Pakistan concludes 45-nation naval exercise in the Arabian Sea

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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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PNS Moawin, a Pakistan Navy’s fleet replenishment tanker commissioned on 16 October 2018, is refueling PNS Aslat and PNS Saif during multinational naval exercises Aman-19 at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Forty-Five countries, including Kingdom Saudi Arabia, US, U.K, Australia, Italy, and China participated in Pakistan’s multinational exercises Aman -19. (AN Photo)
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Forty-Five countries, including Kingdom Saudi Arabia, US, U.K, Australia, Italy, and China participated in Pakistan’s multinational exercises Aman -19. (AN Photo)
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Pakistan Air force’s JF Thunder are flying past during multinational naval exercises Aman-19 at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Fleet commander Pakistan Navy Commodore Muhammad Saleem, right, speaking to Media naval exercises Aman-19 here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Forty-Five countries, including Kingdom Saudi Arabia, US, U.K, Australia, Italy, and China participated in Pakistan’s multinational exercises Aman -19. (AN Photo)
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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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PNS Moawin, a Pakistan Navy’s fleet replenishment tanker commissioned on 16 October 2018 is refueling PNS Aslat and PNS Saif during multinational naval exercises Aman-19 at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Forty-Five countries, including Kingdom Saudi Arabia, US, U.K, Australia, Italy, and China participated in Pakistan’s multinational exercises Aman -19. (AN Photo)
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Pakistan naval ships are conducting depth charge (RDC) firing during multinational naval exercises Aman-19 at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Helicopters of Pakistan Navy are flying past during multinational naval exercises Aman-19 at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
Updated 12 February 2019
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Pakistan concludes 45-nation naval exercise in the Arabian Sea

  • Final day of Aman-19 saw refueling of ships, surface firing, flypast, and an international fleet review
  • Event sends out loud and clear message that Islamabad is not alone, top official says

KARACHI: The final installment of the Aman-19 naval exercises, which were hosted by Pakistan in the Arabian Sea, concluded with an international fleet review here on Tuesday.
President Dr. Arif Alvi was the chief guest at the event which began on Friday last week.
Around 21 naval warships of different countries — including Pakistan, the US, China, the U.K, Australia, and Italy ---acknowledged Dr. Alvi with a mark of respect during the international fleet review.
Earlier, as part of the exercise, the PNS Moawin – a Pakistan Navy’s fleet replenishment tanker commissioned on October 16 last year – conducted the refueling exercise for PNS Aslat and PNS Saif.
After being refueled, the PNS Aslat and PNS Saif maneuvered to the front and rear end of the PNS Moawin for a Rocket Depth Charge firing in a mock attack on submarines. In the third phase, they were joined by Turkish and Chinese ships for surface firing.
A flypast by aircraft belonging to the navy — and including helicopters of Chinas, Turkey, Italy, Australia, and the Pakistan Air force’s JF-17 Thunder — were some of the highlights of the fourth phase of the exercises.

Sharing details of the event, Commodore Muhammad Saleem told Arab News that 45 countries had participated in the drill. “The level of participation varied,” he said, adding that “around 12 navies, including those of the US, UK, China, Turkey, Australia, Sri Lanka, and Oman participated with their warships” while others acted as observers.
“The harbor phase has ended and today was the sea phase, which concluded with the international fleet review which is the final event of this exercise,” the naval official said, adding that after the conclusion of the drill, some countries will leave while others will stay back for joint exercises.
“The purpose of these biannual drills [which] started in 2007 is to sit together and learn from each other’s experiences with respect to combating piracy, counter-terrorism, and combating smuggling through sea,” he said.
Detailing the benefits of the exercise for Pakistan, he said that when the navies of different countries sit together, it sends out a diplomatic message which is loud and clear. “The message is that Pakistan is not isolated. It’s an important country not only in the region but in the world community as well. It also highlights the value that other countries give to the Pakistan Navy,” he said.
With respect to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said, Pakistan’s navy has instilled a sense of safety mechanism and security in all CPEC-related activities, which will be done through the sea. “Pakistan has also setup the taskforce 88, which patrols around Gwadar and adjacent areas and provides security to all ships that arrive in or leave the Gwadar port,” he said.
Pakistan is fully responsible for the security, he said “but of course when a large number of countries gather at our platform it also gives a strong message that this route is safe and secure. So, indirectly this exercise will augment the security and safety of this region”.
Earlier on Monday, the three-day International Maritime Conference organized along the theme of “Global Geopolitics in Transition: Rethinking Maritime Dynamics in the Indian Ocean Region” concluded in Karachi. 
Federal Minister for Defense, Pervez Khattak, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said that the current maritime threats and the emerging geo-strategic situation was posing new challenges and risks to all stakeholders in the region. 
“The situation will provide constructive dialogue and develop collective mechanism,” he said expressing confidence that the deliberations and recommendations made during the conference will provide crucial insight to maritime stakeholders for effective policy-making.
“CPEC is rightfully considered a gamechanger, not only for Pakistan but for the economic well-being and prosperity of the entire region. With the progress of CPEC and Gwadar port, maritime activities would increase manifold, especially in the western Indian Ocean,” he said, adding that the responsibilities of the country’s navy would increase with time, especially in terms of maintaining a secure maritime environment for the smooth flow of sea trade.


