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Posts Tagged ‘karachi’

Oct
17

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“The upstream users of an international river are no longer entitled to the unrestricted use of (the waters) of such a river, and are bound, when taking decisions concerning its use, to take reasonable account of the interests of other users in downstream areas.” On Sept 25, 1997, the ICJ gave its imprimatur on the rule in a case between Hungary and Slovakia (concerning the Gabcíkovo-Nagymaros Project), putting it beyond dispute.

Thus, even if the Indus Waters Treaty did not exist, India would not be able to take any of the diversionary measures that official leaks in the media threaten. It reflects legal incompetence, contempt for international morality, and a barbaric outlook.

The court followed an earlier ruling of its predecessor, the Permanent Court of International Justice, in 1929 with regard to the River Oder, which said “the community of interest in a navigable river becomes the basis of common legal right, the essential features of which are the perfect equality of all riparian states in the use of the whole course of the river and the exclusion of any preferential privilege of any one riparian state in relation to the others”.


The water treaty is not a weapon to be used for political ends.


Therefore, in its judgement, the ICJ pointedly stated: “Modern development of international law has strengthened this principle for non-navigational uses of international watercourses as well, as evidenced by the adoption of the convention of 21 May 1997 on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses by the United Nations General Assembly. The court considers that Czechoslovakia, by unilaterally assuming control of a shared resource, and thereby depriving Hungary of its right to an equitable and reasonable share of the natural resources of the Danube […] failed to respect the proportionality which is required by international law.”

The law mandates equitable and reasonable shares for all the countries through which an international river runs. In 1895, US attorney general Judson Harmon was asked for an opinion on the rights of the US and Mexico over their shared river, the Rio Grande. US farmers had increasingly begun to divert its waters, significantly reducing its flow to Mexico.

He responded: “The fundamental principle of international law is the absolute sovereignty of every nation as against all others, within its own territory.” He conceded that he had found in support of his view “no precedent or authority which has a direct bearing” and the “case presented is a novel one”. The Harmon Doctrine of absolute territorial sovereignty, which privileged the upper riparian state, died swiftly and was buried by the US supreme court.

East Punjab was therefore ill advised to cut off the water supplies in every canal crossing into Pakistan in April 1948, which ran contrary to the agreement reached by Committee B (one of the committees set up to deal with issues arising from Punjab’s partition) when it stated: “There is no question of varying the authorised shares of water to which the two zones and the various canals are entitled.” Cyril Radcliffe expected that “any agreements […] as to the sharing of waters from these canals will be respected”.

It is unnecessary to trace the tortuous course of events that followed this standstill agreement of May 1948 until the signing of the Indus Waters Treaty in Karachi, on September 1960, by Jawaharlal Nehru, Ayub Khan and W.A.B. Iliff (representing the World Bank) — albeit for specified purposes. As judge Richard Baxter, an expert on international waterways law, noted, the World Bank was not a disinterested presence but one of the parties to what were actually tripartite negotiations. It was, therefore, not a bilateral treaty but a multilateral one — for yet another reason.

On the same day and place, two other agreements were also signed: the Indus Basin Development Fund Agreement by representatives of Pakistan, the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the World Bank, and a loan agreement between Pakistan and the World Bank. Enormous sums of money were spent and expensive irrigation works construction was undertaken.

The treaty says that it can be terminated only by another treaty. Article 63 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1980) says: “The severance of diplomatic or consular relations between parties to a treaty does not affect the legal relations between them by the treaty except in so far as the existence of diplomatic or consular relations is indispensable for the application of the treaty.” Even severance of diplomatic relations does not affect the treaty.

To obstruct the Permanent Indus Commission is to trigger the formation of a court of arbitration (Article IX). The treaty is not a weapon to be used for political ends; it has a long history and is entrenched in international law.

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Sep
30

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ISLAMBAD: India’s decision to derail the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit effectively contradicts Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to fight against poverty in the region, said the Foreign Office (FO) on Friday.

“India’s decision to abstain from the summit on the basis of unfounded assumptions on the Uri incident is a futile effort to divert attention of the world from the atrocities perpetrated by India in occupied Kashmir,” said Nafees Zakaria, spokesperson for the Foreign Office.

The FO also said Pakistan attaches great importance to regional cooperation under the Saarc umbrella and it is committed to Saarc objectives for promoting the welfare of people in the South Asian region.

“Pakistan remains committed to hosting the 19th Saarc Summit at Islamabad at the earliest so that the objectives of regional cooperation under the Saarc umbrella can be pursued more vigorously,” added Zakaria.

Read: Modi’s new battle lines

New dates for hosting the 19th Saarc summit will be announced soon after consultation “with the Chair of Saarc”.

“Accordingly, we have conveyed the same to the Prime Minister of Nepal, the current Chair of Saarc.”

