Indian diplomat summoned over misrepresentation of Pakistan’s minority affairs — FO

This undated file photo shows the exterior of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs premises in Islamabad. (Supplied)
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Updated 19 January 2020

Indian diplomat summoned over misrepresentation of Pakistan’s minority affairs — FO

  • A Sikh man was killed in Peshawar on Jan. 11 on his fiancee’s order, according to police
  • India condemned the killing and claimed it was an attack on minorities in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office summoned a senior Indian diplomat on Saturday over what it sees as New Delhi’s deliberately false portrayal of the state of minority affairs in Pakistan.
“The authorities in India were urged to refrain from feigning concern for minorities elsewhere for narrow political agenda; focus on putting their own house in order,” the Foreign Office said in a statement on Saturday evening.
The Foreign Office move comes after India has condemned the killing of Sikh man Parvender Singh in Peshawar on Jan. 11. 
According to police reports the murder was ordered by Singh’s fiancee over personal reasons.
Singh’s family has since then spoken out in defense of Pakistan, and iterated that they have never received threats in their hometown in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where they have lived for nine decades.
The Indian government has been facing since December last year violent protests over its new citizenship laws, which are widely seen as targeting the country’s Muslim community.

Grounded abroad, Pakistani movie stars say resources are dwindling

Updated 04 April 2020

Grounded abroad, Pakistani movie stars say resources are dwindling

  • Entire 21 member cast and crew of a new comedy film are stranded in a Thailand hotel
  • Some special flights were scheduled to bring stranded Pakistanis home, but Thailand has not been included in the most recent schedule

As most of the world’s population goes into virtual lockdown, some of Pakistan’s rich and famous have also found themselves stranded in far off countries without flights to bring them home-- and with resources fast diminishing.

So far, the novel coronavirus has infected over a million people around the world, claiming tens of thousands of lives with the death toll climbing daily. As an important containment measure, air travel between most countries has been halted and strict quarantine measures put in place.

The cast and crew-- 21 people in total-- of Pakistani comedy film, “Ishrat Made In China” were filming in Thailand when the lockdown went into place last month.

Sanam Saeed, the female lead of the film told Arab News the film was almost complete, but that the team had been “waiting to get back” for weeks. The cast and crew is stranded at a hotel in a mountainous area of the country, almost four hours away from the capital Bangkok.

“It was 25th March first, then 4th April, and now, till further lockdown period,” Saeed said, and added she was concerned about the situation as the stay in Thailand was straining funds and resources with housing and food for 21 people.

Another film lead, Shamoon Abbasi said: “We are stranded here in Thailand for the last twelve days... the situation is really disturbing for us.”

He said that he and his team were constantly appealing to the Pakistan government to allow for special flights to take them home.

Meanwhile, Sara Loren, another cast member, said the hotel management were asking the team to leave.

“The hotel in which we are staying is also locked down. The management asked us to vacate the rooms after 4th of April but [we] have requested them to extend our stay as we don’t have any other option till we get a flight to Pakistan,” she said. 

“Our actors and crew are the only people staying there on its third floor. We have our own chef preparing food for us. We are really desperate now and contacting every resource in Pakistan to get us out of here.” 

In Japan, a similar scenario with actor and director, Tanveer Jamal, who is stranded in Tokyo after wrapping up the shooting of his film, ‘Japanese Connection.’

His cast and crew made it home to Karachi in the nick of time on March 21, and just a day later, on the date Jamal was supposed to fly out, the world went into lockdown, he said.

Similarly, Pakistani Canadian actress Nayab Khan is stranded in Pakistan, living at her friend’s home until she can get the next flight to Toronto.

“I am on standby and waiting,” she said.