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'Please Let us Live in our Homes' | Policemen Tried to Raze Houses and a Church in Karachi, Pakistan


Karachi, Pakistan (Christians in Pakistan) | Christians residing in Sector-6 of Karachi’s neighborhood Korangi, see red as policemen tried to raze their houses and a church. Soon after the incident, a local Christian resident shared a video, which showed the extent of grievance of these victims of police harassment.
Policemen tried to bulldoze their houses in the name of the anti-encroachment drive, but when asked to provide the legal documentation they presented none. This incensed the Christians residents, who claim that policemen purportedly assaulted Christian women. Policemen pulled their dupatas (scarfs) and punched them on the chest.

“Please let us live in our homes,” local Christian women pleaded in the video message. It was further revealed that after the residents asked for the legal orders for bulldozing their houses; policemen resorted to torture and started beating men and women indiscriminately. Christians claim that the policemen beat themselves and falsely accused the Christians of beating them. What is more, the policemen forcefully took Christians away.
The video has birthed indignation among Pakistani Christians who term this harassment as a controversial drive against poor citizens. Victims urged the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan as well as the Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar to take notice of the illegal anti-encroachment drive and ensure protection and safety of citizens from police harassment.

In the #MeToo Era, Theologians Publish 'Women's Bible'


Geneva, Switzerland (AFP) |Tired of seeing their holy texts used to justify the subjugation of women, a group of feminist theologians from across the Protestant-Catholic divide have joined forces to draft "A Women´s Bible".
As the #MeToo movement continues to expose sexual abuse across cultures and industries, some scholars of Christianity are clamouring for a reckoning with biblical interpretations they say have entrenched negative images of women.
The women we know from translations and interpretations of Bible texts are servants, prostitutes or saints, seen dancing for a king or kneeling to kiss Jesus´ feet.
But while many feminists have called for The Bible, Christianity, and religion altogether to be cast aside, an eclectic group of theologians instead insists that if interpreted properly, the Good Book can be a tool for promoting women´s emancipation.

Feminist Values:

"Feminist values and reading the Bible are not incompatible," insisted Lauriane Savoy, one of two Geneva theology professors behind the push to draft "Une Bible des Femmes" ("A Women´s Bible"), which was published in October.
The professor at the Theology Faculty in Geneva, which was established by the father of Calvinism himself in 1559, said the idea for the work came after she and her colleague Elisabeth Parmentier noticed how little most people knew or understood of the biblical texts.
"A lot of people thought they were completely outdated with no relevance to today´s values of equality," the 33-year-old told AFP, standing under the towering sculptures of Jean Calvin and other Protestant founders on the University of Geneva campus.
In a bid to counter such notions, Savoy and Parmentier, 57, joined forces with 18 other woman theologians from a range of countries and Christian denominations.
The scholars have created a collection of texts challenging traditional interpretations of Bible scriptures that cast women characters as weak and subordinate to the men around them.
Parmentier points to a passage in the Gospel of Luke, in which Jesus visits two sisters, Martha and Mary.
"It says that Martha ensures the "service", which has been interpreted to mean that she served the food, but the Greek word diakonia can also have other meanings, for instance, it could mean she was a deacon," she pointed out.

Overturning Religious Orthodoxy:

They are not the first to provide a more women-friendly reading of the scriptures.
Already back in 1898, American suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton and a committee of 26 other women drafted "The Woman´s Bible", aimed at overturning religious orthodoxy that women should be subservient to men.
The two Geneva theology professors say they were inspired by that work, and had initially planned to simply translate it to French.
But after determining that the 120-year-old text was too outdated, they decided to create a new work that could resonate in the 21st century.
"We wanted to work in an ecumenical way," Parmentier said, stressing that around half the women involved in the project are Catholic and the other half from a number of branches of Protestantism.
In the introduction to the "Women´s Bible", the authors said that the chapters were meant to "scrutinise shifts in the Christian tradition, things that have remained concealed, tendentious translations, partial interpretations."

Lingering Patriarchal Readings:

They take to task "the lingering patriarchal readings that have justified numerous restrictions and bans on women," the authors wrote.
Savoy said that Mary Magdalene, "the female character who appears the most in the Gospels", had been given a raw deal in many common interpretations of the texts.
"She stood by Jesus, including as he was dying on the cross when all of the male disciples were afraid. She was the first one to go to his tomb and to discover his resurrection," she pointed out.
"This is a fundamental character, but she is described as a prostitute, ... and even as Jesus´s lover in recent fiction."
The scholars also go to great lengths to place the texts in their historical context.
"We are fighting against a literal reading of the texts," Parmentier said, pointing for instance to letters sent by Saint Paul to nascent Christian communities.
Reading passages from those letters, which could easily be construed as radically anti-feminist, as instructions for how women should be treated today is insane, she said.
"It´s like taking a letter someone sends to give advice as being valid for all eternity."
The theologians´ texts also approach the Bible through different themes, like the body, seduction, motherhood, and subordination.
The authors say they consider their work a useful tool in the age of #MeToo.
"Each chapter addresses existential questions for women, questions they are still asking themselves today," Parmentier said.
"While some say that you have to throw out the Bible to be a feminist, we believe the opposite."

Chinese Hospital Denies Approving Gene-edited Babies Experiment


Beijing China (AFP) |The Chinese hospital linked to a controversial experiment purporting to have created the world´s first genetically-edited babies denied its involvement Tuesday.
Shenzhen Harmonicare Women and Children´s Hospital said in a statement that it suspected the signature on a document approving the experiment, specifically its adherence to ethical standards, was falsified.
It has also asked the police to investigate.
"We have always firmly opposed the development of genetic experiments that violate human ethics and morality," the hospital said on its website.
The experiment, which was led by Chinese professor He Jiankui, altered the DNA of twin girls born a few weeks ago to prevent them from contracting HIV and has prompted a heated debate among the scientific community.
Some warned that exposing healthy embryos and children to gene editing was irresponsible, while others denounced He´s experiment as premature and dangerous.
Chinese scientists and institutions have also criticised the experiment, with 100 scientists in China issuing a joint statement calling for better state legislation.
"It is a great blow to the global reputation and development of biomedical research in China," said the statement posted on the Twitter-like platform Weibo.
The university where He works has also distanced itself from the scientist´s experiment.
"This research work was carried out by Professor He Jiankui outside of the school," the Southern University of Science and Technology said in a statement Monday.
He has been on unpaid leave since February and his research is a "serious violation of academic ethics and norms", it said.
The Shenzhen Harmonicare Women and Children´s Hospital too has denied any involvement with He.
In interviews with Chinese media, Cheng Zhen, the general manager of the hospital, said the hospital had not partnered with He, and that he had never even met the man before.

Pakistan has Unlimited Potential for Developing Eco-Friendly Tourism


Islamabad, Pakistan | Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Pakistan has unlimited potential for developing eco-friendly tourism.
Imran Khan took to Twitter sharing pictures of Karachi beach and snow covered mountains in the north saying, "From our beaches in the south to Fairy Meadows in the north, and the rich history of our Land, Pakistan has unlimited potential for developing eco-friendly tourism."
The Prime Minister asserted that this is a commitment we are determined to fulfill God Willing.



