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2017 April : AsiaNet-Pakistan

Archive for April, 2017


April 30, 2017 |

Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif says new dams are being constructed to overcome energy crisis in the country.In a statement in Lahore on Sunday, he said people will never forgive the elements who want to create hurdles in the way of development an…

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Pakistani National Assembly Delegation Arrives In Afghanistan For Meetings

April 30, 2017 |

A 15-member delegation from Pakistan’s National Assembly has arrived in Kabul, with its leader saying his country is committed to aiding peace and stability in Afghanistan.Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and his delegation will meet with Afghan Pres…

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Amman conference calls for visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque; supporting Jerusalemites

April 30, 2017 |

Amman (IINA) � The three-day conference on Islam and contemporary challenges in the shadows of the Amman Message concluded its activities in Jordan’s capital Amman on Saturday.

The conference discussed the challenges of terrorism, contemporary Muslim women’s issues, globalization and Islamophobia, in addition to the problems of poverty and unemployment, and the achievement of comprehensive development, integration and Islamic solidarity in the face of occupation and persecution.

Participants in the conference recommended the visit of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque to support the Jerusalemites and their steadfastness. They also recommended that the issue of Palestine and Jerusalem to be considered as the core issue of Muslim Ummah.

They further lauded the role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in taking care of holy sites in Jerusalem and Palestine, especially Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The final communique of the conference called for the adoption of an Islamic discourse that adheres to the original and legitimate rules and keeps pace with the methods and means adopted to spread moderation, mercy and tolerance in dealing with Muslims and non-Muslims.

It also called for clarifying the position, based on the essence of Islam and its Sharia, in rejection of hyperbolism, extremism and terrorism. This requires efforts to be made by Muslim scholars, with the view to correcting concepts and guiding the discourse to create generations through the moderation approach and purpose of mercy.

The communique also called for achieving the purposes of the Shariah in preserving the soul, mind, offspring and money for all people, as well as commitment to the Qur’anic method in the dawa work, pursuant to Allah’s saying: “Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation.”

The final communique underlined the need to preserve the family in all its components, especially the women whose rights should remain undiminished, and that they should have equal access to education and employment opportunities.

The communique pointed out that the distorted image of Muslims, which spread in the West and the world led to the emergence what is known as “Islamophobia”. It stressed that it is the duty of Muslims to highlight the best image of Islam through the use of all means of communication available.

It maintained the importance of achieving comprehensive development in the infrastructures, services and investments to develop economic production sectors, and to address poverty, destitution and unemployment, so as to realize the citizen’s reasons for a decent living.

The conference commended the efforts of the international Islamic universities in Pakistan, Malaysia and Africa, which spread the principles of true Islam, following the approach of moderation, steadfastness and tolerance.

The participants emphasized in their recommendations on the need to protect the young people through education and technical training, and inculcating moral values in them. They added that the youth should be provided with the inputs of competencies in the labor market to make them productive power that contributes to the development and renaissance.

They called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Arab League to create Islamic and Arab markets to make way for each country to benefit from the successful experiences of others and to promote intra-regional trade in order to achieve comprehensive development.

The participants underscored the need to develop the dawa methods and means in line with sustained technical progress, using social networks and the Internet in a positive manner, and stopping the deviant exploitation of these means to transfer extremist propaganda and ideologies.

Thirty-five research papers and worksheets on the issues of terrorism, contemporary women’s issues, globalization Islamophobia, comprehensive development and addressing poverty and unemployment were presented during the conference sessions.

The research papers also tackled the challenge of occupation and oppression that leaves threats and deadly effects on Muslims and non-Muslims, particularly the Zionist occupation and its racial crimes and acts of Judaization of the holy sites, aimed at Judaizing the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

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April 29, 2017 |

Five people were killed and several injured when six vehicles collided with each other near Havelian Mor in Abbottabad on Saturday morning.The injured have been shifted to hospital.Source: Radio Pakistan

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A Look at Islamic State’s Operations in Afghanistan

April 29, 2017 |

So-called Islamic State has wreaked havoc in eastern Afghanistan since 2015, mostly through its loose affiliates � attacking government installations and villages, killing and abducting hundreds of people, and keeping schools shuttered and replacing them with IS religious seminaries. It also claimed responsibility for several deadly attacks in the country’s capital, Kabul.

