KP gets 100 tons relief goods from Tajikistan

PESHAWAR: The government of Tajikistan Wednesday handed over 100 tons of relief goods to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government during a special ceremony held at CM’s secretariat.

Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain Shah on behalf of the provincial government received the relief goods.

“It is actually a token of goodwill gesture from the president of Tajikistan and its people to express solidarity with the people of Pakistan facing the worst flood of the history,” Dr Zubaydullo N. Zubaydov said, Ambassador of Tajikistan to Pakistan.
He said both Tajikistan and Pakistan are attached both religiously and historically, saying that the government of Tajikistan and its people always respect people of Pakistan and considered it very vital for the solidarity of Muslim Ummah.

He said Pakistan’s national poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal was held in high esteem in the Tajikistan.

“We are attached historically and we love each other,” he added. He said the government of Tajikistan and its people always stand by its brothern Pakistanis.

“We will continue all out support in difficult time,” he added. Terming the current flood situation in Pakistan as big disaster of the history, Zubaydullo said: “We believe that the people of Pakistan will come out gracefully while facing such a massive challenge.”

The envoy also handed over a detailed report regarding the relief goods which include 30 tons flour, 10 tons sugar, 20 tons rice, 20 tons drinking waters bottles, 100 packs of cauldron (6 and 12 litres), milk can/churn (25 litters with 50 packs, 1000 blanket, 150 cotton-filled blanket, 150 blanket cover, 1000 children’s garments and 100 tent of (three by four meters).

Speaking on the occasion, Mian Iftikhar Hussain thanked the government of Tajikistan for expressing solidarity with the people of Pakistan.

“We badly need such support and Tajikistan is our brotherly Muslim country which always extended support whenever required,” the minister added.

He said Pakistan can not deal with such a big disaster alone so the support of international community in term of sending relief goods is imperative and would help face such challenges with dignity and honor. –  APP

Vegetable supply from Afghanistan helps to control prices

PESHAWAR: After weeks of flood devastation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other parts of the country, vegetable and fruit supply from Afghanistan via Torkham border to Peshawar and other parts of the Pakistan has considerably helped to control prices of grocery in the city.

Traders and local vendors were expecting a huge raise in prices of vegetable and fruits flowing flood devastation in the country.

Hundreds of vehicles carrying tomatoes, onions, apples and grapes cross Torkham border every day to reach local vegetable and fruit markets thus helping the people to purchase the essential ingredients of the kitchens on affordable prices.

A truck driver Khushal Khan told PPI that tomato is available at Rs30 per kilo in eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, however its prices in Peshawar during Eid, when the Torkham border was closed, had jumped to Rs120 per kg.

“After the devastation floods in Pakistan, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, crops as well as vegetables have been washed away which badly disturbed the demand-supply gap in the markets but its supply from Afghanistan helped to control its prices otherwise it would be impossible to keep the prices of these commodities in control,” he observed..

A commission agent in the main vegetable market of Peshawar told this news agency that it was the supply from Afghanistan that helped them to keep low price of tomato, otherwise a single kilo of tomato would be sold in Peshawar against Rs200 per kg nowadays.

“Thanks to Afghanistan which has continued supply of vegetables, particularly onion and tomato, to Pakistan and helped the local consumers to purchase it against Rs70 per Kg otherwise it would hardly be available at Rs200 per kg,” he said.

From Pakistan side, he continued the dealers supply lemon and other vegetables and in return the same trucks as well as small vehicles bring tomato, onion and fruits to ensure its availability in Peshawar’s market at reasonable prices. – PPI

Chamber’s name reverted to SCCI

PESHAWAR: The title of the chamber, representative organisation of local business community, has been reverted from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI).

“The decision has been taken in pursuance of the directives issued by Director General Trade Organisation (DTO),” said SCCI spokesman.

The DTO was approached for registering new name KPCCI, but the trade organisation objected to changing the name of chamber, the spokesman added.

He said the name Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was approved by general body meeting of the chamber after the passage of 18th constitutional amendment by the parliament, approving change of name of NWFP province as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Since the name of the province was changed officially so the business community also altered the name of chamber from SCCI to KPCCI, he added.

However, he said, as the DTO raised objection on the new name it was reverted to the old one.

Meanwhile, some industrialists, especially critics of the incumbent cabinet of SCCI, informed this news agency that DTO had issued directives for changing chamber’s name as Peshawar Chamber of Commerce of Industry. The organisation is representing the business community of Peshawar and not of the whole province.

If the representative body of business community of Peshawar is named as Sarhad Chamber, then what is the status of Mardan Chamber, Hattar Chamber etc?, they questioned. – APP

Gas supply restored to CNG stations in province

PESHAWAR: Gas supply has been restored to CNG stations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after the completion of repair work in Qadirpur gas field.

The filling stations across the province, including the provincial capital, began functioning on Wednesday as great rush of motorists were seen on CNG stations.

Talking to mediamen, Chairman All Pakistan CNG Association Ghayas Abdullah Paracha said that the closure of CNG stations was announced due to repair work in the gas field. The work has now been completed and gas supply has been restored to CNG stations.

All the CNG stations will remain opened in KP and Punjab, he added.

Paracha also thanked Federal Petroleum Minister Naveed Qamar and high-ups of SNGPL for their active role in the restoration of gas supply.

