Category Archives: General

Former Indian PM Vajpayee Dies After Long Illness

India’s former three-time Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee died Thursday in New Delhi.

Vajpayee was hospitalized at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital for more than two months for a kidney infection and chest congestion. He had been in critical condition and reportedly on life support shortly before his death.

The politician and poet ordered nuclear weapons tests in 1988 that fueled concerns of a nuclear war with neighboring Pakistan. But Vajpayee later traveled by bus to Pakistan and initiated a groundbreaking peace process with its rival.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to Vajpayee on Twitter, writing his death “marks an end of an era.”

Vajpayee, a Hindu nationalist from the Bharatiya Janata Party, served as prime minister for 13 days in 1996, for eleven months between 1998 and 1999, and from 1999 to 2004. He was 93 years old.

Source: Voice of America

Pakistan Swears In Newly-Elected Parliament

Members of Pakistan’s newly-elected parliament have been sworn in following general elections last month that were marred by allegations of fraud.

The lawmakers took the oath at a ceremony in the National Assembly on August 13.

An election for a speaker and their deputy is scheduled for later this week, after which the 342-seat assembly will vote on the new prime minister.

The July 25 national elections gave victory to the Pakistan Tehrik-e Insaf (PTI) party, knocking former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz from power.

The PTI did not win enough parliamentary seats to form a government, but the party claims it has enough support to form a coalition, and its leader Imran Khan is expected to become the next head of government.

Supporters of the country’s opposition political parties have rallied to protestwhat they claim were fraud and voting irregularities in the elections, directly blaming the country’s powerful military.

The army, which has ruled Pakistan for about half the time since its formation in 1947, denied it intervened to help Kahn take power. Khan, a cricket star turned politician, has vowed to investigate the allegations once he takes office.

A monitoring team from the European Union has said the election results “overall” were “credible,” although they did criticize the campaign, saying it was marred by intimidation of some candidates, an effort to undermine the former ruling party, and media self-censorship.

Violence that led to at least 31 deaths was also reported on election day.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

KP Governor directs for promotion of qualitative activities in universities

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra has directed for promotion of qualitative and research based activities in universities of the province.

Presiding over the senate meeting of Khyber Medical University in Peshawar today (Wednesday), he said higher medical education institutes play a vital role in development of medical sector.

The meeting approved annual budget of the university for previous and current fiscal years.

Source: Radio Pakistan

Govt constructing RCC Bridge to connect far off villages with main roads: CM GB

Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Hafiz Hafeez-ur-Rehman has said that Government is constructing RCC Bridge to connect far off villages with main roads.

This he said while talking to flood affectees in Bago village, near Gilgit.

He said Provincial Government will not leave alone the flood affectees at this crucial juncture and utilized all available resources for their rehabilitation.

He directed to the official concerned to call tender of water supply scheme and construction of primary school building within a week.

He also announced construction of one kilometer road in Bargo.

Source: Radio Pakistan

Govt constructing RCC Bridge to connect far off villages with main roads: CM GB

Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Hafiz Hafeez-ur-Rehman has said that Government is constructing RCC Bridge to connect far off villages with main roads.

This he said while talking to flood affectees in Bago village, near Gilgit.

He said Provincial Government will not leave alone the flood affectees at this crucial juncture and utilized all available resources for their rehabilitation.

He directed to the official concerned to call tender of water supply scheme and construction of primary school building within a week.

He also announced construction of one kilometer road in Bargo.

Source: Radio Pakistan

OIC, Hedayah Center hold workshop on combating terrorism, violent extremism

The Sawt Al-Hikmah (Voice of Wisdom) Center of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the International Center for Excellence in the Fight against Violent Extremism (Hedayah) held a joint workshop on countering violent extremism in the member states at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah on Monday.

In his speech at the opening of the workshop, OIC Secretary General Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen said that the Sawt Al-Hikmah Center devised a plan to coordinate the efforts of the centers concerned with combating violent extremism and terrorism in the Islamic countries. The Sawt Al-Hikmah will invite those centers to showcase their experiences in this field.

“The Hedayah Center is one of the many initiatives and efforts the United Arab Emirates is making to promote tolerance, prevent the dangers of terrorism and dry up its thought sources and prevent extremists from hijacking the true religion, Al-Othaimeen said in his statement delivered on his behalf by Dr. Abdullah Altayer, director general of the Cabinet and chief advisor at the OIC General Secretariat.

The secretary general stated that there are many initiatives in the OIC member states that believe in fighting terrorism and extremism ideologically in the Islamic world. He added that Saudi Arabia, host of the OIC headquarters, has its distinct initiatives, namely the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (Etidal), the Ideological War Center of the Islamic Military Counter-Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC), and Prince Khalid Al-Faisal Center for Moderation at King Abdulaziz University.

The OIC chief stressed that fighting fanaticism and extremism does not mean promoting decadence and driving Muslim societies into the other extreme. He echoed the words of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, with saying: Our message to all is that there is no place among us for an extremist who sees moderation as degeneration and exploits our tolerant religion to achieve his goals. There is no place among us for a degenerated one who sees our war on extremism as a means to disseminate decadence and exploits the facilitation of the religion to achieve his goals.

For his part, Executive Director of Hedayah Maqsoud Kruse made a presentation on the Center’s activities, programs and methods of cooperation with different countries and similar centers.

It is noteworthy that the OIC signed a memorandum of understanding with Hedayah Center for cooperation in a number of areas, including the implementation of joint activities in the field of countering extremist ideologies; promoting balance and moderation; holding periodic meetings to address the emerging issues related to terrorism; and sharing information and experiences in the area of joint action to counter terrorism and extremism.

Source: International Islamic News Agency