By Rana Tanveer
By Rana Tanveer
By Azaz Syed
an ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has again been pushed to decide whether it’s going to declare Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) as defunct or continue to give it a clean chit. However, this time the United States has clearly told Islamabad that in case of not following the ‘advice’, Pakistan may face sanctions. On the other hand, JuD may also change its face again with a new name, highly-placed government sources told this correspondent.
Read more » The News
See more >> https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/182751-Act-against-JuD-or-face-sanctions-US-tells-Pakistan
Islamabad: Quaid e Azam University Islamabad administration closed the university after students from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh got into a fight on Tuesday evening, Sindh Post has learnt.
According to sources a student of first year from Sindh (name not known yet) was wheeling on his car in the university premises, he was asked by a group of Pashtoon students not to do that but on his refusal they started beating him up.
After the incident the student rushed to his friends and told them the story. After listening about the incident the Sindhi students responded with same type of violence and injured three students of the other group.
Late night Pathan students again responded and beat up Sindhi students and injured them.
Read more » Sindh Post
See more >> http://sindpost.com/2017/01/18/qauaid-e-azam-university-closed-after-students-fight/
…. On the US, Mr Chaudhry said that relations have deteriorated and will likely further deteriorate because of the American demand that action be taken against the Haqqani network. On India, Mr Chaudhry stated that the completion of the Pathankot investigation and some visible action against Jaish-i-Mohammad were the principal demands.
Then, to a hushed but surprised room, Mr Chaudhry suggested that while China has reiterated its support for Pakistan, it too has indicated a preference for a change in course by Pakistan. Specifically, while Chinese authorities have conveyed their willingness to keep putting on technical hold a UN ban on Jaish-i-Mohammad leader Masood Azhar, they have questioned the logic of doing so repeatedly.
The foreign secretary’s unexpectedly blunt conclusions triggered an astonishing and potentially ground-shifting exchange between the ISI DG and several civilian officials.
In response to Foreign Secretary Chaudhry’s conclusions, Gen Akhtar asked what steps could be taken to prevent the drift towards isolation. Mr Chaudhry’s reply was direct and emphatic: the principal international demands are for action against Masood Azhar and the Jaish-i-Mohmmad; Hafiz Saeed and the Lashkar-e-Taiba; and the Haqqani network.
To that, Gen Akhtar offered that the government should arrest whomever it deems necessary, though it is unclear whether he was referring to particular individuals or members of banned groups generally. At that point came the stunning and unexpectedly bold intervention by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
Addressing Gen Akhtar, the younger Sharif complained that whenever action has been taken against certain groups by civilian authorities, the security establishment has worked behind the scenes to set the arrested free. Astounded onlookers describe a stunned room that was immediately aware of the extraordinary, unprecedented nature of the exchange.
To defuse tensions, Prime Minister Sharif himself addressed Gen Akhtar and said that policies pursued in the past were state policies and as such they were the collective responsibility of the state and that the ISI DG was not being accused of complicity in present-day events. …
Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1288350/exclusive-act-against-militants-or-face-international-isolation-civilians-tell-military
By Zahra Haider
Pakistan is an Islamic Republic with the highest porn-watching population in the world. That statement in and of itself signifies a particular aspect about Pakistani culture: we are horny and desperate for sex, but God forbid we actually engage in it. Sex in Pakistan is considered a taboo topic. Men generally aren’t judged for it in our patriarchal society but if a woman from a middle-class family or underprivileged background is caught having premarital sex, serious shit goes down.
Women from poorer backgrounds could be victims of various forms of premarital punishment. Punishing women for premarital sex started with former President Zia-ul-Haq’s dictatorship or “Islamization,” which incorporated Zina (stoning to death), andHudood (punishments such as whipping, amputation, honor killing) into Pakistani law. His government dismissed women’s rape accusations, instead labelling them as fornicators and sending them to jail. These draconian forms of punishment are slowly dying out, but still linger in the mentalities of fundamentalists, imams, and police officers. Shariah Law can also be blamed for many gender discriminatory policies in Muslim societies, such as the lack of support for freedom of speech, women’s rights, and, ultimately, human rights.
