Health chief registers for COVID-19 vaccination, urges Pakistanis above 60 to do same

Health workers stand in a queue for their registration before receiving a dose of the Chinese-made Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine, at a vaccination centre in Karachi on February 3, 2021. (AFP/File)
Short Url
Updated 20 February 2021
Follow

Health chief registers for COVID-19 vaccination, urges Pakistanis above 60 to do same

  • Pakistan expands vaccination to all health workers and persons above 60 as it expects AstraZeneca jabs in March
  • It has so far approved China’s Sinopharm and CanSinoBIO vaccines, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and Russia’s Sputnik V

ISLAMABAD: Health minister Faisal Sultan on Saturday said he had already registered for COVID-19 vaccination, as he requested others above the age of 60 to do the same.

Pakistan began its COVID-19 vaccination program earlier this month, with 500,000 doses of Sinopharm’s vaccine donated by China, starting the drive by vaccinating frontline workers.

As it announced last week that it expects to receive 2.8 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine in early March, the South Asian country is now expanding the vaccination campaign to all health workers and persons above 60.




Pakistani Health Minister Dr. Faisal Sultan. (Photo courtesy: Social media)

“Happily. I just registered,” the minister, who himself is in the age group, said in a tweet.

He urged others to do the same as he shared further instructions for those willing to register. 

“Pak Covid-19 vaccination, next phase — now that we have expected arrival of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in early March, all those 60 years of age and older are now requested to begin registration,” Sultan said in a tweet, as he shared further instructions for those willing to register. 

In its fight against the virus, it has so far approved for emergency use China’s Sinopharm and CanSinoBIO vaccines, AstraZeneca’s vaccine developed with Oxford University and Russia’s Sputnik V.

The country of 220 million people has recorded nearly 570,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 12,500 deaths. 


Azhar Mahmood to pursue legal action against ‘false allegations’ following Pakistan’s T20 WC exit

Updated 23 June 2024
Follow

Azhar Mahmood to pursue legal action against ‘false allegations’ following Pakistan’s T20 WC exit

  • Coach mulling legal options amid widespread allegations families of players, coaching staff traveled to US on PCB expense 
  • Pakistan team and management in line of fire this month as squad failed to qualify for second round of ICC T20 World Cup 2024

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan cricket team’s assistant head coach, Azhar Mahmood, warned on Saturday he would pursue legal action against those levelling “false” allegations against him and his family for traveling to the United States (US) at the expense of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) during the ongoing T20 World Cup series. 

The Pakistan team and management have been in the line of fire this month as the national squad failed to qualify for the second round of the ICC T20 World Cup 2024. The criticism has revolved around the team’s performance as well as that the families of players and coaching staff traveled to the US on the PCB’s expense. 

“I will be pursuing legal advice against those responsible for making these false allegations toward me and my family, and strict action will be taken accordingly,” the former cricketer said in a post on X. “We will not be further discussing this matter on social media.”

He called the allegations “baseless and false,” and said the culture of falsely accusing and misleading people was turning “ridiculous and dangerous.”

Pakistani media has also widely reported this week on captain Babar Azam mulling legal action against YouTubers and former players who had accused him of misconduct during the T20 World Cup.

Pakistan fell to the tournament’s biggest upset when the United States, a tier-two member of the game, beat the 2009 champions via Super Over. Defeat by arch-rivals India then left Babar’s side with a mountain to climb to advance.

Babar had stepped down as captain of all three formats after Pakistan failed to make the knockout stage of the 50-overs World Cup in India last year, but was reinstated as white-ball skipper ahead of the 20-overs showpiece in the US and West Indies.


Number of Pakistani women officers taking combat courses in US up 150 percent in decade — report

Updated 23 June 2024
Follow

Number of Pakistani women officers taking combat courses in US up 150 percent in decade — report

  • 55 women attended IMET courses from 2020-2023, which is more than double the 22 women who participated from 2013-2019
  • Over the last two consecutive years, Pakistan led the region in sending female military officers for courses in the United States

ISLAMABAD: The number of Pakistani women officers who received military training in the United States increased by 150 percent in the last decade, according to a report released this month by the US State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.

Since 2013, the number of Pakistani female military personnel participating in the International Military Education and Training program (IMET) has significantly grown. The State Department-sponsored program is designed to build military-to-military relationships with partner nations by funding international military students to attend American military training and education courses.

“Fifty-five women have attended IMET courses from 2020-2023, which is more than double the 22 women who participated from 2013 to 2019,” the report said. “In addition, over the last two consecutive years, Pakistan has led the region in sending female military officers for courses in the United States.”

The report said Pakistani women officers had been attending specialized courses focused on topics such as anti-terrorism and anti-piracy, military justice, information technology, cyber strategies, public affairs, gender-based violence, and medical-related courses.

Two women attended the US Naval Postgraduate School and completed their MBAs in financial management. Another student from the Judicial Commission returned to Pakistan to take an appointment in a train-the-trainer capacity and was tasked with updating Pakistan’s own curriculum. In addition, two female officers had qualified for Pakistani staff college this year, which would open the opportunity for them to attend staff college in the United States as well.

