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Pakistan to face Sri Lanka in fourth ODI today

F.P. Report

SHARJAH: Pakistan is looking to extend their winning streak as they have to face the discouraged Sri Lanka in the fourth ODI at Sharjah today.

Pakistan has already won the series with a 3-0 and it was their seventh consecutive win ODI after defeating Sri Lanka in the second match of the five match series on Wednesday.

Opener Imam-ul-Haq scored a century on the debut and a career-best 5-34 by Hasan Ali helped Pakistan to beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets. Imam became only the second batsman from Pakistan and 13th overall to score a hundred on ODI debut before he finally fell for 100 off 125 balls.

Imam had been brought in for opener Ahmed Shehzad, who failed to perform with the bat in the opening two matches of the series.

Earlier, on Thursday, all-rounder Muhammad Hafeez was reported suspect bowling action for the third time.

The fifth and final ODI will be played in Sharjah on October 23. The two teams will also play three T20 internationals, the first two in Abu Dhabi (October 26 and 27) and the last in Lahore (October 29).


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One suspect arrested in police encounter

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Police arrested one suspect persons in a raid conducted in Landhi area of Karachi on Thursday night.

The police conducted raid in Landhi area for the arrest of the suspect while he along with other accomplice open fire on the police team and in exchange of fire he was injured and his other friend managed to escape from the scene.

The suspect was taken into custody in a injured condition. Police told that they recovered arms and mobile phones and he was allegedly involved in numerous street crimes cases.

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Health Minister asked to take notice of mismanagement at NKB hospital

F.P Report

PESHAWAR: Residents of Peshawar City and Kohat road area has asked Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Health Shahram Khan Tarakai to take notice of the mismanagement and lack of relevant staff in Nasirullah Khan Babar hospital (City hospital Kohat road).

The residents of the area told media persons that their patient were mistreated in the hospital due to mismanagement on part of Medical Superintend (MS) and his subordinate paramedical staff. They alleged that a paramedical staff and doctors scuffled with each other when paramedics refused to work in the irrelevant department of the hospital.

They also alleged that children specialists doctors have been appointed in the Orthopaedic department, while Medical Specialists (MOs) were working in the surgical department which they termed incompetence of the respective Medical Superintendent (MS) and negligence on the part of the hospital administration Directorate of Health Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

They complained that despite having the facility standby power generator in the hospital, patients were being immensely suffered in excessive power outage. Unfortunately, the power generator was not being run due to absence of operator to run the generator and facilitate the patients, they said.

Regarding Medical Superintendent of the hospital, they stated that owing to negligence and incompetency of MS, the patients and attendants with them are faced with troubles and could not be facilitated.

It is pertinent to mention here that poor quality of treatment facilities in the government run hospital in provincial capital Peshawar under the nose of the Directorate of Health Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where mostly poor patients are visiting in large numbers from far flung areas of provincial metropolitan.

They demanded of the Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak, Minister for Health Shahram Khan Taraki, Secretary Health and other high-ups to take notice of the mismanagement and negligence on part of the hospital administration and address the miseries of ailing humanity.

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Former premier Nawaz Sharif indicted in third corruption case

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has been indicted in the third corruption reference of Flagship Investment Ltd filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against him on the directive of Supreme Court.

The accountability court judge began reading the charges against Nawaz Sharif as the hearing of the accountability court went under way. Nawaz Sharif lawer Zafir Khan heard the charges.

Nawaz Sharif’s sons Hussain and Hasan are declared proclaimed offenders as they were failed to appear before the court in any hearing. Zafir, on behalf of Nawaz, rejected the charges and vowed to contest the case.

The charges stated that Nawaz Sharif remained chairman of FZE capital from 2007 to 2014. Nawaz was disqualified by the Supreme Court over his involvement with the foreign company.

Former premier Nawaz Sharif was indicted in Azizia Steel Mills and the Avenfield properties references on Thursday, in which his daughter Maryam Nawaz and his on son-in-law MNA Safdar were also indicted.

Nawaz, through his representative Zafir Khan, Maryam and Safdar rejected the charges by pleading ‘not guilty’ and vowed to contest the case.

The court has adjourned the hearing of the Avenfield properties and Azizia Steel Mills references until October 26 and directed the prosecution to produce its first witness at the next hearing.

Meanwhile, the former premier, who is presently in London, will be returning to the country on October 22.