Here is a rundown in a question-and-answer format about how IS operates in Afghanistan:

When did IS emerge in Afghanistan?

Branching out from Iraq and Syria � and fueled by a growing militancy in Central Asia � IS launched its operations in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region two years ago, naming it IS’s Khorasan province (IS-K) to cover Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other nearby lands. The name refers to a centuries-old description of Afghanistan and surrounding areas of Central Asia and Persia.

IS-K’s founder, Hafiz Saeed Khan, a former Pakistani Taliban commander, appeared in a video in January 2015, along with 10 militant commanders � each representing a sub-region within the Afghan-Pak region � pledging allegiance to IS.

Who are IS-K Members?

According to U.S. and Afghan officials, most IS-K fighters are former members of the Pakistani Taliban group (TTP), many of whom belong to the Orokzai tribe in Pakistan. A number of Central Asian militants in Afghanistan, who previously were associated with al-Qaida and Taliban, joined the IS cause. Some Afghan militants also have joined IS-K ranks for financial gains.

Where is IS-K based and what territory has it captured in Afghanistan?

Based in southern parts of eastern Nangarhar province, IS-K has taken root in mountainous areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Last year it had a presence in at least 12 Nangarhar districts. The group also expanded to neighboring Kunar province, but has had fewer activities there.

Is IS-K expanding to other parts of Afghanistan?

IS-K has been attempting to expand to other parts of the country. Central Asian fighters who have pledged allegiance to IS have a presence in southern Zabul province.

The group also claims to have a presence in northern Jouzjan and Faryab provinces, where some militants who were previously associated with the Taliban said they have have joined IS-K. The son of a fabled slain Uzbek militant commander, Tahir Yuldash � co-founder and former leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) � reportedly has been luring Uzbek men in northern provinces to join the group, according to Afghan officials.

What is the estimated number of IS-K members?

According to the U.S.-led Resolute Mission in Afghanistan, there were about 3,000 IS-K members in Afghanistan last year. The number, however, has been reduced to a few hundred fighters this year.

“In 2016, we believed that year began with about 3,000 or so ISIS-K members in about 12 districts in southern Nangarhar,” U.S. Navy Capt. Bill Salvin, spokesperson for Resolute Support in Kabul told VOA last month. “Right now, we believe there are about 600 ISIS-K members in two or three districts in southern Nangarhar.”

How are U.S.-Afghan forces fighting IS-K?

American and Afghan forces conduct counterterrorism operations together. U.S. forces pursue a two-way approach to combating IS-K.

“The first is the unilateral U.S. counterterrorism mission called Operation Freedom, and that is where we will conduct the operations against terrorist groups like ISIS-K on our own,” Salvin said. “The other way that we are attacking ISIS-K is in partnered operations with the Afghan special forces.”

Is IS-K losing in Afghanistan?

U.S.-led NATO officials and members of the Afghan government say their security operations in recent months have reduced IS-K’s strength from several thousand to now under 1,000 fighters, and their territorial control from more than 10 districts to fewer than five.

Pentagon officials said Friday they suspected the Islamic State leader in Afghanistan, Abdul Haseeb, was killed in a three-hour firefight in the Mohmand Valley, in the Achin district of eastern Nangarhar province.

Officials said another 35 IS fighters also had been killed.

Haseeb is not the only IS commander to have been killed in U.S.-Afghan security operations in the region. Several top IS-K commanders recently have been killed in counterterrorism airstrikes, including its leader Saeed Khan, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in July 2016.

But despite the battlefield losses, IS-K has “shown an ability to conduct attacks in Kabul and elsewhere in the country,” General John Nicholson, the U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, recently told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

U.S. and Afghan forces say they are determined to defeat the extremist group in the country this year.

“Our goal in 2017 is to defeat ISIS-K in Afghanistan,” Salvin said.

The U.S. Air Force this month dropped “the mother of all bombs” on IS-K’s stronghold in Nangarhar’s Achin district, killing at least 95 IS fighters, mostly foreign fighters.

