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‘Surrender not an option’: PM Kakar vows to continue fight against terrorists



Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Wednesday vowed to continue the fight against terrorism “no matter what”, asserting that surrender was not an option.

“Pakistan will not surrender in front of radicalism, extremism [and] intolerance … this is our home and we will run the country on our terms,” he maintained.

The interim premier’s statement comes a day after six soldiers embraced martyrdom during a gun battle with terrorists in the general area of Asman Manza of South Waziristan district.

The military’s media wing said in a press release yesterday that the troops effectively engaged with the terrorists, killing four of them, while two others were injured.

Addressing a press conference in Karachi today, PM Kakar said: “Those who have misconceptions that such attacks will tire us should know that we will never forget our martyrs or their sacrifices and won’t refrain from such sacrifices in future.

“We will, in fact, pursue them.”

He pointed out that Pakistan was spending its own money, collected through taxes, on the country’s law enforcement agencies. “We are not fighting on donations,” the premier said.

PM Kakar stressed that all the law enforcement personnel, whether they were combatting external aggression or were playing their role for internal security, were honoured and respected by the entire nation.

“We pay them for their jobs through respect. Money only fulfils their needs and we are doing that … but the nation is paying them through honour and respect.

“The suicide bombers … the dogs of hell … do they think that my soldiers sitting in Waziristan, Balochistan or any other corner of the country don’t know what God has in store for them,” he asked.

PM Kakar went on to assert that Pakistan had a clear message for those who are spreading violence: “We will keep fighting against the misguided.”

He also appreciated the joint efforts of the army, the civil administration and the local people for the Battagram rescue operation a day ago, which saved the lives of all eight people stuck in a cable car.

PM urges business community to ‘share’

In a meeting with the businessmen in Karachi earlier today, PM Kakar urged the business community to “share their blessings” and “listen to each other” while advising them to avoid tax evasion for the nation’s collective good.

He said, “We will bring optimism and we will bring positive change. How? I assure you that we will do it together.

“We need to start by listening to each other. We will listen to you (traders) and you should listen to the state and the government,” he added.

The prime minister said, “The blessings one gets are not for an individual but for shareholding — it is your choice whether you share in your family, home, neighbourhood, province, country or the subcontinent.”

He further highlighted that tax evasion occurred because the “dispensation of money is not used correctly” and that “people rationalise that their money is not for flamboyant use by others”. The premier noted that this had “generated a vicious cycle in the country”.

Stating the government’s economic strategy, the premier said, “We plan on taxing people and using those taxes to provide for the underprivileged. This is our aim. If we do not fulfil our aims, then we are to blame.”

Noting that some in the business community may think that the government is heading towards “unnecessary extortion” and that services are not being delivered in the manner they should be, Kakar admitted that the country’s “system incentivises corruption”.

On the challenges that the country faces, he emphasised the need for a “consistent and secure supply of cheap energy” for industrialisation. He highlighted that otherwise, the nation would “not see anything other than a horizontal expansion of residential services” and housing schemes.

Kaker went on to state that the domestic energy resources were inadequate to fuel heavy industrialisation and transform the economy, while lamenting the lack of start-up companies in the country.

Noting that people residing in the Indus Basin were facing food security issues, he said it was the nation’s “collective inefficiency” that its people were living in a state of gloom.

The prime minister also asked if the business community could be proud of its reputation in the global supply market, highlighting that credibility issues were present and “larger good was eliminated for smaller profits”.

However, he expressed optimism in dealing with the country’s structural challenges and urged the nation to “discover a Pakistani dream and branding”.

Noting that people lamented the ongoing “brain drain”, PM Kakar referred to a past similar occurrence in the 1960s where those who had left India returned after 30-40 years as “brain assets”. He went on to appreciate overseas Pakistanis for their role in “rescuing” the local economy.

Speaking about Karachi, PM Kakar said, “Karachi, Karachiites and the business community — these are Pakistan’s glory. […] If this community and its contributions and activities are divorced from the country, then Pakistan would collapse as a society and state.”

