Pakistan Fights Terrorism Pak India Relations Local Politics Other News
Pakistan Fights Terrorism
Pak India Relations
Pakistani forces have entered the final phase of operation Zarb-e-Azb, the offensive that was started against militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif gives the go-ahead for the initiation of the final phase of operation in Shawal valley of North Waziristan where ground offensive was started in August last year.
The last phase of the operation aims to clear the remnants of militants from their hideouts and isolate them. According to media reports the number of attacks in Pakistan has fallen around 70 percent since the offensive.
Meanwhile at least 15 militants were killed and eight of their hideouts destroyed in air strikes near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border after cross-border mortar shells targeted a security check post in upper Kurram Agency.
Meanwhile efforts to end Afghanistan’s war with the Taliban continues as four countries announced this week that direct talks between the Afghan government and the insurgent group will take place next week.
Representatives of Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States met in the Afghan capital for a fourth round of discussions to set conditions for eventual peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban.
Both the neighbours and arch rivals, Pakistan and India, despite differences are making efforts to improve the relations in a better interest of region. In a recent address to a joint sitting of the parliament’s two houses Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India wanted a “mutually respectful relationship” with Pakistan. Modi said that his government was committed to creating an environment of cooperation in combating cross-border terrorism. He also said that his government believed in a secure and prosperous future for the neighbourhood.
Meanwhile Pakistan showed its concern over India’s defence build- up. Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria in a press conference said that the defence build-up pursued by India would disturb stability in the region. Zakaria expressed concern over the exceptional treatment being meted out to New Delhi by the Nuclear Supplier Group. The spokesperson also rejected any obstacles in the way of Pakistan-India foreign secretary level talks. He said both the sides are in touch with each other to work out mutually convenient dates for the talks. Zakaria also confirmed visit of special investigation team would to India in the next few days to collect evidences about Pathankot airbase attack. The special team, which includes experts from civilian and military intelligence agencies, was set up by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last month.
A statement by former president Asif Ali Zardari’s on extension of army chief’s service was the highlight of this week. The controversial press release surfaced and then disappeared while none of party’s representatives could give a satisfactory answer to the questions regarding the statement. On Tuesday, a statement quoted Zardari as describing army chief’s decision to retire on time as “premature’. “As the country is passing through a sensitive phase, the PPP considers Gen Sharif’s decision as premature,” the statement cited Zardari saying. However, according to the media reports, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has decided to hold an inquiry into the statement.
Meanwhile ruling party, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz, is also issuing statements regarding prime minister’s warning to National Accountability Bureau (NAB). Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the federal government was neither angry with nor afraid of NAB. Nisar also that said for the first time during the tenure of present government the NAB chairman was appointed in consensus with the opposition. He also added that no restriction would be imposed on institutions like NAB which were working to ensure transparency.
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