer administered the oath to the new members, who later signed the roll.

The new Senators included; Kamil Ali Agha of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Afnan Ullah Khan of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Aon Abbas of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Ejaz Ahmad Chaudhry (PTI), Sajid Mir (PML-N) and Irfan-ul-Haq Siddiqui (PML-N), Azam Nazeer Tara (PML-N) and Syed Ali Zafar (PTI), Zarqa Suharwardy Taimur (PTI), Saadia Abbasi PML-N, Mohsin Aziz (PTI), Liaquat Khan Tarakai, (PTI), Syed Shibli Faraz (PTI), Hidayatullah Khan (ANP), Faisal Saleem Rehman, (PTI), Atta-ur-Rehman (JUIP) and Zeeshan Khan Zada (PTI), Dost Muhammad Khan (PTI), Muhammad Hamayun Mohmand (PTI) , Sania Nishtar (PTI), Falak Naz (PTI), Gurdeep Singh, Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani (PPPP) , Fawzia Arshad (PTI), Sheher Bano Sherry Rehman (PPPP), Syed Faisal Ali Sabzwari (MQM-P), Saleem Mandviwala (PPPP), Taj Haider (PPPP), Muhammad Fesal Vawda (PTI), Shahadat Awan (PPPP), Jam Mahtab Hussain (PPPP), Farooq Hamid Naek (PPPP), Saifullah Abro (PTI), Palwasha Mohammed Zai Khan (PPPP), Khalida Ateeb, Muhammad Abdul Qadir, Muhammad Qasim (BNP), Molana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri (JUIP), Prince Ahmed Umer Ahmedzai (BAP), Umer Farooq (ANP), Manzoor Ahmed (BAP), Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti (BAP), Kamran Murtaza (JUIP), Saeed Ahmed Hashmi (BAP), Samina Mumtaz (BAP), Naseema Ehsan (Independent), and Danesh Kumar (BAP).

Updated CAA travel advisory for international passengers

Travel Restrictions - Pakistan - Covid19
Travel Restrictions - Pakistan - Covid19
APP Digital Special
APP Digital

According to the updated Standard Operating Procedures announced by the authority, the passengers arriving in Pakistan have been divided into three categories, with different procedures for each.

The passengers arriving from Category A countries would not be requiring any mandatory pre-boarding Covid test. The countries included are; Australia, Cote d’Ivoire, China, Cuba, Fiji, Finland, Ghana, Iceland, Iraq, Madagascar,  Maldives, Myanmar, New Zealand, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Togo, Vietnam, and Zambia.

The travellers from all other countries would have to submit a Covid-19 PCR Test, before boarding their flight to Pakistan, which should not be over  96  72 hours old. While no country has so far been included in Category C.

 

CAA - Covid-19 Travel Restrictions
CAA – Covid-19 Travel Restrictions

 

CAA - Covid-19 Travel Restrictions
CAA – Covid-19 Travel Restrictions

Passengers from the UK and South Africa

Meanwhile, for the inbound passengers from the UK and South Africa, certain restrictions would be applicable, as per the decision of the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC).

These measures would be effective from January 05, 2021, 0001 Hours, the CAA said and would supersede the earlier instructions of Dec 28, 22, and 21.

According to the CAA; all Pakistani Nationals with the short-term UK and South African visit visas and Pakistani Passport Holders including work permit holders, having any type of Visa issued by the British / South African Authorities, may travel to Pakistan./

They may travel in accordance with applicable rules and regulations and Standard Operating Procedures while in possession of a negative PCR Test Result conducted within the 72 hours prior to commencement of travel to Pakistan.

However, any or all passengers traveling to Pakistan from the UK and South Africa will be subjected to PCR Testing, Quarantine and or  Isolation, and other stipulations as specified by the Health Authorities upon arrival in Pakistan

Diplomats and families
Diplomats and their families may also travel to Pakistan from the UK and South Africa while in possession of a negative PCR Test Result conducted within 72 hours prior to commencement of travel to Pakistan.

However, such Diplomats and their families will be subjected to PCR Testing upon arrival and Quarantine, and or Isolation with their respective Embassies or High Commissions for a time period as specified by the relevant Health Authorities

Measures to be effective January 09, 2021, 0000 Hours – January 31, 2021 2359 Hours

NICOP and POC Holders

In addition to the exemption provided above, passengers holding valid National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) or Pakistan Origin Card (POC) and having stayed in the UK or South Africa in the last ten (10) days prior to travel to Pakistan, may travel to Pakistan in accordance with applicable rules and regulations and Standard Operating Procedures while in possession of a negative PCR Test Result conducted within the 72 hours prior to commencement of travel to Pakistan

However, any or all passengers falling in the above categories will also be subjected to Rapid Antigen Tests upon arrival in Pakistan whereby all negative testing passengers will be allowed to leave the airport with the advice to self-quarantine, and or isolate for a period of 5 days.

Any, or all positive testing passengers will be subjected to PCR Testing by the relevant Health Authorities with the advice to ensure strict self-quarantine at home till the results of such PCR Tests. Further action will be taken by the relevant Health Authorities as per SOPs in light of subsequent test results.

Any or all passengers fulfilling any criteria as mentioned above, arriving in Pakistan from the UK or South Africa or having stayed in the UK or South Africa within the last ten (10) days prior to travel to Pakistan may also be subjected to additional stipulations as specified by the relevant Health Authorities upon arrival in Pakistan.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority, these measures will remain in effect until January 31, 2021, 2359 hours and may be reviewed.

Updated CAA travel advisory for international passengers
Travel Advisory by CAA Pakistan for passengers from the UK, South Africa
Travel Advisory by CAA Pakistan for passengers from the UK, South Africa
Travel Advisory by CAA Pakistan for passengers from the UK, South Africa

Report by Shafek Koreshe

Indian plot of systematic disinformation campaign against Pakistan and China, uncovered

APP Digital Published 23:24 091220
APP Digital Special – Updated

A massive operation to serve Indian interests by targeting international institutions, through a systematic disinformation campaign against Pakistan and China has been uncovered by a EU based organisation.

“The operation’s mission is to discredit nations in conflict with India in Asia, in particular Pakistan but also China to a lesser extent,” a study conducted by EU DisinfoLab, an independent NGO said. The operation was a follow up to a preliminary investigation published in 2019.

Eds Note:  Owing to the huge amount of information related to the clandestine disinformation operation the post has been reviewed with additional information. More information will be added soon.

This network is active in Brussels and Geneva in producing and amplifying content to undermine – primarily – PakistanThe operation codenamed “Indian Chronicles” resurrected dead media, dead think-tanks and NGOs. It even resurrected dead people, the report revealed.

The network is part of the sinister propaganda campaign, part of its Fifth Generation Hybrid Warfare – 5GW, against Pakistan with an objective to create chaos in the country.

Indian plot of systematic disinformation campaign against Pakistan and China, uncovered

According to the EU DisinfoLab – the Indian Chronicles is a 15 year-long operation running since 2005; under which over ten UN Human Rights Council accredited NGOs, were resurrected including the resurrection of Prof. Louis B. Sohn, a prominent figure in human rights, who died in 2006. The report has been dedicated in his name.