Pakistani Christian Death Row Inmate Awaits Appeal Hearing


Lahore, Pakistan (Christians in Pakistan) | Blasphemy convict Pakistani Christian Sawan Masih awaits justice as his appeal case is due to be herd by the Lahore High Court on November 27. He has been on death row since 2014 after accusations of committing blasphemy were leveled against him. His case remained in the limelight as Badami Bagh arson budded from it.
On March 9, 2013, Shahid Imran a non-Christian friend of Sawan Masih accused him of committing blasphemy. Consequently, an FIR was registered and Section 295-C was invoked against him. He was tried in the jail and in March 2014 the judge handed him Capital punishment. Sawan Masih father of three has consistently maintained his innocence since being accused of blasphemy. He claimed that the accusations were fabricated.
“We will appeal the sentence in the Lahore High Court,” Sawan Masih’s lawyer said at that time. An appeal was filed against his death punishment. On November 27, his appeal is scheduled to be heard by the divisional bench before the Lahore High Court.
The case is notoriously remembered as a charged mob of about 3,000 men attacked Lahore’s Joseph Colony – a predominantly Christian neighborhood. This attack was a reprisal to Sawan Masih’s alleged blasphemy. Sawan Masih resided in Joseph Colony, and the mobsters looted Christians’ houses, shops and churches afterward set them on fire.
No less than 180 houses, 75 shops, and 2 churches were set on fire. The police stood as spectators while the vandals were ransacking and torching Christians’ houses. Sensing the looming attack by radicals, Christian residents of Joseph Colony fled from their homes, therefore, no one was killed in this arson.
The alleged mobsters were arrested by the police, who were tried by the anti-terrorism court. However, last year an anti-terrorism court acquitted very one of the suspects accused of involved in the Joseph Colony arson. Sawan Masih is still behind the bars awaiting justice.

Mexico will Hold US-bound Refugees While Claims Processed | Donald J. Trump


Washington, USA (AFP) | Asylum seekers hoping to enter the US via its southern border will have to wait in Mexico while they are assessed, President Donald Trump announced Saturday, appearing to confirm a report about a bilateral deal published by The Washington Post.
The move was cautiously welcomed by some refugees currently at the border, even as Mexico´s incoming interior minister Olga Sanchez Cordero, who was quoted by the Post as confirming the agreement, later issued a denial.
"Migrants at the Southern Border will not be allowed into the United States until their claims are individually approved in court," Trump wrote on Twitter.
He added that the US "will allow those who come into our Country legally" and emphasized: "All will stay in Mexico."
The deal, which would overhaul US border policy, comes with Trump outraged over the presence of thousands of Central American migrants who marched to Mexico´s border city of Tijuana hoping to enter the US for a better life free from the poverty and gang violence in their homelands.
"For now, we have agreed to this policy of Remain in Mexico," the Post quoted Sanchez Cordero as saying. The government of new President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will enter office on December 1.
But her office later issued a statement saying: "There is no agreement of any type between the future federal government of Mexico and that of the United States of America."
Trump has sent almost 6,000 soldiers to the Mexican border in support of Customs and Border Protection agents and National Guard troops already there, to forestall what Trump has called an "invasion" by "very bad people."
After a trek of more than a month from Honduras, nearly 5,000 migrants -- including women and children -- are now in Tijuana living in a makeshift shelter.

A potential breakthrough 

Trump "is within his right. He is in his government," but he is not like other presidents in his views of migrants, said a resident of the shelter, Carolina Flores, 38, of Honduras.
"He sees us as a bug that is going to eat there," she added. "We come for an opportunity!"
Another Honduran in the shelter, Orlinda Morales, 31, a housewife, said the reported new asylum rules seem "very good" because migrants will not be in limbo. "We will get work here," she said.
Hundreds of the migrants lined up this week at a special jobs fair set up for them in the manufacturing city, but others remain determined to reach the US.
No formal agreement has been signed, the Post said, but US officials view the deal, which would see would-be refugees´ cases heard by US courts in Mexico, as a potential breakthrough in deterring migration.
US asylum officers will begin implementing the new procedures in coming days or weeks, Homeland Security officials cited by the Post said.
Asylum seekers will be given an initial screening to determine whether they face imminent danger by staying in Mexico, where violence is widespread.

Deportation to the homeland 

American officials will be able to process at least twice as many asylum claims under the new system because they would not be limited by detention space at US ports of entry, the Post report said.
It added that under the new rules, an applicant whose asylum claim is denied would not be allowed to return to Mexico but would remain in US custody pending immediate deportation to his or her home country.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made no mention of a deal but said that he and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had "a constructive meeting" with Mexico´s future foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard over the caravans.
"We have affirmed our shared commitment to addressing the current challenge. The caravans will not be permitted to enter the United States. There are real dangers to the safety and human rights of migrants from those who would prey on them," Pompeo said.
He added that he was looking forward to working with Mexico´s new government, including on ways to spur job creation "to benefit the government and people of Mexico."
In 2018, border patrols registered more than 400,000 illegal crossers, according to Homeland Security, and in the last five years, the number of those requesting asylum has increased by 2,000 percent.
Less than 10 percent of cases result in the asylum being granted, the government says.
Last week, a US federal judge temporarily blocked the Trump administration from denying asylum to people who enter the country illegally.
The president issued a proclamation earlier this month saying that only people who enter the US at official checkpoints -- as opposed to sneaking across the border -- can apply for asylum.

NASA Spacecraft Nears Red Planet on Mission to Detect 'Marsquakes'


Los Angeles, USA (Reuters) | NASA’s first robotic lander designed to study the deep interior of a distant world hurtled closer to Mars on course for a planned touchdown on Monday after a six-month voyage through space.
Traveling 301 million miles (548 million km) from Earth, the Mars InSight spacecraft was due to reach its destination on the dusty, rock-strewn surface of the Red Planet at about 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT).
If all goes according to plan, InSight will streak into the pink Martian sky at 12,000 miles per hour (19,310 kilometers per hour). Its 77-mile descent to the surface will be slowed by atmospheric friction, a giant parachute, and retro rockets. When it lands 6-1/2 minutes later, it will be traveling a mere 5 mph (8 kph).
The stationary probe, which launched from California in May, will then pause for 16 minutes for the dust to settle, literally, around the landing site before its disc-shaped solar arrays unfurl to provide power.
The mission control team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angeles hopes to get real-time electronic confirmation of the spacecraft’s safe arrival from miniature satellites that were launched along with InSight and will fly past Mars.
The JPL controllers also expect to receive a photo of the probe’s surroundings on the flat, smooth Martian plain close to the planet’s equator called the Elysium Planitia.
The site is roughly 373 miles (600 km) from the 2012 landing spot of the car-sized Mars rover Curiosity, the last spacecraft sent to the Red Planet by NASA.
The smaller, 880-pound (360 kg) InSight - its name is short for Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport - marks the 21st U.S.-launched Martian exploration including the Mariner fly-by missions of the 1960s. Nearly two dozen other Mars missions have been sent from other nations.

