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Esha Gupta condemns ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria

Monitoring Desk

NEW DELHI: Bollywood actress, Esha Gupta expressed her solidarity with the victims of Syria war and strongly condemned the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

She expressed her views on the twitter. She said that she doesn’t care which country or religion I have and adding that I have one concern that humanity is dying, children are killing.

Esha Gupta added that we need to stop this humanitarian crisis and stop the bleeding of Syria. Esha also shared a photograph of an injured child on her account.

She asked the world community to play their role in stopping the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the war affected Syria.


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PM Abbasi assures government support for revival of film industry

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi appreciated the artists’ role in constructing the positive and promoting the culture and tolerance in the society.

PM Abbasi said this while talking to delegation of prominent artists including TV, film and drama actors and production. Premier assured the government will continue to support for the revival of film industry.

In the meeting, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting, Chairman Central Board of Film Censor Mubashir Hassan and other officials were also present in the meeting which was held at PM office.

The delegation informed the PM regarding the problems that they are facing in the country in the revival of film industry in Pakistan.

On the occasion PM Abbasi directed the information ministry to include the charter of demand from the artist in the films and culture policy.


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Heavy sentence demanded for ousted S. Korean leader

Alex Jensen

SEOUL: Prosecutors asked a local court on Tuesday to sentence former President Park Geun-hye to 30 years behind bars.

Park, 66, has been detained for nearly a year as she was hit with 18 charges of power abuse and corruption after being expelled from office last March.

While the scandal that ousted her has already led to a series of punishments among her aides and officials, Park’s verdict is not set to take place until April 6 — in part because of a delay due to the ex-leader’s legal team quitting over an alleged political bias.

The case against Park has continued to build with investigators gathering evidence ranging from multimillion-dollar conglomerate bribes to restricting the freedom of cultural figures deemed critical of the government.

Her old friend and private confidante Choi Soon-sil has already been handed sentences of three and 20 years in prison by the Seoul Central District Court, which will also decide Park’s fate.

The pair were the focus of massive street protests from 2016, as the public accused them of abusing the presidential office to distort the country’s democracy and seek personal gain.

Park has pleaded not guilty although she was absent from her trial Tuesday.

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Pan-Muslim body slams Israel plan to tax churches

Alaa Abu al-Einein

JEDDAH: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Tuesday blasted an Israeli plan to start taxing church pr-operty in occupied East Jer-usalem.

“We reject these measures, which are part of ongoing efforts [by Israel] to change the status of Christian and Muslim holy places [in Jerusalem] and systematically restrict their existence,” the OIC said in a statement.

It went on to voice solidarity with Jerusalem’s churches, warning against “the seriousness of these unprecedented Israeli actions which constitute a flagrant violation of international law and conventions”. The OIC also urged the international community to “exert pressure on Israel, the occupying power, to compel it to abide by its responsibilities under international law and the Geneva Conventions and immediately reverse these illegal measures and continued violations against the city of Jerusalem, its people and holy sites”.

On Sunday, Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher closed its doors to protest Israel’s new tax policy, which, if implemented, would subject the city’s churches to a property tax.

“The church will remain closed until further notice,” Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III told reporters.

Jointly administered by several major Christian denominations, Jerusalem’s iconic Church of the Holy Sepulcher is considered one of Christianity’s holiest sites.

Roughly 300,000 Palestinians live in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, between 10,000 and 12,000 of whom are Christians. (AA)


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Saudi prince to visit UK on March 7

LONDON (Reuters): Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will visit Britain on March 7 for talks with Prime Minister Theresa May to include topics such as extremism and societal reform, May’s spokesman said on Tuesday.

“The visit will usher in a new era in bilateral relations focused on a partnership that delivers wide-ranging benefits for both the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the spokesman said. “The visit will also provide an opportunity to enhance our co-operation in tackling international challenges such as terrorism, extremism, the conflict and humanitarian crisis in Yemen and other regional issues such as Iraq and Syria.”




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NAB seeks detail of Fawad assets

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has started tightening noose around Secretary to the Prime Minister Fawad Hasan Fawad and it has sought details of all assets.

Sources said that NAB has started tightening noose against Fawad Hasan Fawad after appearing his name in Ashiana Housing scheme as he was directly involved in misappropriation in Ashiana housing scheme while ex-DG LDA Ahad Cheema has provided all important details and information to NAB.

NAB has sent a questionnaire to Secretary to PM instructing to give reply within fifteen days. Fawad Hasan Fawad has been asked to provide complete details of assets  including properties in the name of spouse and children and details of properties in Pakistan and abroad.

Sources said when Ashiana housing scheme was being launched  at the then Fawad Hasan Fawad was Secretary to Chief Minister.

Fawad using his powers and influence forced low bidding company Latif & Co to  relinquish the bidding for housing project.

Fawad Hasan Fawad summoned CEO Latif & Co, Moazzam Ali in his office in the presence of Ahad Cheema and also harassed him. Secretary to CM Fawad Hasan exerted pressure on Moazzam to withdraw lowest bidding.

NAB has raised question in its questionnaire that why Latif & Co was ignored and its CEO was treated in rough manner?

