Category Archives: Pakistan News

18 Killed, 30 Injured In Road Accident In Pakistan Balochistan Province

18 Killed, 30 Injured In Road Accident In Pakistan Balochistan Province

Islamabad, June 11: At least 18 people were killed and over 30 injured in an accident of a passenger bus in Pakistan’s Balochistan province due to overspeeding.

Geo News reported that the accident occurred in the Khuzdar district when the bus was taking a sharp turn at high speed.

According to the paramilitary troops in the province, the victims have been shifted to a local hospital in Khuzdar and among the injured, six people are in critical condition.

The passenger bus was on its way to Khuzdar from Larkana district of Sindh province.
Earlier this week, a collision between two trains in Sindh province had caused the death of 62 people.—(ANI)

Passenger Van Falls Into River In Pakistan, 17 Killed

Passenger Van Falls Into River In Pakistan, 17 Killed

Islamabad, Jun 8: At least 17 people were killed after a passenger van they were travelling in plunged into a river in Pakistan’s mountainous Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

The vehicle was heading from Chilas to Rawalpindi when it fell into the Indus River in the Paniba area of Kohistan district, Dawn new reported.

The van, privately hired by the family for a visit, had 17 people, including the driver.

The accident took place when the driver lost control of the vehicle while negotiating a sharp turn.

It veered off into the Indus River and got submerged soon after, the police said, adding that 17 people have died in the incident.

Rescue teams were trying to locate the missing passengers but faced hurdles due to the difficult terrain and depth of the river.

The roads linking the northern regions of the country run through some of the most treacherous mountains, causing frequent mishaps.—(PTI)

Two Passenger Trains Collide In Pakistan, 36 Killed, Scores Injured

Two Passenger Trains Collide In Pakistan, 36 Killed, Scores Injured

Karachi, Jun 7: Two passenger trains collided in Pakistan’s southern Sindh Province early Monday morning, killing at least 36 people and injuring scores of others, according to officials.

The accident occurred when the Millat Express train from Karachi to Sargodha derailed and fell on the opposite track and collided with Sir Syed Express headed from Rawalpindi to Karachi, a spokesperson of Pakistan Railways said.

The collision, in which bogies of the Millat Express train overturned, took place near Dharki, a city located in the Ghotki district of upper Sindh. An emergency has been declared at hospitals in Ghotki, Dharki, Obaro and Mirpur Mathelo where injured were rushed.

The Express Tribune reported that at least 36 people have been killed and scores of others injured in the train collision. Reacting to the train derailment, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he was “shocked by the horrific train accident”.

“Shocked by the horrific train accident at Ghotki early this morning leaving 30 passengers dead. Have asked Railway Minister to reach site & ensure medical assistance to injured & support for families of the dead. Ordering comprehensive investigation into railway safety faultlines,” he said on Twitter. Officials were facing difficulties in rescuing the people trapped inside the overturned bogies.

Speaking to Geo News, Ghotki Deputy Commissioner Usman Abdullah said that 13 to 14 bogies have derailed in the accident while six to eight were “completely destroyed”. Rescuing passengers who are still trapped is a “challenge” for the rescue officials, he said, adding that a relief train has departed from Rohri.

“This is a challenging task. It will take time to use heavy machinery to free citizens (still trapped). We are also establishing a medical camp to provide medical aid to citizens,” he said.

Ghotki Senior Superintendent of Police Umar Tufail said that passengers were stuck in one of the bogies and “we fear more casualties”.

“Some breathed their last after being pulled out from the wreckage,” he said. According to officials, over 1,000 passengers were on board the two trains.

Around 20 passengers still remained trapped in the wreckage of some of the bogies which were damaged and overturned, a spokesperson for the railways department said, adding that officials were accumulating all the information of the passengers and staff on both the trains.

“It will take some time for the rescue operation to be completed as heavy machinery is required to remove the damaged boogies,” he said. Authorities fear that the number of fatalities could rise even as rescue and relief officials were rushed to the spot.

Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah expressed grief over the loss of lives and directed the Sukkur Commissioner to mobilise the district administration, Dawn news reported.

“Machinery should be arranged to rescue passengers that are still stuck. Arrangements should also be made at nearby hospitals to treat those that have been injured,” he said, directing the official to arrange temporary accommodation and food for the passengers.

“An information system should be set up so that citizens can get accurate information,” the Sindh Chief Minister said. Pakistan Rangers troops have also reached the spot to assist the civil administration in the rescue and relief operations.

Train accidents are common in Pakistan and dozens of people lose their lives every year. The railways have seen decades of decline due to graft, mismanagement and lack of investment.

According to a senior former railways official, such accidents happen from time to time all over Pakistan as the railways network remains outdated in many places.

“In some areas, they are still using the same network and tracks which were laid before the Partition,” the former official added.—(PTI)

Saudi Arabia Lifts Travel Ban From 11 Countries Excluding Pakistan

Saudi Arabia Lifts Travel Ban From 11 Countries Excluding Pakistan

Riyadh, May 30: Excluding Pakistan, Saudi Arabia has allowed people from 11 countries to travel to the middle eastern country as it lifted travel ban from Sunday that was imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19, Gulf News reported.

