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PM Imran Khan welcomes $5 billion UN funding appeal for Afghanistan

I have been making this appeal to international community to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

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PM Imran Khan welcomes $5 billion UN funding appeal for Afghanistan
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Islamabad: Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan welcomed Wednesday a $5 billion UN funding appeal for Afghanistan to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in the war-ravaged country.

The prime minister took to his official Twitter handle and said, “We welcome this UN initiative which has followed Pak-initiated special OIC FMs meeting’s pledged support.”

“I have been making this appeal to international community to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan where the people have suffered ravages of 40 years of conflict,” he added. 

In a statement, the global body said a whopping $5 billion was needed for the Afghanistan Humanitarian Response Plan alone “to pay direct” to health workers and others, not the de facto authorities.

In its biggest-ever single-country appeal, the UN said $4.4 billion (3.9 billion euros) was needed within Afghanistan, while a further $623 million was required to support the millions of Afghans sheltering beyond its borders.

The UN said 22 million people inside Afghanistan and a further 5.7 million displaced Afghans in five neighbouring countries needed vital relief this year.

Earlier in December 2021, a specially convened meeting of the 57 member states of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) had unanimously agreed on establishing a Humanitarian Trust Fund, launching a Food Security Programme and engaging with the World Health Organisation (WHO) for securing vaccines and medical supplies for Afghanistan.

The extraordinary session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) had agreed to establish a Humanitarian Trust Fund.

According to the declaration of 17th extraordinary session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), the forum unanimously passed a resolution, envisaging establishment of a Humanitarian Trust Fund to serve as a vehicle to channel humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan including in partnership with other international actors.

The resolution calls upon the Islamic Development Bank to expeditiously operationalize the Humanitarian Trust Fund by the first quarter of the next year.

The OIC, through its resolution, called on the OIC Member States, the Islamic Financial Institutions, donors and other international partners to announce pledges to the Humanitarian Trust Fund for Afghanistan as well as to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

Taking into consideration financial constraints of Afghanistan, the forum called for unfreezing Afghanistan's financial assets to prevent an economic collapse and help revive the economic activity.

The OIC decided that a process will be commenced with the UN system organizations to devise a road map for mobilizing actions at the relevant fora to unlock the financial and banking channels to resume liquidity and flow of financial and humanitarian assistance.

– Afghanistan Food Security Programme –

The organization also decided to launch an Afghanistan Food Security Programme, urging the Islamic Organization for Food Security to undertake necessary work in this regard.

It decided to appoint a special OIC envoy on Afghanistan to coordinate aid and assistance efforts, and pursue economic and political engagement with the country.

It was agreed that the OIC will play a leading role in the delivery of humanitarian and development aid to the people of Afghanistan.

The forum stressed for engaging with donor financial institutions to provide necessary humanitarian and economic assistance to Afghanistan as well as Afghan refugees in neighbouring countries.

– Combating terrorism in Afghanistan – 

The resolution reaffirmed the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan and ensuring that the territory of Afghanistan is not used as a platform or safe haven by any terrorist group or organization;

It called upon Afghanistan to take concrete steps against all terrorist organizations in particular Al-Qaeda, Daesh and its affiliates, ETIM, and TTP.

– Safe, dignified return of all Afghan refugees – 

The forum reaffirmed that peace, security and stability in Afghanistan would also contribute to the safe and dignified return of all Afghan refugees.

It urged the international community to remain cautious against the possibility of incitement and the role of spoilers, both inside and outside the country, to derail efforts aimed at peace and stability in Afghanistan.

It called upon the Afghan authorities to continue to work towards greater inclusiveness and including by developing a roadmap to strengthen participation of all Afghans including women and girls to participate in all aspects of the Afghan society.

– Illegal colonial measures by Israel to colonize Palestinian territory – 

The Extraordinary session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers also unanimously adopted Islamabad declaration condemning the illegal colonial measures undertaken by Israel to colonize the Palestinian territory.

Declaring the Israeli measures illegal, null and void, the declaration read that the OIC does not recognize any changes affecting the pre-1967 borders particularly with regard to Al-Quds Al Sharif. It called upon the international community including the UNSC to hold the Israeli colonial occupation accountable for its violations and take all necessary measures including imposing sanctions against Israel to stop these violations.

The declaration also condemned the repeated attacks by Israeli occupation authorities on the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and its continuous attempts to change the historical and legal status quo there using flimsy religious pretexts.

Addressing a press conference along with Secretary General of OIC Hissein Brahim Taha here at the conclusion of the 17th extraordinary session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, the minister said there was an awareness and recognition in the international community that a humanitarian crisis was looming in Afghanistan.

“It is felt that if we do not act then an economic collapse in Afghanistan can happen and time is of essence.”

“We can have a difference of opinion with the Afghan authorities but our focus should be on 38 million people of Afghanistan. If things could go wrong not only Afghanistan but neighbouring countries would also be adversely impacted and the consequences would even be felt beyond the region, he noted.”

“Helping people of Afghanistan is a shared responsibility and despite the desire, Pakistan alone cannot meet their humanitarian needs.”

The minister told that two documents had been unanimously adopted at the conference including a joint resolution on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and Islamabad declaration on the Palestinian situation.

He said the OIC foreign ministers expressed unity and support for the people of Afghanistan.

The OIC members discussed how to develop and adopt an institutional mechanism for disbursement of resources to the Afghan people, he told.

The minister said as COVID 19 was still prevalent it was agreed that the OIC secretariat would engage with World Health Organization (WHO) for securing vaccines and medical supplies for Afghanistan.

“We collectively feel that we have to unlock financial and banking channels for Afghanistan as people cannot be helped without presence of banking services.”

He informed that the conference delegates agreed to appoint a special envoy of OIC for Afghanistan to engage with stakeholders and help in extending assistance to people of Afghanistan.

“The OIC members decided to forge a partnership between OIC and the United Nations system so that resources can be delivered to Afghanistan.”

The OIC Secretary General in his remarks said the OIC meeting would have given a hope to the Afghan people for a better future.

Faisal Waqas

Faisal Waqas is a passionate journalist who has eight years of diversified experience in print, electronic and digital media. He has previously worked with other renowned private TV channels as well as English Newspaper and now associated with GNN as Senior Content Writer. Faisal has graduated from the University of Punjab and earned his M.Phil degree in Mass Communication from Superior University of Lahore.

Business

Pakistan's IT Exports hits highest ever in 6 months: Faisal Javed Khan

"Govt will cross $3.5 billion mark during this financial year”

Published by Siddra Sumreen

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Pakistan's IT Exports hits highest ever in 6 months: Faisal Javed Khan

Islamabad: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Senator Faisal Javed Khan on Sunday said that Pakistan hits its highest ever Information Technology (IT) Exports in 6 months.

Faisal Javed said in a Twitter post that “our IT Exports during Fiscal Year 21-22 surged to $1.302 billion at the growth rate of 36% v/s $959 million during the same period of 2020-21”.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to cross $3.5 billion mark during this financial year”, he added.

Faisal Javed Khan who is also Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s focus is on increasing exports to stimulate economic growth. “We will inshaallah double our IT industry in 2 years”, he added.

He said that TechZones are being set-up to create employment, economic transformation & attract intl investors. “We are now the third-largest gig economy globally”, he added.

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Pakistan

Security forces recover large cache of weapons, ammunition in South Waziristan IBO: ISPR

Security forces conducted the operation after receiving information

Published by Siddra Sumreen

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Security forces recover large cache of weapons, ammunition in South Waziristan IBO: ISPR

Rawalpindi: Security forces have conducted an Intelligence Based Operation in Serwekai area in South Waziristan, ISPR reported on Sunday.

In a statement, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said security forces conducted the operation after receiving information that terrorists were present in a hideout in the area.

According to ISPR, a large quantity of weapons, ammunition and improvised explosive device (IED) preparation material was recovered from the hideout.

The recovered cache of weapons, includes sub-machine guns, RPG-7, hand grenades and large quantity of ammunition of multiple calibers, the ISPR added.

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World

Turkish prominent journalist arrested for insulting president Erdogan

Turkish court orders journalist Sedef Kabas jailed pending trial on charge of insulting President Erdogan under a law 

Published by Faisal Waqas

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Turkish prominent journalist arrested for insulting president Erdogan

A prominent Turkish TV journalist has been detained and could face imprisonment after being charged with insulting the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A Turkish court ordered prominent journalist Sedef Kabas jailed pending trial on a charge of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan under a law that has seen tens of thousands prosecuted.

Police detained Sedef Kabaş at her home at 2am on Saturday and took her to a police station, before she faced court and was jailed pending a trial.

The alleged insult was a proverb that Kabaş expressed both on an opposition television channel and her Twitter account.

The proverb translates to: “When the ox comes to the palace, he does not become a king. But the palace becomes a barn.”

“The honour of the presidency’s office is the honour of our country ... I condemn the vulgar insults made against our president and his office,” Fahrettin Altun, head of Turkey’s communications directorate and Erdogan’s chief spokesman, said.

Merdan Yanardag, the chief editor of the Tele 1 channel, on which Kabaş made the comment, criticised her arrest.

“Her detention overnight at 2am because of a proverb is unacceptable,” he said. “This stance is an attempt to intimidate journalists, the media and society.”

Insulting Erdogan

Last October, Europe’s top human rights court called on Turkey to change the legislation after ruling that a man’s detention under the law violated his freedom of expression.

Tens of thousands have been charged and sentenced over the crime of insulting Erdogan in the seven years since he moved from being prime minister to president.

In 2020, 31,297 investigations were launched in relation to the charge, 7,790 cases were filed, and 3,325 resulted in convictions, according to justice ministry data. Those numbers were slightly lower than the previous year.

Since 2014, the year Erdogan became president, 160,169 investigations have been launched over insulting the president, 35,507 cases were filed and there were 12,881 convictions.

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