Nayyab Ali visits Tahaffuz reporting centre and khidmat Markaz

Internationally renowned transgender rights expert Nayyab Ali visits Tahaffuz reporting centre and khidmat Markaz for transgenders, congratulated victim support officer Reem Sharif for being part of Rawalpindi Police. Tahaffuz transgenders Centre is a dream came true, Transgender Community is thankful to IG Punjab Shoaib Dastagir and CPO Rawalpindi Ahsan Younas for establishing first police Centre of its kind in Pakistan for the protection of transgenders, said Nayyab Ali. According to the details, internationally renowned transgender rights expert and winner of International Gala award for her services for transgender rights Nayyab Ali visited Rawalpindi Police’s Tahaffuz reporting Centre and Khidmat Markaz for transgender. Nayyab Ali was accompanied by a group of transgenders including Lubna another internationally renowned transgender. Victim Support Officer at Tahaffuz Centre, Reem Sharif and other staff welcomed the guests. Nayyab Ali and other transgenders formally congratulated Reem Sharif for being part of Rawalpindi Police. Victim Support Officer Reem Sharif briefed the guest about the establishment, working and services being provided to the transgender community at Tahaffuz Centre. She briefed the guests about the idea of CPO Rawalpindi Muhammad Ahsan Younas on which a separate reporting Centre and Khidmat Markaz for transgenders has been established by Rawalpindi Police. Reem Sharif said that Tahaffuz Centre is no doubt an important and fundamental step taken by Rawalpindi Police which will go a long way for the protection of rights of transgenders in the society.

ayyab Ali transgenders Rights expert, said on the occasion. that she has been working for the rights of transgenders and has been part of legislation in this regard on both local and international level. She said, the step taken by IG Punjab Shoaib Dastagir and CPO Ahsan Younas is a remarkable one which will be remembered forever. Nayyab Ali said that transgenders have always had problems while interacting with police but after visiting Tahaffuz Centre we feel that it is our own Centre and our own police station where not only we will be treated with dignity but our rights will surely be protected. She said that Tahaffuz not only has a proper working system to protect the right of transgenders but the presence of a victim support officer who is also a transgender will definitely help transgender community for redressing their legal issues. On the occasion, Nayyab Ali paid gratitude to Rawalpindi and Punjab Police for establishing such a remarkable Centre and also assured total support in this regard. Nayyab Ali expressed her desire for establishing more centres on the basis of Tahaffuz around the country for the protection of Rights of the transgenders. Welfare Officer of Rawalpindi Police, Sub Inspector Noor Ul Ain, Rawalpindi Police media team and victim support officer Reem Sharif thanked Nayyab Ali and other accompanying transgenders on behalf of Rawalpindi Police for the visit.

18th Amendment needs to be ‘reviewed’: PM

• Imran says it is against spirit of devolution that all powers are enjoyed by CM who has become a kind of dictator
• Murad wasn’t invited to any official meeting

KARACHI: Amid growing concerns of opposition parties and speculation surrounding the fate of 18th Amendment after recent statements from key government functionaries, Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke his heart out on Wednesday while ruling out any plan to roll back the devolution plan but clearly hinting at his intentions over the subject and called for reviewing the 10-year-old reforms which, he said “needed to be fixed” along with the concept of National Finance Commission (NFC) Award “that carries anomalies”.

The PM openly shared his thoughts probably for the first time during the first leg of his visit to Sindh, where the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has vowed to resist any move against the 18th Amendment by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government at the centre.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah was not invited to any official meetings that PM Khan held during his visit to the province.

“We came to know through media that PM is visiting Karachi on Tuesday,” Sindh CM advisor Barrister Murtaza Wahab told Media “So the CM kept his schedule open, anticipating his engagements with the prime minister. But the prime minister landed here on Tuesday evening and the CM was not invited for any meeting.”

He said the provincial government was also not informed about the schedule of the prime minister’s engagements in Karachi or Larkana.

Talking to journalists at Governor House, PM Khan said: “Devolution is always effective for a good governance system.”

“I have no objection to the 18th Amendment nor am I against it. But they have included several things in that reform in haste. They definitely needed to be reviewed and fixed. There are several things wrong in it [18th Amendment] and they are not practical.”

To strengthen his argument, he referred to several areas of administration which had become challenging after the 18th Amendment and the centre was helpless to fix problems in those sectors. The prime minister mentioned environment, drugs and food standardisation where the provinces were managing their regulations under their different policies creating hurdles in smooth operations in these areas.

“In the devolution system, powers are transferred from provinces to local administration,” said PM Khan. “But here we see that our local bodies don’t enjoy any power. All powers are enjoyed by the chief minister and he has become a kind of dictator. He’s not offering powers to the local administration. The effective devolution functioning requires a three-tier system but here it’s stuck in two tiers.”

The 18th Amendment, passed during the PPP government in 2010, has devolved powers to the provinces in key areas of public services, including health, women development, social welfare and local government.

The PM did not end here. He spoke about the concept of over half-a-century-old NFC Award, questioning its effectiveness and utility. He said it was not serving the purpose it was supposed to achieve as it originally aimed at controlling financial imbalances and equally managing financial resources of the provinces to meet their liabilities while alleviating horizontal fiscal imbalances.