Indian plot of systematic disinformation campaign against Pakistan and China, uncovered

“Louis B. Sohn, who passed away in 2006, seemingly attended a UN Human Rights Council
meeting in 2007 …”

The study discovered several identity thefts, including the names of Martin Schulz, former president of the European Parliament or the photo of James Purnell, a former UK Government minister. It also included over 750 fake media outlets, covering 119 countries; and over 550 domain names registered.

Also Read: Revelations by EU DisinfoLab vindicates Pakistan’s position, exposes its detractors: PM

The NGO – EU DisinfoLab focuses on researching and tackling sophisticated disinformation campaigns targeting the EU, its member states, core institutions, and core values, said the operation began in 2005 and was still ongoing till this date.

India Chronicles - Summary
India Chronicles – Summary

The study, of the 15-year influence operation, was conducted through open-source investigation and shows that the operation led by the Srivastava Group was amplified by Indian news media outlet – Asian News International – ANI.

Other long-term objectives of the plan included reinforcement of  pro-Indian and anti-Pakistan, and anti-Chinese, feelings, within India. While internationally it aimed at consolidating the power and improve perception of India, to damage reputation of other countries and ultimately benefit from more support from international institutions such as the EU and the UN.

To achieve this objective the operation focused on the support to minority and human rights NGOs and think-tanks, use of Members of the European Parliament to create a mirage of institutional support from European institutions to these minority groups, in favour of Indian interests and against Pakistan and China.

It also had an active presence in Geneva and the United Nations’ Human Rights Council through: side-events and demonstrations in support of minority rights; impersonation of extinguished UN-accredited NGOs or use speaking slots reserved to various NGOs whose original missions seem totally unrelated.

The creation of fake media in Brussels, Geneva and across the world and repackaging and dissemination via ANI and obscure local media networks in at least 97 countries – to multiply the repetition of online negative content about countries in conflict with India, in particular Pakistan.

Indian Chronicles news outlets
Indian Chronicles- Fake International News Outlets

According to the details provided by the EU DisinfoLab, last year, a network of 265 fake media in 65 countries reproducing negative content against Pakistan online was uncovered.

The network was created by malicious actors who were behind “EP Today”, a fake European Parliament magazine active in Brussels since 2006.

One of the characteristics of Indian Chronicle is its propensity to create and maintain a high number of fake
media outlets: EP Today, EU Chronicle, Times of Geneva, 4 News Agency.

The self-proclaimed “magazine for the European Parliament in Brussels” was serving as a “honeypot” for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and other politicians
who could use it to publish their views – particularly those that serve Indian interests and undermine Pakistan.

Some of these MEPs and other politicians attended United Nations side-events, press conferences and demonstrations in Geneva organised by minority-rights NGOs all set-up by the same actors, such as the European Organization for Pakistani Minorities.

The organisations created by the Srivastava Group in Brussels organised trips for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to Kashmir, Bangladesh and the Maldives.

“Delegations of MEPs were often presented as
official EU delegations when they were in fact not
travelling on behalf of the Parliament”

Some of these trips led to much institutional controversy, as the delegations of MEPs were often presented as official EU delegations when they were in fact not travelling on
behalf of the Parliament.

The actors orchestrating Indian Chronicles are directly tied – and again not at all transparently – to the creation of three informal groups in the European Parliament,
namely the “South Asia Peace Forum”, the “Baloch Forum” and “Friends of Gilgit-Baltistan”. They hold press conferences and events within and in front of the European Parliament.

India Chronicles - network of disinformation
India Chronicles – network of disinformation

Organisations like WESTT – the Women Economic and Social Think-Tank – have drafted and suggested parliamentary questions to the European Commission, along with
articles for fake EU magazines such as EP Today. These served as a honeypot to attract a growing number of MEPs into a pro-India and anti-Pakistan discourse, often using
causes such as minorities rights and women’s rights as an entry point.

EU Chronicle – the new “EP Today”

India Chronicles - EU Chronicle
India Chronicles – EU Chronicle

A new fake media with fake journalists supposedly covering European affairs, yet essentially providing a platform for MEPs to sign pro-Indian articles. In less than 6 months of existence, already 11 MEPs have written or endorsed op-eds at a remarkably high pace for EU Chronicle.

The role of ANI: Repackaging and amplifying the content produced in Brussels & Geneva

Back to EU Chronicle. The only valuable coverage these op-eds receive, comes from an immediate repackaging by an Indian press agency – ANI (Asian News International), often quoting these op-eds as genuine articles from “independent media EU Chronicle”.

Without Times of Geneva and 4 News Agency which stopped their activities following our previous investigation, ANI – which is considered as one of the biggest news agencies in India and the largest television agency of India – remains the only press agency to extensively cover the activities of dubious

NGOs in Geneva

While following the coverage – and often distortion – by ANI of its content produced in Brussels and Geneva, the DisinfoLab discovered the Big News Network and the World News Network – an entire network of 500+ fake local media in 95 countries that helped reproduce negative iterations about Pakistan and or China.

India Chronicles NGOs
India Chronicles NGOs

The content produced was primarily targeted at Indian nationals, with an extensive coverage of these barely known “media”, MEPs and “NGOs” in Europe.

The investigation revealed how the activities of a fake “zombie-NGO” and that of a fake specialised media can be repackaged, distorted and amplified by malicious actors to influence or disinform globally, using loopholes in international institutions and online search engines.

How it happens – Step 1

On 17 September 2020, an article is published in EU Chronicle about a letter sent by several MEPs. The letter was sent to “the President of the European Council Charles Michel, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and to the President of France Emmanuel Macron. It requests that the European Union meaningfully addresses, through strong action, China’s Human Rights atrocities at the EU-China Summit”.

It is important to note that this is simply a letter signed by a group of individual MEPs, and this is NOT an official position of the European Parliament. The article is titled rather in a soft manner: “Meaningful address and strong action needed against China’s human rights atrocities”.

Step 2

The article by EU Chronicle is then covered by ANI, and retitled with a slightly harder tone: “Members of the European Parliament urge EU to take strong action on China for Human Rights Violation”.

Part of Indian Chronicles’ dissemination operations revolve around the Big News Network, a self-proclaimed “news agency” owning more than 450 media outlets. While most sites are basically copy-pastes of each other, their content is not remarkably original either. Most of the time, the network syndicates content from newswire companies, some international media outlets and… the ANI press agency.

Another fake media, the “Times of Geneva” – along with an equally fake, allegedly Geneva-based press agency called 4 News Agency – would then produce written and video content.

This content was reused online by NGOs and disseminated via the global fake media network and/or via an Indian press agency (ANI).

Step 3

The coverage by ANI is then distorted by the Big News Network in dozens of fake local/regional media and is now titled “EU to take strong action on China”, in Europenews.net for instance.

This operation was attributed to the New-Delhi based Srivastava Group which – in partnership with the Women’s Economic and Social Think-Tank (WESTT) – sponsored the trip of 27 MEPs to visit Kashmir and met with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The investigation led to the finding of 10 UN-accredited NGOs directly controlled by the Srivastava Group, which the full report introduces at length. Their common trait?

The fact that they all rose from the ashes of real NGOs. Indian Chronicles effectively benefited from the track record of these organisations while pursuing their own agenda:
discrediting Pakistan and promoting Indian interests at UN conferences and hearings.