He acknowledged that the business community would have various concerns — specifying electricity and gas issues — and vowed that the government would try to solve those.


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China thrill in track and field but footballers flop again at Asiad



HANGZHOU: China swept four gold medals in track and field at the Asian Games on Sunday to celebrate national day, but their men’s football team failed to read the script and were dumped out by South Korea.

The hosts are running away at the top of the overall medals table in Hangzhou with 132 golds and still seven days of competition to go.

China is enjoying a long holiday for national day and patriotic fervour filled the 80,000-seater Olympic stadium in the eastern city for the evening’s athletics.

Waving mini flags and roaring on the home competitors, they were not to be disappointed.

Wang Jianan, nicknamed Ed­die, leapt an impressive 8.22m on his first attempt in the long jump. It proved enough to defend his title.

Discus thrower Feng Bin, who like Wang was dethroned as world champion in August, also bounced back in style to claim gold with a throw of 67.93m, a Games record.

“I’m really happy. After all, today is national day, a very special day for every Chinese person,” the 29-year-old Feng said.

“To win my first Asian Games medal on this day makes me extremely happy and excited.”

There was more home success through Lin Yuwei in the 100m hurdles and Zheng Ninali in the women’s heptathlon.

China’s men’s football team is often derided at home and they once again failed to get in the holiday mood.

They were outclassed and soundly beaten 2-0 by South Korea in the last eight to disappoint a bumper crowd of nearly 40,000.

The Koreans, who are chasing a third gold medal in a row in the under-23 competition, face Uzbekistan in the semi-finals.

Japan beat North Korea 2-1 and will play Hong Kong, surprise 1-0 victors over Iran, in the last four.

The North Koreans rounded on the Uzbek match officials at the final whistle and at least one furious player had to be held back by his team-mates.

China also suffered a comprehensive loss in the final of the women’s team badminton competition.

The South Korean squad raced onto the court and some players were in tears after a 3-0 win for their first gold in the event for nearly 30 years.

South Korea’s coach Kim Hak-kyun called the gold “precious” and said they were already targeting more success at next summer’s Paris Olympics.

“This is thanks to the determination, mindset, mentality and unity of our players,” said Kim.

China did however recover to win the final of the men’s team competition 3-2 after going behind to India.

The home nation also enjoyed double gold in table tennis, with Sun Yingsha winning women’s singles gold and the duo of Fan Zhendong and Wang Chuqin taking the men’s doubles title.

In some of the first action of the day, Thailand’s Arpichaya Yubol snatched women’s golf gold after India’s Aditi Ashok blew a seven-shot overnight lead.

In the men’s event, rising star Taichi Kho kept his nerve despite a charge by PGA Tour star Im Sung-jae for a one-stroke victory.

It was Hong Kong’s first gold in golf at the Asian Games.

At the shooting range the Chinese women’s trap team of Li Qingnian, 42, Wu Cuicui, 35, and Zhang Xinqiu, 29, set a new world record of 357 points on their way to winning gold, eclipsing the previous world best of 354 points set by the United States in 2018.

In trap competitors wield shotguns and aim at clay-based targets being fired rapidly away from the shooter at different angles.

The silver medal went to India, whose team included Rajeshwari Kumari, 31, daughter of acting president of the Olympic Council of Asia and former Asian Games champion in shooting, Randhir Singh.

In the men’s U23 3×3 basketball, Mongolia won their first ever Asian Games bronze medal in a team event, before Taiwan pipped Qatar 18-16 to win gold and trigger elation on the court and a huge roar from Taiwan journalists in the media centre.

Published in Dawn, October 2nd, 2023


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Pakistanis among 40 nations facing backlash for reporting rights abuses



ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is among the 40 countries across the world where over 220 individuals and 25 organisations faced threats and retaliation from the state and non-state actors for cooperating with the United Nations on human rights, reveals a new report of the UN Secretary-General.