Citing people familiar with the development, Saudi Newspaper said that the travel ban will be lifted from 11 countries starting 1 am on Sunday (local time). The travelers from these countries will, however, be required to go through institutional quarantine.

Travelers from the United Arab Emirates, Germany, the United States, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, France and Japan, will be allowed entry from Sunday.

“Due to stability in the epidemiological scene and effective pandemic-controlling efforts in those countries, Saudi Arabia has decided to allow travelers coming from the 11 countries, starting from Sunday 1 am, Gulf News reported quoting an official source at the Saudi Interior Ministry.

International passengers coming into Saudi Arabia are all required to undergo a seven-day mandatory quarantine period at their own expense, starting from the day of arrival, at one of the kingdom’s quarantine facilities the publication reported.

On the seventh day, they must take a PCR test, after which they will be allowed to leave quarantine if its comes back negative.

In February, Saudi Arabia temporarily halted flights with several countries, exempting Saudis, diplomats and health workers from the ban.

The 20 countries on the ban list were Argentina, the UAE, France, Germany, the US, Indonesia, India, Japan, Ireland, Italy, Pakistan, Brazil, Portugal, the UK, Turkey, South Africa, Sweden, the Swiss Confederation, Lebanon, and Egypt.—(ANI)

Saudi Arabia, Pakistan Vow To Reset Ties Strained Over Kashmir Issue

Saudi Arabia, Pakistan Vow To Reset Ties Strained Over Kashmir Issue

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and longstanding ally Pakistan signed several agreements and vowed to reset ties strained by months of disagreement over policy on the Kashmir dispute.

On his seventh visit to the wealthy kingdom since his 2018 election, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was given a warm welcome by Saudi officials in the western coastal city of Jeddah.

He was greeted by Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the airport, before holding talks with Saudi officials at Jeddah’s Al-Salam Palace.

“They affirmed the depth of relations between the two brotherly countries and underscored the importance of expanding and intensifying aspects of bilateral cooperation and coordination,” a Saudi statement said.

Although the kingdom was the first foreign country Khan visited after taking office, Riyadh appeared frustrated with Islamabad last year.

In a sharply worded statement in August, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi called on the Saudi-based Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to convene a high-level meeting on Kashmir.

The call raised eyebrows in Riyadh, where it was widely seen as a warning that Pakistan was preparing to call for a session outside OIC auspices.

Saudi Arabia prides itself on its role as guardian of Islam’s holiest sites and is particularly sensitive about any move that might undermine its leadership of the 57-member pan-Islamic body.

And while the wealthy nation has supported Pakistan with billions of dollars in aid and loans in recent years, observers say the kingdom is also keen not to upset India, a key business partner and importer of Saudi oil.

The kingdom recalled $1 billion of a $3 billion loan to cash-strapped Pakistan, and an expired multi-billion-dollar oil credit facility to Islamabad has not been renewed, a diplomatic source told AFP in September.

Prior to that, Pakistan rebuffed calls to send ground troops to support the troubled Saudi-led military campaign against Yemen’s Huthi rebels.

– ‘Exceptional cordiality’ –

But Khan’s visit appeared to have restored cooperation between the two Islamic countries that are both heavily engaged in the “war on terror” which requires effective intelligence sharing.

“The two sides stressed the need for concerted efforts by the Islamic world to confront extremism and violence, and reject sectarianism,” the Saudi statement said.

The official Saudi Press Agency said the two sides signed agreements addressing the treatment of criminals, and crime.

They also agreed two memorandums of understanding on combating drug trafficking, and on financing energy, water and infrastructure projects.

The two countries also agreed to establish a Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council (SPSCC).

“During the meeting, it was agreed to further strengthen, deepen and diversify the existing bilateral political, economic, trade, defence and security ties,” a Pakistani statement said.

“The talks were marked by exceptional cordiality and a commitment to fortify the upward trajectory in the bilateral relationship,” it added.

– Saudi-Iran moves –

Pakistan has close links with Saudi Arabia, with more than 2.5 million of its nationals living and working in the kingdom, but it also maintains close ties with Iran and represents Tehran’s consular interests in the United States.

For decades, Pakistan has tried to balance its strong relationship with Saudi Arabia and its ties with Iran, with which it shares a near 1,000-kilometre (625-mile) border.

In 2019, Khan travelled between Saudi Arabia and Iran in a bid to calm animosities between the rival Muslim powers.

His visit to Jeddah comes as Saudi Arabia and Iran hold secret talks in Iraq, the first significant effort to defuse tensions since the regional powers cut ties in 2016 after Iranian protesters, infuriated over the kingdom’s execution of a Shiite cleric, attacked Saudi diplomatic missions.

“The prime minister of Pakistan’s visit to Saudi Arabia is an important milestone in bilateral relations,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan tweeted Saturday.

