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Panchayat accused of delaying construction on H-9 plot in Islamabad – Pakistan

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• Pakistan Hindu Council chief says Panchayat wasting time of whole community
• CDA backtracks from plot cancellation statement after backlash on social media

ISLAMABAD: After outcry on social media on the cancellation of a plot meant for the Hindu cremation ground and community centre, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) revised its statement in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), saying only those plots had been cancelled which were lying idle and that construction work was underway on the land allotted to the Hindu community.

On the other hand, the Islamabad Hindu Panchayat (IHP) has failed to build a boundary wall around the H-9 cremation ground even though the CDA issued permission for it almost a year ago.

Earlier, the CDA had told the IHC that the federal cabinet had cancelled all amenity plots where no construction work had commenced and it also included the plot allotted to the Hindu community.

However, a few hours later, following public outcry on social media, the CDA changed its stance and issued a statement denying that the plot had been cancelled.

It told the IHC that development activity was actually taking place on the 3.89 kanals of land for the community centre and cremation ground in H-9/2, and that the plot was not cancelled.

The Panchayat, meanwhile, has still not started building a wall, saying it was trying to arrange about Rs500,000 for the construction activity.

For this, a delegation of the Panchayat recently approached Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on CDA Affairs MNA Ali Nawaz Awan with a request that the civic body be asked to build the boundary wall on its own. Mr Awan assured the delegation of his cooperation.

Talking to Dawn, former IHP president Pritum Das said the community was short of finances and could not afford the construction cost, hoping the CDA would step in and carry out the construction.

But prominent member of the Hindu community Dr Ramesh Vankwani, who is an MNA and patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC), said the Panchayat was wasting time of the community.

“I have asked them to hand over the case of the cremation ground to the Hindu Council,” Dr Vankwani said, adding, “we will not only build the boundary wall but also get the design of the building prepared from an architect”.

Senior officials of the Hindu Panchayat had even turned down a request for a meeting from the commissioner, who is also the CDA chairman, an official from the civic authority claimed.

“The meeting with the officials will be decided by the Panchayat as we need to finalise the contents before the meeting with the CDA and Islamabad administration,” IHP President Muhesh Chaudhry said, after almost one week after the request for the meeting was forwarded to the Panchayat.

National Commission for Minorities Chairman Chela Ram Chairman said: “It (IHP) never tried to get in touch with the commission nor did they respond to any of our attempts to hold a meeting.”

The plot for the cremation ground was allotted to the IHP by the PML-N government in 2017 and handed over to the community in 2018.

In 2020, they tried to build the boundary wall, but work was interrupted by local clerics who even approached the IHC seeking cancellation of the plot.

The court referred the matter to the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) which decided that a crematorium was the right of the Hindu community.

The IHC later directed the CDA to grant NOC to the Hindu Panchayat to build the boundary wall and allow construction of the main structure after the building map was approved.

Incidentally, due to a lacklustre attitude of the Panchayat, permission was first issued in the name of a Muslim activist who had been pursuing the case in December 2020, but later it was corrected and re-issued in the name of Pritum Das.

PML-N MNA and a member of the Parliamentary Committee against Forced Conversion Kesoo Mal Kheeal Das said the members of the Islamabad Panchayat were only interested in social media activism.

“I tried to meet them but they never responded back,” he said.

According to the Panchayat, there are around 300 Hindu families living in Islamabad, most of them had migrated to the city in the last decade.

They belong to diversified professions, some having shops in various sectors while others were doctors and in government and private service.

Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2021

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Outlander season 6 release date FINALLY revealed – and it’s so soon!

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Eve Crosbie





Good news, Outlander fans – we finally know when Droughtlander will be over! It’s been announced that the much-loved time travel drama will be returning to screens on 6 March 2022.

MORE: Outlander star Sam Heughan issues plea to social media followers

Irish actress Caitríona Balfe, who plays Claire Fraser on the show, revealed the news on her Instagram on Tuesday, and it’s safe to say fans were more than pleased with the news. “It’s official … Season 6 – coming your way on March 6th,” she wrote alongside a new promotional photo of the cast. “So excited for you to see this season.”

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WATCH: See the official teaser trailer for Outlander season six

One commented below the post: “So excited!!! So glad we now have a date to look forward to!” Another echoed this, writing: “I’ve been waiting for this announcement for so long – can’t believe we can finally start counting down the days!” and a third added: “SOOO happy!! Can’t wait for the new season.”

