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Pakistan values multifaceted cooperation by China: Ahsan

F.P. Report
ISLAMABAD: The 7th meeting of Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was held in Islamabad on Tuesday to review and approve various development projects in the mega development project.
Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal and his Chinese counterpart jointly chaired the meeting.
Around 150 high officials from Pakistan and China attended the meeting along with the Chief Ministers of the provinces and Prime Minister Azad Kashmir. The representatives of private sector including trade and industry chambers also participated in the meeting for the first time.
Speaking on the occasion, Ahsan Iqbal said that 7th JCC in Pakistan is a milestone towards realizing the CPEC and noted that people of Pakistan valued the multifaceted cooperation extended by government and people to China to Pakistan. He said that CPEC now entered into the first phase of its completion and 7th JCC is of historical significance to finalize the long-term plan of project.
“The long-term plan will give new dimensions to bilateral cooperation between China and Pakistan”, he believed.
Ahsan Iqbal said that long term plan would expand the scope of cooperation in various new areas including cooperation in social sectors along with the economic fields. Along with infrastructure development and upgradation, education and health sectors would also be targeted for their improvement and upgradation under CPEC.
About private sector’s representation, Minister said that it has been given to private sector in 7th JCC meeting to take on board private sector in this project, which is a game changer not only for Pakistan but for entire region.
Minister announced that both countries would organize exchange of trade and business delegations on official level to speed up the pace of project. He underlined the need for expansion in the administrative structure and scope of cooperation in CPEC.
Speaking about Gwadar, gateway of CPEC, Ahsan said that projects in Gwadar are of utmost importance for the people of Gwadar and national development. He said that CPEC’s energy projects are fast heading towards their completion. The establishment of special economic zones would now start after 7th JCC, which is the hallmark of this project.
“Cooperation in industrial sector would ensure transfer of technology, knowledge and skills to Pakistan, he remarked.
Ahsan Iqbal opined that CPEC is also helping to promote knowledge based economy in Pakistan, which is the need of new age in the world.

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Deadlock persists as sit-in protest continues

F.P. Report
ISLAMABAD: The hundreds of activists and supporters of Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah continued on Tuesday the blockade of Faizabad Interchange for the 16th consecutive day.
The stalemate between the government and the protesters is persisting as the fourth round of talks between the two sides ended inconclusively.
The protesters have occupied the Faizabad Interchange, which connects Rawalpindi and Islamabad, multiplying hardships of the people of the twin cities.
Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah has been demanding action against those responsible for making now-withdrawn amendment to the clause pertaining to the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat oath for electoral candidates and the sacking of Law Minister Zahid Hamid.
The government does not want a showdown resulting in another Lal Mosque [Lal Masjid] or Model Town like incident,” Ahsan Iqbal said while appearing optimistic for productive talks with the protesters. He said there is no legal justification of protest after a bill passed unanimously by both houses of the parliament concerning the finality of Prophethood (Khatm-e-Nabuwwat).
Online adds: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqaan Abbasi had to face humiliation by his own party members when members of PMLN Parliamentary committee criticized own government over Faizabad sit-in on Tuesday.
According to Online, resonance of sit-in echoed in PMLN parliamentary committee meeting and some party members asked, “Who is responsible for bringing them here from Lahore and then seated them on the junction of twin cities?” during the meeting.
Committee members questioned government’s writ saying that people of twin cities have been plunged into plethora of problems due to sit-in.
“Where is the government and what state institutions have been doing?” asked committee members.
A committee member mocked that army has to called for every task so its help should be sought to end sit-in, adding he questioned as to how long would we remain hostage of sit-inners? while all clauses of law regarding Khatam-e-Nabuwat have been restored to original shape.
Meeting demanded of the government to investigate who brought them here and who is bearing the expenditures being incurred by them.
Prime Minister kept on smiling and replied: force did not use because government wants peaceful end of sit-in through talks, it will end very soon as higher judiciary also took notice and services of clergymen have been taken to disperse sit-in.