India Chronicles - How Copy Paste works for Indian fake media outles
India Chronicles – How Copy Paste works for Indian fake media outles

A look at the history of these NGOs clearly showed that the topics and issues at their very heart were not much of a concern for Indian Chronicles. The operation takes just about any defunct NGO it can find and revives it to promote Indian interests.

Examples include organisations defending peace, protecting the environment or even… promoting canned food, the report said.

Before it ceased to exist in 2007, the Canners International Permanent Committee (CIPC) was all about the canning industry. Its reincarnation does not seem so concerned
with food anymore: It mostly dispatches Geneva-based students to the UN to talk about Pakistan, and even organised side events on human rights at the UN.

Centre for environmental and management studies (CEMS)

The year CEMS was created is unknown, but what is known is that it was created in New-Delhi and was already active in the 1980s to promote seminars for industrialists and educationalists on environmental issues.

Traces of an address in New-Delhi have been found, but the current address given to the UN is in Canada and leads to a Regus office.

The domain name linked to the organisation was registered on January 20, 2016 – on the same day as the registration of other accredited NGOs domain names. It is also hosted on the same IP address than several other Srivastava-owned websites. It can be confidently assumed that this organisation had long become inactive and was in fact resurrected by Indian Chronicles.

At the UNHRC, the organisation is also represented either by Geneva-based students or by Pakistan minorities representatives, conveying pro-Indian and anti-Pakistan messages.

The CEMS also organized side events on “human rights in South-Asia” and “Democracy and secularism” at the UN.

Interestingly, ANI and the network of fake local media outlets disseminating ANI’s articles present the Centre for Environmental and Management Studies as a “UK-based rights group” headed by Amjad Ayub Mirza, who is said to be as an “activist from PoK” (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir). Amjad Ayub Mirza presents himself as the Executive Director of the NGO and as a Consultant for the “Jammu Kashmir Peace and Development Institute.” He is also featured in many articles of the ANI News agency.

India Chronicles ANI
India Chronicles ANI

The core theme of the original NGO – environment – was hijacked by Indian Chronicles to undermine Pakistan.

A solid example: “Under CPEC our rivers are being diverted for hydropower projects and these projects are causing water shortages. The projects would forever destroy the ecology of our region. Scores of young men from Gilgit-Baltistan are serving 70-90 years of imprisonment for protesting against the plunder of our national resources.”

The ABCD of Indian Chronicles – Ever heard of the disinformation ABC?

The ABCD of Indian Chronicles - Ever heard of the disinformation ABC?
The ABCD of Indian Chronicles – Ever heard of the disinformation ABC?

In a paper released in September 2019, Camille François, Graphika’s Chief Innovation Officer, pointed to three key vectors for viral deception: manipulative Actors, deceptive Behaviour, and harmful Content. To these the EU DisinfoLab added the D, standing for information Distribution.

The Indian Chronicles network is a perfect illustration of the ABCD disinformation framework.

The EU DisinfoLab concluded its report by expressing concern over “the continuation of Indian Chronicles which – despite our first report and wide press coverage – has pursued its 15-year long operation and even recently launched EU Chronicle, a fake EU outlet.”

“This should serve as a call to action for decision-makers to put in place a relevant framework to sanction actors engaging in disinformation and abusing international institutions. It is possible that the absence of messages from the institutions affected by Indian Chronicles provided the space and opportunity to reinvent itself.”

The current study reopens and builds upon the previous work, which was documented in a report Influencing policymakers with fake media outlets, an investigation into a pro-Indian influence network”.

Report Compilation: Shafek Koreshe

Download Full Report from Eu DisInfo Lab

Mother of Nawaz Sharif – Shamim Akhtar passes away in London

file photo
APP Digital News
APP Digital News

Mother of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and former Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif – Begum Shamim Akhtar passed away in London, Deputy Secretary General PMLN, announced in a twitter message. The cause of death was not given, however late Begum Akhtar was not feeling well for the past some time.

Late Ms Shamim Akhtar, 90 was residing with her son Nawaz Sharif at the Avenfield apartments since February this year.

 

The news of demise of Begum Shamim Akhtar came at a time, when the Pakistan Democratic Movement – PDM was about to hold a rally at Peshawar. The PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif, who is spearheading a campaign against the government, along with ten other opposition parties arrived at the venue after attending a luncheon along with other PDM leaders at the Bilour House.

Mother of Nawaz Sharif - Shamim Akhtar passes away in London

Mian Iftikhar of ANP interrupted the address of Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to let Maryam Nawaz share the sad news with the people. Maryam said she was not in a position to address the rally and asked the people to pray for her grandmother and his father. The participants later offered prayers for the departed soul.

Mother of Nawaz Sharif - Shamim Akhtar passes away in London

Maryam Nawaz Sharif later in a message on twitter said she was not aware of the passing away of her grandmother as the mobile service was jammed and no government functionary did not even bother to inform her.

The PML-N media wing relayed the entire proceedings of the PDM rally live on Twitter and Facebook, and the party social media groups remained tight lipped, despite the social media abuzz with condolence messages from around the world.

Immediately after the breaking of sad news condolence messages from across the political divide started pouring in. President Dr Arif Alvi in his condolence message conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the former Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif.

Prime Minister Imran Khan in a message also conveyed his heartfelt grief and said “My condolences and prayers go to the Sharif family on the passing of Mian Nawaz and Mian Shahbaz Sharif’s mother.”

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Jawed Bajwa also conveyed his heartfelt condolences on sad demise of Begum Shamim Akhtar. “May Allah Almighty bless the departed soul in eternal peace – Ameen,” DG ISPR quoted the COAS as saying.

Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar also conveyed his deep condolences over the sad demise.

President Azad Jammu Kashmir Masood Khan prayed to Allah Almighty “May the departed rest in eternal peace and be in an exalted place in the Hereafter.”

Allama Khadim Rizvi buried; son Saad Rizvi to head TLP

Khadim Rizvi Funeral
APP Digital News
APP Digital News

ISLAMABAD, Nov 21 (APP): The leader of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi was buried here at Lahore, after a huge funeral attended by tens and thousands of his followers.

The funeral prayers were offered at the Minar-e-Pakistan and were attended by party workers and supporters who descended on the provincial capital since Friday from all over the country.

The funeral was led by late Khadim Hussain’s son Hafiz Saad Rizvi. The funeral scheduled to be held at 10 in the morning got delayed due to the huge gathering as the body was moved in an ambulance from his residence to the venue.

Ambulance carrying the dead body of head of Tehreek-e-Libbaik Khadim Hussain Rizvi as a large number of people gather at Minar-e-Pakistan for the funeral prayers
Ambulance carrying the dead body of head of Tehreek-e-Libbaik Khadim Hussain Rizvi as a large number of people gather at Minar-e-Pakistan for the funeral prayers

Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi had ended his sit-in at Faizabad interchange, Islamabad on Monday to protest publication of blasphemous caricatures of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him). However he developed fever and complained of breathing problem, according to his party spokesman. He was rushed to the hospital, but expired on the way on Thursday night. Khadim Hussain Rizvi was laid to rest at Madrasa Abuzar Ghaffari. The 55 year old clerk is survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters.

Apart from the party followers, the funeral was attended by a large number of religious and political figures and the public in general.

After the funeral the Tehreek-e-Labbaik announced his son Hafiz Saad Rizvi as the new “Ameer” – leader of the party.

