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Pakistan’s desire for peace should not be taken as weakness: President Alvi

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi has said that Pakistan is a peace loving country but our desire for peace should not be taken as weakness.

President Alvi said this while addressing the Pakistan Day joint military parade in Islamabad on Saturday, he congratulated the nation and said, “March 23 is that milestone of our national history in which Muslims of the subcontinent aimed for their liberation through Pakistan Resolution.”

President added that independence demands sacrifices and adding that Pakistan suffered loss of lives and finances in the War on Terror but today Pakistan is an upcoming economy.

“Sovereignty had been challenged in the past and wars were imposed on us” but the nation fought back, he added.

“Pakistan respects sovereignty of all countries’ sovereignty and wishes peace but our desire for peace should not be mistaken as a sign of weakness,” he asserted.

Speaking about the recent escalation in tensions between the two countries, the president said, “Pakistan is a reality and India should  accept facts and not make the mistake to view it in the pre-partition light. Doing so would be very dangerous for the region’s stability.”

“Instead of wars, we should focus on providing health, education and employment. Our real war is against unemployment and poverty.”

Dr Alvi added, “Responding to Indian aggression was our right. Through our plan of action we responded to India immediately and effectively,” he added.

“We responded to the enemy befittingly,” he reiterated. The president stated, “Being a democratic nation, Pakistan believes in dialogue.”

“India’s attitude was irresponsible,” he regretted. “After the Pulwama attack, India blamed Pakistan without any evidence. India did not adhere to international laws and violated Pakistan’s airspace.”

President Alvi asserted, “We are a peaceful nation but know how to defend ourselves.”

“Terrorism is the biggest threat the peace in the world. Peace in Afghanistan is necessary for everlasting peace in Pakistan,” he added.

The president further said participation of the representatives of Pakistan’s friendly countries including Saudi Arabia, China, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Bahrain and Sri Lanka has added valour to today’s military parade and this signifies our friendship with these countries.

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PM Imran Khan felicitates nation on 79th Pakistan Day

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday has felicitated nation on the 79th Pakistan Day.

In his message on the occasion, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that 23rd March is a historic day in our national history when the Muslims of sub-continent determined their destiny in line with the vision of Allama Mohammad Iqbal.

PM added on that very day, the Muslims of Sub-Continent, under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, resolved to carve out an independent Muslim state for themselves thus breaking the shackles of slavery and putting an end to tyranny of the Hindu majority.

The struggle of the Muslim culminated in creation of an independent Muslim state on 14th August 1947. The creation of Pakistan enabled the Muslims secure their rights, religious freedom and socio-economic opportunities which were being denied to them by the Hindu majority who also threatened their cultural identity.

The Resolution passed on 23rdMarch was aimed at creation of a state where the citizens could enjoy equal opportunities irrespective of caste and creed and where they could play their due role in the progress of the country.

The Pakistan of today is a New Pakistan. We are endeavoring to make the country a true Islamic Welfare State. We are committed to establishing a society which is based on compassion and justice and where every person can contribute towards socio-economic development to the best of his ability.

We desire friendly and peaceful relations with all our neighbors, based on the principle of equality. We want countries of the region to join hands for eliminating poverty and help their people achieve socio-economic prosperity.

We want to make it clear that our desire for peace should not be treated as a weakness. Pakistan reserves the right to take every step for its defence. By the grace of Allah Almighty our defence is impregnable.

We are proud of our gallant armed forces. The courage of our armed forces, the capability of our national security institutions and their countless sacrifices have foiled nefarious designs of the enemies of Pakistan. The entire world witnessed it during the recent Indian aggression and we emerged from the situation even stronger than before.

Today, we should not forget our Kashmiri brethren who have long been victim of Indian state terrorism and are forced to lead a life of misery. While expressing our solidarity with our Kashmiri brethren on this occasion we salute their courage and acknowledge their sacrifices. We reaffirm our resolve to continue our political, diplomatic and moral support for the Kashmir cause at every international forum.

Today we are at a critical phase of our history where we are waging a struggle to rid our country of corruption and malpractices. We are also striving for economic stability.

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Pakistan Day Parade continues in Islamabad

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD:  A Pakistan Day Parade is continue in Islamabad today (Saturday) to mark 79th Pakistan Day.

According to reports, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad is guest of honor in the parade. President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, senior officers and the three services chiefs are also witnessing the parade.

The march of different floats depicting various aspects of culture of different provinces is also part of the parade.