“The kingdom is keen to further strengthen relations between the brotherly countries as well as enable broader economic cooperation.”—(AFP)

Painful Performance We Played Poor Cricket Babar After Pak’s Loss Against Zimbabwe

Painful Performance We Played Poor Cricket Babar After Pak’s Loss Against Zimbabwe

Harare, April 24: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has lamented his side’s performance in the second T20I of the three-match series against Zimbabwe, saying that the Green Shirts played poor cricket and it was a painful performance.

Despite skipper Babar’s 41-run knock, Pakistan suffered a shocking 19-run defeat in a low-scoring second T20I against Zimbabwe here at the Harare Sports Club on Friday.

“It’s a very painful performance. In South Africa, we had chased down 200; similarly here, we should have won this game comfortably. But unfortunately, we played poor cricket and continued to struggle in the middle order. Today, it was not just the middle order but our batsmen right through couldn’t perform the way we expect them to. It was a collective collapse and we lost as a group. But credit to Zimbabwe who came back so strongly today,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Babar as saying.

Chasing 119, barring Babar, Mohammed Rizwan (13), and Danish Aziz (22), no visiting batter was able to cross the double figure-mark. In fact, no batsman was able to score above six runs for Pakistan from the lower middle-order and the tailenders.

Babar’s wicket brought the hosts back in the game and after that Pakistan kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. In the next over, Aziz departed after scoring 22 runs. At that time, Pakistan was 79/5 in 16.2 overs. Luke Jongwe didn’t give any change to Pakistan for a fightback as he returned figures of 4-18 in his 3.5 overs. He was also adjudged as the Player of the Match. Pakistan collapsed from 79/5 to 99 in no time.

“The wicket was similar to the other day but it was suitable for batters and that is not an excuse anyway. As a professional, you adapt to every condition but I think we as openers didn’t give a good start from the top and then our middle order was struggling to step up. The World T20 is closing in and we have to sort this out as soon as possible. The next game we will come back and make a good combination,” said Babar.

Pakistan and Zimbabwe will now lock horns in the third and final T20I on Sunday.

Pakistan-Based Edhi Welfare Trust Offers To Send 50 Ambulances To India To Help Fight COVID Surge

Pakistan-Based Edhi Welfare Trust Offers To Send 50 Ambulances To India To Help Fight COVID Surge

Karachi, Apr 24: Pakistan’s philanthropist organisation Edhi Welfare Trust on Friday offered to send 50 ambulances and support staff to India to help the country in combating the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Faisal Edhi, who heads the trust, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said the organisation was closely following the COVID-19 situation in India.

“We are very sorry to hear about the exceptionally heavy impact that the pandemic has had on your country, where a tremendous number of people are suffering immensely,” Faisal wrote in the letter made public to the media.

Faisal, who offered to lead the team to India, said the Edhi trust sympathised with the Indian people in difficult times and they could send 50 ambulances and staff to help the people of India. He said the trust would provide fuel, food, and other necessary amenities that their team will require.

India added a record over 3.32 lakh new coronavirus cases in a single day taking the country’s tally to 1,62,63,695, while active cases crossed the 24-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.

The data updated at 8 am showed that the death toll increased to 1,86,920 with a record 2,263 new fatalities. The country recorded a single day rise of 3,32,730 new cases.

Meanwhile, Pakistan recorded 5,870 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, while 144 more people succumbed to the deadly virus, prompting Prime Minister Imran Khan to seek the help of the Army to support police in enforcing the SOPs for curbing the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

The total number of cases in Pakistan has reached 784,108 and the COVID-19 death toll touched 16,842. Another 4,652 patients were in critical condition. (PTI)

Pakistan Cricket Players Will Get Visas For World T20 In India: BCCI Apex Council

Pakistan Cricket Players Will Get Visas For World T20 In India: BCCI Apex Council

New Delhi:17 April 2021, Pakistan’s cricket players will get visas to compete in the T20 World Cup in India this October, the BCCI’s apex council has been told by Board secretary Jay Shah following “government assurances”.

Shah told the council in a video conference meeting held on Friday where it was also decided that the mega-event will be staged across nine venues with Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium hosting the final.

The other venues are Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Dharamsala and Lucknow.

“The visa issue of Pakistan cricket team has been sorted. However, whether the fans can travel across the border to watch matches is still not clear,” an Apex Council member told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

“It will be decided in due course of time. However, we had promised ICC that it will be sorted. The secretary announced during the meeting.”

India and Pakistan have not played bilateral cricket for close to a decade now due to diplomatic tensions between the two countries.

Pakistan has been demanding assurances from the ICC that visas will be granted to its players for the 16-team extravaganza, which will complete seven editions this year.(PTI)

State Election Commission (SEC) Cancels Candidature Of Two PoK Women

State Election Commission (SEC) Cancels Candidature Of Two PoK Women

Srinagar, Mar 6: The State Election Commission (SEC) today ordered re-polling in two District Development Council (DDC) constituencies in Kupwara and Bandipora where the counting of the votes was halted due to the disputed qualification of two candidates.

The SEC ordered the cancellation of the candidature of both the candidates based on their citizenship and has also stated that both the candidates have put on record false information regarding their citizenship.