The FO spokesperson stated that all preparations for holding a successful summit had been made, and the prime minister of Pakistan was looking forward to host the delegations.

India pulls out, others follow suit

Earlier this week, India decided to pull out of the upcoming Saarc summit to be held in Islamabad. The announcement came through the Twitter account of India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

The Indian statement added that under the prevailing circumstances, India is unable to participate in the proposed summit in Islamabad.

Following India’s announcement, Bangladesh said it was also pulling out.

Afghanistan and Bhutan – both close India allies – also followed suit. The FO termed India’s attitude as negative.

According to the eight-member body’s charter, the conference is postponed should any member state decline to participate.

Soaring tensions

In one of the worst episodes of cross-border firing along the Line of Control, at least two Pakistan Army soldiers were killed as Indian troops opened fire on the first line of defence.

India also claimed to have performed a surgical strike by crossing the disputed boundary. The Indian claims were rubbished by Pakistan Army.

ater it emerged that an Indian soldier was captured by the Pakistan army, while Indian soldiers were also killed in the episode of firing across the LoC.

An Indian army official based in New Delhi said, “It is confirmed one soldier from 37 Rashtriya Rifles with weapons has inadvertently crossed over to the Pakistan side of the Line of Control”.

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Sep
06

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Many men lost their jobs when technology made them obsolete. The new jobs available were soul-crushing, undignified, and required an arduous commute—and that’s assuming companies would hire them. Most employers wouldn’t, because the men were considered too old and unskilled for the new work. And then a false prophet with messy hair emerged, promising to give power back to workers and decried the indignity of what work had become.

Sounds familiar? I’m not describing the current economy, but 19th century England during the industrial revolution. Back then, technology also radically altered how humans worked. It upset men’s place in society. And it makes what’s happening today seem tame.

Few things are considered more manly than providing for and protecting your family. So it’s no wonder that so many men in developed countries are in a crisis, with technology cited as the reason for rising populism and discontent.

The way in which society defines masculinity is often tied to work and technology is changing the nature of work as we know it. Smart machines and robots can do tasks that once only humans could do. And in the sectors where this is happening fastest—like manufacturing—many of the job casualties are the kinds of jobs traditionally held by men.

Labor force participation among men age 25 to 55 fell 3.5 percentage points between 1994 and 2014 in the US, and is expected to fall further in the next 10 years. A sole male breadwinner is no longer possible for many households. And for men with jobs, the work is changing. The figure below shows where men are working these days, derived from the US Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. 1

Not only are the types of jobs changing, but those lucky enough to have them aren’t getting the pay raises like they used to. Median male wageshaven’t increased since the 1970s, and are falling in many of the occupations—construction, transportation, and manufacturing, for example—that employ more men.

But these trends are not so new. They may even indicate a return to more traditional work. For thousands of years, men worked the farm or in artisan labor. People worked hard, but most worked from home and set their own hours. According to Joel Mokyr, an economic historian at Northwestern University, it is hard to overstate how traumatic it was as workers shifted from home production to factories.

Mokyr, whose forthcoming book, A Culture of Growth, describes the industrial revolution’s intellectual origins, explains that factory work was traumatic for men because it required showing up at a particular time, staying a full day, and taking orders from another man. Men frequently had such a hard time giving up their autonomy and dealing with a boss that factories originally employed women and children because they were more docile.

A generation of men lost work and many never found another job. Traditional artisans couldn’t deal with factory work and there were fewer jobs because machines were more productive. It was a messy transition that played out over more than 100 years and sparked Marxism. Factory owners took proactive steps to make it work. They set up schools for children and made education available to the masses. But their intention was not to increase literacy. The schools existed largely to condition the next generation to work a full day and take orders.

Sons of displaced artisans eventually adapted to the new version of employment, and women were shoved out the labor force. The men took jobs inconceivable in their fathers’ era, on railroads or telegraphs. By the 20th century, working a union job at a factory was not only acceptable, it became a standard for how men took care of their families. Today, lifelong employment under a paternalistic employer is more rare. And because we still associate those things with a good job, Americans predict a bleak future for their children.

It may take another generation for men to find their place, but a recentOECD report predicts humanity in general will continue to thrive. And while uncertainty makes most people nervous, Mokyr sounds giddy in describing the jobs of the future:

We know they are coming and… they will bring a great deal opportunity and a great deal of misery. Progress is not cost free. Stagnation is worse… We can’t even imagine what new jobs will be. Your great-grandmother in 1914 probably couldn’t imagine what a cyber security expert was.

Harvard’s Larry Katz foresees a return to artisanal employment for the middle class, where good jobs combine technology and interpersonal skills to deliver specialized, high-quality services. Mokyr anticipates future work will be more entrepreneurial, too. It may be common to hold multiple jobs and telecommute a few days a week. He predicts time will be less scheduled and workers will have more autonomy, though they’ll also face more risk and less job security.

