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United States of America – Human Rights Champion?



KARACHI: The United States, who branded himself as the world’s human rights defender, has always pursued hegemonism, unilateralism and interventionism. The country frequently uses force, resulting in a large number of civilian casualties. It has become the biggest obstacle and destroyer of the sound development of the international human rights cause.

The cost
Since the 21st century, the United States has launched a series of global foreign military operations in the name of anti-terrorism, resulting in nearly one million deaths. The website of USA Today reported on Feb. 25, 2021 that the so-called anti-terrorism war launched by the United States in the past 20 years has claimed the lives of more than 929,000 people, according to the “costs of war” study by Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs of Brown University. The 20-year U.S. military operations in Afghanistan have killed 174,000 people, including more than 30,000 civilians, and injured more than 60,000 people.

The ongoing war and instability have made nearly a third of the Afghan population refugees. A total of 3.5 million Afghans have been displaced by the conflict, and nearly 23 million face extreme hunger, including 3.2 million children under the age of five. When the United States withdrew its troops from Afghanistan, it immediately froze billions of dollars in foreign exchange reserves at the Afghan central Bank, causing the Afghan economy to be on the brink of collapse and making life worse for the people.

According to an assessment by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Program which was released November 2021, only 5 percent of Afghans receive enough food on a daily basis. Since 2016, 40 percent of airstrike casualties have been kids. In one infamous incident, US and Afghan forces attacked a Doctors Without Borders hospital, destroying its main building and killing forty-two patients and staff, even though they’d been given its GPS coordinates beforehand and hospital personnel had alerted the US military while they were being attacked.

It was as unambiguous a war crime as you can find, which is presumably why Washington put the kibosh on any independent investigation, no matter the contradictory and evolving explanations offered. Eventually, both Afghan forces and the US military publicly agreed they had committed the atrocity on purpose, supposedly because the Taliban had used the hospital as a perch from which to attack them.

The business
The New York Times reported that U.S. national defense contractors were the real winners in the “war on terror” and that the United States’ 20 years in Afghanistan “really built not a country but more than 500 military bases and the personal wealth of those who supplied them.” Only about 12 percent of the reconstruction aid the United States provided from 2020 to 2021 actually went to the Afghan government, with most of the rest going to American companies like Lewis Berger.

The future
26TH August, 2022, on the eve of US withdraw from Afgaistan, thirteen U.S. service members are killed and at least eighteen are injured in an attack at a checkpoint outside the Kabul airport, where thousands of people are being evacuated. They are the first U.S. service members killed in action in Afghanistan since February 2020. At least 170 Afghans are also killed.

The Islamic State in Khorasan claims responsibility, and several days after, the United States launches an air strike targeting a suspected plotter from the group. However, the Pentagon later admits that the strike was a “mistake” and killed ten civilians, including seven children.
This is a microcosm of the legacy left by the United States to Afghanistan. What are other elements left there? Terrorism, poverty, chaos, disorder, death, to name a few..


Sindh Food Authority inks MoAs with ICCBS to ensure safe, hygienic, healthy food



KARACHI: Sindh Food Authority (SFA), Government of Sindh, has signed two Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi.

Sindh Food Authority signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Halal Certification Testing and Research Services (HCTRS) and the Industrial Analytical Center (IAC), ICCBS, University of Karachi.

This MoA aims to create a long-term framework of collaboration, cooperation, and development of a strong linkage between SFA and the research centers of the ICCBS for the testing of food products, which is in the interest of both institutions.

The SFA Director General Agha Fakhar Hussain and Prof. Dr. Farzana Shaheen, the Director of the ICCBS, University of Karachi, signed the agreement in a meeting held at the HEJ, Research Institute of Chemistry, University of Karachi on Friday evening.

Among others who attended the meeting were officials from SFA Prof. Dr. Asad Sayyed, Dr. Naveed Bhutto, Dr. Seema, Danish Arshad, and officials from ICCBS, including Prof. Dr. Abid Ali, Prof. Dr. Syed Ghulam Musharraf, Prof. Dr. Shabana Simjee, Prof. Dr. Asmat Salim, Dr. Imran Malik, Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmad Khan, Dr. Shakil Ahmed, Jawaid Riaz, and others.

