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Release missing persons before Eid: Activists

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KARACHI: Human rights and labor rights activists today demanded the government to get recovered or released all the missing persons on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr so they could celebrate this occasion with the families.

Addressing a joint press conference at Karachi Press Club the rights activists said that since August 2017 over 154 persons are missing only in Sindh, who were allegedly picked up from various areas of the province. According to data on Sindh Police’s website over 600 people from Sindh are missing.

“The Constitution’s Article 10-A provides every citizen the right to fair trial and due process,” said Zulfiqar Shah, Joint Director of Pakistan Institute of Labor Education and Research (PILER). As human rights activists, we demand the state institutions, federal and Sindh government to release all people in their custody. We demand to produce all people with criminal charges in the courts and provide them opportunity for fair trial, he added.

Shah said PILER had organized a two-day National Conference on Human Rights and Labor Rights in which the leading human rights and labor rights speakers expressed serious concern over the deteriorating conditions of Human Rights and Labor Rights in Pakistan and called upon the Federal and the Provincial Governments to take practical measures to ensure provision and protection of fundamental rights, as enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan and committed by the State under various international Conventions, including Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and Conventions of International Labor Organisation (ILO).

The Speakers at the conference were also of the view that enforced disappearance and custodial torture are two brutal faces of the denial of the Right to Fair Trial, and represent the failure of the justice system. In Pakistan, there is no law on torture, nor is Enforced Disappearance recognized as a crime.

Shah pointed out that participants expressed their serious concern over the worst condition of fundamental freedoms in Pakistan.

In recent times, the Government of Pakistan’s aggressive approach towards NGOs, laced with prejudice and distrust has resulted in the abrupt closure of NGOs operations, harassment of their staff, malignant propaganda against them and the use of non-state actors to intimidate them.

This is totally against the Right to Association enshrined in the constitution, not to mention ICCPR and other international obligations that Pakistan is a signatory to.

Freedom of Expression is a fundamental human right enshrined in the Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan. Unfortunately, this right is in regress in Pakistan, reflected in increased censorship, harassment of media persons and outlets, and aggressive laws directed at the media, including internet and cyberspace.

Participants of the conference noted that the European Union (EU) has offered Pakistan trade incentive scheme General Scheme of Preferences (GSP) – Plus, which is a window of opportunity for stronger mechanisms and systems realizing rights. The 27 Conventions in the scheme holistically cover major sections of rights, including human rights, labor rights, human rights for women, environment, and ecology, and governance.

Pakistan has recently been reviewed second time for the status, by the EU. The EU review report released early this year (January 2018) notes gaps in the effective implementation of conventions related to GSP +.

He said the report has particularly noted with a concern the continuation of the policy of capital punishment in the backdrop of a weak justice system, enforced disappearances and custodial torture, in addition to the blasphemy laws, compromise access to justice for the accused.

Senior trade union leader Habibuddin Junaidi underlined the need to undertake serious efforts to remove obstacles in the way of unionization in the country that stands at only one percent of the total labor force.

These obstacles include exclusionary laws, poorly performing institutions, including NIRC and labor judiciary, and a non-serious attitude of the state towards the issue, not to mention employers’ reluctance to support unionization.

It is strongly suggested that tripartite systems, dialogue and revisit of legislation, on top of institutional reforms be undertaken to increase unionization in the country.

Junaidi said the major concerns of conference’s participants were non-implementation of labor rights. Senior labor leader Liaquat Sahi, who is the central leader of State Bank of Pakistan Democratic Workers Union said Supreme Court of Pakistan has recently declared the contract labor as illegal and unconstitutional and ordered to provide regular employment to all employees.

There is worst situation of child labor, modern slavery, deficits in Operational Health and Safety, the absence of labor laws in the agriculture sector, and poor access to social security for workers.

He said  Social Security Coverage must be expanded by focusing on implementing appointment letter provision under Standing Orders, and enhancing outreach to the so-called informal workforce.

Minimum wages need to be consistent with the concept of the living wages, which is equivalent to Rs 30,000, in accordance with the cost of living and inflation in 2018.

The conference demanded the provincial governments fix the minimum wage in accordance with the living wages of any given year.

Those who also spoke on the occasion included Mahnaz Rahman, Resident Director of Aurat Foundation and Shaikh Manzoor. 

