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CPEC should not be politicised, says Ahsan
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said on Thursday 17 Dec,2015 that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a “fate-changer” project for people of Pakistan and the region, the latter having a population of three billion souls. Speaking at a seminar on “The Promises of CPEC” organised by the Institute for Policy Reforms (IPR), he said that the project should not be politicised because it was beneficial for all provinces and regions of the country. Investment to be made in the CPEC projects would boost national economy and create synergies for sustained growth. Mr Iqbal said that the CPEC would create a transformational impact on the region and even India would realise one day that the economic corridor offered it the shortest route to trade with China.The Deputy Chief of the Mission at the Chinese Embassy, Zhao Lijian, reiterated the commitment of the Chinese government to the CPEC and said that the project would strengthen relations between his country and Pakistan. ‘Courtesy Dawn Karachi’
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Zarb-e-Azb has successfully completed 1.5 years: ISPR
12 Dec, 2015: Inter Services for Public Relations (ISPR) said Operation Zarb-e-Azb has completed one and a half years successfully, Waqt News reported. “The operation has achieved great victories against terrorists,” ISPR statement added. According to the Military public relations sources the Pak-Afghan border area has also been cleared. “The operation will continue till the whole area is totally clear from the terrorists,” sources stated. During last 18 month, over 13200 intelligence-based operations were carried out across the country in which 183 hardcore terrorists killed, while 21193 others arrested, Director General (DG) of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Lt. Gen. AsimBajwa wrote on his Twitter account. He said that 488 valiant officers and personnel of Pakistan army, Frontier Corps in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, and Rangers in Sindh sacrificed their lives and 1,914 more sustained injuries in ongoing operation against terrorists. Giving details of military court performance, Bajwa said 142 cases were referred to 11 military courts established in the country. He said 55 cases have been decided in which 31 hardcore terrorists were convicted, while 87 more cases are pending. He said that phenomenal successes have been achieved since launch of the operation, adding that military personnel are engaged in clearing last pockets close to Pakistan-Afghan border. During last 18 months, over 13200 intelligence-based operations (IBOs) were carried out across the country in which 183 hardcore terrorists have been killed and 21,193 arrested. The DG ISPR said Pakistan armed forces have broken terrorists’ backbone, dismantled their infrastructure

Pakistan successfully test-fires Shaheen-III ballistic missile
11 Dec,2015: The missile has a range of 2750 kilometers.The test flight was aimed at validating various design and technical parameters of the weapon system. The successful flight test with its impact point in the Arabian Sea, validating all the desired parameters was witnessed by senior officers from Strategic Plans Division, Strategic Forces, Scientists and Engineers of Strategic Organizations. Director General Strategic Plans Division Lieutenant General MazharJamil congratulated the Scientists and Engineers on achieving a significant milestone in complementing the deterrence capability.
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Pakistan successfully test fires Shaheen 1A ballistic missile
Dec 15, 2015 : RAWALPINDI: Pakistan conducted a successful flight test of Shaheen 1A ballistic missile, capable of delivering different types of warheads to a range of 900 kilometers. The flight test was aimed at re-validating several design and technical parameters of the weapon system. The launch with impact point in Arabian Sea was witnessed by senior officers from Strategic Plans Division, strategic forces, scientists and engineers of strategic organizations. Director General strategic Plans Division, Lieutenant General Mazhar Jamil, congratulated the scientists and engineers for their dedication, professionalism and commitment towards yet another display of strengthening Pakistan’s defence. President MamnoonHussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have congratulated the Scientists and Engineers on successful conduct of the missile test

Institutions subordinate to parliament: Senate Chairman
DEC 05, 2015 : LAHORE: Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani has stressed the need for dialogue among state institutions, but asserted that all institutions are subordinate to parliament. Dialogue, he said, was extremely necessary because the country would not be able to move forward without it, but parliament must be held supreme in the process because it was above all institutions. Mr Rabbani was speaking at the launching of a book, “Pakistan: The Way Forward”, written by Afnan Khan.
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Bomb hits Parachinar cloth market; 24 killed
13 Dec: PARACHINAR / PESHAWAR: A powerful bomb ripped through a busy weekly bazaar in the main town of Kurram Agency Sunday morning, killing 24 people and injuring many more. A proscribed sectarian extremist group claimed responsibility for the blast that came after a long hiatus in violence in the region which has seen some of the worst sectarian attacks in the past. Local administration officials said the bomb weighed 35 kilos and it was planted in a garbage dump outside Eidgah, in the heart of Parachinar city, the headquarters of Kurram Agency.

