Connect with us

Politics

Amid spike in violence, Afghan FM asks Pakistan, TTP to hold dialogue

Published

on

  • Afghan minister acknowledges Pakistan’s loss due to terrorism.
  • Muttaqi urges both countries to show flexibility for “brighter future.”
  • Says Taliban authorities have overcome multiple challenges.

ISLAMABAD: As terrorism in Pakistan continues to claim innocent lives, Afghanistan’s Acting Foreign Minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi has urged Islamabad and banned militant outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to sit together for a dialogue.

“It is requested that Pakistan and TTP sit together for dialogue,” the Taliban-led administration’s minister said while addressing an event in Islamabad on Monday.

Muttaqi is currently on a four-day visit to Pakistan to attend bilateral and trilateral dialogues during which, he mentioned, discussions around the region’s security situation were also held.

Pakistan’s anger has increased over the Taliban administration’s failure to reign in TTP which is behind a new wave of terror in the country. The security situation in Pakistan’s northern and southwestern provinces has worsened in recent months forcing the authorities to reiterate their commitment to eradicate the menace of terrorism.

Islamabad had held several rounds of talks — brokered by Kabul — with the outlawed TTP but the negotiations failed last year after which the militant group started terror activities.

Acknowledging Pakistan’s loss while fighting against terrorism, he said: “In the last 20 years, Pakistan has lost 80,000 lives to terrorism.”

The minister also spoke about Afghanistan successfully achieving peace after 44 years.

He added that the challenges faced by neighbouring countries Pakistan and Afghanistan are not different from one another. The minister said both countries have been through various situations and will now work together.

“Pakistan and Afghanistan will have to show flexibility and move towards a brighter future,” Muttaqi said.

Expressing Afghanistan’s interest in maintaining economic ties with Pakistan, the minister stated: “Pakistan has always been our focus. There has been interest in economic ties with the country since the beginning.”

The Afghan leader said trade between the two nations continued despite political differences and hoped to continue economic relations in the future.

Commenting on the significance of trade routes between the two countries, Muttaqi said: “Closure of trade routes eliminates several employment opportunities for ordinary citizens.”

Muttaqi suggested that bilateral progress can increase 10 times with Pakistan’s investment in Afghanistan’s energy reserves.

He added that both countries have been facing political and economic challenges for the last two years, but possess potential for growth.

“Many problems including livelihood and unemployment can be controlled by working together,” he said.

The Afghan minister also spoke about maintaining excellent ties with nations including Pakistan Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

“We want to develop economic relations with Pakistan and Central Asia. Our foreign policy is based on dialogue and mutual relations,” he said, adding that their administration’s recent visits to Uzbekistan, Samarkand and Pakistan are an example of their good relations.

He termed the lack of economic ties with other countries as a “major challenge”.

He praised Pakistan’s efforts for economic prosperity and connectivity in the region. Muttaqi also said that Afghanistan’s relations with Pakistan are also on cultural and religious basis.

Speaking about the Taliban’s government in Afghanistan, the minister said: “It has been 20 months to our government in Afghanistan. Several problems have been overcome by the grace of Allah.”

Responding to a question regarding women’s participation in the workforce, the Afghan minister said: “Afghan women, 1,000 women health workers, are working in various fields including. They are also currently studying in different madrassahs.”

Politics

May 9 arsonists also attacked police on March 8 outside Zaman Park: Mohsin Naqvi

Published

on

By

  • Naqvi says “propaganda” being done on arrest of female PTI workers.
  • Caretaker CM says 2-year-old videos were shared on social media.
  • Punjab IG says police ready to appear before the judicial commission. 

LAHORE: Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi on Tuesday shared that those who attacked the police in Zaman Park on March 8 were also involved in the rioting that took place on May 9 after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest.

On March 8, the PTI chief planned to launch a rally in Lahore but things turned sour when the interim government-imposed Section 144 within the provincial capital. Following this, there was a clash between the police and PTI workers.

However, today CM Naqvi said that the same people that had clashed with the police on March 8 were also involved in the May 9 rioting.

