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PM set to focus on flood-havoc in his debut UNGA address

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UNITED NATIONS:

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif makes his debut on world stage when he addresses the 77th session of UN General Assembly on Friday in which he is set to highlight the massive devastation left behind by the deadly climate-induced floods, and appeal for international help to deal with the catastrophe.

The premier is the 12th speaker in the 193-member Assembly’s high-level debate on its 4th day in which some 140 world leader are participating. It is the first in-person session of the Assembly following the Covid-19 pandemic.

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During his series of meetings with his counterparts from around the world, PM Shehbaz has been briefing them on the floods that have inundated one-third of Pakistan, inflicting huge damage to human lives, infrastructure, livestock and crops.

Read more: No help offered, or asked for from India after floods: FM Bilawal

“Pakistan is passing through difficult times and the havoc wreaked by floods, which is obvious before the world, needs serious attention,” he said in his video statement on Wednesday.

Some world leaders have responded by making dramatic appeals to the international community to come forward and help Pakistan.

Opening the debate on Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who made a solidarity visit to Pakistan earlier this month, told world leaders that Pakistan is “drowning not only in floodwater, but in debt”.

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Read ‘Haven’t seen destruction of this scale’: Bilawal says help needed after overwhelming floods

On Wednesday, the UN chief went on to say at a private meeting with world leaders on climate change, “We have all seen the appalling images from Pakistan, and this is just at 1.2 degrees of global warming and we are heading for over 3 degrees.”

And on the same day, US President Joe Biden told the General Assembly, “Pakistan is still underwater needs help.”

On his part, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan,  expressing his condolences, said: “We would like to call out to the international community to help the people of Pakistan as they’re going through this most unfortunate and painful time.”

Similarly, many other world leaders have drawn attention to the floods in Pakistan.

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Following Guterres’ trip to Pakistan, the UN issued a $160 million flash appeal for help Pakistan cope with initial phases of the calamity, but so far it is not yet fully funded.

In his address, the prime minister will also underscore the need for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute,  one of the oldest items on the agenda of the Security Council, and reaffirm Pakistan’s principled stand on the issue.

This year’s UNGA is taking place against a backdrop of complex, interconnected crises. Conflict, climate change, and Covid-19 have exacerbated inequality, poverty, and hunger across the planet, particularly among the most vulnerable populations.

Premier meetings

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, on the third day of the high-level General Debate of the 77th session, is scheduled to hold several sideline meetings with the world leaders and heads of organisations.

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He will hold bilateral meetings with Prime Minister of Belgium Alexander De Croo, his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida and Prime Minister of Malaysia Ismail Sabri Yaakob.



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Pakistan

Ayaz Amir arrested in daughter-in-law’s murder case

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ISLAMABAD:

The Capital Police on Saturday arrested senior journalist Ayaz Amir in the murder case of his daughter-in-law Sara Bibi, who was murdered in Islamabad’s Chak Shehzad suburbs on Friday.

The 37-year-old was living at a farmhouse in the area where she was found dead on Friday morning. She was reportedly murdered with a dumbbell.

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According to sources, Sara and Shahnawaz had an altercation over a domestic issue on Thursday night which led to her death as the accused allegedly had hit her in the head with an iron dumbbell.

After killing his wife, sources revealed, the accused allegedly put her body in a bathtub. The police arrested the accused and took him to Shahzad Town Police Station for further investigation.

Read Senior journalist’s son arrested for allegedly killing wife

According to sources, Shahzad Town Police has now named Ayaz Amir in the case. They said that in the light of the interrogation of Shahnawaz, the police obtained the arrest warrant of Ayaz Amir from the area magistrate on Saturday.

The senior journalist will be presented before the magistrate for physical remand on Sunday.

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Earlier in the day, Shahnawaz was handed over to the police on a two-day physical remand a day after being arrested for the murder.

The defendant’s lawyer termed the case a “blind murder”, adding that the murder was only to the extent of the charge, adding that this was the first remand in the case hence, there were no objections.

