Thursday, December 8, 2016
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PIA plane with 47 aboard crashes near Abbottabad
ISLAMABAD, Dec 7 (Agencies): A Pakistan International Airlines plane with 47 people on board has crashed near a hilly area near the garrison town of Abbottabad while it was on its way to the capital, media reports said. The ATR plane PK-661 with 47 people crashed near Havelian while en route to Islamabad from Chitral in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. Shocked & saddened by the tragic PIA plane crash near HavelIan. May Allah give the families of the deceased courage to bear their loss. — Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) 7 December 2016 Really saddened to learn about PIA plane crash near Hawalian. — Ansar Abbasi (@AnsarAAbbasi) 7 December 2016 The national carrier's flight departed from Chitral at 3:30 PM (local time) and disappeared from the air control radar soon after take off, the Express ...
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Pak reaches United Nation to de-escalate tensions with India
UNITED NATIONS, Dec 7 (Agencies): Alarmed by prevailing escalation of tensions with India along the Line of Control(LoC), Pakistan told United Nations on Tuesday to play its role to resolve Kashmir issue and help in de-escalating tensions with India. Pakistan blamed India for closing door on any bilateral engagement and told top United Nations officials that the world has a 'moral responsibility' to settle apprehension with India. Syed Tariq Fatemi, a special subordinate on Pakistan Foreign Affairs, met UN Secretary General-designate Antonio Guterres, Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson and Under Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffery Feltman during his day-long visit to the city According to press release issued by Pakistan, Fatemi told the top UN leaders that Indian forces...
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At least 25 dead, dozens feared trapped in rubble
Banda Aceh, Dec 7 (Agencies) A powerful earthquake struck off Aceh province on Indonesia`s Sumatra island on Wednesday, killing at least 25 people. Dozens were feared trapped in the rubble. Pidie Jaya district chief Aiyub Abbas said hundreds of people in the district have been injured and more than 40 buildings including mosques, stores and homes were flattened. The district is located 18 kilometers (11 miles) southwest of the epicenter. The shallow 6.5-magnitude quake hit just north of the small town of Reuleuet, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. There was no tsunami alert. The quake struck at dawn, as some in the predominantly Muslim region prepared for morning prayers, local officials said. The head of the local disaster agency, Puteh Manaf, said the sole hospital in the distr...
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Violence erupts in Myanmar, 21,000 Rohingya Muslims flee to Bangladesh
DHAKA, Dec 6 (Agencies): Around 21,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh in recent weeks to escape from violence-hit Myanmar, an official of the International Organisation for Migration said Tuesday. Bangladesh has advanced its patrolling near border areas to hunt down the tide of refugees who have been fleeing a bloody crackdown by Myanmar`s army in the western state of Rakhine since early October. Around 21,000 members of the Rohingya Muslims had crossed over in the past two months, said Sanjukta Sahany, head of the IOM office in Bangladesh's southeastern district of Cox's Bazar. The vast majority of those who arrived took refuge in makeshift settlements, official refugee camps and villages, said Sahany. "An estimated 21,000 Rohingya Muslims have arrived in Cox`s Bazar distri...
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Sharif signs financial plan for Pak's big dam project in PoK
ISLAMABAD, Dec 5 (Agencies): Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today approved in principle the financing plan of the much-delayed 4500 megawatt Diamer-Basha Dam project on the Indus river in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and asked officials to expediate its construction. Secretary Ministry of Water and Power Mohammad Younus Dagha presented the dam's financial proposal to the prime minister.The dam will be constructed in Gilgit-Baltistan's Diamer district. Sharif instructed Dagha and the secretary of planning and finance to expedite the completion of the financial process and begin the physical process before the end of next year, Radio Pakistan reported. The financial plan, made on a self-reliance basis, proposes that construction of the dam will receive a portion of the required ...
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UK Hindu temples ban new five-pound 'animal fat' notes
LONDON, Dec 5 (Agencies): Hindu groups in the United Kingdom have joined hands with British vegetarians to protest against the new five-pound notes as it contains traces of animal fat in the form of beef tallow. Tallow is a rendered byproduct of animal fat, in this case beef, which finds use (not much these days) in making, candles, soaps and a host of other things. Leading the agitation against the new notes are a number of temples Hindu temples like the Bhativedanta Manor. Located in Hertfordshire, southern England, the Manor is one of UK's largest Hare Krishna temples. The temple management posted a photo of a sign to Facebook which said: "We no longer accept the new five pound notes as they contain animal fat. Apologies for the inconvenience". The National Council of Hindu Temples ...