The SEC said that the polling held at the DDC constituency Dragmulla as well as Hajin-A shall be declared as void, while also ordering the cancellation of the candidature of Soomia Sadaf and Shazia Begum.

The Commission said that there shall be re-poll in the DDC constituency Dragmulla district Kupwara as well as Hajin-A—excluding Soomia Sadaf and Shazia Begum.

It has also ordered that the re-poll at both the constituencies shall be held by re-drawing the list of contesting candidates after dropping the names of these two candidates.

The re-poll for DDC constituency Dragmulla district Kupwara and Hajin-A, as per the SEC, will be conducted under the applicable election rules, guidelines, on a date to be notified by the Election Authority, through a separate order.

Both the women, originally hailing from PoK do not hold citizenship of the country.

Soomia Sadaf had contested DDC elections from Dragmulla constituency of Kupwara while Shazia Begum had contested elections from Hajin-A constituency of Bandipora.
However, after the complaints, the counting of votes polled at both places was stopped.

The SEC said that a complaint dated 09-12-2020 was received by State Election Commission in respect of Soomia Sadaf, a contesting candidate (Independent) for DDC constituency Dragmulla, alleging therein that she is not a bonafide Indian citizen.

“The complainant mentioned that she is a resident of Muzaffarabad, PoK and an illegal entrant into the country and therefore is not a citizen of India. In her reply to the notice served upon, Soomia Sadaf could not produce any valid document to justify her citizenship in the Indian part, which could be taken as authentic as per provisions of Citizenship Act, 1955,” the SEC said.

Days After Talks Of Ceasefire, Peace; Pak PM Imran Khan Rakes Up Kashmir Issue

Days After Talks Of Ceasefire, Peace; Pak PM Imran Khan Rakes Up Kashmir Issue

NEW DELHI: Days after the Director-General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan announced the implementation of the 2003 ceasefire, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan once again raked up the Kashmir issue.

Imran Khan tweeted, “I welcome restoration of the ceasefire along with the Line of Control (LoC).

The onus of creating an enabling environment for further progress rests with India. India must take necessary steps to meet the long-standing demand and right of the Kashmiri people to self-determination acc to UNSC resolutions.”

“We also demonstrated to the world Pakistan’s responsible behaviour in the face of India’s irresponsible military brinkmanship, by returning the captured Indian pilot. We have always stood for peace & remain ready to move forward to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue,” he further said in his tweet.
The United States, United Nations, and Hurriyat have all welcomed the reinforcement of the 2003 ceasefire between India and Pakistan.

India also said that it wants normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan but its position on key issues remains unchanged.

Imran Khan’s raking up of the Kashmir issue is unlikely to go down well with India, as New Delhi has maintained that it is a bilateral issue and is ready to hold a dialogue only when Pakistan stops sponsoring terrorism.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has not responded to Imran Khan’s recent assertion as of now.

United States Welcomes India-Pakistan Joint Statement On Ceasefire

United States Welcomes India-Pakistan Joint Statement On Ceasefire

Washington, Feb 26: The United States has welcomed the joint statement of India and Pakistan to strictly observe all agreements on ceasefire along the Line of Control and other sectors, saying it is a positive step towards greater peace and stability in South Asia.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also said at her daily news conference on Thursday that the Biden administration remains closely engaged with a range of leaders and officials in the region, including those in Pakistan.

‘The United States welcomes the joint statement between India and Pakistan that the two countries have agreed to maintain strict observance of a ceasefire along the Line of Control starting on February 25th,’ Psaki said.

‘This is a positive step towards greater peace and stability in South Asia which is in our shared interest and we encourage both countries to keep building upon this progress,’ she said when asked about the joint statement that announced India and Pakistan have agreed to strictly observe all agreements on ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and other sectors.

Asked if Islamabad is doing enough in the fight against terrorism, she said, ‘But in terms of an assessment of that I would point you to the State Department or the Intelligence Department.’ At a separate news conference, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the administration had called on the parties to reduce tensions along the LoC by returning to the 2003 ceasefire agreement.

‘We have been very clear that we condemn the militants who seek to infiltrate across the Line of Control,’ he said.

‘When it comes to the US’ role, we continue to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern, and we certainly welcome the arrangement that was announced that will go into effect I should say on February 25,’ Price said.

He said Pakistan is an important partner with whom the US shares many interests. ‘We, have been clearer in terms of this issue. Obviously, Pakistan has an important role to play when it comes to Afghanistan and what takes place across its other border. So clearly, we will be paying close attention, and we urge the Pakistanis to play a constructive role in all of these areas of mutual interests including in Afghanistan, including with Kashmir including with our other shared interest,’ Price said.

The joint statement issued in Islamabad and New Delhi said the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of the two countries held discussions over the established mechanism of hotline contact and reviewed the situation along the LoC and all other sectors in a ‘free, frank and cordial’ atmosphere.

‘In the interest of achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace along the borders, the two DGMOs agreed to address each other’s core issues and concerns which have propensity to disturb peace and lead to violence.

‘Both sides agreed for strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control and all other sectors with effect from midnight of February 24/25,’ the joint statement said.