HOW ROCKY PLANETS FORMED?

InSight is the first dedicated to unlocking secrets from deep below the Martian surface. The lander will spend 24 months - about one Martian year - using seismic monitoring and underground drilling to gather clues on how Mars formed and, by extension, the origins of Earth and other rocky planets of the inner solar system more than 4 billion years ago.
“What this helps us understand is how we got to here,” said JPL’s Bruce Banerdt, InSight principal investigator, during a pre-landing briefing with reporters last week.
While Earth’s tectonics and other forces have erased most evidence of its early history, much of Mars - about one-third the size of Earth - is believed to have remained largely static over the eons, creating a geologic time machine for scientists.
InSight’s primary instrument is a highly sensitive French-built seismometer, designed to detect the slightest vibrations from “marsquakes” and meteor impacts.
Scientists expect to see a dozen to 100 marsquakes over the course of the mission, producing data to help them deduce the size, density, and composition of the planet.
The Viking probes of the mid-1970s were equipped with seismometers, but they were bolted atop the landers, a design that proved largely ineffective.
InSight also is fitted with a German-made drill to burrow as much as 16 feet (5 meters) underground, pulling behind it a rope-like thermal probe to measure heat.
Meanwhile, a radio transmitter will send signals back to Earth, tracking Mars’ subtle rotational wobble to reveal the size of the planet’s core and possibly whether it remains molten.
The InSight and next rover mission, along with others in the planning stage, are seen as precursors for eventual human exploration of Mars, NASA officials said.

Were US Moon Landings REAL? We’ll Verify, Says Russia Space Agency Chief


Moscow, Russia (AP) | The head of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency has said that a proposed Russian mission to the moon will be tasked with verifying that the American moon landings were real.
“We have set this objective to fly and verify whether they’ve been there or not,” said Dmitry Rogozin in a video posted Saturday on Twitter.
Rogozin was responding to a question about whether or not NASA actually landed on the moon nearly 50 years ago. He appeared to be joking, as he smirked and shrugged while answering. But conspiracies surrounding NASA’s moon missions are common in Russia.
The Soviet Union abandoned its lunar program in the mid-1970s after four experimental moon rockets exploded.
In 2015, a former spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee called for an investigation into NASA moon landings.

Ancient Tomb Unveiled in Egypt


Luxor, Egypt | The treasures of an ancient Egyptian tomb, thought to be more than 3,000 years old, have been unveiled by an archaeological mission in the Assasseef valley near the city of Luxor.
In the first public opening in front of the international media, one of the coffins was revealed to contain the well-preserved mummy of a woman. The other had been opened earlier and examined by Egyptian antiquities officials.
Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani was described how French and Egyptian archaeologists had made two separate discoveries, including of "a new tomb ... with very nice paintings."
While another official during a press conference on Saturday said that the team made the find after working at the site since March.
Egypt often announces archaeological discoveries with great fanfare, despite being accused of a lack of scientific rigor and neglect of its antiquities. More than a dozen ancient discoveries have been announced since the beginning of this year.

Inimical Foreign Elements Behind Chinese Consulate Attack | Fawad Chaudhry


Islamabad, Pakistan | Minister of information Fawad Chaudhry held inimical elements to be responsible for the terrorist attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi.
Addressing an event held for donation gathering for the martyred police officials, at the federal capital here on Monday, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader stated that the ties between the two countries cannot be sabotaged.
“These forces cannot sabotage Pakistan-China relations. Our ties are deep-rooted and time-tested,” he stated.
Moreover, he added that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent visit to China had strengthened the economic and defence ties of the two countries even more.
“This close collaboration is [annoying] certain forces which is why they are resorting to such cowardly acts,” he added.
He went on to state that Pakistan has proven to be firm with its stance against the war on terror while recounting the sacrifices of those who lost their lives in the line of duty.
Furthermore, Chaudhry also appraised the initiative by the Chinese of collecting donations for the martyred police officials of the attack of the Chinese consulate on Friday.
Deputy Chief of Mission at the Chinese Embassy Zhao Lijian also spoke at the event saying that the Pakistani community is from all around the world is donating to pay accolades to the sacrificed lives of ASI Ashraf Dawood and Constable Amir.
He also revealed that similar events will also be organized in the future in different cities including Beijing, for more donation collections.
It was further added by emissary that those attempting to sabotage the ties between the countries will never succeed.
Last week, on Friday, a terrorist attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi was obstructed by security forces that killed all three terrorists while capturing at least nine hand grenades, Kalashinkov bullets, magazines and explosives.
Apart from the two martyred police officials, a father and a son who had travelled from Quetta to apply for a visa also lost their lives while a security guard was left injured.

Insufficient Funds Impede Realization of Christian Community’s Dream | Bhimber, Pakistan


Bhimber, Pakistan (Christians in Pakistan) | A young Christian activist Shakeel Anjum is striving to build a structure to be used as ‘Community Welfare Center” in Bhimber – a town in Azad Kashmir. This hall is being constructed under the patronage of Shakeel Anjum who is a renowned Pakistani Christian journalist, Founding Chairman of Nawa-e-Masihi (Voice of Christians).
Talking to Christians in Pakistan, Shakeel Anjum said that previously a hall was being used as Community Welfare Center, but the set up took a problematic shape when it became difficult to pay the rent of the hall. The center was shut for a period of time, because of this difficulty.
Shakeel Anjum told that the estimated expenditure for construction of this hall is around 300000 Pakistani Rupees. Construction work has already started but at a controlled pace due to insufficient funds available. Once completed, this center would be used as a school for Christian children. “Education is your passport to prosperous future,” he believes.
Christians in Azad Kashmir, lag behind due to lack of education and awareness. Educating children will boost local Christian community’s progress. As a native, Shakeel Anjum for long had a dream to initiate a set-up which can help him uplift his community. The Community Welfare Center also offered vocational training to young Christian girls so as to enable them to earn in a respectable manner.
With an aim to elevate his people in Azad Kashmir, Shakeel Anjum eyes to build the center as soon as possible. For this purpose, he urges all to help him in the realization of this dream. Bhimber was once home to mushrooming Christian community, but the majority of them migrated to Punjab and other parts of the country at the time of independence. This migration caused a shrinking in the Christian population in this blissfully blessed land; as God has endowed natural tranquility, meadows, pastures, minerals and various other natural boons to Azad Kashmir.

