Pakistan’s Center for Excellence in Journalism launches fact-checking platform ahead of elections

Special Pakistan’s Center for Excellence in Journalism launches fact-checking platform ahead of elections
Pakistani journalist Mansoor Ali Khan (right) holds a session during the launching of a new fact-checking initiative, iVerify Pakistan, by the country’s premier training facility for journalists and journalism students, the Centre of Excellence in Journalism, in Islamabad on January 12, 2024. (Photo courtesy: X/@CEJatIBA)
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Updated 19 January 2024
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Pakistan’s Center for Excellence in Journalism launches fact-checking platform ahead of elections

Pakistan’s Center for Excellence in Journalism launches fact-checking platform ahead of elections
  • Launched last week, iVerify Pakistan will use monitoring tools to track misinformation across social and mainstream media
  • CEJ and media partners will collaboratively verify news using artificial intelligence, photo forensics, journalistic investigation

KARACHI: Pakistan’s Center of Excellence in Journalism (CEJ), the country’s premier training facility for journalists and journalism students, has launched a new fact-checking initiative which the director of the project said would help identify and combat misinformation ahead of general elections next month.
Launched in Islamabad last week, iVerify Pakistan will use monitoring tools to track misinformation across social and mainstream media. The fact-checking process involves a buddy system, where team members or media partners collaboratively verify news using tools such as artificial intelligence, photo forensics, and journalistic investigation and ensure adherence to global fact-checking standards, and that verified content is published on their website and social media platforms. The platform distinguishes itself by using a diverse set of tools, avoiding reliance on a single method, and prioritizing the depth and variety of data for comprehensive fact-checking.
The initiative, launched in collaboration with UNDP and a private media monitoring company, engages media partners and volunteers from 13 universities trained in digital literacy. It also includes a tip line for content submission and aims to address limited fact-checking resources, low awareness of factual content, and the impact of misinformation, especially among young Pakistanis using social media.
“We’re trying to tackle [the misinformation/disinformation during elections], we’re trying to address the speed of monitoring and checking. We’re also trying to tackle the problem of fact check content, and its deployment and its amplification,” CEJ director Amber Rahim Shamsi told Arab News.
For the upcoming elections, the platform intended to produce insight reports for journalists in media organization as well as for policymakers and social media companies.
“We want to identify what the trends have been, what the techniques have been, and what kind of tools have been used to spread misinformation, disinformation,” said Shamsi.
Asked if the platform had already fact-checked election-related content, Shamsi said elections were currently its main focus.
“There’s been a lot of disinformation campaigns that have centered around opponents, for instance, lots of videos, fake videos and pictures about various rallies. So, we’ve covered some of tjose,” the CEJ director said. “We’re looking to broaden this a little as this [election] exercise gets underway.”

Talal Ahsan, the fact-check supervisor for the project, said his team was using a variety of tools like artificial intelligence and photo manipulation software.
“We decide what the actual status of a particular piece of news is, whether it is true, whether it is false, whether it is misleading, or whether it is unproven,” he said.
“Our particular strength is in the variety and in the depth of the tools that we use. We don’t just remain limited to one.”


Pakistan Army rescue injured Estonian mountaineer trapped in Skardu 

Pakistan Army rescue injured Estonian mountaineer trapped in Skardu 
Updated 13 sec ago
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Pakistan Army rescue injured Estonian mountaineer trapped in Skardu 

Pakistan Army rescue injured Estonian mountaineer trapped in Skardu 
  • Saama Marie injured her leg while climbing Nanga Parbat mountain in Gilgit-Baltistan
  • Marie has been shifted to Skardu for medical treatment, confirms Pakistan Television News

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Army has rescued Estonian climber Saama Marie who injured her leg whilst attempting to climb the Nanga Parbat mountain in the country’s northern Gilgit-Baltistan region, state broadcaster Pakistan Television (PTV) News said on Sunday. 

Pakistan is home to five of the world’s tallest mountains that loom above 8,000 meters, including K2 and Nanga Parbat, known for their treacherous climbs. Nanga Parbat is one of the world’s tallest mountains standing at 26,660 feet. It is situated in the Pakistani-administered sector of the Himalayan Kashmir region.

