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Monthly Archives: April 2017

3 Pakistani Women Confess to Killing Alleged Blasphemer

ISLAMABAD � Three armed sisters in central Pakistan reportedly have shot and killed a man accused of blasphemy 13 years ago, the latest incident of vigilante justice in a series of religiously motivated attacks.

Police on Thursday identified the slain man as Fazal Abbas, 45, a member of the minority Shi'ite Muslim sect.

The overnight attack happened near Sialkot, where police confirmed that the suspected assailants had been taken into custody and that an investigation was underway.

Senior area police officer Ejaz Hameed said local residents had accused Abbas of insulting the Prophet Muhammad in 2004 and that a police case had been registered. He fled the country to avoid arrest.

Hameed said Abbas had recently had returned home from Belgium and had formally joined a police investigation after a local court granted him pre-arrest bail.

On Wednesday, three women wearing traditional veils, or burqas, and pretending to be visitors showed up at Abbas' residence, family members said. One of them took out a weapon and fired at Abbas as soon as he appeared in the guest room, they added.

The women in their confessional statement to police said they had wanted to punish Abbas after he was accused of blasphemy, but they were too young at the time.

"We have finally killed the blasphemer," the statement quoted them as telling police. The women reportedly chanted "Allah-ho-Akbar" ("God is great") after fatally wounding Abbas.

Mob attack

The incident came days after an angry mob killed a fellow student at a university campus in Mardan, accusing him of committing blasphemy.

The lynching of Mashal Khan triggered widespread condemnation across Pakistan, prompting the Supreme Court to intervene and order an inquiry, while the Parliament in a unanimous resolution condemned the killing.

Police said they had found no evidence Khan committed blasphemy, but that they had yet to conclude the investigation.

Blasphemy is a sensitive issue in predominantly Sunni Muslim Pakistan, where mere charges against a person mean either death or life in hiding.

More than 50 people have been killed in violent incidents after being accused of blasphemy since the 1980s, when anti-blasphemy Islamic laws were introduced, according to Human Rights Watch.

A provincial governor and a federal minister were among the victims. They both were assassinated for seeking reforms in the blasphemy laws to discourage their misuse by religious fanatics.

Source: Voice of America

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عالمی معیار کی خدمات کی فراہم کرنے کے ارادے سے میراز نے چار نئے ہوٹل برانڈز کا اعلان کیا

دبئی، متحدہ عرب امارات، 18 اپریل، /2017 پی آر نیوز وائر/–  میراز (Meraas) نے ہوٹل کے چار نئے دلچسب برانڈز , ری ویرا,  (RE VERA) اودو(EVADO) ,ویوس  (VIVUS) اور مق(MQ) لانچ کرنے کا اعلان کمپنی کو عالمی معیار کے ہوٹل آپریٹر کے طور پر قائم کرنے کے مقصد کے ایک حصے کے طور پر کیا […]

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Meraas Announces Four New Hotel Brands in a Move Intended to Create World-Class Hospitality Experiences

DUBAI, UAE, April 18, 2017/PRNewswire/ — Meraas has announced the launch of four exciting new hotel brands called EVADO, RE VERA, VIVUS, and MQ as part of its objective to establish the company as a world-class hotel operator. The hotels also aim to widen the hospitality offering in Dubai and present guests visiting the emirate, […]

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NTT and Telkom Indonesia Launch “APAC Telecom Innovation Initiative (ATII)” to Create New Network Services in Asia-Pacific Region Based on Virtual Infrastructure Technologies

TOKYO, Apr. 18, 2017 /Kyodo JBN-AsiaNet/ — Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) and PT Telkom Indonesia (Persero) Tbk (Telkom Indonesia) established the “APAC Telecom Innovation Initiative (ATII)” as a joint research and development initiative on April 17 with a view to creating new network services in the Asia-Pacific region with a look beyond 2020 […]

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Few From West Drawn by China’s One Belt, One Road Conference

BEIJING �China announced Tuesday that 28 countries will send their heads of government to an international conference on the One Belt, One Road (or OBOR) program to be held next month in Beijing. However, only six G-20 countries are on the list, and government heads in most of the developed world will not attend.

Italy is the only major western country sending its head of government to the conference on the development plan, despite China's effort to give it an international flavor.

Four influential personalities will attend the event at the highest level. Those are Russian President Vladimir Putin; Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni; Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund; and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who will inaugurate the conference.

"This is an economic initiative and it deals with economic cooperation, so we do not want it to be politicized," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in reply to a question about whether the Western world was not showing much interest because it had doubts about China's motives.

France and Germany have major elections around the time of the Belt and Road Forum, to be held May 14-15. However, they have agreed to send senior officials.

"This is an economic cooperation forum, an international cooperation platform that everyone is paying attention to, supports and hopes to participate in," Wang said. He said representatives of 110 countries, which include those that are not on the OBOR route, would attend.

A problem of plenty?

China has also signed documents with 56 countries to enlarge support for the program. It has allocated an initial amount of $40 billion for a Silk Road Fund to implement OBOR.

"The contours of OBOR are vast, and its ever-expanding nature has created plenty of discrepancies," Jonathan Hillman, director of the Reconnecting Asia project at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, told VOA. "For example, some infrastructure projects announced years earlier are now covered under the OBOR banner."

British Prime Minister Theresa May was widely expected to attend as part of her efforts to strengthen Britain's business and diplomatic links with China in the post-Brexit era. Instead, she is sending British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond in her place.

For China, OBOR is an important model to expand political influence while enhancing its infrastructure construction business and exporting its industrial overcapacity. Beijing is also projecting the program as a "win-win solution" to the problem of inadequate infrastructure in developing countries, and economic slowdown in the developed ones.

Guest list

Most of the presidents and prime ministers attending the forum are from countries that have received or expect to obtain financial support from China. They include Greece, Belarus, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Ethiopia. Russia depends heavily on business deals, including a 30-year gas supply contract that it has entered with China.

China has done well in persuading most of the countries linked to the South China Sea dispute, including Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines, to send their leaders. Seven of the 10 members of the Association of South East Asian Nations are sending the heads of their governments.

China did not distinguish between developed and developing countries, and regarded all as equal members of the international community, Wang said, as one of the goals of the Belt and Road program was to promote equitable development between rich and poor nations.

Recoining a name

Wang dropped the word "one" from the original name of the program, One Belt, One Road. Observers said China is trying to avoid the impression that it wants to control the increasingly international program, and make it a consultative process.

On the other hand, several countries in China's neighborhood � including Japan, South Korea, India and Singapore � have not yet agreed to send their heads of government. Three of China's colleagues on BRICS � Brazil, India and South Africa � are not sending their heads of governments, according to the list released by the Chinese foreign minister. The other two members of BRICS are Russia and China.

"Unsustainable debt is a real concern for certain countries," Hillman said, referring to concerns that expensive infrastructure projects under OBOR can push economically weak countries deeper into debt.

Source: Voice of America

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