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Global outrage as Trump recognizes Jerusalem Israeli capital

Washington (OIC-UNA) - Leaders and heads of state across the Middle East and the rest of the world warned of disastrous consequences as US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital � a decision that overturns decades of US policy.

Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital, the US leader declared from the White House. Acknowledging this as a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace. It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Trump said, urging calm and the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres implicitly criticized Trump's decision, warning that the city's status must be resolved through direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, according to media reports. From day one as secretary-general of the UN, I have consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians, Guterres said. Jerusalem is a final status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides, Guterres said.

Pope Francis said that maintaining Jerusalem's status quo was important in order to avoid adding new elements of tension to an already volatile world that is wracked by so many cruel conflicts. The European Union said in a statement that it expresses serious concern about announcement by Trump on Jerusalem and the repercussions this may have on the prospect of peace.

In a statement UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that the UK 'disagrees' with the US decision on Jerusalem, describing it as 'unhelpful'. "We disagree with the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital," she said in a statement. "We believe it is unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region".

French President Emmanuel Macron branded as regrettable Trump's decision, calling for efforts to avoid violence at all costs. This decision is a regrettable decision that France does not approve of and goes against international law and all the resolutions of the UN Security Council, Macron told reporters at a news conference in Algiers.

Turkey slammed the announcement as irresponsible and illegal. We condemn the irresponsible statement of the US administration... the decision is against international law and relevant UN resolutions, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter.

Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had warned after a meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah that the move would play into the hands of terror groups. Erdogan has already called a summit meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul on Dec. 13 to discuss the issue.

Jordan rejected the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel saying it was "legally null" because it consolidated Israel's occupation of the eastern sector of the contested city in the 1967 war. The announcement by President Trump violated past U.N. Security Council resolutions that "stipulated the non-recognition of the Israeli occupation" of the West Bank and the eastern sector of the city, government spokesperson Mohammad al-Momani told state news agency Petra. The kingdom also considered "all unilateral moves that sought to create new facts on the ground as null and void", the government spokesman added.

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has also expressed Egypt's rejection of the move and of "any implications resulting from it," in a statement issued. Egypt's Foreign Ministry said that Trump's announcement did not change the city's legal status. Jordan condemned the move as amounting to a violation of international law and the UN charter. The decision of the American president constitutes a violation of decisions of international law and the United Nations charter, said government spokesman Mohammed Momani.

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun said that Trump's Jerusalem decision was dangerous and threatened the credibility of the United States as a broker of the peace process in the region. The decision has put back the peace process by decades, and threatens regional stability and perhaps global stability, Aoun said in a statement. Tunisia's foreign ministry also warned that Trump's move "seriously threatens to undermine the foundations of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process."

Mohammed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Egypt's former vice president who now lives in self-imposed exile, suggested Arabs do have options, including radically reducing the billions of Arab money flowing to America and a radical downsizing of diplomatic, military and intelligence relations with the US. Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar Mosque, said: It incites feelings of anger among all Muslims and threatens world peace. The gates of hell will be opened in the West before the East, he added.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

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US State Department Braces for Violent Fallout from Jerusalem Recognition

STATE DEPARTMENT The State Department has issued security warnings at scores of U.S. embassies around the world, bracing for protests or violence from President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. At the United Nations, American diplomats are preparing for a meeting Friday called by eight of the 15 Security Council members, including close U.S. allies Britain, Italy and France.

Reaction around the world has been almost universally critical of the decision, which marks a break from decades of U.S. policy.

France, Germany, Italy and Britain have all sharply criticized the decision, saying the status of Jerusalem should be negotiated within the framework of the final stages of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which have been suspended for the past three years.

In Vienna on Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson defended the president's announcement, saying recognizing Jerusalem is simply a recognition of reality.

"The reality is Israel's government, its courts, its prime minister's office is all in Jerusalem today, so it is just an acknowledgment of what is the reality on the ground," he said.

