‘Song for the lonely’: Cher says can’t wait to sing for Kaavan the elephant

Veterinarians of Four Paws International measure Kaavan, the elephant slated to be moved to a sanctuary in Cambodia after it became the subject of a high-profile rights campaign backed by music star Cher, at the Marghazar Zoo, in Islamabad on September 4, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 31 October 2020

‘Song for the lonely’: Cher says can’t wait to sing for Kaavan the elephant

  • American singer has two songs selected to sing to Kaavan as he travels to a sanctuary in Cambodia
  • In 2016, Cher sent a representative to oversee improvements in Kaavan’s living conditions after pictures of him spread on social media

ISLAMABAD: American singer Cher has said she could not wait to sing for Kaavan, an elephant who has caught international attention in recent years for his mistreatment at a Pakistani zoo and who will soon be moved to a wildlife reserve in Cambodia. 

In May this year, a Pakistani court had ruled that Kaavan, 36, termed the ‘world’s loneliest elephant,’ would be moved to a sanctuary in Cambodia to live out the rest of his days. The court said all animals at Islamabad’s zoo must be set free or transferred to a better environment.

“Can’t wait to sing to him on way to Cambodia,” Cher tweeted. “I have two songs.”

In a separate tweet replying to a fan, she said “I’ll be there,” hinting that she would be in Cambodia when Kaavan arrived. 

In 2016, Cher had sent a representative to oversee improvements in Kaavan’s living conditions after she became aware of the elephant’s plight when pictures of him in chains with only a dilapidated shed for shelter and a small, dirty pond to play in spread on social media. 

At that point, Kaavan had been kept chained for 27 of his 29 years at the Maraghazar Zoo in Islamabad. He has spent the last eight years alone after his companion elephant died.

Animal rights advocates have long raised concerns about conditions at Islamabad’s zoo, where dozens of animals including six lion cubs have died in the past four years.
 


Pakistan says no possibility of recognizing Israel before just settlement of Palestinian issue

Updated 24 November 2020

Pakistan says no possibility of recognizing Israel before just settlement of Palestinian issue

  • Prime Minister Imran Khan recently admitted that his administration was under pressure to recognize Israel
  • Pakistan's foreign office says the country supports Palestinian right to self-determination

ISLAMABAD: The foreign office of Pakistan on Tuesday "categorically rejected" speculation regarding any possibility of recognizing Israel by Pakistan, saying it believed that Palestinians should get the right to self-determination.
Referring to Prime Minister Imran Khan's recent statement on the subject, the foreign ministry spokesperson said that Pakistan was not willing to recognize the Jewish state until a just settlement of the Palestine issue -- that satisfied the Palestinian people -- was found.
"Pakistan steadfastly supports the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination," said an official statement circulated in Islamabad. "For just and lasting peace, it is imperative to have a two-state solution in accordance with the relevant United Nations and OIC resolutions, with the pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as the capital of a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian State."
Prime Minister Khan recently admitted that his administration was under international pressure to recognize Israel, though he refused to name the countries that had reached out to him for that purpose.
He also maintained that his government would go with the choice that the country's founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, made and continue to stand by the people of Palestine.