Maleeha Lodhi draws flak for showing Gaza photo as “face of Indian democracy”


Pakistan’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi drew flak on Sunday for brandishing a wrong picture — that of a girl from Gaza — while responding to the Indian External Affairs Minister speech and speaking about India’s use of pellet guns on civilians as the face of “Indian democracy.”

The photo of a girl, her face bearing multiple bruises, which Pakistan’s Maleeha Lodhi brandished at the United Nations as an example of “Indian brutality” in Kashmir turned out to be of a resident of Palestine. The photograph was taken in Gaza in 2014 by award winning photographer Heidi Levine. The girl — Rawya Abu Joma, who was then 17 years old, had been injured during an Israeli airstrike, the original caption with the photograph said. The photo has been carried by many online photo galleries, including New York Times and the Guardian.

Pakistan’s lobbying at UN to have India declared state sponsor of terror

Pakistan is lobbying at the United Nations to have India declared a ‘State Sponsor of Terrorism,” the Daily Express reported, adding that Islamabad had also decided to raise at the global forum the issue of unabated ceasefire violations by Indian border guards.

In this regard, sources said a resolution would be moved at the UN Security Council after approval from Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. All veto-wielding members of the Security Council, especially China and Russia, will be approached to garner their support while Beijing is allegedly already on board.

Ex PM Sharif, finance minister Dar to return to Pakistan on Monday

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar will return to Pakistan from London on Monday morning, PML-N Senator Mushahidullah Khan confirmed on Sunday.

Nawaz had travelled to London in August to see his wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, who has been undergoing treatment for cancer.

Speaking to GeoNews, Senator Mushahidullah dismissed the accountability court proceedings that were initiated against Nawaz and his family as “minor matters” but said he was unaware of whether the former premier would appear before the accountability court on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had summoned the Sharif family to appear before the accountability courts in connection with the Supreme Court-mandated corruption references on Sept 26.

Despite being summoned by the Bureau a number of times, members of the family have so far failed to appear before investigators. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders have said that the former PM and his children are likely to skip all proceedings of the accountability court.

Pakistani cricket team arrives in UAE for Sri Lanka Series

Pakistani cricket is making positive headlines all over the world. This time the good news comes from the United Arab Emirates where the Pakistani team led by captain Sarfraz Ahmed has just arrived for an upcoming test series against Sri Lanka.

The most awaited series starts on September 28, 2017 with a two-match series Test Match, five one-day internationals, and two T20 matches. It is rumoured that the last and third T20 match will be played at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium if security clearance is given but final decision is awaited.

May the best team win, i.e. Pakistan!

Imran Khan demands early elections in Pakistan

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairperson Imran Khan said on Sunday that current Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was an ineffective head of state and should be elected via a fresh mandate by holding early elections.

“The prime minister (Abbasi) has no authority. He himself claims that Nawaz Sharif is his prime minister,” Khan said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad. “This (early elections) is necessary for a democracy,” the cricketer-turned politician said, adding that Abbasi should “seek the people’s mandate” in order to save and strengthen democracy.


Islamic State flag sighting in Pakistani capital stirs fears


The sighting of an Islamic State flag in Islamabad spread fear among the capital’s residents, prompting police to take down the flag and launch an investigation into the incident.

The flag had the words “Khilafat is coming” written on it, in addition to Arabic verses.

Taking notice of the matter, Minister of Interior Ahsan Iqbal asked the inspector general of police to file a report on the said matter.

Pakistan has repeatedly denied the presence of the militant organisation on its soil, while acknowledging the rise of IS in Afghanistan as a point of concern.

Minister of Finance Ishaq Dar silences critics

In a bid to silence critics, the Ministry of Finance on Saturday reiterated its position that Pakistan’s economic indicators were performing well and had been acknowledged internationally, resulting in an improvement in the country’s credit rating.

The pace of expansion in the economy accelerated for the fourth consecutive year in FY17 amid an improving security situation and growing energy supply, the statement said, adding that real GDP growth in FY17 reached a decade-high of 5.3 per cent.

It also highlighted the impact of investment coming in through the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a key indicator of economic growth.


Pakistan-China joint air exercise show new high in mutual trust

A Pakistan Air Force contingent comprising combat pilots, air defense controllers and technical ground crew is participating in an exercise, “Shaheen-VI,” between Chinese and Pakistani air forces in China.

During the exercise, contingents from both sides demonstrated mutual trust by sitting in the same aircraft.

Li Wengang, the head of the China-Pakistan joint training command office, said that sitting in the same aircraft to fight was a reflection of the deep mutual trust between the two countries and their militaries.

In the ongoing joint drills, air force personnel cooperated in planning and implementing strategies, as well as learning operational concepts and tactics from each other. Previous drills only provided the experience of sharing the same aircraft but not of co-operating during fighting.

US Secretary General to arrive in India for discussion on Afghanistan

US Defense Secretary, James Mattis will land later in India later today to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Dawn News reported that the the agenda of the meeting is to discuss drones, fighter jets and defense concerns relating to war- torn Afghanistan.

Security concerns relating to Afghanistan have been a key point of concern for the US, India and Pakistan in recent years. In August last month, Trump had called upon India to help the US “more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development”. In contrast, Trump called out Pakistan for “housing the very terrorists” that the US is fighting. Pakistan and India have been in competition for influence in Afghanistan, with the latter having donated about $1 billion for rehabilitation of the war torn country.

A statement from Pentagon revealed that on this particular visit Mattis will “express US appreciation for India’s important contributions towards Afghanistan’s democracy, stability, prosperity, and security.”

Karachi factory fire bought under control with a shortage of firefighting resources: Karachi Mayor

Karachi Mayor, Waseem Akhtar, says that a blazing fire in North Karachi has been brought under control after 11 hours of firefighting efforts, even though there was a shortage of resources. “More than nine fire brigades and two snorkels were deployed on the site to control the blaze.”

Akhtar claimed that there is a shortage of resources in the city, which does not allow the fire department to deal with such incidents efficiently. His statement comes following another fire incident on Sunday morning in Clifton’s Boat Basin, Karachi. The fire caused severe damage to three storeyed restaurant. Fortunately, no casualties were reported in either incident.




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