Source: Voice of America

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Gemalto first quarter 2017 revenue

April 28, 2017 |

Revenue at €651 million, lower by (6%) at historical exchange rates and (8%) at constant exchange rates Slow start for Enterprise, Machine-to-Machine and Government Programs with acceleration expected in the second semester In response to recent market developments, the Company has launched a transition plan expected to contribute over €50 million to profit from operations […]

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“YPO Innovation Week” Gathers Innovators for Israel Innovation Experience in Tel Aviv, Israel

April 26, 2017 |

TEL AVIV, 26 APRIL 2017 – YPO, the world’s premier chief executive leadership organization, today announced that Tel Aviv, Israel, will host InnovNation: the Israel Innovation Experience as a part of YPO Innovation Week 2017, the world’s largest and most impactful global innovation initiative. YPO Innovation Week 2017 features more than 50 events around the […]

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بیرون ملک خیمہ زن ہونے کی تیاری – زیڈ این وی ٹیکنالوجی پاکستان پرائیوٹ لمیٹڈ کا باضابطہ قیام

April 25, 2017 |

اسلام آباد، پاکستان، 25 اپریل 2017 ء/ پی آر نیوزوائر /– چین اور پاکستان کے درمیان قریبی تعلقات کو “آئرن پاک” کہا جاتا ہے جو دونوں ممالک کے درمیان اٹوٹ دوستی کا مظہر ہے۔ چین اور پاکستان نے ہمیشہ دونوں ممالک کے درمیان متعدد شعبوں میں آل راؤنڈ اور باہمی مفید تعاون کے ساتھ کئی […]

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Setting Sail to Camp Overseas – ZNV Technology Pakistan Private Limited Officially Established

April 25, 2017 |

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, April 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The close relationship between China and Pakistan is known as the “Iron Pak” to refer to the unbreakable friendship between the two countries. China and Pakistan have achieved numerous results with all-around and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields between the two sides all the time and brought […]

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French Presidential Candidate Le Pen quits party leadership

April 25, 2017 |

Paris – French Presidential Candidate Marine Le Pen has announced that she is temporarily stepping down as head of her National Front party.Monday’s move appears to be a way for Le Pen to embrace a wide range of potential voters ahead of the May 7 runo…

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April 25, 2017 |

Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that the government will provide special relief to the masses in the Holy month of Ramazan.He was presiding over a meeting to review arrangements regarding setting up of Ramazan bazaars during the …

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China’s ‘Christmas Town’ Opens Doors to Middle East Migrants but Future Uncertain

April 25, 2017 |

As Europe and the United States crack down on migrants from the Middle East and Africa, China is welcoming those with money with the boomtown of Yiwu, known as “Christmas Town”, luring business-savvy Syrians, Yemeni, Libyans and Iraqis.

Although China doesn’t have laws recognizing refugees, it grants visas to people from war-torn countries who can afford to live in the country, paying language course fees or business taxes from their own pocket.

The rapid rise of Yiwu as a business center since the early 2000s has proved an attraction for migrants wanting to rebuild their lives.

The eastern city of 1.2 million people, 285 km (180 miles) south of Shanghai, is nicknamed “Christmas Town” for producing 60 percent of the world’s Christmas decorations – as well as a host of other goods from socks to plastic toys and electronics.

A Yiwu government report showed that in 2016 the city issued 9,675 people temporary residence permits, a 17 percent rise on the previous year, of which over 4,000 were to those from war-torn countries including Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan.

Iraqis were the biggest group to apply for residence permits in China in 2016 with other applications from Yemen, India, Syria, Afghan, Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, Mali and South Korea.

“Yiwu is a very embracing city,” Ammar Albaadani, 38, from Yemen, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview at his apartment in Yiwu, with floors covered by Arabian carpets.

“We Arabs were the first who came to Yiwu to do business and participated in the city’s economic development. Now many of us � Yemenis, Syrians and Iraqis – have wars in our countries. We need to give all of them some warmth.”

Known as the “world’s largest small commodity wholesale market”, Yiwu has transformed the fortunes of its Chinese workers but has also opened up a wealth of opportunities in cheap manufacturing for foreign migrants.