Marie last updated followers on her Facebook account on June 9 that she had camped on the slope of Ganalo at the Nanga Parbat mountain at an altitude of 4,900 meters. There had been no update from her since then. 
In a video shared by PTV News, two men can be seen carrying an injured Marie to a Pakistan Army helicopter from the snowcapped mountain. 
“I have a leg injury and I have currently escaped by [the help of] Pakistan Army helicopter, taken from Nanga Parbat base camp to Skardu hospital,” she said from the helicopter. 
PTV News confirmed in a post on social media platform X that the Estonian climber had been shifted to Skardu for medical treatment. 
The development takes place a day after local officials confirmed the body of one of two Japanese climbers, reported missing earlier this week, was found at the 7,027-meter Spantik peak in Gilgit-Baltistan on Saturday. 
Authorities launched a search operation for the other Japanese climber. 
Pakistan’s mountains attract climbers from all parts of the world. According to official figures, over 8,900 foreigners visited the remote Gilgit-Baltistan region in 2023 where the summer climbing season runs from early June to late August.


Pakistan’s Muhammad Yasir bags silver medal in Asian Throwing Championship

Pakistan’s Muhammad Yasir bags silver medal in Asian Throwing Championship
Updated 16 June 2024
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Pakistan’s Muhammad Yasir bags silver medal in Asian Throwing Championship

Pakistan’s Muhammad Yasir bags silver medal in Asian Throwing Championship
  • Yasir threw javelin at impressive distance of 78.10 meters to finish second behind Sri Lanka’s Rumesh Tharanga 
  • Tharanga threw his javelin at distance of 85.45 meters to win the competition, reports Associated Press of Pakistan 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani athlete Muhammad Yasir bagged a silver medal in the second Asian Throwing Championship competition held in South Korea on Saturday, state-run media reported. 

The Asian Throwing Championships is an annual competition featuring participants from Asian countries in track and field competitions such as javelin throw, discus throw, shot put and hammer throw. 

Yasir finished second behind Sri Lana’s Rumesh Tharanga, who threw an impressive 85.45 meters while Yasir managed to throw the javelin at a distance of 78.10 meters. 

“Talented Pakistani athlete Muhammad Yasir has secured a silver medal in the 2nd Asian Throwing Championship held in Korea,” the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) said. 

The Pakistan Athletics Federation (PAF) congratulated Yasir and his coach, Syed Fayaz Hussain Bukhari, for their outstanding achievement.

“PAF President Brig (R) Wajahat Hussain and Secretary General Col (R) Shahjahan Mir praised the duo’s dedication and hard work,” APP said. 
It added that Yasir and Bukhari are both scheduled to return home on June 18 and will be accorded a warm welcome at the airport.


Police arrest five in southern Pakistan for chopping off camel’s leg

Police arrest five in southern Pakistan for chopping off camel’s leg
Updated 16 June 2024
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Police arrest five in southern Pakistan for chopping off camel’s leg

Police arrest five in southern Pakistan for chopping off camel’s leg
  • Local media widely reported landlord chopped off camel’s leg after it trespassed into his field
  • Proper medical treatment being provided to the camel, says Sanghar lawmaker Shazia Ata Marri 

ISLAMABAD: Police in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province this week arrested five persons for their involvement in chopping off a camel’s leg, the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) reported. 

Local media reports said a landlord in Sanghar district’s Mund Jamrao village allegedly had a camel’s leg chopped off on Friday after the animal trespassed into his field for fodder. 

The owner of the camel, a poor peasant named Soomar Behan, was contacted by police after the episode went viral on social media. However, Behan refused to file charges against the landlord following which police took action. 

Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said on Saturday that a case had been registered against the accused for amputating the camel on the state’s behalf, describing it as a “humanely unacceptable” act. 

“He said that the Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had taken notice of the incident,” APP said. “Sharjeel said that the five accused had been arrested.”

Sanghar lawmaker Shazia Ata Marri wrote on social media platform X police took action as soon as she learned about the “horrible and painful” incident. 

“While the police is still doing its work, proper medical treatment is being provided to the poor animal,” she wrote on X. 

Section 429 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) states that anyone who kills, poisons, maims, or renders useless any animal of the value of ten rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment of either a term of up to two years or be fined for the offense, or both. 


Eid Al-Adha 2024: Pakistani TV channels to air special programming during three-day holiday

Eid Al-Adha 2024: Pakistani TV channels to air special programming during three-day holiday
Updated 16 June 2024
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Eid Al-Adha 2024: Pakistani TV channels to air special programming during three-day holiday

Eid Al-Adha 2024: Pakistani TV channels to air special programming during three-day holiday
  • Television remains a major source of entertainment despite increase in the number of film productions
  • TV channels will air telefilms on Eid featuring artists like Ahsan Khan, Feroze Khan and Arsalan Naseer

KARACHI: As Muslims around the world prepare to celebrate Eid Al-Adha, marking the culmination of the Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah, Pakistani television channels are planning to air some fun content for viewers’ consumption during the three-day holiday announced by the government beginning next week.
Television remains a major source of entertainment for most Pakistanis, especially during Eid and other national holidays, with drama serials and game shows being far more accessible than film productions. This holds true despite the recent increase in the number and special launches of film productions.
Arab News has compiled a list of at least six new telefilms making their way to the small screen to entertain people celebrating Eid.