Video clips released by the TLP showed a huge crowd, being termed as the largest in city’s history.

Stringent security measures were put in place to ensure no untoward incident occurs. Lahore Police said 26 SHOs and 13 DSPs along with thousands of police force were deployed in and around the Minar-e-Pakistan. Snipers and cellular jammers were also deployed at key locations. The crowd peacefully dispersed after the funeral.

Additional traffic wardens were deployed, however owing to the huge crowds, traffic in the city remained stuck for hours on all roads leading to and fro from the venue.

Our Lahore Bureau adds: The DIG Operations commended the Lahore Police for fool proof security arrangements. He said the force played a key role in providing full security to the most important event in the city. He said all operational units of the police remained on high alert and showed excellent teamwork and coordination, along with the district administration, Safe City authority and other departments to ensure safety of the participants.

Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi passes away in Lahore

Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi - File Photo

ISLAMABAD, Nov 19 (APP): APP Digital NewsAllama Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan breathed his last Thursday night at Lahore, his party announced. He was 55.

No reason for his death was given. His party officials said he was rushed to a hospital after he had problem breathing and had fever for past few days. However he was pronounced dead when he arrived at the hospital.

Senior TLP leader Syed Inayat-ul-Haq Shah also confirmed the news and asked the TLP workers to proceed to Lahore to participate in his last rites. The Tehreek-e-Labbaik announced that his funeral would be held on Saturday at 10 in the morning at Minar-e-Pakistan.

Videos on several social media accounts showed large number of his followers rushing to his home and crying over his sad demise.

The fire brand clerk was known for his protest marches, that often became violent and created law and order problems. His last protest was relatively shorter at Faizabad and ended only after a two day blockade of the twin cities on Monday.

Immediately after the confirmation of the news condolences poured in from all sections of society; including the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, Information Minister, Chief of Army Staff, Chief Minister Punjab and political leaders of many parties.

Prime Minister Imran Khan in a tweet expressed his grief over the sad demise of Allama Khadim Rizvi and conveyed condolences to his family.

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa also conveyed his condolences over the demise of the TLP leader.

 

Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant to the Chief Minister on Information in Punjab also expressed grief over his sad demise.

Amir Jamat Islami also expressed his grief and prayed to Allah Almighty to bless the departed soul.

Sit-in by TLP at Faizabad causing massive gridlock in twin cities

Sit-in by TLP causes massive gridlock in twin cities
Sit-in by TLP causes massive gridlock in twin cities
APP Digital Logo
APP Digital News

ISLAMABAD, Nov 16 (APP): A sit-in by the Tehreek-e-Labaik (TLP) Pakistan at Faizabad has caused a massive gridlock in the twin cities, disrupting normal life and causing problems to commuters, office workers, students and in particular for those with medical conditions.

The TLP had planned to hold a march from Liaqat Bagh to Faizabad on Sunday to protest against the blasphemous caricatures, but was denied permission by the District administrations of both Rawalpindi and Islamabad, owing to its violent history.

The supporters of Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi despite the road blocks gathered at Liaqat bagh Sunday afternoon and after a prolonged confrontation with the riot police managed to reach Faizabad interchange, the central linkage between the twin cities and blocked the road.

Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Hamza Shafqaat in a tweet earlier in the day said the Islamabad Expressway was blocked for all north bound traffic from Khanna and appologized for the inconvenience. He also promised for early rectification of the situation.

The SSP Islamabad Traffic Police Farrukh Rashid in a tweet gave the detailed traffic diversion plan, however owing to the clashes many of the alternative entry points were blocked by the police as a precaution.

 

Aternative Route issued by Islamabad Police 161120 1430 hrs
Aternative Route issued by Islamabad Police 161120 1430 hrs

People have demanded of the TLP leader to end their sit in as they have already registered their protest against the caricatures, however creating obstacles and roadblocks was also un Islamic and forbidden by the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him).

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s consistent stance on Kashmir

Imran Khan speaks for Kashmiris
Imran Khan speaks for Kashmiris

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s stance on Kashmir at international fora to highlight gruesome human rights violations by India

 

Indian media’s fake “civil war” in Pakistan, falls flat on face

Fake News Karachi
APP Digital Small logo
By Shafek Koreshe

In an abortive attempt to create diversion from Narendra Modi’s human rights abuses in Kashmir, the Indian media went berserk by propagating fake news about a “civil war” like situation in Karachi, triggering a hilarious response from the twitterati in Pakistan, who enjoyed every bit of the ridiculous reports.

#CivilWarInPakistan and #KarachiCivilWar were in no time the top trends, with the young twitter users going crazy by posting video clips from action movies, comics, images of the Indian MiG pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, shot down by Pakistan Air Force inside Pakistan’s territory, as scenes from the Civil War, getting an equally enthusiastic response with numerous retweets and likes.

The arrest of PML-N leader Captain (Retd) Safdar on charges of political sloganeering at Quaid’s Mausoleum and leave applications by senior police officers was exploited by the top Indian news channels, who portrayed an administrative issue as a “civil war” and went to the extent of even reporting casualties, and armed clashes.

Indian Media ditches professionalism to dip at to its lowest 

#FakeNews CNN18News
#FakeNews CNN18News

The news reports were part of a persistent barrage of fake news from Indian mainstream media and its RAW controlled assets on social media over the past few months. The trend has witnessed a sharp spike as part of India’s fifth generation war (5GW) against Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office on the “malicious and fabricated propaganda” by Indian mainstream and social media claiming civil unrest in Pakistan, said planting such baseless stories were reflective of the “Pakistan-obsessed BJP-RSS” mindset.

“Needless to say that Indian media continues to hit new lows,” he said, when asked to respond over the series of fake news flashed as breaking news across the Indian media about a “civil war in Pakistan”.

“Indian media continues to hit new lows”: FO

The Spokesperson said through “peddling fake news and running propaganda machinery”, India could not wash away the truth about its own gross and systematic human rights violations in Indian Ilelgally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

“Rather than reporting on humanitarian crisis in IIOJK, the Indian media chooses to spread fake and sensational news about Pakistan to detract from core issues,” he said.

5th Gen War – Twitterati bust RAW’s #Fake letter attributed to COAS

 

#FakeNews - Yet another figment of imagination of Indian Media
#FakeNews – Yet another figment of imagination of Indian Media

The Indian media tried hard to appease its own consumers and to create a diversion from its human rights abuses in occupied Kashmir. However in its abortive attempt it created history by churning out fake news overpowered by the anti-Pakistan hysteria, undermining its professional ethics and credibility.

#FakeNews - India Today with its concocted news story
#FakeNews – India Today with its concocted news story

The unleashing of the Indian media did not go unnoticed, as Michael Kugelman, deputy director at the @AsiaProgram and South Asia senior associate @TheWilsonCenter in a tweet pointed that the Indian disinformation accounts were exploiting Pakistan’s current political crisis, and “falsely claiming that the country is no experiencing urban warfare.”

He described the trend as “dangerous and disturbing”, as several of these accounts were verified and had huge followings.

Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari said the Indian media was in “hyper drive with fake news on Pakistan” and regretted that it was “unfortunate that Twitter is [deliberately ignoring it].”

