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Elephant in distress: Cries of crippled ‘Noor Jehan’ echo around the world

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  • Four Paws team arrives to help Noor Jehan spins into action.
  • Cranes, heavy machinery used for examining Noor Jehan’s feet
  • International vets to perform x-rays, endoscopies of afflicted limbs.

KARACHI: A team of veterinarians and wildlife experts from the global animal welfare organisation Four Paws visited Karachi Zoo to help with the health assessment and treatment of the deteriorating condition of ailing Noor Jehan, the elephant.

The team of a dozen international experts, led by Egyptian veterinarian Dr Amir Khalil arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday in response to a request made by Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), which runs the zoo.

The team also met with Karachi Administrator Dr Syed Saifur Rahman and the zoo management, according to a KMC press statement, to discuss certain arrangements required to run physical and radiological scans on the crippled elephant.

The team on Wednesday examined the pachyderm’s feet for which she needed to be put into an upright position, said Dr Rehman adding, cranes and other heavy machinery were brought in for the purpose.

The teams asked for treatment-related facilities and they were provided The Karachi administrator said the international team of experts had been provided everything to assist them in thoroughly looking into the elephant’s conditions

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Talking to the media, Marina Ivanova, a member of the international team, said the elephant was supported by a crane to stand on her feet to examine her painful ankle, which would take at least two hours.

“A report will be prepared after checking the infection in the elephant’s toe,” Ivanova said adding, “X-ray and endoscopy of elephant’s foot will also be done.”

Four Paws’ team leader, Dr Amir Khalil said in his team was doing everything possible to bring the elephant back on her feet.

“The elephant has been made to get up with the help of a crane and if it is allowed to lie down again on the ground, it will be impossible for us to stand her up again,” Dr Khalil said.

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According to a press statement issued by Four Paws, recent reports and images show Noor Jehan in serious physical distress.

The 17-year-old African elephant will receive a thorough veterinary examination to determine her future care, it said.

“Since 2021, Four Paws has strongly recommended to relocate Noor Jehan and her companion Madhubala from Karachi Zoo to a species-appropriate place that offers better living conditions for the elephants,” the statement said.

However, no measures to relocate them have been taken, it added.

“Pakistan has taken great steps for animal welfare in the last three years by protecting the natural rights of animals under the Constitution and banning elephant imports, as recommended by Four Paws,” the animal welfare organisation said.

Josef Pfabigan, the global CEO of Four Paws, said the lack of action to improve the lives of the elephants at Karachi Zoo was a setback.
“We have already seen what strategic policy work and good relations between animal welfare experts and local officials can achieve, and we hope that we can achieve even more together.” 

By building a strong foundation for animal welfare, “we can make a change for suffering animals, in Pakistan and worldwide,” Pfabigan said.

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government contests Imran Khan and Qureshi’s exoneration in the cipher case

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On Thursday, the federal government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court contesting the exoneration of former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and former Prime Minister Imran Khan in the well-known cipher case.

Citing procedural and jurisdictional issues, the Ministry of Interior has appealed the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) ruling.

In hearing the cipher case, the High Court allegedly overreached its power, arguing that judges cannot change laws where Parliament has not expressly passed legislation.

Despite receiving government-funded legal representation, the petition emphasized Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s lack of cooperation during the trial, submitting 65 separate motions and neglecting to cross-examine witnesses.

The petition contended that in order for a retrial to satisfy legal standards, the High Court should have ignored important evidence that was given during the trial. It requests that the appeals contesting the IHC’s June 3 acquittal be given a hearing date by the Supreme Court.

Case history

The cipher issue concerns a supposed diplomatic document that disappeared from Imran Khan’s custody. The cipher allegedly contained threats from the US to remove Khan from office, according to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. Shah Mehmood Qureshi and several aides, including Asad Umar, are named in the First Information Report (FIR) submitted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in accordance with Section 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code and Sections 5 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act.

The then-foreign secretary received a diplomatic cipher from Washington on March 7, 2022, according to the FIR. The lawsuit claims that by manipulating the data for their own benefit, Khan and Qureshi put the safety of the country at risk. It alleges that on March 28, 2022, Khan secretly met at his Bani Gala home and gave his Principal Secretary, Muhammad Azam Khan, instructions to change the content of the cipher to his advantage, jeopardizing national security.

The document asserts that Khan still has custody of the cipher, jeopardizing Pakistan’s encrypted messaging systems and possibly helping foreign forces, which would be detrimental to the nation. A complaint has been filed by the FIA’s Anti-Terrorism Wing against Khan, Qureshi, and other individuals for improper use of state secrets and unapproved possession of the cipher.

Acquittal by the Islamabad High Court

In the cipher case, on June 3, the IHC cleared Khan and Qureshi when Justice Aamir Farooq issued a succinct ruling in their favor. Their sentences were appealed in the case, which has since been a source of political and legal controversy, leading to their acquittal.

This acquittal and the ongoing legal and political struggles surrounding the cipher case are highlighted by the government’s subsequent move to contest it.

With potentially huge ramifications for the parties involved and the larger political scene, the Supreme Court’s decision over whether to hear the appeal will be keenly scrutinized.

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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi urges political stability in order to accelerate economic expansion.

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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the former prime minister, emphasized on Thursday how important political stability is to Pakistan’s economic development and how the nation cannot prosper without it.

His concern was that export growth had not progressed, and he emphasized that stability in the current climate is vital to draw investments and carry out the necessary reforms.

In his criticism of the tax system, Abbasi brought up the erratic nature of tax laws and the transient nature of the most recent tax slab implementation. Insisting that difficult choices are unavoidable for economic recovery, he emphasized the necessity of designing a tax system that is equitable and does not burden the people.

Furthermore, arguing that the effectiveness of organizations like the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is essential for economic governance and transparency, Abbasi urged for changes within these and other organizations.

Abbasi, in his discussion of more comprehensive fiscal plans, suggested that the National Finance Commission (NFC) award be reviewed again and that power distribution companies (DISCOs) be decentralized to the provinces.

In order to reduce inefficiencies and corruption at the provincial level, he recommended looking into ways to share the cost of defense spending and decentralize the management of energy resources.

In closing, Abbasi emphasized that Pakistan’s economic trajectory will stay stagnant unless comprehensive changes are implemented immediately. To move the nation towards sustainable progress, he urged policymakers to give stability and structural reforms first priority.

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Through in-app QR payments, Zindigi and SBP streamline transactions involving sacrificial animals.

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With its in-app QR code payment system based on Raast, Zindigi—powered by JS Bank—has elevated the convenience of cashless payments for the procurement of sacrificial animals to a whole new level for Eid ul Adha.

This program uses QR code payments to streamline transactions for sacrificed animals for the general public and traders. It is a component of the State Bank of Pakistan’s Raast quick payment service.

This feature enables users of Zindigi and users of any digital banking apps or wallets to safely and easily make payments at certain cattle markets throughout Pakistan using Zindigi QR. The consumer must scan the QR code of the livestock merchant and pay the transaction amount in order to complete the payment.

In order to further financial inclusion and digital innovation in Pakistan’s developing economy, Zindigi and the State Bank of Pakistan have partnered. Both organizations are committed to improving the efficiency and accessibility of financial services, especially on holidays such as Eid ul Adha, by utilizing the most recent developments in fintech.

One of the most important steps toward promoting financial inclusion and economic empowerment at the local level is the integration of livestock markets into the digital economy. Farmers and retailers may take charge of their financial operations and help realize the larger goal of an inclusive digital Pakistan by adopting digital payments.

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