Tere Naam Ka Tattoo

A poster of the TV show "Tere Naam Ka Tattoo" scheduled for transmission on Pakistani TV channel ARY Digital on Eid Al-Adha 2024 holidays.(Photo courtesy: ARY Digital/Instagram)

Content creator turned actor Arslan Naseer, who is making waves with his character in the ongoing drama ‘Radd,’ and new-age actress Sahar Hashmi will be starring in the Eid special telefilm ‘Tere Naam Ka Tattoo.’
It’s a romantic comedy, according to Naseer, who plays the role of the male protagonist Ahsan.
“He is a hopeless romantic who is in denial of his breakup,” Naseer told Arab News while explaining his character in the production.
Written by Hasan Inam, the telefilm is directed by Muhammad Iftikhar Iffi.
Naseer said it was a story of two individuals going through a rough patch who eventually find comfort in each other after being betrayed by their former love interests.
“Tere Naam Ka Tattoo is a fresh story,” he added. “It’s not our typical Bakra Eid content. It features a fresh onscreen couple and should be fun to watch.”

Pyaar Tou Warh Gaya
The Ahsan Khan and Amar Khan-starrer ‘Pyaar Tou Warh Gaya’ is described as a “very fun, Eid entertainer,” according to Amar.
Amar plays the female lead opposite Khan, who has a double role in the telefilm. He is the husband of the female lead while also disguising as a woman as his second avatar.
Amar plays the role of Khan’s naive wife who wants to know everything. However, she said, she gets puzzled when she learns the truth.
“The audience’s response to the first teaser of the telefilm has been really interesting,” she told Arab News. “Some people are comparing it to ‘dream girl.’“
“Viewers must watch it for fits of laughter this Eid Al-Adha,” she continued, adding the cast included Sidra Niazi, Behroze Sabzwari, and Adnan Jaffer, in addition to herself and Khan.
Written by debutant Shakeel Arsalan, it has been directed by Ali Faizan.

Jodi Ban Gayi

A screengrab from the TV show "Jodi Ban Gayi" scheduled for transmission on Pakistani TV channel Geo TV on Eid Al-Adha 2024 holidays.(Photo courtesy: Har Pal Geo/Instagram)

The Feroze Khan and Sehar Khan-starrer telefilm ‘Jodi Ban Gayi’ will also hit the small screen this Eid Al-Adha. Airing on the first day of Eid, the telefilm offers a fresh pair in never-seen-before characters.
“This is the most exciting aspect of the telefilm,” director Syed Ramish Rizvi said in a conversation with Arab News.
“It’s a romantic comedy that highlights there is no right age for marriage as long the mindset of two individuals align,” he added.
The cast includes Saba Faisal and Mehmood Akhtar in key roles.
“The storytelling and cast are the highlight of the project,” Rizvi said. “Feroze Khan hasn’t done a light-hearted character like this before.”

Tamanna Ki Aarzu

A poster of the TV show "Tamanna Ki Aarzu" scheduled for transmission on Pakistani TV channel ARY Digital on Eid Al-Adha 2024 holidays.(Photo courtesy: ARY Digital/Instagram)

Muneeb Butt and Madiha Imam are coming together for an Eid Al-Adha telefilm, titled ‘Tamanna Ki Aarzu.’
“It’s a 40-minute comedy tele-play that revolves around the theme of property,” Imam told Arab News.
The story, according to her, highlights how women feel insecure in financial terms after their marriage.
Imam plays the role of an unconventional woman who is straightforward and vocal against injustices.
“She is more of a tomboy,” she said.
“It’s a comic, light-hearted play that will make viewers reflect on many things,” Imam continued. “It has a very subliminal, quiet message in it. It also promises a good time with friends and family this Eid Al-Adha.”

Wo Saat Din

A poster of the TV show "Wo Saat Din" scheduled for transmission on Pakistani TV channel Hum TV Pakistan on Eid Al-Adha 2024 holidays.(Photo courtesy: Hum TV Pakistan/Instagram)

The telefilm titled ‘Wo Saat Din,’ starring Usama Khan and Alizeh Shah in lead roles, will hit television screens on the third day of Eid.
It has an ensemble cast including Samina Ahmed and Fazila Qazi while it is written by Saima Akram Chaudhry of ‘Suno Chanda’ fame.
Chaudhry described the story as one in which a woman tries to keep relationships intact.
“There is a budding love story amidst the situation that becomes life-changing for the families involved,” Chaudhry told Arab News.
Khan, who plays the male protagonist in the telefilm, shared it was signature Saima Akram Chaudhry’s family-oriented play.
“Still, it has a unique story which will be entertaining to watch for viewers on Eid Al-Adha,” he said.