“For instance, there is the system of the NFC,” he said. “What kind of system it is that under this the government goes into Rs700 billion deficit. After paying 65 per cent to the provinces and over security and debt servicing, we start the budget with Rs700bn deficit. We design our budget depending on loans. This is absolutely unfeasible. There is a wrong impression being created that we are rolling back 18th Amendment or thinking anything wrong about the NFC. But there is a strong need to discuss this serious issue. We only want to remove the anomalies and fix things.”

Asked about his policies to meet the challenge of coronavirus pandemic and a consistent tussle-like situation between the federal and Sindh governments, he regretted that elements were “playing politics” and in a soft way blamed the PPP leadership saying it always backed out of its words after agreeing over different measures at on national forums.

“Unfortunately, some elements are consistently playing politics on this very sensitive and serious issue,” the prime minister said. “From the very first day we set up the NCOC [National Command and Operations Centre] which is meeting regularly and taking decisions about the measures to contain the contagion in consensus with all the provinces. Similarly there’s a National Coordination Committee where all chief ministers have representation. At that forum Murad Ali Shah agrees with all decisions and then the next hour Bilawal [Bhutto-Zardari] comes up with a different statement [showing differences between the centre and the provincial government.] I can’t understand that.”

The PM said from the day one he was against strict lockdown in the country to stem the spread of the virus as he was worried about the labour class, particularly daily wagers. The government, he said, had double responsibility of taking steps to contain the spread of Covid-19 and at the same time to ensure that the poor segments of society did not face financial challenges.

“I can say this with authority the way we have handled the situation no one couldn’t in the world. We imposed the lockdown and at the same time saved people from extreme poverty,” he said.

Later, Mr Khan spoke about joblessness in Larkana. In a tweet said: “PM Relief Fund in Larkana, I found a large no of unemployed were chaabrri-wallahs whom police had stopped from working. I have asked Gov Sindh to take this up with the CM as these poor people do not violate social distancing & their families survival depends on their daily income”

To a question about the locust attacks, the prime minister said the emergency was declared back on January 31 and for the five months the federal government was making all out efforts to eliminate the locust swarms. The government, he said, was constantly in contact with the neighbouring countries, including Iran and India, and it had taken the provinces on board to devise a strategy for combating the locusts.

To a question about the sugar inquiry commission report, he vowed that the government would not leave any stone unturned to expose the people behind this huge scam. He wondered over the power of “sugar mafia” and how they “operate in nexus with the national institutions”.

“The sugar report exposes the political elite which mints money through this trade,” he said. “They have enjoyed Rs29 billion subsidy in four years…They earn again through rebate in the name of exports. It’s a huge scam. The regulators which are supposed to keep check on them are their partners. Everyone whether its FBR, SECP or CCP. Because they are so powerful. And I wonder how a stay order can be issued over the report of an inquiry commission? They do have political differences but when it comes to money and their business interests they are all on same page.”

Meets delegations, visits Larkana

Earlier, in a meeting with a delegation of PTI members of the Sindh Assembly, the prime minister urged them to play an active role in resolving problems of the masses in their constituencies. The MPAs gave suggestions on strengthening ties between the federation and the provinces.

Sindh Governor Imran Ismael, Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Zaidi and Special Assistant to the PM Dr Sania Nishtar were present.

After meeting with the leaders of the allied parties, Prime Minister Khan left for Larkana where he also held a meeting with the PTI members.

He also visited the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Disbursement Centre in Sachal Colony, Larkana. The prime minister interacted with beneficiaries and inquired about their financial condition, particularly in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak.

Dr Nishtar briefed the prime minister about disbursement of cash assistance among deserving people in Sindh.

The prime minister was also accompanied by Federal Minister for Privatisation Mohammedmian Soomro, SAPM on Information Lt Gen (Retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa and PTI Sindh president Haleem Adil Shaikh.

Two members of a gang involved in robbery, snatching and theft were arrested.Rawalpindi Polic

Rawalpindi: Ratta Amral police arrested two members of a gang involved in robbery, snatching and theft.

Police recovered weapons, ammunition, motorcycle and stolen money from the possession of accused Sifatullah and Khizar.

The accused have revealed several incidents of robbery, snatching and theft, police said.

Action against the accused was taken by SHO Rata Amral Yasir Mahmood and the team.

The accused were involved in several incidents whose arrest is an important operation of Rawalpindi police. Important revelations are expected in the investigation, SP Rawal Rai Mazhar Iqbal said.

Accused being sent to jail for identity parade, further investigation to be launched after identity parade, SHO Ratha Amral

CPO Rawalpindi’s SP Rawal and Rata Amral applauded the police and directed them to arrest other accomplices and facilitators of the accused.

Trump signs bill pressuring China over Uighur Muslim crackdown

China threatened retaliation after US President Donald Trump signed legislation on Wednesday calling for sanctions over the repression of China’s Uighurs, as excerpts from a book by his former national security adviser alleged he had approved of their mass detention.