It is to be mentioned here that nation is celebrating Pakistan Day today with a commitment to ensure progress, prosperity and a strong defense of the country.

The day is being observed to commemorate the passage of Lahore Resolution on this day in 1940, under which the Muslims of the sub-continent set the agenda of a separate homeland for themselves.

The day dawned with thirty-one-gun salute in the federal capital and twenty-one-gun salute in provincial capitals.

Special prayers were offered in mosques after Fajr prayers for progress and prosperity of the country.

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Nation to celebrate Pakistan Day today

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The nation will celebrate Pakistan Day on Saturday with traditional zeal and a renewed commitment to work hard for the progress and prosperity of the motherland.

The Day is observed on March 23 every year to commemorate the passage of Lahore Resolution on this day in 1940 when the Muslims of the Sub-continent set the agenda of a separate homeland for themselves.

The Day will dawn with 31-one-gun salute in the Federal Capital and twenty-one-gun salute in provincial capitals. 

The main feature of the day will be the grand military parade in Islamabad where contingents of the three armed forces and the security forces will conduct march past. Various aeroplanes belonging to Army Aviation and PAF will demonstrate aerobatic feats for the audience.

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Indian troops martyr seven Kashmiris

F.P. Report

HAJIN: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in a fresh massacre have martyred seven Kashmiris including a twelve-year-old boy, Atif Mir, in Bandipora, Baramulla and Shopian districts since yesterday.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the troops martyred these Kashmiris during violent cordon and search operations in Hajin, Kalantra and Gadapora areas.

Several people were injured in Ratnipora area of Shopian, today, after Indian forces’ personnel fired bullets, pellets and teargas shells on demonstrations against the killing of the youth.

Meanwhile, the occupation authorities imposed restrictions in downtown Srinagar to prevent people from staging anti-India demonstrations. The Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik had called for the demonstrations after Juma prayers against the custodial killing of a school principal, Rizwan Asad. Juma prayers could not be held at Srinagar’s historic Jamia Masjid due to the restrictions.

On the other hand, Hurriyat leaders, Mir Shahid Saleem, Imtiaz Reshi and Khawaja Firdous, in their statements greeted the people and government of Pakistan on the eve of Pakistan Day, the 23rd March, being observed tomorrow. People staged forceful demonstrations in Tral area of Pulwama district against the illegal arrest of more than a dozen youth from various areas by Indian police and troops.

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OIC urges fight against Islamophobia, terrorism

Monitoring Desk

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s foreign minister and the head of an international Muslim bloc on Friday urged the world to wage a battle against Islamophobia, intolerance, racism, and terrorism.

“We call upon the whole world as a country that has built its foreign policy on human values and as president of the OIC summit,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told an emergency Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in Istanbul. “Let’s take a comprehensive look at hostility towards Islam, intolerance, racism and terrorism, and fight against them together.”

Cavusoglu said Turkey appreciated the attitude of New Zealand’s people and government in the aftermath of the terrorist attack and saying: “We hope that this attitude will set an example for the countries of the world and especially for the politicians in the countries where racism is increasing.”

“We will support New Zealand’s struggle against terrorism, extremism and anti-Islamism.”

Last Friday, at least 50 Muslims were killed and as many injured when a terrorist entered two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and shot worshippers in cold blood, including four children younger than 18.

Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, the OIC’s secretary general, said that in the wake of last week’s attacks, March 15 should become a day of international solidarity against Islamophobia.

Othaimeen said: “I would like to thank the government of New Zealand for its political, legal and humanitarian attitude after this terrorist attack. All of our member countries agree on this issue.”

He underscored the “hidden danger” of the live broadcast of the massacre which requires an immediate action against it. “We must act in common against hate speech,” he said, and added: “We must be wary of the provocative language in the digital world. We must block negative messages that will mobilize large audiences.”

Othaimeen said the attacks against women wearing headscarves in Europe “are fed by similar sources”, referring to the hate speech in the digital world. (AA)

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Pakistan, Malaysia agree to strengthen bilateral ties

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Malaysia have agreed to strengthen their economic relations by promoting trade and investment for mutual benefit of two countries.

The understanding came at a meeting between Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Muhammad in Islamabad on Friday.

Later addressing a joint news conference, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Pakistan has always looked upon Malaysian Prime Minister as a Muslim statesman who changed his country.

The Prime Minister also admired his Malaysian counterpart for taking strong stance on issues affecting the Muslim world including terrorism.

