Tag Archives: Official News

Rohingya Refugees in India Rattled After First-Ever Deportations

The Rohingya camps in India’s Haryana state, adjoining the capital, New Delhi, lie far from the country’s northeast from where Indian authorities deported seven Rohingya men to Myanmar earlier this month. But the first-ever deportations have caused deep worries here of more repatriations of the Muslim minority that fled persecution and violence in Myanmar.

As it takes a tougher stand on illegal immigrants, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government has said it plans to send back the estimated 40,000 Rohingyas living in the country.

They are scattered throughout India, living in dreary camps like the one lying off a dusty road in Haryana’s most underdeveloped district, Mewat.

No complaints in camp

At one such camp, 45 families living in cramped shelters share one water pipe, the children study in a makeshift school and the men sustain their families by working as laborers on construction sites whenever they can find work.

However, nobody complains. The residents say they are willing to cope with the squalor and lack of steady work in these camps that have provided a safe shelter for the last six years from the constant fear they faced in their homeland.

Nobody harasses us in India. If we do some work, we can fend for our food. There is no problem, said Fatima Hatu, who fled Myanmar with her husband in 2012.

Can they stay?

But the Rohingyas now worry about how long they can call this home. Ali Zohar, who is the informal head of the settlement, fears the deportation of the seven Rohingyas in India’s northeast has cleared the way for more to be sent back.

Zohar, who says he was once a relatively prosperous landowner, is alarmed.

My life has been ruined, he said. But what do I do about the future of my children? Will they have to return back? My mind is tired thinking.

Hopes pinned on UN card

Residents in these camps are hoping that refugee cards given by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees will protect them from a second displacement; about half the Rohingyas in India are registered with the U.N.

The seven Rohingyas who were deported did not have U.N. cards and had been detained as illegal immigrants.

That is why at an adjoining camp, Sultan Amin, keeps his U.N. card, his most prized possession, locked away. Like many of the Rohingyas living in India, he came from Bangladesh in search of better opportunities and so far the card has given him the freedom to move around and work.

He says his two brothers and mother, who could not leave Myanmar, tell him that they still face harassment, and Amin believes that his life could be at risk if he is repatriated.

I escaped here to save myself, he said. How can I go back to be killed?

Called security threat

India has said, however, that it does not recognize the U.N. refugee cards. Officials say all those who have entered the country without valid permits are illegal immigrants and state authorities have been told to start collecting the biometrics of Rohingyas so that they can be sent back.

New Delhi calls them a security threat and has told the Supreme Court, where the planned repatriations have been challenged, that some Rohingyas could be linked with Pakistan-based terror organizations and similar organizations operating in other countries.

So far no member of the Rohingya community has been charged with militant links, according to security experts although they say there are apprehensions that they could be targets for radicalization.

Election plays a role

Political observers say Prime Minister Modi’s Hindu nationalist government’s plan to deport the Rohingya Muslims represents a U-turn on India’s traditionally tolerant policy towards refugees. For example, India is home to tens of thousands of Tibetan refugees.

An independent political analyst in New Delhi, Neerja Chowdhury, links the tougher posture to general elections scheduled in 2019. There have been loud calls from Hindu groups linked to the Bharatiya Janata Party to send back the Rohingyas.

Certainly if the discourse can be polarized on Hindu-Muslim lines, it is advantage BJP, Chowdhury said.

The refugees say all they want is a patch of land where they can have shelter and where they can eke out a living.

All my relatives and family there (in Myanmar) have been killed. When our country is safe like India and Bangladesh, we will go back, said 30-year-old Noor Begum at a camp in Mewat.

Such voices are supported by the United Nations refugee agency, which has criticized the deportation of the Rohingyas and said refugees should not be sent back to countries where they fear persecution.

Source: Voice of America

Every child be saved against measles through vaccination: Dr. Azra Pechuho

Karachi, October 13, 2018 (PPI-OT): Sindh Minister for Health Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho has inaugurated the measles campaign in Sindh which will continue from 15th October to 27th October 2018. The inauguration ceremony was held and KMC dispensary in Gizri where the honourable minister joined by Secretary Health Dr. Muhammad Usman Chachar, Project Director EPI Sindh Dr. Zahoor Baloch, Coordinator EOC Sindh Mr. Fayaz Jatoi as well as partner staff.

The measles campaign in Sindh is part of the National Measles Vaccination Campaign and will be conducted in all 29 districts/1123 union councils of Sindh and will target 7.1 million children from 9 months up to 5 years of age across the province.

“The measles campaign is coming at a time when it is needed, the measles epidemic has been claiming lives and the vaccination drive will help to build immunity of children against this deadly disease. There have been 122 measles related deaths in Sindh since the beginning of the year and a total of 291 lab confirmed cases have come forward, these vaccinations will save lives.” Said Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho, Minister for Health Sindh.