Sutlej Reformed Church Holds 3rd Annual Christian Convention


Bahawalpur, Pakistan | Sutlej Reformed Church of Pakistan hosted the 3rd Annual Christian Convention with three-day events including Pastoral Fellowship, Worship with Psalms & Christian hymns, Preaching & Teaching, Holy Communion, Pastoral Ordinations and Children's Ministry program from Nov 23 to 25, 2018.
The Sutlej Reformed Church of Pakistan is a Conservative, Confessional, Protestant, Reformed, Presbyterian denomination, founded in 2011. What started a small church has flourished to hundreds of members nationally and internationally.
There are about 300-500 people from different religious backgrounds who attend the convention every year in the month of November. Sutlej Church shares the love of Christ through praying for all people who are suffering physically and spiritually. 
The Rev. Indrayas Masih, Rev. Zaheer Kamran, Rev. Karamat Masih and the Rev. Arslan Ul-Haq (Moderator, Sutlej Reformed Church of Pakistan) were the speakers of the convention. 
Each day of the convention, attendants served with food. Travel cost also provided to the people who came from the far-off areas. Each day worship service recorded with HD video cameras. Sutlej Church pays fares also to those who want to attend the convention but cannot afford their traveling expenses.

Pictorials are here below:







Asia Bibi Case Shows How Justice FAILED to Deliver on Merit | CJP

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar during his interaction with British Parliamentarians of Pakistan heritage.

London, UK (Murtaza Ali Shah/Geo News) | Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar has said that the case of Asia Bibi showed how the justice system failed to deliver on merit, depriving people of their due right to justice and fairness.
The CJP made the remarks during his meetings with a group of British Pakistani parliamentarians who had invited him for a tour of the British parliament. The event, arranged in the committee room of the House of Commons, was attended by Afzal Khan MP, Naz Shah MP, Rehman Chishti MP, Faisal Rasheed MP, Yasmeen Qureshi MP, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Muhammad Yaseem MP, Khalid Mahmood MP and Lord Qurban Hussain.
Sayeeda Warsi and Rehman Chishti asked questions about the case of Asia Bibi, while MP Naz Shah raised the issue of murder in Islamabad of Barrister Fahad Malik, brother of British Pakistani entrepreneur Jawad Malik.
Justice Nisar said that Pakistan’s justice system is fractured and it needs reforms so that it could be made relevant to the modern world for the dispensation of speedy and quality justice to citizens of Pakistan.
The CJP said that he was not ‘a shy person who will not accept his error on the part of his institution’. He said that there was no evidence in Asia’s case but “unfortunately it took about eight years”. He said that there have been delays in this case and acknowledged that for about four years this case has been in the Supreme Court but then it was dealt with.
Responding to Warsi’s assertion that Asia Bibi should be given asylum in the UK, the CJP replied: “As far as the protection is concerned, I don’t think she should be given asylum … because it’s the duty of the state to protect the life and property of its citizens and if she is sent abroad it means that the state of Pakistan has failed. She should be given maximum protection in Pakistan.”
The CJP said that the government of Pakistan has to act strong or there will be no end (of such cases) and this will show the failure of the state. He said safeguarding her is the responsibility of the government.
Answering a question about the issue around Asia Bibi being on the Exit Control List (ECL), the CJP said that the law doesn’t provide for any such provision in a case like this. He said he was sure that the judiciary would not pass any illegal order.
Answering a question by Naz Shah MP on the killing of British national Fahad Malik, the CJP acknowledged that there has been a delay and stressed that he himself has taken notice of this case. Honourable Justice Nisar said that he called the anti-terrorism court (ATC) judge to the Supreme Court and asked him about the delay in Fahad Malik’s case. “The judge told me he has dealt with only two cases in the last two months when I asked him about his performance,” remarked the chief justice, adding that performance of the judge was not satisfactory.
The CJP said that this case should have been resolved at the institutional level, without his personal intervention. He said the delay in Fahad Malik’s case pointed towards institutional failure.
The CJP said that he had no hesitation in stating that Pakistan suffered from institutional failure on many fronts. He said that Pakistan was made after a lot of sacrifices but successive governments failed on institution-building and as a result, Pakistan is faced with a dire situation of governance failure.
The CJP said that it was not his job to criticise other organs of the state, but it’s a matter of fact that the parliament failed to accomplish its job in many ways.
The CJP described how he visited many hospitals and found that in a hospital out of five ventilators, three didn’t work and the remaining two were reserved for the VIPs.
The Chief Justice Saqib Nisar said that he found that in the Saaf Paane (Clean Water) case, nearly four billion Rupees were spent. “I asked the Chief Minister and he conceded before the court that while there have been meetings and briefings and task forces, not a single drop of water has been produced.”
Speaking about his campaigning to raise funds for the dam, the CJP said that Pakistan is facing acute water shortage and water resources have mainly either dried up or drying up fast, therefore it was most important to find new resources of water. He said he decided to work on the need for constructing dams after realising that how serious this problem was.
The CJP thanked overseas Pakistanis for their efforts in helping Pakistan whenever the need arose. “I don’t have enough words to thank overseas Pakistanis for what they have done for Pakistan. They have always helped Pakistan and they are doing their best to help Pakistan in efforts to build dams.”

Born of Water and the Spirit?

Credit | When We Understand The Text

58,000 Children Die Every Year in India Due to Antibiotic Resistance | Report


New Dehli, India | Antibiotic-resistant infections shockingly spreading wings in India, killing  58,000 children every year,  reported on Sunday.
India suffers severely with some of the highest antibiotic-resistant bacteria that commonly cause infections in the community and healthcare facilities, reminds Centre for Disease Dynamics Economics and Policy (CDDEP), as World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2018 ends on Sunday.
"Every year globally, almost 700,000 lives are lost. More than 58,000 children die every year in India alone, from antibiotic-resistant infections," said CDDEP.
The antibiotic resistance is the ability of disease-causing bacteria and micro-organisms to resist the antibiotics or medicine due to adaptation.
Uncontrolled dumping of untreated urban waste into water bodies is affecting aquatic life and environment.
Earlier in 2017, a team of experts from India and Sweden had also flagged concerns over the uncontrolled dumping of partly treated and untreated urban waste into rivers - leading to the spread of antibiotic resistance.
According to CDDEP research, the global use of antibiotics in humans has increased by 65 percent in 2015 since 2000, while consumption in low-and-middle-income countries increased by 114 percent.
"India saw the highest increase in antibiotic use by 103 percent. This has resulted in a modern-day crisis with a shortage of effective antibiotics and a weak pipeline for novel antibiotics," Jyoti Joshi, Head South Asia, CDDEP, said.
The CDDEP research showed that resistance to the broad-spectrum antibiotics is detected in more than 70 percent of organisms causing pneumonia and sepsis.

Pak Cyber Security and Cyber Crime


Pakistan (Senator Rehman Malik) | The present era has now become dependent of IT-based facilities. It is an amazing fast and continuous development in multidimensional communication both in audio and video. The international community has become highly dependent of this new technology but at the same time, the criminals have also invented the faster technique of hacking to commit crimes.
Pak nation witnessed the most recent Cyber-attack on the banking data where many have been deprived of millions of rupees by online transfer of money from one account to the other. In addition to it, the fast-growing use of “apps” has totally changed the way of life and it is taking over almost everything one does. An app is a software that can be executed as you can download it or have direct access to it by using your mobile phone or any other internet device. The first ever app was created by Apple App Store launched in July 2008, a year after the first iPhone was released as it launched 500 apps after its release.
The IT business progressed rapidly as the software development has produced countless millionaires. Bill Gate happened to be the pioneer of the IT industry. The Silicon Valley is the main trading and promoting hub of Cyber industries. The growing IT and Cyber industries have brought a revolution in the field of electronics, which is becoming an integral part of almost every growing industry.