Even though I had engaged in sexual relations with almost a dozen people before coming to Canada for college in 2012, it wasn’t something I was open about, and looking back I realize my sexuality was still pretty deeply repressed. Due to all these restrictions on us during the horniest years of our lives, in statistically the horniest country (see the above porn stats) in the world, we were forced to get creative during post-pubescent adolescence.
Read more » Vice
See more » http://www.vice.com/read/what-i-learned-having-sex-as-a-young-woman-in-pakistan
ISLAMABAD: South Korea wants to improve trade ties with Pakistan and the establishment of an IT park in Islamabad is a step towards doing so, South Korean Ambassador Dr Song Jong-Hwan said at a gathering at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).
South Korea will establish one of the biggest and most advanced IT parks in Islamabad in an area of about one million square feet.
The Exim Bank of Korea has agreed to provide $50 million for the establishment of the park and South Korean teams are expected to conduct a feasibility study with assistance from the Ministry of IT and Pakistan Software Exports Board (PSEB).
It is expected that the IT park will attract international companies to develop software and hardware solutions and will also help boost the country’s IT exports.
“Establishing the park will promote small and medium enterprises as well,” Dr Song said.
Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1240330/
Rangers officials raided the house of Salman Masood The Nation’s Resident Editor in Islamabad earlier this morning looking to search the premises. The officials arrived without any documents or warrant and said that a “terrorist search operation is underway”. A civilian man among the officials said he is from the “intelligence” without revealing his identity. The officials reiterated that it was a routine search operation.
Read more » The Nation
See more » http://nation.com.pk/islamabad/12-Jan-2016/rangers-raid-the-nation-editor-s-house
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Thursday approved the National Health Insurance Scheme aimed at providing health care to some 100 million people in Pakistan.
The prime minister chaired a meeting to give in principle approval to launch the Health Insurance Program. The meeting was attended by Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Chairperson PM’s Youth Program Maryam Nawaz, Minister of State for Health Saira Afzal Tarrar, and senior officers of the health and finance ministries.
Maryam Nawaz, the architect of the scheme, gave a detailed briefing to the Prime Minister in which comparative study of major health blanket models of the European Union, United States and India and options for implementing the scheme in Pakistan were discussed.
“A health insurance programme is the only way forward to provide health care protection to economically deprived people of the society. The scheme is the first of its kind to introduce a grievance redressal system as well as social security safety net for the poor people of Pakistan,” he said.
PM Sharif said the programme will not only give the vulnerable sections of the society an access to cash free health facilities but will also help to develop and revolutionise the health infrastructure across Pakistan.
The prime minister further said the scheme will also increase public-private partnership in Pakistan and will open up further avenues for investment.”
The scheme would be completely apolitical and would provide a blanket for cash free treatment to the poor people of Pakistan for major diseases like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus and complications, burns and RTA (life and limb saving treatment, implants, prosthesis), end stage renal diseases and dialysis, chronic infections (hepatitis), organ failure (hepatic, renal, cardiopulmonary) and cancer treatment.
The meeting also decided to establish the first ever public sector human organ transplant center in Islamabad.
The prime minister directed the Ministries of Finance and Health to coordinate and finalise the technical modalities and implementation strategy in minimum possible time so that an early relief could be given to the people.
News courtesy: DAWN
Read more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1110761
BY FARAZ TALAT
From the makers of the I-11 human rights catastrophe that left thousands homeless, comes a reinvigorated drive to not only keep Islamabad beautiful, but also dependably and homogeneously Muslim.
In a bid to garner legal support for its slum demolition drive in Islamabad, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) submitted a report to the Supreme Court, lamenting the Christian community’s alleged takeover of the government’s territory, identifying the influx as a threat to the numerical superiority of Muslims in the capital city.
The report runs like a classic diatribe by Donald Trump, caught on paper.
The five-page, typo-ridden document bashes slum residents as land-grabbing migrants who, presumably, do not contribute to the development of this country.
The word ‘ugly’ manifests repeatedly in the report as a description of the slums:
They “look like ugly villages” in the beautiful city of Islamabad.
They’re “ugly slums which present bad picture even (more) than ancient slums of neighboring city of Rawalpindi”.
