LAHORE: In an attempt to boost tourism, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif inaugurated on Wednesday a tourist double-decker bus service at the Punjab Stadium in Lahore.
The chief minister visited the bus service terminal, and travelled in the double-decker by purchasing a ticket.
The newly-introduced site-seeing bus service, which will give a detour of Lahore’s historical monuments, will operate from Qaddafi Stadium to Minar-e-Pakistan with proper security arrangements and trained staff.
Talking to media, Shahbaz said the double-decker buses, which disappeared from the streets of Lahore and other cities of Punjab, was revived for the promotion of tourism.
Free of charge service will be provided to senior citizens, children below the age of 10 and disabled persons, said the chief minister, adding students will be charged Rs100 while common citizens Rs200.
Emphasising on the service’s utility, he said citizens of Lahore and other Punjab cities will have recreational tour of Lahore through the double-decker buses.
The post Punjab CM inaugurates Lahore’s first tourist double-decker bus service appeared first on The Express Tribune.
PARIS, FRANCE: Parisian hotel occupancy rates, which plunged in the wake of the November 13 attacks in the French capital, are inching back toward normal levels, the city’s tourist office said Wednesday.
“It seems there is an upward trend since the weekend,” the tourism office said in a statement.
In noted that occupancy rates remained down by 16 percent on average on Sunday and Monday whereas the plunge had been 28 percent the first week after the attacks, which killed 130 people.
The impact of the attacks blamed on Islamic State extremists “is stronger than those of last January,” when extremists attacked the offices of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, the tourism office noted.
In the first week after the November 13 attacks hotel occupancy fell by a quarter on average, whereas the week beforehand had seen a rise of 2.4 percent, official figures show.
Cancellations were dropping off compared with the days immediately following the attacks — although they remained 21 percent higher than usual, the tourist office noted.
It added that reservations for tourists flying in for the year-end holiday had “stabilised” but remained “slightly down on 2014.”
Year-end bookings were running two percent lower than normal ahead of the attacks and fell back a further 11 percent thereafter but that slide “is relatively limited in the circumstances,” said the tourism office, whose data do not include last-minute bookings.
Tourism accounts for some seven percent of gross domestic product for France, which ranks as the top global tourist destination.
BAGHDAD: An argument between an Iraqi lawmaker and a political bloc spokesperson escalated from angry words to gunfire at a television station in Baghdad, the men involved said on Wednesday.
The fracas between MP Kadhim al-Sayadi of the State of Law bloc and Citizen’s Bloc spokesperson Baligh Abu Gallal — both members of Shia parties — broke out at the Dijla TV station on Tuesday night.
“Sayadi began to attack us verbally and then called his guards and began helping them try to take us outside the channel,” Abu Gallal said in a statement received by AFP. When that failed, “they began firing their personal pistols directly (at me),” he said.
Sayadi accused Abu Gallal of lying and denied direct involvement in the shooting, asserting that one of his guards opened fire, and that he was not carrying a weapon himself.
Sayadi said that “the dispute between us at the channel began when I requested that he stop targeting me in the media,” to which Abu Gallal said that he “does not respond on this low level”.
“The dispute escalated, and one of my guards opened fire” in the air, he said. Sayadi was beaten in parliament by other lawmakers earlier this year after vocally objecting to voting procedures.
Iraq’s 328-member parliament is riven by divisions within its Shia majority as well as between it and Sunni Arab and Kurdish lawmakers, and has struggled to pass much in the way of significant legislation.
The post Iraq political dispute leads to gunfire at TV station appeared first on The Express Tribune.
Seventeen-year-old Anwarullah suffers from a rare form of lung cancer. And while doctors have given up hope on his treatment, Anwarullah hasn’t given up on education.
And who better to reinforce his belief in education than 18-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai?
Anwarullah, who lives in Karachi, met Malala on November 22 when he was flown to Birmingham by the Make-A-Wish Foundation to meet his hero.
When asked about why he wished to meet Malala, he said Malala had managed to gain a great deal of recognition at such a young age, fighting for a cause close to his heart; the right to education.
Even though the initial moments between Anwarullah and Malala were a bit awkward with everyone taking pictures and exchanging flowers, the day quickly progressed into both of them playing Monopoly, sharing a cup of coffee and engaging in heartfelt conversations.
Malala disclosed that she was thrilled, but also surprised that Anwarullah’s picked her of all the people in the world. She said, “First of all, I just could not believe that it was his wish to meet me, but I am hopeful that he will continue his journey and will not lose hope.”
He also got some priceless advice from Malala, who herself has been through a lot. She told him “to believe in himself and move on.”
After thanking the Make-A-Wish team, Anwarullah expressed how this experience had motivated him to keep striving for academic success.
This article originally appeared on BBC News
DOHA: Qatar was hit by heavy flooding on Wednesday causing gridlock on the desert country’s roads as well as closures of schools and the US embassy.
Overnight rain made many roads near impassable for commuters amid reports on social media that even Doha’s Hamad International Airport was affected, due to leaks at the estimated $17 billion (16 billion euro) building, which opened last year.
The heaviest rain — 66 millimetres, according to the Qatar Meteorology Department — fell around the airport but Hamad International said that flights were operating normally, despite the weather conditions.
The US embassy said that the weather had forced it to shut on Wednesday and the offices would not open again until next week. “Due to inclement weather, the US Embassy in #Qatar will be closed today,” it said on Twitter. The interior ministry pleaded for drivers to “be cautious” in the rainy conditions.
Football World Cup 2022 host Qatar is well-known for its fierce summer temperatures, which will force the tournament to be played instead in November and December.
In neighbouring Saudi Arabia, schools were closed for a second day on Wednesday as rain continued to fall on Riyadh, flooding some streets and forcing drivers to abandon their cars.
About 10 cars were submerged under about two metres (more than six feet) of water in a highway underpass in the Labban district on the capital’s western outskirts, an AFP photographer reported. Workers were trying to drain the floodwaters into tanker trucks as a light rain fell from gloomy skies.
The Civil Defence agency reported that 72 vehicles had been rescued in the Riyadh region with their occupants unharmed. One person died in Rimah, northeast of the city, the agency said.
Roads in the city centre were unaffected, although traffic moved along the main King Fahad Road even more slowly than usual. Some side streets were partly flooded elsewhere in the desert city of 5.7 million, which is dry and sunny for most of the year.
Other parts of the kingdom have also been soaked this week. At least eight people died in flooding last week in the Medina and Jeddah areas of western Saudi Arabia.
BEIRUT: General Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ foreign operations wing, was lightly injured in fighting against Syria rebels near Aleppo, a monitoring group and a security source said Wednesday.
Soleimani “was injured a few days ago” in an offensive in the southwest of Aleppo province, a security source on the ground told AFP.
The head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor of the war, also said the general had been hurt.
He was “lightly injured three days ago in the Al-Eis area in the south of Aleppo province,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
For several days, reports have been circulating on social media claiming the powerful commander had been wounded or even killed in Syria, where Iran backs President Bashar al-Assad against an uprising that began in March 2011.
In response, a spokesman for the Revolutionary Guards, Rameza Sharif, said Tuesday that Soleimani was “in perfect health and full of energy.”
“He helps the Islamic resistance in Syria and Iraq,” Sharif added, according to SepahNews, the official site of the Revolutionary Guards.
Abdel Rahman said the commander was wounded while “leading military operations on the outskirts of Al-Eis, which is under the control of pro-regime forces.”
“Many Iranian fighters are present in the area,” he added.
Abdel Rahman said rebel groups launched a counteroffensive on Sunday in a bid to push regime forces from several areas in south Aleppo that they captured with support from Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah ground forces and Russia air strikes.
Russia, another key Assad ally, began air strikes in support of the government on September 30.
Last month, a US official said some 2,000 Iranian or Iranian-backed forces were participating in the regime’s Aleppo operations.
Iran has not officially acknowledged sending troops to Syria, but says it has “advisers” on the ground assisting regime forces.
Iran-backed Hezbollah also acknowledges its forces are fighting on the ground, and the presence of Iranian, Iraqi and Afghan “volunteers” has been documented.
No one would have expected one of Pakistan’s most prestigious institutions, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), to land into hot water for organising a conference titled Pakistan’s Contribution to the Muslim Intellectual Tradition. But that is exactly what has happened.