The word cyber means “Virtual Reality”. It technically is a connection with electronic communication networks, especially the internet mother of media connectivity. The cyber technology revolves around internet technology involving the flow of information in cellular phones, computers and video game consoles etc. The internet has taken our world by storm as it plays a huge role in our lives today. Even the car we drive or TV we watch today is a part of cyber technology because they have access to the internet.
The revolution and advancement of cyber-technology have both positive and negative effects on our daily lives. We are able to get information at our fingertips through cyber technology. These elements of Cybertechnology revolution may seem to be as exceedingly amazing but they also bring about certain problems such as cyber-bullying, identity theft and loss of private data etc. All of these threats are known as Cyber-attack, Cyber-crime or Cyber-theft in the internet world and all of us are familiar with the terms.
Cybercrime is a crime done over the web using a computer, or a networked device. Any crime committed using a computer or automated system including Identity theft, harassing, phishing, impersonating or maligning someone on social network sites, stealing money from accounts online, hacking into someone’s computer, ATM or mobile data, developing fake websites, posting someone’s personal content or data without their permission in order to harm their reputation or relationships and ransom etc. are some of the many examples of cyber-crimes.
Cybersecurity wall is a virtual wall created to protect information on main gateways of telecom hardware, computer, networks, programmes, content and data from unauthorised access, cyber-attacks or threats that are aimed for exploitation or theft. Cybersecurity covers four major areas of involving Cyber-crime; Application Security, Information security, Disaster security, and Network security etc.
There are several hacking tools and software that are designed to assist with hacking for hacking purposes. For example Nmap, Nessus, John the Ripper, p0f, Winzapper, mSpy, Bribes, ActiveX and iKeyMonitor etc.
Apparently, there has not yet been any foolproof security tool designed to keep your networks and computers safe from cyber-attacks but there are different measures we can take to keep our online life safe and secure i.e. By turning on firewall feature of your router. Use a good anti-virus software. Shop only from secure online websites. Keep your credit cards and bank account details to yourself as the major scams are on stolen data.
You need to set up strong passwords on your social accounts. Turn on spam blockers and keep your information secure. By encrypting your data.
Following are 5 of the biggest and most significant international cyber-crimes and data breaches of all times that pose threat to our business, privacy, and governments.
In 2000, a 15-year-old guy, Micheal Calce caused a mischief in Cyberspace. He was a high-school student in Canada when he carried out a cyber-attack on the number of high profile commercial websites including CNN, Amazon, eBay, and Yahoo, which resulted in $1.2 billion in damage. For being underage, he was sentenced to only eight months of open custody and his online access also got limited by the court.
The most infamous than famous cyber-crime is the tragic case of Aaron Schwartz, the brilliant and young American Internet hacktivist who was arrested in 2011 for unlawfully downloading and publishing academic journals at MIT. He was wildly overcharged by federal prosecutors and 35 years of imprisonment resulting in his suicide in 2013.
Another most widespread cyber-attack ever hit the NHS computer systems in mid-2017. The hackers managed to gain access to the UK's medical system. The virus named “WannaCry” was spread through email in the form of attachments as once a user clicked on it, all files would be locked spreading the virus through computers and demanding money in order to gain access again. Around 300,000 computers were infected by “WannaCry” and the NHS remained down for a number of days when a 22-year-old security researcher from Devon managed to find the kill switch and regained access to the system.
In 2015, for a period of two years around 650 million euros were stolen from banks around the world when Russian based hackers used malware to infiltrate banks' computer systems and gathered personal data. They successfully impersonated online bank staff to authorise fraudulent transfers, and also dispensed cash from ATM machines without a bank card.
In 2014, famous entertainment company Sony Pictures were hit with a crippling virus by Cyber-crime group Guardians of Peace (GOP) in a blackmail attempt. Around 100 terabytes of sensitive data got stolen in the attack. It was alleged that the attack was carried out after North Korea's disapproval of the film 'The Interview'.
The film characterised the President Kim Jong-un and contained a plot where main characters plotted to assassinate him. The case was investigated by US agencies, which claimed that North Korea had authorised the cyber-attack in order to prevent the film from releasing.
In 2017 January, a number of UK high street banks, including Lloyds Bank faced a denial-of-service (DoS) attack by the hackers. During the attack, more than 20 million UK accounts were blocked and as a result, customers were unable to send payments or check their balance online.
Incidents of cyber-hacking on Govt’s data:
China is known to be the home to cyber spies and hackers, which more than any other country in the world has stolen more secrets from businesses and governments. The primary cyber-aggression of China has always been towards the US making it a serious threat of espionage to US, Russia, Iran and North Korea.
The first operation that Chinese hackers conducted against the US was in 1999 during the Kosovo conflict, when the US bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade accidentally killing three Chinese reporters. In retaliation, the patriotic hackers planted messages denouncing “Nato’s brutal action” on a number of US government websites.
Despite India’s reputation for being an IT and software powerhouse, around 13,301 cybersecurity breaches were reported in 2011. The biggest cyber-attack that the country had faced took place on July 12, 2012, in which hackers broke into the email accounts of 12,000 people including high officials from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Ministry of External Affairs.
On June 2010, Iran’s nuclear facility in Natanz was infected by Stuxnet, a cyber worm, as it was subjected to cyber-attack. However, it was believed that it was a combined effort of Israel and the United States but no one claimed responsibility for it. The worm had destroyed Tehran’s 1000 nuclear centrifuges and set the country’s atomic ability back to at least two years.
The virus infected over 60,000 computers as it was spread beyond the plant.
On March 7, WikiLeaks published a data cache, which contained 8,761 documents that have been allegedly stolen from the CIA. The documents involved alleged spying operations and hacking tools. Revelations included bugs in Windows, iOS and Android vulnerabilities, and the ability to turn some smart TVs into listening devices.
Some hackers consistently keep forcing their entry into any Cyber/IT-based hardware by cloning it or breaking the password. The incidents in the past show that most of the professional hackers have been produced by India both at private and official level. Second most expert hackers are from Russia.
The most recent indicators and incidents show that Israel is now taking the lead in hacking and spying. We are at present extending Cyber dependence but without proper countermeasures against the Cyber-attack.
In recent past, our country has faced various cyber breaches on an individual as well as on state level and we do not yet have an efficient countering measure. The major attack of the year began in mid-October with Bank Islami, now it has taken a rapid pace across the whole country. Individuals continue to lose money from their bank accounts of different banks and the major cause for concern is that banks are hiding the information about these cyber robberies. A total of 19,864 cards of 22 Pakistan banks have been compromised in this attack till now. People have also been receiving scam calls by hackers impersonating bank staff to make reveal their bank account details.
Unfortunately, there is no law on Cybersecurity, which needs to be brought in to safeguard the firewalls of our organisations which are prone to cyber-attacks. Ironically, the first ever Cyber Crime bill that was passed on August 11, 2016, by Pakistan’s lower house, the National Assembly, as the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016, is controversial in its terms. The law has worried human rights and pro-democracy activists through it's overbroad language against the freedom of speech.
The law also allows the authorised officers to have access to anyone’s computer and personal data whenever they want during the investigation. It also gives unlimited authorities to the PTA to decide as to what is legal or illegal.
The law has provided 7 years of imprisonment sentence to those planning, recruiting or funding terrorism or propaganda online against the state. Hence, the sections of the Bill prove that the law only gives unfair prosecutions to the handlers of the state as no provisions have been set up to protect the privacy and sensitive data of the individuals.
Hence, the above discussions entail that all the above networks and data systems are unsecured unless they are secured through foolproof security.
There is no law in Pakistan against those who break the security firewalls to steal the import data including the bank record. It is theft and its trial needs substantial digital evidence including an attempt to enter in the database. It is, therefore, the need of the time that Parliament brings new law only on Cybersecurity for the protection of national and private data including the bank database.
Although we do have a Cyber Act but we may bring a separate act on Cybersecurity or add another Cybersecurity chapter relating to proper Cybersecurity in the act to cope with the issues. Pakistan definitely needs an effective “National Cyber Security Act “to protect its people from local and alien Cyber hackers.