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Opp leader concerns over poor law and order situation

Shafiuddin Shafqi

KARAK: Opposition leader in district council Karak, Maulana Mirzaqeem has expressed grave concerns over the law and order situation of the district and claimed that the traders were ready to leave their business due to insecurity. This he said while talking to media persons here on Thursday at Karak and added that after the transfer of former district police officer Karak Mian Naseeb Jan the law and order situation has been deteriorated in the district.

He claimed that motorcycles were lifted in brought daylight on daily basis and the traders were forced to hire watchdogs for the security of their shops on their own payments which was injustice.

The right activist regretted that the former district president of traders Tahir Ayub was attacked with hand grenade in his business center some time back for the demand of extortion but despite of the known culprit no arrest has been made by the police. He also lamented the misuse of huge funds of royalty funds and alleged that the fruits of the royalty funds have not been filtered to the masses due to embezzlements in the funds.

He claimed that a single pressure pump has been shown in five different departments on different names by claiming payment from the government exchequer.

He alleged that the royalty funds of district Karak was transferred to district Nowshera by the incumbent Chief Minister Pervez Khattak but the elected leadership of the district remained silent just for the sake of their own personal interests. He resolved that they would not leave the district Nazim as he has utilized Rs 24.4 million illegally from Annual Development Program (ADP) of 2016-17 which has been not been approved from the district council yet.

He demanded equal funds to all district councilors of the district and added that Rs 5.5 million had been withdrawn from the district funds by the district Nazim which meant for the expenditure of the offices of district councilors and added that still the telephone bills and TA/DA bills of the district councilors were pending as there was no amount in the account.

He also criticized the excessive load shedding and low gas pressure in the district and added that on October 25, an important meeting had been called in Town Hall Karak to chalk out the future plan of protest against the issues.

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DEO inaugurates annual district schools tournament

Ghulam Mursalin Marwat

LAKKI MARWAT: District Education Officer (DEO) Abdus Salam inaugurated annual district high and higher secondary schools tournament on Thursday. The sports tournament opening ceremony was held in Government High School Ghaznikhel where ADO Sports Nisar Muhammad, tournament’s general secretary Khalid Wahab, heads of schools, teachers and student players were also present.

The teams of GHS Khawjakhel and GHS Jabukhel were provided an opportunity to play football match during the opening of annual sports event.

They played the match on the sports ground of Ghaznikhel high school. The Jabukhel School won the match by 3-1.

The DEO met the players of both teams and appreciated their performance. He hoped that the students of around 57 high and 13 higher secondary schools would exhibit good performance in different game events.

He directed the organizers to provide maximum opportunities to the students of rural areas schools to play different sports.

He said that zonal competitions under district high and higher secondary schools tournament would conclude on Oct 28 and thereafter district level contest would begin.

Meanwhile, GHSS Shahbazkhel won football and cricket matches in Ghaznikhel zone. In Football match GHSS Shahbazkhel beat GHSS Tajazai by 2-0. It also defeated GHS Kakakhel in a cricket match.

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Breastfeeding safeguards babies from malnutrition

Rafiullah Mandokhail

ZHOB: “Malnutrition among children is one of the biggest problems as 16.1 percent children are suffering from the disease. The stunting rate among children increased to 52 percent due to malnutrition. We have entered the emergency phase with 88 percent of breastfeeding failure.”

This was revealed by Nutrition Officer BNPMC Alamgir Mandokhail, while speaking a seminar on malnutrition and mother and child health organized by People’s Primary Healthcare Initiative (PPHI) in collaboration with Balochistan Nutrition Program for Mothers and Children (BNMPC) here at circuit house. MS DHQ civil hospital Dr, Akhter Mandokhail, EPI Coordinator Dr. Zain ud Din, Tahir Hotak and others in a large number attended the seminar.

He said that a major contributor to childhood malnutrition was the poor state of infants feeding. He termed malnutrition as the root cause of stunting among the children with highest rate.

“The percentage of children with stunted growth is 52%. Stunted children are those who fail to attain height according to their age due to malnutrition.”

The nutrition officer explained. Highlighting the importance of breastfeeding he said that it safeguards the newly born babies from malnutrition and other ailments. Unfortunately the cultural barriers here also made it complicated for mothers to breastfeed their babies exclusively.

The breast’s milk within first hour of the birth is not only rich in protective factors but also reduces infant mortality rate. In Islam the breastfeeding is very clearly encouraged, he added.