The conference, which took place at the Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Social Sciences and Humanities at LUMS on November 13, courted ire from various quarters for failing to invite even a single female scholar to speak at the event.
Students, alumni and faculty of the university have taken severe exception to this grave oversight which ‘actively reinscribe and reinforce’ gender inequalities. One former student Fatima Tassadiq has even started an online petition to protest against the exclusion of women. So far, she has amassed over 200 supporters.
“We are at a complete loss to understand how a two-day conference boasting six panels, each with multiple speakers, along with chairs, and keynote speakers, was organised without the inclusion of a single woman,” Tassadiq writes in the petition titled Letter of Protest to LUMS MAG School of Humanities Social Sciences.
LUMS has been contacted for comment but not replied as of yet.
What further irked Tassadiq and many other like-minded individuals was the fact that the university had even failed to invite a female researcher to chair some of the panels.
“Given the diversity in the backgrounds of participants, it is difficult for us to understand how women were completely excluded from the programme. Are there no female scholars working in these fields? If the organisers of the conference did not receive high quality papers from female researchers responding to the conference’s call for papers, was it not possible to invite female scholars to at least chair some of the panels?” she argues.
“Given that one of the panelists participated in the conference via a proxy who read the paper out, is it unreasonable for us to expect that the same could have been done for female scholars not based in Lahore?”
Specifically addressing Sohail Naqvi, Ali Khan and Kamal Ahmed Munir, the letter adds, “We are deeply troubled by the total erasure of all female voice at a major conference in one of the leading institutes of the country, especially considering the relatively high number of female academics and students at LUMS.”
Conceding that gender inequality is prevalent within academia all over the world, Tassadiq’s allows that LUMS could not be expected to right this enormous wrong in one go. However, she maintains that such events actively compound the matter.
“All male conferences in 2015 are not mere accidents, nor are they to be taken lightly. Far from passively reflecting pre-existing gender inequities, such events actively reinscribe and reinforce the exclusion of women.”
The post LUMS slammed for ‘total erasure of female voice’ at major conference appeared first on The Express Tribune.
A shocking video showing a man putting a deadly cobra inside his friend’s shirt while he drives on a busy road in Saudi Arabia has emerged on social media.
Quoting Saudi media, Daily Mail reported the unnamed man was a local driving through the country.
The video shows a man sitting on the back seat hold onto the tail of a cobra and put it down his friend’s shirt. As the cobra wriggles down the motorist’s chest, he laughs uncontrollably and bangs his head on the headrest of the seat.
Oblivious to the fact that the driver is clearly not been able to concentrate on the road, all three keep laughing.
Unsurprisingly many motorists have condemned their act. Slamming their acts, other motorists urged the police to track down the man and his friends and arrest them for putting other peoples’ lives in danger.
Commenting on the video, people said this kind of behaviour is one of the reasons why the kingdom has such an appalling road safety record.
A car accident happens every minute of every day in Saudi Arabia, claiming 17 lives on average per day in the country.
The article originally appeared on Daily Mail
The post Saudi man puts deadly cobra inside friend’s shirt as he is driving appeared first on The Express Tribune.
YAYLADAGI: Russian forces launched a heavy bombardment against insurgent-held areas in Syria’s Latakia province on Wednesday, near where a Russian warplane had been shot down by Turkey the day before, rebels and a monitoring group said.
At least 12 air strikes hit Latakia’s northern countryside as pro-government forces clashed with fighters from al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and Turkmen insurgents in the Jabal Akrad and Jabal Turkman areas, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
A Turkmen commander said missiles fired from Russian warships in the Mediterranean were also hitting the area, as well as heavy artillery shelling.
Hassan Haj Ali, the head of Liwa Suqour al-Jabal, a rebel group operating in western Syria, also said there were fierce battles in the area, with Russian aircraft supporting pro-government forces.
Turkey on Tuesday shot down a Russian warplane that it said had entered Turkish airspace, something denied by Moscow. It crashed in the Jabal Turkman area, the Observatory said.
Both pilots bailed out. The Russian Defence Ministry said one had been shot dead from the ground as he parachuted down, but that one was safe and had returned to Russia’s air base in western Syria. However, a deputy commander of rebel Turkmen forces in Syria said on Tuesday that his men had shot both pilots dead as they parachuted down.
