US activist grills Pak envoy Masood Khan over violations against women

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Manga Anantmula held up a poster during the press conference in an attempt to lodge a strong protest against the atrocities on women and requested the Pakistani envoy to address the issue of forced conversions…reports Asian Lite News

Former Congressional candidate from Virginia and Army veteran Manga Anantmula confronted Pakistani Ambassador to the United States Masood Khan over the rapes of women belonging to minority communities in the name of flood relief.

Recently, a minor Hindu girl was gang raped in Sindh province, who was lured by free ration amid the devastating floods in Pakistan.

Masood Khan was addressing a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC on Friday where he was giving an update on the record flooding in Pakistan. Confronting the Pakistan Ambassador, Manga during the press conference on Friday asked Masood Khan to address the issues of forced conversions, rape and other atrocities on minority women in Pakistan.

Manga Anantmula also held up a poster during the press conference in an attempt to lodge a strong protest against the atrocities on women and requested the Pakistani envoy to address the issue of forced conversions. According to a report, a total of 157 women were kidnapped, 112 women were a victim of physical assault and 91 women were raped across Pakistan in the month of June.

During the press conference on Friday, Pakistan’s efforts to play victim were challenged and questions were raised as to why Pakistan could not develop sustainable infrastructure and instead has been investing in its military and nuclear capabilities.

Ambassador Khan was visibly disturbed and was unable to deliver convincing answers to the pertinent questions raised by the activist.

Meanwhile, the United States announced that it is providing an additional USD 20 million in humanitarian assistance to support the people affected by severe flooding in Pakistan resulting from heavy monsoon rains, as well as landslides and glacial lake outbursts, which have been ongoing since June. The estimated economic loss due to the unprecedented floods in Pakistan has neared around USD 18 billion, an increase from USD 12.5 billion estimated earlier, as calculated by the Centre and endorsed by the provinces.

Agriculture growth faced a much more severe impact in the aftermath of floods. The catastrophic floods have destroyed crops in 8.25 million acres as compared to the initial assessment of 4.2 million acres which has further increased the economic losses, reported The News International.

In the wake of the increased economic losses and reduced GDP growth, the per capita income is projected to slow down. The government had envisaged a GDP growth rate of 5 per cent for the current fiscal year.

Moreover, poverty and unemployment will go up manifold from 21.9 per cent to over 36 per cent. Some 37 per cent population was hit by poverty after floods in 118 districts, as estimated by the Pakistan government.

A high-profile committee with representation from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning, State Bank of Pakistan, FBR, PIDE and others evaluated that poverty and unemployment have gone up manifold, rising from 21.9 per cent to over 36 per cent.

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday landed in Pakistan on a two-day visit to take stock of the floods-related situation and express solidarity with the country’s people hit by extreme monsoon rain. (ANI)

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