“The mothers should initiate breastfeeding in the very first hour after birth and exclusively breastfeed the baby for the next six months”, adding it was an unequaled way to provide a perfect and ideal food to the infants for their healthy growth, he advised.

Over 6700 children were screened for identification of malnutrition, out of them over 800 children found sever acute malnourished in Zhob. “The Nutrition program provides free food supplements to children including Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF).” He added.

DSP PPHI Shahzada Baseer Babar while briefing the participants said that PPHI was struggling for improving the healthcare services in the periphery of the district.

In order to achieve substantial improvements, the organization has initiated several activities which have a positive impact on the health care system. “PPHI has established EPI Static centers in seven out of 17 Basic Health Units (BHUs).

Mother and Child Health centers at BHU Garda Babar and BHU Khan Alam and diagnostic laborites have been established at Garda and Appozai BHU to deliver services” he maintained.

Highlighting the gravity of malnutrition as a problem he said 14 OTPs centers have been established for malnourished children. Moreover he said support group meetings, school health sessions and community health sessions have also been conducted in different parts of the district, he concluded.

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Increase in import duty may hurt Pak-Afghan trade

F.P Report

ISLAMABAD: Federal government has doubled the regulatory duty on the import of fresh and dry fruits products from Afghanistan.

It was reported that the import of fruits and edible items has been temporarily stopped from Afghanistan because of imposition of 50% regularity duty and it will definitely affect the rising trade deficit of the country.

Sources told that the increasing the regulatory duty on imported items will further increase smuggling culture in the country, and the government must focus on increasing exports by giving more opportunities to local industry to minimize the deficit.

The trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan in also affected in recent days because of border security situation.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are the major products imported from Afghanistan and the imposition and increased the regulatory duty to 50% on these products.

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HEC gimmicks

Chairman Higher Education Commission, Dr Mukhtar Ahmad while discussing the research and academic activities with the faculty of Women University Swat, urged result oriented research in higher education institutions. There is no denying the fact that universities should work as the centers of quality research and imparting contemporary knowledge to the students. HEC acts like a mother who does not keep a vigil on her children for their mistakes. The university faculties are deliberately shunning their responsibility of equipping the youth with modern education.

The Public Sector Universities have no encouraging environment for research and imparting education. The science laboratories are in a very pathetic condition and are not equipped with recent technologies and much needed chemicals. HEC always roar a slogan of quality education and research but in reality its role is dismal in this regard. It provides funds for the construction of new buildings at the campuses but not for the scientific equipments. The University Syndicates is synonymous with medieval age monarchy as they are above the law of the land and is accountable to none. The faculty members of reputed public universities like Islamia College University and University of Peshawar spends most of their time in useless gossips in staff rooms and is least interested in academic activities. Any faculty member with a progressive charm and is keen to facilitate the students in academics and research is treated like a social pariah by this powerful cliques of syndicate.  There is no mechanism of reward and punishment devised by the HEC. Moreover, its claim of quality assessment is merely a charade as most of the representatives of HEC that conduct annual performance evaluation have informal friendships with the management and the faculty. Hence, they turn a blind eye to inefficiency and shortcomings in these institutions. There are many concrete allegations of under the table dealing between the supervisors and students to provide ready made data for the research. The supervisors allotted to the students are on the discretion of these faculty members and students’ opinion of choosing his supervisor is not entertained and often struck out of the park. They demand a standard from their students but on the other hand do not take a pain to properly vet the research proposals and theses. Moreover, internal supervisors abnormally delay the editing of theses submitted to them as there is no check and balance system of provision over the teachers. The university management is also refraining from follow-up action for the timely vetting and return of the theses. In addition to this, the external supervisors always postpone thesis defense of the student. As a result, students complete their degrees of 2 years and 4 years in 4 years and 6 years, respectively.

The students who peruse their PhD in their home country are completely at the mercy of their supervisors and they do not timely send the thesis to the external evaluators. The students are also confronted with acute problem of publishing their research in international journals because they out rightly dismiss their articles purely due to Pakistani background. In case a student research paper is accepted by the international journal, the HEC does not provide financial assistance in this matter. Last but not the least, the young brain-child of digital library constructed by the HEC only contains open-access and low impact factor research publications. If they are really interested in elevating the quality of research, they must remove the barriers of finance, research technologies, open correspondence and access to premium quality research articles by acquiring subscriptions. As 21st century is the century of knowledge explosion and new inventions are taking place within a split second, so it is mandatory for HEC to perform its due role in the promotion of modern education rather than verbally stating the obvious.