MORE: Outlander: see the cast’s Instagram accounts ahead of season six

MORE: Outlander’s  Caitríona Balfe shares rare insight into home life with new baby

It was previously revealed that in a first for the series – and perhaps to make up for the long wait fans have had to endure – the season premiere will be 90 minutes long rather than the typical 60 minutes. 

Season six will consist of just eight episodes, rather than the typical 13 due to the “the challenges of filming in these unprecedented times”. Showrunner Matthew B. Roberts explained in a statement to Entertainment Weekly back in summer: “We are excited to get into the editing room to work on bringing the fans one step closer to reuniting with the family back on Fraser’s Ridge.”

outlander-s6

Are you looking forward to catching up with Jamie and Claire?

“Filming in 2021 has presented an unprecedented set of challenges which led us to the decision to truncate the season in order to bring the fans the most vibrant and dynamic season as soon as possible. Dinna fash, we will then film an extended season seven with 16 episodes next year as life returns to normalcy.”

While there’s no synopsis for the new series just yet, Outlander usually covers one Diana Gabaldon novel per season, and as such it’s expected that season six will delve into the events of the sixth book in the series, A Breath of Snow and Ashes.

MORE: Outlander’s Sam Heughan reveals surprising reason behind season six reshoots

In the novel, new character Malva Christie arrives at Fraser’s Ridge along with her father and brother and becomes Claire’s apprentice, with the pair striking up something of a mother and daughter relationship. However, things take a dangerous turn after it is revealed that Malva is pregnant – and she says that Jamie is the father. 

Season six is also likely to explore the aftermath of the dramatic season five finale, which saw Claire rescued by Jamie and her family after being kidnapped and assaulted. Meanwhile, Roger and Brianna find themselves still stuck in the past with their son Jemmy, despite trying to return to the present day.

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Covid: South Africa's president calls for lifting of Omicron travel bans – BBC News

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Covid: South Africa’s president calls for lifting of Omicron travel bans  BBC News

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‘Diablo 4’ release date, delay, trailer, and classes for Blizzard’s dungeon-crawler

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Following the underwhelming unveiling of Diablo Immortal at BlizzCon 2018, many believed Blizzard announced Diablo 4 early to win players back. It’s clear Diablo 4 was early in development, as there wasn’t much to show when it was revealed at BlizzCon 2019. Since then, Blizzard has been careful to not promise a release date for the dungeon crawler, as its development has been slow and seemingly rocky, especially given the atrocities going on at the studio. Still, Diablo 4 is shaping up to be an excellent game, with lots to look forward to. But what do we know about the upcoming dungeon-crawler RPG?

When is the Diablo 4 release date?

Diablo 4 is still under development. Activision Blizzard

Diablo 4 was announced at BlizzCon 2019 without even a vague release date window. In February 2021, Activision-Blizzard’s CFO Dennis Durkin said that Diablo 4 was not part of the company’s outlook for the next fiscal year, indicating it wouldn’t be ready by 2021.

Blizzard co-founder Allen Adham told Game Informer back in 2019 that the fourth entry of the series is still in its early stages of development. “While we’ve been working on Diablo 4 for several years, we still have a ways to go,” he said.

“So we do want to set proper expectations. It’s a big, beautiful, contiguous open world. It’s packed full of creatures. It’s really grounded in the quests and the content that are an order of magnitude beyond anything we’ve done before.” Adham refused to even give a rough timeline of when Diablo fans could expect another update.

Diablo 2 was released in 2001, and Blizzard made fans wait until 2012 for Diablo 3, so it’s clear that the company is in no rush to push out Diablo 4. Plus, there’s good reason to believe that Blizzard wants to make sure Diablo 4 is as close to flawless as possible after the disastrous announcement of the mobile game Diablo Immortal at BlizzCon 2018, which upset many of the game’s long-time fans.

In November 2021, Blizzard announced on an earnings call that more time would be needed for the team to realize its vision for Diablo 4, pushing it to 2023 at the earliest.

Is there a Diablo 4 trailer?

Yes. There are multiple, actually. Blizzard has released a cinematic trailer and a sneak peek at a portion of Diablo 4’s gameplay.

The cinematic announcement not only revealed the main antagonist, but it showed the type of dark and blood-soaked inferno gamers will be battling through.