On the “propaganda” being done regarding the arrest of female PTI workers, the caretaker chief executive claimed that 2-year-old videos were being shared on social media.

He also said that 32 women were arrested related to the attack on military installations in Punjab. However, 21 of those have already been released while only 11 are on judicial remand.

CM Naqvi added that nearly 500 women were involved in the May 9 incidents but the interim government avoided their arrest.

Meanwhile, Inspector General of Punjab (IGP) Police Dr Usman Anwar, while clearing the air on the arrest of female PTI workers, said that the police have videos of people getting arrested on the spot.

He further added that those involved in the May 9 mayhem uploaded videos themselves.

“Various agencies verified with their own camera system. These lists [of people involved] are complete, and action is being taken,” the police chief said. 

He also slammed the PTI for claiming he had sent his men to torch the important installations. “Whoever wants to form a judicial commission can form it we are ready to go before any judicial commission.” 

Continue Reading

Politics

PTI’s Shehryar Afridi re-arrested upon release from Adiala jail

Published

on

By

  • “Afridi was released on completion of his ‘house arrest’ period.”
  • Police officials take the PTI leader to an undisclosed location.
  • Shehryar Afridi along with his wife was picked up on May 16. 

Amid the ongoing crackdown against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in connection with the May 9 attacks on the civil and military installations, the party’s leader and former state minister Shehryar Afridi was re-arrested shortly after being released from Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail on Tuesday.

Afridi along with his wife was picked up on May 16 from his residence in Islamabad under Section 3 of Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance 1960, which enables the government to arrest persons “acting in any manner prejudicial to public safety”. His wife, however, was released later on the orders of the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Soon after his release from the jail, police officials again took him into custody and transported him to an undisclosed location.

According to the jail administration, Afridi was released on completion of his “house arrest” period under the MPO.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Rawalpindi deputy commissioner has extended Afridi’s house arrest under MPO for another 15 days.

The duo was apprehended after violent protests, triggered by the arrest of PTI chairman Imran Khan from the IHC in the Al-Qadir Trust case, erupted almost across the country.

During the days-long protests, which ended only after Khan’s release, enraged PTI workers allegedly attacked private and public properties, including military installations — the Lahore Corps Commander’s House or Jinnah House and the General Headquarters (GHQ) entrance. At least eight people lost their lives during the violent protests.

Continue Reading

Politics

ATC declares Zaman Park search warrant ‘ineffective’

Published

on

By

  • One-time search warrants are not for forever, judge says.
  • PTI chief Khan had moved ATC against search warrants.
  • He claimed LEAs secured warrants with “malicious intent”.

LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore Tuesday declared a police search warrant for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s Zaman Park residence “ineffective”.

ATC Judge Abhar Gul Khan, while announcing the reserved verdict on the PTI chief’s plea, said one-time search warrants are not for forever.

The PTI chief had moved the court three days back against the search warrants, naming the state, commissioner of Lahore, DIG operations Lahore, SSP operations Lahore, and others as respondents.

In the plea, the PTI chief claimed that law enforcement personnel secured the warrants with “malicious intent”.

“It is most respectfully prayed that the search warrant relating to petitioner’s house situated at Zaman Park, Lahore may kindly be set-aside /cancelled/recalled being illegal, unlawful, inappropriate which lacks the requisite legal parameters for a valid warrant in the interest of justice and fair play,” he said in the plea.

Urging the court to take strict action against the respondents, Khan asked the court to deal with them severely for “their unlawful and illegal misuse of authority under the pretext of the search warrant”.

The authorities had secured the search warrants claiming that they wanted to arrest the “terrorists” present inside the PTI chief’s residence. However, when they arrived there on May 19, Khan refused to allow a search operation at his residence.

The hearing

At the outset of the hearing, the judge asked the commissioner what was the reason behind the law enforcers’ action at Zaman Park. The commissioner said his men went here to remove encroachments.

But, he noted, they had not followed up on the search warrants so far.

The judge asked the investigating officer whether he still needed the search warrants. At this, he said that he would respond to the court’s question after consulting his colleagues.

The court, after hearing arguments, had reserved the verdict.

Continue Reading

Trending