Dec 232017
Terrorist safe havens exist in ungoverned areas of Afghanistan, not Pakistan: Maleeha Lodhi

Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi on Saturday emphasised that peace in Afghanistan cannot be restored by the continuing resort to military force. She said neither Kabul and the Nato coalition, nor the Afghan Taliban, could impose a military solution on each other. “The promotion of a political settlement and the pursuit of a military solution are mutually incompatible. You cannot kill and talk at the same time,” the Pakistani envoy told the UN Security Council during an open debate on the situation in Afghanistan. “Another resort to the military option will not produce a result different from the past. It will not break the impasse much less yield a political solution,” Lodhi said, urging the Taliban to give up violence and stressing that the other side, too, must display a genuine desire for dialogue. See: 'Trump has put Pakistan on notice,' US VP Pence warns in surprise Kabul visitShe said the violence and terrorism afflicting Afghanistan are the consequences of foreign military interventions, occupation and an imposed war. Sustainable peace in Afghanistan is only achievable through a negotiated end to the war, a course long advocated by Pakistan, she said. The envoy said 16 years of war, waged by the world's most powerful forces against an "insurgency of irregulars", had not yielded a military solution.“This failure cannot be explained away by alleging the existence of safe havens for the insurgency across the border,” she said. Denying US allegations about the presence of terrorist safe havens in [Read More…]

Dec 032017
US Defence Secretary Mattis to reach Pakistan today, says will look for 'common grounds'

US Defence Secretary James Mattis is due to arrive in Pakistan on Monday (today) for his first visit since taking over the charge of the Pentagon, a visit he said he would use to look for “common grounds” between the two countries and discussion on President Trump's new regional strategy.“We'll discuss the South Asia strategy,” the Secretary told reporters, saying that he had already visited India and Afghanistan and it was a continued dialogue that the United States had for the Afghan peace process.“The US remains committed to a pragmatic relationship that expands cooperation on shared interests,” the US secretary said while reinforcing President Trump's call for action against alleged safe havens.Soon after the new South Asia strategy was announced in August this year, Pakistan expressed its reservations to some of the policy decisions made in the strategy and totally rejected the misperception of not taking action against all terrorist groups.Secretary Mattis said Pakistani leaders have said that they do not support “havens” for any terrorists, adding that Islamabad has suffered significant casualties — both civilian and military.Responding to a question, he said Pakistan was taking action in its own best interests but “what we're looking for is to broaden the common ground.”“We're looking to make common cause with them. There's plenty of collaborative areas right now, still in effect. However, there have been some areas that we have lost over the years because of disagreements about what we need to do,” the Secretary said.Secretary Mattis began his visit on [Read More…]

Nov 042017

MULTAN: The Punjab government has started subsidising di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) fertiliser to facilitate 5.2 million farmers of the province under the Khadim-e-Punjab Kisan Package. According to a handout issued by the spokesman of the agriculture department here on Saturday, the Punjab government has started giving Rs150 as subsidy on each bag of DAP fertiliser. He said that the initiative has been taken to facilitate farmers to decrease their production expenses. The farmers can get the subsidy through vouchers in each bag of the fertiliser. He said the Punjab government is utilising all possible resources to provide maximum relief to the farmers. He said that farmers are advised to get them registered through call on 0800-29000 or 0800-15000 to avail the facility, and send scratch card number with national identity card number on 8070 through SMS, after that they will receive a message from the department and they will get cash from any easy paisa shop by showing them the message.   Published in The Express Tribune, November 5th, 2017. Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation. The post Fertiliser Sector: 5.2m farmers to avail subsidy scheme appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Nov 022017
2,600 Sikh pilgrims from India arrive in Pakistan to celebrate Guru Nanak's birth anniversary