The two sides also reiterated that existing mechanisms of hotline contact and border flag meetings will be utilised to resolve any unforeseen situation or misunderstanding, it added. (PTI)

India Permits Imran Khan’s Aircraft To Use Its Airspace For Travel To Sri Lanka

India Permits Imran Khan’s Aircraft To Use Its Airspace For Travel To Sri Lanka

New Delhi: India has allowed Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s aircraft to use Indian Air Space, according to informed sources.

In 2019, Pakistan had denied opening its airspace for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flights to the US and Saudi Arabia citing alleged human rights violations in Kashmir.

India took up the denial of permission to VVIP flight with an International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Under normal circumstances, the VVIP aircraft are granted permission by countries. However, Pakistan’s denial of permission to VVIP aircraft was an aberration. (ANI)

Five Pakistani Soldiers Killed In South Waziristan Attack

Five Pakistani Soldiers Killed In South Waziristan Attack

WAZIRISTAN: Five soldiers were martyred and another was injured when terrorists attacked a security check-post in the Sara Rogha area of South Waziristan tribal district.

Police said that the martyred soldiers belonged to 223 Wing of Frontier Corps, a paramilitary force which has been fighting militants in the tribal districts. Officials said that terrorists used light and heavy weapons in the attack.

The martyred soldiers were identified as Naib Subaidar Shahid Anwar, Naik Ahmad Khan, Lance Naik Shehryar and Sepoys Ayub and Shahzad and the injured as Shahid Afzal.

No group has accepted res­pon­sibility for the attack yet.

A resident of Sara Rogha, Iqbal Mehsud, told Dawn that heavy firing started late night and continued for a long time. The local people came out of their houses after hearing gun shots.

Later, police and paramilitary forces conducted a house-to-house search operation in the area to arrest perpetrators of the attack.

Sara Rogha was cleared of terrorists after security forces conducted Operation Rah-i-Nijat in 2009.

However, recently attacks have taken place on security forces in the areas of Ahmadzai Wazir and Mehsud tribes of South Waziristan district. Two soldiers were martyred and five others injured when an improvised explosive device hit their vehicle and exploded near Wana, the administrative headquarters of South Waziristan, on Sunday night.

Officials said that militants had also suffered heavy casualties in clashes with the security forces, which had resulted in the killing of 60 terrorists, including 10 key leaders.

Following an attack on security forces, the district administration imposed curfew in Wana and its adjacent areas on Wednesday.

Residents said that the administration lifted curfew on Friday after negotiations with the local elders. Earlier local people staged a demonstration near Wana to protest against curfew. (Dawn)

17 Indian Fishermen Held by Pakistan Maritime Security Agency, Claims Association

17 Indian Fishermen Held by Pakistan Maritime Security Agency, Claims Association

AHMEDABAD: Seventeen Indian fishermen have been apprehended by Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) in the Arabian Sea, an official of a fishermen’s association claimed on Saturday. The PMSA also seized their three boats for allegedly entering Pakistani waters two days ago, said Manish Lodhari, secretary of National Fishworkers’ Forum.

Two boats from Porbandar and one from Veraval in Gir Somnath district of Gujarat had sailed with 17 fishermen over a week ago, he said. However, authorities in Gir Somnath and Porbandar did not confirm the development. (PTI)

Two Killed, 28 Injured In Blasts In Pakstan’s Quetta And Sibi, Say Police

Two Killed, 28 Injured In Blasts In Pakstan’s Quetta And Sibi, Say Police

QUETTA: At least two people were killed and 28 others injured as two bomb blasts rocked the cities of Quetta and Sibi in the restive Balochistan province of Pakistan, police said on Friday.

The first blast took place in Sibi in which 24 people were injured while hours later the second explosion took place in Quetta and was apparently aimed at a Kashmir Day rally, killing two people and leaving four others injured.

Police officials said that two bodies were shifted to Quetta civil hospital after the incident.

Aurangzeb Badini, Deputy Commissioner of Quetta and a retired major, confirmed that the initial investigations hinted the blast was targeted at a Kashmir Solidarity Day rally that was passing from the area.

He added that the nature of the blast couldn’t be ascertained as yet.

Earlier 24 people were injured when a bomb was hurled at a similar rally in Sibi, according to police officer Zaman Khan.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Pakistan observed Kashmir Solidarity Day on Friday by holding public rallies.

India has told Pakistan that it has no locus standi to comment on internal affairs of India, asserting that the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been and will remain an integral part of the country.

On Thursday, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava said that India desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence. (PTI)

India Calls For Removing Kashmir Issue From UNSC Agenda

India Calls For Removing Kashmir Issue From UNSC Agenda

United Nations: India at the UN has called for permanently removing the issue of Jammu and Kashmir under the “outdated agenda item” of the ‘India-Pakistan question’ from the Security Council’s agenda, saying such “irrational exuberance” has no takers in a dignified world.