Critics say that even though Israel's government treats the city as the country's capital, the U.S. decision to recognize it preempts peace talks for the broader Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Palestinians want an independent country with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Tillerson said the U.S. designation should not affect those negotiations.

"We think that the final status of Jerusalem should be a result of direct negotiations between two parties there, and I think we should do anything possible to avoid further escalation in the region," he said.

Tillerson sought to reassure those opposed to moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem that there would be no hasty action.

"As to the move of the embassy, the president has directed me and the State Department to undertake the process to begin an effort to move the embassy," he said. "We are not going to be doing that quickly. We have to acquire a site. We have to develop building plans. We'll have to construct the building. So this is not something that will happen overnight."

Violence, protests

Violent clashes erupted Thursday in the West Bank and Gaza between hundreds of Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops and street protests.

Fearing more violent protests, the State Department took the unusual step of updating a worldwide caution to U.S. citizens abroad:

"As terrorist attacks, political upheaval, and violence often take place without any warning, U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness when traveling."

The caution said U.S. government facilities worldwide remain in a heightened state of alert, and warned they may temporarily close or suspend public services. The U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan, has temporarily suspended routine public services.

The U.S. Embassy in Amman has temporarily suspended routine public services. U.S. government personnel and their family members in Jordan are limiting public movements, including an instruction for children not to attend school on December 7, 2017.

� U.S. Embassy Jordan (@USEmbassyJordan) December 6, 2017

U.S. embassies in countries across the world issued similar security warnings.

Source: Voice of America

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Sindh Revenue Board should review unjust 10 percent GST on Security Agencies: Muffasar Malik

Karachi, December 07, 2017 (PPI-OT):President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Muffasar Atta Malik, after thoroughly listening to the grievances being faced by Security Agencies in smoothly carrying out their businesses, assured that the Karachi Chamber, being the largest Chamber and actual representative of the business and industrial community, will approach Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) for holding a meeting at the earliest in order to discuss and review the unjust 10 percent General Sales Tax (GST) on Security Services.

Exchanging views with members of a delegation from All Pakistan Security Agencies Association (APSAA) who were led by Chairman APSAA Maj. (Retd.) Munir Ahmed during their visit to Karachi Chamber, Muffasar Malik said that SRB should review the unjust 10 percent GST on Security Services which had been raised earlier during the last visit of Chief Minister Sindh to KCCI who immediately directed Chairman Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) to discuss the same with relevant stakeholders but unfortunately, neither any meeting was held nor any follow up was carried out. KCCI will seriously take up this matter on priority basis in order to provide some relief to Security Agencies and their clients.

Senior Vice President KCCI Abdul Basit Abdul Razzak, Vice President Rehan Hanif, Honorary General Secretary APSAA Tauqir ul Islam and others members of APSAA delegation and KCCI’s Managing Committee were also present at the meeting. Speaking on the occasion, Chairman APSAA Maj. (Retd.) Munir Ahmed said that it was the prime responsibility of the government to ensure security to the lives and property of citizens but as it was not being done effectively, the business community finds no other option but to hire private security guards, which results in additional expenses on security whereas the unjust GST on Security Agencies has further exacerbated the situation.

He said that it was highly unfair to levy GST on complete invoice value instead of only charging on Service Charges, which, if done, would substantially reduce the cost. He said that providing security services is a very difficult job yet they are trying to deliver the best services as per expectations but it was very unfortunate that this important Services Industry suffer badly due to lack of support from the government. “The situation has slightly improved as some recognition is now being given to APSAA but overall, we are largely being ignored and continue to face discrimination”, he added.

Seeking KCCI’s support in convincing the authorities to review the unjust GST on Security Services, he said that Security Agencies in Sindh are paying 10 percent GST whereas 16 percent GST is applicable in Punjab while the other two provinces were also levying double digit GST which has to be withdrawn or reduced to curtail the high cost of Security Services borne by clients who in first place should have been provided security by the State free of cost.