The bill, which Congress passed with only one “no” vote, was intended to send China a strong message on human rights by mandating sanctions against those responsible for oppression of members of China’s Muslim minority.

The United Nations estimates that more than a million Muslims have been detained in camps in the Xinjiang region. The US State Department has accused Chinese officials of subjecting Muslims to torture, abuse “and trying to basically erase their culture and their religion.”

China, which denies mistreatment and says the camps provide vocational training and are needed to fight extremism, responded to the signing of the law with anger, saying it “vilified” the human rights situation in Xinjiang and was a malicious attack against China.

“We again urge the US side to immediately correct its mistakes and stop using this Xinjiang-related law to harm China’s interests and interfere in China’s internal affairs,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“Otherwise, China will resolutely take countermeasures, and all the consequences arising therefrom must be fully borne by the United States,” it added, without giving details.

China and the United States are already at loggerheads over everything from China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic to US support for Chinese-claimed Taiwan.

One of the main exile groups, the World Uyghur Congress, thanked Trump for signing the law, adding that it “gave hope to the desperate Uighur people”.

Trump signed the bill as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held his first face-to-face meeting since last year with China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi.

Trump issued a signing statement that some of the bill’s requirements might limit his constitutional authority to conduct diplomacy so he would regard them as advisory, not mandatory.

Trump did not hold a ceremony to mark his signing, which came as newspapers published excerpts from the new book by former national security adviser John Bolton.

Among other allegations, Bolton says that Trump sought Chinese President Xi Jinping’s help to win re-election during a closed-door 2019 meeting, and that Trump said Xi should go ahead with building the camps in Xinjiang.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Uighur law for the first time calls for sanctions on a member of China’s powerful Politburo, Xinjiang’s Communist Party secretary, Chen Quanguo, as responsible for “gross human rights violations”.

It also calls on US companies operating in Xinjiang to take steps to ensure they do not use parts made with forced labour.

India, Mexico, Norway, Ireland elected to UN Security Council

The UN General Assembly elected on Wednesday four new members of the Security Council for 2021 and 2022, with Canada losing out again and the battle for the African seat going to a second round.

India, Mexico, Norway and Ireland were chosen as non-permanent members, while Djibouti and Kenya — both of which failed to receive the two-thirds vote majority required to win — will go to a second round of voting on Thursday.

Canada was beaten once again for one of the Western seats, by Ireland and Norway, despite a long and star-studded campaign, a result likely to be a blow to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In the Asia-Pacific region, India — which has been trying unsuccessfully to win a permanent seat in an expanded Security Council — ran unopposed to win 184 votes out of the 192 countries that participated in the election.

The result means that India will now have a seat at the same table as China, just days after the two nations disputed their Himalayan border, trading blame for a brawl that left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead.

Mexico, which also ran unopposed, earned 187 votes.

African nations have in the past picked their own candidate but were unable to put forward a single country this time. Kenya received 113 votes against Djibouti, which got 78.

Kenya boasts of enjoying the support of the African Union, but Djibouti says it should have the seat due to Nairobi’s past participation on the Security Council and the principle of rotation.

French-speaking Djibouti and English-speaking Kenya are both highlighting their roles in seeking peace on the Horn of Africa, as well as their contributions to UN peacekeeping options.

Kenya has pointed to its welcome to refugees from Somalia and South Sudan, as well as to its support to the two countries’ fragile governments.

Djibouti, in turn, notes its strategic location and unusual role as a defense base for diverse countries — France, the United States, China and Japan — as well as its contributions in Somalia.

For Europe and the Western seats, the competition was more customary.

Canada — already stung by a defeat in 2010 during its last bid for the Security Council, when the General Assembly chose Portugal instead — was dominated by Norway, with 130 votes, and Ireland, which had 128, the minimum number required to win.

Trudeau had invested heavily in the latest Security Council effort, with the defeat potentially causing him political embarrassment at home.

“As we move forward, we remain committed to the goals and principles that we laid out during this campaign,” Trudeau said in a statement, adding that Canada would “continue to play a vital role in advancing global cooperation and building a more peaceful, inclusive and sustainable world.”

Celine Dion vs Bono

Hoping to woo delegates, both Canada and Ireland had wielded star power: Celine Dion sang in New York City to promote Canada at the UN, while U2 performed a concert in the Big Apple for Ireland.

“Campaigning for a UNSC seat involves endless lobbying, entertaining and worrying that the ambassador who just promised you a vote is a liar,” tweeted Richard Gowan, an expert on the world body at the International Crisis Group.

Fearing fraud or manipulation, the General Assembly did not vote electronically, even though the United Nations is mostly operating virtually until the end of July due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, each of the 193 delegations had a chance to cast a secret ballot at a designated time scattered throughout the day in the famous Assembly Hall. Each new Security Council member needed to win two-thirds of the votes cast.

The Security Council has 10 non-permanent members in addition to the veto-wielding Big Five — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

The General Assembly also elected Turkish diplomat Volkan Bozkir as its president for the 2020-21 session on Wednesday.

Bozkir was the only candidate running, but Armenia, Cyprus and Greece — all of which have historically tense relations with Turkey — opposed him, meaning he could not be elected by consensus and nations had to cast votes.