From Sunday, Islamabad’s streets will see trans people selling eco-friendly bags to replace plastics

Updated 24 August 2019
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From Sunday, Islamabad’s streets will see trans people selling eco-friendly bags to replace plastics

  • Islamabad local government has banned the manufacture, sale, and distribution of plastic carrier bags this month
  • Wants the trans community to earn a respectable living by helping the government combat pollution and climate change 

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: Members of the transgender community in the Pakistani capital have welcomed the government’s proposal that the marginalized group sell paper and fabric bags rather than beg in the streets and said they would be out selling eco-friendly bags in Islamabad from Sunday.
The Islamabad local government banned the manufacture, sale, and distribution of plastic carrier bags this month, on the country’s independence day, as part of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “Clean, Green Pakistan” campaign.
The new ban follows a three-month-long campaign to raise awareness about the environmental hazards of plastic bags, which can kill wildlife, block drainage systems, collect in waterways and cause other environmental and health problems.
Members of the trans community said the government had previously ignored them in the “Clean, Green Pakistan” and other drives and it was on the community’s own insistence that the administration had now invited them to be a part of the campaign to ban plastics.
“We approached the authorities to give us the opportunity of getting a respectable livelihood through this drive,” said Nadeem Kashish, a transgender activist who runs the non-government trans rights organization SAFAAR.
Kashish said around 1,200 trans people lived in the capital city and had few job opportunities and were constantly faced with arrests, jail terms, harassment and huge fines for begging on the streets, one of their main sources of income.
Kashish said the community hoped the government would provide some kind of initial investment in the trans community’s attempt to buy eco-friendly bags. However, she added that the group was already making its independent preparations to become part of the anti-plastics drive. 
“Through contributions we have collected around Rs 10,000 and bought some 400 bags,” Kashis said. “Since we go in the streets and all types of neighborhood, we have set just Rs5 profit margin for each bag, which will cost us Rs25.”
“Tomorrow (Sunday), we will be in the streets of Islamabad, selling bags and creating awareness,” Kashish said.
Islamabad deputy commissioner Muhammad Hamza Shafqat said authorities had given transgender people the incentive of setting up free stalls to sell paper and fabric bags in the expensive Islamabad capital to help them earn a respectable earning and participate in the the country’s efforts to combat pollution. He said authorities had already taken on board prominent members of the trans community.
Shafqat said though his administration would not provide free bags or capital to transgender people to start their work, makeshift stalls would be provided to them free of cost and they would not have to pay the daily rent of between Rs15,000 and Rs20,000. 
“We will neither charge them rental or license fee nor impose a fine on them,” the official said. “They can also set up makeshift stalls after informing us at a location of their choice.”
Shafqat said the initiative might not “bring a revolution” but “our efforts will certainly bear fruits. Involving transgender [people] will boast our drive.”
Shafqat said authorities were attempting to involve transgender people in the anti-plastics campaign because they had few real job opportunities and had to resort to begging.
“We haven’t equated beggars and trans people but since both are involved in begging, we want them to adopt a respectable way of earning, which will not only help us overcome the menace [of begging] but also help them,” Shafqat said.