The writer is Chairman of think tank "Global Eye" & former interior minister of Pakistan. @Email: rmalik1212@gmail.com, Twitter @Senrehmanmalik, @GlobalEye_GSA, WhatsApp +923325559393

Pentagon Defends Pakistan's Critical Role After Trump's Tirade


Washington, USA | A day after Donald Trump’s tirade, Pentagon defended Pakistan’s vital role in maintaining peace in South Asia and said Islamabad remains a ‘critical partner’ in the region.
In an interview to a television news channel on Sunday, Trump said that Islamabad was not doing "a damn thing" for the US, a ‘false assertion’, which was strongly countered by Prime Minister Imran Khan and political leadership.
"The US and Pakistan have strong mutual interests in the region. As you know, they are critical (and) vital to the South Asia strategy and including the facilitation of a peace process that would lead to a stable and peaceful Afghanistan," Col Rob Manning, Director of Defense Press Operations, told reporters during an off-camera news conference.
"They remain a critical partner in our South Asia strategy and there's been no change to our military-to-military relationship with Pakistan," Manning said, responding to question about the series of tweets by President Trump and his interview to Fox News that Pakistan has done nothing for the United States.
"I do not have any announcement on any change to the military to the military relationship we have with Pakistan," Manning said when asked that his answers reflect that the Pentagon differs with the views of President Trump on Pakistan.

Pakistan No 1 in Facebook Content Censorship


Islamabad, Pakistan (Waseem Abbasi) | Pakistan has emerged as No 1 country in the world when it comes to censoring content on Facebook, a new official report by the social media giant revealed.
According to an analysis of the report released by the company on Friday, Pakistan has made 2,203 requests to Facebook for content restriction, the highest in the world, during the first six months of 2018. The country recorded more than 700 percent increase in such requests as compared to corresponding period of the last year. Pakistan has about 36 million Facebook users, according to the company data. Talking to The News, digital rights activists attributed this rise in content restriction to the growing wave of censorship on traditional and social media in Pakistan. However, Chairman of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Muhammad Naveed argued that government requests made to Facebook were related to issues like blasphemy, anti-state content, and pornography.
The company in a fresh report said that Pakistan made 2,203 requests to Facebook to remove particular content during the first six months of 2018. This is despite the fact that Facebook has already introduced electronic bots to take down hate speech and illegal content automatically using catch words and phrases. Pakistan is followed by Brazil (1,855 requests), Germany (1,764 requests), Turkey (1,634 requests), Russia (1,546 requests) and India (1,524 requests) in a fresh ranking of Facebook in terms of content restriction. The data analysis of the last few reports revealed that the increase in Facebook censorship was steady in Pakistan. For the last six months of 2017, Pakistan had made 300 such requests while in the first six months of the last year, only 177 requests were made by Pakistan. However, in terms of PTA’s complaint against Facebook users, Pakistan saw a slight decline in the first half of this year with 1,233 requests against user accounts. In the last half of 2017, Pakistan had made 1,320 complaints against Facebook accounts. Pakistan was 13th in this ranking of requests against Facebook users while the US was first with 70,528 and India remained second with 23,047 requests.
According to the report, in 2018 Pakistan made 92 emergency requests and 1,141 requests were made through the legal process. In 58 percent such cases, Facebook shared data of users with Pakistani authorities, the report said. When The News approached some individual complainants and those who monitor social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp, they, on condition of anonymity, claimed that they have filed complaints with the Pakistani government authorities but still propaganda is being carried out against them without any stop. They said that they have been labeled as 'anti-Islam, anti-Pakistan, agents of India, Jews, America etc; they have been baselessly accused of taking the money and other corrupt practices. They wondered if the public complaints were forwarded to Facebook and other social media platforms by the government, adding that if it was done there is no positive response.
Digital right activist Haroon Baloch said the rise in content restriction is linked to overall censorship trend in Pakistan which has spread across all the media platforms. “Sometimes requests made by PTA under PECA violate the fundamental right of expression as the Pakistani law does not fully protect this right,” says Baloch who is digital media manager at Bytes for All, a non-profit organisation working on the internet freedom in Pakistan. The digital activist explained that under content restriction, posts are deleted from the Facebook and pages are taken down on the requests of the host governments. Haroon said Facebook does not disclose categories under which such requests were made, raising concerns about the freedom of expression.
Talking to The News, PTA chairman said Pakistan’s request generally depend on nature of events happening in the country. He said the blasphemy issue is sensitive for the nation so the increase this year might be connected to requests related to that issue. When asked whether Facebook censorship was related to this year’s general elections, he strongly argued against it claiming that normally politically motivated requests are not forwarded by PTA to Facebook. He said most of the requests were based on complaints lodged by individuals and institutions while PTA acted on its own on only three types of contents which are related to blasphemy, pornography, and anti-state content. When asked about curbing political dissent and genuine criticism of state institutions through social media censorship, he said Facebook does not blindly follow requests of Pakistani government as the company has its own rules and guidelines. He said even request made under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA), 2016 are sometimes turned down by Facebook if the content does not violate its rules as Pakistan does not have Mutual Legal Agreement with the USA where Facebook is based. Asked how then Indian government is able to influence Facebook in curbing freedom of speech in occupied Kashmir, the PTA chairman admitted Pakistani government has reached better arrangements with Facebook during last several months and the company is now more receptive to the Pakistani requests.
In its report, Facebook claims, the company responds to government requests for data in accordance with “applicable law and our terms of service.” “Each and every request we receive is carefully reviewed for legal sufficiency and we may reject or require greater specificity on requests that appear overly broad or vague,” says the company. “We accept government requests to preserve account information pending receipt of formal legal process. When we receive a preservation request, we will preserve a temporary snapshot of the relevant account information but will not disclose any of the preserved records unless and until we receive formal and valid legal process,” it added.