New technology may not be the end of men; it may just hasten a return to a pre-industrial version of masculinity, of sorts.

Humans are now accustomed to stability and higher living standards. To ease the transition, we need new institutions and a better safety net for the generation caught in the transition. And most importantly, we need an education system that does what employers once did. In the 19th century, employers trained workers for the new economy and set up schools. They replaced the apprenticeships that existed before factories. Today’s employers tend not to offer much training; they avoid investing in workers who might leave them.

Trying to bring back the old economy only prolongs the painful transition we are experiencing today. Instead of romanticizing the past, the conversation should be about the best way to educate the workforce and keep skills fresh so that modern men thrive as we redefine work.

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Sep
06

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So, you’re back from summer vacation; you’ve returned to work, and the kids are back in school? Well, beware: you might be headed for a divorce! It’s true – new research finds that divorces tend to rise following vacations.

This study, from the University of Washington, discovered that divorce is seasonal during the periods following both winter and summer vacations. That suggests divorce might be driven by a “domestic ritual” calendar that governs family behavior. And more specifically, that vacations may exacerbate underlying tensions and conflict for couples.

The study was presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association by researchers Julie Brines and Brian Serafini. According to a summary of the research, they found divorce consistently peaks during the months of August and March – times that follow winter and summer holidays.

In the research summary, Brines reported that troubled couples may see the holidays as a time to mend relationships; and they might believe that if they have a happy time “away from it all,” then everything will be fixed and their lives will improve.

But in reality, those vacation periods and time off can be both emotionally charged and stressful for many. And, that may expose cracks in a marriage. That is, the researchers point out that seasonal nature of divorce filings may reflect the disillusionment unhappy spouses experience afterwards — when vacation time doesn’t live up to their high expectation.

“People tend to face the holidays with rising expectations, despite what disappointments they might have had in years past,” says Brines. “They represent periods in the year when there’s the anticipation or the opportunity for a new beginning, a new start, something different, a transition into a new period of life. It’s like an optimism cycle, in a sense. They’re very symbolically charged moments in time for the culture,” she adds.

When that doesn’t pan out as hoped, some couples may make a conscious decision to file for divorce in August – following the family vacation, and before the kids start back at school.

Similarly, the researchers found that divorce also spikes in March, a few months after the winter holidays. Brines suggests that the same issues may be involved during both peak periods – like finances, finding an attorney, taking the actual steps leading to divorce – but it may be that the start of the school year hastens decisions for couples with children in August.

The researchers began by looking at divorce rates throughout the state of Washington, and considered multiple factors that might play a role, such as current economic and employment issues. But even accounting to those possible issues, they found the same pattern: heightened filings emerging in March and August. “It was very robust from year to year, and very robust across counties,” Brines says.

The researchers hypothesized that if the pattern was tied to family holidays, other court actions involving families – such as guardianship rulings – should show a similar trend. And that proved correct.

Future research will examine if the trends noticed in Washington also apply to other states. Brines and Serafini have already analyzed data for Ohio, Minnesota, Florida, and Arizona . Those states that have similar laws to Washington but have different demographics and economic conditions.

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The upshot of this study, in my view? Pay attention to your relationship throughout the year, and deal with whatever issues are brewing along the way. Don’t wait for vacation time to heal any conflicts. When you return you might conclude that your relationship is already beyond repair.

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Aug
27

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A real-life Bollywood romance is supposed to be the stuff of dreams, so it came as a rude shock that one of Saif and Kareena’s sweetest romance moments actually made us cringe.

At a recent event in India, Kareena reminisced about her shoot for song ‘Yeh Mera Dil’ in the 2006 flick Don and how Saif had told her he found her sexy in it, reported Indian Express.

“The hairstyle for the song ‘Yeh Mera Dil’ was very sexy. And my husband always tells me, ‘even though you’re overweight (in the song) you looked very sexy’. That’s the best compliment for me,” said Kareena.

Erm, ‘you’re fat, but I like your hair’. Not sure how we feel about that.

Says the actor, “Saif and my wedding was really, really special because there were just 100 people and I think, it was more about us. It was about us rather than everything else. It was more intimate. The beauty of it was that I wore my great grandmother-in-law’s outfit, which I think is very, very stunning, very, very royal and very, very intricate – so I think I was very lucky.”

Glad this special moment was actually special.

Kareena will be next seen in the upcoming chick flick Veere Di Wedding.

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Aug
27

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KARACHI: MQM leader Farooq Sattar on Saturday claimed that MQM headquarter Nine Zero has been sealed illegally and unconstitutionally, and that there was no reason behind this action following the party’s dissociation from Altaf Hussain.

