Summarized News

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Visited to Pakistan

Islamabad, October 24, 2017 Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on his inaugural trip to Pakistan as Secretary of State, Mr. Tillerson met with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who also chaired an interagency meeting attended by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif; Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal; Minister of Defense Khurram Dastigir Khan; Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua; Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa; Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence Lt. Gen. Naveed Mukhtar, and other officials.
The Secretary discussed our continued bilateral cooperation and partnership, expanding economic ties between the United States and Pakistan, and Pakistan’s critical role in the region.
The Secretary reiterated President Trump’s message that Pakistan must increase its efforts to eradicate militants and terrorists operating within the country. To address those concerns, the Secretary outlined the United States’ new South Asia Strategy and the vital role that Pakistan can play in working with the United States and others to facilitate a peace process in Afghanistan that can bring stability and security to the region. The Secretary noted that Pakistan and the United States share common interests in establishing a stable, peaceful Afghanistan, defeating ISIS in South Asia, and eliminating terrorist groups that threaten both Pakistan and the United States.
The Pakistani delegation outlined the government’s policy of a peaceful neighbourhood and steps taken to promote cooperation and stability in Afghanistan and the region.
In all meetings with Pakistan’s leaders, the U.S. Secretary expressed appreciation for Pakistan’s sacrifices in the fight against terrorism. The Secretary also expressed his gratitude to the Government of Pakistan and the Pakistani Army for their cooperation in securing the release of the Boyle-Coleman family from captivity.
The US delegation was informed that progress in promoting peace and stability in the region was linked to the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

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Pakistan bemoans US ‘trust deficit’ over Afghan conflict
Pakistan FM Khawaja Asif was speaking after meeting US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Rex Tillerson is the first senior US official to visit Pakistan after President Trump accused the country of providing “safe havens” to the Taliban.
Mr Tillerson repeated Mr Trump’s call for Pakistan to do more to eradicate militant groups within its territory.
But, Mr. Khawaja Asif insisted that there are no “safe havens” in Pakistan. “They do not need our territory any more. Almost 40% of Afghan territory is now under the direct control of the Taliban.”
US military sources suggest the Taliban control about 10% of Afghanistan and contest some 30% of the country. US and Afghan officials believe the militants are able to use sanctuaries across the border in Pakistan to plan attacks in Afghanistan.
Some have alleged that the ISI – Pakistan’s intelligence service – even collaborates with Afghan militants.
But Mr Asif blamed the “ineptitude” of American and international forces in Afghanistan for not ending the conflict. He dismissed the possibility of economic sanctions being levelled against Pakistan by the US if his country is not deemed to be doing enough to tackle the Taliban. Asif told the senators that Pakistani leadership told the US delegation that they should allow their policymakers, and not their military leaders, to devise a policy for Afghanistan as the military solution has failed and a political solution is needed. Pakistan only received “a trickle” of economic assistance from the US, he said. “We do not get any military hardware from them. We are not like in the past when we were their proxy. “Having said that there is a willingness on both sides to bridge this [trust] deficit.” “
Our country, our military and our police have made sacrifices in the war and in return, we have gained unmatched success.” Asif had also explicitly stated that Pakistan would not get involved in a proxy war but would continue to play its role for peace and security in the region.

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Pakistan Army rescues Canadian-American family held hostage by Taliban
ISLAMABAD: (Thursday 12 Oct, 2017) Pakistan Army said it had rescued an American woman and her Canadian husband along with their three young children, who were held hostage by militants in Afghanistan for five years, in a move hailed by President Donald Trump as a ‘positive moment’ in relations between Islamabad and Washington. American Caitlan Coleman, her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle and the children born in captivity were believed to be held by the Taliban-allied Haqqani network.
Coleman and Boyle were kidnapped while backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012. Coleman was pregnant at the time, and a video released by the Taliban in December showed their two sons born while they were hostages.
An Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said that “through an intelligence-based operation”, the army took custody of the hostages. It said the hostages had been recovered in Kurram tribal area that borders Nangarhar and Paktia provinces in Afghanistan. Islamic State group is gaining foothold in the two militancy-riven Afghan provinces seen as stronghold of the Haqqanis.
“The success underscores the importance of timely intelligence sharing and Pakistan’s continued commitment towards fighting this menace through cooperation between two forces against a common enemy,” the ISPR statement said.
US intelligence agencies had been tracking the hostages and shared the information that the family had been moved across to Pakistan through Kurram Agency border, said the ISPR. It added the operation by Pakistani forces, based on actionable intelligence from US authorities, was successful.
Meanwhile, a US embassy spokesman said evening, “We welcome media reports that a family including US citizens has been released from captivity.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US expresses “deep gratitude” to Pakistan.

