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Two British mountaineers stranded on Hunza valley rescued

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Army teams on Sunday rescued two British mountaineers stranded on Ultar Sar mountain located in Hunza Valley after an avalanche hit their tent.

The injured mountaineers identified as Bruce Normand and Timothy Miller are en route Gilgit via an army helicopter, assistant commissioner Hunza said.

“The body of Austrian mountaineer Christian Huber, who was killed in the incident, is also being taken to Gilgit,” he further said.

Later during the day, Director General Inter Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major-General Asif Ghafoor tweeted, “Pakistan Army pilots in a daring mission rescued three foreign mountaineers stuck in snow avalanche at above 19,000 feet on Ultar Sar Peak near Hunza.”

“Bruce Normand and Timothy Miller from UK successfully rescued alive while Christian Huber from Austria had succumbed to avalanche,” DG ISPR confirmed.

Efforts were under way since Saturday to rescue the two British mountaineers and bring back Huber’s body after their tent was hit by an avalanche 5,900 metres up Ultar Sar mountain.

An army helicopter could not carry out a rescue operation on Saturday due to bad weather on the 7,388 metres high Ultar Sar.

Northern Pakistan is a magnet for mountaineers and is home to some of the tallest mountains in the world, including K2 — at 8,611 metres, the world’s second highest peak, but often deemed a more challenging climb than the highest, Mount Everest.

Nestled between the western end of the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush mountains and the Karakoram range, Gilgit-Baltistan houses 18 of the world’s 50 highest peaks.

It is also home to three of the world’s seven longest glaciers outside the polar regions. Hundreds of its mountains have never been climbed.

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Talagang is land of martyrs and ghazis like Noor Khan: Ch Parvez Elahi

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League (PML) senior central leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Ch Parvez Elahi has said that focus of our works have always been better, education and health of common and poor man, farmer and their children, because of this I during my chief minister-ship in Punjab also undertook numerous record works like free education, free medicines, provision of employment to maximum number of people in which 1122 like institutions are also included.

He said this while addressing a big public meeting along with N-League former MNA Sardar Mumtaz Tamman, Hafiz Ammar Yasir and other leaders in NA-65 Talagang today (Sunday).

Ch Parvez Elahi further said that progress of the poor, farmers, workers and backward areas is mission my life, even during chief minister-ship I continued working for this mission, people on July 25 should by taking right decision will make the looters of the country and nation run away forever.

He said that your area is the land of martyrs and ghazis which has produced sons like Air Marshal Noor Khan who had rendered meritorious services for the motherland, this is the reason that I have so much love for this area of rendering great sacrifices for the country and the nation, besides elders I have 36 years long political experience, people like this land of sincere, faithful, friendship honouring, courageous and “mardam shanas” are not anywhere, I have selflessly served people of this area without any consideration for victory or defeat in the election and as the Deputy Prime Minister utilized all my development funds in this area.

Ch Parvez Elahi said that I regard Talagang as my second home, draw comparison of our tenure including provision of electricity and gas with any previous tenure, we have written a new chapter of development also in this area.

Continuing Ch Parvez Elahi said that the people are already hit hard by price hike, increase in the petroleum products prices is a matter of great concern, N-League black deeds are surfacing one after the other, people should take revenge of N-League failed policies in the next election, power forever rests with Almighty Allah only, victory or failure in the election is only in the hands of Almighty Allah.

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MQM split could lead to clashes in Karachi ahead of election: Azam Khan

ISLAMABAD (Monitoring Desk): Caretaker interior minister Mohammad Azam Khan on Sunday said the rift within Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) can lead to clashes in Karachi during the general election.

“Although there is peace in the metropolis right now, the split within MQM could lead to clashes,” the caretaker interior minister said while speaking to Geo Newsregarding the general election scheduled for July 25.

“Politicians should refrain from personal attacks against each other,” Azam stressed.

Stating that the election process across the country will be monitored from a control room in Islamabad, the caretaker interior minister said, “Some districts of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are sensitive.”

Azam further said, “We will hold a meeting through National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) with heads of political parties on the code of conduct for the election.”

My team and I do not have any political agenda: Dr Hasan Askari

Meanwhile, caretaker Punjab chief minister Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi said neither he nor his team has any political agenda.

“I have never been involved in practical politics nor want to be,” the caretaker Punjab chief minister said while speaking to the media in Lahore.

Dr Askari assured, “I will do my best to fulfill the responsibility given to me.”

Stating that they are working as a team to ensure a free and fair election, Dr Askari said, “We are providing full support to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).”

“Administrative changes have been made on a provincial level to ensure the transparency of the election,” he added.

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Bilawal Bhutto’s convoy attacked in Karachi’s Lyari

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Hundreds of residents of Lyari’s Bihar Colony staged a protest as PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari led a rally of his supporters in the area to kickstart his election campaign.