All major media outlets in so-called world’s biggest democracy decimated all journalistic norms as none bothered to fact-check such a huge gaffe. India’s News18, India Today, Zee News, India.com and several others quoted the International Herald which showed old videos of bomb explosions in Pakistan and portrayed it as the ongoing civil war.

#FakeNews - Indian International Herald tweet
#FakeNews – Indian International Herald tweet

The Institute of Policy Research in a report said their data indicates a pattern of Indian propaganda against Pakistan on digital media that grew exponentially after 2018 General Elections in #Pakistan. The propaganda hovers around largely 4 key themes.

IPRI Timeline of Indian Propaganda
IPRI Timeline of Indian Propaganda

Minister for Ports and Shipping pointed that the Indian propaganda was at its peak and “sadly fueled by the PDM Circus.” He said the food inflation was artificially manufactured, but was being brought under control.

Minister for Kashmir Affairs also lambasted the “fake, fabricated and malicious propaganda campaign to malign State institutions of Pakistan. He urged @Twitter to take action against Indian accounts for #FakeNews against Paksitan.

However, this idiocy of Indian media gave the Twitterati a perfect chance to enjoy as the microblogging site was flooded with messages to ridicule the Indian media’s insanity.

“Karachi civil war has gotten so bad that my food panda delivery boy had to crawl through mine fields carrying his AK47, RPG & 9mm along with my nihari and Biryani. This thing is getting so serious. Multiple cows have been killed & people are dying of over eating. #IndianMedia,” commented renowned singer Fakhr-e-Alam.

Besides numerous other fake photos, the Indian media also used an image of a building collapsed following a gas leakage blast in Karachi earlier in the day to substantiate its fake news of civil war.

“A little investigation would have informed Zee News that it wasn’t a bomb blast in ‘civil war’ in Pakistan but the result of a  gas leak in Karachi. Whither truth, objectivity, balance and fairness in reporting?,” said Farhatullah Babr, former senator of Pakistan Peoples Party which rules Sindh province.

“An Aircraft shot during civil war in Karachi… and the pilot captured…,” commented another Twitter user Fasihuddin while sharing the images of Indian aircraft MiG-21 and captured injured pilot Abhinandan following an aerial dogfight during India-Pakistan standoff in 2019.

Pakistan’s tourism sector offers lucrative investment opportunities: Aun Chaudhry

ISLAMABAD, Jan 28 (APP): Advisor to the Prime Minister on Tourism and Sports Aun Chaudhry has said that great investment opportunities are available in the tourism sector of Pakistan and the government is extending all possible support for encouraging investment in this sector.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the two-day ‘Travel and Adventure Show’ in New York on Saturday, Aun Chaudhry said that overseas Pakistanis and investors can take full advantage of this opportunity which not only will help to explore the tourism potential of Pakistan but will also promote soft image of Pakistan at international level.

The PM aide expressed the commitment to promote Pakistan’s tourism sector at all levels, saying that the development of this sector will help in achieving economic development by generating more foreign exchange.

He said that efforts are being made to promote and showcase Pakistan’s rich tourism heritage at all international forums with the active participation of stakeholders.

He also appreciated the cooperation of the mission of Pakistan in New York and the efforts of public and private sector tourism organizations for promoting the soft image of Pakistan through arranging such events.

Speaking at the occasion, PTDC Managing Director Rana Aftar Rehman also briefed about the plans and activities of PTDC to get maximum benefits from the event.

PTDC, along with six provincial and regional tourism departments, 20 private tour operators, and hospitality companies will take part in the show, and highlight the country’s rich tourism potential for the world.

The provincial departments taking part in the event include Sindh Tourism Development Corporation (STDC), Tourism Development Cooperation of Punjab (TDCP), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cultural and Tourism Authority (KPCTA), Culture and Tourism Department Gilgit-Baltistan (CTDGB) and Tourism Department of Balochistan.

The Pakistani delegation will also participate in other sideline meetings to promote Pakistan as a tourist destination in the North American market.

“The event is a great opportunity to showcase the great potential of Pakistan’s tourism industry and create linkages with the leading international players of the tourism industry which will greatly help attract more tourists.

The event will also help enhance the inflow of foreign tourists to discover the rich tourism potential of Pakistan which will contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.

Travel and Adventure Show provides a great opportunity to interact with the top international and domestic travel destinations, tour operators, cruise lines and travel providers.

With more than 110 events and over 18 years running, the Travel and Adventure Show series has been the go-to place for over 2.5 million travellers and over 4,500 of the world’s top destinations, tour operators, cruise lines and travel providers from around the globe.

Pakistan has great potential to attract a huge number of foreign tourists and expatriate Pakistanis to explore and witness the country’s culture, ecotourism and Sikh heritage.

Kashmiri expatriates in Japan to observe Feb 5 as Kashmir Solidarity Day

MIRPUR (AJK): Jan 28 (APP) :: Japan-based Kashmir Solidarity Forum (KSFJ) Chairman Barrister Shahid Majeed Sheikh said that February 5 will be observed as Kashmir Solidarity Day in Japan to express solidarity with Kashmiri people and to condemn Indian occupational forces’ atrocities in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK).

Talking to APP via phone from Tokyo on Saturday, he said that India’s illegal occupation has created an alarming situation in IIOJK where innocent people were being killed every day by the Indian forces which failed to curb Kashmiris’ voice for freedom.

He continued that on February 5, Kashmiri expatriates in Japan will submit a resolution from the platform of KSFJ to the United Nations Representative Office in Tokyo to remind the UN of its pledge made to the people of Kashmir, accepting their right of self-determination. “A similar resolution will also be submitted to the Indian Embassy in Tokyo,” he added

He said India has been trying to enforce its aggressively-hostile agenda in the entire region and the entire world clearly knows India’s frustrated efforts for establishing its so-called supremacy in South Asia.

Barrister Majeed said the heinous designs of the Indian government to maintain its illegal hold on Jammu and Kashmir has put the safety and future of South Asia at stake.

KSFJ Chairman said that Kashmiris had been fighting for their birthright for the last seven decades and would continue the independence movement till it reached its logical conclusion.

He said that Kashmiris around the Line of Control and around the world observe February 5 every year as Kashmir Solidarity Day to renew their pledge for their struggle for independence.

He said the Kashmiri people would never accept India’s occupation of their land. New Delhi, human rights organizations and major powers should realize the ground reality and resolve the ongoing conflict in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

Barrister Majeed expressed concern that the situation in IIOJK was getting worse with each passing day and Kashmiri people’s quest for freedom was gaining momentum consistently. He said the day was not far when people in IIOJK would get their legitimate right to freedom.

He said that India presents itself as a so-called champion of human rights, while the fascist Modi government is inflicting immense atrocities on the minorities living in India and is bent on changing the proportion of the population in Kashmir.

He said that more than one million Indian occupying forces have put eight million Kashmiris under siege and made the occupied territories the largest prison in the world.

“Despite all these inhuman acts, India has not been able to dampen the determined spirit of freedom-loving Kashmiri people”, asserted KSFJ Chairman.

Remington JPF win U-19 Junior Polo Championship

APP36-280123 LAHORE: January 28 - A view of under 19 Polo Championship final at Jinnah Polo Fields between Remington JPF VS Raptors. APP/IRR/ABB/FHA

By Sohail Ali

LAHORE, Jan 28 (APP):Remington JPF won the U-19 Junior Polo Championship 2023 title for the third time in a row after thumping Team Raptors by 7-4 in the final played here at the Jinnah Polo Fields on Saturday.