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Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi takes charge of Pakistan Navy
Islamabad (Saturday 7 Oct, 2017) Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi assumed command as Chief of the Naval Staff. Outgoing naval chief Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah formally handed over the command by presenting the traditional scroll to Admiral Abbasi at an eleborate ceremony held at PNS Zafar, Islamabad. A guard of honour was presented to the outgoing and incoming naval chiefs at the ceremony, a press release issued by the navy said.
Admiral Zakaullah presents the traditional scroll to Admiral Abbasi.In his farewell address, Admiral Zakaullah said he was proud that he was given the honour of defending Pakistan and leading charge of the navy. He said the naval force of today is fully capable to defend the motherland and thwart nefarious designs against the country. Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi (left) taking over the command of Pakistan Navy from Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah.
“We cannot remain indifferent to the increasing stockpile of weapons of the traditional rival,” he said, in a reference to India.
In order to strengthen the navy, Zakaullah said new missile crafts are being inducted while contracts have been signed to acquire frigates from China and two planes from Holland. He further said the navy is buying eight submarines from China, ATR planes from Germany and Sea King helicopters from Britain. The outgoing naval chief congratulated Admiral Abbasi on being appointed the new chief of the naval staff. “Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi is an able officer and I am proud to hand over the command to him,” he said.
Brief About Admiral Abbasi?
Admiral Abbasi was commissioned in the navy’s operations branch in June 1981. He got training at Britain’s Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. He won the coveted Sword of Honour from the Pakistan Naval Academy after getting his commission. He has headed a number of organisations, including the Pakistan Naval Academy and the Maritime Security Agency. During his posting in Bahrain, Admiral Abbasi held command of a multi-national combined task force. His key staff appointments include Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Plans), Chief Inspector (Navy) and Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff (Operations). At present he is serving as the Chief of Staff at Naval Headquarters. The flag officer is a graduate of Islamabad’s National Defence University and the Royal Australian Navy Staff College.

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Former DG ISI Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar takes premature retirement
ISLAMABAD (08 October,2017) Former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief and president of the National Defence University (NDU) Lieutenant General Rizwan Akhtar has requested a premature retirement from the Pakistan Army. It has been learnt that Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar, who was due to retire in October next year, made the request owing to some “pressing personal commitments.”
Lt Gen Akhtar said it is an honor for him to have worked in a great army of the world. He was commissioned in the Frontier Force Regiment in September 1982 and served at various key posts throughout his career.
Lieutenant General Rizwan holds the war experience against terrorism at South Waziristan borders. He also played a vital role in the Karachi operation as DG Rangers Sindh, and remained DG ISI from 2014 to 2016. He was appointed NDU president in December, 2016.

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IS bmber kills 20 at Jhal Magsi shrine
5 Oct 2017: Quetta – At least 20 people were killed while 33 others suffered serious wounds when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance of Dargah Pir Rakhel Shah in Jhal Magsi district of Balochistan.
The bomber struck the Shia shrine packed with worshippers in a remote village of the district in an apparent sectarian attack. The attacker detonated his explosives vest when he was stopped for a routine search by a police officer guarding the shrine about 400 kilometres east of Quetta. It is worth mentioning that Dargah Fatehpur was also targeted by a suicide bomber in 2005, in which 60 people had died while 100 others were wounded.

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Four FC personnel martyred in Kurram Agency IED blast
ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR: ( October 15, 2017) According to the Inter-Services Public Relations [ISPR], the IED was planted by terrorists near the Pak-Afghan border in Kharlachi. The troops were part of the search party for handlers of Canadian-American family that was recently freed by the Pakistan Army, the military’s media wing said in a statement.
The four security personnel who were martyred were identified as Captain Husnain, Sepoy Saeed Baz, Sepoy Qadir and Sepoy Jumma Gul. Injured security personnel were shifted to a local hospital. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan [TTP] claimed responsibility for the attack.

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At least 6 policemen martyred, 22 injured in Quetta blast
Quetta( Oct 18, 2017): According to media reports, the bomb exploded at Sibbi Phattak near police vehicle. At least 35 policemen were in the truck at the time of blast. It is second attack on police in Quetta within a week. On October 13, one policeman was martyred while three were injured in a gun attack. While talking to media at site of blast, Balochistan Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti stated that police vehicle was targeted. Bugti reiterated that territory of Afghanistan is being used for attacks in Pakistan. “Our security forces have destroyed terrorist networks from here and now they plan their attacks from across the border,” he said.
On August 12, a blast in Quetta killed at least 15 and injured 32 people, police said. Security officials said the explosion set on fire multiple vehicles at Pishin Stop in the provincial capital of Balochistan.

