Author: Suha Mughal

China and the five states of Central Asia are creating a mechanism to improve responses to natural disasters.  The heads of emergency-response agencies for all six nations signed a cooperation agreement following a meeting in the western Chinese city of Urumqi. The pact establishes a working group to mitigate risks and develop more efficient natural disaster response plans. “This mechanism will serve as a new platform for deepening mutually beneficial and practical cooperation among the six countries,” the Business Kazakhstan outlet quoted a statement by China’s Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM) as saying. “China is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with…

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Combined Maritime Forces welcomed Sri Lanka, Nov. 20th, as the 39th member of the world’s largest maritime security partnership. “We are excited to have Sri Lanka as part of CMF,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, CMF commander. “We welcome them into a growing international naval coalition in the Middle East, which protects some of the world’s most important waterways.” In accepting the invitation to join CMF, the country’s naval commander, Vice Adm. Priyantha Perera, said Sri Lanka “is eager to collaborate with the CMF and other partner nations in joint exercises, patrols and operations…to uphold the principles of the CMF…

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ISLAMABAD: Fajar Al Sharq-V, a multinational joint special forces exercise, concluded on Saturday at the National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) in northwest Pakistan, the Pakistani military said, with participation from multiple Arab countries. The two-week exercise commenced on November 27 at the NCTC in Pabbi in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military’s media wing. The exercise was attended by special forces contingents from Bahrain, Iraq and Kuwait. “The exercise was aimed at further harnessing the historic military to military relations among brotherly countries and helped nurture joint employment concepts against counter…

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The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday halted proceedings against PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the cipher case, stressing the need for the court to be informed about the “circumstances” that prompted the trial to be conducted in jail. The IHC division bench, comprising Justice Mian­gul Hassan Aur­angzeb and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz, passed the orders on the ex-premier’s intra-court appeal against a single-member bench’s decision that had approved Imran’s jail trial. The cipher case pertains to a diplomatic document that the Federal Investigation Agency’s charge sheet alleges was never returned by Imran. The PTI has long held that the document contained a threat from the United States…

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The Nepalese Supreme Court on Thursday issued a show cause notice to the government seeking clarity over granting mass amnesties to convicts two weeks ago. The document, issued to the President’s Secretariat, came as a response to a writ petition and sought answers from Ram Chandra Poudel for pardoning a murder convict on September 20, on the eve of Nepal’s Constitution Day. The petition was filed against the pardoning of Yograj Dhakal ‘Regal’, who was handed a 10-year sentence in 2020 for the murder of Nepalgunj local Chetan Manandhar. The deceased’s wife, Bharati Sherpa, moved against the reprieve granted to…

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In a landmark move, the eastern Indian state of Bihar has announced the findings of the first-ever caste census since the country’s independence in 1947. The survey found that over two-thirds of the state’s population of over 130 million belonged to “backward” or marginalised communities. As part of the decades-old government affirmative action, marginalised communities have been categorised as backward, extremely backward, scheduled caste (the former “untouchables”) and scheduled tribe (the Indigenous communities). India is one of the most unequal countries in the world with the bulk of the resources and jobs controlled by the privileged castes. The findings from Bihar, one…

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Nepal, a buffer state between the two economic giants, India and China, struggles to maintain financial stability. Its strategic location between these two global powerhouses has positioned it at the crossroads of economic activity. Still, it has also exposed the nation to unique challenges that have impacted its macroeconomic landscape. The indicators of Nepal’s economic health often paint a picture of a country grappling with macroeconomic issues exacerbated by various internal and external factors. In recent years, Nepal’s transformational journey has been marked by destabilizing forces emanating from quarters disinterested in the country’s progress. This unsettling dynamic has hindered the…

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LAHORE: “Currently, 64 percent of Pakistan population is younger than 30 years of age. The country now has more young people than it has ever had, and this is forecasted to continue to increase until at least 2050. Because the youth have the power to transform a country’s future, they could be the engines of development. Or their disillusionment could lead to social unrest. We cannot empower our youth through distribution of laptops only, rather green jobs for women and youth are need of the hour. The unemployment rate among degree holders is three times higher than the overall unemployed…

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China has launched a new “Silk Roadster” platform under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Nepal, in a slight change in marketing and explanatory direction that may be rolled out elsewhere. Chinese leaders said the Nepal platform is a new concept brought to mark the tenth anniversary of the proposition of the BRI by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Nepal signed up to the framework agreement on the BRI in 2017, however six years later, no BRI projects have begun, although Kathmandu has selected nine to be executed under the framework. Delays in getting projects off the ground in Nepal…

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People splash in muddy fields and sing traditional songs to thank gods for sending the rain needed for the rice to grow. Thousands of farmers and their families across Nepal celebrated an annual paddy festival by planting rice, splashing in the muddy fields and enjoying a special feast. The farmers were joined by other villagers, visitors from the cities and tourists visiting the Himalayan nation to mark the National Paddy Day on June 30. Rice is a staple food for millions of Nepalese and the crop is generally planted once a year in July and harvested about four months later.…

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