According to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sources Fawad Hasan Fawad was summoned for the second time but failed to appear due to meeting of federal cabinet.

Now, he has been instructed to submit reply with fifteen days. In the light of reply given by Fawad Hasan, decision would be made about his arrest.

Sources told that Ahad Cheema was cooperating with NAB and being approver , has informed NAB about all documents and information.



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SC directs FIA to submit report in memogate case

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan Tuesday ordered Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to complete all legal formalities in Hussain Haqqani case within a week.

A three-member bench headed by the Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard the memogate scandal case.

During the hearing, Additional Attorney General Waqar said the FIA had asked the Interpol to bring back Husasin Haqqani and certain queries in reply to the application.

He said the lobby of Hussain Haqqani had become active after the proceedings in the case that had begun and he wanted to brief the court in-camera over the issue. The chief justice remarked that no lobby could do anything and the people in the country should work fearlessly. Waqar also said when the court heard the matter, Haqqani and his lobby wold get active against Pakistan. He requested the bench to hear the matter in his chamber.

The chief justice  accepted the plea and asked the additional attorney general and petitioner to appear in his chamber this day. The chief justice made it clear that no lobby would have an influence on them. The court directed the FIA to register a case and submit its report within a week.


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ECP seeks reply from Sattar in party convener-ship matter

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday adjourned the hearing of case pertaining to the convenership of Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) till March 1.

A tribunal of the ECP headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sardar Raza Khan heard the case.

MQM-P Bahadurabad faction’s Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Amir Khan, AburRauf Siddiqui and Barrister Farough Naseem appeared before the tribunal while MQM-P PIB faction’s Kamran Tessori, Sheikh Salahud Din and S Iqbal Qadri appeared before the ECP.

Sattar could not appear before the bench.

During the proceedings, Babar Sattar, the counsel of Farooq Sattar appealed the tribunal for time to submit reply.

The ECP accepted his request and while directing Farooq Sattar’s counsel to submit reply, adjourned the hearing till March 1.

Later, talking to media, Barrister Farough Naseem said that 95 percent of the party was standing behind Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.

Speaking on the occasion, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that they have repeatedly offered Dr Farooq Sattar to manage the party. We want to implement the party’s constitution, he added.

On the other hand, Kamran Tessori said that MQM-P’s both factions consider Farooq Sattar as convener, adding that the matter will be resolved soon.


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Syrian regime chemical attacks claims face probe

Abdullah Asiran

HAGUE: An international watchdog will investigate claims the Syrian regime used chemical weapons to attack the besieged Eastern Ghouta enclave, a diplomatic source said on Tuesday.

The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) launched the probe over repeated reports of regime chlorine gas attacks this February near the capital Damascus, said the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The watchdog group will task a fact-finding team to examine evidence of chlorine gas symptoms in Eastern Ghouta.

Eastern Ghouta, a Dama-scus suburb, has been under siege for the last five years and humanitarian access to the area, which is home to some 400,000 people, has been completely cut off.

In the past eight months, Assad regime forces have intensified their siege of Eastern Ghouta, making it nearly impossible for food or medicine to get into the district, and leaving thousands of patients in need of treatment. Since Feb. 19, escalating hostilities have resulted in 500 deaths and some 1,500 injuries in Eastern Ghouta, with 24 health facilities damaged by shelling and airst-rikes, according to UN officials.

Syria has been locked in a devastating conflict since early 2011 when the regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

According to UN officials, to date hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict. (AA)


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Russia-backed truce comes into effect in E. Ghouta

Rasha Khalaf

DAMASCUS: A five-hour humanitarian pause called by Russia came into effect in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta on Tuesday.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a daily pause to airstrikes in the besieged area from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (0600 GMT to 1100 GMT).

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said a humanitarian corridor will be open for civilians to exit the region during the truce.

The location of the corridor will be announced soon, Shoigu pledged.

Russian General Viktor Pankov said on Tuesday, civilians could not leave eastern Ghouta as humanitarian corridors had been shelled by militants.

The humanitarian pause in the besieged, rebel-held eastern Ghouta area of Damascus entered into force earlier in the day.

“At 9am on February 27, a humanitarian corridor was opened for the release of civilians from the zone of de-escalation,” RIA Novosti quoted Pankov as saying.

The general, who heads a group supervising a de-escalation zone in eastern Ghouta, added that “militants launched intense shelling and not a single civilian has come out.”

Separate reports say that the Syrian army resumed its operation in eastern Ghouta after breaking through the frontlines of the Jaysh al-Islam terrorist group dominating the area.

On Saturday, the  United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution demanding a 30-day humanitarian cease-fire in Eastern Ghouta.

Home to some 400,000 people, Eastern Ghouta has been under siege for the last five years and humanitarian access to the area has been completely cut off.

In the past eight months, forces of the Bashar Assad regime have intensified their siege of Eastern Ghouta, making it nearly impossible for food or medicine to get into the district and leaving thousands of patients in need of treatment.

Hundreds have been killed by Assad regime airstrikes just in recent days.

Syria has been locked in a devastating conflict since early 2011 when the regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

According to United Nations officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict to date. (AA)