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Women in the Middle East and why #MeToo matters

Nadine Sayegh

The #MeToo campaign following the wave of allegations against Harvey Weinstein resonates with women globally. “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me Too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem,” may be something you have come across on your social media profiles over the last few days.

The #MeToo campaign is quite likely another manifestation of a short-lived surge of internet activism, however, it is bringing to the foreground, for a brief time, the plight faced by women everywhere.

What makes this attempt at furthering gender equality and defying structural dominance of patriarchy so powerful, is the sheer numbers it has been producing. Women all over the world are responding to the call, and that in itself is indicative of a deep-seeded global issue.

While this wave begun with allegations pouring in against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, the impact of the solidarity is significant, particularly, for those outside the West.

If anything, this campaign aims to highlight the scope and extent of harassment and abuse faced by women on a daily basis; this can extend from the workplace, the street, and even in the home. This campaign has already been criticised by some stating that the issue that must be addressed are men’s actions and though raising female voices is important, it does not do much in terms of furthering gender equality.

What can be done, however, in light of the ‘magnitude of the problem’, is provide women with stronger protective mechanisms at the state level. Existing laws protecting women must be implemented and new laws must be put in place to protect women in social realms. This holds true for all spaces but particularly true for the workplace, where clearly, there is an endless amount of discrimination and harassment.

There must also be a collective effort on the part of men to oppose group-dynamics in this context and speak out and call out those who jeopardize the security and well-being of women. Men, though many disinterested, must become allies in this battle. Gender-equality cannot be thought of as a cause or campaign, for equality is a basic human right that should be distributed shared between all.

The male response to this campaign, has been inspiring at times, but there is clearly a thread of double standard woven into the fabric of male identity. Many, condescendingly, also posted statuses stating they too were harassed.

This campaign does little to highlight the differing levels of discrimination faced globally – but this serves as important opportunity to highlight that in the majority of the Arab world, Middle East, Africa and South Asia, the sexism, discrimination, and harassment women face is at least as high, or can even be higher and more aggressive.

In addition, there are fewer ‘safe-zones’ for women to seek shelter as gender discrimination is often culturally imposed and systemically enshrined. This can then manifest into internalised misogyny, whereby the woman herself begins self-censoring or criticising other women in their communities over breaking ‘taboos’. This weakens communal relations between women and serves as another vessel for oppresion.

Culturally, women are oft viewed in traditional and repressive roles. There have been great strides, such as in Tunisia, Lebanon, and Jordan, all abolishing laws that allow for a rapist to marry his victim in order to avoid punishment, and ‘preserve the dignity and honour’ of the victim. This is a success, but it cannot go unnoticed that laws such as these remain in governing and legal structures in the region, and even where they’ve been abolished, the motives are not always pure.

Realities on the ground do not reflect significant progress, despite some positive steps. This year, UNWomen released a report highlighting that in the Middle East and North Africa, 26 percent of respondents cite that woman should tolerate violence to keep the family unit intact. Research conducted in Jordan substantiates this. For example, in East Amman at a community centre, a social worker shares that many of the beneficiaries are not concerned with domestic violence. She highlights that in a lecture on gender-based violence 98 percent of the participants agreed that a man may hit is wife if she is behaving in antagonising manner.

This month, too, the Thomson Reuters foundation placed Cairo as the most dangerous megacity for women in the world.

Inspired by recent events, a young Egyptian woman writes:

cairo/makes its women/want to be invisible/it covers them/with layers of fear/until they are reduced/to a womb/and two milk fountains/to feed the children/that cairo will eventually/kill.

It is unfortunate, but, statistics and studies can be found from numerous states in the region highlighting the repetitive damage of gender-based violence.

While it may indeed prove cathartic for women to unite against discrimination and share traumatic stories with one another, this action will not, on its own, further gender equality. If genuine action is to be taken it must go beyond the internet and into the lives of women that are affected by men who violate their sanctity as individuals.

Governments, particularly those in the ‘Global South’, must be placed under pressure by to protect their women.

They must be pressured by men in these regions who must move beyond the objectification of women. At the local level, encouraging conversations must begin in safe spaces, community centres and homes, which educate both men and women on the absolute necessity of gender-equality.