Pakistan probes link between soybean dust and deaths in port city of Karachi

KARACHI, Pakistan (Reuters) - Authorities in Pakistan are investigating if exposure to soybean dust, which can cause severe allergic reactions, is responsible for at least 14 deaths and dozens of illnesses in the southern port city of Karachi.

More than 200 people have been hospitalized or treated for breathing problems since Sunday as authorities try to determine if a leak of toxic gas was to blame, after many patients complained of an unfamiliar odor.

Pakistan committed to Afghan peace for stability, refugees’ return: PM

ISLAMABAD, Feb 17 (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said, with hosting of Afghan refugees for four decades, Pakistan had a sincere resolve towards sustainable peace in the conflict-hit country and also to ensure smooth repatriation of Afghans.

“People of Afghanistan deserve peace and we will continue to facilitate the negotiation process by taking it in right direction,” the prime minister said in his address at the Refugee Summit, marking 40 years of hosting Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

UN chief calls for greater global efforts to tackle climate change

ISLAMABAD, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- The climate change is the gravest and most urgent obstacle to the global stability and prosperity, and greater joint efforts made by every country and every community in the world are necessary to deal with the crisis, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said here on Sunday.

Making a special talk on sustainable development and climate change, Guterres said the climate disruption presents a clear danger worldwide including the locust attack that Pakistan and other countries are suffering. "Global warming is leading to global swarming."

Afghan refugees tell UN: ‘We need peace, land to go home’

KABOBAYAN CAMP, Pakistan (AP) — Hukam Khan isn’t sure how old he is, but his beard is long and white, and when he came to Pakistan 40 years ago fleeing an earlier war in Afghanistan, his children were small, stuffed onto the backs of donkeys and dragged across rugged mountains to the safety of northwestern Pakistan.

Back then the war was against the former Soviet Union and Khan was among more than 5 million Afghans forced to become refugees in Pakistan, driven from their homes by a bombing campaign so brutal it was referred to as a “scorched earth” policy.

Pakistan launches nationwide anti-polio campaign

Islamabad, Feb 17 (PTI) Pakistan on Monday launched a countrywide anti-polio campaign to vaccinate about 39.6 million children under the age of five in the country as the government appealed to the people for their support to eradicate the crippling disease.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Health Services Zafar Mirza said the government is committed to reach every child with the polio vaccine.

Five Killed, 70 Fainted After Gas Leaked From Container In S. Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Feb 17 (NNN-APP) – An unknown poisonous gas, leaked from a container at a port in Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi, killing at least five people, while 70 others fainted, local police said.

Deputy Inspector General of Police of South Karachi, Sharjeel Kharal, told media that the gas leaked, when workers were unloading a chemical-loaded container from a ship, docked at the Kemari area of Karachi port.

PAK: Guterres for colossal global efforts to reverse climate impacts

ISLAMABAD, Feb 16 (APP): United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres on Sunday while linking the need to merge the local initiatives with the global efforts to ward off the climate degradation, appreciated Pakistan and its people for taking some of the vital steps to reverse back global warming affects.

UN chief arrives in Pakistan on four-day visit

Islamabad, Feb 16 (PTI) UN chief Antonio Guterres arrived here on Sunday on a four-day visit to Pakistan during which he will attend the international conference on Afghan refugees, hold parleys with the top Pakistani leadership and visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.

The UN Secretary-General was received by Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Munir Akram and senior officials of the Foreign Office and the United Nations in Pakistan on his arrival at the Nur Khan Airbase, Radio Pakistan reported.

Turkey to oppose Pakistan blacklisting at anti-terrorism finance meet

15 Feb 2020; MEMO: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said he would help Pakistan stay off a terrorism financing blacklist at a meeting of a global finance watchdog, a move he suggested would counter “political pressure” from Islamabad’s critics, reports Reuters.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which tackles money laundering, told Islamabad late last year that it could face blacklisting if it continued to apply inadequate controls over terrorism financing.

Pakistan, Turkey Sign Strategic Economic Framework

ISLAMABAD, Feb 15 (NNN-PPI) – Pakistan started preparations to sign the Strategic Economic Framework (SEF) and Plan of Action (PoA), agreed upon with Turkey, and the government decided to establish a special unit at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, for SEF after both countries consented to the draft of the framework.

Ministry of Economic Affairs, dispatched a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to contact Turkey through diplomatic channels.

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