Love Hai Mushkil

A poster of the TV show "Love Hai Mushkil" scheduled for transmission on Pakistani TV channel ARY Digital on Eid Al-Adha 2024 holidays.(Photo courtesy: ARY Digital/Instagram)

‘Love Hai Mushkil’ is described as a “fun, Eid special telefilm,” according to the official Instagram handle of the channel airing it on Eid.
It features Ali Rehman Khan and Mah-e-Nur Haider in lead roles, alongside Hina Bayat and Javed Sheikh. Written by Misbah Ali Syed, Love Hai Mushkil is directed by Kashif Saleem.
Going by the teaser, it seems to be a conventional romantic comedy in which hate between the guy and the girl turns into lasting love. The two individuals who constantly fight and express dislike toward one another eventually fall in love.


Pakistan needs major change after reaching ‘lowest point’ says Imad Wasim

Pakistan needs major change after reaching ‘lowest point’ says Imad Wasim
Updated 16 June 2024
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Pakistan needs major change after reaching ‘lowest point’ says Imad Wasim

Pakistan needs major change after reaching ‘lowest point’ says Imad Wasim
  • Pakistan, champions in 2009, crashed out of World Cup in group stage after losing to USA, India 
  • Their final game is against Ireland on Sunday with both teams already out of the World Cup 

LAUDERHILL, United States: Pakistan cricket is at its lowest point and needs to make radical changes, all-rounder Imad Wasim said after the team failed to get out of the group stage of the T20 World Cup.

The 2009 champions, beaten finalists two years ago, lost to the USA and India with their sole victory coming against Canada.

Pakistan’s final game is on Sunday against Ireland, which is now a dead rubber with both teams already eliminated.

Asked about the exit, with the USA beating Pakistan to Super Eight qualification, along with India, Wasim said there was no doubt about the level of disappointment.

“This is the lowest point. You can’t go any lower than this. That’s the fact,” he told a press conference.

Asked whether there now needed to be major changes, the 35-year-old left-arm spinner, said it was clear that radical changes were needed.

“It’s not my domain but I think there should be changes and there should be a drastic change so we can move forward,” he said.

Wasim, who came out of a brief retirement for this tournament, said that the change needed to be far-reaching.

“In everything and every aspect. How to take the game on? How to play the game? This is what I believed in and this is why I came back and tried to do things but it didn’t happen,” he added.

After the shock loss to the USA, Pakistan put up a close fight in defeat against India in New York and Wasim said that the context needed to be understood.

“You can also say the wickets are a bit tougher than what you think and any team can beat anyone. You can see Nepal was almost through. So, things can happen but I think the approach, how we play the game, I think we will change that and all of the boys are eager to do that because this defeat hurt us really badly,” he said.

The key change that is needed is in the mental side of the game, added Wasim.

“I’m giving my personal opinion. Don’t make these headlines — it’s all your mindset. What mindset do you want to play the game with? You either play fire with fire, or you play your way.

“So, I personally believe that you should play fire with fire. And even if you lose, you can sit down and say to yourself that on that day we were not good enough,” he said.

“The problem is our team is so good, our players are so good that we are good enough to play any kind of cricket. So you have to get rid of fear of failure mindset.

“In everything — batting, bowling, fielding, you have to get rid of fear of failure mindset. As I said earlier, personnel change doesn’t change anything, just changing the mindset can change a lot of things,” he added.

“We compete with the world’s best teams. Their mindset has changed over time. We used to rule in T20 cricket. I think we have moved back a little now. If you change the mind of the player, you can achieve things beyond your limits. I always believe in this.”

Wasim said he would not make any decision on his future until after Sunday’s game.

“As far as retirement is concerned, there’s a match tomorrow. We’ll play a match and obviously, after that, we’ll think about it and sort out whatever we need to. Because to be honest, a lot of things are going to be sorted out in the Pakistan team. The chairman and the board will sort it out.

“We have given away two games by ourselves. Losing to USA, well, losing is a part of the game, but we shouldn’t have lost to USA. Even against India — we had that game in our hands and we shouldn’t have lost. So, there is no excuse for anything. We are losing matches collectively,” he said.

“After the match against Ireland — we will sit down and talk and then decide. I don’t do anything secretly. I told everyone when I retired last time. If something happens, I will come and tell everyone.”