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Pakistani navy saves the lives of 12 Indian fishermen stranded at sea for eight days

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Here’s what’s happening across the border: Karachi sees an alarming rise in the killing of girl babies, while China gives $1 billion loan to Pakistan.

Pakistani Navy rescues Indian fishermen stuck at sea

Twelve Indian fishermen aboard the ST Mars boat were rescued by the Pakistani navy after their boat developed an engine problem and were stranded at sea for eight days.

Pakistan navy’s PNS Alamgir ship provided assistance to the lost fishermen when they spotted them calling out for help from the boat. The team then delivered food and medical supplies to the fishermen.

Despite repeated appeals, no Indian boat is said to have come to the rescue of the stranded fishermen. They had almost run out of food and medical supplies until they were rescued.

The PNS Alamgir technical team also helped the fishermen fix their boat’s engine. “This rescue mission also highlights that Pakistan wants peace in the region,” a spokesperson of the Pakistani navy told the Express Tribune.

The rescued Indian fishermen being given technical assistance by officials of the Pakistani navy | @PakistanNavyNHQ Twitter handle

China gives $1 billion loan to Pakistan

Pakistan secured a massive loan of $1 billion from the China Development Bank Saturday in order to temporarily stabilise its falling foreign exchange reserves.

The news came from Pakistan’s foreign minister, Miftah Ismail who was addressing a post-budget conference. “We are trying our best to avoid the IMF package and today, have secured $1 billion financing from China,” he was quoted saying by the Express Tribune.

With this fresh grant, the total amount that Chinese institutions have lent to Pakistan will become 2.2 billion dollars. The Bank of China also gave a loan of $200 million earlier this month as well.

The finance ministry has been trying to avoid taking loans from international organisations such as IMF, World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

Karachi sees an alarming number of female infanticides

The bodies of 345 newborn babies were found dumped in garbage bins in Karachi from January 2017 to April 2018, and 99 per cent of them were girls, two NGOs, the Edhi foundation and the Chippa Welfare organisation, who have been working towards stopping female infanticides across Pakistan said in a report.

“We have been dealing with such cases for years and there are few such incidents which shook our souls as much. It left us wondering whether our society is heading back to the primitive age,” Anwar Kazmi, senior manager at Edhi Foundation Karachi, told The News.

While Chippa Welfare Organisation organises proper burials and other rituals for the babies, Edhi foundation has installed jhoolas or swings across the country so that people can leave unwanted infants there instead of killing them.

However, this initiative has not received much of a positive response, as parents live in fear of promoting illegitimate children. The Edhi foundation received only 14 such ‘unwanted’ children on the jhoolas who were alive, and 12 of them were female.

Although child abandonment and infanticides are criminal offences in Pakistan, abortions are legal in very restricted circumstances.

Another motorcyclist hit by another US embassy car

A US embassy car hit a motorcycle in Islamabad Sunday night, leaving the two riders Nazakat Aslam and Muhamad Waseem injured. This comes right after an American attaché killed a motorcyclist in a road accident two weeks ago.

The police officers on duty nearby, took the American diplomat, Rex Auburn, to the police station for legal formalities, while they immediately shifted the two motorcyclists to a nearby hospital. 

Auburn is protected under diplomatic immunity and thus cannot be detained or arrested by the police. “Police have prepared an SOP to deal with such incidents, and as per the SOP diplomatic document would not be accepted by the police [for release] without its verification by the Foreign Office,” the SSP told the Dawn.

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