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Pakistan, Morocco to support each other

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ISLAMABAD: Deputy Chairman Senate Saleem Mandviwala Tuesday said Pakistan and Morocco would further boost the Parliamentary linkages to mutually benefit and support each other in economic, education and social sectors.
While talking to the Mohamed Karmoune, Ambassador of Morocco who called on him here at Parliament House, he said that Pakistan and Morocco shared many commonalities and both had supported each other on International issues. He said there was a need to enhance cooperation in economic, education and tourism for mutual benefits of the two sides.
He said that the exchange of Parliamentary delegations would steer the agenda to enhance bilateral ties and economic relationship. The deputy chairman said Morocco could benefit from Pakistan in different sectors especially education and training. He said both the countries could further cement their relation in tourism, education, livestock, and dairy development sectors. He said that tangible were required to develop a strong link between business communities and create an enabling environment for investment in mutually beneficial projects.
The Ambassador welcomed the remarks of Deputy Chairman Senate and agreed with the views to enhance bilateral cooperation in different sectors. Senators Muhammad Javed Abbasi and Sajjad Hussain Turi were also present on the occasion.  They also underscored the need for enhanced parliamentary linkages by activating the friendship groups at bilateral levels to learn from experiences of each other.

 

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Pak. community in S. Africa donates for dam fund

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Pak. community in S. Africa donates for dam fund

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani community in South Africa has donated Rs 3,70,000,00 for dam fund.
An autographed bat and ball of Prime Minister Imran Khan has been auctioned for 0.3 million Rand (South Africa Currency) and 70 thousand Rand respectively. National cricket teams signed bat has also been auctioned for 1.5 lac, Rands. The fundraising event was arranged by PTI South Africa chief organizer Zahid Afzal said a press release received here on Tuesday.
The event was attended by Former captain and commentator Ramiz Hasan Raja and Pakistan cricket team Captain Shoaib Malik, M. Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi, Shahdab Khan, Usman Shenwari, Mohammad Ramzan, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, bowling coach Azhar Mehmood, Team Management Talat Ali and Mansoor Rana.
Speaking at the occasion, the chief guest Senator Faisal Javed thanked Pakistani community for generously donating in the dam fund.  He said that with this passion, Pakistan could overcome every challenge.  “We all have to work hard together to steer the country on the path of progress”, he added. He said that it has been more than 40 years now, not a single Dam was built and presently, the country has the water storage capacity of one month only.
Faisal Javed said that Diamer Basha and Mohmand Dams will help solve the water crisis in the country. Pakistan receives around 145 million acre-feet of water every year but can only save 13.7 million acre-feet. Pakistan needed 40 million acre-feet of water but 29 million acre-feet of floodwater were wasted, said Faisal Javed.

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6 killed in Madagascar lightning strike

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Antananarivo: Six people from the same family were “killed on the spot” by a lightning strike in Madagascar over the weekend while sheltering from a storm, officials said today.
The relatives – including a three-year-old child – were killed in the central village of Bakaro on Saturday. Another person suffered superficial burns.
“Twenty-five farmers sheltering from the rain under a thatched cottage after leaving their rice field were hit by a lightning bolt,” said medical inspector William Patrick Rakotondralambo of the Fitsinjovana commune.
“Six people from the same family were killed on the spot, including a three-year-old child,” he added.

 

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Victims tell of brutal Zimbabwe crackdown

