Oct 122017
President Donald Trump thanks Pakistan for ‘doing more’

US President Donald Trump has praised Pakistan for the safe recovery of a Canadian-American couple and their three children from Taliban’s captivity. “This is a positive moment for our country’s relationship with Pakistan. The Pakistani government’s cooperation is a sign that it is honouring America’s wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region,” Trump said in a statement issued by White House. A still image from a video posted by the Taliban on social media on 19 December 2016 shows American Caitlan Coleman, left, speaking next to her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle and their two sons. PHOTO: REUTERS The unusual praise came less than two months after Trump pilloried Pakistan for aiding and sheltering ‘agents of chaos’ – a reference to the Taliban. Islamabad shot back to the allegation, saying that it could not be made scapegoat for failures in Afghanistan. Pakistan Army recovers US-Canadian family abducted in Afghanistan in 2012 “We hope to see this type of cooperation and teamwork in helping secure the release of remaining hostages and in our future joint counterterrorism operations,” said President Trump. According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Pakistan Army, aided by intelligence agencies, recovered the Canadian-American couple and their children on Thursday. “They were captured by terrorists from Afghanistan in 2012 and kept as hostages there,” it added. On his part, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US expresses ‘deep gratitude’ to Pakistan. With new Af-Pak policy, US downfall has begun: Senator Mushahid Hussain [Read More…]

Sep 272017

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN: Six rockets landed near Kabul’s international airport on Wednesday after US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis flew to the Afghan capital for talks, an official said. The volley of missiles struck near the military section of the airport but there were no casualties or immediate claim of responsibility, interior ministry spokesperson Najib Danish told AFP. US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrives in Kabul for unannounced visit Police have cordoned off the area to find the exact location from which the rockets were fired, he said, adding that no flights were cancelled. The attack came hours after Mattis arrived in the Afghan capital, the first member of Donald Trump’s cabinet to visit the war-torn country since his pledge to stay the course in America’s longest war. The post Six rockets land near Kabul airport after Mattis arrives appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Sep 172017

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Sunday retweeted a doctored video of himself taking a golf swing and hitting former Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton, who then stumbles as she boards a plane. Clinton had been back on the Republican president’s Twitter feed in recent days as she promoted “What Happened,” her new book about the 2016 presidential election, with Trump resuming his campaign attack of “Crooked Hillary.” Donald Trump's amazing golf swing #CrookedHillary pic.twitter.com/vKhxxFCBV1 — Mike (@Fuctupmind) September 14, 2017 The video, retweeted by several users, shows Trump on a golf course hitting a ball before segueing to the doctored shot of a golf ball hitting then-Secretary of State Clinton in the back as she is boarding a plane. The original video of Clinton, from 2011, does not show a golf ball. “Donald Trump’s amazing golf swing #CrookedHillary,” the tweet read. Trump attacked Clinton directly last Wednesday in a pair of Twitter posts. “Crooked Hillary Clinton blames everybody [and every thing] but herself for her election loss,” he said. “She lost the debates and lost her direction! The ‘deplorables’ came back to haunt Hillary. They expressed their feelings loud and clear. She spent big money but, in the end, had no game!” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said later that day that Clinton was pushing “false narratives” in the book. Clinton admits mistakes during the campaign in the book but gives a harsh account of factors she believes led to Trump’s victory, including alleged interference by Russia on his behalf [Read More…]

Sep 112017

Amidst the aftershocks of Donald Trump’s new South Asia policy, scant attention was paid to the recent strategic development on the Pakistan-India border. India is preparing to deploy the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) shield to deter Pakistani missiles. The purpose is to provide security to New Delhi and Mumbai. Since 1999, India has carried out several tests to complete the BMD programme. The Indian BMD, on paper, has the capability of intercepting a missile in the terminal phase. In that phase, the destruction of an incoming missile with nuclear warhead by an anti-missile has its fallout in the target area. The Indian plan to develop and install BMD systems dates back to May 2001, when former US president George W. Bush offered Atal Behari Vajpayee assistance for the acquisition of missile defence. The offer came despite the fact that India was actively involved in the nuclear and missile proliferation to countries such as Iran, Iraq, Libya and North Korea. Though Pakistan has long been an ally of the US in the global war on terror, it was not promised the same assistance — which has increased the country’s security challenges vis-à-vis India. There are a number of reasons for the Indian desire to acquire BMD by every means available. None of these more important than its lust for global power status and its wish to serve as a US counterweight to China. Harsh V. Pant, a professor at King’s College, argues that the Indian BMD will fuel instability and affect [Read More…]

