Third Fast Attack Craft Inducted In Pakistan Navy Fleet. 

KARACHI(web desk) The third Azmat-class fast attack craft (FAC) was inducted Pakistan Navy fleet on Saturday..

The launching ceremony of the craft was held in Karachi Shipyard in which Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah was the guest of honor.

Addressing the ceremony, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah said this modern naval ship for Pak Navy has been built with the cooperation of China.

Terming it a milestone in defense and strategic cooperation between Pakistan and China, he said the attack craft would indeed provide synergy in defense of the country’s sea frontiers.

He said induction of new vessels would enhance operational capability of Pakistan Navy and protect the national jurisdiction and sovereignty of country’s maritime zones.

He said presently three vessels are being constructed at Karachi Shipyard with the technical collaboration of China.

Naval Chief also highlighted the significance of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor for enhancing regional trade activity with Gwadar port as the focal point. He said the CPEC will be a game changer with economic dividends not only for China and Pakistan but also for the entire region.

Admiral Zakaullah said providing a safe and secure maritime environment is pivotal to the success of CPEC and that Pakistan Navy is fully committed to this important objective.

He hoped the vessels under construction will contribute significantly towards the security of Gwadar. He added that safe naval borders are essential for CPEC’s success.

According to Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW), construction of the vessel was started on April 16, 2015 with steel cutting and subsequently keel laying was performed on August 11, 2015.

FAC is equipped with type 347 fire-control radar, a 30mm forward mounted gun, two 12.7mm machine guns, and an AK-630 close-in-weapons system (CIWS).

Pakistan Navy is currently having PNS Azmat and PNS Dehshat which were commissioned in June 2012 and June 2014, respectively

233 more stranded workers return from Saudi Arabia

RAWALPINDI: Pakistani construction workers sacked by their employers in Saudi Arabia continue to arrive back home. On Friday two more groups — one of 188 workers and the other of 45 — arrived here at Benazir Bhutto International Airport.

The group of 188 workers came from Jeddah by Saudi Arabian Airline flight SV-888 in the early hours of the day. The other group arrived here by Saudi Arabian Airline flight SV-724 in the evening.

Mohammad Iqbal, one of the deported workers who belonged to Azad Kashmir, told media personnel that there were more than 6,000 Pakistani workers stranded in Saudi Arabia who were waiting to be sent back to their country as they were facing problems.

He claimed that he was not among those who received aid by the Pakistani mission in the kingdom on the orders of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He alleged that the aid was being given to only some selected people.

Mr Iqbal said because of their unemployment in Saudi Arabia families of workers in Pakistan had been facing financial difficulties.

He claimed that a large number of Pakistani workers had not been paid their salary by their Saudi employers over the past 10 months.

He said Pakistani workers had been living in a very bad condition in camps where they were served unhygienic food.

Another Pakistani worker told Dawn without giving his name that he would never again think of going abroad through recruiting agents. He said he would stay in his own country and work hard.

After brief questioning by the immigration staff, all the deported workers were allowed to go home.

Pressure on Pakistan, India to ratify CTBT

WASHINGTON: The United States is working with the UN Security Council on a resolution that can slow down a dangerous nuclear race between Pakistan and India.

White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price told the US media that the proposed resolution would “strengthen existing national moratoria on nuclear explosive testing and improve the global verification architecture for detecting such testing”.

At the conclusion of their two-day conference in Washington on Thursday, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (P5) urged other states to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

The US, Russia, China, France and Britain also reaffirmed their national moratoria on nuclear weapons test explosions or any other nuclear explosions pending the CTBT’s entry into force.

So far, 164 states have ratified the CTBT and another 19 have signed but not ratified it. China, Egypt, Iran, Israel and the US have signed but not ratified the treaty; India, North Korea and Pakistan have not signed it.

Read: Pakistan still ahead of India in arms race

The treaty will come into force when all 44 states that had nuclear facilities when the UN General Assembly adopted the treaty in 1996 after decades of negotiations sign and ratify it.

Of them, 35 have ratified the treaty. Since India and Pakistan are among the nine nations that have not signed or ratified the treaty, any move that strengthens the CTBT would also increase pressure on these two nuclear armed nations to join the agreement.

Diplomatic observers say that while it’s still early to bring India and Pakistan into the CTBT, resolutions like the one the US is working on could persuade them to check their nuclear race. Both countries are ahead of others in producing nuclear weapons, and tensions over issue like Kashmir force other states to worry about the possibility of a nuclear conflict in South Asia.

“Our commitment to nuclear disarmament extends to efforts to bring the CTBT into force at an early date,” said a joint P5 statement issued in Washington on Thursday.

“We pledge to strive for the treaty’s early ratification and prompt entry into force and urge all states that have not done so to sign and ratify the treaty.”

The P5 states also urged other states to recognise that “a nuclear-weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion would defeat the object and purpose of the CTBT”.

Earlier on Thursday, US Under-Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller said that the P5 officials would convene their first formal nuclear doctrines meeting in New York on Oct 6.

