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Senator urges Pakistan to review policy towards Afghanistan

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  • Senate panel receives briefing from Foreign Secretary Asad Majeed. 
  • Secretary briefs senators on Kabul Embassy attack.
  • Says eight sniper shots, and 100 rounds of bullets fired at embassy.

ISLAMABAD: Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs Farooq H Naek, while expressing reservation about the attack on the Pakistani embassy in Kabul, called Islamabad to review its policy towards Afghanistan.

The senator expressed his reservations during a briefing given by Foreign Secretary Asad Majeed on the attack on the Pakistan embassy in Kabul.

The secretary informed the Senate committee that Afghanistan had conveyed to Pakistan that they had arrested one sniper involved in the recent assassination attempt on the Pakistani envoy in Kabul and an investigation into the incident was underway.

Majeed said the Pakistani envoy was walking in the embassy yard when he came under attack. He explained that eight sniper shots and 100 rounds of bullets were fired from the eighth floor of a building that is close to 100 metres from the embassy.

“Thankfully, it was not a physical intrusion, and miraculously, the Pakistani ambassador remained safe,” he said, adding that the Afghan government had promised that the perpetrators of the crime would not be spared.

“The IS Khorasan has claimed responsibility for the incident,” he said, adding that Pakistan wanted peace in Afghanistan as peace and stability in Afghanistan were indispensable for Pakistan.

However, Senator Naek expressed reservations about the attack and said there was a dire need for Pakistan to revisit its policy towards Afghanistan.

“We are functioning as the spokesperson for Afghanistan, not India, in the world, but on the contrary, the Afghan government often opposes Pakistan and uses guns against us, which is unfortunate,” said the Pakistan Peoples Party senator.

FIA slammed for harassment of Pakistanis

Meanwhile, the additional director general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) briefed the committee on the problems being faced by the Pakistani community living in Rwanda.

Senator Naek questioned the FIA official about the harassment of the Pakistani community living in Rwanda by officials at airports during visits to Pakistan.

“The Pakistani community, on their way back to Rwanda, is being harassed by FIA officials at airports, contrary to the fact that Pakistanis have a visa-on-arrival facility. Such an attitude of the FIA is regrettable,” he said.

He handed over written complaints received from the Pakistani High Commission in Rwanda to the FIA and Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials and asked for a detailed written reply to all the complaints in the next meeting.

The matter about the details of the number of Pakistani embassies, consulates, and missions presently working abroad and the grade-wise details of each staff, including ambassadors and consulars working therein with the break-up belonging to minorities with particular reference to Balochistan domicile, raised by Senator Danesh Kumar was disposed of.

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Zaidong, the ambassador, said China will fully back Pakistan’s counterterrorism operations.

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Reaffirming on Thursday that China will provide Pakistan with unwavering support in its fight against terrorism is Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Jiang Zaidong.

In an interview that was broadcast on television, the ambassador promised to cooperate with Pakistan and said that China will protect the interests and safety of the citizens of the two friendly nations.

Zaidong underscored that efforts to undermine the two nations’ bilateral relationship would be thwarted by China’s cooperation with Pakistan.

Also, he emphasized how crucial China-Pakistan relations have become strategically given the changing nature of the world.

In highlighting the transformative impact of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the ambassador reaffirmed his nation’s commitment to seeing it through.

In addition to creating thousands of employment, he said, “the CPEC has facilitated significant advancements in power generation and transportation infrastructure with over $25 billion in direct investments and substantial infrastructure development.”

Zaidong stressed the value of sharing ideas and knowledge between Pakistan and China, acknowledging their shared security objectives.

Stressing that both countries have a common future, he envisioned their partnership having a greater social impact.

Concerning the terrorist attack on Chinese nationals [working on the Dasu dam], the ambassador expressed gratitude to the Pakistani people for their condolences and sympathy and commended the government for its prompt action.

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Mild rain in Lahore improves the weather

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Early on Friday, light rain in the province capital Lahore and its surrounding areas improved the weather.

But rain also led to power outages in several areas of Lahore, as multiple feeders of the Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) blew, leaving whole sections of the city without power.

Details show that rain was observed in a number of locations throughout the city, including Model Town, Gulberg, Garden Town, Mall Road, Lakshmi Chowk, Gulshan Ravi, Jail Road, and Sanda.

However, the Met Office has forecasted an additional day of rain for the city during the next 24.

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The government will begin coordinated action against lawbreakers in the Katcha region

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On Friday, Mohsin Naqvi, the interior minister, announced that the government would begin a coordinated operation in the Katcha region to eradicate the miscreants for good.

He stated that collaborative efforts in the Katcha region will make use of contemporary technologies, including drones.

According to Mohsin Naqvi, all security agencies, including the police, should make sure that SOPs are fully implemented in order to protect Chinese nationals living in Pakistan.

He declared that any carelessness in this respect will not be accepted at all while presiding over a meeting to review the National Action Plan’s implementation at NACTA headquarters in Islamabad.

According to Naqvi, failure to follow the SOPs for the safety of foreign nationals will result in severe disciplinary action.

“We have to outfit our departments with cutting-edge technology to eradicate terrorism,” stated the interior minister. He declared that the provinces will receive all the assistance from the federation in this area.

Anti-state forces will be permanently driven out of the Katcha region, according to Naqvi. The interior minister expressed satisfaction with the anti-smuggling operations and stated that all ministries need to make sure that smugglers face stern legal action.

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