Friday, May 19, 2017

Music - Katy Perry - Swish Swish (Audio) ft. Nicki Minaj

Anti-austerity strikes: Greeks struggle against new bailout package

US-led coalition strike against Syrian forces ‘absolutely unacceptable’ – Russian Foreign Ministry

Video Report - ‘It’s like war here’: Saudi govt cracks down on Shia town as Riyadh welcomes Trump

Video Report - CrossTalk: Appeasing the Saudis

US imposes ban on import of shrimps from Pakistan

US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has imposed a ban on the import of shrimps from Pakistan. According to reports, USFDA authorities claim that the ban was imposed because local Pakistani fishing industry does not ensure installation of turtle excluder devices in the fishing nets. Moreover, a year back, Saudia Arabia also placed a ban on the Pakistani shrimp exports on the same grounds. Interestingly, the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan maintains the view that the decrease in Pakistani exports globally is only because of the fall of prices in the international market. The ban from USFDA will take effect from May 1, 2017.

 Meanwhile, Iran recently has partially lifted the ban on Kinnow import from Pakistan, after a break of almost six years. Pakistani Embassy in Tehran informed Ministry of Commerce in Pakistan through a letter that Iran has lifted the ban on imports of Kinnow for only 21 days, which will continue till April 20, 2017. Pakistan has been allowed to export Kinnow through the border markets of Iranian province Sistan and Balouchistan via land routes only. Trading has not been allowed via air cargo or sea route. Reacting to the development, Waheed Ahmed, patron-in-chief of Pakistan Fruit and Vegetables Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) said the exporters will try their best to tap this opportunity. However, the trading will not be allowed to reach its full potential and the ban has been lifted at a time when season of Kinnow in Pakistan is at its closing phase, he explained.

 The conditionality of the export would limit the export to 5,000 tonnes to 10,000 tonnes, he remarked. The condition, he said, is contradictory to the fact that Pakistani markets remain flooded by Iranian fruits throughout the year. The fruits from Tehran are either smuggled or imported through legal means. On the other hand, despite repeated requests, authorities in Pakistan have not taken up the issue of Iranian ban on Pakistani products.

This leads to Iranian government depriving Pakistan traders of over 70,000 tonnes export per season. Ahmed, who is also Chairman of Standing Committee of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on fruit and vegetable exports, has appealed the Iranian government to lift the ban on sea and air cargo, and allowing it to other cities of the neighboring country. He said Pakistan has so far exported 250,000 tonnes Kinnow so far to various countries with a breakup of 190,000 tonnes shipped by sea and 60,000 tonnes delivered by road.

Video Re[ort - #PPP leaders addressing press conference on Kulbhushan Jadhav case verdict

Bilawal Bhutto strongly condemns killings of innocent labourers from Sindh in Turbat

Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has strongly condemned killings of innocent labourers from Sindh in Turbat after massacre of nine labourers from Naushero Feroz last week in Gwadar.
In a press statement issued here, the PPP Chairman expressed deep grief over the martyrdoms of workers from different parts of Sindh in Balochistan. He said these killings could be dangerous conspiracy but pledged that people of two provinces would foil any such plot.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed sympathy and solidarity with the victims’ families and asked both Federal and Provincial governments to provide security to the labourers working in Balochistan.

Pakistan - Zardari denounces roll back of FATA reforms process

Former President Asif Ali Zardari has deplored that the FATA reforms package announced with fanfare in August last year has fizzled out as a political stunt and warned that ignoring political reforms in the tribal areas would exhaust the patience of the people and will be detrimental to national cohesion and integrity.
He said this while talking to a delegation of FATA parliamentarians who called on him in Zardari House in Islamabad Friday afternoon.
The FATA MPs delegation included MNs Shahjee Gul Afridi and Sajid Turi and Senator Sajid Turi. Head of PPP FATA chapter Akhunzada Chattan, Senator Sardar Ali Khan, Provincial Information Secretary PPP Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar and Political Secretary Rukhsana Bangash were also present in the meeting.
Deploring that the government had gone back on the reforms package Shahjee Gul Afridi MNA said that they planned to hold protest demonstrations and an All Parties Conference to work out strategy for merger of tribal areas in KPK and for reforms implementation and also invited the former President to join their effort.
Mr. Zardari said the PPP had flung opened the door of reforms in FATA in 2011 by announcing far reaching changes in the draconian FCR as well as opening tribal areas to political activities and jalsas by all political parties adding also that the Party will be happy to participate in any endeavor that FATA MPs may devise for pushing for reforms.
Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the former President has already asked the Party Parliamentarians to rejects the proposed Riwaj Act as against basic human rights and being inconsistent with the goal of FATA merger in the province of KPK.
Zardari said that the powers of the President to legislate for FATA without the participation of its people and the draconian FCR were two colonial structures which must be demolished by transferring the powers to legislate for FATA to the Parliament.
For mainstreaming FATA needs to be merged in KPK, he said and recalled that KPK provincial Assembly has passed unanimous resolution. The elected Parliamentarians of FATA were also in favour of merger. All political parties with the exception of two have endorsed merger. By and large the people of tribal areas have, on various platforms, called for merger in the province.
The government and those opposing reforms and merger are doing a great disservice to the nation , he said. By denying the people of tribal areas their rights and wishes these elements are playing with fire he said.
Former President Zardari also called for strong local governments in FATA for the empowerment of its people.
He said that the reforms were announced in Aug 2016 but it took over eight months for cabinet to approve in March 17.  Despite reservations about the package everyone hailed the move to reform FATA.
But the Bills brought in National Assembly the other day negated the reforms process. Jurisdiction of superior courts was not extended to FATA, as was promised. The Riwaj Act, instead of abolishing the FCR, has further strengthened the century old draconian law.
The draft Riwaj Act was never made public despite demands from stake holders. As a matter of fact the government has brazenly gone back on the promised merger of FATA with KPK. Now it talks of ‘mainstreaming’ instead of merger.
It has also gone back on the promise to empower people. Neither the Local Government Bill has been shared with political parties nor brought before NA. The PPP will not permit the government to roll back the FATA reforms process, he said.

Pakistan - Zardari for promoting girls education

A 25-member delegation of Akakheil Itehad Pakistan (AIP), a social welfare organization working in Peshawar, Karachi and Swat, led by its Chairman Haji Noor Sher Akakhail called on former President Asif Ali Zardari in Zardari House Islamabad Friday evening and pledged support to the Pakistan People’s Party.
Senator Sardar Ali Khan, Dr Qayyum Soomro, Political Secretary Rukhsana Bangash and Farhatullah Babar were also present on the occasion.
The leader of the delegation explained the social welfare activities undertaken by AIP in different areas most notably in Swat.
Talking to the delegation the former President appreciated the social and philanthropic work undertaken by them to assist in the rehabilitation of people in Swat that was ravaged by militancy in not too distant past.
Education particularly girls education is key to fighting militant mindset the former President said and urged the AIP to focus on the spread of education. Malala is an inspiring example in promoting quest for education, he said. The people of Pakistan in general and of Swat in particular are beholden to her for her struggle and sacrifice for upholding the right of girls to education.
Spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said that Zardari also called for “revisiting the curriculum” on the one hand and to encourage free enquiry, discussion and debate in academic institutions on the other. Curriculum must be purged of any hate material that promoted religious extremism and sectarianism, he said.
The delegation thanked the former President for the meeting.