The incident was one of the most serious publicly acknowledged clashes for half a century between Russia and a Nato member country. A Turkish military source said Turkish troops on the border were on alert on Wednesday after the bombardment began.
Russia began intervening in the Syrian civil war on September 30 in support of President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces are fighting insurgents backed by regional powers including Turkey. The Russian air raids, launched ostensibly to target Islamic State, have mostly hit other, foreign-backed rebel groups, the United States says.
There have been strikes for several weeks in Latakia province, whose capital of the same name is Assad’s coastal stronghold, but the Observatory said Wednesday’s bombardments were particularly heavy.
The post Russia bombards Syrian rebels near site of downed Russian jet appeared first on The Express Tribune.
KIEV: Ukraine on Wednesday banned all Russian airlines from crossing its airspace in the latest escalation between the two neighbours 19 months into the separatist war in the east of the former Soviet state.
The announcement by Kiev’s pro-Western government came only moments after Russia announced plans to halt gas shipments to energy-dependent Ukraine starting Thursday.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told a televised cabinet meeting that the latest ban was justified because “Russia might use Ukrainian airspace to stage provocations”.
“This is an issue of our country’s national security – a response to the Russian Federation and its aggressive actions.”
Уряд приймає рішення про заборону на всі транзитні прольоти для всіх російських авіакомпаній над територією України.
— Arseniy Yatsenyuk (@Yatsenyuk_AP) November 25, 2015
Заборона стосується всієї цивільної авіації РФ. Це питання як національної безпеки країни, так і відповіді РФ на її агресивні дії.
— Arseniy Yatsenyuk (@Yatsenyuk_AP) November 25, 2015
Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Moscow of orchestrating and supporting the pro-Russian revolt in reprisal for last year’s ouster of Kiev’s Kremlin-backed president and the new government’s decision to align itself with the West.
Kiev on October 25 barred most Russian airlines from flying into Ukraine — a decision that drew immediate reciprocal measures by Moscow.
But President Petro Poroshenko’s government had at the time allowed Russian airlines to cross Ukrainian airspace to other destination.
Yatsenyuk said the new decision came “in part as result of the escalation of the military and geopolitical situation”.
A recent upsurge in fighting in Ukraine’s industrial heartland has coincided with Russia’s stepped up air campaign in support of President Bashar al Assad in Syria.
Some analysts and politicians in Kiev accuse the Kremlin using the world’s focus on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in its main Middle Eastern ally as cover for launching a new phase of the Ukrainian war.
Russia denies all involvement in a conflict that has claimed the lives of more than 8,000 people – the majority of them civilians – and plunged Moscow’s relations with the West to a post-Cold War low.
Moscow has banned the import of most Western food products to counteract financial and other sanctions imposed by Brussels and Washington in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea last year.
It has also restricted the sale in Russia of many Ukrainian goods.
Moscow now threatens to halt all Ukrainian food imports should Kiev joined a planned free trade alliance with the European Union on January 1.
The post Ukraine bans Russia’s airlines from crossing its airspace appeared first on The Express Tribune.
TIMERGARA: Dir Taskforce Commandant Colonel Khalid Shafi has said quake affectees who were left out from surveys can now register and obtain compensation.
He was addressing a jirga in Lal Qila tehsil of Lower Dir on Tuesday. “Most victims have been provided relief,” said Shafi.
He said efforts are under way to ensure rehabilitation and relief. “The Pakistan Army and Lower Dir district administration are taking part in these activities,” he added.
According to Shafi, residents of Lower Dir are cooperating with security forces to prevent militancy. “This is the reason why peace has been maintained in the region,” he said. “The Pakistan Army will remain in Lower Dir to maintain stability,” he said.
Shafi added the security forces were taking a series of measures to ensure development in the region.
He also urged residents to register any weapons they possess with the relevant authorities.
“They must also inform security forces of any untoward incidents or suspicious activity in the region,” he added.
ABBOTTABAD: At least two farmers were critically injured after they were attacked by wild boars in Kashka village in Abbottabad on Tuesday.
Residents told The Express Tribune Khan Afsar and Muhammad Nawaz, two brothers who lived in the village, were working on the fields with a group of farmers when the incident occurred. “The wild boars emerged from the forest and attacked them,” a resident said.