Even without the icing of anti-Christian bigotry, parts of the report appear to have been ripped straight out of the diary of a stereotypically-elitist Islamabadi adolescent, curling his nose at the gross abundance of mud-huts; all forming an unsightly dark patch in an otherwise shining city, as seen from the romantic viewpoints of Pir Sohawa.
Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1225694/get-rid-of-christians-keep-islamabad-clean-cdas-donald-trump-moment
KATHMANDU: Four Pakistan Air Force (PAF) aircraft carrying rescue and relief assistance, including a 30-bed mobile hospital, for Nepal left for the earthquake-devastated country Nepal on Sunday.
Two C-130 aircrafts have landed at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu and two more are expected to reach Kathmandu on April 27.
In line with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s directive, the two C-130s which reached Kathmandu today are carrying a medical team of doctors and paramedics, a 30-bed hospital, medicines, tents, water, dry food, and a search and rescue team with equipment
The relief team and equipment have been put together with the collaboration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan Army, PAF, National Disaster Management Authority of Pakistan, the embassy of Pakistan in Kathmandu, the embassy of Nepal in Islamabad, and the Nepalese authorities.
The Pakistani ambassador and other embassy officials were present at the airport to facilitate and extend logistical support to Pakistan relief assistance team.
Read more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1178334/pakistan-sends-relief-goods-for-quake-victims-in-nepal
The talk show is in Hindi/ urdu language.
News courtesy: News One Tv
ISLAMABAD: The banned Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) marched from Lal Masjid to the Parliament House on Friday in protest of “target killings and kidnappings” of its representatives.
The proscribed outfit marched today to protest against what it called a recent surge in acts of violence against its representatives. The march was led by ASWJ Islamabad President Ghulam Mustafa Baloch in light of which police cordoned off the street near the headquarters of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) with containers.
Following a dialogue with the Islamabad police, the outfit agreed to end its protest after an assurance was given that the murders of its workers would be probed. The additional deputy commission Islamabad, the SSP and other police officials said that a special investigation team to be led by SP Captain (retd) Ilyas was being formed to investigate the killings.
ASWJ, a reincarnation of the banned Sunni militant group Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), had been banned in Feb 2012.
Despite the ban, the ASWJ continues to operate in the country with religious conferences and demonstrations held in different cities from time to time and no apparent action from the authorities.
Last month, lawyer and activist Jibran Nasir led a protest against ASWJ’s activities, bringing attention to the government’s negligence towards following due process of law.
ASWJ representatives have been targeted in three incidents of sectarian violence this year. Two days ago, senior ASWJ leader Dr Mohammad Fayyaz Khan was gunned down in Karachi.
According to data compiled by the South Asian Terrorism Portal, 112 people have been killed and 140 injured in incidents of sectarian violence in Pakistan since the beginning of 2015.
The Sunni Supreme Council had, at the end of February, announced the launch of a protest movement against sectarian killings and terrorism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but the province-wide protest has not picked up impetus outside of KP.
Read more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1167784/banned-aswj-ends-protest-as-islamabad-police-forms-team-to-probe-murders
ISLAMABAD: In a fresh diplomatic row between Pakistan and Bangladesh, a Pakistani High Commission official based in Dhaka was declared persona non grata by the Bangladeshi government and was asked to leave the country.
“Diplomatic official Mazhar Khan was charged by Bangladesh’s foreign ministry of running an illegal Indian currency business in Dhaka beside alleged links with militants,” a diplomatic source told Dawn.com.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasneem Aslam also confirmed the incident and said the official has reached Islamabad.
Read more » DAWN
Learn more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1161488
THE mosque in Pakistan is now no longer just a religious institution. Instead it has morphed into a deeply political one that seeks to radically transform culture and society. Actively assisted by the state in this mission in earlier decades, the mosque is a powerful actor over which the state now exercises little authority. Some have been captured by those who fight the government and military. An eviscerated, embattled state finds it easier to drop bombs on the TTP in tribal Waziristan than to rein in its urban supporters, or to dismiss from state payroll those mosque leaders belonging to militant groups.
Very few Pakistanis have dared to criticise the country’s increasingly powerful mosque establishment although they do not spare the Pakistan Army and the country’s political leaders for their many shortcomings. For example, following the Army Public School massacre, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s promise to regulate the madressahs was immediately criticised as undoable. Had he instead suggested that Pakistan’s mosques be brought under state control as in Saudi Arabia, Iran and several Muslim countries, it would have been dismissed as belonging to even beyond the undoable.