The measles vaccine will be available free of cost at public/private health facilities and outreach sites where parents will bring their children for vaccination. There will be 1523 fixed sites, 5633 teams at outreach sites, 87 mobile teams, 11760 social mobilizers, 1408 first level supervisors and 356 second level supervisors to ensure that the campaign is conducted smoothly.

The honourable minister said that “Despite several challenges, vaccines are saving more and more lives. The measles vaccine is safe and effective, and has been approved and recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). The same vaccine has been used worldwide for more than 60 years. Children are at risk without vaccination against measles. Parents in Sindh must vaccinate their children to save them from this deadly disease.”

Project Director EPI Sind, Dr. Zahoor Baloch on the occasion appreciated the leadership of the Ministry of Health Sindh along with support from all stakeholders including, donors and international partners in organizing the measles campaign. “This campaign would not be possible without the leadership of the Minister of Health Sindh as well as partners and donors, it is a joint effort to save the future of the children of Pakistan and we appreciate the support we have received from the various stakeholders.”

Doctors from public and private hospitals have also been engaged to assist with the campaign, in collaboration with the Pakistan Pediatrics’ Association who have been extremely supportive in leading vaccination efforts across the province and the minister of health gave her appreciation to PPA for the role they have played and are playing for the children of our country. There has been and will be strong collaboration with religious leaders, education departments, media and the civil society organizations to ensure that the maximum target for the campaign is achieved.

The measles campaign will provide an opportunity for the Sindh health department to administer the supplementary dose while creating awareness about the benefits of immunization among caregivers. Immunization is one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions to save the lives of children.

Globally, immunization has helped to avert 2-3 million deaths among children from vaccine preventable diseases. Immunization offers a vital platform to bring other lifesaving interventions to children. Low immunization coverage on the other hand has an adverse effect on the other health interventions for mothers and children. The push to priorities immunization is essential in providing equitable access to essential vaccines for all children and to save more lives.

For more information, contact:
Information and Archives Department
Directorate of Press Information
Government of Sindh
95-Sindh Secretariat 4-B, Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-99204423, +92-21-99204401
Email: pressinformationzubair@gmail.com
Website: http://sindhinformation.gos.pk

Illegal, Smuggled Mobile Phones to be blocked after October 20th: PTA

Islamabad, October 13, 2018 (PPI-OT): The final phase of Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) shall begin on 20th October 2018, said Pakistan Telecommunication Authority in a statement issued today. Authority said that this unique system will curb illegal imports, facilitate legitimate device importers, and mobile device users, and improve overall security situation.

PTA said that mobile devices having SIM/IMEI functionality operating on Pakistani mobile networks will not face any service interruption nor will be blocked by DIRBS. Any mobile device reflecting non-compliant status after 20th October 2018 will be blocked as per Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)/DIRBS regulations.

Any mobile device obtained/purchased/imported after 20th October 2018 must obtain PTA Certificate of Compliance (COC) to technical standards. In order to create public awareness, PTA is sending informatory SMS to all mobile subscribers to know the status of their mobile devices in use.

Telecom consumers can verify status of mobile device’s IMEI(s) by sending IMEI number via SMS to 8484, on the website: www.dirbs.pta.gov.pk or by downloading DIRBS android mobile application from Google Play Store.

There are 4 categories of responses that can be received by a subscriber inquiring about status of its IMEI(s) as explained below:

Compliant Devices are PTA type approved and legally imported in Pakistan.

Valid Devices are such devices where the IMEI of mobile device is valid (GSMA approved), however it is not PTA compliant/approved.

To facilitate such users, PTA will auto register all such IMEIs which are observed on mobile network before 20th October 2018 and their status will be compliant after-this-date.

For auto registration, users are advised to do any revenue generating activity i.e. make any call, send a SMS or use mobile internet before 20th October, 2018.

Non-Compliant devices are such devices where IMEI is either not allocated by GSMA or it is duplicated. To facilitate such users, PTA will auto pair all such IMEIs which are observed on mobile network with specific SIMs before 20th October 2018. After this date, those users will be able to use these IMEIs with paired-SIMs-only. In order to auto pair all the IMEIs related to this mobile device, users are advised to do any revenue generating activity from their SIM(s), i.e. make any call, send a SMS or use mobile internet from their SIM(s) before 20th October, 2018.

Blocked devices indicates that your IMEI is blocked as this IMEI has been reported stolen earlier.

It is reiterated that mobile device users should verify their IMEI by sending SMS to 8484 before buying/obtaining any handset.

It is advised to buy only PTA compliant/approved mobile devices.

For further details, mobile phone users can visit PTA website (https://www.pta.gov.pk).