Speaking to journalists at the surgical ward of Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Teaching Hospital Abbottabad, Afsar said the other farmers managed to escape. “A group of villagers fired shots in the air and released a pack of dogs to force the wild boars to flee,” he said.
According to doctors at the facility, both brothers suffered injuries on their arms, hands, legs and chests but were out of danger.
BERLIN: European countries are stretched to their limits in the refugee crisis and cannot take in any more new arrivals, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was quoted as saying in a German newspaper on Wednesday.
Europe is grappling with its worst refugee crisis since World War Two. Germany so far has taken in the bulk of some 1 million people expected to arrive this year.
“We cannot accommodate any more refugees in Europe, that’s not possible,” Valls told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, adding that tighter control of Europe’s external borders would determine the fate of the European Union.
“If we don’t do that, the people will say: Enough of Europe,” Valls warned.
The comments were published only hours before German Chancellor Angela Merkel was scheduled to meet French President Francois Hollande in Paris.
Merkel was initially celebrated at home and abroad for her welcoming approach to the refugees, many of whom are fleeing conflict in the Middle East.
But as the flow has continued the chancellor has come under increasing criticism. Some conservatives say Merkel’s decision to open up Germany’s borders to Syrian refugees in September has spurred more migrants to come.
The refugee debate has become more politically charged after the deadly attacks in Paris that stoked fears Islamic State militants could exploit the migrant crisis to send extremists to Europe.
Valls avoided criticising Merkel directly for having suspended European asylum rules to allow in Syrian refugees stranded in Hungary.
“Germany has made an honourable choice there,” he said.
But he signalled that Paris was taken by surprise by Merkel’s decision: “It was not France that said: Come!” French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron and his German counterpart, Sigmar Gabriel, have proposed setting up a 10 billion euro ($10.7 billion) fund to pay for tighter security, external border controls and caring for refugees.
United Nations response
The United Nations on Tuesday condemned new restrictions on refugees that have left around 1,000 migrants stuck at the main border crossing into Macedonia from Greece.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon criticized border restrictions imposed by several states in the Balkans on refugees from countries other than Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.N. press office said.
“(Ban) expresses his serious concerns on the recent border restrictions imposed by a number of states in the Balkans,” the U.N. statement said.
“Profiling asylum seekers on the basis of their alleged nationality infringes the human right of all people to seek asylum, irrespective of their nationality and to have their individual cases heard,” it added.
Iranians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis trapped in Balkan border zones have been among those protesting.
The U.N. refugee agency has said that denial of entry solely due to nationalities was a violation of international law.
Ban called on nations to “respond with compassion, solidarity and shared responsibility, and notes that the current situation highlights the urgent need for coordinated border management.”
TEHRAN: The body of a senior Iranian diplomat missing since the Hajj stampede in Saudi Arabia in September has been identified, Iranian media said on Wednesday, quashing speculation he was kidnapped.
The corpse of Iran’s former ambassador to Lebanon, Ghazanfar Roknabadi, 49, was identified through DNA tests, the ISNA news agency reported citing reliable sources.
“My brothers travelled to Saudi Arabia and after seeing his body announced they have identified him,” the ex-diplomat’s brother, Morteza, was quoted by the state television website as saying.
Roknabadi’s body will be repatriated on Thursday, he added. Iranian media did not give details of how and when he died. Roknabadi was attending this year’s hajj when the stampede broke out.
More than 2,200 people, including 464 Iranians, were killed, according to tallies given by foreign officials, in what was the deadliest disaster in the pilgrimage’s history by far. Until last year, Roknabadi was Tehran’s envoy to Beirut, a highly sensitive post.
Lebanon is home to the Iran-backed Shia movement Hezbollah, which is allied with President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war and is also a bitter enemy of Israel. The stampede created strong tensions between Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia.
The regional rivals have long had an uneasy relationship and are backing opposing sides in Syria, as well as in the conflict in Yemen. Many Iranian officials had said Roknabadi was still alive and asked Saudi Arabia to send him home.
“Our intelligence indicates that he is still alive, and we ask Saudi Arabia to return him alive,” Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said in November.