Rising polo player Basel Faisal Khokhar performed exceptionally well from the winning side and smashed in five fabulous goals while Ibrahim Sultan and Faris Nuruddin contributed with one goal each. For Team Raptors, Ibrahim Ali hammered a hat-trick of goals while Mustafa Fahad converted one goal for Team Raptors.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Captain Remington JPF Basel Faisal Khokhar said: “My parents have given me the opportunity to play polo at every level due to which I have won this honor and the title. I am very delighted and excited with this title victory and I am eager to win more titles.”

The U-19 Junior Polo Championship, which is a calendar event of the Pakistan Polo Association (PPA), was participated by three teams out of which Raptors and Remington JPF qualified for the finals. President of Jinnah Polo Fields Lt Col Shoaib Aftab (R), Secretary JPF Major Ali Taimur (R), former polo legend Irfan Ali Hyder were the special guests and distributed prizes among the winners.

Security forces gun down active terrorist in Mir Ali IBO: ISPR

RAWALPINDI, Jan 28 (APP): The security forces on Saturday killed an active terrorist involved in extremist activities during an Intelligence Based Operation (IBO) conducted in general area Mir Ali, North Waziristan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

During the operation, intense fire exchange took place between the army troops and terrorists, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

The security forces also recovered weapons and ammunition from the killed terrorist, who remained actively involved in terrorist activities against security forces and the killing of innocent citizens.

NYTAS to attract foreign investment in tourism sector

ISLAMABAD, Jan 28 (APP): New York Travel and Adventure Show (NYTAS) 2023 would create a soft image of Pakistan internationally and help to attract foreign investment in the tourism sector.

Pakistan Tourism Development Cooperation (PTDC), along with provincial regional partners and 20 private sector companies of tourism industry, will showcase Pakistan’s rich tourism potential in the two-day ‘Travel and Adventure Show at Jakob Javits Convention Center New York’, which started today.

The Trade and Adventure Show New York is the pre-eminent travel marketplace in the United States and the event provided a great opportunity to interact with the top international and domestic travel destinations, tour operators, cruise lines, and travel providers, said a news release received here.

The Trade and Adventure Show New York attracts 750 exhibitors from more than 175 countries making it the largest trade show in North America.

Advisor to Prime Minister of Pakistan Awn Chaudhry, while addressing the event, said that “Pakistan has diversified tourist attractions and efforts are being made to represent Pakistan tourism heritage at international forums with the active participation of stakeholders”.

He acknowledged the contributions of the foreign mission of Pakistan in New York and the efforts of public & private sector tourism-related entities for the promotion of the soft image of Pakistan.

UN Rights chief slams large-scale repression of human rights in Myanmar

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 28 (APP): Nearly two years on from Myanmar’s brutal military coup against the democratically-elected government, the Southeast Asian country has sunk deeper than ever into crisis, undergoing a wholesale regression in human rights, UN human rights chief Volker Turk has said.

“By nearly every feasible measurement, and in every area of human rights – economic, social and cultural, as much as civil and political – Myanmar has profoundly regressed,” he said in a statement.

Citing credible sources, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Right (OHCHR) said that at least 2,890 people have died at the hands of the military and others working with them, of whom at least 767 were initially taken into custody, adding that it was almost certainly an underestimate on the numbers killed by the military.

A staggering 1.2 million Burmese have been internally displaced, and over 70,000 have left the country — joining more than a million others who have fled, including the bulk of the country’s Rohingya Muslim population, who’ve suffered decades of sustained persecution and attacks, OHCHR noted.

“Despite clear legal obligations for the military to protect civilians in the conduct of hostilities, there has been consistent disregard for the related rules of international law”, Turk, the head of OHCHR, added.

“Far from being spared, civilians have been the actual targets of attacks – victims of targeted and indiscriminate artillery barrages and air strikes, extrajudicial executions, the use of torture, and the burning of whole villages.”

The UN rights chief saluted the courage of all those who have lost their lives so far “in the struggle for freedom and dignity in Myanmar, and the continuing pain and suffering of their families and loved ones.”

Credible information indicates that over 34,000 civilian structures, including homes, clinics, schools and places of worship, have been burned over the past two years, the rights office said.

And Myanmar’s economy has collapsed with nearly half of the population now living below the poverty line.

Since 1st February 2021, the military has imprisoned the entire democratically elected leadership of the country and, in subsequent months, detained over 16,000 others – most of whom face specious charges in military-controlled courts, in flagrant breach of due process and fair trial rights, linked to their refusal to accept the military’s actions, OHCHR underlined.

“There must be a way out of this catastrophic situation, which sees only deepening human suffering and rights violations on a daily basis,” Turk said. “Regional leaders, who engaged the military leadership through ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) agreed a Five-Point Consensus that Myanmar’s generals have treated with disdain.”

“Two of the critical conditions that were agreed – to cease all violence and to allow humanitarian access – have not been met”, he continued. “In fact, we have seen the opposite. Violence has spiraled out of control and humanitarian access has been severely restricted.”

The High Commissioner pointed to other political measures that would be crucial to resolving the crisis. First, the release of all political prisoners, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint, as called for by the UN Security Council.

He said inclusive dialogue with all parties was essential, involving both the ASEAN Chair and the UN Special Envoy. OHCHR must be given meaningful access to the country to monitor the situation independently and impartially, he added.

“Restoring respect for human rights is a key to ending this crisis, to end this situation where Myanmar’s generals are trying to prop up through brute force a decades-old system in which they answer to no-one but themselves,” Turk said.

“Those responsible for the daily attacks against civilians and the human rights violations must be held accountable”, Turk said.

“The military needs to be brought under real, effective civilian oversight. This will be difficult to achieve, but these elements are critical to restoring any semblance of democratic rule, security and stability to the country.”

He noted that the Security Council united “to adopt a path-breaking resolution that demanded an immediate end to the violence, among other urgent steps”, just last month.

“Now it is time for the world to come together to take common actions to stop the killing, protect the people of Myanmar, and ensure respect for their universal human rights.”

Caretaker CM orders to simplify departmental induction procedure for police martyrs’ children

LAHORE, Jan 28 (APP):Caretaker Chief Minister Punjab Mohsin Naqvi has ordered to simplify departmental induction procedure for the children of police martyrs.

These directions were issued during a meeting with Inspector General of Police Dr Usman Anwar and CCPO Lahore Bilal Kamyana, who met with CM Mohsin Naqvi at CM Office on Saturday.

It was decided to award 10 extra numbers to the children of police martyrs appearing on open merit during departmental induction.

Mohsin Naqvi apprised that rules would further be eased regarding departmental induction of police martyrs’ children and in case of non-availability of a seat in the concerned district the children of police martyrs could be inducted in some other districts.

It was also decided to enhance assistance package of brave ghazis for getting disabled during performing their duties and fighting against anti-social elements.

On the direction of caretaker CM, Inspector General of Police has constituted a three member committee to be headed by DIG Establishment, DIG Operations and DIG IT. The committee after formulating its recommendations within seven days and will submit them in the next meeting of the Executive Board.