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Muqam meets affected girl’s family in D I Khan

F.P. Report

D I KHAN: Advisor to the Prime Minster, Engineer Amir Muqam here Tuesday visited Garahmatt and met with the affected girl and her family. On this occasion he conveyed the messages of sympathy and solidarity sent by former Prime Minister, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and presented a cheque of rupees 200,000 to the family of disgraced girl.

Amir Muqam also assured the family of complete legal assistance on behalf of the federal government. It merits a mention here that in Garamatt area of D I Khan a girl was publically disgraced and the incident was highlighted by national and international media. Today Engineer Amir Muqam along with MPA Sobia, former MPA Fathullah Miankhel and provincial leader of PMLN Rehmat Ullah Khattak visited the house of affected family and expressed sympathy with the family members.

Amir Muqam termed the incident as barbaric, inhuman and against the norms of Islam and justice. Strongly criticizing Pakistan Tehrik e Insaaf, he said PTI always talked about provision of justice to masses but where was the justice in this case adding till date none of the accused has been arrested by the police.

Muqam maintained that voice against this shameful act would be raised at the forum of National Assembly saying the provincial government should also had brought resolution in provincial assembly against this incident. He said visits of provincial ministers to the area were not enough to conciliate the affected family rather persons involved in this crime should be arrested and brought before justice and practical assistance may be provided to the family.

He lamented that the area was presenting the picture of backwardness and asked the provincial government to take tangible steps for the betterment of the people to provide them with some relief.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League’s senior vice president for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Farid Mufakkar informed here Tuesday that Advisor to Prime Minister, Amir Muqam will visit Thall tehsil of Hangu on Thursday, November 23rd.

Talking to media persons at Press Club here, Farid Mufakkar said all arrangements have been finalized to make the visit of Amir Muqaam successful and valuable for the local people. He said during visit, Amir Muqam will announce Sui-gas, electricity and other mega projects for the area people.

All the local leadership of political parties and workers have been invited he said and hoped that a mammoth of people would participate in gathering to be addressed by Amir Muqam. Pakistan Muslim League, Hangu, he said was united to contest the next general elections adding the party would arise triumph on the basis of its people friendly policies and services.

Our opponents, he said tried their best to disunite us but they failed in their negative attempts. He maintained that Amir Muqam has the quality of leadership and he initiated numerous mega projects in many districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. If voted in power, he assured that PMLN would bring real change in the lives of KP people and will not just raise mere slogans of bringing change like PTI did.

He asked the people of Hangu to participate in gatherings during Amir Muqam’s visit in the larger interest of the district.  Large number of local party leaders and workers accompanied Mufakkar during his press conference.

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Lack of facilities irk patients at THQ hospital Shabqadar

F.P. Report

CHARSADDA: Patients and their attendants are compelled to drink contaminated water as the tube-well of the Tehsil Headquarter Hospital Shabqadar was dysfunctional from the past seven days.

The hospital administration confirmed that the hospital tube well is dysfunctional from last seven days and we are aware that patients are facing problems in this regard and were trying to solve the problem in the health institution.

Ali Khan, attendant with the patient at the hospital told The Frontier Post that they were brought the water from the nearby markets because lack of drinking water in the hospital premises and despite several complaints the authorities kept their silence over it. Most of the patients are poor and they cannot afford to bring water from the market and they were compelled to drink contaminated water of hand pump in the hospital, he added.

He also complained that there are no oxygen gas facility in the operation theater of the hospital and the administration asking 500 rupees from the patients in case of surgery. While contacting the hospital administration in this regard that oxygen gas has been finished and contacted the authorities concerned to provide oxygen gas to hospital but still it didn’t provide us and that is the reason that they are charging the patients for it.

The Deputy Commissioner Charsadda Muntazir Shah told The Frontier Post that they received several complaints against THQ Shabqadar and we have planned to visit the hospital soon and sort out the all issue.

