Pakistan asks Afghanistan to ‘eliminate terrorist sanctuaries’
FO reiterates Chinese President to visit Pakistan soon
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday reiterated its call on neighbouring Afghanistan to eliminate "hideouts of the Pakistani militants on the Afghan side of the border."
Security officials insist that Pakistani Taliban leaders, who have fled the country as the result of military operations, now operate from the Afghan border regions.
On Tuesday, the military said a group of 90 to 100 militants from Afghanistan's Khost and Paktika province attacked a border post in North Waziristan and killed four paramilitary troops.
The Foreign Ministry Wednesday summoned the Afghan charge d' affaires and a protest was lodged on the attack.
The spokeswoman told reporters in Islamabad on Thursday that Pakistan had lodged a formal protest after the attack from Afghanistan into Pakistani territory from across the international border.
"We have asked Afghanistan in very clear and categorical terms to eliminate the terrorist sanctuaries that have taken root in Afghanistan in various provinces there," the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Tasnim Aslam said at her weekly briefing.
The Foreign Ministry spokesperson avoided response to recent Afghan allegations that Pakistani intelligence agencies are "sending fighters to Afghanistan."
"Pakistan is a mature country. We are a very important country we have to behave in a mature manner. It does not behave use to respond to all baseless allegations," she said.
The FO spokesperson said the Chinese President Xi Jinping is to visit Pakistan soon.
The spokesperson said Chinese President has emphasized that multifaceted ties between the countries are immune to international developments.
She said Xi Jinping during his meeting with Prime Minister's Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in Dushanbe expressed his keenness to visit Pakistan at the earliest. Tasnim Aslam said Pakistan and China are time-tested friends.
Tasnim Aslam reiterated that Pakistan has not launched any appeal for foreign assistance in the wake of devastating floods. However, international agencies including World Food Programme are providing assistance to the flood victims.
To a question about any scheduled meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, she did not come up with a direct reply and said the occasion is also utilized to interact with world leaders.
She said UN General Assembly session is one of the most important forums to discuss significant issues. She said as per "our longstanding practice, Pakistan also makes its policy statement on the forum every year."
PM Nawaz to address UN General Assembly on Sept 26
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will leave for the United States on September 24 to attend a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session, which he will address on September 26, Radio Pakistan reported.
The premier is expected to focus on cooperation-based relationship with neighbouring countries, India and Afghanistan, in his speech. He is also expected to highlight the Kashmir issue at the general assembly.
On the side-lines of the UN General Assembly session, Prime Minister Nawaz will participate in an energy conference will explore ways to acquire energy through non-conventional sources. The premiers of Norway and Denmark are also expected to attend the conference.
Along with the US vice president and Japanese prime minister, the premier will co-chair a peace conference to review cooperation among international friends.
He will also participate in a meeting on reforms in the United Nations, where he is expected to underline the need for harmonising the UN Security Council with new global demands. - Agencies
Army airstrikes kill 23 suspected militants in NWA
ISLAMABAD: At least 23 suspected terrorist were killed in fresh airstrikes on militant hideouts in Ismail Khel and Zerom areas of North Waziristan Agency, Pakistani military said on Thursday.
A statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that Pakistan Army in an aerial action targeted militant hideouts in Zerom and Ismail Khel districts, killing at least 23 militants.
These claims, however, could not be independently verified as journalists have limited access to the restive tribal agency.
Military operation Zarb-i-Azb was launched by the Pakistan Army on June 15 following a brazen militant attack on Karachi's international airport and failure of peace talks between the government and TTP negotiators.
More than a million people have fled the offensive in North Waziristan, which is aimed at wiping out longstanding militant strongholds in the area, which borders Afghanistan. - Statesman
FC man kills university student in City
PESHAWAR: A youth was allegedly shot dead by Frontier Corps (FC) personal in Hayatabad on Thursday.
According to police, the incident took place when security forces signaled a youth, who was driving a car, to stop in Hayatabad.
The young man, identified as Sajid Shah, did not stop his vehicle after which the FC man opened fire, leaving him dead.
Police said that the victim was the final year student of Peshawar University.
Family members of the deceased staged a protest demonstration outside the police station after which police registered the case and arrested the accused.
Police have kicked off interrogation. - NNI
Jirga dispatches its proposal to PM, Imran, Qadri
- appeals PTI, PAT, Govt to show flexibility
ISLAMABAD: The Political Jirga, tasked to bridge gap between the government and protesting parties, dispatched its new proposal to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri on Thursday.
