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Friday, 12 February 2016

 

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Pakistan operation pushing militants into Afghanistan, terrorists know no boundaries: US -
WASHINGTON, Feb 11 (APP): A top US military official in Afghanistan said on Thursday that a military operation in Pakistan has pushed Taliban militants into Afghanistan and described terrorists' sanctuaries along the border as a regional problem. Brig Gen Wilson A. Shoffner, Resolute Support Mission spokesman, while addressing a press briefing via video-conference said that over the past couple of years, Pakistan is putting "increasing pressure on Taliban, both on Pakistani as well as Afghan Taliban operating there."



UN report reveals devastating human toll from weather-related disasters in 2015 -
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 11 (APP): A new analysis issued Thursday by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) shows that 2015,  the hottest year on record confirmed that weather and climate-related disasters now dominate disaster trends linked to natural hazards. The analysis found that 98.6 million people were affected by disasters in 2015, and that climate often aided by a strong El Nino phenomenon was a factor in 92 per cent of those events.



Pakistan rejects suggestions of facilitating terrorist group, appreciates Congress for support -
WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 (APP): Pakistan is carrying out a sustained military campaign against all militants without any discrimination, a Pakistan Embassy spokesman said on Thursday, rejecting insinuations that it was facilitating any terrorist group. "Pakistan has been most actively engaged in a sustained military campaign aimed at rooting out the menace in a non-discriminatory fashion," the embassy spokesman in Washington said while commenting on a news report carried out by Wall Street Journal regarding proposed sale of F-16 aircraft
to Pakistan.  



PM leaves for home at conclusion of two-day visit to Qatar -
DOHA Feb 11 (APP) : Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif left for Islamabad, after completing his two days official visit to Qatar. The Prime Minister was seen off by Dr Muhammad bin Saleh Al-Sada, Qatari Minister for Energy at the Hamad International Airport, Doha.  



Member of Royal Family of Qatar calls on PM -
app18-11pm-doha.jpgDOHA, Qatar (APP): Feb. 11 (APP): A member of the Royal Family Shiekh Khalid bin Hamad paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif here on Thursday. The Prime Minister said that Pakistan attaches immense importance to its close and cordial relations with Qatar, which will be further strengthened after the signing of the recent LNG agreement between the two countries.


Sport News
35th CAS Open Golf Championship begins at Airmen Golf Course
PESHAWAR, Feb 11 (APP): The 35th edition CAS Open Golf Championship-2016 began at Airmen Golf Course and Recreational Park, PAF Base Korangi Creek. The Championship will last for four days and 18 holes will be played each day. Air Vice Marshal Salman Ahsan Bukhari, Air Officer Commanding, Southern Air Command, who is also Patron in Chief Airmen Golf Course, inaugurated the Championship.

 
Nasir Iqbal win gold in SA Games
PESHAWAR, Feb 11 (APP): Nasir Iqbal clinched the individual squash gold medal beating compatriot Farhan Zaman in straight games in the final to win gold medal in South Asian Games being held in India. Nasir defeated Farhan Zaman 14-12, 11-7 and 11-9 in straight sets. Former Pakistan Sports Board Weightlifting coach Farman Ali said that he was feeling proud of his son winning gold medal in South Asian Games.

 
Pakistan set to face India in SAG final
ISLAMABAD, Feb 11 (APP): Pakistan Whites will take on arch-rivals India in the final of men's hockey in the 12th South Asian Games (SAG) on Friday at the Moullana MD Tayabullah Hockey Stadium, Bhetapara Guwahati, India. Pakistan's performance has been impressive in the event as they have won all their group matches, including the one against India when they got a 2-1 victory against them.

 
KP Under-23 Games logo and trophy unveiled in Bannu amidst fun and joys
PESHAWAR, Feb 11 (APP): The Sports and Tourism Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa unveiled the logo and trophy on Thursday at Qazi Mohib Sports Complex Bannu of the upcoming mega sports competitions to be starting from February 22 in various district across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Deputy Secretary Sports Adil Safi and Director Sports Tariq Mehmood with their team of government officials from Peshawar were welcomed at Bannu by the Deputy Commissioner Adil Iqbal and Assistant Commissioner Fawad.