Over 2,600 Sikh pilgrims arrived at Wagah Railway Station on Thursday from India to participate in religious and cultural rituals that will mark the 549th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Dev Jee.Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Siddiqul Farooq welcomed the Sikh pilgrims at Wagah. He was accompanied by Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Pardhan Sardar Tara Singh, Sardar Bishon Singh, Additional Secretary Shrines Tariq Khan Wazir and other ETPB officials. Farooq said that arrangements for the celebrations have been finalised by the board and assured that ETPB will provide foolproof security, transport, accommodation and other facilities to the visiting pilgrims. Siddique ul Farooq receives Sikh pilgrims at Wagah Railway Station. — APP Speaking on the occasion, group leader Sardar Gurmeet Singh said Sikh pilgrims have come to Pakistan with the message of love, peace, friendship and harmony.“Pakistan is the land of Sikh Gurus and Sikhs love this land. We are always welcomed with love and it is a true example of Sikh-Muslim friendship,” he said. Also read: Gurdawara Panja Sahib — a symbol of peace Sikh devotees return the welcome gesture on their arrival at Wagah border. — APP Earlier in the day, the Pakistan High Commission in Delhi had said it issued visas to over 2,600 Indian Sikhs who planned to make a pilgrimage to Gurdwara Punja Sahib in Hassanabdal, read a Foreign Office statement.The visas were issued "in line with the Pakistan government's efforts to promote religious tourism and people-to-people interactions," the statement read.Every year, devotees [Read More…]

Oct 202017

WASHINGTON DC: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will pay his maiden visit to Pakistan this month during which he would discuss joint efforts against terrorism and expanding economic ties between the two countries, a State Department spokesperson announced on Thursday. The visit to Pakistan is part of Secretary Tillerson’s first visit to Asia, which will also take him to India, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Geneva, Spokesman Heather Nauert told a briefing at the State Department. “The secretary will meet with senior Pakistani leaders to discuss our continued bilateral cooperation, Pakistan’s critical role in the success of our South Asia strategy, and the expanding economic ties between our two countries,” the spokesperson said. She said the secretary was due to meet with the prime minister, foreign minister, and senior military officials to discuss joint efforts between Pakistan and the United States to fight terrorist groups that threaten regional peace and stability and how “Pakistan can support our effort to reach a peaceful solution in Afghanistan”. Secretary Tillerson’s visit to Islamabad follows the visit by Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif to Washington this month during which he met high US officials to discuss the US-Pakistan relations and the new South Asia strategy announced by President Trump in August. Responding to a question about the US-India ties and whether Washington would take side in issues between Pakistan and India like the cross-border firing across the Line of Control, the spokesperson said that the US had always been very cautious about addressing those issues, [Read More…]

Oct 202017

ISLAMABAD: The investment of trillions of rupees in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)- affiliated projects will bring prosperity to Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK), Raja Nisar Ahmed Khan, the acting Prime Minister of AJK, said on Friday. The economic development in AJK was the aim of the incumbent government while moral and diplomatic struggle for the innocent Kashmiris living under the Indian occupation would continue until their liberation, Raja Nisar told Radio Pakistan. ‘AJK focusing on quality education’ Regarding the Kashmir conflict, the AJK PM said the governments of Pakistan and AJK were making efforts to highlight the issue at the international level. He also urged the Kashmiri youth to highlight the issue through social media. Nisar went on to suggest that China could help provide vocational training to the Kashmiris. “Welfare of people, development, quality education and raising voice for the Kashmir liberation struggle are the priorities of the government,” he said. The post CPEC to bring prosperity to Pakistan, AJK: Raja Nisar appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Oct 062017
Air China increases flights on Beijing-Islamabad sector

Air China, China's national flag carrier, has decided to increase flights on the Beijing-Islamabad-Karachi route from four a week to seven starting October 29. Air China had launched the route between China and Pakistan in October 2016, starting with three flights per week. More than 120,000 trips on the route were recorded till September this year. Hu Haitao, manager of Air China's Islamabad office, said in a promotional event on Thursday that the increased flights will "better serve the exchanges between China and Pakistan in trade and culture."Meanwhile, Zhao Lijian, ministerial counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad, said that the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has boosted the two countries' ties in politics, economy and science, providing a good opportunity for Air China to extend its business in Pakistan. Click for detailed story

