21st December – 25th December 2015

Story Highlights

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[skill percent=”27″ title=”Rangers in Sindh”]
[skill percent=”13″ title=”Afghan Affairs”]
[skill percent=”8″ title=”Pak-India Talks”]
[skill percent=”52″ title=”Other News”]
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Rangers in Sindh

Extension of powers of paramilitary force in Sindh has been a bone of contention between federation and Sindh government for the past few weeks. This week the Federal government formally issued a notification to extend policing powers of Rangers in Sindh for a period of 60 days. Interior Ministry set aside a summary of the Sindh government after a resolution was passed by the provincial assembly to limit the paramilitary force’s policing powers.

The notification by Ministry of Interior has provided legal cover to the paramilitary force in exercise of policing powers under Clause 4 of the Anti Terrorism Act (ATA). The notification came just two days after the Sindh cabinet rejected the federal government’s decision to extend the Rangers’ policing powers in Karachi for another two months.

Meanwhile Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has termed the extension of Rangers’ special powers by the federal government as ‘unconstitutional invasion of Sindh’.  While, the Sindh Cabinet had written a letter to the federal government regarding the unconditional restoration of Pakistan Rangers’ exclusive powers in Karachi, the provincial government termed the act an ‘attack’ on Sindh’s sovereignty.

Meanwhile earlier this week Senators from Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Awami National Party (ANP) had staged walkout from Senate in protest against what they called federal government’s intervention in the internal affairs of Sindh province.

Afghan Affairs

According to officials in Islamabad and Kabul, Pakistan is once again willing to restart peace talks between Afghanistan and Taliban insurgents in early January after weeks of pressure from partners including the United States and China. Pakistan’s army chief General Raheel Sharif will visit Afghanistan next week in the latest in a series of high-level contacts between Islamabad and Kabul to restart the peace process which was broken off in July.

According to the officials the aim was to bring Afghan and Pakistani leaders together with special representatives from China and the United States as well as Taliban representatives. Pakistan had also asked deputy Taliban leader Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of a Taliban-affiliated network blamed for a spate of recent suicide attacks in Kabul, to join the talks.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs said that a meeting of senior officials from Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the US would held soon to discuss the modalities for the resumption of the peace dialogue. Announcement of resumption of peace talks come in as security situation in Afghanistan deteriorates. In a recent incident Taliban suicide bomber killed six NATO soldiers near Kabul earlier this week.

Pak-India Talks

Despite continuous conflicts and war of words between Nawaz and Modi governments, both sides show the will to mend the relationship and resolve conflicts. In this regard, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has proposed mid of January 2016 for talks between the foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India. While talking to media the advisor said that Pakistan was now waiting for India’s response to the proposed dates.

He also said that it would not be fair to expect instant resolution of all issues during the initial phase of comprehensive dialogue between the foreign secretaries of the two countries. While telling about the agenda of meeting, Aziz said that initially the focus would be on the reduction of tensions and maintenance of calm on the Line of Control.

Earlier this month Pakistan and India had agreed to reinitiate a comprehensive dialogue process during Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad for the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference.

Meanwhile India’s Reliance Defence announced this week that it had signed a manufacturing and maintenance deal potentially worth $6 billion with Russia’s Almaz-Antey, the maker of an air defence system. The partnership was announced as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi began a trip to Moscow aimed at strengthening defence ties.

Other News

All other news are considered under this category.

 

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