The Obama administration’s strong support for the move has alarmed Republican lawmakers who do not want the US to sign the CTBT or commit to any resolution that would curb the country’s freedom to further develop its nuclear programme.

The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions, for both civilian and military purposes, in all environments.

The US media reported this week that during his final trip to the UN General Assembly next week in New York, President Barack Obama might pledge not to strike another nation with nuclear missiles unless the other nation attacked first.

The reports also claimed that the administration was pushing a UN Security Council resolution that would ban all nuclear testing.

The US State Department, when asked to comment on the report about the United States committing itself to the no-first use doctrine, said Washington continued to “assess whether there are additional steps to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our security strategy, and pursue ways to strengthen the global non-proliferation regime further”.

But Mr Price said the US would not commit itself to “a UN Security Council resolution that would impose a legally binding prohibition on nuclear explosive testing”.

He also said that it was “in the US national security interest to reaffirm the moratoria against nuclear explosive testing”.

Not satisfied with the response, 33 Republican senators sent a letter to President Obama on Thursday, threatening to withhold congressional funding for an existing international monitoring system for nuclear tests if the administration signed up for any international obligations through the UN that the US senate had rejected previously. The senate had refused to ratify the CTBT.

Last week, CTBT’s Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo told reporters that his organisation was also urging Iran and Israel to sign and ratify the treaty. Their ratification, he added, could pave the way for a nuclear test-free zone in the Middle East.

Pakistan, while not willing to sign the treaty before India, offered last month to consider transforming its unilateral moratorium into a bilateral agreement with India on banning nuclear testing.

Pakistan voted for the CTBT when it was adopted and announced a unilateral moratorium on further nuclear testing.

In Washington, State Department’s deputy spokesman Mark Toner welcomed Pakistan’s proposal and urged both countries to exercise restraint and engage in a dialogue to improve strategic stability

Rights group urges Pakistan not to hang mentally ill man

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan must not hang a mentally ill man suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, a rights group said Friday, after a court issued a warrant for his execution next week.

Death row prisoner, Imdad Ali, who is around 50 years old, was sentenced to death for the murder of a religious teacher in 2002.

“Imdad Ali is mentally ill and has suffered years without proper treatment,” a report by local watchdog the Justice Project Pakistan (JPP) said, adding he had been diagnosed as a “paranoid schizophrenic”.

JPP said it had filed an appeal against a Lahore High Court decision last month which dismissed pleas that Ali could not be executed on the basis of his mental illness.

His medical condition should be looked into, as well as the extenuating circumstances that had aggravated his mental illness during his lengthy time on death row, the organisation argued.

Ali’s execution has been scheduled for September 20, it said.

Prison authorities have sent a letter ─ seen by AFP ─ to his relatives asking if they want a final meeting with him the day before his execution in the town of Vehari.

JPP executive director Sarah Belal said Pakistan would violate its international legal commitments if it executed a mentally ill person.

“Executing Imdad will exemplify Pakistan’s failure to abide by its international legal commitments that forbid the death penalty for persons suffering from mental disabilities,” Belal told AFP.

“Knowing what they do about his condition would make his hanging a most serious crime.”

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD), which Pakistan ratified in 2011, guarantees the “inherent dignity” of individuals with disabilities, she said.

Pakistan reinstated the death penalty and established military courts after suffering its deadliest-ever extremist attack, when gunmen stormed Peshawar’s Army Public School in 2014 and killed more than 150 people ─ mostly children.

Hangings were initially reinstated only for those convicted of terrorism, but later extended to all capital offences.

The country has executed over 400 people since resuming hangings in December 2014, according to new research by Reprieve, a British anti-death penalty campaign group.

‘Azhar retained as ODI skipper for WI series’

KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has once again put its faith in Azhar Ali’s leadership as the right-handed batsman has been retained as ODI skipper for the series against the West Indies in the UAE.

The three-match series starts on Sept 30 in Sharjah.

Azhar’s captaincy came under scrutiny following his side’s 1-4 series thrashing in England this summer, with rumours suggesting that the 31-year-old would either resign or would be removed as the leader in the 50-over format.

Read: Wasim Akram wants Azhar Ali to remain ODI captain

Earlier, PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan had also said that they would discuss Azhar’s position as the captain of the ODI side once the team returns back home.

The PCB official, however, confirmed that nothing is going to change and Azhar would continue to lead the team against the Caribbean side, the ANI news agency reported.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Hafeez, who is still struggling with his fitness, has been dropped from the 22-member preliminary list handed to the PCB by former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq led selection committee.

Read: Azhar Ali – waiting to join elite group of ‘sacked’ men

Test opener Sami Aslam and veteran paceman Umar Gul have also failed to make it to the preliminary list, following their poor performance against England in the ODI series while Umar Akmal and young left-arm pacer Rumman Raees have been included in the list.

In contrast, fast-bowler Mohammad Irfan, who bowled just five overs after replacing Hafeez on the England tour, has been named in the 22-man squad.

Besides ODIs, Pakistan will also play three T20s and three Tests against the West Indies in the UAE.