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PNC relieves deputationist staff on charges of forgery

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ISLAMABAD:

The Pakistan Nursing Council (PNC) has sent a deputationist employee to his parent department after an inquiry into the tampering with the council’s record.

According to documents available with The Express Tribune, nursing instructor Mushtaq Soomro, who was serving as a deputationist at the PNC, changed the record of Hyderabad Institute of Medical and Allied Sciences and issued a no-objection certificate (NOC) to the Hyderabad College of Nursing instead.

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Sources confirmed that the PNC has done away with the services of deputationist Mushtaq Soomro, who was facing charges of tampering with the council’s record, and his services have been returned to the College of Nursing Jamshoro, his parent department.

The complainant, Dr Alamdar, who is the owner of the Hyderabad Institute of Medical and Allied Sciences, accused Mushtaq Soomro of demanding money from him for the extension of the registration of his college with the council.

The complainant told The Express Tribune that he has presented all evidence to the PNC inquiry committee headed by Bakhtiar Ali Shah.

According to sources, the complainant has requested the inquiry committee that the registration of the Hyderabad Institute of Medical and Allied Sciences should be restored because the council had suspended the registration of the institution and stopped new admissions after the record tampering incident came to light.

The sources said that the inquiry committee has completed the investigation and a report will be submitted to the health ministry this week.

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Sources also said that nursing inspector Mushtaq Soomro has rejected the allegations against him.

According to the sources, the health ministry has also sought a separate report on the record tampering issue.

The sources said that the Hyderabad College of Nursing has started admissions without registration with the PNC, although the council had withheld the registration letter of the college concerned.

Dr Alamdar said that he has told the inquiry committee that the Hyderabad College of Nursing has shifted the students of his institute while taking advantage of the tampered record provided to it by Mushtaq Soomro. On the other hand, Mushtaq Soomro said that the inquiry committee neither called him for a probe nor has he received any letter in this regard.

 

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Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2022.



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High on ‘mad honey’, disoriented bear rescued in Türkiye

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ISTANBUL:

A disoriented brown bear cub, believed to have been intoxicated after eating an excessive amount of “mad honey,” was rescued in northwestern Türkiye’s Duzce province on Thursday.

Footage showed the bear wobbling and whining as she sat belly-up in the back of a pick-up truck, after people rescued the visibly-debilitated animal from the forest.

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Mad honey, or “deli bal” in Turkish, is a type of rhododendron honey that can have hallucinogenic effects.

The bear was brought to a vet, where she was receiving treatment and would likely be released into the wild in the coming days, local authorities said, adding that she was in good condition.

The agriculture ministry called on Turks on Twitter to come up with a name for the bear.



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Activists demand safeguard of citizens’ rights

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KARACHI:

The civil society and human rights activists called upon the government on Thursday to safeguard all citizens’ rights irrespective of their religion and protect their life and property.

The founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, envisioned Pakistan to become a peaceful country where all citizens had the right to enjoy equality and were free to practice their faiths.

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They were addressing a joint press conference at the Karachi Press Club concerning the country’s observance of the National Day of Minorities. Chairperson, Sindh Commission on Status of Women Nuzhat Shireen, MPA Naveed Anthony, Urban Resource Centre Zahid Farooq, The Knowledge Forum Naghma Iqtidar and a minorities’ rights activist Zafar Iqbal addressed the press conference.

The speakers said that the federal government has notified the curriculum for religious education solely for non-Muslim students for Grade I-V and VI-VIII, which comprises content from seven religions, including Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Baha’i, Kalash, Buddhism and Zoroastrianism.

Therefore, the provincial government must adopt a curriculum for religious education, develop textbooks and engage teachers to teach minority students the subject in schools, they suggested.

They urged the government to take action against those who take the law into their hands and target minorities. They added that the state is responsible for protecting the life, honour and property of the people from the minority communities.

Nation Building

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Sindh Minister for Minority Affairs Giyan Chand Essrani on Thursday said August 11 was observed as the National Day of Minorities to pay tribute to the minority community for their services in establishing Pakistan and nation building.

In his message on the National Day of Minorities, Giyan Chand said the minority community is an integral part of the country.

“We consider the land our mother, and Pakistan is our mother. We are proud of our country”, he said. The minister said Hindu, Sikh, Christian and Parsi communities have an essential role in the country’s development. He said Pakistan is a safe country for minorities. If doubts prevail, one should observe the plight of the minorities in the world’s largest democracy India.

Freedom to practice religion

Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab said that August 11 provides an opportunity to renew commitment to protect the rights of minorities.

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“The founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, had guaranteed the protection of the rights of minorities in the country, under which minorities in Pakistan have all kinds of legal rights,” the administrator said.

Wahab said that the minority community has a fundamental role in the development and prosperity of Karachi, Sindh province and Pakistan. “Five per cent quota is reserved for minorities in government jobs, while seats are reserved for minorities in the Senate, National and Provincial Assemblies so that they can have representation,” he added.



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Khar lauds reforms to improve Pakistan’s AML/CFT regime

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Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar on Thursday chaired a meeting of the National FATF Coordination Committee at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad.

The minister was given detailed briefings on recent legal, policy and administrative actions to improve the effectiveness of Pakistan’s Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime, the Foreign Office said in a statement.

Khar expressed satisfaction with the trajectory of reforms and appreciated the collective, system-wide efforts in bringing Pakistan’s AML/CFT regime at par with international standards, which remains a top priority of the government.

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The meeting was attended by senior officers from the National FATF Secretariat, ministries of finance, foreign affairs, interior, law and justice, State Bank of Pakistan, Financial Monitoring Unit, and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, Federal Board of Revenue, National Counter-Terrorism Authority, Federal Investigation Agency, Anti-Narcotics Force, and the National Accountability Bureau.

Earlier in June this year, the global dirty money watchdog announced that Pakistan had substantially completed its two action plans, covering 34 items, as part of a bid to get off the grey list on which it has been since 2018 – a decision that would end the threat of Islamabad being put on the black list.

Also read: Pakistan all but exits grey list

The FATF, while kicking off the process to remove Pakistan from the grey list, had said an on-site visit was warranted to verify that reforms had begun and were being sustained, as well as that the necessary political commitment remained in place to sustain improvement in the future.

The Pakistani authorities had said that the global body will send a mission to Pakistan next month to determine the veracity of the government’s claim that it has fully implemented all the 34 conditions that the FATF had set in February 2018 and then in June 2021. Pakistan had been asked to implement the conditions in 15 months but it took around four years due to the complexity of the issues.

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The FATF’s decision will now require commitments from all the Pakistani stakeholders to prove to the FATF upcoming mission that no serious deficiency remains in its AML and CFT regimes.

The FATF handout noted that since June 2018, Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and Asia Pacific Group to strengthen its AML/CFT regime and address its strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies.



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