Authorities shut down six ‘illegal’ Iranian schools in southwest Pakistan

Authorities shut down six ‘illegal’ Iranian schools in southwest Pakistan
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Photo/Quetta Assistant Commissioner
Authorities shut down six ‘illegal’ Iranian schools in southwest Pakistan
2 / 3
Photo/Quetta Assistant Commissioner
Authorities shut down six ‘illegal’ Iranian schools in southwest Pakistan
3 / 3
Photo/Quetta Assistant Commissioner
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Updated 12 June 2021

Authorities shut down six ‘illegal’ Iranian schools in southwest Pakistan

Authorities shut down six ‘illegal’ Iranian schools in southwest Pakistan
  • Schools were teaching foreign curriculum in violation of Pakistani law, officials say
  • Management and faculty of the schools consisted of Iranian nationals

KARACHI: Pakistani authorities have closed six Iranian schools operating illegally in southwestern Balochistan province, officials said on Saturday.
All six schools shut on Friday were run by Iranian nationals in Quetta, the capital of the province bordering Iran.
“We have sealed six schools, which were being illegally run by Iranian nationals and where a foreign syllabus was being taught in violation of the country law,” Quetta Assistant Commissioner Muhammad Zuhaib-ul-Haq told Arab News.
Shabbir Ahmed, monitoring and evaluation director of the provincial government’s Balochistan Education Foundation, said that four more schools are being investigated for teaching a foreign curriculum.
“It’s likely that the remaining four schools will also be sealed since they don’t fulfil requirements,” Ahmed said. “Foreign-funded schools with foreign faculty and foreign syllabus are unacceptable.”
Both the management and faculty of the schools consisted of Iranian nationals, he added.
It remains unclear when the schools were established. All the schools had 1992 “no objection” certificates on display, Ahmed said, but this was not sufficient for them to operate as they had failed to register with the provincial home and education departments.
The schools attracted the attention of local authorities five months ago and were asked to register properly.
“A form was handed to them to get themselves registered, but registration was declined after they failed to fulfil requirements,” Ahmed said.
“If you are teaching in Pakistan, which is a sovereign state, you have to teach Pakistani syllabus,” he added. “It is not possible to teach a foreign curriculum in a sovereign state.”

 

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SYDNEY: Troops hit Sydney’s streets on Monday to help enforce its prolonged lockdown, as stay-at-home orders in Australia’s third-largest city Brisbane were extended to curb a worsening outbreak.
About 300 Australian Defense Force personnel will be deployed to the country’s largest city after New South Wales state police requested military help to enforce COVID-19 rules.
Authorities have been struggling to stop the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant in Sydney — and ensure that residents follow containment rules — with more than 3,600 cases recorded since mid-June.
With thousands of close contacts of COVID cases told to test and stay at home for 14 days, police said they lacked the manpower to make sure everyone was complying.
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More than five million people in Sydney and surrounding areas are entering their sixth week of a lockdown set to run until the end of August.
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SEOUL: South Korea said on Monday no decision has been made on its joint military exercises with the United States but they should not create tension, after North Korea warned the South against holding the exercises amid signs of a thaw in relations.
South Korea and the United States regularly stage military exercises, mainly in the spring and summer, but North Korea has long responded with scathing criticism, calling them a rehearsal for war.
Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and a senior official of the ruling Workers’ Party, warned the South on Sunday that holding the drills would undercut efforts to rebuild relations.
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Seoul’s defense ministry said on Monday that Seoul and Washington were in talks over the drills but no decision has been made.
“We have nothing to comment on her statement, but regarding the exercises, the timing and method were not finalized,” ministry spokesman Boo Seung-chan told a briefing.
The allies will decide after considering COVID-19, joint defense posture, planned transfer of wartime operational control, and the issue of “supporting diplomatic efforts for establishing lasting peace on the Korean peninsula,” Boo added.
Lee Jong-joo, spokeswoman of the Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs, said the exercises should not be a “source of military tension in any case,” without elaborating.
The exercises have been scaled back in recent years to facilitate talks between North Korea and the administration of former US President Donald Trump aimed at dismantling Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs in return for US sanctions relief.
But the negotiations stalled following a failed second summit in 2019 between Kim and Trump.
The coronavirus pandemic also had an impact on the drills, with the allies focusing instead on computerised simulations and minimizing live field training, without mobilizing US-based troops.
A high-level Unification Ministry official said on Friday that the exercises should be postponed to help restart nuclear talks, but Lee declined to comment when asked if the ministry plans to make a formal recommendation.
Lee said the South last week proposed setting up a video conference system to expedite inter-Korean dialogue and approved plans by two civilian relief groups to send humanitarian aid to the North.


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Updated 02 August 2021

ASEAN diplomats discussing crisis envoy, aid to Myanmar

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MANILA: Southeast Asia’s top diplomats were meeting Monday to appoint a special envoy to help deal with the political crisis and violence gripping Myanmar and finalize an emergency plan to help control a coronavirus outbreak that many fear is spiraling out of control in the military-ruled nation.
The foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations were also expected to announce after their video meeting some progress in four years of painstakingly slow negotiations with China to craft a nonaggression pact aimed at preventing conflict in the disputed South China Sea.
The 10-nation bloc, frequently dismissed by critics as an ineffective talk shop, has been under increasing international pressure to act on the troubles unfolding in Myanmar, an ASEAN member where the military in February toppled the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The grouping, however, is hamstrung by its policy of noninterference in the domestic affairs of member nations as well as its requirement to reach a consensus among members.
In Monday’s online meeting the ministers were to decide who among at least three nominees from Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia should be designated as the bloc’s special envoy to try to broker a settlement between the country’s ruling generals and rival parties led by Suu Kyi, a Southeast Asian diplomat told the Associated Press.
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More than 900 people have been killed by Myanmar authorities since the February takeover, according to a tally kept by the independent Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. Casualties are also rising among the military and police as armed resistance grows in both urban and rural areas.
ASEAN leaders met in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta in April and called for an end to the violence and the start of a dialogue among contending parties to be mediated by an ASEAN envoy.
On Sunday, Myanmar’s military leader Min Aung Hlaing repeated his pledge to hold fresh elections in two years and cooperate with ASEAN on finding a political solution. He said without elaborating that Myanmar “is ready to work on ASEAN cooperation within the ASEAN framework, including the dialogue with the ASEAN special envoy in Myanmar.”
Myanmar’s troubles have deepened with its worst surge of the pandemic, which has overwhelmed its crippled health care system. Limits on oxygen sales have led to widespread allegations that the military is directing supplies to government supporters and military-run hospitals.
In Monday’s meeting, the ASEAN ministers were to looking to finalize a plan to bring in medicine and medical equipment to Myanmar through the regional bloc’s disaster-response center with the military leaders’ approval.
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“ASEAN has no leverage with the junta,” Poling said.
In addition to Myanmar, the other ASEAN members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The ministerial meetings this week include the ASEAN Regional Forum, a security conference where North Korea attends along with the United States, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea.