Okara police register case against cop for sending obscene clips to female coworkers – 10 Dec 2022

OKARA: Police registered a case against a constable for sending obscene clips to his six female colleagues through a social media site.

According to the Saddar police, the complainant got pornographic clips on her phone from numerous numbers. She later discovered that her five coworkers had also got similar clips from the same numbers.

District Police Officer Furqan Bilal was briefed on the situation.

Constable Mudassar Zia of village 4/GD, assigned to the Farooqabad Constabulary, was identified as the sender by the police. He was reprimanded for his behaviour, but the constable threatened the complainant with consequences if she pursued the case.

The Saddar police registered a case against the suspect under sections 292-C, 509 and 506 of the Pakistan Penal Code and section 25/D of the Telegraph Act.

KIDNAPPED: A teenage daughter of a brick kiln labourer was allegedly kidnapped by three suspects.

Muhammad Boota’s 17-year-old daughter Maria was kidnapped by Yaseen, his son Azam and an unidentified man.

The Dipalpur Saddar police registered a case under section 365-B of the Pakistan Penal Code.

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Joint efforts sought to solve pollution, other problems – 10 Dec 2022

LAHORE: There is a need to have a dialogue and agreement on environment at the national level to eliminate all types of pollution in the country so that the government and all stakeholders as well as the general public can play their role in solving pollution and other problems.

Closing schools and colleges for two or three days due to smog will not solve the problems, apart from reducing population pressure, industrial businesses in urban areas should be discouraged. To reduce the number of vehicles on the roads, public transport facilities should be restored, and all institutions should be bound to use only public transport.

These views were expressed by the discussants in the Jang Economic Session on “Smog, environmental pollution, climate change- Charter of Environment is need hour”. The panelists were Shahid Abbas Javira Qais, Rukhsana Zafar, and Rana Sajjad while moderated by Sikindar Lodhi.

Shahid Abbas said the smog and its effects have increased significantly in Pakistan over the past few years. Climate changes and decrease in rainfall increase the intensity of smog. There are ups and downs in the environmental pollution. Since last few years the problems of environment, flood and heat intensity have worsened. Due to this, the situation is reversed and creates a state of smog. The traffic smoke, burning of crops residue and brick-kilns smoke are the major causes of increasing air pollution and smog.

Instead of closing the kilns, zig-zag technology should be introduced, traffic should be controlled, the data collection system of the Environmental Protection Agency should be activated and an effective air monitoring system is urgently needed. The government should take effective measures first.

Javira Qais said public awareness about environmental changes is crucial. The increasing population, single vehicle system, wastage of industrial resources, burning of crops is increasing air pollution and hence smog is also increasing which causes growing problems for commoners.

There is a need to plant more trees and protect them to save the youth and future generation. The floods have caused a lot of damage. There is a need to plant trees in the areas that could strengthen the soil, build infrastructure as per global standards and most importantly implement the policies.

Rukhsana Zafar said the general public was responsible for the most of the environmental pollution with increased road traffic, industry and growing population, and by burning crops. There is a need to discourage personal vehicle use to control traffic pollution. Pollution could not be controlled by establishing monitoring centre, until people improve the environment itself. Public transport facilities should be provided in every province so that migration is minimised and stop converting agriculture land into the societies. Rana Sajjad said the fog and smog were major cause of health issues but the important is what we can do individually to control it. The implementation of the National Climate Policy is crucial. Immediate relief to people could be possible by individual efforts. The government should start public transport from small cities and bound the institutions to use public transport.

Further, the society needs education, the national policy needs to tell the people on a daily basis what they can do to improve the environment and what role can play.

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Economic security – 10 Dec 2022

Pakistan is currently teetering on the brink of economic collapse. The recent floods have only added to this dire situation, and the loss to our economy has been unprecedented.

We can avoid this harsh truth as much as we want, but the fact cannot be denied that without strong, drastic measures Pakistan will have no choice but to default.

It is imperative that the government impose an economic emergency. This should be done with the consensus of all stakeholders. It is also extremely important to design and implement economic policies that range from short, mid to long term. The goal should be to implement policies that can carry the country forward. These policies need to be stand-alone, not affiliated with any political party and should be applicable to all governments, regardless of affiliations. If need be, Pakistan should pass a constitutional amendment which enables it to enforce this policy without political advantage seeking.

The PDM government effectively discouraged luxury imports in order to enhance exports; however, this policy seems to be tapering off gradually. Export promotion needs to be the foundation of our economic policy and promoting industry and factories should be emphasized. Without industrial production, the economy cannot thrive.

It is also imperative to highlight human security. Pakistan cannot thrive if our focus does not shift to effectively prioritizing human security. This will involve synchronization between our economic, trade, foreign, food, security, export, import, industrial and climate change policies. After the National Security Policy Document of 2021, we saw a shift towards human security. And it is crucial this remains the cornerstone of any security policies going forward. Without human security, the social fabric will crumble, and with it any chances of a stable economy crumble too.