The state’s timidity was vividly exposed in its handling of the 2007 bloody insurrection, launched from inside Islamabad’s central mosque, Lal Masjid, barely a mile from the heart of Pakistan’s government. It was a defining point in Pakistan’s history. The story of the Lal Masjid insurrection, its bloody ending, and subsequent rebound is so critical to understanding the limitations of Pakistan’s fight against terrorism that it deserves to be told once again.
Very few Pakistanis have dared to criticise the country’s increasingly powerful mosque establishment.
In early January 2007, the two head clerics of the Lal Masjid demanded the immediate rebuilding of eight illegally constructed mosques knocked down by the civic authorities. Days later, an immediate enforcement of Sharia in Islamabad was demanded. Armed vigilante groups from Jamia Hafsa and nearby madressahs kidnapped ordinary citizens and policemen, threatened shopkeepers, burned CDs and videos, and repeated the demands of tribal militants fighting the Pakistan Army.
At a meeting held in Lal Masjid on April 6, 2007, it was reported that 100 guest religious leaders from across the country pledged to die for the cause of Islam and Sharia. On April 12, in an illegal FM broadcast from the mosque’s own radio station, the clerics issued a threat to the government: “There will be suicide blasts in every nook and cranny of the country. We have weapons, grenades and we are expert in manufacturing bombs. We are not afraid of death….”
The brothers Abdul Aziz and Abdur Rashid Ghazi, who headed the Lal Masjid, had attracted a core of militant organisations around them, including the pioneer of suicide bombings in the region, Jaish-e-Mohammad. Their goal was to change Pakistan’s culture. On April 12, 2007, Rashid Ghazi, a former student of Quaid-i-Azam University, broadcast the following chilling message to our female students:
“The government should abolish co-education. Quaid-i-Azam University has become a brothel. Its female professors and students roam in objectionable dresses. They will have to hide themselves in hijab otherwise they will be punished according to Islam…. Our female students have not issued the threat of throwing acid on the uncovered faces of women. However, such a threat could be used for creating the fear of Islam among sinful women. There is no harm in it.”
In post-Peshawar Pakistan, we have to believe that the darkest hour is just before the dawn
By REEMA ABBASI
Remembering murders and massacres past to demand justice was a sad challenge this week.
On January 4 – a date that should be declared ‘Salmaan Taseer Day’ – a peaceful vigil in central Lahore was held to honour the fourth anniversary of the province’s assassinated governor.
However, the memorial was attacked by Mumtaz Qadri’s supporters, who reportedly belonged to a banned terror outfit.
The scene was as tragic as it was violent. Placards such as “ST hum sharminda hain, tumhara qaatil zinda hai” were set ablaze as baton-wielding villains pounded participants, including campaigners of renown.
Though crazed with hate, their rampage was not without the blessings of the Punjab government and the police.
However, post-Peshawar Pakistan is another country. Hence, where such an incident would previously have sent mourners home, this time the miscreants defeated their own purpose.
Their assault sent the crowd to procure an FIR against the mob. So far, over 40 suspects have been arrested.
The atrocity, along with the ongoing saga of the Lal Masjid cleric, Abdul Aziz, is yet another testament to Punjab being the hotbed of fanaticism. It shows that the malaise has infiltrated the law enforcement apparatus and thrives in state espousal.
Punjab has witnessed the mushrooming of groups such as the Tehreek-e-Tahafuz-e-Khatme-Nabuwat, and the nation is keen to see the outcome of current civil-society-led movements geared to bring militants to book.
At this stage, we can only believe in the adage that the darkest hour is before dawn.
But if Sharif does not seize the moment to channelise public rage towards a new horizon, Pakistan may be doomed to see history repeat itself.
— The writer is a Karachi-based author and journalist
Courtesy: Daily Maily
ISLAMABAD: A large number of civil society protesters gathered outside the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in protest against remarks of the mosque cleric who declined to condemn the barbaric Peshawar attack that claimed lives of over 130 children,ARY News reported.
The protesters said they would got the FIR registered against Red Mosque cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz for his hate remarks.
