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Pakistan protests cross-border firing, Indian envoy summoned

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Islamabad: Pakistan on Monday summoned Indian envoy J.P. Singh here to lodge a protest against the recent “un-provoked ceasefire violations” by Indian forces on the Line of Control.

New Delhi had on Sunday called Islamabad’s envoy to convey anger over the recent border violations with high calibre weapons by Pakistani troops.

The Pakistani foreign ministry claimed that three people were killed and 15 civilians were also injured as a result of the latest Indian fire along the LoC in the disputed Kashmir region.

“The Indian Deputy High Commissioner was called by the Dir. Gen. (South Asia & SAARC) on Monday. A protest was lodged against un-provoked ceasefire violations on August 15 to 16, by Indian troops at the Line of Control in Kotli Sector, which resulted in killing of three civilians,” the foreign ministry said.

“The Deputy High Commissioner was conveyed that the Indian side must investigate the incident, share the findings of the investigations with Pakistan, instruct its troops to respect the ceasefire, in letter and spirit, and maintain peace on the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir,” a statement said.

On its part, India on Sunday summoned Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit in New Delhi to lodge a strong protest and convey anger over un-provoked firing.

Anil Wadhwa, secretary (East) in the ministry, “lodged a protest, and conveyed our (India’s) anger, at the unprovoked firing by Pakistani troops since August 8, particularly with regard to the incidents of yesterday (Saturday) and today (Sunday) in Poonch that saw the systematic targeting of our civilian population and the use of high calibre weapons including artillery”, said an Indian external affairs ministry statement.

“The issue of continued unprovoked firing by Pakistani troops since August 8 had been raised on several occasions at the DGMO (Director General of Military Operations) level.

“Assurances were also received from the Pakistan military authorities that the firings would stop and their troops would be instructed accordingly. But in fact, the firings have continued up until today,” it said.

The Pakistani statement said Islamabad noted with regret and deep concern that during the last two months, so far, there have been 70 ceasefire violations from the Indian side of the LoC and the Working Boundary.

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Pakistan and India declared ceasefire in 2003 and guns had been relatively silent along the LoC. However, both sides occasionally exchange fire. An escalation has been seen in recent weeks.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, met in Russian city of Ufa last month and agreed on a meeting of the national security advisors which is set for August 22.

(IANS)

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Women of Pakistan Protest Against Workplace Harassment, Child Marriage

Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif lauded "the incredible work our women are doing to strengthen their families, communities and the country"

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Following this, a National Security Committee was also held to discuss Sharif's
Pakistan Flag, wikimedia commons

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, women took to the streets across Pakistan on Friday to protest against sexual harassment in the workplace, child marriage ‘honour killings, wage inequalities and limited political representation.

Organisers hope that the “aurat march” (women’s march) and “aurat azadi march” (women’s liberation march) will draw attention to the struggle for reproductive, economic, and social justice across in Pakistan, reports the Guardian.

The first “Aurat March” was held last year in Karachi; this time, the rally has been extended to more cities, including Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Larkana and Hyderabad.

The aim is to reach ordinary women in factories, homes and offices, says Nighat Dad, an “aurat march” organiser in Lahore.

“We want an organic movement by women demanding equal access to justice and ending discrimination of all kinds.”

Speakers at the Lahore march ranged from a woman fighting to reform marriage laws to the women who worked on the landmark Punjab Domestic Workers’ Act — a legislation that outlaws child labour in homes and provides maternity benefits to workers.

Another activist, Leena Ghani, noted that Pakistani women have a history of taking to the streets, famously during military dictator Zia ul-Haq’s martial law in the 1980s.

Krishna Kumari works in her office in Hyderabad, Pakistan, Feb. 12, 2018. VOA

While Pakistan has made major strides towards gender equality, poorer, marginalised women and transgender citizens continue to struggle, Ghani added.

Designer Shehzil Malik created a series of striking posters for the “aurat march” that counter typical representations of Pakistani women as docile and subservient.

Women are also protesting against discriminatory policies in universities, where male and female students are afforded different levels of freedom, the Guardian said.

A Pakistani university recently caused a furore on social media by banning women from wearing skinny jeans and sleeveless shirts.

Also Read- Originality is a Dichotomous Terminology, Says Megastar Amitabh Bachchan

In his message on Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan reaffirmed his government’s commitment to providing women a safe environment so that they could contribute to the country’s development, Dawn news reported.

“We reaffirm our commitment to ensuring women a secure and enabling environment to play their rightful role in our nation’s development.”

Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif lauded “the incredible work our women are doing to strengthen their families, communities and the country”. (IANS)