The country needs a proper system for monitoring and evaluation. This system needs to oversee the working and harmonization of these policies and also amend and implement adjustments and changes whenever necessary.

Another area where there seems to be no harmony is in our commercial diplomacy. It is necessary that Pakistan should have a well-researched and well-thought-out commercial diplomacy policy. This policy needs to be bolstered by the related institutions and qualified and trained people. Although it is a utopian idea, the wellbeing of the country needs to come above petty alliances and nepotism. People selected in these posts must be trained and capable. Their primary goal should be to enhance the bilateral trade and exports, bringing in foreign direct investment and creating and strengthening ties with neighbouring as well as other relevant countries around the world.

Keeping women out of the economy has a massively damaging impact as they comprise more than half of the population. For economic growth, it is imperative that all citizens, including urban and rural women, have access to opportunities of entrepreneurship, business ownership and capital. Keeping such a large chunk of the population out of the economy has a debilitating impact on the GDP of any country.

The government should devise strategies to prevent savings from only being invested in the real-estate market and to move them towards economic areas that may be more productive or to long-term investment funds. In order to do this, it will be an uphill task to build people’s trust in the economy. The Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cannot be the only fallback to our economy. A productive and prosperous economic growth will not be seen if we stay ensnared in the IMF system.

Pakistan needs to move towards the economic security goals of human resource development, poverty alleviation and, most importantly, political stability. The past year, specifically, has demonstrated how political instability and bad economic policies can bring a country to the doorstep of default.

Investing in Pakistan can be an arduous and complicated process for most foreign investors. The risks of an unstable economy also deter them from bringing their capital into the country. It is, therefore, imperative to have an investor-friendly system in order to encourage FDI.

The Board of Investment (BoI) needs to work on promoting investment by simplifying the steps and do its utmost to move upwards on the ease of doing business index. For this, the BoI will have to be restructured with a skilled management that can help Pakistan move forward.

The writer is a research analyst, and heads the Afghanistan Program at the Institute of Regional Studies.

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Minorities’ grievances highlighted – 10 Dec 2022

LAHORE: Minorities Alliance Pakistan (MAP) staged a protest demonstration in front of Lahore Press Club to highlight the grievances of the minorities.

Addressing the rally, Minorities Alliance Pakistan (MAP) Vice-Chairman Shamaun Alfred Gill alleged that the doors of superior government jobs and positions were closed on them. Even today, despite the clear orders of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, recruitment of 30,000 minority employees was pending. Religious minorities have again and again recorded their protest to declare their correct number and remove their concerns regarding the census. Seats of the national and provincial assemblies reserved for religious minorities should be increased and the five percent job quota should be fully implemented, he demanded.

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Call to respect, protect human rights defenders – 10 Dec 2022

LAHORE: Pakistan Human Rights Defenders Network (PHRDN), on Friday acknowledged the immense contribution of countless individuals, groups and organisations for the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedom in Pakistan in commemoration of the International Human Rights Defenders Day.

The PHRDN alleged that many human rights defenders have been subjected to violations of their human rights over the years. They have been targeted through killings, torture, arbitrary arrest, detention, death threats, harassment and defamation, as well as restrictions on their freedom of movement, expression, association and assembly. Defenders have been the victims of false accusations, unfair trials and convictions. They are also targeted with acts of intimidation and reprisals for their cooperation with the United Nations on human rights issues.

The PHRDN called upon the govt to recognise, respect, support and protect human rights defenders’ right to freedom of association, freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly. These fundamental freedoms are guaranteed under the Constitution of Pakistan’s Articles 16, 17 and 19 as well as charted in the UDHR, the ICCPR to which Pakistan is a state party. In recent years, there is a clear trend of backsliding in the area of freedom of association and expression and shrunken civil spaces because of the growing pressure and increased obstacles created through legal and administrative restrictions.

These restrictions are making it difficult to register a new organisation, opening a bank account, and receiving lawful foreign funding. The right to receive such financial assistance is in compliance with Pakistan’s constitutional and international obligations. In certain cases, the climate is so hostile that it pushes the human rights defenders to the margins of national discourse. There are a number of areas which are virtually no-go areas for human rights defenders. During recent floods in the country, human rights defenders were denied access even for relief services. The PHRDN also has expressed concern for risks and the targeting of HR defenders working on women’s rights, minority rights, transgender rights, enforced disappearances, digital rights, labour rights and rights related to land and corporate responsibility. Apart from usual harassment, violence and killing of the members of transgender community, the year under report witnessed an increasingly perilous situation when a law enacted in 2018 to protect fundamental rights of the transgender community was turned into a new controversy, making the work of those HR defenders more difficult who have been defending the transgender rights.

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Rules for social media sought to control fake news – 10 Dec 2022

HARIPUR: Speakers at an awareness session here the other day stressed the need for formulating rules for social media to control spread of fake news and disinformation.

