Minister De-Seated Qatar Negotiations Pakistan Warns India Other News
Pakistan Warns India
In the latest development on election rigging investigation, Election Commission of Pakistan has denotified Pakistan Muslim League’s Khawaja Saad Rafique as member National Assembly from constituency NA-125 in Lahore. Khawaja was also Federal Minister for Railways. Earlier an election tribunal had declared null and void the results of the elections in NA-125 and ordered re-election. Hamid Khan of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had challenged the victory of PML-N’s Khawaja Saad Rafique, claiming that the election in 2013 had been rigged. The judge hearing the case said ballot bags had been opened with a sharp object and records had been tampered with. After inspecting the record of the constituency, NADRA found that on an average each person had cast six votes.
In a reaction to the decision of Election Commission, Khawaja Saad Rafique said that NA-125 case verdict is against requirements of the justice. Khawaja Saad Rafique, however, has challenged the election tribunal’s (ET) decision of re-polling in NA-125 constituency in the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile appreciating the election tribunal decision as victory of democracy, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan called for accountability of the returning officers (ROs) and presiding officers (POs) deployed in NA-125 and PP-155 constituencies over their involvement in election rigging.
Two days of talks have been held between Afghan officials and Taliban representatives in Qatar this week. According to media a 20- member delegation from Afghanistan had reached Qatar to hold talks with Taliban aimed at ending Afghanistan’s long war.
Both sides agreed that Taliban insurgents should open a political office for negotiations, but there was a disagreement over Taliban’s demand regarding foreign troops. According to media reports the Taliban had a stance that they would not stop fighting until all foreign forces leave Afghanistan while Afghan delegation argued that most foreigners had already left and trainers will also leave if the Taliban stopped fighting. A statement issued after negotiations outlined the agreements as representatives of Taliban, Afghan government and UN participated in this meeting. The talks ended with pledges to hold a similar dialogue in the future.
Moreover, Pakistan showed its complete support over negotiations in Qatar. Pakistani Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry reiterated that peace in Afghanistan is imperative for peace in the region.
The Qatar meeting was one solid step towards the peace negotiations with the Taliban to end the more than 13-year-old war in Afghanistan. Several previous initiatives have failed over the years to end the war.
However as the negotiations were underway in Qatar, Taliban fighters killed at least 18 policemen on Monday in attacks in the province of Badakhshan and have launched offensive near Kunduz.
Relationship between Pakistan and its arch rival India does not seem to be improving as both sides keep blaming each other for meddling and promoting insurgency on each other’s soil. Lately, Pakistan civilian and military leadership has been criticizing Indian intelligence agency, RAW for its involvement in Pakistan’s internal affairs. In a weekly press briefing, on Thursday, Foreign Office spokesman said that Pakistan has provided proof of Indian involvement in Pakistani affairs at many occasions, including the recent secretary-level talks. The spokesman also said that Pakistan will avail all possible opportunities to remind India to avoid interfering in the internal affairs of Pakistan.
Meanwhile on Tuesday Pakistan Army had also accused India’s secret agency RAW of promoting terrorism in Pakistan. This statement came after a meeting of corps commanders at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. It was the second time in three weeks that the military leadership had raised the issue of activities of foreign governments and intelligence agencies in Pakistan. According to media reports military officers also claim that besides Balochistan, RAW’s have been found involved in Fata and Karachi while confessional statements of some criminals arrested in Karachi indicated towards RAW’s growing activities.
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