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Xi: China welcomes Trump's visit by year end
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday pledged to “properly handle” disagreements with the US and said Beijing welcomes US President Donald Trump to visit China by year end, as he met chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

"President Trump and I both highly value China-US relations...

Xi: China welcomes Trump's visit by year end
Scholars Mull Project to Divert Water from Tibet to Arid Xinjiang
Experts want the government to reconsider diverting water from Tibet to parched northern regions, but disagreements remain strong due to the huge cost and possible environmental damage.

Around 20 scholars met outside Urumqi in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region over the last weekend of July, and...

Scholars Mull Project to Divert Water from Tibet to Arid Xinjiang
Gulalai makes stunning entry in NA

ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf member Ayesha Gulalai, wearing traditional tribal turban, on Thursday made a stunning entry in National Assembly to affirm her stance against PTI chief Imran Khan that she is in right and would stay determined.

Talking to Geo News outside the Parliament House, Ayesha Gulalai said that a woman has to impersonate 'Razia Sultana' to fight against man for her rights. She alleged the PTI chairman of being jealous of the talented youth, adding that she is alone fighting against a 'Mafia'.

The lawmaker, who recently leveled serious allegations against PTI Chairman Imran Khan after a fiery departure from the party, entered into the National Assembly session on Thursday wearing a traditional tribal turban.

In an earlier session, Ayesha Gulalai had addressed the House and said she would not resign from her seat in the assembly. She continued her address amid ruckus created from the PTI benches.

Earlier this month, She alleged Imran for sending her 'inappropriate text messages'. To find out the truth the PM had formed NA committee.

Meeting discusses security steps to curb bank heists

Sindh Home Minister Suhail Siyal presided over a high-level meeting on Thursday to discuss the recent surge in bank robberies across the city.

The spokesman for the minister said the meeting was attended by Home Secretary Qazi Shahid Pervaiz, Karachi police chief Addl IGP Ghulam Qadir Thebo, Counter Terrorism Department Sindh chief Addl IGP Dr Sanaullah Abbasi, the Crime Investigation Agency DIG, zonal DIGs, district SSPs and other senior officers.

Senior representatives of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), commercial banks, the All Pakistan Security Agencies Association and the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee also attended the meeting.

The meeting discussed security measures at bank branches in the light of the standard operating procedure (SOP) that had already been circulated to all commercial banks by the SBP. Professional expertise of private security guards was also part of the discussion.

Some investigators claimed that the bank authorities were not following the SOP, but on the other hand, some observers claimed that the police were responsible for solving crimes and that they had failed to bring to book anyone involved in heists.

In this year’s bank robberies the authorities found the involvement of security guards and bank staffers in most of the cases, as the financial institutions had failed to adopt the SOP issued by the police department and the SBP.

Investigators said that most of the robberies were committed by terrorists for raising funds for their respective organisations, adding that in the recent past the police had busted many groups of banned outfits and found them involved in bank heists, the biggest among them being Jundullah.

N fowleri claims year?s fifth life in city

Deadly microorganisms found in the unchlorinated water of Karachi have claimed the year’s fifth life, as health authorities confirmed the death of a young man from Dalmia’s Mujahid Colony due to Naegleria fowleri.

“Abdullah Ahmed, 20, was taken to the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) in a serious condition from another private hospital on Monday, but he died the next day,” Sindh Health Department’s focal person for the brain-eating bug, Dr Zafar Mehdi, told The News on Thursday. “Laboratory analysis of his cerebrospinal fluid showed that he was infected with N fowleri.”

Dr Mehdi said Ahmed was taken to a local physician last Friday because of a headache, but the next day he was taken to the Jamal Noor Hospital (JNH) after his condition worsened. On Monday the family took him to the AKUH on the recommendation of JNH doctors, but he succumbed to the deadly infection the next day, he added.

“He offered prayers five times a day. N fowleri apparently infected his nervous system during ablution. We are collecting samples from his mosque and the area where he lived to analyse if the water there was chlorinated.”

Earlier this month a woman in the city was reported to have died of the bug. According to Dr Mehdi, Amina Saleem, 48, from Karimabad had died on July 30 at a private hospital due to meningitis caused by N fowleri.

He said the woman had been suffering from extreme headaches, nausea and drowsiness for some days, adding that she was taken to the Patel Hospital in Gulshan-e-Iqbal on July 29 when her condition worsened. “Within 24 hours of her admission to the hospital, she succumbed to the deadly infection.”

