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KABUL, Sept 15, 2018 (MENA) - Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi left for Kabul on Saturday to meet with Afghan officials, Khaama Press news agency reported.

“Foreign Minister Qureshi left for Kabul on his first foreign visit abroad, underlining the importance government attaches to work closely with Afghanistan for regional peace and stability,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammad Faisal said.

Successful outcome of the visit will lead future efforts to enhance bilateral cooperation, he added.

The officials of the two countries will likely hold talks regarding the recent diplomatic issues surrounding the closure of the Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad city.

The Pakistani Embassy in Kabul announced earlier this month that the consulate of the country in Jalalabad city has been closed over the alleged interference of Nangarhar’s governor.

However, the governor of Nangarhar Hayatullah Hayat rejected the allegations regarding the interference in the affairs of Pakistan’s consulate, emphasizing that joint efforts had been launched in close coordination with the Consulate of Pakistan to resolve issues surrounding the visas issuance, mainly involving disorder and bribery.

 

ISLAMABAD, Sept 14, 2018 (MENA) - Four terrorists were killed while three soldiers embraced martyrdom during an Intelligence-based operation (IBO) in North Waziristan, an Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) press release said late Thursday.

According to the ISPR, security forces launched an IBO in North Waziristan against terrorists involved in an attack on armed forces personnel on September 12, Geo News reported.

The terrorists were also involved in an attack on lieutenant Moin in December 2017, which took his life, said the ISPR.

Terrorists were fully armed and gave tough time, said the ISPR, adding that all four including operational level terrorist Aftab Parakay was killed.

Meanwhile, in exchange of fire three soldiers Naib Subedar Nazir Ahmed Chandio, Sepoy Fakhar and Sepoy Amir got martyred.

The ISPR said that the area has been cleared now.

 

 

CAIRO, Sept 13 , 2018(MENA) – Egyptian and Pakistani naval forces conducted on Thursday drills in the Mediterranean Sea.

The drills fall within a plan by the Egyptian Armed Forces General Command to enhance military cooperation with friendly and sisterly states.

They are also meant for the exchange of expertise with the aim of promoting maritime security and stability in the region.

LONDON, September 6, 2018 (News Wires) -- Pakistan is expanding its uranium-enrichment and plutonium production facilities, triggering fears that it may become the 5th largest nuclear -weapon state and have 220 to 250 warheads within the next seven years, a report has said.

The report published on August 31 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists authored by members of the Federation of American Scientists says that Pakistan was also developing several delivery systems.

"Pakistan continues to expand its nuclear arsenal with more warheads, more delivery systems, and a growing fissile materials production industry. We estimate that the country's stockpile could. grow to 220 to 250 warheads by 2025, if the current trend continues," said the 12-page report.

The report first appeared in Jane's Defence Weekly, a London-based magazine that reports on military and corporate affairs said on Wednesday.

ISLAMABAD, September 5, 2018 (News Wires) - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo landed in Pakistan on Wednesday for a brief visit on his whistle-stop tour of the region, with the war in Afghanistan and the issue of Islamist militants once again set to dominate discussions with Pakistan.

Pompeo is next due to visit India, the main stop of his South Asia tour, where he is expected to pile pressure on New Delhi over its purchases of Iranian oil and Russian missile systems in talks with senior Indian officials.

In Pakistan, Pompeo will meet new premier Imran Khan and the army chief, Qamar Javed Bajwa, against a backdrop of tense ties and US military aid cuts over Islamabad’s alleged reluctance to crack down on militants.

Relations between uneasy allies United States and Pakistan have frayed in recent years, with Washington accusing Islamabad of turning a blind eye or helping Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network militants who stage attacks in Afghanistan. Pakistan denies doing so.

Pakistan’s new foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, said he would “have exchanges” with Pompeo over Washington’s cancellation of a $300-million disbursement for the Pakistani military.

Taking a tougher line with an ally that U.S. President Donald Trump considers unreliable, the United States halted the disbursement of Coalition Support Funds due to Islamabad’s perceived failure to take decisive action against Afghan Taliban militants operating from Pakistani soil.

The United States has withheld $800 million this year, cuts Pakistan says are unwarranted as it incurs expenses in fighting militants who pose a danger to US troops in Afghanistan.

Pompeo is also expected to discuss Pakistan’s possible plans to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to ease currency pressures and avert an economic crisis.

In July, Pompeo said there was “no rationale” for the IMF to give money to Pakistan that would then be used to pay off Chinese loans, comments that further rattled Islamabad.

Pompeo and US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will meet their Indian counterparts in New Delhi on Thursday, and are expected to finalize defense pacts that could bring their militaries closer amid China’s rising influence.

The talks come as US hostility rises towards India’s traditional allies Iran and Russia, on which Washington has placed sanctions. Iran is a big oil supplier to India, and two-thirds of its military equipment is from Russia.

“They’re part of the conversation, they’re part of the relationship, they will certainly come up, but I don’t think they will be the primary focus of what it is we’re trying to accomplish here,” Pompeo told US pool reporters en route to Pakistan.

 

ISLAMABAD, September 4, 2018 (News Wires) — Polling has started in Pakistan to elect a president, a process likely to strengthen the grip of the ruling party whose nominee is expected to easily become the new ceremonial head of state.

The president is indirectly elected by lawmakers from the National Assembly, the Senate and four provincial assemblies.

Tuesday's election comes two weeks after Pakistan's cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan became prime minister following the July 25 national elections, which saw his Tehreek-e-Insaf party come into power.

Khan's candidate Arif Alvi faces little challenge from Aitzaz Ahsan from the opposition Pakistan People's Party and Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who is a pro-Taliban, anti-US radical Islamic leader.

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