Caretaker CM Mohsin Naqvi stated that it was a due right of the families of martyrs to grant them respect and dignity owing to sacrifices being laid down by the brave martyrs of our dear homeland.

He directed to dispose off pending financial assistance cases of martyrs families at the earliest, adding that arrangement of funds would be made forthwith to ensure financial assistance payment to the families of martyrs without any delay.

Caretaker CM outlined that system would further be streamlined to enable the children of martyrs to acquire higher education and an admission policy would be chalked out in quality educational institutions of relevant districts for martyrs children.

He directed to make admission arrangements for the children of martyrs in the best medical, engineering, computer sciences and other quality educational institutions on preferential basis.

The Inspector General of Police gave him briefing with regard to simplifying departmental induction procedure for children martyred policemen.

Interior Ministry rejects news about increase in Machine Readable Passports’ fee

ISLAMABAD, Jan 28 (APP): A spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior on Saturday strongly rejected reports circulating on social media about the increase in fees of Machine Readable Passports (MRPs), terming them “baseless.”

“There is no increase of any kind in the fee of Machine Readable Passports,” the spokesman clarified.

He further said the federal government had approved the issuance of e-passports, but “The E-passport facility has not been launched yet.”

The Department of Immigration and Passports had recently fixed the ordinary fee for e-passports, which would be applicable for “e-passports only” while the rest fees to remain the same-old, he said.

PM appreciates Saad Rafique for launching Islamabad-Karachi Greenline Train

Federal Minister for Railways and Aviation, Khawaja Saad Rafique calls on Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif
APP File Photo

ISLAMABAD, Jan 28 (APP): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Saturday appreciated Minister for Railways and Aviation Khawaja Saad Rafique for launching the Greenline Train from Islamabad to Karachi.
While responding to a tweet of the minister about the impressions of the passengers travelling on the train, the PM in his tweet said, “True public service is serving the people and making their lives easy. Well done, Saad Rafique.”

Pakistani Zaireen lay traditional Chaddar at Dargah Ajmer Sharif

ISLAMABAD, Jan 28 (APP):A delegation of Pakistani Zaireen placed the traditional Chaddar at the Dargah of Hazrat Khawaja Syed Moinuddin Hasan Chishti (RA) in Ajmer Sharif on Saturday, on the occasion of the 811th annual Urs celebrations.

Salman Sharif, Chargé d’Affaires, Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi, also took part in the ceremony, representing the Government of Pakistan.
According to Pakistan’s High Commission in New Delhi, at the Dargah, the delegation was welcomed by Syed Bilal Chishti and other prominent members of the Anjuman Moinia Fakhria Chishtia Khuddam Sahib. After placing the Chaddar, special prayers were offered. The Dargah notables performed “dastarbandi” of the Chargé d’Affaires and representatives of the Zaireen.
The Chargé d’Affaires thanked the Dargah custodians and the administration for facilitating his visit and for looking after the Pakistani delegation during the auspicious occasion of the annual Urs.
The Chargé d’Affaires said that Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti (RA) is one of the most revered Sufi saints of the sub continent. His values, teachings and practices of peace, unity, tolerance and harmony carry an eternal message and serve as a beacon of hope for the world today.
Later, the Zaireen held a separate meeting with the Chargé d’Affaires and expressed their gratitude to the Government of Pakistan and the High Commission for facilitating their visit.
Pakistani Zaireen attend the annual Urs Mubarak under the framework of the 1974 India-Pakistan Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines. This year a total of 240 Zaireen, led by a representative of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, are visiting Ajmer Sharif from 25 January to 1 February, 2023 to participate in the 811th Urs Mubarak.

PM welcomes Maryam Nawaz on return to Pakistan

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addressing a news conference
APP File Photo

ISLAMABAD, Jan 28 (APP): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Saturday welcomed Senior Vice President of Pakistan Muslim League(Nawaz) Maryam Nawaz on her return to Pakistan.
In a tweet on social media platform Twitter, he said, “With the blessing of Allah and prayers of the nation, daughter Maryam Nawaz came back to the country after regaining her health.”
“In the way, she always upheld the ideology of Quaid Muslim League(Nawaz), principles and truth, with the same enthusiasm and energy she will assume her responsibilities,” he added.

PUIC committee adopts Pakistan’s resolution on Kashmir

ISLAMABAD, Jan 28 (APP): The Parliamentary Union of the Islamic Countries (PUIC) standing specialized committee of political and foreign affairs unanimously approved Pakistan’s Resolution on Kashmir.

The resolution, urging the international community to take cognizance of blatant Indian atrocities in Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir, its unionization, alteration of the political map, and sought reversal of actions of August 2019, stopping New Delhi from committing human rights violations, was presented by Deputy Speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly Zahid Akram Durrani.

The resolution will now be taken up at the main conference during its final session on Sunday, and if approved, the resolution will be part of the final communiqué of the conference, said a news release received here.

He is leading the parliamentary delegation in Algeria, to attend the 17th session of the Parliamentary Union of the Islamic Countries (PUIC) in Algiers.

Deputy Speaker emphasized the need for the resolution of the issue in accordance with United Nations resolutions. The adoption of the resolution marks a significant success for Pakistan in terms of its parliamentary and diplomatic efforts to showcase Kashmi’s issue at the international fora for its immediate resolution as per the aspirations of the Kashmiri people, said Zahid Akram Durrani.

Durrani urged the international community to act and to work towards finding a peaceful and just solution to the longstanding issue of Kashmir.

He also underscored that the resolution represents a crucial step in drawing the attention of the international community to the ongoing human rights violations and the need for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir conflict.

Pakistan’s delegation participation in the PUIC session and the successful adoption of the resolution on Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir is a testament to Pakistan’s ongoing efforts to promote peace and justice on the international stage and to support the Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination.

Nation rejects Imran Khan’s “lies” by warmly welcoming Maryam Nawaz: Info Minister

ISLAMABAD, Jan 28 (APP): Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Saturday said the people had rejected the “lies of Imran Khan” by giving warm welcome to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senior Vice President and Chief Organizer Maryam Nawaz at the Lahore Airport on her return from London.

The minister, in a tweet, said Imran Khan who was a “plunderer” of Toshakhana had received an answer from the people who accorded a warm welcome to Maryam Nawaz.

“By giving a warm welcome to Maryam Nawaz without a call from party, the nation has proved with whom they stand with,” she added.

The minister extended gratitude to the nation for turning out in a large numbers at the airport for welcoming Maryam Nawaz back to the country.

Women empowerment top priority of AJK govt: Sardar Tanveer

MUZAFFARABAD, Jan 28 (APP): Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan said empowering women in the liberated territory was the first and foremost priority of his government.

He expressed these views during his visit to the Kamyab Khawateen Programme Production Centre here on Saturday.

“Women’s representation in the government is showing better results”, he said, adding that making women skilled and employed across the state was the incumbent government’s top priority.

He inspected a variety of things, including shawls, gaba, vases, jewellery and fancy dresses being made by local women in the production centre and commended their work.

On the occasion, AJK PM was given a detailed briefing about the garments made by women and the problems faced by them in the production centre.

Chairman and Secretary Technical and Vocational Education Authority (TEVTA), while briefing AJK PM, said that 100 sewing machines were given to Vocational Training Center which has been made functional in the last few days. He said that in the first phase, gowns will be prepared for all the doctors and paramedical staff of districts Muzaffarabad and Poonch.

