BEIJING: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is keen to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for partnership on humanitarian assistance, a senior ICRC official has said.
Jacques Pellet, personal envoy of the ICRC President for China, spoke to Xinhua ahead of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held from April 25 to 27 in Beijing.
Stating that China’s global influence was growing very fast, Pellet said the ICRC wanted to connect more with China, not only in Beijing but also in other places where it works.
“The ICRC has been working in many countries along the Belt and Road. When we first learned about the initiative, we found it very important to look at,” he said.
Pellet said that the ICRC was also eager to bring its perspectives and working experiences in humanitarian assistance into countries affected by conflicts along the Belt and Road.
“My wish is that, by working together, by focusing on development, and by supporting humanitarian assistance, we can step by step overcome humanitarian challenges faced by these countries,” he said.
Pellet also commends China for its greater responsibility in carrying out the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions globally.
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China today participates in global affairs. “In many places, including places where conflict and violence exist, ICRC is working,” he said.
China first participated in UN peacekeeping missions in 1990, when five military observers were sent to Syria. Since then, China has contributed the largest number of troops to UN peacekeeping missions and the second largest share to the UN peacekeeping budget.
“We see the efforts China has spent in peacekeeping is growing very fast, and we want to strengthen our cooperation with Chinese peacekeepers,” he added.
The BRI, which refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe, Africa and beyond.
Rawalpindi CPO visits Ramazan Sasta Bazaar
RAWALPINDI: City Police Officer (CPO) Capt (R) Muhammad Faisal Rana visited Ramazan Sasta Bazaar set up in Chungi no 22 to review the security arrangements, informed police spokesman here Tuesday.
CPO termed the security arrangements satisfactory, he directed to further enhance the security of Bazaars, mosques, Imambargahs and worship places to protect the people during the sacred month.
He directed the police officers to curb crime and to provide foolproof security to the masses during Ramazan.
He made it clear that it was the prime duty of the police to protect the lives and properties of the people.
He said that strict action would be taken against those who found negligent in performing their duties.
SC dismisses NAB appeal against acquittal of accused
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) plea against acquittal of a bank cashier in a corruption case.
The trial court had awarded some 30 months imprisonment to a local bank cashier Sabir in 2008 over allegations of corruption and a failed attempt of robbery in the bank in 2004. The accused remained in jail for 34 months, four months extra in jail when he was acquitted by the Peshawar High Court (PHC) for lack of evidence. Later, NAB challenged his acquittal in the SC.
A three-member SC bench by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and comprising Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, which heard the case, maintained the PHC verdict dismissing NAB’s appeal.
During the course of proceedings, the chief justice remarked that according to the high court verdict there was no solid evidence against the accused. He observed that bank branches prepared cash balance sheets on a daily basis.
Sensitizing expats about welfare initiatives
ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistanis Tuesday formed a sub-committee to devise a strategy for sensitizing the Pakistani Diaspora about the modus operandi being opted for their welfare initiatives.
The sub-committee will not only review the measures being taken for the expatriates by the departments working under the auspices of Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development but also give recommendations to make them familiar about their welfare initiatives.
The body was met here with Senator Shaheen Khalid Butt, who convened the meeting in place of chairman committee Hilal-ur-Rehman, in the chair to evaluate the performance of Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF).
Describing the Pakistani Diaspora as the country’s precious asset Shaheen Khalid said the protection of their rights and better provision of facilities to them was the responsibility of the state.
He said the efficiency of OPF could be improved by informing this community about their rights and facilities offering by their motherland.
OPF Managing Director (MD) Dr. Amir Sheikh apprised the committee that the foundation was taking numerous steps for the expatriates including financial assistance in the welfare sector, facilitation counter at national airports, repatriation of expired overseas Pakistanis, the establishment of fast-track courts for swift grievance redressal and others.
He said the OPF was embracing modern technologies and using social media to ensure connectivity between the government and the Pakistani Diaspora, admitting that a communication gap still exists between them.
The Secretary Overseas division briefed about the punishment status of Abdur Rehman, a Pakistani national, who was facing a death sentence on the order of Malaysian Supreme Court. He said the government could either apply for Royal apology or file a review petition in Malaysia for his acquittal, adding it was the choice of convict’s family to go for any available option. Abdur Rehman’s father was also invited to the committee to present his son’s case before the committee.