Earlier, members of the Opposition Jirga, held a meeting Thursday in Islamabad to find a way out of the political crisis.
The meeting, held at the residence of PPP leader Rehman Mailk in Islamabad, was attended by Jamaat-e-Islami leaders Siraj-ul-Haq and Liaqat Baloch, Hasil Bizinjo, Kalsoom Parveen and Ghazi Gulab Jamal.
The meeting, reviewed progress in government's negotiations with PTI and PAT. The political leaders were of the view that talks should be resumed.
The jirga has prepared new recommendations for the government to deal with the crisis.
Talking to media persons after their meetings with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) negotiating teams in Islamabad on Thursday, members of the Political Jirga say almost all issues have been tackled satisfactorily with the exception of definition of what constitutes rigging.
Sirajul Haq expressed the confidence that an honourable solution to the political crisis would be found.
He said the Jirga prepared its draft proposals with consensus and sent to the Government, PTI and PAT after showing it to the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah. He said they are expecting positive response but it seems the three sides are looking towards each other to take the lead.
Sirajul Haq appealed to the three sides to step back from their stated positions to take the nation out of the prevailing crisis.
The Political Jirga members include Sirajul Haq, Mir Hasil Bizenjo, Begum Kalsoom Parveen, Rehman Malik, and Ghazi Ghulab Jamal. The PTI team comprises Asad Umar and Shafqat Mahmood.
About Dr. Tahirul Qadri's PAT, Rehman Malik said, the party held 'positive' talks with the jirga.
* The jirga advised protesting parties to end their sit-ins.
* The prime minister should announce in the parliament that he would resign if rigging in the last year general elections proved.
* The judicial commission should be formed through an ordinance to probe alleged vote fraud in the last year general elections.
* The judicial commission should be bound to complete its findings within a specific time period.
* The judicial commission should have an authority to take assistance of any officials or experts.
* All the stakeholders would implement the recommendation of the judicial commission. - NNI
Thousands rescued as floods hit Sindh
ISLAMABAD: National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) on Thursday said rescuers have evacuated thousands of people stranded in parts of the country's south after being hit by floods.
NDMA spokesman Ahmad Kamal said crews were working round the clock to rescue people and ensure the provision of food and other supplies to flood-affected persons.
He said the floods entered Sindh on Wednesday, making thousands of people homeless.
Heavy monsoon floods, which began on September 3 in Kashmir, have so far killed 523 people and affected 2 million in Pakistan and Indian-controlled Kashmir. Of those, 200 died in the India-controlled part of the Himalayan region, 64 in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, while 246 people perished across Pakistan.
Kamal said no deaths have been reported in southern Pakistan.
After devastating damage to settlements in Punjab, the raging waters have now made their way into Sindh, infuriating river Indus.
According to media reports, dozens of villages of Ghotki and Pano Akil were submerged with houses of the residents caved in. Land communication of areas engulfed by flood water has completely been cut off.
Water torrents has also affected Kashmoor, whereas the water has entered many settlements of Khairpur and Naushahro Feroze.
The water flow at Sukkur barrage has reached at 178,000 cusecs and reportedly hundreds of villages were drowned.
The water level at Punjnad Headworks was at a constant decline but a large area of South Punjab was still immersed in water.
Dozens of villages in Thatta Sial, Muradabad and Bhattapur including Muzaffargarh remain under flood. Rupture of Noorwala Zimidara dyke in Uch Sharif caused 20 settlements to submerge in flood water.
China backs Pakistan, India to join SCO
BEIJING: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Thursday that China backs India and Pakistan becoming members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as the group has agreed to expand its membership.
"We welcome and support Pakistan and India to become new formal members of the SCO at the earliest possible date," Hong Lei said in a press release. "China believes that this move will promote further development of the SCO and strengthen its efforts to safeguard regional security and boost common development," he added. The agreement on new members came in a legal document passed at the 14th SCO summit, held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on September 12, 2014.
The SCO currently groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, while Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan are observers, and Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka are dialogue partners. Hong said that China is ready to maintain close communication with the other SCO members, India and Pakistan on the issue of further expansion of SCO membership. India and Pakistan have actively participated in cooperation under the SCO framework and made positive contributions to the organisation's development. - INP
New ISI chief: Zaheerul Islam’s successor to be named soon
KARACHI: The new Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief, along with five new lieutenant generals, is likely to be named as soon as next week.
According to a report published in BBCUrdu, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif wants to promote five major generals to the position of lieutenant generals before naming a new ISI director general.
It is believed the promotions will precede the naming of the successor to DG ISI Zaheerul Islam, so as to allow one of the promoted generals to be in the pool of those to be considered for the top intelligence slot.
