Charsadda University Attack Pakistan Peace Mission Afghan Taliban Other News
Charsadda University Attack
Pakistan Peace Mission
Right after a year into attack on Army Public School in Peshawar, terrorists has once again attacked another educational institute, this time a university in Charsadda, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. On Wednesday morning, atleast four gunmen, using the cover of thick fog, scaled the walls of Bacha Khan University and opened fire at students and teachers in classrooms and hostels. At least 21 people including students and an assistant professor were killed in cold blood.
The attack took place as the university prepared to host a poetry recital competition to commemorate the death anniversary of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a popular ethnic Pashtun activist. The mastermind of the APS Peshawar attack, Umar Mansoor, of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Geedar group claimed the responsibility of attack.
According to security officials, evidences proved that attack was planned in Afghanistan and carried out on the instructions of militants hiding there. Pakistan Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif telephoned Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and shared with him details of investigation. He also sought cooperation in locating those responsible for the attack. Law enforcement agencies also carried out search operation in connection with the attack in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and made several arrests in this regard. Meanwhile leaders from around the world strongly condemned the attack on students including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, US President and Turkish President
Pakistan shows deep concern over the recent escalation of tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran. To diffuse tension between the two Muslim countries, prime minister and army chief visited both the countries and convinced their leaderships to avoid any confrontation. In his meeting with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the prime minister recalled Pakistan’s consistent policy of promoting brotherhood among member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation. The prime minister also said that Pakistan has always expressed readiness to offer its good offices to brotherly Muslim countries for the resolution of their differences.
After meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, the prime minister and army chief visited Iran where they met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and exchanged views on the tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran. At the conclusion of his visits, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed his satisfaction and said he was encouraged by the “positive response” from the leadership of the both the countries.
Prime Minister also said that the Saudi leadership was desirous of having good relations with all countries, including Iran, adding that the Iranian leadership also expressed similar views. He also said Saudi Arabia and Iran do not consider each other enemies and that “there exist some misunderstandings and issues which needed to be resolved through bilateral consultation in a peaceful manner”
A second round of peace talks took place in Kabul this week where representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States gathered and called on the Taliban to resume peace talks with the Afghan government. The leaders met aiming at reduction of violence and establishing peace in Afghanistan and the region. Senior officials from the four countries met at the Presidential Palace amid tight security, a week after a first round of discussions in Islamabad.
In a joint statement released by the Afghan Foreign Ministry, they said the talks “made progress on a roadmap towards initiating peace talks with Taliban groups”. The four-nation group also called on all Taliban groups to enter into early talks with the Afghan government and agreed to meet again in Islamabad on February 6 for third round. Kabul held direct talks with the Taliban for the first time last summer in Islamabad, but that process collapsed after Afghanistan announced that longtime Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar had died more than two years ago in Pakistan.
Meanwhile on the eve of a new round of negotiations, a suicide bomber struck the home of a prominent politician in Jalalabad in the second deadly attack in the eastern Afghan city in less than a week. At least 14 people were killed in the attack. However Taliban denied responsibility for the bombing.
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