The peaceful protesters said the capital administration must immediately arrest the cleric for his remarks supporting Taliban who massacred innocent children.
Read more » ARY News
Learn more » http://arynews.tv/en/infuriated-civil-society-demands-arrest-lal-masjid-cleric/
KP government approves modern AC buses project for Peshawar
PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has come up with a challenging move like Punjab’s Metro buses project as approved air-conditioned passenger buses for Peshawar.
Chief Minister KP Pervez Khattak said in this regard that initially 150 buses would be run from Chamkani to Hayatbad adding that every month 50 more buses would be added.
The CM said that the air-conditioned bus service will be run through public-private partnership.
He further added that 800 people will be recruited for the project.
Courtesy: The News Tribe
Read more » http://www.thenewstribe.com/2014/12/02/kp-govt-approves-modern-ac-buses-project-for-peshawar/
By Amin Ahmed
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s ranking in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2014 has improved and the Transparency International (TI), which released the report on Tuesday, has expressed the hope that Islamabad will work more vigorously to combat the menace.
The TI described Pakistan’s CPI score of 29 out of 100 and ranking of 126 among 175 countries as the best. The country has never achieved this distinction since the first CPI was issued in 1995.
Pakistan had secured the score of 28 and was ranked 127th among 177 countries in 2013, according to statistics released by Berlin-based non-profit organisation committed to promoting accountability, integrity and transparency.
Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1148425
LAHORE / ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-Chairperson and former president Asif Ali Zardari has said his party will not permit anyone to impose any ‘peculiar political or ideological agenda’ through brute force or under the pretext of religion or democracy.
“We reiterate that all power belongs to the people and they alone are empowered to bring about political change through ballot,” he said in a statement issued to media on Saturday at the occasion of the party’s 47th foundation day, which will be held on today (Sunday).
“While the threat of imposition of direct dictatorship may appear to have receded, we are not unmindful of the other forms of threats to democracy that rear their ugly heads from time to time.
Zardari said his party is also conscious of threats to democracy in the name of democracy itself and is determined to foil them.
“While the threat of imposition of direct dictatorship may appear to have receded, we are not unmindful of the other forms of threats to democracy that rear their ugly heads from time to time. The PPP is aware of such threats and is ready to fight against them,” he said.
By Sikandar Hullio
Excerpt; …. The deadline of November 30 may come and pass us by. What is more relevant than what happens that day is the fact that the PML-N is ageing, ailing and failing to impress the masses in Punjab. The PPP is also faltering and getting irrelevant by repositioning itself in Punjab.
As a counter effect, the more popular force of the PTI is trying to get both wickets with a single ball. For the PTI, this is also a moment to reflect and reset. Mere blame-games and agitations won’t work. They need to go back to parliament and relearn the art of honouring the mandate, besides pursuing their cases pertaining to election rigging within relevant courts. They also need to sit, settle and finalise a plan of election audit with electoral reforms under the supervision of parliament and make it a custodian – instead of looking at hidden hands, which were badly exposed, at least this time.
If done, this would provide the PTI a renewed life to prepare for the next elections and keep the political temperature up and exit from the sit-in trap in Islamabad.
The writer is an anthropologist and freelance analyst based in Islamabad. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Audit report for financial year 2013-14 cites embezzlements, violation of rules, unauthorised occupation of public land and related malpractices in PAF
ISLAMABAD: The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has detected serious financial irregularities exceeding Rs 30 billion, including embezzlements, violation of rules, unauthorised occupation of public land and related malpractices, in the annual accounts of Pakistan Air Force (PAF).
In its audit report for the financial year 2013-14 on the PAF accounts, the AGP has found that unauthorised expenditure exceeding Rs 25 billion has been incurred by the PAF authorities in terms of awarding an illegal consultancy contract to a private firm to execute a highly classified project. Moreover, the AGP has highlighted six instances related to unauthorised or illegal occupation of public land by the PAF that caused the national exchequer a loss of Rs 355 million in the last financial year.