The post Missing Iranian diplomat found dead in Saudi Arabia: reports appeared first on The Express Tribune.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Employees of Swabi district council took to the streets on Tuesday to press the government to release their salaries.
Insiders told The Express Tribune, a majority of employees have not been paid over the last three months.
“The government has repeatedly expressed its willingness to transfer powers to the grass-roots level,” Anwar Kamal, president of a local government employees association, said. “However, they haven’t released the salaries of many employees.”
He added all salaries must be released by December. “If this isn’t done, offices in the district will be shut down,” Kamal said.
NAGPUR: Morne Morkel and Simon Harmer bamboozled India with pace and spin on a tricky wicket but South Africa also suffered early blows in the third Test in Nagpur on Wednesday.
Off-spinner Harmer claimed four wickets for 78 and fast bowler Morkel took three for 35 as the Proteas bowled India out for 215 in the post-tea session of the first day’s play.
South Africa, seeking a series-levelling win, plodded to 11 for two by stumps, setting the stage for an exciting battle ahead on a dusty and dry pitch at the VCA stadium.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had opener Stiaan van Zyl caught in the slips for a duck before nightwatchman Imran Tahir was bowled by Ravindra Jadeja for four.
At stumps Dean Elgar was unbeaten on seven and skipper Hashim Amla had yet to score.
India were reduced to 125-6 after winning the toss, before the last four wickets added 90 runs that included a 48-run stand for the seventh wicket between Jadeja (34) and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (32).
Opener Murali Vijay top-scored with 40, but none of the other five specialist batsmen crossed 22 on a first-day pitch that already shows cracks and continues to deteriorate fast.
Morkel made up for the absence of his unfit speed partner Dale Steyn to negate India’s initial advantage of batting first, but then himself limped off the field while bowling his 17th over in the final session.
The Proteas, who would have batted had they won the toss, removed openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay in the morning session which ended with India on 85 for two.
Dhawan and Vijay put on 50 for the first wicket before South Africa hit back to remove both batsmen in the space of 19 runs.
Left-arm spinner Dean Elgar took a low return catch to dismiss Dhawan for 12 before Morkel got rid of the settled Vijay for 40.
Vijay smashed Harmer for the first six of the match and also hit three fours before he was trapped plumb in front of the wicket by a full-length delivery from Morkel.
Cheteshwar Pujara, who was unbeaten on 18 at lunch, added just three more after the break before playing back to Harmer to be leg-before.
Ajinkya Rahane brought up India’s 100 with a six off Harmer but his off-stump was sent cartwheeling by Morkel when he reached 13.
Morkel then had skipper Virat Kohli caught behind by Dane Vilas for 22 and Harmer had Rohit Sharma caught at short-leg for two to have the hosts reeling on 125-6.
Earlier, India brought in Amit Mishra to partner Ashwin and Jadeja in a three-man spin attack, and also included Rohit Sharma to bolster the batting.
Mishra and Sharma replaced all-rounder Stuart Binny and fast bowler Varun Aaron.
South Africa also strengthened their spin attack, including Harmer in place of seamer Kyle Abbott.
The tourists, who lost the first Test in Mohali before the rain-hit second game in Bangalore was drawn, need a win to take the series into the decider in New Delhi starting December 3.
PESHAWAR: Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education Muhammad Atif Khan said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf plans to strengthen educational institutions. Part of this exercise will involve taking action against teachers who were not performing well.
This was stated in a handout issued on Tuesday. He said this during a live talk show on Pakhtunkhwa Radio in Peshawar on Tuesday.
“Education is one of the most valuable gifts one can give to a nation,” he said, adding the PTI-led provincial government had been allocating “unprecedented” funds to the education sector. “We do not believe in lip service. Our commitment is visible in the form of our concrete steps,” he said.
The minister for education said 23,000 teachers were trained last year whereas 23,000 more were under training this year. He added 12,000 teachers had been recruited on merit whereas 10,000 more will be appointed in coming months. “This is an example of our commitment to improve education in the region,” the minister said.
Addressing the issue of teachers with unproductive teaching habits, Muhammad Atif said the issue is currently being addressed through the independent monitoring system. Muhammad Atif added teachers who are performing well on their duties were being awarded cash prizes and tablets.
However, 7,500 teachers who are not performing well are under investigation.