“It’s our first priority to provide best health facilities in government hospitals to the people”, said DC. He said further will call the whole staff including district health officer and MS of the hospital to encounter the issues and resolve the issues of the hospital. It is to be mentioned that the DC Muntazir Shah has fixed three complaint boxes in each tehsil Charsadda, Tangi and Shabqadar of Dist Charsadda asked people to write down their issues and put it in the box.

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Parents seek school building for girls

F.P. Report

TIMERGARA: Social activists and residents of Timergara on Tuesday said the overcrowded classes at government girls’ centennial model higher secondary school Timergara spoke volume of the hollow claim of educational emergency in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Talking to The Frontier Post they demanded of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, Lower Dir administration and high ups of elementary and secondary education department to take notice of the matter and resume construction work on its building.

The social activists Irash Pasha, Akbar Khan and locals said a total of 1590 girl students not only from the Timergara urban council but different parts of the district had been enrolled in the GGCMHSS Timergara. “The school has only ten class rooms and no separate staff room for teachers,” they said. They said that 328 girls had been enrolled in grade XI and 198 in class XII of the school.

Similarly the number of students in class 6th is 200, in class 7th is 204, in class 8th is 272, in class 9th is 325 and in class 10th is 326. “The classes are overcrowded and it is difficult for teachers to manage them properly and ensure quality education,” Ibrash said, adding a project started construction work on its building in 2015 but the work was stopped due to unknown reason. He said the school had 70 staff members but they too lacked proper seating accommodation at the facility. He said there were only 10 class rooms in the school and the staff was using verandas and ground for teaching classes.

“In such overcrowded classes how a teacher can give individual attention to students,” Mr Ibrash said, adding that such circumstances at government schools spoke volume of the tall claim of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s education emergency in the province. Akbar Khan said that it was the only English medium state run school for girls in the area but it too lacked competent teaching staff. He said that some of the teachers used guides and market’s notes for solving problems to students.

The social activists and residents demanded of the government to take notice of the matter and resolve the issue by reconstruction of the school at the earliest.

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Protests held against price hike of fertilizers

Hafiz Muhammad Aziz-ur-Rehman

HAFIZABAD: Growers of Hafizabad district have strongly protested against the increase in the price of DAP fertilizers and have called upon the government to decrease the rate for maximizing wheat production.

Addressing press conference, Vice President Kissan Board Pakistan Aman Ullah Chattah has expressed his grave concern over the increase in the prices of DAP from Rs. 2400 to Rs. 3000 which, he said  would badly affected sowing of wheat. He further said that the government has already enhanced the rate of high speed diesel by Rs. 5.50 which has already badly affected the tube-well and tractor owners. Due to anti-growers policy of the government, growers have been discouraged. He appealed to the government to take prompt steps to bring down the prices of diesel oil and fertilisers otherwise, he warned, the wheat production would be decreased.

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It is never too late to mend

Muhammad Rahim Haqqani

A few days ago all the Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa informed heads of all government and registered private educational institutions about the future strategy and policy for the upcoming examination system in the province. It noticed that question papers for grade 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th   would not be prepared from the exercises given at the end of each unit of the text books but from the curricular topics of learning materials. The purpose of this change according to the authorities of the board is to discourage the cramming and rote learning by the students. Guides, notes and model papers available in the open market would no more benefit students as they are supposed to be shunned.

The government this initiative is laudable and the only solution to end malpractices in students’ learning process. Qur’anic verses and ‘Hadhits’ would no more be seen dispersed here and there in washrooms, toilets and streets around the examination halls. Cramming and cheating has been rejected and affinity toward rote learning by students is to be discouraged once for all.

It seems crystal clear that the boards’ management has decided to change their mid set up by introducing changes in examination system and altering it.