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PM Abbasi inaugurates Pakistan’s first coal cargo terminal near Karachi
KARACHI (OCTOBER 14, 2017) Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated Pakistan’s first coal, clinker and cement terminal at Port Qasim near Karachi. A project sponsored by the Marine Group of Companies, the Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (PIBT) is developed to handle coal, clinker and cement cargo at Port Qasim.
Prime minister mentioned that the PIBT is, “the terminal of the future”, pointing out to the fact that this terminal is not only able to help start export of cement and clinker from Pakistan but it will do so in an environmentally friendly way. He pointed out that the PML-N government has so far been able to produce 10,000MW electricity in four years, despite the number of crisis it inherited from the previous governments.

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Pakistani troops mark 72nd founding day of United Nations
RAWALPINDI: (October 24, 2017) Pakistan’s armed forces as contributor to UN Peace keeping efforts join UN on its 72nd founding day. Pakistan Armed Forces peacekeepers have a long and distinguished history of serving with the United Nations. Pakistan support to UN Peacekeeping operations began in 1960 when Pakistan deployed its first ever contingent in United Nations’ Operation in Congo.
Pakistani army Peace Keepers have participated in 43 UN Peacekeeping Missions including some of the most challenging ones.
The ISPR statement further added that 153 Pakistani peacekeepers have sacrificed their lives including 23 Officers for global peace and stability under UN auspices. As of today over 6000 officers and soldiers are performing their duties as part of UN peace keeping assignments. Pakistan is one of the largest and most effective Troops Contributing Country consistently for years. Professionalism and services of Pakistani peacekeepers have been widely acknowledged worldwide by world leaders and UN leadership.

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Pakistan Army wins gold in UK’s Exercise Cambrian Patrol
RAWALPINDI: ( Friday 20 Oct, 2017) The Pakistan Army secured a gold medal in the Exercise Cambrian Patrol competition held in the United Kingdom this month, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) announced. According to the ISPR, this is the second successive medal Pakistan has won in the yearly exercise, while procuring four medals in total.
A total of 131 army teams from across the world participated in the event.
Cambrian Patrol is physically challenging and arduous exercise, which concentrates on teamwork for achieving the mission held in the most unforgiving mountainous terrain of mid-Wales, UK, amid tactical and technical challenges, testing leadership, self-discipline, courage and determination of the participants. Run by the 160th Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Wales of British Army, over 140 countries compete in the exercise, which puts the soldiers’ military strength to the test. Exercise Cambrian Patrol began in 1959, when a group of Welsh Territorial Army soldiers designed a weekend training event featuring long-distance marching over the Cambrian mountains and culminating in a shooting match on the Sennybridge training area. According to ISPR.

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Al Qaeda, Da’ish have no link to Islam: Imam-e-Kaaba
By News Desk (October 30, 2017): The terrorist organisations like Islamic State (IS), also known by its Arabic acronym Da’ish, and al Qaeda have no link or concern with Islam as it is the religion of peace, said Imam-e-Kaaba Dr Sheikh Saleh bin Abdullah bin Humaid. “Muslim countries are facing difficulties due to mutual differences and intolerance,” he remarked during an interview to a private news channel.
Dr Saleh said sectarianism is like a curse and could be diminished by resolving mutual differences and following Kalma-e-Haq. He pointed out that carrying out Jihad or holy war is the responsibility of state, not of any organisation or a group of people. “According to the Holy Quran, killing of one person without any reason would be considered killing of the whole humanity.” Islamic military alliance, led by Saudi Arabia, is not against any country, the Imam-e-Kaaba added. “Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are two most significant nations of the Muslim world,” Dr Saleh said while he was on a three-day visit to the country last week.

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Indian drone spying across LoC shot down by Pakistan Army
RAWALPINDI: (27 Oct, 2017) An Indian quadcopter spying across the Line of Control (LoC) was shot down by Pakistan Army on Friday, said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The drone was shot down in the Rakhchikri sector of the LoC and the wreckage has been recovered by the Army. The wreckage of the drone is under the custody of the Army, likely for analysis. The shoot-down of the Indian drone comes on the same day as the Foreign Office’s opposition to the sale of US drone missile systems to India on the grounds that the move will disturb the balance of power in the region. “International powers must show responsibility before signing such agreements,” said Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria in his weekly press briefing. This is not the first incident of Indian drones violating Pakistan’s airspace, with the Army shooting down drones in the LoC area on previous occasions.

