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Pak set to launch space programme ‘to keep an eye on Indian side’: Report

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Islamabad, Apr 29: Pakistan is set to launch an ambitious space programme during the next fiscal year with an aim to keep an eye on the Indian side and reduce its dependence on foreign satellites for civil and military purposes, according to a media report.
Several projects will be initiated to develop self-reliance capacity and reduce dependence on foreign satellites, mainly the US and French satellites for civil and military communications.
The budget of the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Organisation (Suparco) for the upcoming fiscal year 2018-19 is Rs 4.70 billion which includes Rs 2.55 billion for three new projects, Dawn News reported.
Suparco has been regularly conducting activities each year to increase awareness of space technology and to promote its peaceful usage amongst students and the masses in Pakistan since 2005.
The funding includes allocation of Rs 1.35 billion for Pakistan Multi-Mission Satellite (PakSat- MM1) and the country is also planning to establish Pakistan Space Centre in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad with the allocation of Rs 1 billion.
The third project is establishment of Space Application Research Centre in Karachi with the budget of Rs 200 million in 2018-19, the report said.
The total cost of PakSat-MM1 is Rs 27.57 billion and that of the space centres is Rs 26.91 billion, it added.
Advanced space programme is the need of time not only due to growing demand from the civil communications, including the GPS, mobile telephony and the internet but due to changing scenario in the region also, analysts have said.
“There are two unusual developments in the region effecting the strategic situation – first of all Pakistan has to keep an eye on Indian side and previously their programme had limited quality advancements but now the US has active cooperation with the Indian satellite programme,” Maria Sultan, a defence analyst said.


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State

Govt approves APOs of Forest, Wildlife dept for 2019-20

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Jammu Jan 15:  Chief Secretary, B. V. R. Subrahmanyam Tuesday chaired the 16th meeting of the Steering Committee of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) to consider the Annual Plan of Operations (APOs) of Forest and Wildlife Departments for the Year 2019-20.

After due deliberations, the Steering Committee approved the APOs for the year 2019-20 for Forest and allied Departments in terms of which afforestation will be undertaken in 6000 Hectare area and around 43 Lakh saplings will be planted in 2019-20. The Committee also approved the APOs of Wildlife Protection Department.

Earlier, the Committee was informed that against 13,000 hectares diverted under Jammu and Kashmir Forest Conservation Act for development works since inception, more than 41,000 hectares degraded forest area has been afforested.

 

Against each tree felled under the Act for development works, more than 20 new plants have been planted to compensate for the loss of environmental goods and services.

The Committee was informed that new Rules which have been notified on December 24th 2018 provide that more than 80% of the total outlay is to be spent on Forest and Wildlife Management Activities and less than 20% of the outlay on Infrastructure and Capacity building Activities.

The Committee was also informed that a Monitoring Group headed by CCF (Project and Planning) has been entrusted with the task of evolving independent system for concurrent monitoring and evaluations of CAMPA works.

Chief Secretary desired that utility of expenditure on fencing works should be reviewed by the Department for more effective utilization of funds.

It was informed that the coordinates and maps of the works executed under CAMPA are being placed on the website of e-green watch portal of Ministry of Environment and Forest.

While underscoring the importance of conservation and protection of flora, fauna and forest wealth, Chief Secretary urged the officers of the Forest Department to redouble their efforts so that afforestation and compensatory plantation is undertaken in a mission mode for restoring the ecological balance in the State. He also directed the Forest Department to put the details of works undertaken under CAMPA in public domain. The Department was also directed to work out a comprehensive proposal for conservation of wetlands in the State, particularly Gharana, Mansar and Hokersar, in consultation with the line Departments viz; Agriculture and Revenue and thereafter submit the same for consideration of the Government within two months.

Commissioner/Secretary, Forest advocated earmarking higher allocations to promote cultivation and marketing of medicinal plants so as to serve as a means of livelihood for the local population.

The Wildlife Department was directed to carry out habitat improvement, human animal conflict management and research studies and other conservation works under CAMPA. The Department was further directed to expedite updating of Forest Demarcation records and installation of boundary pillars in order to prevent encroachment of forest lands.