 
Pakistan players slides in PSA World Squash Ranking
KARACHI, Feb 11 (APP): Pakistan players further slide in Professional Squash Association (PSA) World ranking available on Thursday.There was no Pakistani among the top 50. Alexandria, (Egypt) based 26-year-old Mohamed Elshorbagy relegated Frenchman Gregory Gaultier to second spot while Nick Matthew of England was occupying third place.

 
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Sherry Rehman rejects impression Pakistan allowing drone attacks after US apology PDF Print E-mail
WASHINGTON, July 10 (APP): Pakistan has not okayed any American drone strikes on its territory in exchange for Washington’s apology over the Salala attacks, Pakistani ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman said.The ambassador told CNN that Pakistan continues to deem unilateral unmanned aerial attacks a violation of humanitarian and international law.Referring to the complexities of the drone programme, she said it tests the relationship at every juncture.“And we honestly feel that there are ‘better’ ways now of eliminating al Qaeda, which has been done with our help. We have been doing that consistently, ridding high and medium value targets consistently. We’re the heavy lifters in this relationship.”Although, the drones may appear as a precise tool to target militants, the damage they do in radicalizing people and challenging the bilateral relationship far outweigh the benefits, she said.

She said the drone strikes were not only radicalizing a large population, but was also seen as predatory.“It’s seen as against the law. And it continues to challenge a relationship that can actually accomplish a lot more on the ground than we are doing today in eliminating terrorism.”The Pakistani envoy, who, according to CNN played an instrumental role in resolving the dispute over Salala attacks, reiterated serious concerns the Pakistani people and Islamabad have over drone strikes on its territory.
Sherry Rehman said Pakistan considered the drone program counterproductive and said “the concerns over drones ‘can’t just be brushed aside.”
She said the last week’s expression of remorse by the United States - over killing of Pakistani soldiers in November 26, 2011 in American cross-border attacks on the Salala posts has certainly opened the way for constructive discussions on bilateral relations, but “no, we have not agreed on anything,” she said, and added that many conversations were yet to happen.
“As I said, the apology has opened the space for an opportunity where we can have constructive conversations on several strategic issue,” Ms Rehman told the American news channel’s Christiana Amanpour in an interview.
The Pakistani ambassador drew attention to the need for acknowledgement of her country’s huge sacrifices and successes in the fight against terror.
“We need to understand that Pakistan is looking for some amount of strategic sympathy in the losses we have incurred over the last 10 years. We didn’t have more than one suicide bombing before 2001.”
“So it’s not that we are saying that all our troubles or  volatility, even within parts of Pakistan, have come as a result of joining force with the United States and NATO. But much of it has.  I think there needs to ‘be less tough talk in public’.”
Ambassador Rehman also pointed out the need to bridge the lingering trust deficit between the two countries. “There’s a trust deficit that you know about ‘between’ the two countries, and we must work to build that, because both people are quite able to work together.”
Regarding Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor employed by the CIA in hunt for Osama bin Laden before the al-Qaeda chief’s death in an American cross-border operation last year, the ambassador said the doctor had no knowledge about the goal that he was working for he knew he was contracting with a foreign intelligence agency, but he had no knowledge that he was seeking to bring Osama bin Laden in.
“So let’s not lionize him.”
The envoy said Dr Afridi was known to contract with terrorist outfits. He was even kidnapped by one, and he was in many transactions on the ground, all over the place. She said no country, including the US would allow its citizens to work with a foreign intelligence agency in secret, whatever the cause.
“His conviction is really for contracting with one of the terrorist groups that is waging or attempting to attack our soldiers. We’ve had several martyred recently.”
The Ambassador forcefully articulated Pakistan’s position against terrorism by saying that “they haunt our own people and our own children, our girl schools, our hospitals, our Sufi shrines.  They have bombed our people almost every day, including our police and security services.”
She said that its not something Americans see, since Pakistan’s sacrifice was not the staple of international television, but over the last ten years, terrorism has transformed the daily reality of its people.
“We are a resilient people but it doesn’t help to tell us to ‘continue’ to do more. It is our fight as much as anyone else’s, because we are committed to eliminating terrorism at its root and source,” Sherry Rehman said.
 
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