The report can be accessed here: 

Tajikistan Launches $4 BLN Dam, Intended to be World's Tallest


Rogun, Tajikistan (AFP) | Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon on Friday inaugurated what is expected to be the world´s tallest hydroelectric power plant, a $3.9 billion project that will turn the impoverished authoritarian country into a key power producer in Central Asia.
In a colourful ceremony in the Pamir mountains, the Tajik leader pushed a large symbolic button to applause from the audience to mark the first of six turbines in the Rogun hydroelectric dam going online.
"The long-held dream of our compatriots has been realised," said Rakhmon, who has ruled since 1992, before celebratory fireworks whistled through the evening air.
"This historic event will be written into history with golden letters for the current and future generations."
Men in hard hats danced to songs about the dam and waved national flags. "Rogun is light, Rogun is the glory!" went one of the songs.
World Bank vice president for Europe and Central Asia Cyril Muller said at the ceremony that Rogun would "help transform Tajikistan´s economy, and create the foundation for a prosperous future".
The power plant is expected to reach the capacity of 3,600 megawatts -- the equivalent of three nuclear power plants -- when it is completed in a decade.
The dam will double energy production in the poor ex-Soviet country of nearly nine million people, alleviating a debilitating national energy deficit.
Surplus energy will be sold to neighbours such as Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Built on the powerful Vakhsh River in southern Tajikistan, the plant is expected to reach a height of 335 metres (1,099 feet) when completed, becoming the world´s tallest hydroelectric dam.
Today, Rogun -- overseen by the Italian company Salini Impregilo -- is still a vast construction site, with rocky earth covering the territory from which the Vakhsh was diverted.
In 2016, Rakhmon, a former collective farm boss, climbed into a bulldozer at a groundbreaking for the dam, in a sign of the president´s attachment to the scheme.
Plans to build the Rogun dam date back to the Soviet era, but the project was scaled up in recent years.
In 2017, Tajikistan raised $500 million from an inaugural international bond to help finance the construction.
Authorities hope that when the project gains momentum it will generate money to finance further construction.
The second turbine will be launched next year.
The project is hugely significant for a country that lost tens of thousands of people in a civil war in the 1990s and there have been calls to rename the dam after Rakhmon.
If it reaches the planned height of 335 metres, Rogun will be 30 metres taller than the recently-built Jinping-I Dam in China and 35 metres taller than Tajikistan´s own Soviet-era Nurek dam, also on the Vakhsh River.
The project has a number of risks, however.
Observers warn that the Tajik authorities do not appear to concern themselves with the environmental sensitivities of Rogun.
It is located "in a highly seismic area, and several geological studies have warned about the risks of building such a large dam in this setting," Filippo Menga, a lecturer in human geography at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, told AFP.
But Rakhmon sought to ease some of these concerns on Friday, noting that "all necessary norms" had been observed.
Geopolitical tensions surrounding the project have, for the moment, subsided in a region that suffers from water scarcity.
Uzbekistan´s late leader Islam Karimov once hinted that his downstream agriculture-dependent country might go to war over Rogun and a similar project in neighbouring Kyrgyzstan.
But Uzbek opposition to the dam has evaporated since Karimov´s death in 2016.
Representatives of Uzbekistan´s state energy company Uzbekenergo attended the inauguration and the country of 32 million people could one day become a client.
Muller of the World Bank paid tribute to warming relations between the two countries at the inaugural ceremony as the audience cheered.
Bilateral tensions, he said, were a "challenge, which had placed the project on uncertain grounds for the longest time" but had now been resolved.

SpaceX gets Nod to Put 12,000 Satellites in Orbit


Washington, USA (AFP) | SpaceX got the green light this week from US authorities to put a constellation of nearly 12,000 satellites into orbit in order to boost cheap, wireless internet access by the 2020s.
The SpaceX network would vastly multiply the number of satellites around Earth.
Since the world´s first artificial satellite, Sputnik, was launched in 1957, humanity has sent just over 8,000 objects into space, according to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.
Between one quarter and one half of those are believed to still be operational.
On Thursday the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced it had authorized SpaceX to launch 7,518 satellites, adding to 4,425 satellites it has already approved.
None of the satellites has launched yet.
Elon Musk´s company has six years to put half in orbit, and nine years to complete the satellite network, according to FCC rules.
SpaceX wants most of the satellites to fly in low Earth orbit, about 208 to 215 miles (335 to 346 kilometers) high.
That would put them below the International Space Station, which orbits about 250 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth.
SpaceX´s interest in such a low orbit is to shorten the communication time between internet users on Earth and space-faring satellites, speeding up surfing speeds.
But this low altitude may be difficult to maintain and smaller satellites tend to have shorter lives than bigger ones.
The FCC has also authorized other companies to launch satellites, including Kepler (140 satellites), Telesat (117 satellites), and LeoSat (78 satellites).

IMF Puts Tough Conditions for Package


Islamabad, Pakistan (Mehtab Haider) | Pakistan is negotiating the toughest bailout package with the IMF mission here these days where the Fund is asking Islamabad to take additional taxation measures of Rs175 to Rs200 billion for curtailing the budget deficit within the desired limits of slightly over 5 percent of GDP.
The ongoing talks between Pakistan and the IMF are neither easy nor soft so Pakistan will have to face tough conditionalities to finalise this bailout package. The IMF has assessed that the FBR was going to face massive revenue shortfall so the government will have to take additional tax measures to avoid slippages on fiscal fronts.
One of the biggest demands of the IMF is on the front of jacking up the GST rate from standard rate of 17 percent to 18 percent as alone this step can fetch over Rs75 billion into the national kitty in one year. As the five months had already passed, so its impact for the remaining period will reduce accordingly. The PTI-led government does not have any other option but to seek the IMF package to stabilise the economy on short to medium term basis but it is yet to see how the PTI is going to respond if the IMF comes up with more tough prescriptions in the days ahead.
The IMF is scheduled to conclude the ongoing parleys till November 20 but there are chances that the Fund mission might increase its stay in Islamabad to finalise modalities of the bailout package.
The IMF has asked Pakistan to explore all options on direct and indirect tax sides for generating the desired revenues for fetching additional Rs175 to Rs200 billion to fill the gap. The option of raising the GST rate by one percent from 17 to 18 percent is also under consideration but the Ministry of Finance and FBR are opposing it on the basis of higher inflationary impact. The option of raising the withholding tax on both filers and non-filers with higher rates for non-filers is actively under consideration and the FBR is estimating the exact revenue impact of different proposals to this effect, said the top official of FBR.
Official sources confided to The News on late Friday night that Pakistan’s negotiating team was quite weak except three officials belonging to each from the Ministry of Finance, State Bank of Pakistan and the Federal Board of Revenue. “We have never witnessed such a weak team negotiating with the IMF,” said one independent economist while talking to The News here on Friday. The IMF, the sources said, was becoming too hard because there was criticism done by many quarters in Pakistan that the Fund team was too lenient in case of the last programme.