Naegleria fowleri is a pathogen found in freshwater supplied from rivers and lakes to cities. If the water is supplied unchlorinated, the bug can cause a deadly infection in the central nervous system, resulting in death in almost all the cases because so far there is no cure for it.

A recent study, published in the Archives of Pharmacy Practices last year, has found that the highest number of N fowleri cases was reported in 2012 when 22 people in Pakistan died of the water-borne infection.

The researchers said that majority of the deaths due to the bug in the country between 2008 and 2015 occurred in the month of July. The mean temperature of the month was between 35°C and 39°C, while majority of the cases were reported in Karachi.

They said that no individual who contracted the disease was able to survive, adding that adults between the ages of 26 and 45 years were the most affected. All of the deaths occurred in the Muslim community, concluded the study. The study also pointed out that chlorination of the municipality water supply was below the World Health Organisation’s recommended level of 0.5 parts per million.

SC moved against sale of sugary drinks at educational institutions

A local non-governmental organisation has filed a petition in the Supreme Court’s Karachi registry seeking a ban on sale of soft drinks and other sugary beverages at educational institutions across the country.

Petitioners Atam Prakash, Nadeem A Sheikh and Saleem Michael said in their petition that the Punjab Food Authority had banned sale of soft drinks at educational institutions and replaced the beverages with fresh juices and flavoured milk to address the increasing health problems associated with high sugar intake among children.

The petitioners submitted the government of Punjab had taken a good step through the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination by imposing a ban on selling soft drinks in educational institutes including schools, colleges and tuition academies all over the province starting August 14, 2017. 

The petitioners said that it had been scientifically proven that soft drinks
contained a variety of ingredients that could be damaging to children’s health, adding that they were one of the leading causes of stunted growth and hyperactive behaviour among children.

The petitioners stressed that taking the step of banning soft drinks and other sugary beverages at educational institutions would lead to achieving positive results as regards children’s health.

They requested the court to direct the government to submit a detailed report about the sale of such injurious food items and beverages at all schools, colleges and other educational institutions as well as impose a ban on their sale.

The petitioners said it was necessary to launch an awareness drive to encourage intake of healthy food among students, citing the fact that Pakistan currently stands near the top on the list of countries with stunted growth among children.

The respondents cited by the petitioners include the federal law secretary, parliamentary affairs secretary, chief secretaries of Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan Khyber Pakhutnkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan and the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination.

Govt forced to withdraw new municipal commissioner?s posting order

Just a day after posting a new municipal commissioner at the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), the Sindh government on Thursday was compelled to withdraw the posting order as the corporation’s elected leadership allegedly rejected the appointment to the most senior bureaucratic post of the city’s municipal authority.

On Wednesday, the government had posted a Grade 20 secretariat service officer, Dr Badar Jamil Mendhro, as new municipal commissioner. A notification issued by the chief secretary in this regard stated:

“This department’s notification of even number dated 15th August, 2017, whereby Dr. Badar Jamil Mendhro, an officer of Provincial Secretariat Service (BS-20), awaiting posting, was posted as Municipal Commissioner, Karachi, is hereby cancelled/withdrawn.”

Earlier in the day when the KMC’s leadership was reluctant to give the charge of office to the newly posted officer, the provincial local government department ordered seizure of accounts of the municipal authority.

The circular issued by the deputy secretary (administration) of the local government department to the presidents of three main banks was entitled, “Seizing of bank accounts of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation”.

It stated: “I am directed to refer to the subject noted above and to state that the Government of Sindh has posted a full fledged cadre officer namely Dr. Badar Jameel Mendhro as Municipal Commissioner, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, Karachi vide Notification No SOI (SGA&CD-3/11/2000) dated 15-08-2017 but he has not been allowed to operate the accounts of KMC and the same are being operated by unauthorised persons, which is highly objectionable.

“In order to ensure the maintenance of administrative and financial discipline and to avoid misuse of funds, it has been decided to seize the accounts of KMC being operated in your branches till further directions.

“In view of the above, you are requested to please disseminate this to respective branches under your administrative control with instructions not to entertain the cheques of KMC till further orders.”

Later in the evening when Dr Mendhro’s posting order was withdrawn, the local government department also recalled its orders for the seizure of the KMC accounts. The second circular, again sent to the presidents of three main banks, was issued by the deputy secretary (general) of the local government department, which was entitled, “Seizing of Bank Accounts of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation”.