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Actor, playwright Kamal Ahmed Rizvi passes away
December 17, 2015: KARACHI: One of the founding fathers of theatre in Pakistan, Kamal Ahmed Rizvi, is no more. The octogenarian was a strange man whose kind they probably no longer make. His enterprising career trajectory, that spans over six decades, leaves one in awe of the man’s prowess as an artist. Although acting was his chief trade, he was no less of a writer, director, editor and a painter. Rizvi succumbed to protracted illness in Karachi. Rizvi headlined one of the most celebrated sitcoms in the country’s history, Alif Noon. The show was so popular that when he once took his car to a workshop, the mechanic refused to repair it, saying he had to go watch an episode of Alif Noon that was being aired at that moment. “Alif Noon was his most significant contribution. He was a short-tempered man hence I always tried to keep a distance from him. His presence was so overpowering,” recalls TV director Kazim Pasha.
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General Zia ul Haq a strong man- nuclear war’s warning
The Representative of “India Today” included the comments of Behram Nam, Special Advisor to Indian PM Rajiv Ghandhi, in his article on “Gen Zia Ul Haq’s visit to India”. He writes, ” Pakistan President General Zia Ul Haq arrived in New Dehli (en route to Chennai to watch the Pakistan – India Test Match), without any invitation. At that time, Indian Prime Minister was not ready to meet General Zia at the airport. Indian Army was waiting for PM orders for an attack on Pakistan through the Rajasthan sector. In such a situation, it was improper to meet the President of Pakistan. But opposition leader and cabinet members were of the view that despite the Pakistani leader arrived without any invitation, it will be against diplomatic norms not to meet him and would cause misunderstanding about the Indian leadership on an international level. On our persuasion, Rajev Ghandhi went to the airport to receive the President of Pakistan. General Zia was accorded a lukewarm response from the Indian Prime Minister with an uninterested handshake without making any eye contact. Rajiv Gandhi said to me, “General Zia has to go to Chennai to watch the cricket match. So accompany him and take care of him”. I thought that Bhagwan, how strong is this man, that inspite of an insulting behavior from Rajiv Gandhi, Gen Zia kept smiling. Before the departure, Gen Zia turned to Rajiv Gandhi and said,” Mr. Rajiv, you want to attack Pakistan, go ahead and do it. But keep it in mind that after this the world would forget Hilaku Khan & Gengis Khan and will only remember Zia Ul Haq and Rajiv Gandhi. Because this will not be a Conventional War but a nuclear war.  In this situation, Pakistan might be completely destroyed, but Muslims will be there in the world; But, however, with the destruction of India, Hinduism will vanish from the face of this earth”. Cold drops of perspiration were visible on Rajiv Gandhi’s forehead. I felt sensation in my backbone. These were only few minutes, but Gen Zia seemed to us a very dangerous man. With a stern face, Gen Zia’s eyes showed that he meant business. I was astonished, that after this stern warning, in flash Gen Zia started smiling as if nothing had happened and warmly shook hand with other hosts, except Rajiv Gandhi and myself. Gen Zia had created problems for the Indian Prime Minister by threatening him of nuclear war”. No matter how bad people say about Gen Zia, but this is the fact that Gen Zia was a pro Pakistan, True and Honest Leader, one of the finest Pakistan has ever had. Such events and circumstances define a leader.
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Pakistan bears the worst of climate change effects
14 Augu,2015:- KARACHI: Massive flooding displacing millions, prolonged heat waves with temperatures averaging above 38 degrees centigrade, ravaging hurricanes and deluges caused by excessive rainfall. I am not painting a doomsday scenario but all these are extreme weather events that have taken place in various parts of the world including Pakistan in 2015. These are not exceptional catastrophes but have been continuous in their pattern. According to the Climate Risk Index 2015 prepared by German watch between 1994 and 2013, more than 530,000 people have died worldwide and losses worth $2.17 trillion (purchasing power parity) were inflicted as a direct result of over 15,000 extreme weather events.

Pakistan’s climate change ‘time bomb’ is already ticking
With rising population already feeding on scarce resources, the climate change time bomb is ticking for the country. Temperatures in northern Pakistan have already been estimated to have increased by 1.9 degrees centigrade in the past century and resultantly, glacial cover in Pakistan is on the decline. Environmental protection and global response Policymakers of more than 190 countries in the world attended the conference and have pressed for the rise in global temperatures to remain below two degrees centigrade. This goal is imperative since it signifies the highest possible rise in global temperatures from pre-industrial levels that the world can afford to achieve a 50 percent chance of avoiding the worst effects of climate change. ‘Courtesy The Express Tribune’
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Never umpired in Pakistan: Aleem Dar supervises career’s 100th Test
DUBAI – Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar will become the third member of the Elite Panel of the International Cricket Council (ICC) umpires to reach the milestone of 100 Test appearances when he will supervise the second Test of the four-match series between South Africa and England at Newlands. Speaking on his achievement, Dar said that he was delighted to have reached the significant milestone in his career, adding that he was honored to be involved in the sport for so many years. Privileged to have worked with some of the best match officials, the 47-year-old former off-spinner extended his gratitude to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and ICC for their support. “It is an enormous honour to be involved in a sport which has given me so much enjoyment, enabled me to travel the world and experience so many different cultures. To my family, I would like to pay a special tribute because I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the career I have had to date without their love and support.” he said. “An umpire’s life can be challenging at times, with lots of time away from home, but they understand how important this is to me and have always given me their full support,” he added. “I have been privileged to have worked alongside some of the very best match officials and have umpired in classic matches at iconic venues featuring modern-day greats. It is a great honour for me and one which I will cherish for many years to come,” Dar said. ICC General Manager Geoff Allardice described Aleem Dar as one of the best umpires, adding that he was widely respected in the cricket community for his professionalism and reliability. It was not easy to umpire at the elite level for more than a decade, and his professionalism, consistency and reliability have allowed him to perform so well for so long, he said.More than 750,000 migrants are estimated to have arrived by sea so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), but exact numbers are unclear as some may have passed through borders undetected. One way to measure where migrants have ended up is through asylum applications. Although not all of those arriving claim asylum, over 700,000 have done so, according to the EU statistics agency, Eurostat. The European refugee crisis of 2015 arose through the rising number ofrefugees and migrants going to the European Union, across the Mediterranean Sea, or through Southeast Europe, and applying for asylum. They come from areas such as the Middle East (Syria, Iraq), Africa (Eritrea,Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Gambia), South Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh), and the Western Balkans (Serbia, Kosovo, Albania). According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as of December 2015, the top three nationalities of the almost one million Mediterranean Sea arrivals since the beginning of the year are Syrian (50%), Afghan (20%) and Iraqi (7%). Most of the refugees and migrants are adult men (60%). The phrases “European migrant crisis” and “European refugee crisis” became widely used in April 2015, when five boats carrying almost two thousand migrants to Europe sank in the Mediterranean Sea, with a combined death toll estimated at more than 1,200 people.

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