Maj. (Retd.) Munir Ahmed sought KCCI’s assistance in convincing the authorities to make APSAA’s membership mandatory for all Security Agencies operating in Pakistan which would certainly help in improving the quality of service. Earlier, while welcoming the delegation members, President KCCI Muffasar Malik said that the Karachi Chamber is ready to provide full support and cooperation to APSAA for resolving any issue being faced by them in smoothly carrying out their businesses.

President KCCI, while expressing deep concern over deteriorating quality of security services being provided by various agencies, informed that the quality of service has been descending due to rising cost. He was of the view that Security Agencies in Pakistan were already facing difficult time and such unjust imposition of taxes have worsened the situation. APSAA delegation members asked Karachi Chamber to support APSAA in raising awareness about legal and illegal Security Agencies particularly amongst members of the business community.

They said that Personal Guards, who are usually seen carrying private weapons and wearing blue uniform, simply cannot be considered as Private Security Guards from any Security Agency. It has been observed that majority of these private guards are hired individually and are not part of any Security Agency but they look alike and also give an impression of being a Guard from Security Agency which is not factual and creates a bad impression about all the Security Agencies, particularly when these private guards are involved in any mishap.

They stressed that these Private Guards and Private Security Guards have to be classified to avoid the confusion. In this regard, a unique uniform or any other identification has to be introduced and strictly implemented to differentiate between the two categories of guards.

For more information, contact:
Director Press/Electronic Media and Public Relations
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
Aiwan-e-Tijarat Road, Off Shahrah-e-Liaquat,
Phone: +92-21-99218001-09
Fax: +92-21-99218040
Email: info@kcci.com.pk, secretary@kcci.com.pk
Website: www.kcci.com.pk

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United States Government provides Balochistan Police with Six Armoured Personnel Vehicles

Karachi, December 06, 2017 (PPI-OT):On December 6, Consul General Grace Shelton officially handed over six armoured personnel vehicles (APVs) worth 150 million rupee ($1.5 million USD) to the Balochistan police officials at an event in Karachi. The vehicles were built by the American company Lenco and were designed specifically for the rough terrain of Balochistan and easy maintenance locally.

In addition to the APVs, the United States recently donated 4,000 bullet resistant vests, mine and explosives detectors, bomb suits, and bomb blankets. The total donation was in excess of $7 million USD. Speaking at the event the Consul General said, “The recent targeted killings of Balochistan police officers shows just how dangerous policing can be in Balochistan and how we cannot rest in determining ways to keep law enforcement officers safe. The United States Government hopes these vehicles and the other protective equipment can help protect these brave officers while they continue to fight crime and terrorism.”

The United States Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs works in more than 90 countries to help countries combat crime and corruption, counter drug-related offences, improve police institutions, and promote laws and court systems that are fair and accountable. Find out more about INL at: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/

For more information, contact:
Consulate General of the United States of America
Plot No 3-5, TPX Area, Mai Kolachi Road,
Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-35275000 Ext: 5242
Fax: +92-21-35275985
Cell: +92-302-8294015
Email: asmusbp@state.gov
Website: http://karachi.usconsulate.gov

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Pakistani Zaireen attend Urs of Hazrat Khawaja Allauddin Ali Ahmed Sabir (RA) at Kalyar Sharifin India

New Delhi, December 06, 2017 (PPI-OT):A group of 152 Pakistani Zaireen (pilgrims) is currently visiting Kalyar Sharif in the Indian state of Uttarakhand to participate in the annual Urs of Hazrat Khawaja Allauddin Ali Ahmed Sabir (RA) from 30 November-...

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Rivers flows and reservoirs level report

Lahore, December 06, 2017 (PPI-OT):The position of the river inflows and outflows at Tarbela, Mangla and Chashma along with the reservoirs levels and the barrages today is as under:Rivers: Indus at Tarbela: Inflows 22200 cusecs and Outflows 32000 cusec...

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