During a virtual informal meeting of the plenary on the annual report of the Security Council, Pakistan’s UN envoy Munir Akram had raked up the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and said that the Security Council has also been found lacking in implementing its own resolutions and decisions on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

He added that the Council has met thrice during the last one year to consider the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

India, without naming Pakistan, said in a statement on Monday that “there is a delegation that repeatedly attempts to rebrand itself as contributing to international peace, but unfortunately fails to recognise that it is globally known for being the fountainhead of international terror and the hub for terror syndicates.

“This delegation keeps pushing for discussions on an outdated agenda item in the Council, which for all matter needs to be removed from the Council’s agenda permanently. Such irrational exuberance has no takers in a dignified world,” India said on the ‘Report of the Security Council for 2019′.

An August 3, 2020 summary statement by the Secretary-General of “matters of which the Security Council is seized” listed ‘The India-Pakistan question’ among those items that have not been considered by the Council at a “formal meeting” during the period from January 1, 2017 to August 1, 2020.

The agenda item ‘India-Pakistan question’ was first taken up by the Council at a formal meeting on January 6, 1948 and was last considered on November 5, 1965.

Pakistan, backed by its ‘all-weather ally’ China, has been repeatedly seeking to have a discussion on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in the Security Council.

The Council had held closed consultations on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir on August 16 last year after China asked for the “closed consultations” to discuss the matter. That meeting had ended without any outcome.

In January this year, China, on behalf of Pakistan, had again made an attempt to raise the Kashmir issue under “other matters” during closed consultations in the Security Council Consultations Room. Then too, China stood alone in the Pakistani corner to get the Security Council to focus on the Kashmir issue.

Last month, as India marked the first anniversary of ending the special status to Jammu and Kashmir and its bifurcation into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, Beijing again called for a discussion on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in the Security Council under ‘Any Other Business’.

All these meetings ended without any outcome, as many other members of the Security Council have underlined that Jammu and Kashmir is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador T S Tirumurti, had told PTI that contrary to what Pakistan may claim, Islamabad has not been successful in trying to put Jammu and Kashmir on the UN agenda.

“Frankly, the attempt by Pakistan to try and internationalise, what is a bilateral issue, is nothing new,” he had said.

Tirumurti had pointed out that contrary to what the Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mehmood Qureshi asserted, “there has been no formal meeting of the Security Council on the India-Pakistan issue even once for the past 55 years, let alone three times!”

Pakistan, backed by China, has only been able to bring up the issue of Jammu and Kashmir informally and in closed door meetings under what is called ‘Any Other Business’, a category where literally any item can be brought for discussion by anyone. These meetings have no records and there is no outcome.

Tirumurti had pointed out that even UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in his statement last August, clearly referred to the 1972 bilateral Simla Agreement.

“Consequently, Pakistan has been singularly unsuccessful in making any inroads into the UN on Jammu and Kashmir. That is the reality,” Tirumurti had said.(PTI)

 Army Aviation Plane Crashes In Rawalpindi Pakistan 19 Killed, 16 Injured

Kashmir News Network

 Army Aviation Plane Crashes In Rawalpindi Pakistan 19 Killed, 16 Injured

 

The death toll in the plane crash at a residential area near Rabi Plaza in Rawalpindi in the wee hours of Tuesday rose to 19.

Dunya News reported that 16 others sustained injuries in the crash.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) was quoted by Dunya News as saying that the Army Aviation plane was on its routine flight when it crashed near Rabi Plaza.

Authorities said that two pilots and three crew members of the plane were among the dead.

At least four to five houses were engulfed by fire after the plane crash.

No immediate word on the cause of the crash has been made so far.

Fire brigade and rescue teams reached the spot immediately after the crash and brought the fire under control. An investigation has been launched into the accident.

The injured were shifted to Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi. Further details are awaited.

Hafiz Saeed, 12 Other Jamaatud Dawa {JuD} Leaders Booked By Pakistan Court For ‘Terror Financing

Kashmir News Network

Hafiz Saeed, 12 Other Jamaatud Dawa {JuD} Leaders Booked By Pakistan Court For ‘Terror Financing’

 

Top 13 leaders of the banned Jamaatud Dawa (JuD), including its chief Hafiz Saeed and Naib Emir Abdul Rehman Makki, have been booked in nearly two dozen cases for terror financing and money laundering under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 in Pakistan.

The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), which registered the cases in five cities of Punjab, declared that the JuD was financing terrorism from the massive funds collected through non-profit organisations and trusts including Al-Anfaal Trust, Dawatul Irshad Trust, Muaz Bin Jabal Trust, etc, Dawn reported.

These non-profit organisations were banned in April as the CTD during detailed investigations found that they had links with the JuD and its top leadership, accused of financing terrorism by building huge assets/properties from the collected funds in Pakistan.

Besides the top two JuD leaders, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Ameer Hamza, Mohammad Yahya Aziz, Mohammad Naeem, Mohsin Bilal, Abdul Raqeeb, Dr Ahmad Daud, Dr Muhammad Ayub, Abdullah Ubaid, Mohammad Ali and Abdul Ghaffar were also booked in the cases.

 

“Formal investigations on a large scale have been launched against the top leadership of the JuD for terror financing after the registration of FIRs against them during the last two days,” said a spokesperson for the CTD, Punjab.