Aug 252017

KARACHI: After strong criticism from US President Donald Trump, Pakistan has decided to convene an international conference to put the global spotlight on its significant contributions towards the war against terrorism, sources told Daily Express. The government would soon hold consultations before announcing the schedule of the conference, source said, adding that all important countries would be invited to the moot where Islamabad would reaffirm its commitment to terror fight and recount the colossal losses it has suffered thus far. In the meantime, Islamabad will mount a diplomatic offensive to muster support of friendly countries in the face of Trump’s allegations that Pakistan was hosting terrorist ‘safe havens’ on its soil. In dealing with Trump, Pakistan plays its trump card Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and his other cabinet members will be touring important world capitals. Asif is expected to travel to China, Russia and even Iran before flying to Washington to voice Pakistan’s concerns to the Trump administration. Islamabad will raise its reservations about the new US policy for Afghanistan at the United Nations and other international forums. The country’s top civil leadership and military brass have unanimously made it clear to the US administration that scapegoating Pakistan for the unabated violence in Afghanistan would not help in stabilising the war-torn country. Trump in his policy speech this week committed to an ‘open ended’ military engagement in Afghanistan to win the war against the Taliban. Pakistani officials, however, believe peace is only possible through dialogue and reconciliation. Pakistan has been pushing [Read More…]

Aug 242017

MOSCOW: After unequivocal and unflinching support from its ally China in the face of scathing criticism from the Donald Trump administration, Pakistan also received backing from Russia which lambasted the new US strategy in Afghanistan as a ‘futile course’. Russian presidential envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov insisted that Islamabad is “a key regional player to negotiate with”. “Putting pressure [on Pakistan] may seriously destabilise the region-wide security situation and result in negative consequences for Afghanistan,” Kabulov told Russia’s Afghanistan Daily on Tuesday. Kabulov statement came after President Trump this week heaped criticism on Pakistan for what he called harbouring the terrorists the Americans were fighting in Afghanistan. “We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars. At the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting,” he claimed while unveiling his new Afghan strategy. “That will have to change and that will change immediately.” In Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday called the new US strategy for Afghanistan regrettable, saying the blueprint unveiled by Trump was a ‘futile course’. Hamid Karzai slams Trump’s latest Afghanistan policy Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Lavrov said Russia has expressed “regret that the main focus of the new [Afghanistan] strategy announced by Washington is regulation by methods of force”. “We are certain this is a futile course,” he said, furthermore rejecting suggestions that Moscow was behind arming the Taliban. In his Afghan strategy, Trump announced 4,000 new troops for deployment to Afghanistan, backtracking from his earlier promise [Read More…]

Aug 152017

KABUL: Afghan Taliban published an open letter to US President Donald Trump on Tuesday warning him against sending more American forces to Afghanistan. The statement called for the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from the war-torn country and comes as Trump weighs increasing the number of American troops there. “Previous experiences have shown that sending more troops to Afghanistan will not result in anything other than further destruction of American military and economical might. “Therefore it would be wise if you adopt the strategy of a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan instead of a troops increase,” said the English-language letter, which was sent to the media. Taliban advise Trump to review Afghan policy US troops in Afghanistan now number about 8,400, a far cry from the US presence of more than 100,000 six years ago. They mainly serve as trainers and advisers to Afghan forces. Trump’s administration is currently finalising a new policy for Afghanistan almost 16 years after the US invasion to topple the Taliban regime. American military commanders in Afghanistan have requested thousands of extra boots on the ground to help combat a resurgent Taliban. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is believed to be close to presenting the new US military strategy to Trump, with an announcement potentially coming in weeks. The Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan from 1996-2001, also slammed the Afghan government in the letter and warned the United States that it could never defeat the insurgent group. “It is entirely possible that you are being provided rosy pictures about [Read More…]

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