Referring to the rise of Islamophobia in the world, he said it has badly affected the Muslims and expressed the confidence that the Malaysian Prime Minister will also forcefully take a stance on the matter.

The prime minister appreciated the stance of Mahathir Muhammad against corruption saying his party has been waging a struggle against corruption over the last twenty two years.

Describing his visit as very useful, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Muhammad said both the countries have identified the areas of mutual cooperation which could prove to be beneficial for both the countries.

He said traders of both countries will be facilitated in doing business with each other.

Malaysian prime minister said his country has set the target of becoming a developed country by 2025.

He regretted that there is not a single Muslim country in the category of developed nations. He said other Muslim countries should also strive to develop themselves at par with the developed countries.

On Islamophobia, Mahathir Muhammad said there is fear, hatred and enmity towards Muslims and this is why Christchurch attack took place.

He urged need to find ways to combat Islamophobia.

He said Pakistan and Malaysia can also cooperate on this particular issue with the aim to bring improvement in the perception of Muslims and reduce hatred and fear towards Muslims.

Earlier, a formal welcome ceremony in honor of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Muhammad was held at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad today.

On the occasion, anthems of both the countries were played.

A smartly turned out contingent of the armed forces presented guard of honor to the visiting dignitary.

Later, Prime Minister introduced his cabinet members to the Malaysian counterpart. The Malaysian delegation was also introduced to Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The Malaysian Prime Minister also planted a sapling at the Prime Minister House.

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Mufti Taqi Usmani survives, two dead in Karachi attack

F.P. Report

KARACHI: At least two people were killed and as many were injured in a targeted attack near NIPA flyover on Friday afternoon.

Eminent religious scholar Mufti Taqi Usmani was the prime target but he remained unhurt, police said.

Two different vehicles were fired upon by unidentified attackers. Darul Uloom Karachi’s Maulana Amir Shahab and his security guard, identified as Sanobar Khan, were in one of the cars.

Both men were critically injured and rushed to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), where Sanobar succumbed to his wounds.

The other car that came under attack was Mufti Taqi Usmani’s. While the religious scholar survived the shooting, his police guard was fatally injured.

Officials said around 15 casings of 9mm bullets were found at the attack site.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah took notice of both the incidents, and sought a report from the Karachi police chief.

Shah ordered the additional IGP Karachi to ensure the immediate arrests of the culprits. He also asked the authorities concerned to increase security in Karachi, particularly near mosques.

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Matric exams postponed across Sindh

F.P. Report

KARACHI: The annual matriculation examinations across Sindh have been cancelled in the wake of a strike by employees of education department, provincial education minister announced Friday.

Sindh Education Minister Sardar Shah made the announcement while addressing a protest demonstration by All Pakistan Clerks Association (APCA) and lower staff members at Karachi Press Club.

Shah said the preparation for matric examinations could not be completed in the wake of the strike. He said now the examinations would start from April 1.

The employees staged the demonstration against handing over of special education schools to a non-government organisation (NGO).

The provincial minister informed the protesting employees that no controlling authority was going to be made.

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Accountability court summons Zardari, Talpur on April 8

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court has summoned former president Asif Ali Zardari his sister Faryal Talpur and other accused on April 08 for the hearing of the money laundering case on Friday.

It will be the first hearing of the case after its transfer to Islamabad from Karachi.

Accountability Judge Arshad Malik will hear the case against Asif Zardari, Faryal Talpur, Hussain Lawai, Anwar Majeed and other accused.

The same court had heard Al-Aziziya and Flagship references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and awarded him seven years’ jail term in Al-Aziziya corruption case.

The money-laundering case against Zardari and other accused has been transferred from Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir to Judge Arshad Malik like the cases against Nawaz Sharif.

The money-laundering case was initially hearing by a banking court in Karachi till March 105, which was transferred to to Islamabad on a request by the National Accountability Bureau.

Zardari, Talpur and other accused challenged the banking court’s decision to transfer the case to Islamabad in Sindh High Court.

Money laundering case

Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and other accused are facing an inquiry into the money laundering scam involving over Rs35 billion money laundered through fake bank accounts.

Zardari’s close aides Hussain Lawai and Anwar Majeed are also being investigated in the scandal. They both are in custody.

A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed to probe into the mega money laundering scam submitted its report in the Supreme Court. The report revealed that 29 fake bank accounts had been identified, which were used for money laundering.