It is a matter of sorrow that the think tanks have kept these remedial receipts in cupboards for the last 70 years. However; the initiative is appreciable as according to an intellectual ‘Late better than never. Because of changes in question papers the conceptual study in students would take roots. Only knowledge would not be useful and dependable but all the learning steps would be brought in real use like comprehension, implementation, analysis and synthesis along with their skills and to achieve the confirmed evaluation.

Lack of youngsters in our nation had been smelted and combusted in the furnace of freak education system for decades. Some had been disabled, died, living and some are those who have supported the weak fragile and affected Pakistan with their paralyzed shoulders. Anyhow we had left the matter on matter for those who had plentitude of knowledge and having the best solution of problems.

But now parents, teachers and masses from all departments especially education is committed to fulfill its responsibility accordingly. Cleansing of concept in students’ mind would increase learning capacity of the kids. Deep insight and comprehension would flourish and in this way research methodology would be encouraged. The hidden cap-abilities of students would be enlightened and help in the linguistic understanding of physics, chemistry, Bi-ology, Mathematics, English and other course books.

These mentioned subjects are taught in English while rest of the subjects like Urdu, Islamiyat and Pakistan Studies are taught in Urdu. It is necessary for a student to learn and understand how to listen, read, write and speak. So these two languages would be focused with keen interest.

Urdu sentence and its parts, reading, writing and speaking along with its grammar and composition is very important for students. Likewise the skill of English learning, reading, writing and speaking is essential too. To seek and point out other hidden capabilities of students is the obligation of ideal teachers. The students must focus their sono-receptors (ears) and photo-receptor (eyes) to pick up meaning of learning materials.

If teachers and parents cooperate in such a way, the future of our coming generation would be luminous. But out worldly, the incumbent government is taking these initiatives at a time when the academic session in all educational institutions is at the close end. To prepare the students for this kind of change in question papers at this time would be difficult for institutions and teachers.

The government should have taken this decision at the start of the session and in that case it would have drastic effects on students’ learning.

Similarly the Pakistan Tehrek Insaf led coalition government in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa should have taken this decision four years ago when it formed the government in 2013 then again it would have borne fruit so far.

Being a part of education system it is my humble suggestion to the provincial government and authorities of all educational boards to implement its Students’ Learning Outcomes (SLOs) policy on reforming examination system from next year i,e 2019.

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Economy’s turnaround?

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abassi, while inaugurating the second LNG terminal claimed that the economy has been turned around and today the gross domestic product GDP is vibrant at 5.3 percent. He hoped to sustain it and take it up to 6 percent in the next year. He said power shortages have been addressed with the import of LNG and work is going on several power projects to overcome the shortage of electricity in shortest possible time. The Prime Minister told that work on 1360 megawatts coal power project is near completion.

After the recent two reports of World Bank and International Monetary Fund, exposing the extremely bleak picture of Pakistan’s economy, the government makes claims of economic progress but does not support them with empirical data like the reports of multilateral donor agencies which support the grim scenario our economy with facts and figures. The World Bank and International Monetary Fund reports are also corroborated by independent economists like Shahid Hassan Siddique, Akmal Hussain and Hafiz Pasha but they also complain as why these international lending agencies kept mum when Pakistan’s Economy was mismanaged and run largely by high interest bearing commercial loans.

Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf sit-in the D- Chowk of Islamabad for 126 days has made the neutral common man an economist. He fully understands the illusion of economic growth figures computed only on the data of public expenditure and totally discarding the public income method. The World Bank Report indicates that development funds of Rs. 250 billion doled out to PML-N members of parliament and election 2018 expenses would be reflected in the computation of economic growth.

The true picture of the economy is that it faces Fiscal imbalances and challenges of external payments. A bail out package of $ 31 billion will be needed to meet the external Obligations. The Development funds given to the parliamentarians are misappropriated and it will further exacerbate the economic situation. The turn around of economy can be achieved only when the tax base is broadened by taxing the rich, non productive expenditure is controlled, and corruption is wiped out. The people will not accept the claim of economic progress until their lot is improved in terms of poverty alleviation, employment, better and inexpensive education along with maximum health coverage.