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Crime

Missing persons: CJ summons DG Rangers, IGP, Sindh

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ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar has summoned the Director General Rangers, Inspector General Police, Sindh, provincial heads of intelligence agencies, at Karachi on June 24 at 12:00 pm. 

Chief Justice issued the orders during his visit to District Courts, Larkana where some people met him and complained that their relatives are missing and their whereabouts are still unknown, said a press release issued here by SC. Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar in his visit to District Courts met judges, lawyers and litigants there and witnessed court proceedings, inspected case files, observed court procedures and heard in detail grievances of people and hardships faced by litigants and lawyers and facilities extended to them in court premises.

He also visited judicial lockup and heard complaints and issues of under-trial prisoners. His took stock of overall performance of district judiciary and prosecution services. He also showed displeasure over the absence of prosecution lawyer in cases. CJ also directed the judges to decide cases expeditiously in accordance with law and asked lawyers to appear in cases regularly and avoid undue and frequent adjournments so that cases can be decided in time and prompt relief can be extended to litigant parties.
During the court proceedings, CJ questioned the judges presiding over the courts and pointed out the shortcomings and discrepancies.

Taking of notice of the issue, he asked the Chief Justice, High Court of Sindh and Registrar, High Court of Sindh to take action against the delinquents and incompetent judges in accordance with law, so as to ensure speedy justice to people. Apart from that Chief Justice of Pakistan also visited Government hospital Sukkur, Chandka Medical College Hospital Larkana and Sheikh Zayed Women’s Hospital, Larkana and met the patients and heard their complaints and expressed his dissatisfaction over dreadful situation of hygiene and cleanliness in the hospitals and directed the concerned administration of the hospitals to improve it and address the complaints of patients so as to provide better health facilities to the patients.

During the visit to the hospitals, he observed many deficiencies in the services rendered to general public and therefore, taking notice of the dearth of services to general public, Chief Justice has directed Chief Secretary and Secretary Health, Government of Sindh to submit a detailed report about deficiencies and demands of hospitals, either of human resources, medical equipment or any other at the level of tertiary care hospitals and District Headquarters Hospitals overall Sindh Province by next 22nd July Monday.

Moreover, taking notice of excessive and unscheduled load shedding in hospitals, his lordship has directed WAPDA authorities to make hospitals free from load shedding so that patients can get better treatment. After all these visits, Chief Justice has observed that the apathy of the government is evident and reflects poorly on the pathetic state of governance in the province. He observed that all government departments need to put their act together in order to provide relief to the general public and serve them in the best possible way.

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Crime

Mastermind of Rs. 11.733b land scam sent to jail!

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Mastermind of Rs. 11.733b land scam sent to jail

KARACHI:  Mohammad Ismail, who was nabbed by the NAB on Thursday in connection with usurping Rs.11.733 billion by means of illegal allotment of Karachi Port Trust Officers Cooperative Housing Society land has been remanded in judicial custody by the administrative judge of an accountability court on Friday.

The administrative judge while remanding the suspect in judicial custody till June 28 ordered that he may be produced on the next date.

According to details, NAB had filed a reference against the office bearers of the KPTOCHS and private persons for involvement in the illegal allotment of plots of the society located on Mai Kolachi Road.

In the said reference NAB has accused 23 people including society’s chairman, Ahmed Pervez Younusi, secretary Gulab Khan of allotting plots causing losses of Rs. 11.733b to the national exchequer. 

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Karachi

NPTV Brand Envoy Amir Khan launches SBL

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Amir Khan launches SBL

KARACHI: World Boxing Champion – Brand Ambassador of Newspakistan.tv – has launched the Super Boxing League (SBL) on Thursday 21st of June here at a local hotel. 

The event is being supported by Bill Dosanjh, a British entrepreneur. It is pertinent to mention here that SBL teams will comprise of ten men and two women boxers and be named after Pakistani cities.

According to Amir Khan right training will help to produce more world champions. SBL is scheduled to be organized in association with Punjab Sports Board (PSB) and World Boxing Council (WBC) from September 28 to November 3 at the Amir Khan Boxing Academy in Islamabad.

The league, in its first season, will have a mix of experience and youth and will bring in talent across the featherweight 57 kg, welterweight 66.7kg, middleweight 72.57 kg, super middleweight- 76.2 kg, heavyweight unlimited and female super fly 52.16 kg categories.