One Pakistani Dying of Heart Attack Every Five Minutes


Abbottabad, Pakistan (APP) | President Heart Association of Pakistan Maj.Gen. (R) Masood ur Rehman said after every five minute one Pakistani is dying due to the heart attack.
He said this while addressing a seminar on “Awareness of Heart diseases and safety”  on Saturday. 
Masood ur Rehman said that expressed the need to inform the people about the causes of heart problems the precautionary measure to prevent the ratio of death from increasing.
Giving the details of the heart disease in Pakistan Dr. Masoodur Rehman said 50 percent heart patient die while being shifted to the hospitals.
He added that 70 percent of patients of the cardiovascular disease is caused by in subcontinent owing to the unhealthy lifestyle.
Heart diseases can quietly damage the body for years, roughly half the people with untreated hypertension die of heart disease related to poor blood flow and another third die of stroke, he said.
Maj.Gen. (R) Masood ur Rehman stated that "our lifestyle where we usually do not feel the need of physical exercise, overeating, smoking, and cholesterol is causing the heart issues and heart attack adding that besides exercise we also need to use balance diet to overcome heart problems".

Free Christian Pastor John Cao


ACLJ, USA | Christian Pastor John Cao – a U.S. permanent resident – has been wrongfully convicted and sentenced in China.
After decades working in China and Burma (Myanmar), providing for the poor, sharing the love of Christ, and establishing schools for impoverished children, Pastor John was arrested and imprisoned by Chinese authorities as part of their increased crackdown on Christian pastors.
Pastor John’s wife and 2 sons (all U.S. citizens from North Carolina) desperately want their father released and returned home to America.
Pastor John has been unjustly targeted for his Christian faith and sentenced to seven years in prison.
He’s been imprisoned since March 2017. His health is deteriorating, and he’s lost over 50 pounds. He’s forced to share a cell with a dozen inmates and only 1 bed.
We're representing Pastor John's family, aggressively working internationally for his ultimate freedom. We’ve mobilized our resources across the globe and are urging China to release Pastor John and allow him to come home to the United States to be reunited with his wife and kids.

No Ban on opening Foreign Currency Account


Islamabad, Pakistan (Mumtaz Alvi) | Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar said in the Senate on Wednesday that there was no ban on the opening of foreign currency account in Pakistan and that the government would never resort to such measures.
The House was informed that the current account deficit has amounted to $12.6 billion and $18.98 billion during the fiscal year 2016-17 and 2018-19 respectively, resulting in pressure on Pak rupee and its resultant devaluation.
Replying to a question by Senator Mian Ateeq Shaikh during the Question-hour, Minister for Finance Asad Umar said that the government/SBP was pursuing monetary tightening to curb aggregate demand that would result in reducing the current account deficit.
The Question-hour had a bumpy start, as on finding the ministers concerned absent from the House, whose questions were listed, the joint opposition staged a walkout from the Senate, compelling the Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani to order ringing of bells.
In a written reply, the minister noted that administrative measures had also been taken to reduce the import volume and recently the State Bank of Pakistan withdrew the facility of advance payments against imports and had imposed 100 percent cash margin requirement on the import of various non-essential items.
Hammad Azhar said that during the last five years, exports had been between around $24-25 billion. However, there had been a 13-14 percent increase in remittances in the last quarters. He alleged that the freezing of foreign exchange by then finance minister Sartaj Aziz had caused incalculable loss to Pakistan.
To another question by Senator Dilawar Khan, Asad Umar told the House in writing that during the last 10 years, foreign assistance (loans and grants) amounting to $75,344 million were received.

Sexually Harassed Christian school Teacher Faces Death Threats in Pakistan



Phool Nagar, Pakistan (Christians in Pakistan) | A Pakistani Christian school teacher Mrs. Ishrat Saba faces threats after she raised her voice against sexual harassment perpetrated by her school’s headmaster Zaheer Abbas. Mrs. Ishrat Saba works as a teacher at the Government Elementary Middle School, in Chak number 43, Kacha Pakka, Phool Nagar, District Kasur. The incident surfaced after Christian rights activist Saleem Iqbal highlighted her plight.
The victim in a recorded statement maintained that she has been working at the same school since one and a half year. It has been four months that her headmaster started sexually harassing her. She said that the headmaster also tried to engage her in religious debates.
Mrs. Ishrat Saba revealed that the headmaster called her in office one day to show saying that he wanted to show her an assignment. “He started showing me vulgar content,” she maintained adding that irked by his intentions she hit him with a register. The matter was later brought before the higher authorities. Consequently, the headmaster confessed to sexually harassing Ishrat Saba and offered an apology to the victim.
After this incident, the headmaster started mocking her on regular basis. Vexed with the headmaster she penned a complaint to the Chief Executive Education Officer Kasur. The Executive Education Officer advised Zaheer Abbas to apologize to the victim. However, no inquiry was conducted even after reporting the incident. On November 7, Javed Nasir brother of Zaheer Abbas arrived at the school. Javed was allegedly drunk and started threatening Mrs. Ishrat Saba. Javed and his accomplices said that they wanted to abduct and kill her calling her choohri.
Punjab’s Minister for Human Rights and Minorities’ Affairs Ejaz Alam Augustine took notice of the incident and directed the concerned police officers to register an FIR. On November 9, an FIR number 364/18 invoking sections B/506 and 186, was registered at Serai Mughal Police Station. Javed Nasir and four unknown persons were nominated in the FIR.

CJP Directs for Restoration of United Christian Hospital Lahore


Lahore, Pakistan (Christians in Pakistan) | Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has directed the Chief Secretary Punjab to prepare a plan for restoration of United Christian Hospital in Lahore. UCH was once a state of the art hospital of Lahore, but now in a bad shape. The hospital nestled near Liberty Market, Gulberg III saw its golden era in the 1980s.
On Sunday, November 11, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar heard human rights cases at the Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry. While hearing the UCH case, Chief Justice remarked that UCH was a remarkable contribution from the Christian community but the hospital is now in a bad shape. He ordered the Chief Secretary Punjab to prepare a report about ways to restore UCH. Chief Secretary Punjab was directed to present his report within a week.
During the hearing, Chief Justice asked the Chief Secretary to ask the contractors working on governmental projects about how much they can contribute for the restoration of UCH. CJP further said that if funds for restoration could not be generated, he was ready to collect donations for this project.
Justice Saqib Nisar also ordered the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) Lahore to plant trees in UCH; a gift from the Christian community to the citizens. The hearing was adjourned, as CJP sought a plan to revive UCH. The Chief Secretary Punjab told the court that all out efforts will be made in order to restore and revive United Christian Hospital.
UCH was established in 1948 by the missionaries living in Lahore. In 1965, the facility was shifted to the current building. American doctors and nurses served in this hospital; catering to a large populace residing in its vicinity. UCH also served as a training hospital and saw its golden era under foreigners’ administration. After the foreign administrators left UCH, locals failed to maintain UCH’s status. Ineffective administration gradually damaged this once a top-class hospital.

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