Five senior generals, including Islam, will retire in the first week of October. They are Mangla Corps Commander Lieutenant General Tariq Khan, Gujranwala Corps Commander Lieutenant General Saleem Nawaz, Peshawar Corps Commander Lieutenant General Khalid Rabbani and Karachi Corps Commander Lieutenant General Sajjad Ghani.
While all the positions of the retiring officers hold prime importance, the retirement of the ISI chief is seen as the most crucial development.
The post of ISI chief is the second most important after that of the army chief. Further, the ISI chief is appointed by the prime minister on the recommendation of the army chief.
Close aides of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif claim that the premier and the army chief have not discussed this matter as yet. However, the report added that General Raheel is expected to meet the premier before appointing the five lieutenant generals.
According to the report, the prime minister has considered the names of some officers for the post of ISI chief, including Lahore Corps Commander Lieutenant General Naveed Zaman and National Defence University Dean General Javed Iqbal Ramday.
On the other hand, the military is considering Major General Nazeer Butt and Major General Rizwan Akhtar for the top slot.
The retirement of the DG ISI would no doubt test the skills of the prime minister who has the authority to appoint the spy chief, although it appears difficult to believe the federal government would take a decision without the army chief's consent.
Meanwhile, the retirement of four corps commanders will provide an opportunity to General Raheel to appoint generals of his own choice on key slots. All the four corps commanders who will retire in October were promoted and appointed by the then army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.
The change in the top military brass comes at a time when the army has constantly been accused of involvement in the current political crisis as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek continue their sit-ins in Islamabad seeking to overthrow the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government.
Owing to this, the appointments although do not appear suspect, are drawing much attention.
Advice sent by Shaukat Aziz to Musharraf doesn’t exist, court told
ISLAMABAD: The head of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) probe team, Khalid Qureshi Thursday told the special court hearing treason case against former president General (R) Pervez Musharraf that no advice sent by former prime minister Shaukat Aziz to Musharraf for imposition of emergency rule on Nov 03 exists at all.
The three-member bench of the special court headed by Justice Faisal Arab and comprising Justice Tahira Safdar and Justice Yawar Ali heard the case.
During the cross questioning, Khalid Qureshi said the matter of missing record from the Aiwan-e-Sadr could not be investigated so far. He said the concept of hiding of three documents was also wrong.
Khalid Qureshi also denied taking 'statement of choice' from Masood Alam Rizvi, former secretary Cabinet Division.
Former secretary to the president, Mohsin Hafeez told the court that he doesn't posseds the record of the Nov 03 incidents. He said the Chief of Staff of the ex-army chief took away all the records with him.
Farogh Nasim asked him whether Musharraf collaborated with his juniors for imposition of emergency rule on Nov 03. Khalid Qureshi said responsibility of missing record from the Aiwan-e-Sadr could not be fixed. He said Musharraf's Chief of Staff Lt Gen Hamid Javed wasn't questioned in this regard. - INP
KU professor shot dead in Karachi
KARACHI: A University of Karachi professor was shot dead in the city on Thursday.
Dr Shakeel Auj was shot thrice in the neck and chest near Baitul Muqarrum Mosque in Gulshan-e-Iqbal area whilst in the car with a friend.
The Islamic Studies professor, who was also the dean of the faculty, was immediately taken to a hospital after losing a lot of blood where doctors announced his condition extremely critical. Soon after he was pronounced dead.
SSP Muhammed Shah said it was not yet confirmed whether there was any enmity between the deceased and the gunmen or whether Auj had been receiving threats.
Condemning the killing, Governor of Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad ordered the inspector general to investigate the incident.
Vice Chancellor of University of Karachi Dr Qaiser said that all of the university’s classes were suspended following the attack.
While speaking media, Dr Qaiser strongly condemned the killing and said that it was a loss for the entire country.
“Educated people including doctors, lawyers and professors are being targeted and it is the responsibility of the government to protect them,” he added.
Praising the professor, the vice chancellor remarked that he was a great teacher and writer of many books.
All universities in Sindh have suspended their classes following the targeted attack.
Three terrorists killed, two cops martyred in Bannu clash
BANNU: Three terrorists were killed and two policemen were martyred in exchange of fire with militants here on Thursday.
The clash took place in Zandi Akbar Khan area of Bannu after militants attacked a police party which led to an encounter. In cross firing three attackers were killed while two policemen were martyred.
The terrorists killed in clash were stated to be members of a banned outfit and arms were recovered from their possession.
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