A relevant piece published earlier: Role model to millions of people, World Boxing Champion Amir Khan, who won Athens 2004 Olympic Silver Medal for Britain at the age of 17, is a philanthropist outside the ring. In an exclusive interview conducted here, he held: “When I fought for these world titles it was very difficult.  Nothing in life comes easy. But one thing to the viewers is if anyone has any dream in life you have to work hard to achieve it. Don’t give up. Never give up in life. It is very hard to achieve what you want to achieve in life. But as long as you keep working hard, one day, you know, you will achieve your dream!”

Q: Tell us about your early days and life? AMIR KHAN: Early Days! I was born in Bolton, a small town in Manchester.  I was very hyperactive! I was very naughty at school! And the teacher used to always say to me:  “I am going to call your parents to school because you misbehave too much! They have to monitor you! Make sure you are OK!” So what my dad did – he took me to a boxing club. You know! Since then I started to behave in school! The teacher called my father and asked my father:  “What have you done to Amir? Because he is totally changed”. What boxing taught me was discipline. Because of that I totally changed the way I live; the way I treat people; how I respect people. And also I know not to fight, or not to mess around! Because I am a professional fighter now! There are so many people who look up to me. I am a role model to millions of people around the world. So I have to, you know, do the right things in life!

Q: Tell us about your experiences and the biggest achievement of your life? AMIR KHAN: Obviously, the biggest achievement was going to Olympic Games.  And then winning the world title. I was the first ever Pakistani to win the world title.  No one has ever won a world (boxing) title – been a Pakistani. It is a great honor for me to win the World Championship. It was not easy. It was very hard. I was a smaller guy. I was a younger guy. When I fought for these world titles it was very difficult.  Nothing in life comes easy. But one thing to the viewers is if anyone has any dream in life you have to work hard to achieve it. Don’t give up. Never give up in life.  It is very hard to achieve what you want to achieve in life. But as long as you keep working hard one day, you know, you will achieve your dream. But one thing about our young Pakistani children is they need to work hard. We need them to work hard and have focus and have an ambition. To have an ambition in life, to become the best.  That’s the only reason you will achieve something.  I will tell you about myself. I used to wake-up every morning and I used to be like: ‘One day I will become the World Champion!’ I used to always wake-up in the morning have one thing in my head: ‘I am going to become a World Champion! I’ll have my dream and I will have my ambition’. I kept training and training and now MashaAllah I am now in this position. I am World Champion now. I won big fights. I am a big name around the world, not only in Pakistan but in England, America, Europe. All over the world. So, it is just a great feeling to be in this position. And also I hope I’ll inspire more people. I want to inspire the young, the youth to do what I’ve done. Because Pakistan is a country which has a lot of talent.  But we have to now put them on the right path. We have to support them. So, all the people now have to support the children, tell them: ‘Look if you want to achieve something in life then go for it, we support you 100%. And that’s why I have come myself to Pakistan. So I can support people myself. I am going to coach myself the youth of Pakistan. I am going to coach them; I am going to train them; I am going to hold pads for them; I am going to teach them technique. Because I want Pakistan to improve in boxing.

Q: You have been to different countries like in Europe and America? Did you ever feel racism there? AMIR KHAN: No! You know, to be honest with you; I have never experienced any racial stuff, never. It is nice to be seen as a people’s Champion.  Wherever I go to, Europe: In Germany, England, France… I never ever experience any racism. People like me. Even in England, they say I am the son of England. They love me in England, that’s where I live.  The Queen always invites me for like the tea … So MashaAllah! I am in a great position. Where I am loved by so many people. I think it is not only because of boxing. I think it is about what I am like as a person. As a person, I am a very down-to-earth guy. I respect everybody. I treat everybody nice. And at the same time, you know, I do a lot of charity work as well. So people like the charity work I do.

Q: Tell us about your Charity Foundation. AMIR KHAN: I have the Amir Khan Trust.  And in the UK I have the Amir Khan Foundation. Basically, we do a lot of work. For example, when the earthquake happened, we were in Pakistan straight away, in Muzaffarabad.  Then when the floods happened, I went to Nowshera, Charsadda… And then when the APS school killing happened – the children.  I was there, at the APS School. One thing about me is I like to go there myself and see, and experience and help: When the floods happen, I give them clothing, I give them food, I supply clean drinking water. When the Earthquake happens, I supply clothing, rebuild homes. So you know! Allah has given me this big name. I want to utilize my name the right way. For example, helping the poor people, the right way. For example, collecting donations. Giving to charities and giving to poor people! (Published on 16th August 2016)

 

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