According to reports, protesters pelted the convoy with stones, smashing windows of the vehicles.

At least two PPP workers have been injured in the attack.

Bilawal’s convoy remains stuck in the area for half an hour as police and PPP worker are unable to diffuse the situation.

“Under a planned conspiracy, attempts are being made to defame Lyari,” a PPP candidate told media.

Yousuf Baloch, a central PPP leader, said that the protest was being held by his party’s old opponents.

“We can give a befitting response to our opponents, but our chairman has advised against it,” he said.

According to reports, the rally is being diverted to other areas where PPP enjoys good support.

Bilawal Bhutto spokesman Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar appealed to his workers to remain peaceful.

“Political parties indulging in violence cannot block our path. We will not respond to violence with more violence but with a political process,” he said, urging district administration, police and Rangers to play their role to address the issue.

The spokesman also called on the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to take notice of the violence.

He said that administration would be held responsible for tension if it failed to stop elements who believe in violence.

The PPP chief is contesting from NA-246, Karachi.

“This is my first election and I’m contesting my first election from #Lyari. People of Lyari always supported my mother Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and I know they will also support me. I will complete the mission of SMBB,” he told his supporters during the visit.

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Imran Khan terms JUI-F chief ‘power-seeking missile’

F.P. Report

BANNU: Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan on Sunday said Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman was a power-seeking missile who immediately goes after those in power.

“Fazl-ur-Rehman is the magnet who joins anybody who gets into power,” he said while addressing masses in Bannu, Fazl’s stronghold.

He asked if the JUI-F chief, who has long been chairman of Kashmir Committee with different governments, had done anything for Kashmiris.

Imran also berated Akram Khan Durrani, JUI-F MNA from Bannu, along Fazl for being part of the government of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

“When Akram Durrani asks you for votes you need to ask him questions. You ask Akram Durrani what did they do about the power projects that they announced here? Ask him about where the allocated money was spent,” he said.

While, he said, the PTI government built four microhydel power projects in Bannu district and 300 microhydel power projects in the areas where there was no electricity.

Imran Khan has urged political pundits not to draw comparison of PTI’s five-year tenure in terrorism-torn Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with those who took six turns each.

“July-25 [day of General Elections 2018] will decide whether naya [new] Pakistan will be erected or a Pakistan for robbers”, Khan apprised attendants.

Taking a jibe at Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif, Khan taunted that they had never claimed to bring Peshawar at par with Paris. “We grew tree for future generations, introduced health cards, and brought in best local body system. We rectified police, education and health systems in the province”, asserted Khan.

Imran Khan informed stalwarts that numbers of doctors in the province had augments to over 9000 whereas KPK govt recruited as many as 60000 teachers. Khan vehemently extolled KPK Police while tagging it best in Pakistan.

Khan deplored that country’s economic indicators were plummeting at rapid pace. “Pakistan is heading towards complete annihilation as overall debt volume has augmented to Rs27000 billion. A complete reorientation of policies is required to overhaul the faults in economy”, apprised Khan.

Khan vowed to collect Rs8000 billion tax if he came to power. “Imran Khan will not spend tax money on his own personality”, he added.

Citing example of the education system in England, he narrated a story saying, “I want to tell you a story today, so listen to me carefully. I called on Aneel Musarrat, a young man from England. He was seven when his father died but he studied free in public schools there.

“Today despite having lost his father as a young child he is one of the biggest tax paying businessman of UK. Why? Because, the UK government took his responsibility.

“This is the kind of system I want for Pakistan that even an orphan who has no support, when given an opportunity, should be able to reach the maximum of his potential,” he said.

“Pakistan’s system should be such that anyone who works hard should be able to get opportunities and develop in life,” he said.

The PTI chief said for the first time ever a government thought about the next generations instead of next election and planted one billion trees.

“I’m contesting election with you, you make me win I will not disappoint you. You pray to Allah that ‘May the party that can eradicate poverty, and can bring respect to green passport, win,’” he said.

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Pakistan hands India list of 471 Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday handed over a list of 471 Indian prisoners lodged in Pakistani jails to the Indian High Commission here.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement that the list was consistent with the provisions of the Consular Access Agreement between Pakistan and India signed on May 21, 2008.

It said the list included 418 fishermen and 53 other prisoners arrested for illegally entering Pakistani waters.

Under the agreement, both countries are required to exchange lists of their nationals in each other’s custody twice a year, on January 1 and July 1, respectively.

India is also expected to hand over a list of Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails to the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, the FO said.

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Pindi Mother, Child care hospital work to be completed in 18 months

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Sunday visited the site of under-construction Mother and Child care hospital Rawalpindi.