According to the audit report, the PAF awarded contract number 08/2008 in an ‘unauthorised, illegal and incompetent’ manner, valued at Rs 429.234 million, to Kashif Aslam & Associates Private Limited for the development of PAF Base Shahbaz in Jacobabad, instead of awarding this contract to Military Engineering Services (MES), that is the competent authority to carry out such sensitive contracts in the defence sector. The project’s initial cost was Rs 7 billion but escalated to a total cost of Rs 25 billion under highly questionable circumstances amid alleged financial foul play committed by the PAF officials in collusion with the consultant.
The Department of Natural Resources of Sindh Government has complained in its report that Sindh Government has not been informed about the details and the quantum of natural resources in province by the Center. The report by the department said that (apart from Coal, Gold, Uranium, Oil and Gas) Sindh is rich in Copper, Granite, Marble and China Clay. Read News Version Published in Daily Kawish
ISLAMABAD: Russian envoy to Pakistan Alexey Dedov on Wednesday said that the MI-35 helicopter deal with Moscow and Islamabad is “politically approved”, Radio Pakistan reported.
In an interview with Radio Pakistan, Dedov said that the Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu will visit Islamabad soon. The report further stated that Alexey Dedov said the deal between Pakistan and Russia will help combat terrorism.
While Dedov said the deal has been “politically approved”, further negotiations on details of the political-commercial contract are in progress.
The ambassador also said that Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu has talks with Pakistani counterparts on his agenda, to discuss the sale of defence equipment to Pakistan.
Pakistan’s request for MI-35 helicopters has been on the table since 2009, but Russia had kept the issue pending because of the Indian factor.
A hardline cleric in Pakistan is teaching the ideas of Osama Bin Laden in religious schools for about 5,000 children. Even while the Pakistani government fights the Taliban in the north-west of the country, it has no plans to close schools educating what could be the next generation of pro-Taliban jihadis.
“We share the same objectives as the Taliban but we don’t offer military training. We work on minds. The Taliban are more hands-on,” says Abdul Aziz Ghazi, imam of Islamabad’s controversial Red Mosque.
“We teach about the principles of jihad. It’s up to students if they want to get military training after they leave here. We don’t discourage them.”
Ghazi runs eight seminaries – madrassas as they are known – the first of which was founded after his father went on a journey to meet Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan.
“Osama Bin Laden is a hero for us all. He stood up to America and he won. He inspired the mission of the school,” says Ghazi.
In one of the seminaries, the library is named in honour of Bin Laden, who was killed by US Navy Seals in Pakistan in 2011.
Pakistan, China sign 19 agreements, MoUs relating to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and electricity generation New pacts pave way for Chinese state-owned companies to help build at least four new power stations in Pakistan Chinese president, PM Sharif say Pakistan-China are ‘iron friends’, aim to create green channel for release of funds for development projects in Pakistan PM assures crackdown on terrorist forces such as the East Turkistan Islamic Movement and maintaining regional stability China on Saturday promised Pakistan investments worth $42 billion, an official said, as Islamabad promised to help Beijing fight what it calls a terrorist threat in its far-west. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif oversaw the signing of 19 agreements and memorandums mostly centred on the energy sector as he met Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People during his three-day visit to Beijing to discuss bilateral relations and the regional situation in Beijing.
WASHINGTON: In a blunt assessment of terrorist safe havens in Pakistan, the Pentagon has told the US Congress that the country is using militant groups as proxies to counter the superior Indian military.
“Afghan – and India – focused militants continue to operate from Pakistan territory to the detriment of Afghan and regional stability. Pakistan uses these proxy forces to hedge against the loss of influence in Afghanistan and to counter India’s superior military,” the Pentagon told the Congress in its latest six-monthly report on the current situation in Afghanistan.
“These relationships run counter to Pakistan’s public commitment to support Afghan-led reconciliation. Such groups continue to act as the primary irritant in Afghan-Pakistan bilateral relations,” the Pentagon said in the report running into more than 100 pages.
Referring to the attack on the Indian consulate in Herat, the Pentagon said this was done just ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of India.
“In May of this reporting period, the Indian consulate in Herat Province was attacked by a group of four heavily armed militants. The attack came three days prior to the swearing-in of the new Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Prime Minister Modi is perceived as being close to Hindu nationalist groups, a fact that may have played into the timing of the attack,” it said.
“In June, the US department of state announced that the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba was responsible for the attack. Following the attack, former Afghan President Karzai denounced the attack and made strong statements supporting relations with India,” the report said.
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