In his talk, the SFA Director-General praised the efforts made by the ICCBS administration to make this agreement possible in the interest of Sindh province. He also praised the industrial support and national services of the International Center (ICCBS).

He said the authority’s goal was to guarantee that the people of Sindh were fed in a safe, hygienic, and healthy manner by standards.

I want to have strong relations between SFA and the ICCBS, University of Karachi, he said, adding that SFA is trying to make all possible efforts to provide better food items to the people of Sindh.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Farzana Shaheen congratulated the officials of the SFA and ICCBS on the signing of the agreement. She hoped that this agreement would further strengthen the University’s HCTRS and IAC in the province.

Halal Testing Laboratory works to standardize and uplift the high-quality standard of nutrition & hygiene in Halal-certified food & other products by international export quality standards, she said.

Talking about IAC, the director said that IAC was doing their best to meet customer’s testing requirements with integrity, reliability, accuracy, precision of data, and timeliness of reports to achieve customer satisfaction and define specifications in compliance with ISO/IEC Laboratory Accreditation System and ISO 9001Quality Management System.

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DG Sindh Food Authority Agha Fakhar disburses certificates



KARACHI: Director General of the Sindh Food Authority Agha Fakhar Hussain distributed certificates among the participants at the HEJ, University of Karachi.

The certificates were given away to the participants of the highly prestigious Training Programme over Halal Food and Meat Detection Methods Training and Inter-laboratory Comparison for Organisation of Islamic cooperation (OIC) countries (2022-SMIC-006) held at Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in hybrid format on October 23, 2023. The certificate were signed by the SMIIC General Secretary.  

Prof. Dr. Syed Ghulam Musharraf (Tamgha-e- Imtiaz) and Prof. Dr. Farzana Sheen attended the event.

The SMIIC (Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries) is an intergovernmental and one of the 17 affiliated organizations of the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation). Its primary focus is on standardization and metrology technical elements.

Pakistani candidates participated through online sessions. The participants were selected through a detailed procedure and tests.

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Sindh Food Authority appoints Dr Rashida Irtifaq as its Ambassador



KARACHI: The Sindh Food Authority (SFA) is to appoint prominent educationist Professor Dr Rashida Irtifaq Ali as Honorary Senior Food Safety and Hygiene Ambassador.

In light of this significant appointment, a ceremony has been scheduled for January 9, 2024 at Jinnah Auditorium Dr AQ Khan Institute of Bio-Technology and Genetic Engineering, University of Karachi.

Caretaker Chief Minister Sindh Justice (R) Maqbool Baqar, Secretary Food, Government of Sindh and other dignitaries will attend the event to support the vision of the Sindh Food Authority.

Professor Dr Rashida Irtifaq Ali has been an integral part of Karachi University for the past fifty years where she not only fulfilled her teaching responsibilities but also played a pivotal role in establishing the Department of Food Sciences and Technology.

At the age of 85, Dr Rashida Ali continues to serve in academia and the industry, demonstrating an unparalleled commitment to education.

While talking to Sindhnews, Sindh Food Authority’s Director General Agha Fakhar Hussain said that the food authority had recognized contributions of Professor Dr Rashida Irtifaq by appointing her as the Honorary Senior Food Safety and Hygiene Ambassador, a position that reflects her expertise and dedication to the field.

The appointment of Dr Rashida Irtifaq will not only acknowledge her achievements but will also provide an opportunity to raise awareness among university students about the principles of health preservation related to food consumption.

In the event, Dr Rashida Irtifaq will also be presented with a shield by the Sindh Food Authority as a token of appreciation for her outstanding contributions, says Agha Fakhar.

The Sindh Food Authority was established in April 2018 under the SFA Act 2016 and the Authority has been established Under Section-3 (1) of the Act ibid with the mandate to provide safe, hygienic and health food to the people of Sindh, he adds.

The Authority is performing its functions accordingly as per the Sindh Food Authority Act 2016 but the major hurdle is the lack of awareness among general masses and food handlers at large, regarding the food safety and hygiene principles.

The authority’s mandate to provide safe, healthy and hygienic food to the people of Sindh can not only be achieved witht eh coercive measures but it requires general awareness campaign among the masses and food handlers and the issue demands the participation of all segments of the society, the DG concluded.

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