The report titled, ‘Cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights’ covering the period from May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023, was recently presented at the Human Rights Council (HRC) session in Geneva. The session will continue till Oct 6.

The report says human rights defenders and other civil society activists are increasingly under surveillance and continued to face legal proceedings, travel bans and threats and they are given prison sentences for cooperating with UN’s human mechanisms.

The UN secretary-general said that the organisation has a collective responsibility to prevent and address intimidation and reprisals, guided by the principle of “do no harm” and a victim- and survivor-oriented approach.

Civil society activists face legal proceedings, jail sentence, travel bans and threats for cooperating with UN’s rights mechanism, says report

“Considerable progress has been made in shedding light on and addressing the issue, including through initiatives on civic space under ‘Call to Action for Human Rights’, the UN chief said.

“The UN is committed to strengthening its efforts to prevent reprisals, including through clear zero-tolerance messages and by awareness-raising among staff, member states and civil society interlocutors. We will further strengthen our response to reprisal cases and ensure appropriate systems are in place to identify, document and report on incidents, including those in the annual reports. We will reinforce the dissemination of information on what reprisals are and how to report incidents, in particular for UN bodies where reprisals are repeatedly reported,” he added.

“A global context of shrinking civic space is making it increasingly difficult to properly document, report and respond to cases of reprisals, which means that the number is likely much higher,” said Ilze Brands Kehris, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, in her presentation to the HRC on Thursday.

“Despite ongoing efforts, regrettably, the number of reported acts of intimidation and reprisal by state and non-state actors remains high and their severity is very concerning,” she said.

“The global trends documented this year are also similar to those identified in previous reports, but with new emerging tendencies,” the UN official said.

Among the growing trends noted in the report is the increase in the number of people either choosing not to cooperate with the UN due to concerns for their safety, or only doing so if their identities remain anonymous.

Victims and witnesses in two-thirds of the countries listed in the report requested anonymous reporting of reprisals, compared with one-third in the last year’s report.

Most of the people who reported facing reprisals for their cooperation with the Security Council and its peace operations, as well as with the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues did so on the condition of anonymity.

Algeria, Afghanistan, Andorra, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Burundi, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, France, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Maldives, Mali, Mexico, Myanmar, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Qatar, the Russian Federation, South Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Yemen, and the State of Palestine are also on the list alongside Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, October 2nd, 2023


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Trump business empire under threat as New York fraud trial opens



Former US president Donald Trump will appear in a New York court on Monday as a civil fraud trial against him and two of his sons kicks off, with the case threatening the Republican’s business empire as he campaigns to retake the White House.

In Monday’s case, Judge Arthur Engoron has already ruled that Trump and his sons Eric and Don Jr committed fraud by inflating the value of the real estate and financial assets of the Trump Organization for years.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is now seeking $250 million in penalties and the removal of Trump and his sons from management of the family empire.

Trump said late Sunday he planned to be present for the start of the trial on Monday morning.

“I’m going to Court tomorrow morning to fight for my name and reputation,” the 77-year-old wrote on his Truth Social platform. “This whole case is a sham!!!”

In addition to this civil case, Trump also faces several major criminal proceedings in the months ahead.

He is scheduled to appear before a federal judge in Washington on March 4 on charges of trying to overthrow the results of the 2020 presidential election won by Joe Biden.

Trump will then be back in New York state court, this time on criminal hush money charges, and later in a Florida federal court, where he is accused of mishandling classified documents after leaving office.

Finally, he will also have to answer to state charges in Georgia, where prosecutors say Trump illegally tried to get the southern state’s 2020 election results changed in his favor.

In the New York civil case, Engoron ruled that Trump, his two eldest sons, and other Trump Organisation executives lied to tax collectors, lenders, and insurers for years in a scheme that exaggerated the value of their properties by $812 million to $2.2 billion between 2014 and 2021.


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