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Chief Justice of Pakistan announces donation of Rs 1 million for dam construction, invites philanthropy

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Here’s what is happening across the border: New press freedom movement starts in Pakistan as alerts warn of antibiotic-resistant typhoid fever.

Donate money for dams like you did for wars, urges Supreme Court

The Pakistan Supreme Court Wednesday urged the public to donate money for the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams, reported Dawn. Chief Justice Saqib Nisar himself announced that he was donating Rs 1 million in a bid to encourage others to follow.

During the hearing, the chief justice hoped the enthusiasm for donations would match that his countrymen had demonstrated during the wars with India. “The passion that was seen during the 1965 war (should) be visible again for the construction of dams”.

To monitor the progress of construction, the court directed that an account be opened with the SC’s registrar in which all donations would be collected. It also formed a committee under the chairmanship of Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) chief.

Responding to the court’s order, The Nation quoted Bilawal Bhutto Zardari of the Pakistan People’s Party as saying, “The construction of dams is the responsibility of governments”. Zardari also pointed out that the construction of the dams may not be beneficial.

Imran Khan forced out of Karachi constituency

A video of Imran Khan, leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party, being asked to leave from the NA-250 constituency of Karachi went viral on Twitter Wednesday.

This constituency is currently held by Dr Arif Alvi, a senior politician and one of the founders of PTI. The video shows a crowd of people questioning Imran about the effectiveness of their representative’s work in the constituency. Khan finally had to be escorted to his car by his guards.

Alert in Pakistan against an antibiotic-resistant typhoid fever

The US has alerted people in Pakistan and all travellers against an outbreak of an “extensively drug – resistant” typhoid fever, reported Dawn. The level-two alert came after the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) observed that several people, who visited Pakistan, had returned with the disease.

In a statement issued Wednesday in Washington, CDC in US warned, “All travellers to Pakistan are at risk of getting XDR typhoid fever. Those who are visiting friends or relatives are at higher risk than are tourists and business travellers”.

The XDR typhoid fever caused by the Salmonella Typhi bacteria started to show up in Hyderabad, Pakistan, in November 2016. In the past few months, the outbreak has reportedly spread to the city of Karachi, resulting in several deaths.

The public health institute urged everyone to be careful with food and water in “Pakistan or anywhere else in South Asia”.

Country sees new press freedom movement today

Weeks after the disruption of Dawn’s distribution network, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has decided to launch a movement Thursday, to protest against the unannounced censorship being faced by the country’s media, Dawn reported.

The movement was launched on 5 July to mark the 1977 draconian martial law imposition on the media. PFUJ will hoist black flags on top of all press clubs and camp outside the Dawn office in solidarity with the media house while holding events to highlight Gen Ziaul Haq’s imposition of the law.

The organisation also took the matter to the caretaker government and Election Commission to make sure that the distribution of Dawn is not affected.

Bilawal election campaign: besieged by locals, camp alleges media blackout

Pakistan People’s Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s welcome camp was besieged by the angry residents ahead of his election campaign in Nawabshah in Sindh province, reported Pakistan Today.

Men, women and children raised their voices against the prolonged gas load shedding in their homes. “Bilawal Bhutto Zardari should first provide us gas and then ask for votes,” one of the protesters said. Media reports said Bilawal would meet local leaders and settle issues. They also criticised the party for not delivering in the past.

Bhutto’s election campaign, however, continued to draw huge crowds across Sindh province on the third day. During his rallies, the 29-year-old has promised to eradicate poverty, introduce food cards and open a food store that will be operated by women. His supporters, however, alleged that the media was not covering his campaign properly.

Bilawal’s sister Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari tweeted that she was not surprised by the media blackout on the third day of election campaign. Marvi Sirmed, a member of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), also pointed out that the media had ignored the large crowds gathered by Bilawal during his rallies.

No special provisions for FATA women

An editorial in The Nation cheered the 31st Amendment, passed earlier this year and awaiting the President’s assent, which it says finally bring the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) into mainstream political and legal structures of Pakistan.

The amendment incorporates the FATA border areas into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The editorial, however, highlighted that the amendment has no special provisions for women.

It mentioned how two decades of war has taken a toll on women and children, who are often soft targets in the area. Women from these areas make it to news only while giving birth in make shift camps and that all their acts in voicing miseries from the region have been ignored, the editorial states.

“No relief is given to sole women bread earners, no shelter homes for women and girls with no families’ left or legal help to those women who lost their men in war, and their land and property ultimately taken over by someone else,” writes Mona Naseer.

Calling women the most ‘hopeless’ victims in the conflict, the writer, who is also from the FATA region, said experiences of these women were crucial for ensuring peace.

Chinese universities provide free education to AJK students

The Kohala Hydro Company, the state-owned Chinese firm, is set to provide free education to students belonging to different areas of ‘Azad’ Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), reported The Express Tribune.

The discipline chosen, electrical engineering, is expected to benefit students who live in power-deficient areas. The company is building the 1,100MW Kohala hydro-power project on Jhelum river in the Valley.

“A group of 18 students has already been selected in a transparent manner. The selected students will get fully sponsored for first two years of education in University of Punjab and remaining two years in China,” said secretary, electricity, AJK government, Fayyaz Ali Abbasi.

Contributors: Hansa Kapoor, Manisha Mondal, Alind Chauhan, Prateek Gupta, Rupanwita Bhattacharjee, Anagha Deshpande and Soniya Agrawal.

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