Principal Secretary, Finance, Principal Secretary, Planning, Development and Monitoring, Commissioner/Secretary, Forest, Ecology and Environment, Director, Soil & Water Conservation, Director, SFRI, Director, Social Forestry Department, Chief Conservator Forests, Jammu, Chief Conservator Forests (Eco Tourism), Chief Conservator of Forests (Planning & Project), CCF(FCA) and representative of MoEF&CC, Regional Office Chandigarh participated in the meeting. NGO members Nazir-B-Nazir and Dr.Gurmit Singh also attended the meeting as special invitees.

Sarvesh Rai, APCCF(CAMPA) made a detailed presentation on the functioning of CAMPA and APOs of the financial year 2019-20.

 

 

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K-issue globally accepted dispute: Geelani

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Srinagar, Jan 15: Hurriyat Conference (G) convened a meeting of its Majlis-e-Shoora, which was presided over by its chairman, Syed Ali Geelani, at his Hyderpora residence.

The meeting took stock of the current Kashmir situation.

According to a statement issued to the media, the meeting was attended by representatives of the amalgam including Bilal Siqiqui, Mohammad Yousf Naqash, Khawaja Firdous, Hameed Elahi, Molvi Bashir Irfani, Syed Mohammad Shafi, Yasmeen Raja, Arshid Aziz, Gh. Mohammad Nagoo, Shaheen Iqbal, Devinder Singh Behal, Masooda Ji, Mohammad Maqbool Magami and Mubashir Iqbal.

 

The statement read that during the meeting it was termed Kashmir issue as a long pending political and humanitarian issue to be settled by exercising free and fair plebiscite.

Hailing the statement of British Parliamentarian to help solve the Kashmir issue if voted to power, participants said that this once again vindicates our stand and proves beyond doubt the disputed nature of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which India shamelessly continues to denial for the last 7 decades.

In his presidential address, Hurriyat Chairman termed Kashmir issue a globally accepted dispute where in the people’s right to self-determination is not only acknowledged but confirmed by more than a dozen resolutions, but persistent denial of our basic rights has turned this beautiful piece of land in a hell where every day killings, crackdowns, arrests, nocturnal raids and bulldozing residences has became a routine. People have been forced to live a harassed and threatened life, with continuous psychological stress, he said.

He further said that people are left at the mercy of forces, with vast and widespread intelligence network, who continuously peep into their private affairs without any moral or ethical ground.

Hurriyat (G) chairman said that common people especially pro-freedom political workers are slapped with numberless PSA and even the release orders from their own judicial houses are not honoured.

Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman said that many countries have economic interests in India is which is the reason that despite knowing and confirming the barbaric and brute face of India they keep mum, which encourages its meanness and beastliness.

He stressed upon the nation in general and youth in particular to strengthen our bond with our faith and seek guidance from Allah Almighty, be united and steadfast on achieving our goal and we will In Shah Allah get rid of this unnatural and forced occupation.

Reiterating his appeal for boycott, Hurriyat (G) chairman said that those elected by our votes, in the name of basic needs like Sadak, Bijli and Pani, act as local faces of the brutality and inhumanness of rulers.

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Anti-Kashmir think tank hell-bent to change JK’s demography: Sehrai

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Srinagar, Jan 15: Reacting on tagging and filing yet another plea in Supreme Court (SC) against the Article 370, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Chairman, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai Tuesday said anti-Kashmir think tank are hell-bent to change the demography of the Jammu and Kashmir.

In a statement issued here Sehrai said, “It’s a well-thought-out ploy to tamper with the special status and Muslim majority character of Jammu and Kashmir.”

“These forces are working hard to sabotage the future referendum process in Jammu and Kashmir and hatching conspiracies to achieve desired results to influence the process of referendum,” he said.

 

He said such moves were hatched to change the “disputed nature of J&K and its Muslim majority character too”. “The extremist elements had since 1947 always tried to push the Kashmir issue on the back burner and dilute its historical status and disputed character which they continue to do till this date. From Srinagar to New Delhi, efforts are being made to shift focus from Kashmir issue by portraying it away from its historical and ethical background,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sehrai expressed sorrow over the demise of Haji Ghulam Nabi Mir, member of Jamat-e-Islami Kulgam, President of JK Electrical Employees Union Mir Abdul Salaam Rajpori and cousin brother of General Secretary (TeH) Hamzah Shah.

Sehrai extended his condolences and sympathy to the bereaved families and prayed for the deceased souls.

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