Oct 062017
LHC extends stay on Turkish teachers' deportation

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday extended an earlier stay on the deportation of two Turkish nationals, Murat Ervan and Mesut Kacmaz, as well as three family members of the latter. The court had on September 28 restrained the federal government from deporting the former vice president of the Pak-Turk Schools and his family till the next hearing of a petition filed by one of Kacmaz's colleagues. Kacmaz, a former vice president of the Pak-Turk Schools, was reportedly abducted along with his wife and two daughters from their residence in Wapda Town early on September 27. Kacmaz had been staying in Pakistan with his family on an asylum certificate issued by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), which was valid till November 2017.Ervan had later filed a writ petition pleading that his colleagues had been allegedly abducted by law-enforcement agencies and were likely to be deported. He feared being deported himself.The lawyer for Kacmaz and his family had also argued in the previous hearing that there was a likelihood that the abducted family would soon be deported. She said the petitioner had filed an application with the police station concerned for the registration of a kidnap case; however, the police were reluctant to take any action. The lawyer had argued the authorities involved in the alleged abduction and possible deportation of the Turkish family had taken the law in their hands.On September 29, two days after the abduction, Turkish nationals previously affiliated with the Pak-Turk schools had [Read More…]

Sep 252017

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani diplomat told the UN General Assembly on Monday that India was sponsoring terrorism, as well as funding and arming terrorist organizations, to launch attacks inside Pakistan. “India is churning out operatives of mayhem from its factories of terror,” Tipu Usman, a counselor in the Pakistan mission to the UN, said. He was speaking in response to India’s right of reply to Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi’s tough statement on Saturday. The statement had focused on the grave situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir, and rejected New Delhi’s claim that the disputed state was its “integral part”. Maleeha calls India ‘mother of terrorism’ In his remarks, Usman said that Pakistan had caught Indian operative Kalbushan Yadav red-handed while he was involved in spreading terror and violence across Pakistan, and will surely bring him to justice. Earlier, Indian delegate Paulomi Tripathi had glossed over the issue of Kashmir while speaking at the UN, and instead talked about a photo displayed in the Assembly by Ambassador Lodhi. “No matter how many times you repeat a lie, it does not and cannot hide the truth,” the Pakistani delegate said. “The Indian representative has once again chosen to divert the attention of the international community from the real issue – the real issue of human life, of human eyes, of children and infants blinded forever, of women raped and elderly killed every day by the reign of brutality unleashed by the occupation forces in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The real issue is of Security Council resolutions, [Read More…]

Sep 242017

NEW YORK: Indian sponsorship of terror and aggression against all its neighbours has made the country the “mother of terrorism” in South Asia, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi has said at the United Nations General Assembly while rejecting India’s sweeping allegations about the country’s involvement in terrorist acts. “India has considerable experience in the state sponsorship of terrorism in our region,” she said while responding to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s speech in which she called Pakistan “the pre-eminent export factory for terror”. In a hard-hitting statement made in exercise of her right of reply, Lodhi denounced Swaraj’s remarks as an “orgy of slander”. “Her comments towards my country betray the hostility that the Indian leadership has towards Pakistan — hostility we have endured for 70 years.” Jammu and Kashmir was not a part of India but a disputed territory and the Indian occupation was illegal, she told the assembly. In angry retort, India calls Pakistan ‘terror factory’ She called for the implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions and for a UN special envoy to be appointed to ensure India’s adherence to its legal obligations, adding that Pakistan was committed to openness and dialogue with India so long as it ended its campaign of subversion. Ambassador Lodhi said India had “sponsored and perpetrated terrorism and aggression against all its neighbours; creating terrorist groups, destabilising and blockading neighbours to do its strategic bidding and sponsoring subversion, sabotage and terrorism in various parts of Pakistan”. “India’s proclivity to violence is also no [Read More…]

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