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PM Imran Khan ‘expresses deep regret’ over continuing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine

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  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky calls PM Imran Khan
  • PM Imran reminds Ukrainian leader Islamabad has sent two C-130s with humanitarian relief for his country.
  • PM Imran says non-partisan countries like Pakistan are in a position to play a helpful role in cessation of hostilities.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday “expressed deep regret that the military conflict” between Moscow and Kyiv was continuing in a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

A statement, released by the PM Office, said that both leaders discussed the latest situation in Ukraine during the telephonic conversation. The PM, while expressing regret, reiterated Islamabad’s “principled position in support of immediate cessation of hostilities and resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy”.

“The Prime Minister added that he had been persistently highlighting the adverse economic impact of the conflict on the developing countries, manifest in rising prices of oil and commodities,” said the statement.

The Pakistani premier highlighted the “importance of humanitarian relief for the civilians” and reminded the Ukrainian leader that Islamabad has sent two C-130s with humanitarian relief for his country.

“Recalling the recent OIC-CFM session in Islamabad, the Prime Minister informed that the foreign ministers of the Islamic countries expressed deep concern at the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation arising from the conflict in Ukraine. 

The foreign ministers called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and expressed willingness of OIC member states to support and facilitate the dialogue process,” said the statement.

PM Imran highlighted that “non-partisan countries like Pakistan were in a position to play a helpful role in reinforcing efforts for cessation of hostilities and a diplomatic solution”.

During the call, PM Imran also thanked President Zelensky for the support Ukrainian authorities extended in the evacuation of Pakistani students and nationals as well as the Embassy staff.

Traval

In Canada, another member of the PIA crew disappears.

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Jibran Baloch, a flight attendant, is the second PIA air hostess to vanish this month; she was scheduled to take a Toronto trip from Karachi and then left the hotel.

Flight 782 failed to arrive for its planned return duty on February 29. Jibran Baloch, a flight attendant, is the second air hostess to go this month.

When staff members searched Jabran Baloch’s room, they discovered that he had fallen. Another missing person from the hotel a few days earlier was a female air hostess. In just a few months, almost 12 air hostesses who were assigned to flights to Toronto had vanished.

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight hostess is said to have vanished from her job in Canada earlier this month.

When Maryam Raza, who was supposed to be on aircraft PK 782 from Pakistan to Toronto, neglected to show up for work on the return trip, PK 784 from Toronto to Karachi, the event became public knowledge. According to those with knowledge of the situation, after PIA’s hanging uniform was found in her room, a letter with the words “Thank you, PIA” was found next to it.

This is the third instance of PIA flight attendants’slipping’ while on duty that has been documented this year; two of the cases involve women.

The efficacy of these procedures has not increased despite steps taken to prevent similar instances, such as obtaining the passports of flight attendants assigned to Toronto flights.

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Pakistan

China “agrees” to transfer $2 billion in debt to Pakistan.

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ISLAMABAD China has “agreed” to roll over a $2 billion loan to Pakistan, according to sources cited by ARY News, which is a big milestone.

Sources inside the ministry of finance claim that the $2 billion loan will be rolled over under the current terms prior to its maturity date.

Less than 2 percent interest will be charged on the $2 billion in Chinese debt that is being deposited, according to sources.

According to reports, the $2 billion debt’s maturity period will conclude on March 23, 2024, and an additional $2 billion will be rolled over for a year.

It is important to note that as of the end of November in FY2023–24, Pakistan’s overall debt load was at an astounding Rs 63,399 trillion.

Over Rs12.430 trillion more was borrowed by the nation during the PDM and caretaker government’s mandate.

With domestic loans totaling Rs40.956 trillion and foreign loans totaling Rs22.434 trillion, Pakistan’s total debt load increased to Rs63.390 trillion.

China postponed paying Pakistan’s $2 billion debt for two years, starting in July 2023. Regarding the delay in debt recovery, Pakistan received an official letter from China Eximbank.

Pakistan will return the debt in accordance with the terms of the deal with China and was also spared from paying extra interest on the loan. According to further sources, all 31 loan agreements were extended over the original date of July 21, 2023, to June 30, 2025.

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American surgeons successfully perform world’s first eye transplant

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New York surgeons claim to have conducted the world’s first whole-eye transplant on a man, marking a significant turning point in the history of the medical field, though it’s unclear if the patient will recover vision.

Aaron James, who survived a high-voltage electrical accident, underwent a 21-hour surgery to replace half of his face, marking a significant breakthrough, according to experts, in the quest to restore sight to millions of people.

James, a high-voltage utility line worker from Arkansas lost most of his face in 2021 after he accidentally touched a 7,200-volt live wire.

He underwent a rare partial face and eye transplant, on 27 May this year involving over 140 healthcare professionals.

The intricate procedure was carried out by surgeons at New York University (NYU) Langone Health, who said on Thursday that James, 46, was making a full recovery from the dual transplant and that the donated eye appeared exceptionally healthy. His right eye still works.

“The mere fact that we’ve accomplished the first successful whole-eye transplant with a face is a tremendous feat many have long thought was not possible,” said Dr Eduardo Rodriguez, one of the leading surgeons on the team.

“We’ve made one major step forward and have paved the way for the next chapter to restore vision.”

Doctors say James’ surgery offers scientists an unprecedented window into how the human eye tries to heal, BBC reported.

“We’re not claiming that we are going to restore sight,” Dr Rodriguez told ABC News. “But there’s no doubt in my mind we are one step closer.”

While there is no certainty James will regain vision in his new eye, doctors do not rule out the possibility either.

Aaron James of Hot Springs, Arkansas, poses with Dr. Eduardo D Rodriguez after he underwent surgery for the world’s first whole-eye transplant as part of a partial face transplant at NYU Langone in an undated photograph. — Reuters
Aaron James of Hot Springs, Arkansas, poses with Dr. Eduardo D Rodriguez after he underwent surgery for the world’s first whole-eye transplant as part of a partial face transplant at NYU Langone in an undated photograph. — Reuters

“If I can see out of it, that’s great,” James said in an interview. “But if it’ll kick-start the next path in the medical field, then I’m all for it.”

James, a military veteran, will continue to be monitored by doctors but has seen “exceptional” progress with his eye transplant, according to Bruce E Gelb, MD, a transplant surgeon at NYU.

The donated face and eye came from a male donor in his 30s, and stem cells were injected into the optic nerve for repair.

James is only the 19th person in the US to undergo a face transplant.

He has called the eye transplant “life-changing” and says he is “grateful beyond words” to the donor and their family for making the surgery possible.

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