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Ukraine, EU felicitate Bilawal on becoming Pakistan’s foreign minister

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  • European Union’s Fontelles, Ukraine’s Kuleba congratulate Bilawal.
  • PPP chairman says he looks forward to working with them.
  • Oxford-educated Bilawal has become youngest foreign minister.

Ukraine and European Union officials Thursday congratulated PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on assuming the charge of Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell Fontelles and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba congratulated Bilawal.

The Oxford-educated PPP chairman became the youngest foreign minister of Pakistan after he was sworn in as a federal minister a day back.

President Arif Alvi administered the oath to Bilawal, who was 33 years, seven months, and six days of age — a development that came after much delay and deliberation.

Ex-prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was 35 years, five months, and ten days old when he was sworn in as the foreign minister, while Hina Rabbani Khar was 33 years, eight months, and one day old.

In his congratulatory tweet, Fontelles wrote: “Congratulations to Bilawal Bhutto for his appointment as Pakistani Foreign Minister. Looking forward to cooperating and on strengthening EU-#Pakistan relations.”

In response to Fontelles, Bilawal thanked him and said he was seeking to strengthen Pakistan’s multi-faceted partnership with the European Union.

Ukraine’s Kuleba said he was looking forward to working with the newly-appointed foreign minister and hoped to strengthen bilateral ties with Pakistan.

“Looking forward to working together with the newly appointed Foreign Minister of Pakistan Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari. We count on further developing bilateral ties and our mutually beneficial cooperation with Pakistan,” Bilawal said.

Replying to Bilawal’s tweet, Bilawal said he looked forward to working with him to further Pakistan’s friendly bilateral relationship with Ukraine for the mutual benefit of our country’s people.

Earlier, in a Twitter post, Bilawal said he was “honoured” and humbled to take the oath as foreign minister.

He and his PPP “will play our part in restoring democracy, passing electoral reforms, fighting for a fairer economy & advocating Pakistans case on the world stage,” Bilawal wrote.

Following the oath-taking ceremony, Bilawal took charge of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Foreign Office officials briefed the newly-appointed minister on Pakistan’s international relations.

The newly-appointed foreign minister — along with a high-level delegation — is accompanying the prime minister on his maiden foreign visit to Saudi Arabia.

PM Shehbaz announced a 41-member federal cabinet after he took over from ousted premier Imran Khan earlier this month.

Khan has alleged that the United States backed a conspiracy to topple him just because he refused Washington’s advice not to visit Russia in February, a charge Washington denies.

Pakistan

Terrorist who martyred two ISI officials in Khanewal gunned down in IBO

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  • Terrorist was at large after killing security officials.
  • Security forces conduct joint operation to nab militant.
  • Niazi succumbs to injuries after being injured in fire exchange.

A terrorist who martyred Naveed Sadiq and Nasir Hussain — the director and inspector of the Inter-Services Intelligence’s (ISI) Counter-Terrorism Wing — was gunned down by law enforcement agencies on Monday in an intelligence-based operation (IBO) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) Kurram Agency.

The slain terrorist, identified as Umar Niazi, was at large after he martyred the two ISI officials on January 3.

The security agencies arrested the terrorist with serious injuries following an exchange of fire. Niazi succumbed to his injuries after a while.

Intelligence agencies nabbed the terrorist before he could slip into Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, the terrorist martyred ISI officials Sadiq and Hussain when they were at a local hotel in Khanewal, Punjab.

Sadiq, meanwhile, was martyred in Khanewal at a time when he was on a mission to take down the network of a banned outfit operating from Afghanistan.

South Punjab Additional Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Sahabzada Shahzad Sultan said the perpetrators were on a motorcycle.

Both officials were posthumously awarded the Hilal-e-Shujaat and Tamgha-e-Shujaat.

Sadiq, who headed the ISI’s CTD wing, was awarded the Sitara-e-Shujaat on March 23, 2021, in recognition of his bravery and courage against anti-national elements.

He joined the police force as a sub-inspector in 2002. After appearing for a high-level exam in 2009, he was appointed to the ISI, the premier intelligence agency, as the assistant director.

During his tenure, the spy agency official exposed key networks of banned outfits. After months of efforts, he gained access to the high command of Daesh. He also neutralised the terrorists after raiding and finding their ambush site in Faisalabad.

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Islamabad court decides to indict Imran Khan in Toshakhana case

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ISLAMABAD: A local court in Islamabad has decided to indict Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case.

The court has set February 7 as the date for the indictment of the PTI chairman. 

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Pakistan

Blast in Balochistan’s Kachhi leaves one injured

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  • Blast takes place in Kachhi district.
  • Police say explosives were placed on roadside.
  • Balochistan under constant terror attacks recently.

In yet another terror incident in the restive province of Balochistan, at least one person was injured after an explosion took place in the Kachhi district of the province, police said on Monday. 

The police told media persons that the explosives were placed on a roadside.

Balochistan has been under constant terror attacks recently with several incidents taking place in the province. 

Bolan incident

Recently, at least 18 people were injured after a remote-control bomb detonated on a railway track in Bolan, forcing the train’s engine and seven carriages off the track.

Railway authorities said that the injured had been shifted to Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Sibi.

The Jaffer Express train was travelling from Machh to Sibi, when the blast occurred, local authorities said.

“A relief train was dispatched from Sibi to rescue passengers of the train and bring them to Sibi safely. Passengers on the Jaffer Express coming from Peshawar to Machh were stopped at Sibi and are now being brought to Quetta via buses,” they added.

According to Deputy Commissioner Kachhi Agha Samiullah, the blast was carried out by a remote-control device.

On the other hand, the carriages of the derailed train are being lifted from the railway track.

Terror attacks

In the annual report issued by the Centre for Research & Security Studies (CRSS), Balochistan suffered from 110 attacks last year, becoming the second most vulnerable province in the country.

Over 250 people lost their lives in terrorist attacks and counter-attacks, whereas over 200 sustained serious injuries in the province.

The last month of the year witnessed over two dozen attacks in quick succession, and that became one-fourth of the total fatalities that occurred in Balochistan, a province which has just 6% of the country’s population.

According to reports, the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and Baloch Nationalist Army (BNA), the terrorist organisations, are mainly involved in terror incidents in the area-wise largest province of the country. In Balochistan, at least 14 major attacks took place mostly on security forces targets.

Security forces remained the primary target of terrorist attacks in the province.

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