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China's Tibetan region hit with moderate 5.1 magnitude earthquake
BEIJING, Dec 5 (Agencies): Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region was on Monday hit with a moderate 5.1-magnitude earthquake. However, there were no reports of casualties and major damage. According to the China Earthquake Networks Centre, the quake was recorded in Nyainrong County at 5:34 am and the epicentre was at a depth of about five kms. China's sate-run Xinhua news agency also quoted officials as saying that there was no report of casualties and damage to houses in the affected region. "The tremor only lasted for seconds," an official said. Located about 4,700 meters above the sea level, Nyainrong has a population of around 20,000....
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High Commission of India in US to hold open house on visa-related issues
WASHINGTON, Dec 5 (Agencies): The Indian High commission in the US to hold an open house every fortnight starting from January to address the connivance of people on issues related to visa, passport and Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card. "I would like to announce an initiative today. We would institute from the first week of January next year an open house in the Indian Embassy," Indian Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna, said on Sunday at a reception held in his honour by top Indian-American community organisations of greater Washington DC area. While addressing several hundred Indian-Americans in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia, Sarna said "the Open House would be held every fortnight wherein people with their grievances related to passports, visas and OCI cards can simply wal...
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Modi wins reader’s poll for TIME magazine's person of the year 2016
NEW YORK, Dec 5 (Agencies): Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won an online poll of readers' choice for Time magazine's 'Person of the Year' in 2016 honour. With 18% votes, PM Modi was far ahead of his closest contenders like US President-elect Donald Trump, the outgoing US leader Barack Obama and Julian Assange, who all received 7% votes each. Of the others in the race, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg got just 2% 'yes' votes while Hillary Clinton fared a little better at 4%. Other contenders for the honour include British Prime Minister Theresa, Chinese President Xi Jinping, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, FBI Chief James Comey, Apple CEO Tim Cook, parents of slain Muslim-American soldier Humanyun Khan, Khizr and Ghazala Khan. In the third year as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi's alre...
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Hindu Temple Vandalised in Bangladesh, 3 Idols Smashed
DHAKA, Dec 4 (Agencies): A Hindu temple was vandalised and three idols of deities were today destroyed by some miscreants in Bangladesh's northern Netrokona area, weeks after over 10 temples of the minority community were attacked in the Muslim- majority nation. The incident came to light after people of Mymensinghorohi village in Netrokona sadar upazila of Pabna district found the doors of Sharifpur Kali temple in Aminpur open this morning. Upon entering the temple premises, the residents noticed smashed bits and pieces of the temple architecture and three idols. Three broken idols – one of deity Kali and another of Shiva – were found lying about 600 feet away from the temple, Dhaka Tribune reported. Immediately, police was informed after which an investigation was launched. "We visit...
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Air strikes on village of Syria's Idlib; killed 14 civilians
Beirut, Dec 4 (Agencies): Air strikes on a village of Syrian province of Idlib on Sunday killed at least 14 civilians along with a child, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said. More than 12 people had been injured in the airstrikes on several places of the village of Kafr Nabal and that the death toll could rise, Britain-based group said. It said that the airstrikes have been carried out by a Russian warplane. The Observatory says it determines whose planes carried out raids according to their type, location, flight patterns and the munitions involved. Russia denies that its strikes have caused civilians casualties. Russia began a military intervention in support of President Bashar al-Assad in September 2015, saying it was carrying out strikes against "terrorists". I...
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4 killed, 9 injured in car bomb explosion in Baghdad
BAGHDAD, Dec 4 (Agencies): The Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Saturday killed at least four people and nine others injured in a car bomb explosion, a government statement said. The incident took place on when the Iraqi security forces and allied US-led coalition forces are carrying out a major offensive to dislodge IS group from its stronghold of Mosul. On Saturday afternoon when a booby-trapped car detonated at a crowded area near a government building in the central district of Shawaka, Xinhua news agency cited the statement of the Baghdad Operations Command. The blast destroyed many civilian cars and caused damages to several buildings in the vicinity, said police source. So far no Islamic organisation has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Islamic state militants have carried o...
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20 houses of Hindus set on fire in Bangladesh
DHAKA, Dec 3 (Agencies): At least 20 houses of Hindus were set on fire in Bochaganj upazila of Dinajpur in Bangladesh early Saturday. A report published in The Daily Star said that houses of seven families of Hindus were set on fire in Railway Colony. Fortunately, no one was injured as residents managed to escape on time. A person named Jewel was held by the locals, who allegedly set the fire. The residents claimed that Jewel had been threatening them ever since a scuffle broke out during Durga Puja celebrations earlier this year. In October this year, at least 15 Hindu temples in Bangladesh were vandalised over allegations of disrespect shown to Islam on Facebook, triggering panic among the minority community in the Muslim-majority nation. Temples in Brahmanbarhia district's Nasirn...
