'Within two weeks': Pakistan to challenge Indian move to patent Basmati rice in the EU 

In this picture taken on August 31, 2019 flies sit on rice being sold at a market in Karachi. (AFP)
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Updated 23 September 2020

'Within two weeks': Pakistan to challenge Indian move to patent Basmati rice in the EU 

  • Pakistan produces a number of varieties of Basmati rice and believes it has a right to an exclusive Geographical Indications tag
  • Export of basmati rice from Pakistan increased by 33 percent, overall rice exports surged by seven percent during July-March 2019-20 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan plans to challenge, within two weeks, Indian's request before the European Union for a patent for Basmati rice, the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce and Trade said  on Wednesday.

Islamabad accuses Delhi of "cheating" its neighbour by applying for an exclusive Geographical Indications (GI) tag for Basmati rice in the European Union (EU) this month.

Mirza Muhammad Afridi said Pakistan produced a wide range of Basmati rice varieties and had the right to apply for a GI tag.

“Hopefully Pakistan will challenge the Indian move in two weeks,” the senate committee chairman said, adding that though Pakistan technically had three months to challenge New Delhi's action, it would do so much sooner. 

Pakistan is one of the largest exporters of rice in the world

According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the export of basmati rice from Pakistan increased by 33 percent and overall rice exports surged by seven percent during July-March 2019-20 period.
 


Pakistan condemns deadly attack at education center in Kabul

Updated 24 October 2020

Pakistan condemns deadly attack at education center in Kabul

  • Daesh reportedly claim responsibility for attack on educational center in western Kabul
  • Uptick in deadly violence has been observed in Afghanistan despite ongoing intra-Afghan peace talks

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has condemned the suicide attack that killed at least 18 people at an educational center in the Afghan capital on Saturday.

The attack happened late afternoon at the center which offers higher education training in a western district of Kabul. At least 57 people were injured in the attack, the interior ministry said. According to media reports, Daesh claimed responsibility for the assault in a post on Telegram.

"Pakistan condemns in the strongest possible terms the inhuman terrorist attack outside an educational center in Dasht-e-Barchi area of Kabul," Pakistan's Foreign Office said in a statement.

"Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and will continue to support a peaceful and stable Afghanistan."

The suicide attack came hours after a roadside bomb killed nine civilians east of Kabul. Officials blamed the Taliban for the roadside attack.

An uptick in deadly violence has been observed in Afghanistan despite ongoing peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban to yield a lasting peace and end decades of conflict in the war-torn country.

The Taliban have been accused of increasing violence to wield leverage in the negotiations.

On Friday, rights group Amnesty International said at least 50 people had been killed in attacks in the preceding week, accusing the Taliban and Kabul of failing to protect civilians.