 

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Another disaster for Uber: Hackers stole data of 57 million customers

 

Monitoring Desk

New York: Hackers stole the personal data of 57 million customers and drivers from Uber Technologies Inc., a massive breach that the company concealed for more than a year. This week, the ride-hailing firm ousted its chief security officer and one of his deputies for their roles in keeping the hack under wraps, which included a $100,000 payment to the attackers.
Compromised data from the October 2016 attack included names, email addresses and phone numbers of 50 million Uber riders around the world, the company told Bloomberg on Tuesday. The personal information of about 7 million drivers was accessed as well, including some 600,000 U.S. driver’s license numbers. No Social Security numbers, credit card information, trip location details or other data were taken, Uber said.
At the time of the incident, Uber was negotiating with U.S. regulators investigating separate claims of privacy violations. Uber now says it had a legal obligation to report the hack to regulators and to drivers whose license numbers were taken. Instead, the company paid hackers to delete the data and keep the breach quiet. Uber said it believes the information was never used but declined to disclose the identities of the attackers.
“None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it,” Dara Khosrowshahi, who took over as chief executive officer in September, said in an emailed statement. “We are changing the way we do business.”
Now Comes the Reckoning
After Uber’s disclosure Tuesday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched an investigation into the hack, his spokeswoman Amy Spitalnick said.
Hackers have successfully infiltrated numerous companies in recent years. The Uber breach, while large, is dwarfed by those at Yahoo, MySpace, Target Corp., Anthem Inc. and Equifax Inc. What’s more alarming are the extreme measures Uber took to hide the attack. The breach is the latest scandal Khosrowshahi inherits from his predecessor, Travis Kalanick.

Courtesy: Bloomberg

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Maryam tours NA-120 constituency, says Nawaz rules hearts

LAHORE (NNI): Senior PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz paid a visit to NA-120 constituency in Lahore on Tuesday, stating that Nawaz Sharif still ruled the hearts of masses.

Maryam Nawaz toured certain areas of NA-120 constituency with several party leaders by her side. Scores of PML-N supporters and workers thronged her vehicle as she stopped to deliver a speech.

“I am extremely happy to see the level of passion and commitment among you people,” she said to cheering supporters. “Nawaz Sharif cannot be taken out from the hearts of the masses,” she added.

Maryam vowed that PML-N would emerge as the victor after general elections 2018 were held in the country.

Upon arriving, Maryam Nawaz inaugurated the Tameer-e-Nau project for Sanda road for its fixation and development as a model road.

The daughter of the former Prime Minister then left for NA-120 constituency and upon arrival she was once again received by showering of flower petals on her cars by the locals and party workers.

However, citizens faced traffic difficulties today due to her motorcade protocol.

Meanwhile, Twitterati reacted to a tweet by ex-premier Nawaz Sharif’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz, in which she tried to show the glimpse of before and after of a public park in NA-120.

While PTI supporters trolled her over no substantial change in both pictures, people in general questioned why the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was cashing in such minor developments in the area.

The problem with the particular before and after gig was that there was still no grass or trees grown in the park despite the claimed change. The park had only been cleaned in the latest photograph. Twitter user Aamir Chaudhry even credited that to the rain saying, “Actually the caption says it all. Before rainfall and after rainfall.”

Tweets poured in the post as replies where people attached photographs from either Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or London where public parks are lush green with well maintained grass and full grown trees.

“Maryam Nawaz Expected next post Maryam bibi live from Lahore NA-120: Gutter before & after,” joked Mujtaba Sharf.

Reports had emerged earlier that Maryam Nawaz and her father, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, had delayed their plan to visit London.

Nawaz had instead decided to present himself before the accountability court to answer graft allegations.