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HARARE: The men wearing police and military uniforms came in the middle of the night, forcing their way into the home where Brighton, 35, lives with his young family outside Harare.
First, his wife was beaten, then they turned on him, kicking him and hitting him with sticks after dragging the couple who have a one-month-old child, out of their bed.
The attack was just one of the dozens of testimonies depicting a brutal crackdown after protests erupted this week over the government’s decision to more than double petrol prices.
“I was sleeping around 02:00 am and they were banging at the door,” Brighton said, as he waited in a Harare hospital for treatment for bruising on his face.
“They first beat up my wife. When they realized that she was carrying a baby, they stopped and ordered her to come out to watch while they beat me.
“I was the only man there. All the other tenants were out. They said ‘we will beat you on behalf of the other men absent’.
“They told me to stop and then they started beating me, kicking me,” he said, recalling the assault in the early hours of Thursday morning.
“I don’t know why they beat me,” said Brighton, who is employed by an engineering company, adding he had been busy at work on Monday, the main day of the protests.
Doctors’ groups say they have treated hundreds of casualties this week. Information has been scarce after authorities cut the internet in an apparent attempt to suppress details and halt accounts spreading on social media of police and soldiers indiscriminately raiding homes. For some critics, the repression echoes the grim brutality of Robert Mugabe’s era.
The UN’s human rights office on Friday urged Harare to “stop the crackdown”. It voiced alarm over the security forces’ “excessive use of force,” which included reported use of live ammunition.
“They broke a window to the spare bedroom where my children were sleeping, the kids started screaming and ran to our bedroom,” truck driver Rogers, 40, told the Media. 
“They said if we refused to open up, they would fire teargas.
“I was beaten by three soldiers and one policeman – they beat me with thick sticks and batons, while one of them poured water all over my body.”
Another victim, Somandla, 19, who is unemployed, spoke softly and was visibly in pain, with a cotton bud in his ear. “My ear got it worse as they used a gun to beat me there. It was hard for me to hear in the morning. “They were saying ‘you are guys that were starting a fire in the streets’. I believe they were soldiers because they were wearing camouflage uniforms.”
Human Rights Watch accused the police of shooting people in broad daylight, while Amnesty criticized Zimbabwe to end its “repressive measures”.
The crackdown has spread from Harare’s residential districts to provincial towns.
In the northern city of Chinhoyi, one pregnant woman was attacked and suffered a miscarriage, according to a neighbor.
Some victims said they avoided seeking treatment at public hospitals in case they were asked to sign affidavits. Activists have put the death toll at between five and 16.
“They beat up my brother’s son and they beat me on my buttocks after they saw (opposition leader) Nelson Chamisa’s poster in my dining room,” said one 44-year-old mother. “They said I must tear it up.”
One doctor told AFP that the scale of injuries was far worse than when security forces shot dead six protesters in Harare on August 1, two days after the election.
He compared it to the 2008 election when then opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of the presidential run-off against Mugabe as hundreds of people were killed.
The government has denied any wrongdoing. Home Affairs minister Cain Mathema has praised security forces for the “joint efforts to ensure that peace is restored.”

Relevant: Zimbabwe on Friday blocked most social media as international criticism mounted of a ruthless security crackdown after anti-government protests. Police and soldiers have been accused of indiscriminately dragging people from their homes and beating them.
Several hundred people have been arrested and doctors say they have treated scores of victims for serious gunshot injuries.
The United Nations human rights office on Friday urged Harare to “stop the crackdown”, voicing alarm over the security forces’ “excessive use of force” which included reports of them using live ammunition.
And it urged Zimbabwe’s government “to find ways of engaging with the population about their legitimate grievances”.
Nationwide demonstrations erupted on Monday after President Emmerson Mnangagwa said fuel prices would double in a country which suffers regular shortages of banknotes, fuel, food and medicine.
The internet was entirely blocked until Friday afternoon, when some service was resumed.
Econet, the biggest internet provider, told customers it had been ordered by the government to re-open the internet “except for specified social media applications.”
MDC, the main opposition party, accused the government of trying to suppress information about the security operation, in which between five and 16 people have been killed, activists say.
Accusing the government of “wanton violence”, the party warned that the authorities were “planning on further gross human rights violations under the cover of the communications blackout”.
Mnangagwa, who succeeded ousted authoritarian president Robert Mugabe in 2017, had promised a fresh start for Zimbabwe after decades of repression and economic decline.
But his election victory in July was tainted by accusations of fraud, and hopes for a new chapter were dashed when troops opened fire on protesters in Harare, killing several, even before the results were announced.
The EU on Thursday joined the US and Britain in criticizing the authorities’ response to the latest protests.
“The escalation of violence in Zimbabwe over recent days has been aggravated by the disproportionate use of force by security personnel,” European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said in a statement. “The shutdown of access to the internet should also be reversed.”
The US embassy in Harare said it was “alarmed by credible reports that security forces are targeting and beating political activists and labor leaders”.
Leading Zimbabwean activist Evan Mawarire was on Friday remanded in custody until January 31 on charges of subverting the government and inciting violence, apparently after backing this week’s national strike on social media.
Wearing his trademark Zimbabwe flag around his neck, he appeared pensive in the dock of Harare magistrates court as his supporters murmured their disapproval at the judge’s ruling.
Mnangagwa — Mugabe’s former deputy — has vowed to revive the country’s shattered economy by attracting foreign investment, but shortages have recently worsened.
He is on an overseas investment tour that started in Russia and will end with him mixing with world leaders at the Davos summit in Switzerland next week.
The president, 76, told state broadcaster ZBC, that no leader could “have their security (forces) go to sleep when shops are being looted”.
Inflation in Zimbabwe has risen to 40 percent – its highest rate since hyperinflation wrecked the economy 10 years ago and the country adopted the US dollar as its currency.
For months, long queues lasting hours or even days have formed outside petrol stations and banks, where both fuel and cash are rationed.
With US dollar notes scarce, Zimbabweans are forced to withdraw “bond notes” – supposedly equal to US dollars but worth far less in reality.
Mugabe, now 94, ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years from independence from Britain until he was ousted in November 2017.
The military, fearing that Mugabe’s wife Grace was being lined up to succeed him, seized control and forced him to resign before ushering Mnangagwa to power.

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