“When we say that we have disconnected with London, it means that we are no more in contact with them, stop doing speculations,” Sattar said while addressing a press conference in the metropolis.

“Stop doubting our intention. If somebody is misguided, he should consult some Urdu linguistic for explanation of what we have said,” he added.

Sattar went on to say that MQM is only asking for political ownership, which is their due legal and political right.

“Stop our victimisation through media. Stop pressurising us through these ‘so-called’ analysts, we won’t take dictation from anyone.”

“You cannot seal the headquarter of a political party, only because of the controversial statements issued by an individual — who is already dissociated from the party,” said Sattar.

“We will cooperate with the law enforcement agencies if party members or workers are found involved in any unlawful action or violation of law and order,” he assured, adding that “unlawful raids and arrests of innocent workers must be stopped immediately”.

These actions demonstrate that it is not just about one person, but there is some other nefarious agenda being followed from behind the curtains, said Sattar. “It suggests you are planning to create fractions inside MQM.”

The MQM leader said that more than 20 party offices have been demolished so far, despite the fact that many of them were legal and the properties are were donated by MQM’s well-wishers.

“Even if these offices were illegal, why these offices were not demolished earlier?”

When Wasim Akhtar will take oath as Karachi’s mayor, he will announce to demolish all the illegal encroachments including our illegal offices [if any], Sattar announced.

“I herby inform the federal and provincial governments that our offices and members have nothing to do with the statements of Altaf Hussain. Stop pushing us towards negative approach. We showed positivity, and expect same from the governments.”

If there are any criminals in MQM, go ahead arrest them, but MQM and terrorism are two different entities, he asserted.

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Aug
24

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LONDON: Trampoline parks may be a lot of fun for kids, but a new study of injuries from one hospital in Australia adds to growing evidence suggesting these facilities can also be dangerous for children.

The hospital is located just about three and a half miles from an indoor trampoline park that opened in July 2014.

In the first six months after the park opened, the hospital treated 40 children under age 17 for trampoline injuries sustained at this facility. Most children had soft tissue injuries, though about one-third had fractures, researchers report in the journal Injury Prevention.

Failed landings were usually the culprit, said lead study author Christopher Mulligan of Sydney Children’s Hospital and the University of New South Wales’ Neuroscience Research.

“When children were injured bouncing alone on a trampoline, this was most often due to failed landings after summersaults or tricks, though there were also a few cases of kids landing outside the trampoline areas, such as on the surrounding padding mats,” Mulligan said by email.

“When more than one person jumps on a small trampoline at the same time, they increase the risk of direct collision,” Mulligan added. “With the increased weight and energy of another person, the smaller sized jumper can also be projected higher and further than expected, which increases the risk of a failed landing.”

The study is small, and it’s possible only the more seriously injured children from the trampoline park landed in the hospital, the authors note. This might exaggerate the proportion of fractures and serious accidents.

But the findings come on the heels of a U.S. study this month documenting a surge in injuries that has mirrored the growing popularity of trampoline parks.

From 2010 to 2014, the average annual number of U.S. emergency room visits for trampoline injuries was close to 92,000, according to the study in Pediatrics.

The vast majority of these U.S. injuries happened at home – but injuries at trampoline parks surged more than 10-fold during the study period. In 2014, injuries at trampoline parks accounted for almost 7,000 emergency room visits, the study found.

Nationwide, the number of U.S. trampoline parks grew from about 40 in 2011 to 280 in 2014. An estimated five to six new parks open each month, and there were probably about 450 total by the end of last year.

In Australia, Mulligan and colleagues note, more than 20 commercial trampoline parks have opened in the past three years, with an estimated three new centers opening every month.“The important risks to consider are the risks of serious injury, like spinal cord injuries or fractures requiring surgery,” Dr.

Kathryn Kasmire of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, lead author of the U.S. study, said after reviewing the findings from Australia.

“The risks cannot be completely avoided even if safe jumping practices are followed,” Kasmire added by email.

For this reason, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends against recreational trampoline use. When trampolines are used for fun, kids should have constant adult supervision and adequate protective padding, and there should be just one jumper at a time, the AAP recommends. Kids should also avoid flips and somersaults, the doctors group advises.

“The physical and mental health benefits of sports are important for a child’s development, and there are many aerobic activities that are safe and appropriate for children,” said Dr. Gary Smith, lead author of the AAP recommendations on trampolines and president of the Child Injury Prevention Alliance in Columbus, Ohio.

“Trampoline use can be one of them if done under appropriate supervision and in an appropriate environment – which is not in a trampoline park or in the back yard,” Smith, who wasn’t involved in either study, added by email.

“If a child would like to use a trampoline, the child should do so under the supervision of a trained instructor, who can safely progress the child through maneuvers as the child gains skills,” Smith said.

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