“With women now in the combat arms ranks in the Pakistani military, female officers are attending professional military education courses and returning to the force to be considered for leadership positions,” the report added. 


Mob lynchings in spotlight in Pakistani parliament as top minister seeks national strategy

Updated 23 June 2024
Follow

Mob lynchings in spotlight in Pakistani parliament as top minister seeks national strategy

  • A mob beat a tourist to death on Thursday night in Swat after accusing him of burning pages of the Qur’an
  • Last month, a Christian man attacked by a mob on charges of burning Qur’an died of injuries in hospital 

ISLAMABAD: The recent mob lynching of a local tourist accused of desecrating the Qur’an resonated in the National Assembly on Saturday as a prominent federal minister urged the house to devise a national strategy to prevent such violence in the future.
A tourist belonging to Pakistan’s Sialkot city was dragged from a police station by the mob in northwestern Pakistan on Thursday before being killed and set on fire. Such incidents are not uncommon in Pakistan where a mere accusation of blasphemy can lead to mob violence.
“If it had been an isolated incident, it might have been overlooked, but this is a series of events,” Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal told parliament. “It is my request to you that this assembly should take notice of this incident since our society is on the brink of disaster where street justice through mob lynching is done in the name of religion, trampling the constitution, law and all fundamental principles of the state.”
Iqbal suggested that the National Assembly constitute a special committee to review the causes behind such incidents and create a plan of action.
Last month, a Christian man in his seventies was attacked by a mob on charges of burning pages of the Qur’an and later died of his injuries in eastern Pakistan.
In 2021, a Sri Lankan factory manager was lynched in one of the highest profile incidents in the country. Six people were sentenced to death for their part in the lynching after the incident sparked global outcry.


Pro-Palestine protest in Islamabad concludes after 40 days following government negotiations

Updated 22 June 2024
Follow

Pro-Palestine protest in Islamabad concludes after 40 days following government negotiations

  • ‘Save Gaza Campaign’ wanted Pakistan to formally protest to envoys of the countries supporting Israel
  • Two activists were killed and four others injured when a speeding car had an accident at their protest site

ISLAMABAD: A group of pro-Palestine protesters in Pakistan’s federal capital, Islamabad, decided to call off their sit-in after holding a meeting with Federal Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi on Saturday.
The activists belonging to the Save Gaza Campaign set up their camps near the high-security Red Zone to express solidarity with the people of Palestine who have been targeted by the Israeli war machine since Oct. 7, 2023.
The protesters stayed in the area for nearly 40 days, asking the Pakistani authorities to take practical steps, such as formally protesting to the envoys of the countries supporting Israel, to help the people of Gaza.
“Every Pakistani feels the same about Palestine as they do in their heart,” the interior minister said while referring to the Save Gaza Campaign activists after successful negotiations with the group. “And what they are saying, definitely, there is nothing in it that we object to. Pakistan is already playing its role [to demand a ceasefire]. But we have also promised them [the activists] that we will act on their suggestions.”
“My request to them, which they have agreed to, is that they are going to end their sit-in,” he added.
Last month, the Save Gaza Campaign activists decided to hold their ground after an accident involving a speeding vehicle killed two of them on the roadside and injured four others.
Naqvi also mentioned the incident while praying for the deceased activists and promising quick justice in the case.
Israel has killed over 37,000 Palestinians in Gaza, most of them women and children, since the beginning of the war.
While the conflict followed a surprise attack by Hamas, which said it was retaliating to the deteriorating condition of Palestinians under occupation, Israel’s response was widely viewed as disproportionate, bordering on genocide.


Police say two people arrested in southern Sindh for stealing mobile phone tower

Updated 8 min 34 sec ago
Follow

Police say two people arrested in southern Sindh for stealing mobile phone tower

  • The unique incident took place in Larkana earlier this month on June 7, and the stolen tower valued about $7,196
  • The owner of the land where the tower was installed says he had not been paid rent by the company for six months

LARKANA, Sindh: Police in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province have arrested two suspects in connection with the theft of a private company’s mobile phone tower in Larkana district, an official statement informed Saturday, saying that part of the scrap of the stolen tower had been recovered.
The statement said a case had been registered at the Naudero Police Station in Larkana following a complaint filed by the regional security manager of Telenor Pakistan about the theft of the tower.
“The suspect nominated in the case, along with a scrap dealer, was caught and arrested,” the statement continued. “Some of the stolen material was also recovered.”
It added that investigations had revealed the tower had not been used for nearly six months.
The statement mentioned that Muhammad Rakhiyal Abro, the owner of the private land where the tower had been installed, said after his arrest that the mobile company had not paid rent to him or salary to the watchman during this period.
“Rakhiyal said individuals claiming to be Telenor company’s employees approached him about a week ago, saying the company had decided to shut down and remove the tower,” it said.
A police official informed a portion of the scrap of the stolen tower had been recovered and a scrap dealer, Saadullah Brohi, had been taken into custody.
“The recovered scrap weighs around 20 maunds [746.5 kilograms], while an equal amount of scrap remains to be recovered,” Station House Officer of Naudero Police, Shahid Memon, told Arab News.
According to the police complaint, the incident occurred earlier this month on June 7, and the stolen tower valued about Rs2 million ($7,196).