For more information, contact:
Director (PR)
Commercial Affairs
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)
Tel: +92-51-9225346
Fax: +92-51-2878133
Email: comaff@pta.gov.pk
Website: www.pta.gov.pk

Passing out parade held at PMA Kakul

Kakul, October 13, 2018 (PPI-OT): Passing out parade held at PMA Kakul. Cadets of 138th PMA Long Course, 57th Integrated Course, 30th Technical Graduate Course and Grade 37 got commissioned as officers. Cadets from Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Palestine and Libya were also amongst passed out courses.

Chairman JCS Committee General Zubair Mehmood Hayat reviewed the Parade and gave awards to the distinguished cadets. Coveted Sword of honour awarded to Battalion Senior under Officer Ghulam Nabi, President’s Gold medal to Academy Senior under Officer Muhammad Bilal, Chairman’s medal to Battalion Senior under Officer Bishesh Thangden from Nepal and Chief of Army Staff cane was awarded to Company under Officer Mohsin Waseem from Technical Graduate Course. Company Junior under Officer Hamza Nawaz from Grade 37 also got COAS medal. Commandant Cane was awarded to Company under Officer Ali Zaheer Qureshi from Integrated Course.

Chief Guest while congratulating the passing out cadets said that you will be fortunate to command the soldiers who are known for their unflinching loyalty and sense of sacrifice. Our soldiers are known for delivering best results in the most challenging environment. A large number of senior serving and retired military officials, diplomats and relatives of passing out cadets witnessed the parade.

For more information, contact:
Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR)
Hilal Road, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-9271605
Fax: +92-51-9271601
Email: ispr@ispr.gov.pk
Website: www.ispr.gov.pk

Advisor to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam Khan inaugurates “Clean Green Pakistan” drive at Said Pur Village Islamabad

Islamabad, October 13, 2018 (PPI-OT): Advisor to PM on climate change Malik Amin Aslam Khan has inaugurated Clean Green Pakistan drive at Said Pur Village near F-6 Islamabad today (Saturday). This event was jointly organized by UN-HABITAT, Akhtar Hameed khan Memorial Trust (AHKMT), Water supply and sanitation collaborative council (WSSCC) and Ministry of climate change. Government functionaries, NGOs, Civil Society, students and media personnels participated in the event.

Adviser to Prime Minister Malik Amin Aslam Khan along with foreign dignitaries, ambassadors participated in the on ground activities of clean green Pakistan Movement (solid waste collection, hand wash demonstration etc.) Speaking on the occasion, he said it is a movement to make Pakistan clean and green through changing mind-sets and behaviours of people.

He appealed to the people of Pakistan for active participation in this national cleanliness campaign. Through this drive, we will focus on five key areas which include, plantation, solid and water waste management, building of new toilets especially in remote areas, Sanitation and hygiene. He added Malik Amin Aslam Khan distributed cash prizes among the students who secured first, second and third positions in clean green art competition.

For more information, contact:
Principal Information Officer,
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +92-51-9252323, +92-51-9252324
Fax: +92-51-9252325, +92-51-9252326
Email: piopid@gmail.com
Website: www.pid.gov.pk

Pakistan calls for protection of children in conflict areas

Islamabad, October 13, 2018 (PPI-OT): Pakistan said at the United Nations that the highest priority must be accorded to protecting children especially those living in conflict areas and under foreign occupation, says a press release received here today from New York. Speaking in the debate in the General Assembly’s Third Committee on the ‘Promotion and protection of the rights of children’, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi reminded the international community of the plight of children in Palestine and Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir who continue to be caught in a ‘vortex of violence’ and are exposed to unimaginable horrors every day.

She stressed the need to reach out to those “who suffer disproportionality from war, economic upheaval, poverty and climate change”. Conflicts, said Ambassador Lodhi, violate every conceivable right of children, and the trauma arising from targeted attacks, sexual violence, forced conscription mar them for the rest of their lives. “Ensuring adequate physical and mental health, education, food, clothing and shelter, and provision of a future free from malnutrition for all children was a collective commitment of the international community”, she said.

Underscoring the priority given by Pakistan to protecting and promoting the rights of children, Ambassador Lodhi said that investing in children was considered a key to development and prosperity by her country. This was also evidenced by the fact the Pakistan was one of the earliest signatories of the Convention on Rights of the Child and its optional protocols and had also ratified all core ILO conventions on child labour, she added.

The Pakistani envoy also described the recent policy measures taken in Pakistan to promote the rights of children and said that new legislation was adopted to protect children from abuse, maltreatment, exploitation, neglect and mental violence. She also highlighted the work of the National Commission for Child Welfare and Development, which she said, was working closely with UNICEF to assess and promote child rights across the country.

For more information, contact:
Principal Information Officer,
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +92-51-9252323, +92-51-9252324
Fax: +92-51-9252325, +92-51-9252326
Email: piopid@gmail.com
Website: www.pid.gov.pk