They said that disinformation was fabricated and shared online or by other means to harm others and manipulate facts. They said that both misinformation and disinformation made it difficult to maintain a stable democracy and caused damage to societal peace and economy.

Local journalists and students of University of Haripur attended the session titled “Effects of fake news and misinformation on youth”. The session was arranged by Accountability Lab.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Abdul Muhaiman, the dean of social sciences at University of Haripur, said that the only way to tackle misinformation and fake news was to educate people about the responsible use of media.

Sheikh Fakhar-i-Alam, media advisor to elementary and secondary education department, said that the people were exposed to social media. He said that social media influencers had access to more people as compared to journalists. “Most social media influencers have their own biases. Their followers are more vulnerable to misinformation,” he said.

He said that social media rules and laws should be formulated to control spread of disinformation and fake news.

Sadaqat Khan, a human rights activist, said that the fake news played a crucial role in fuelling hate and extremism. He said youth should be taught about reliable search engines to differentiate between authentic and fabricated information.

He said that capacity issues and lack of on job training for media persons exposed them to criticism by people. He said that only few media houses were following the concept of gate-keeping. He said that fake news could be controlled through effective implementation of laws dealing with slander and libel.

District Police Officer Imran Shahid also addressed the session and threw light on how fake news was affecting the performance of government departments.

Dr Waseem Ahmed and Dr Abid Farid was spoke on the occasion.

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First-ever girls cycle rally held in Khyber – 10 Dec 2022

KHYBER: The first-ever cycle rally for girls was held in Landi Kotal tehsil of Khyber district on Friday under the Global Sports Mentoring Programme.

The event organiser, Jamima Afridi, who also belongs to Landi Kotal and is a social activist, told Dawn that 15 girls participated in the event.

She said international woman cyclist, Samar Khan was the moving spirit behind organising the first-ever such event in any of the newly-merged districts.

Ms Afridi said she and Samar Khan imparted one-day training to the participants of the rally as they showed keen interest in learning cycling.

She said all the participating girls had prior permission from their parents and mothers of some of them also spent the whole day watching their daughters learn the art of cycling.

She said that though the training was imparted a day before the rally in a walled compound, the rally was then held at Tatara sports ground where some limited number of female spectators were also in attendance.

Ms Afridi said that they had plans to organise more such sporting events for the tribal girls, enabling them to compete at the national and international levels.

Speaking after the rally, Samar Khan said environment in the tribal areas was totally different from what she had heard about it prior to her visit.

She said that tribal people were very cooperative and keen to allow their daughters to participate in such healthy and productive activities.

She said that tribal girls had great potential and there was a dire need of providing them basic and modern sporting facilities.

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Two members of robbers’ gang arrested – 10 Dec 2022

LAHORE: Tibbi City police have arrested two members of a robbers’ gang who would rob citizens visiting the heritage places from far-flung areas by intimidating them with a knife.

Snatching from the villagers on knife point has been a decades old practice by such swindlers gang operating in the surroundings of Badshahi Masjid, Lahore Fort and Walled City. The arrested suspects were identified as Ahmad Saleem and Noor Umar. A few days back, a citizen had asked them to guide him to Badshahi Masjid. The suspects on pretext of guiding took him to a deserted place where they looted valuables after making him hostage by putting knife tip on his neck.

Police said that the suspects have confessed to committing many bids. Police were investigating the matter further after a case was registered against them. Three homeless people die: The casualties of the homeless people have started multiplying in the City as on Friday at least three deaths of the unidentified people were reported in different parts of the city.

Two people including a woman died in Shadman. The unidentified 40-year-old woman was spotted lying in unconscious condition on a roadside and admitted to a hospital but she died on Friday. Her body was moved to morgue while police had been searching for her family.

In another incident, a 60-year-old unidentified man was also admitted to hospital where he passed away. In the third incident, a 60-year-old woman was found dead in fruit market in Kacha Fruit Mandi, Nishter Colony. She was said to be a beggar.

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Trader killed for resisting mugging bid – 10 Dec 2022

A man was shot dead while another was injured in separate incidents of firing on Friday. According to the Sachhal police, Zafar Shah, 38, was shot dead in the wee hours of Friday near New Sabzi Mandi on the Super Highway. Police said two armed robbers opened fire on him when he resisted giving away his valuables to them.

The deceased, hailing from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, was a vegetable trader and resided in Quaidabad’s Gulistan Society. Separately, 23-year-old Sahil Hussain was injured for putting up resistance during a mugging bid in Model Colony. He was taken to a hospital for medical assistance.

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Three wounded in firing incidents – 10 Dec 2022

JAMRUD: Three people including a woman were seriously injured in two incidents of firing in Jamrud tehsil of Khyber district on Friday.

Police said that in the Doh Gundo area, a man named Arbaz and a woman were injured due to firing between two parties over a land dispute.

In the second incident in Wali Baba area of Jamrud, a person Obaid was seriously injured in another firing incident.

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