During his visit he directed relevant authorities to complete the construction work of the hospital in 18 months. Later, the chief justice also visited the site of the under-construction hospital and admonished PWD’s chief engineer.

Chief Justice Nisar stated that the entire structure has been destroyed, adding that the work should start immediately on the project. The chief justice also assured that all required funds will be provided.

Awami Muslim League leader Sheikh Rashid Ahmed was also present at the site during the chief justice’s visit, for which strict security arrangements had been made.

Later, the chief justice visited the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology (RIC) where he interacted with patients. Patients complained of lack of doctors at the facility.

It was worth mentioning here that foundation stone of 500 beds Mother and Child Care hospital had laid in 2005 with the estimated cost of Rs 2 billion at Asgher Mall road Rawalpindi. Hospital whole area covers 136 Kanal and infrastructure of the hospital had completed with millions of rupees. Hospital constriction work was halt for past many years.

Awami Muslim League leader Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had submitted an application in the apex court and sought immediate start of construction work.

Later talking to the media persons at hospital site Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that it was a big day in the history of country. Remaining construction work of the hospital will start today Monday, he added.

He said that state of the art facilities would be provided in the hospital. As many as 14 modern operation centers would work around the clock in hospital, he added.

Regarding Rawalpindi water shortage issue he stated that 200 million gallons water would be brought from Ghazi-Barotha.

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ECP airs concern over ‘harassment’ of candidates in Punjab

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Expressing concern over the purported harassment and threats to election candidates in Narowal and Multan, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Sunday asked the interim chief ministers of the four provinces to ensure their security and protection.

The electoral body wrote to the CMs and chief secretaries of the four provinces to provide security to all candidates at once.

The letter comes in the backdrop of the reports that a PML-N candidate, Rana Iqbal Siraj, was allegedly beaten up by security forces to change his loyalty.

The provincial governments have been instructed to improve overall security situation in their respective provinces for the conduct of fair and transparent polls scheduled on July 25.

The Commission directed that all institutions should play their role for the holding of transparent elections under Article 220 of the Constitution.

The Commission’s request to the Ministry of Defence for deployment of at least 350,000 armed forces personnel in the upcoming general elections has already been approved.

The core purpose of the deployment of military will be maintaining law and order during the elections countrywide. Besides, police personnel will also be deployed inside and outside polling stations to ensure implementation of the ECP’s code of conduct.

The security of printing press, printing of ballot papers and their delivery to respective polling stations will be carried out under supervision of the army, ECP officials said.

It is pertinent to mention here that, the ECP has registered 105,955,407 voters including 59,224,262 males and 46,731,145 females for upcoming general elections.

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Petrol price hiked to Rs99.5 per litre

ISLAMABAD (APP): In a major blow to the consumers, the caretaker government has increased oil prices up to Rs14 per litre for the month of July.

In a statement issued on Saturday night, the Finance Ministry said the government had to pass on full impact of the oil prices to the consumers following depreciation of rupee against dollar.

The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) had proposed increase in price of petrol by Rs7.54 per litre, high speed diesel (HSD) Rs14 per litre, kerosene oil Rs3.36 per litre and light diesel oil (LDO) Rs5.92 per litre.

After increase in prices of petroleum products, petrol will be available at Rs99.50 per litre, the HSD Rs119.31 per litre, kerosene oil Rs87.70 per litre and the LDO Rs80.91 per litre. The new prices will be effective from today (Sunday).

The HSD is used in transport and agriculture sectors and therefore increase in its prices would directly impact the life of the consumers who would be witnessing hike inflationary rates in the country.

Petrol is also used in vehicles and after ban of local gas at the CNG stations in Punjab, the use of petrol has increased. The average monthly demand of petrol is 625,000 ton, HSD 750,000 tons, kerosene oil 15,000 tons and LDO 2,000 tons per month.

The government is collecting Rs36.62 per litre taxes on the HSD. The consumers were paying Rs8.24 per litre custom duty, Rs20.38 per litre GST and Rs8 petroleum levy on HSD. In addition to it, consumers were paying Rs2.41 per litre margin for oil marketing companies and Rs2.67 per litre dealers’ margins.

The consumers were paying Rs22.44 per litre taxes on petrol. The government was collecting Rs2.59 per litre custom duty, 9.85 per litre GST and Rs10 per litre petroleum levy on petrol.

The government was collecting Rs9.04 per litre GST and Rs6 per litre petroleum levy on kerosene oil. The consumers were paying Rs6.19 per litre GST and Rs3 per litre petroleum levy on the LDO.