According to the official, substantial and irreversible punitive/ legal action has been taken against them by the state, making these organisations “fully dysfunctional”.

Pakistan Court Sentences Three JeM Activists For Arranging Funds For The Outfit

Kashmir News Network

Pakistan Court Sentences Three JeM Activists For Arranging Funds For The Outfit

 

An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has sentenced three activists of the Masood Azhar-led Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) for five years each in jail for arranging funds for the proscribed outfit.

 

 

The Anti-Terrorism Court found the trio guilty in three separate cases on Friday after funds collected for the militant outfit were recovered from them. They were sent to central prison in Gujranwala in Punjab province.

The convicts M Iftikhar, Muhammad Ajmal and Bilal were also fined Rs 45,000, Rs 50,000 and Rs 40,000 respectively besides the sentence.

The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) in Gujranwala had earlier registered a case against them, the Express Tribune reported.

According to Punjab CTD spokesperson, the investigations and prosecutions are being followed to stop proscribed organisations from indulging in financing. 

The spokesperson warned these organisations and their leaders to desist from such acts or action would be taken against them.

Three members of the Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa were arrested Thursday on charges of financing in Punjab province.

Six JeM members were arrested for allegedly collecting funds for the group on Wednesday.

On Monday, three extremists belonging to the Islamic State (IS) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) militant groups were arrested by the CTD officials in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

Last week, six activists of the JeM and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) were arrested by the CTD from Gujranwala, Rawalpinidi, Multan and Lahore for allegedly collecting funds to finance terrorism.

Pakistan Senate Panel Seeks Report From Government On Action Taken Against Banned Militant Outfits

Kashmir News Network

Pakistan Senate Panel Seeks Report From Government On Action Taken Against Banned Militant Outfits

A Pakistani Senate panel Saturday sought a report from the interior ministry on the action taken against militants and banned outfits involved in the killing of Hazaras, a day after a suicide blast targeting the minority Shia community killed 21 people in restive Balochistan province.

 

 

 

A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior took serious notice of the two deadly attacks in Balochistan on Friday.

In the first attack, a suicide bomber blew himself in the Hazarganj fruits and vegetable market in provincial capital Quetta killing around 21 people and injuring 60 others, mostly Hazaras.

Those killed included 10 members of the Hazara Shia community, two children and security personnel.

In the second attack in the evening in Chaman city, two civilians were killed and 10 others injured when militants planted an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on a motorcycle parked on Mall Road. The blast occurred when a Frontier Corps (FC) vehicle carrying troops was passing through.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan later claimed responsibility for the Hazarganj blast. It said the blast was carried out in collaboration with the banned Lashkar-e-Jhagvi outfit but there was no confirmation from the latter.

The LeJ is a Sunni militant group, which has claimed responsibility for several deadly attacks against the Shia community in Pakistan, including the 2013 blasts in Quetta that killed over 200 Hazara Shias.

The Senate panel also sought a report about the release of activists of the banned outfits in the near past in Balochistan.

Senator Rehman Malik, who heads the committee, said the involvement of the “hostile neighbour and other external forces” could not be ruled out as such blasts appeared to be a conspiracy to incite sectarian clashes and destabilise Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the Hazara community members are continuing a sit-on the main Western Bypass road in Quetta to protest against what they term as the persistent failure of law enforcement agencies to provide them security.

The sit-in started soon after the suicide blast ripped through the Hazarganj market early Friday morning. Women and children are among those who have been staging the sit-in.

The protesters demand that the government implements an effective security plan and ensure protection of the Hazara community.

Hazaras make up a significant minority group in Pakistan and most of them live in Quetta.

Qadir Nayil, a Hazara leader, asked the government to ensure better protection.

“Once again our people were the target and once again we will have to bury our dear ones,” he said.

There have been similar terror attacks in the Hazarganj area of Quetta in the past. The market serves as a wholesale market for fruits and vegetables.

Nearly half-a-million Hazaras have settled in Balochistan, many of them after fleeing war-torn Afghanistan.

The National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) last year stated that 509 members of the Hazara community were killed and 627 injured in various incidents of terrorism in Quetta from January 2012 to December 2017.

According to the NCHR, targeted killings, suicide attacks and bomb blasts have inflicted harm to daily life, education, and business activities of ethnic Hazara community members in Balochistan’s largest city Quetta.

Balochistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, is Pakistan’s largest and poorest province, rife with ethnic, sectarian and separatist insurgencies.

Pakistan Day: Imran Welcomes Modi’s Greeting, Again Pitches For Dialogue On Kashmir And Other Issues

Kashmir News Network

Pakistan Day: Imran Welcomes Modi’s Greeting, Again Pitches For Dialogue On Kashmir And Other Issues

 

 

 

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday greeted his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan ahead of Pakistan Day as both countries emphasised peace and prosperity for the region.

Pakistan PM Imran Khan tweeted the greetings message received from Modi. The message read: “I extend my greetings and best wishes to the people of Pakistan on the National Day of Pakistan. It is time that ppl of Sub-continent work together for a democratic, peaceful, progressive & prosperous region, in an atmosphere free of terror and violence (SIC).”