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12 feared killed in Indonesia plane crash
JAKARTA, Dec 3 (Agencies): Twelve people were feared killed when an Indonesian police plane crashed in the country's Riau Islands province today, a media report said. The plane, belonging to the police department, had left Pangkal Pinang, Bangka Island, for Batam, Riau Islands, before it crashed into the waters this morning, the Jakarta Post reported. "An explosion was heard before the plane crash. Pieces of chairs and bodies were found by residents," Tanjung Pinang naval base commander First Adm S Irawan said. Irawan said the Navy had deployed three warships and three patrol boats for rescue efforts. "We are deploying a ship for an evacuation," National Search and Rescue Agency's Riau Islands head Abdul Hamid said....
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Trump unlikely to insert himself in Kashmir issue: Curtis
WASHINGTON, Dec 2 (Agencies): Donald Trump is unlikely to “insert” himself in resolving Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan as the US President-elect has signaled his interest in deepening ties with India, a top American expert has said. “It is highly doubtful that Trump administration will consider inserting itself into the volatile Indo-Pakistani dispute, especially when Trump has signaled his interest in prioritising deepening ties with India,” Lisa Curtis of The Heritage Foundation said in an op-ed in The Daily Signal. “Indeed, if there is any useful role the US can play in tamping down tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals, it is to press Pakistan to crackdown on anti-India militants that operate freely in Pakistani territory,” Curtis said. In her op-ed, Curtis said c...
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Bajwa rakes up Kashmir issue, asks troops to respond with full force
ISLAMABAD, Dec 2 (Agencies): Pakistan's newly-appointed army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa today raked up the Kashmir issue for the first time in his address to soldiers and asked them to respond with "full force" to any ceasefire violations by India along the LoC. "Each violation of any kind must be responded to with full force in the most effective manner," he said during a visit to the 10 Corps Rawalpindi and troops at forward locations along the Line of Control (LoC). Bajwa was briefed on the security situation along the LoC "in view of recent violations and escalation by Indian troops and Pakistan's own response," the army's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement. He said India's "aggressive posture" aims solely to divert the world's attention away...
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Did Donald Trump really call Pakistan 'a fantastic place' and Nawaz Sharif ‘a terrific guy’?
ISLAMABAD/PAKISTAN, Dec 2 (Agencies): Pakistan on Thursday claimed that US President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday hailed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as a terrific guy and also told him that he looked forward to visiting the “fantastic country”. The tenor of Trump's outreach to Pakistan surprised those who had expected him to take a strong line against Islamabad because of his criticism of that country and vehement opposition to Islamist terrorism during his campaign. Notably, Trump had even ridiculed President Barack Obama's administration for not being able to help the jailed doctor who helped the US track down and kill al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who was sheltering in Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif's office yesterday released a read-out of the Pakistani PM's conversation with Trump. ...
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Manohar Parrikar discusses military, security ties with Bangladesh
DHAKA, Nov 30 (Agencies): India and Bangladesh today discussed military and security cooperation as Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today held talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's security adviser to strengthen bilateral strategic ties. Parrikar, the first Indian defence minister to visit Bangladesh in the last 45 years, held a meeting with Hasina's security adviser Major General (Retd) Tariq Ahmed. No official statement was issued after the meeting but officials familiar with the talks said they discussed security cooperation between the two countries. Parrikar, who arrived here today on a two-day visit leading an 11-member high-powered delegation, will meet the top civil and military leadership to strengthen defence ties between the two countries. Parrikar, who is accompanied...
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Pakistani Hindus oppose forced conversions
ISLAMABAD, Nov 30 (Agencies): Pakistan's Hindu community has criticised religious political parties for opposing the Minorities Bill, 2015, that criminalises the forced conversions. The bill was recently passed by Sindh's provincial assembly. Pakistan Muslim League-N lawmaker Ramesh Kumar commended the Pakistan Peoples Party government in Sindh for setting the minimum age for religious conversion at 18. "People are issued a CNIC and driving licence at 18 and are allowed to vote after they are 18. In Sindh, the age at which someone can be legally married is also 18, because before that age an individual is considered a child," Kumar was quoted by Dawn as saying. He said that girls belonging to religious minorities were kidnapped in Sindh and forcibly married, mostly to seminary students...
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