When asked about the government’s response to repair schools damaged by the earthquake, the minister said hundreds of schools were destroyed and over 1,000 schools had been damaged.
“We have merged various schools to accommodate students from the schools that were damaged,” he said. “In some areas, we have shifted students to makeshift schools in rented buildings until the school premises are rebuilt.”
The post PTI investigating 7,500 teachers for ineffective teaching habits: Atif appeared first on The Express Tribune.
MOSCOW: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that Moscow was not planning on going to war against Turkey after Ankara’s downing of a Russian fighter jet.
“We do not plan to go to war with Turkey, our attitude toward the Turkish people has not changed,” Lavrov told reporters after speaking with his Turkish counterpart, but warned that Moscow would “seriously reevaluate” its ties with Ankara.
Russia’s foreign minister also said that the downing of its fighter jet by Turkey appeared to be a “planned provocation” as the incident heightened tensions between Moscow and Ankara.
“We have serious doubts about this being an unpremeditated act, it really looks like a planned provocation,” Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow.
Earlier on November 24, Turkey shot down a Russian military plane on the Syrian border, local media reported, citing military sources.
A plane exploded in the air and the fireball fell on a Turkmen mountain on the Syrian side of the border, CNN-Turk and NTV televisions reported.
Meanwhile, the Turkish presidency said the warplane shot down by Turkey was Russian, adding the aircraft had violated Turkish airspace.
A day after the downing, President Vladimir Putin backed a recommendation from the foreign ministry for Russians not to visit Turkey after the downing of a Russian fighter jet by Ankara.
“After such tragic events like the destruction of our plane and the death of our pilot, this is a necessary measure,” Putin said in televised comments.
The post Russia will not wage war on Turkey after it downed Russian jet: foreign minister appeared first on The Express Tribune.
SWABI: The dispute resolution committee (DRC) in the district has demanded the civil administration impose a ban on underage driving and prohibit the use of unregistered vehicles.
A handout issued on Tuesday said the demand was put forward through a resolution adopted unanimously in a DRC meeting chaired by Syed Sabz Ali Shah. DPO Javed Iqbal Marwat and other committee members attended the meeting.
DRC spokesman Mohammad Rashid said, “A proposal has been prepared keeping in view various issues raised by committee members such as the issuance of fake documents, underage driving, unregistered vehicles, and driving without licences or without vehicle permits.” He added, “These issues will be raised in a meeting with the representatives of government departments as the committee has shown concern over an increase in number of accidents and fatalities in Swabi.”
Rashid said, “The committee has disposed of 34 applications of reconciliation in the past few months while two committees have been formed to resolve issues in a timely manner.”
The post DRC demands ban on underage driving, unregistered vehicles appeared first on The Express Tribune.
Police officials arrested on Tuesday a New York City postal worker after he allegedly spat on two Muslim women, followed them and threatened to burn their ‘temple.’
Dainton Coley, 34, faces hate crime charges as he is suspected of bumping into two sisters wearing hijabs before launching an anti-Muslim tirade.
According to reports, the women pushing a baby stroller fled into a nearby store but Coley followed them. The 34-year-old was caught on camera yelling at the sisters inside the store on Friday evening.
“I am going to burn your temple,” the attacker said, according to a Council on American-Islamic Relations.
One of them woman reportedly told him that he was crazy, but he replied, “I’m not crazy, I work in the post office.”
Further, according to the council, Coley allegedly called the two sisters ‘terrorists’, elbowed one and hurled abuses at the other.
As a result of his behaviour, he was charged with acting in a manner injurious to a child, harassment and menacing as a hate crime.
Jameel Abdulla, owner of the deli which the women entered to escape from the man, identified Coley as a customer who comes to the store to buy beer. Abdulla also claimed, Coley is well known on the street.
Yousif Adailam, a clerk at the store, added that Coley frequents the deli and has been a problem before. “He comes here a lot and is always drinking on the job,” Adailam said. “He always has a beer in his hand and sometimes bothers customers.”
Violence against Muslims has increased in the aftermath of recent Paris attacks claimed by the Islamic State.
This article originally appeared on Mail Online.
The post Post office worker arrested for spitting on hijab-wearing sisters appeared first on The Express Tribune.