The gas supply to about 544 compressed natural gas (CNG) stations and other commercial consumers in KP had been suspended for two days due to the ongoing maintenance work at the Qadirpur gas field.

A new compressor was installed at the gas field along with some maintenance work and it led to the suspension of gas supply to the commercial consumers for two days.

Welcoming the restoration of gas supply, locals said that they suffered a lot due to closure of filling stations soon after Eidul Fitr, adding that the government should make alternative arrangements in case of an emergency to avoid inconvenience caused to general public. – APP

3 sale points offering sugar at Rs60/kg, official claims

Statesman Report

PESHAWAR: According to a report issued on Wednesday by the DCO office, the district government has established three sale points in main Rampura Bazaar on Ashraf Road where sugar is being sold at Rs60/kg, says a handout.

The authorities concerned also paid a surprise visit to the market on Wednesday to ensure the smooth supply of the commodity on subsidised rates besides checking the availability of wheat flour in the markets.

During inspection, it was found that the sweetener was available on the sale points and was being sold at Rs3,000/50kg as per rate fixed by the government on the production of identity card.

The locals confirmed the sale of sugar at the fixed rate and registered no complaint against shortage of sugar in the market, the report claimed.

Similarly, the officials found sufficient quantity of flour being offered for sale on prescribed rates in the main Rampura bazaar market.

It is worth a mentioning here that the price of sugar has been increased by Rs5/kg in the wholesale market in the provincial capital in less than a month’s time.

Two weeks ago, the price of a 50kg sack of sugar was Rs3,840, which is now being sold at Rs4,030.

Similarly, sugar was being sold at Rs76 per kg in the wholesale market while it is available at Rs81 at present.

Printers busy making fake Afghan voting cards

PESHAWAR: Printers in the provincial capital say they have produced thousands of fake voter registration cards at the request of Afghan politicians for use in that country’s parliamentary elections scheduled to be held on Sept 18.

The cards add to evidence that fraud could undermine the elections and further destabilise the Western-backed government of President Hamid Karzai.

A fraud-marred presidential election last year threatened the credibility of the Afghan administration at home and with the Western nations waging war on the country’s resurgent Taliban.

Regulation of voting has been improved, but an influx of fake cards raises the possibility of a person with multiple voter cards voting many times and could still cause problems in an insecure country where monitoring of polling stations will likely be spotty.

Three printers in a dimly lit section of historic Qissa Khawni Bazaar told this news agency that Afghan election candidates had traveled to the walled heart of the ancient city about an hour from the border and provided them with samples of Afghan voter registration cards.

The printers said they had produced thousands of cards, along with plastic sheaths to laminate them, for roughly 20 rupees a piece.

The fake cards resembled genuine Afghan cards, but it was not clear if they would withstand close scrutiny.

Two of the printers spoke on condition of anonymity because the activity is illegal. Tariq Khan, a 32-year-old printer, told this news agency that times were tough for printers in provincial capital, and he had accepted the registration card requests because it was more profitable than ordinary work.

“Several candidates from various parts of Afghanistan have purchased these cards,” he said. “Now it is their headache how they use them.”

Afghan election officials say they have instituted safeguards that will keep falsified cards from being used. These include marking voters’ fingers with indelible ink, searching voters to make sure they are not carrying multiple cards and checking to make sure they are old enough to vote.

“If the individual is not eligible, despite the fact of a card, we will certainly not allow the person to cast his or her ballot,” said Abdullah Ahmadzai, the chief electoral officer of the Independent Election Commission, which organises the ballot.

Gul Wali, 40, an Afghan citizen who said he was a supporter of a candidate he declined to identify, said he had heard that some candidates were using fake cards to drive up votes, driving him to do the same.

“Why we should stick to fairness while our opponents use these means and tactics?” he said. “I am not sure we will be able to use these cards or not, but as a precaution I am thinking of buying some 1,500 cards.” He said fake cards were available in Afghanistan but at higher prices than in Peshawar.

Khan also said the cards were being printed in Afghanistan and elsewhere in Pakistan. “There are a few black sheep involved in such illegal business,” said Zafar Khattak, President Printers’ Association. – AP

US injects Rs428m to help fight malaria in flood-hit regions

PESHAWAR: The United States announced Wednesday that it is providing Rs428 million ($5 million) to fight malaria in flood-affected regions of the country.

Early warning and detection mechanisms are crucial in meeting public health needs in the immediate recovery period following a natural disaster. The US Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with Ministry of Health, is providing the money to the World Health Organisation (WHO) for use in its anti-malaria programmes.

The funds will be used to preposition rapid testing kits and anti-malarial medications. It will also go towards educational programs designed to teach at-risk communities the early warning signs of a malaria outbreak.

Washington has provided more than Rs22 billion ($261 million) in emergency humanitarian assistance to the people of Pakistan.  It also has provided other civilian and military in-kind assistance in the form of meals, pre-fabricated steel bridges and other infrastructure support, as well as air support to and within Pakistan to transport goods and rescue people, valued at approximately Rs3.4 billion.

It may be recalled here that Merlin, an international aid agency specialising in improving health, in its recent report feared the outbreak of 2 million malaria cases in flood-ravaged vicinities.

The agency said that it was scaling up its relief activities to address the expected surge of deadly infections ushered in by the malaria season. – PPI – Statesman