PM Khan responded by welcoming Modi’s message and underscoring that it was time to begin a comprehensive dialogue on all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, and forging a new relationship based on peace and prosperity “for all our people”.

“I welcome PM Modi’s message to our people. As we celebrate Pakistan Day I  believe it is time to begin a comprehensive dialogue with India to address & resolve all issues, esp the central issue of Kashmir, & forge a new relationship based on peace & prosperity for all our people.(SIC),” Khan tweeted.

The goodwill messages came against the backdrop of recent escalation of tensions between the two countries following an attack on Indian security forces in Pulwama district. The events in the last week of February took the two arch-rival neighbours closer to war than any of the standoffs between them over the past decade. In an act of aggression, the Indian Air Force violated Pakistan’s airspace on Feb 26 and Pakistan demonstrated its will and capacity to respond by hitting an open space in held Kashmir a day later. India reportedly had also planned a missile attack on Pakistan, but international intervention prevented the situation from getting out of control.

 

 

 

 

 

Both sides later took a number of de-escalatory steps, including the return of high commissioners to their respective missions and initiation of negotiations on a bilateral agreement which would govern the operations of the planned Kartarpur corridor. The corridor would provide Indian Sikh pilgrims visa-free access to Kartarpur temple in Pakistan’s Narowal district.

Pakistan Closes Airspace For All Transit Flights Till Tomorrow

Kashmir News Network

Pakistan Closes Airspace For All Transit Flights Till Tomorrow

 

 

 

 

Pakistan’s airspace will remain closed for all transit flights till tomorrow (March 9), the country’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said on Friday.

As per a CAA notification, the airspace has been closed for all overflying (transit) flights till March 9 10:00EST, Geo News reported.

The airspace has been closed for all overflying flights from east to west and west to east till 3pm on March 9 while some transit flights between the north and south of Pakistan’s airspace have been permitted.

Further, Sialkot, Rahim Yar Khan and Sukkur airports which were set to reopen today will remain closed for an additional 24 hours.

For entry and exit into and out of Pakistan, only specific airspace can be used, the report quoting notification added.

 

 

 

 

Airports across Pakistan where flight operations were resumed earlier this week will continue to operate as per schedule till 5am on March 15. Flight operations at Karachi, Multan, Chitral, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta and Faisalabad airports will run as per schedule till 5am on March 15.

Flight operations at most airports had resumed over the week, however, the reopening of the airspace nationwide had been delayed.

Pakistan had closed its airspace last week following escalating ties with India.

Flights between Asia and Europe were disrupted, stranding thousands of passengers, although airlines were later able to reroute through China many flights that normally pass over Pakistan.

 

 

 

 

Flights from Singapore to Europe that usually cross Pakistan and Afghanistan, for example, were rerouted westwards over Oman, adding more than an hour’s flying time and boosting fuel costs. Iran also saw heavier use of its airspace, officials said.

Suman Kumari Becomes Pakistan’s First Hindu Woman Judge

Kashmir News Network

Suman Kumari Becomes Pakistan’s First Hindu Woman Judge

 

 

 

Suman Kumari has become the first Hindu woman in Pakistan to be appointed as a civil judge, according to a media report.

 

 

 

Suman, who hails from Qambar-Shahdadkot, will serve in her native district.

She passed her LLB. examination from Hyderabad and did her masters in law from Karachi’s Szabist University, Dawn reported.

 

 

 

According to Pawan Kumar Bodan, her father, Suman wants to provide free legal assistance to the poor in Qambar-Shahdadkot.

Moulana Tariq Jameel Suffers Heart Attack, Shifted To Hospital

Moulana Tariq Jameel suffers heart attack, shifted to hospital

Moulana Tariq Jameel Suffers Heart Attack, Shifted To Hospital

A prominent Pakistani religious scholar, preacher and public speaker Moulana Tariq Jameel has suffered a heart attack, and has been shifted to a private hospital in Lahore, Pakistan media reported Tuesday.

 

 

According to hospital sources, the religious scholar’s condition is stable now. 

 

 

The doctors have recommended an Angiography, which will be held in the afternoon, reports said.

 

 

The scholar and public speaker has always promoted inter-sect harmony, peace, tolerance in society and always urged people to respect the religious beliefs of others.

Pakistan Can Seek India’s Help If They Feel They Cannot Handle Terrorism Alone: HM Rajnath Singh

Kashmir News Network

Pakistan Can Seek India’s Help If They Feel They Cannot Handle Terrorism Alone: HM Rajnath Singh

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Pakistan could seek India’s help if it cannot handle the fight against terrorism alone.

Addressing a press conference here, he said that Jammu and Kashmir was not an issue as it was an integral part of the country. “The issue is of terrorism, and Pakistan can discuss it,” Singh said. 

“I want to ask the Pakistani prime minister that if in Aghanistan, a fight can be carried out against terror and Taliban with the help of the US, then, Pakistan can seek help against terrorism from India if it feels that it cannot handle it alone,” he said.

He also accused the Congress of creating a crisis of distrust in politics and claimed there was a difference in their words and deeds.