Talking to the media, Sardar Tanveer said handicrafts being prepared by women in the production centre would be taken to major markets. “We are building display centres in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad where our local production will be showcased.”

“Our goal is to make 6,000 women skilled in Muzaffarabad so that they can be self-sufficient economically by establishing their own industry in the future”, AJK PM said.

Commenting on the ban imposed on polyurethane bags, he said after the ban on plastic shopping bags, the market demand for cloth bags increased.

He said that sewing centres would also be established in other districts of Azad Kashmir.

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira addressing a press conference

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira addressing a press conference
APP37-280123 ISLAMABAD: January 28 - Advisor to the Prime Minister on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira addressing a press conference. APP/IQJ/ABB/FHA
Advisor to the Prime Minister on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira addressing a press conference
APP37-280123 ISLAMABAD:

PMLN Vice President and Chief Organizer Maryam Nawaz addressing a public gathering outside the Allama Iqbal International airport

PMLN Vice President and Chief Organizer Maryam Nawaz addressing a public gathering outside the Allama Iqbal International airport
APP38-280123 LAHORE: January 28 - PMLN Vice President and Chief Organizer Maryam Nawaz addressing a public gathering outside the Allama Iqbal International airport. APP/IQJ/AHF/ABB/FHA
PMLN Vice President and Chief Organizer Maryam Nawaz addressing a public gathering outside the Allama Iqbal International airport
APP38-280123 LAHORE:
PMLN Vice President and Chief Organizer Maryam Nawaz addressing a public gathering outside the Allama Iqbal International airport
APP39-280123 LAHORE: January 28 – A large number of PMLN party workers holding with flags and banners gathered outside Allama Iqbal International Airport to welcome Maryam Nawaz, Senior Vice President and Chief Organizer of PMLN. APP/IQJ/AHF/ABB/FHA

ICAP elects office bearers for 2023-24

ISLAMABAD, Jan 28 (APP): The Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) unanimously elected its new office bearers for the year 2023-24 in its 365th meeting held in Karachi.

The Council unanimously elected M. Ali Latif as President of the Institute, Arslan Khalid and Asad Feroze as Vice Presidents, said a press release issued here on Saturday.

The Council lauded the services of the outgoing office bearers and announced Gold Medal for Ashfaq Yousuf Tola for his meritorious services. The Council also announced mementos to Saifullah and Husnain R. Badami in recognition of their services.

Newly elected President of the Institute M. Ali Latif is a Fellow Member (FCA) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP).

He is a second generation Chartered Accountant and son of a well known practicing chartered accountant, late M.T.K Rehmani, who practiced under the name and style of “M/s Rehmani & Co., Chartered Accountants”.

He has more than 20 years of experience in the accounting and audit profession and is responsible for managing a wide ranging portfolio of clients across different economic sectors.

He is currently working as Partner in “M/s Muniff Ziauddin & Co., Chartered Accountants, Representing BKR International and is a Council Member since 2017. He had earlier also served as an Elected Member of the Northern Regional Committee of ICAP for two consecutive four-year terms (2009-2013 & 2013-2017) and as Chairman of various ICAP Committees.

He has also served as Vice President of ICAP & President of Pakistan Institute of Public Finance Accountants, PIPFA and has recently been appointed as the Non-Executive Director on the Board of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

District administration announces local holiday on Monday

ISLAMABAD, Jan 28 (APP): The district administration of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) on Saturday declared January 30 (Monday) as a local holiday.

According to a notification issued by the ICT administration, “the local holiday is declared within the revenue limits of ICT except the offices of essential services including Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) Capital Development Authority (CDA), ICT Administration, ICT Police, IESCO, SNGPL and Hospitals.”

Gwadar airport to be inaugurated soon: Alauddin Marri

ISLAMABAD, Jan 28 (APP): Alauddin Marri, former caretaker Chief Minister Balochistan and prominent businessman on Saturday said that “Gwadar is the future business hub of the country and its airport would be soon inaugurated”.

He said this while exchanging views with President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari during his visit to ICCI, said a press release issued by the ICCI, here.

Alauddin Marri said that the coastal areas of Balochistan, including Gwadar, Turbat and Makran had not been connected with the national grid as yet and added that 100 MW of electricity would soon be supplied to these areas from Iran.

He said that Gwadar offered huge business opportunities to both local and foreign Investors in many sectors.

Sectors such as service industries, fisheries, petrochemical, tourism, trade logistics, processing and manufacturing industries like assembling of oil storage, refining, transport equipment, ship breaking, food and building materials processing, home appliances manufacturing, electronics, and IT industry.

He said that it was a good time for potential investors to move to Gwadar and take advantage of its economic potential.

Speaking at the occasion, Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari welcomed Alauddin Marri, and assured that ICCI would take a delegation to Balochistan to meet with the chief minister and governor to explore business opportunities in Gwadar.

He said that the pace of all development works in Gwadar, including special economic zones, and other required infrastructure should be expedited so that business and investment activities could be started.

He said that Balochistan is endowed with plenty of natural resources and the government should focus on providing all required facilities to the potential investors to enhance investment that would reduce poverty & unemployment and bring prosperity to the province.

Speakers for fast-track implementation of Russia-Pakistan energy agreements

ISLAMABAD, Jan 28 (APP): Speakers at a webinar on Saturday highlighted the importance of a fast-track implementation of the agreements reached between Russia and Pakistan in the energy sector, terming it crucial for the economic uplift of the energy-starved country.
The webinar titled “Russo-Pak Economic and Energy Cooperation, Scope and Challenges” was organized by Devcom-Pakistan (Development Communications network) and DTN.
Former Senator Lt. General (Retd.) Abdul Qayyum was the keynote speaker, while among other participants were foreign affairs expert Dr Salma Malik, energy and environment expert Qaiser Aijaz, and Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director Munir Ahmed, besides Hussain Ali Shah, Iftikhar Ahmed, Sarah Khan, Natasha Jameel, Maliha and Ayan Mitra.
Abdul Qayyum said the recent Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with Russia were a long-awaited icebreaking that could lead to an important partnership and investments in the defence, oil and gas sectors of Pakistan after the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
He said Pakistan needed sustainable and balanced foreign relations while increasing its exports, and attracting more foreign investment.
He stressed political stability and consistency of policies, declaring them as a ‘key’ to achieving steady national development and prosperity.
Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director Munir Ahmed said a comprehensive Russo-Pak Energy Corridor was ‘very crucial’ for both countries at this point.
Munir Ahmed said it was high time for both countries to think about the larger and more comprehensive Russo-Pak Energy Corridor (RPEC), similar to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Dr Salma Malik termed the Pakistan-Russia energy cooperation a “welcomed step” that needs to be viewed with cautious optimism, given the larger geo-economic dynamics.
Qaiser Aijaz said the Russo-Pak economic and energy development cooperation had a history, recalling that Pakistan’s first five-year plan of 1950 was based on the Russian Economic Model and subsequent provision of technical and financial support in the promotion of the oil and gas development sector in 1960 and establishment of Pakistan Steel Mills in the 1970s.
He said Russia-Pakistan Economic and Energy Cooperation had a huge potential to grow and was expected to develop further on a fast-track basis.

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