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Zero tolerance policies toward the most vulnerable

Ergin Yaman

In an age where humanity is feeling smug about the advances made in children’s rights and human rights, what has been deemed proper for migrant children, toddlers, babies and their families at the U.S. border is an indicator that regardless of any concordat when men want to be cruel, heartless and merciless, no Universal Declaration of Human Rights, no Convention on the Rights of the Child, or any such charters have any significance.
A child’s separation from their trusted, caring and loving caregiver is probably one of the most traumatic experiences a child can potentially go through and unless there is natural cause or child welfare issues that could somewhat justify or explain such an action, this would be the most deplorable, outrageous and cruel thing that could be inflicted on the most vulnerable beings of our world, little children.
We all know children that experience such trauma develop feelings of extreme distress, fear, anxiety, confusion, frustration, anger and helplessness, and it goes without saying that this trauma does not only manifest in the immediate changes in a child’s behavioral and mental state but has long-term psychological and behavioral implications. This very reckless act makes one wonder if this could happen in the public eye and if separation of babies and toddlers is attempted to be justified, then one can’t help to think what else is deemed proper and done to suit certain interests.
In order to secure political wins, it is unfortunate that Western politicians are increasingly exploiting migrants – one of the most vulnerable and the most destitute groups – to convince their voters as a way of keeping the focus away from much deeper issues that are concerning their countries. Migrants are increasingly being scapegoated for issues that their countries are experiencing, when in reality there are much deeper issues causing the levels of injustice, inequalities and insufficiency that the natives in these countries are experiencing.
Instead of focusing on the deep-rooted injustices, inequalities and insufficiency, voters are skillfully being distracted to focus on migrants, who are a result of global injustices and inequalities which the Western world has its own share of contribution to. Building walls, tightening border controls, issuing zero tolerance immigration policies whilst on the other hand maintaining unchanged foreign policies whereby there is ongoing intrusion and intervention (both direct and indirect) in relation to the domestic issues of what are meant to be independent countries is – to say the minimum – not being consistent and sincere.
How could it be considered right that someone has the right to intervene in a country causing destruction, death, instability and displacement, when failing to show even a tiny bit of tolerance for vulnerable children? How can it be right that countries are asked to respect basic human rights when the preaching countries are the ones that are violating those in such a reckless way publicly without any regard for what these children and families will go through? How can it be right when certain countries are bossing other countries around with respect to things like freedom of access to social media outlets and so on, when these very same countries are committing what would be a violation of basic human rights? How could these countries pretend they have the right to police other countries or make statements in relation to human rights violations when they themselves have totally failed in this regard.
The fact that over 2,000 children have been detained by the U.S. government since mid-April in an attempt to deter immigration in line with zero tolerance immigration policies has no explanation, and is an outrageous violation of children rights, parent’s rights and human rights.
The fact that the U.S. administration has attempted to justify this is probably the furthest that one could go when it comes to degrading basic human values.
One can’t help but think that if an administration is deeming this proper for the most destitute then how they could aim to do good for their own citizens? As doing good requires consistency and integrity.
Law for what?
On the other hand, how could it be fair to expect the most vulnerable and the most destitute to abide by immigration laws when the preaching countries have failed to take responsibility for the reasons that are making people approach borders where they are unwanted, detained and separated from their babies and toddlers?
If migrants from all over the world are leaving everything behind, facing treacherous journeys to secure arrival in a country where they don’t know the language, are not familiar with the culture, values or the systems of the countries, then there has to be some degree of a unified effort that will help minimize the need for people to undertake such journeys, which are increasingly resulting in denials, refusals and further trauma. This is a basic duty for any sincere politicians who want the resources of their country for what they have come to define as “our own people.”
It is a duty for everyone to help address the destitute conditions that are leading people to come to countries where they are unwanted, or separated from their children to the point that their children are kept in detention centers.
On a separate note, the above definition of “for our own people;” is this not the biggest discrimination that is being instilled in globalizing communities? Are borders enough to define some people as “ours” whilst ostracizing others that are in despair, fearing for their lives due to wars being waged to serve the interests of some countries and circles? Is this how civilized, tolerant, inclusive, caring and empathetic politicians of the so called civilized countries have become?
Strengthening border controls or adapting zero tolerance immigration policies are neither sustainable solutions nor humane actions when what all people are doing is striving for a more decent life whereby they are able to meet their basic needs and don’t have to fear for their lives.
If politicians are sincere about preserving the resources of their own country “for their own people,” the focus has to be on a fairer economic order whereby the wealth in their country, or in the world, is not held by a tiny minority and is distributed fairly.
Again if they are showing this passion when it comes to their own resources for their own people, they have a duty to show the same passion when it comes to the resources of other countries for the people of these countries. Zooming in on migrants and basing political campaigns heavily on migrants is not only the biggest deceit of the electorate but it leads people astray from basic human values. As such this should encourage us all to support the most vulnerable, regardless of their race, nationality, beliefs, gender and age.