An influx of Arab entrepreneurs – most of them on short-term business visas – has transformed the city into a bustling multi-cultural hub with numerous Middle Eastern restaurants and its own mosque.

But with China’s immigration rules among the strictest in the world for foreigners seeking permanent residency, many of the city’s migrants are worried about how long they will be able to stay in what has become their second home.

‘Safe in China’

Manar Abdulhussein, 38, left behind bombings and attacks in the Iraqi capital Baghdad five years ago and moved her family business to Yiwu with her husband and three sons, Ahmed, 15, Hussein, 11, and Yousif, 4, who was born in China.

She runs a clothing factory with her husband, Alobaidi Mohammed, exporting to back to Iraq, which has expanded from one floor to three floors in the past five years.

“We had our factory in Iraq. Then there was a war. Many people urged us come to China to continue our work. Our materials were originally from China,” said Manar, who has adopted a Chinese name, Lan Lan, to help to fit in.

With so many Iraqi migrants in Yiwu, there is now an Iraqi school in the city. But it is hard to plan for the future amid uncertainty over whether they will be able to stay, said Manar.

“It’s very safe in China so I hope my children can settle down, finish their studies and find jobs. But even if we stay here for a long time, we won’t get Chinese passports,” said Manar, who also teaches parents Chinese at the Iraqi school.

Old settlers

Ammar, from Yemen, first came to China 19 years ago as a student on a state scholarship. When fighting in his country escalated three years ago, he decided to settle in Yiwu.

“The time I last left my country was a very bad memory. It was 2014, Houthi rebels had reached Sana’a and were about to occupy it,” Ammar told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in fluent Chinese.

“I expected the situation would get worse, so I left with sadness.”

Last year, Ammar set up the “Silk Road Culture Club” to help foreign migrants integrate. The club organizes activities for expats and locals and is recognized by the local government.

As he spoke, his club was about to host a New Year gathering for members to make Chinese dumplings.

“It’s a New Year festival, so we make dumplings, he said. “Many of us don’t have families here and few relatives. So, we’re trying to make them feel they belong to a big family.”

Despite Ammar’s efforts to assimilate, his residency status remains uncertain. “I have lived more years in China than in Yemen, but I’m using a Yemen passport. It’s really hard to get permanent residency.”

Since 2015, China’s strict immigration laws have been relaxed – starting in the commercial center Shanghai – to attract more highly-skilled workers.

To acquire permanent residency, candidates need to have lived in China for four consecutive years and have an annual salary of 600,000 yuan ($87,000) with annual income tax above 120,000 yuan ($17,399), according to a report by the state-owned Shanghai Morning Post.

Immigration experts said there are still some internal guidelines to be checked case by case.

The country of 1.3 billion approved just 1,576 Chinese “green cards” allowing permanent residency in 2016, up 163 percent on the previous year, according to a report by the state-owned English newspaper China Daily.

“If we want to stay in China, we need policies that can make it easier for us, especially visas and residency, and children’s education, social insurance and medical care,” said Ammar.

“I have been thinking about Europe, but since we have lived in China for so long, and we are used to the life here now, so it is hard for us to move to another continent.”

New way of life

Mike, a 24-year-old actor from Syria, who goes by his professional name, is a newcomer to Yiwu. In 2012, a year into Syria’s civil war, Mike fled his home city of Damascus.

He first went to study in Malaysia, and then came to Yiwu where he studied Chinese for two years in the city’s business school, where foreigners made up 12.5 percent of students.

“When I studied, I also worked as an actor. Acting is my ambition,” said Mike, who has played roles as a Westerner in Chinese soap operas and films.

But with his acting income not enough to live on, Mike is now setting up his own import-export company and plans to apply for a business visa, aiming to get permanent residency one day.

“I hope I can buy a flat in China and bring my parents to live with me,” said Mike.

Ammar said he had learnt a lot about different ways of working in China but his final goal was to go home.

“We hope in the future… there will be peace in the Arab world. Then the Silk Road will have new directions,” said Ammar.

Source: Voice of America

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