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Pakistan confirms death of Chinese duo abducted from Balochistan
Pakistan extends solidary to victims’ family, China government
Islamabad ( 30 Oct, 2017) Pakistan Foreign Ministry confirmed the death of the two Chinese nationalsabducted from Balochistan in May 2017saying that the DNA reports obtained from the two bodies ascertained their identities.
The Chinese duoLee Zing Yang, 24, and Meng Li Si, 26, were abducted from Jinnah Town, Quetta, on May 24 this year. Later, the Islamic State of Syria and Levant (ISIL) claimed that it had killed the abductees.
“The government of Pakistan strongly condemns the death of two innocent Chinese Nationals. The DNA reports have confirmed that the two persons killed in Balochistan in June 2017 were the same two Chinese nationals, who were kidnapped from Quetta in May 2017,” the statement issued by the ministry said on Monday.
Balochistan has been facing an insurgency, which escalated following the launch of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as claimed by the provincial government and military; however, the abduction of the Chinese national had nothing to do with the project, as they were preaching privately for an underground church.
The statement said that Pakistan will continue to work with China and the international community to enhance counter terrorism cooperation as well as regional and global peace and security.

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Missing’ journalist Zeenat Shahzadi recovered after more than 2 years
She was recovered by security force on Wednesday 17 Oct, night from near the Pak-Afghan border. According to witnesses, Zeenat Shahzadi who was affiliated with a private TV channel had been whisked away by gunmen riding in two cars who intercepted on August 19, 2015 while travelling to her office in an auto-rickshaw in Lahore.

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Pakistan to mark 12th anniversary of 2005 earthquake
On October 8, 2005, A 7.6 magnitude earthquake jolted various parts of the country, especially Azad Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at 8:52 am that left around 80,000 people dead and thousands injured. The day dawned with special prayers in mosques across the country for departed souls of the earthquake victims. Fateha Khawni and Quran Khawni were held for thousands of people, who lost their lives in the catastrophic earthquake. Collective prayers were also held in all the quake-hit districts of Azad Kashmir. The Pakistan Armed Forces, people and government of Pakistan, international community and donor agencies were paid tribute for their unprecedented and generous contribution for relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities in the quake stricken areas.

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Kashmiris observed 70th anniversary Black Day to mark illegal Indian occupation
27 Oct, 2017: Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and world over are observed Black Day to mark the illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir by India and to reiterate their pledge to continue the liberation struggle till complete success. A complete shutdown is being observed in Occupied Kashmir and rallies are being taken out in world capitals. Call for the shutdown has been given by the Joint Resistance Leadership and other pro-freedom organizations. In Muzaffarabad, main protest demonstration will be held at District Complex followed by a protest rally.

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PM Abbasi condemns Indian aggression
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi strongly condemned the Indian brutalities in Occupied Kashmir and urged the international community to take notice of the situation as Indian forces used pellet guns on the innocent Kashmiri people. Chairing a meeting of the Kashmir Council, the prime minister said that Pakistan expressed solidarity with its Kashmiri brethren and had always extended moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiri people. He said Kashmir cause was a heroic struggle which would be remembered for times to come. Pakistan had raised the issue of Kashmir at every forum, he added.

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Indian atrocities can’t deter struggle for self-determination: Major Gen Asif Ghafoor
ISPR spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor in a tweet condemned the ceasefire violations across Line of Control. The spokesperson added that the Indian state’s atrocities in Indian Occupied Kashmir cant’t deter their indeginious struggle for self determination.

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UN resolutions-based Kashmir settlement only pathway to South Asia peace: Ambassador Lodhi
Reaffirming Pakistan’s resolute support to Kashmiri people’s struggle for freedom from the illegal Indian occupation, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, the Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN, said on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of India’s massive invasion and occupation of Kashmir. “Every day of brutal Indian occupation is a black day,” she said. “The story of Kashmir has been an unremitting tale of pain and suffering, for generations of Kashmiri men, women and children,” the Pakistani envoy said.

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Hurriyat leaders
Hurriyat leaders including Shabbir Ahmad Dar, Muhammad Iqbal Mir and Muhammad Ahsan Untoo, leaded anti-India protests in Srinagar. Hurriyat leaders including Mukhtar Ahmed Waza, Hilal Ahmed War, Muhammad Farooq Rehami, Ghulam Muhammad Khan Sopori, Bilal Siddiqi, Muhammad Abdullah Tari and Nahida Nasreen in their statements termed the 27th October 1947 as the darkest day in the history of Jammu and Kashmir.

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IoK CM wishes to benefit from CPEC: AJK president
President Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) Sardar Masood Khan that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would also benefit the people of Indian occupied Kashmir and Chief Minister IoK Mehbooba Mufti has expressed desire to reap the benefits of the regional connectivity project. Speaking at Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) on ‘Kashmir: Masood Khan pointed out that the AJK’s importance in CPEC is also beneficial for the people and economy of the IoK. He said the Chief Minister IoK Mehbooba Mufti has given a statement that her government wants to reap the benefits of this regional and international connectivity mega project. Referring to the Indian forces’ atrocities against Kashmiri people, he said India is deliberately trying to blur the lines between freedom struggle and terrorism to hide its atrocities against the innocent Kashmir people. ‘Courtesy Business Recorder’

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