The police had initially requested a 10-day physical remand from the court, stating that the accused had to be interrogated. They said the suspect had called his Canadian-Pakistani wife from abroad to allegedly murder her.

However, the court only approved a two-day remand for the accused.

The investigating officer also stated that the accused’s fingerprints were also to be taken, but the court rejected the appeal, saying the print could be acquired through the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra).

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Two soldiers martyred in North Waziristan IED blast: ISPR

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Two soldiers of Pakistan Army embraced martyrdom in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in general area Esham of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s North Waziristan district on Saturday, the military said. 

Naib Subedar Javed Iqbal, a 42-year-old resident of Attock and Naik Hussain Ahmed, a 38 years old resident of Okara embraced shahadat (martyrdom) in the incident, military’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said in a statement.

Clearance of the area is being carried out to eliminate any terrorists in the area, it added.

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Last week, a Pakistan Army soldier embraced martyrdom while thwarting a terrorist attack from Afghanistan in bordering Dwatoi area of North Waziristan district.

Also read: Solider martyred in cross-border terrorist attack from Afghanistan

According to ISPR, on September 19, the terrorists from inside Afghanistan opened fire on the Pakistani troops in general area Dwatoi, which was responded in a befitting manner. Quoting credible intelligence reports, the military’s media wing said terrorists suffered heavy casualties.

The Pakistan Army, the ISPR said, was determined to defend the country’s borders against the menace of terrorism and “such sacrifices of our brave soldiers further strengthen our resolve”.



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Senate to take up changes in Transgender Persons Act on Sept 26

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ISLAMABAD:

The Senate will take up the Intersex Persons (Protection of Rights) (Amendment) Bill 2022, which aims to make changes in the existing Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2018, on Monday (September 26).

The bill stipulated that intersex persons would have the right to receive education, healthcare, employment and other opportunities as enjoyed by the normal human beings in the society.

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It has been argued in the bill that the primary objective of this Act should have been to protect the rights of “intersex persons”.

Intersex person generally means a person with ambiguous genitalia and is also known as hermaphrodite. The bill maintained that in the 2018 Act, there were some provisions that were totally contrary to the country’s traditions, religion and even the Constitution.

Read more: Trans people decry objections to rights bill

The amendment bill has been designed to cater to the needs of the intersex persons by deleting all those sections of the 2018 Act that were against the injunctions of Islam and the Constitution.

It has also been elaborated in the bill that the term “transgender” was launched by an American psychiatrist in 1965. It was essentially meant for persons who experienced sexual orientation against their sex at birth.

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It argued that this was primarily a disordered mental state where a man might felt like a woman or a woman felt like a man or sometimes even might have “fluid gender perceptions” which was called “non-binary” gender. It was a psychological/psychiatric state of mind and could not be equated to “intersex”.

Therefore, it seeks to change the title of the Act to The Intersex Persons (Protection of Rights) (Amendment) Bill, 2022.

The 2018 Act defined the identity of the gender minority, prohibited discrimination against them, and conferred rights upon transgender persons recognised as such and a right to self-perceived gender identity, among other things.

The law ensured issuing of certificate of identity to transgender persons, provided that no establishment shall discriminate against transgender persons in matters relating to employment, recruitment, promotion and other related issues, and provide for grievance redressal mechanism in each establishment.

Section 3(2) of the Act read that a person recognised as transgender under sub-section (l) shall have a right to get himself or herself registered as per “self-perceived gender” identity with all government departments including, but not limited to, the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).

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The bill to increase the salaries and allowances of the Senate chairman and National Assembly speaker is also included in the agenda of the Senate session.

This bill would be presented by Shibli Faraz, Dilawar Khan and Naseebullah Bazai.

The Immigration Amendment Bill and the Federal Urdu University Amendment Bill would also be presented in the session.

During the sitting, the State Bank amendment and media access for deaf people would be approved.

There would also be a discussion on the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) raids and harassment of journalists at Senator Saifullah Niazi’s residence.

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