It said: “I am directed to refer to the subject noted above and to state that this department’s letter No. SOV/LG/35-01/2017 dated 17-08-2017 regarding seizing of bank accounts of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation is hereby cancelled/withdrawn.”

Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar is said to have rejected the posting order and refused to give the municipal commissioner’s charge to Dr Mendhro because the government had made the posting without consulting him. It was later learnt on authority that the KMC bank accounts were unfrozen on the instruction and intervention of Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah. 

The government had earlier been compelled to order the freezing of the bank accounts as a junior and non-cadre officer was discharging responsibilities as acting municipal commissioner in violation of financial discipline and rules of the government, said government official privy to the issue. He said the government would appoint a new municipal commissioner very soon, and that appointment would be acceptable to the elected leadership of the municipal authority.

Five people ?robbing bank customers for 10 years? arrested

Police on Thursday announced the arrest of four men and a woman who were allegedly involved in snatching cash from customers outside banks.

Addressing a press conference, Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) city chief DIG Dr Jameel Ahmed said a team comprising officers of the CIA and the Anti-Violent Crime Cell (AVCC) conducted a raid near the State Bank of Pakistan’s branch in North Nazimabad and nabbed three suspects who were identified as Zafar Hussain, Syed Ashar Ali and Syed Baqar Zaidi. 

The CIA city chief said the suspects disclosed names of their accomplices during interrogation. Zafar Hussain's son, Sarfaraz alias Vicky, and his wife Ghazala Zafar had also been arrested, he added.

He said the suspects had been involved in snatching cash from bank customers in the Nazimabad and Gulistan-e-Jauhar areas for the last 10 years. Zafar Hussain told police that he had been recruited in the Sindh police as a constable in 1988 but dismissed from service because of his alleged involvement in criminal activities, he added.

“Following Zafar’s dismissal from service, he along with his son, Sarfaraz, wife Ghazala and his brother-in-law started looting cash from bank customers,” DIG Ahmed added. “The suspects also told police that Ghazala used to stand outside banks to act as a lookout and inform his gang members about movement of bank customers.”

Ahmed said the suspects had confessed to snatching cash from citizens during the last ten years. He said a 30 bore pistol with six live rounds was found on Zafar, a 30 bore pistol with five live rounds was found on Ashar, and a 30 bore TT pistol and six live rounds was in Baqar’s possession.

The CIA and the AVCC had registered cases against the arrested suspects for carrying illegal weapon, he added. Concluding his briefing, the CIA city chief said the police were making efforts to arrest other robbers involved in bank-related crimes.

A day earlier, police arrested two suspects who were allegedly involved in robbing a bank situated in the city’s Kharadar area. Under the supervision of DSP Zahid Hussain Siddiqui, police said, a team had been tasked with arresting perpetrators who looted an Al Baraka Bank branch on August 9 this year.

After completing due diligence and consolidating the information collected, the police team apprehended two suspects who were identified as Maqsood Ahmed and Zahid Mehmood, police said, adding that Rs135,000 and two TT pistols were found in their possession.

 

During interrogation in an investigation unit, the suspects disclosed the names of their three associates, police said, adding that a hunt had been launched to nab the remaining robbers.  The two men also confessed to commit over 200 robberies in different parts of the city, police said. They had earlier been arrested eight times but they had obtained bail every single time, police added.

Hearing of kidnapping case against Afaq adjourned

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) hearing a kidnapping case registered against Mohajir Qaumi Movement - Haqiqi (MQM-H) chief Afaq Ahmed and others adjourned the hearing till September 12. Ahmed who has acquired a bail in the case was present in the court, however, his counsel was absent due to which the court put off the hearing. He along with his accomplices is alleged to have kidnapped an officer of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, Jameel Baloch, in 2002

LeJ terrorists escape

The ATC hearing the case against over a dozen police officers suspected to have facilitated two dangerous terrorists escape from central prison, fixed August 21 to announce its verdict on the matter of bail of five of the accused cops.

The court heard arguments of the attorneys for the accused - Assistant Prison Superintendent Ayaz Salik and Deputy Prison Superintendent Rafiq Channa; they requested the court to grant them bail as they had no involvement in the case.

The court after hearing arguments of both the defense and prosecutions’ attorneys reserved to announce its order on August 21; the public prosecutor opposed the granting of pleas to the cops.

 

 

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