The gameplay trailer showed off a surprising amount of detail for a game that’s most likely still years away. Blizzard highlighted three types of character classes gamers will be able to play with and some early portions of the game’s campaign.

We also got a look at the Rogue class that will be implemented into the final version of the game. You can check that out in the trailer above.

What are the Diablo 4 platforms?

Blizzard confirmed that Diablo 4 will be playable on PC, as well as both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, during its BlizzCon 2019 announcement. With how far off the game seems to be, don’t be surprised if it also ends up coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

Neither of those consoles had been revealed when Diablo 4 was announced, which was most likely the reason why Blizzard only mentioned current-gen gaming systems. Oddly enough, Blizzard has yet to confirm a PS5 or Xbox Series X edition.

What playable classes have been confirmed for Diablo 4?

The Diablo 4 gameplay trailer revealed three classes that will be playable when the game eventually launches: Barbarians, Sorceresses, and Druids.

  • Barbarian: The Barbarian will be a melee-combat specialist with an emphasis on survivability and explosive, close-quarters damage. These warriors can dual-wield devastating weapons and use “warcries” to temporarily send them into a frenzy.
  • Sorceress: The Sorceress will be a ranged spellcaster who harnesses the elements to freeze opponents in place and then blast them with fireballs. She’ll be most deadly at long-range where she can safely cast her destructive spells.
  • Druid: The Druid is a hybrid melee brawler with shape-shifting and summoning abilities. He calls upon nature to imbue him with feral strength and can deal massive elemental damage.

From left to right. The Barbarian, Sorceress, and Druid.Blizzard Entertainment

What other classes could be added to Diablo 4?

If we take the aforementioned classes as a hint to what other character types will be included in Diablo 4, it appears that Blizzard wants to refine all of the classes from Diablo 2.

After the Diablo 2: Lords of Destruction expansion, the game had a total of seven playable classes: Amazon, Necromancer, Barbarian, Sorceress, Paladin, Druid, and Assassin.

Blizzard seems to be heavily inspired by Diablo 2’s class list, but the company could end up creating an all-new class or reusing a few from Diablo 3, like the Monk or Demon Hunter.

What bosses will you fight in Diablo 4?

Lilith will be your main adversary as you trudge through the corpse-riddled world of Diablo 4. She’s a reimagined Succubus queen from Diablo 2 that was summoned using blood magic in the Diablo 4 story trailer.

We don’t know much about what kind of unholy powers she’ll wield, but she’ll be in control of the demonic forces you’ll fight in the majority of the upcoming dungeon crawler.

That’s one long flesh cape, Lilith.Blizzard Entertainment

Will there be microtransactions in Diablo 4?

Diablo 4 will have microtransactions, but it’s unclear what players will be able to pay for exactly.

Lead game designer Joe Shely told Twitch streamer Quin69 that the game will have cosmetic microtransactions, but he was vague enough to make it seem like Blizzard might take them a step further.

Diablo 4 will be available as a base game, and … we’re going to have expansions,” Shely said. “You also will be able to acquire cosmetics in the game.”

Will there be Diablo 4 PVP be added?

Diablo has traditionally been a co-op game for a majority of the franchise’s history, but Blizzard said that it was looking into player-versus-player areas that gamers could travel to in-game. Lead systems designer David Kim told GameSpot how he envisioned that coming together.

“Currently, we are planning on having specific areas of the world where you can choose to PVP if you want to, and the other thing is, we are also exploring some PVP modes that would work really well in Diablo,” Kim said. “So the goal is, we want to have that mixed [player-versus-environment] and PVP type of experience, because everyone knows the PvE, killing swarms of monsters, that’s where kind of the core fun of Diablo is at. We haven’t found something that we really love yet, but once we do, of course, we’re going to tell everyone about it.”

When will we learn more about Diablo 4?

Blizzard Entertainment has consistently kept fans updated with quarterly blog post updates for Diablo 4 since its reveal, but fans are still eager to get a new trailer and in-depth at the whole game.

Given the situation at Activision Blizzard right now, the company has more pressing matters to attend to than doubling down on game development, so it decided to pause planning for BlizzCon 2022, which is where it usually holds its reveals.

Assuming the event does come back, you can probably expect to find out more information about Diablo 4.

Diablo 4 is currently in development.

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