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Pak India Talks
Security agencies continue operation against terrorists across the country in the wake of militants attack on Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Khyber Pkahtnunkhwa. In a latest operation police have claimed to have killed four suspected militants in an alleged encounter in Karachi. Police officials claimed that the deceased men belonged to the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Meanwhile, all army-run educational institutes in the city were closed until Monday over security situation.
Security in schools across the country has been beefed up while mock security exercises were carried out in many institutions in the past week. Bacha Khan University, which briefly opened on Monday, was also closed for an indefinite period due to security reasons.
Earlier on Monday, the Punjab government had announced closure of all public and private schools in the province from Jan 26 to 31, citing ‘extremely cold weather’ as the reason.
Meanwhile the Foreign Office summoned Afghan Charge d’Affaires Syed Abdul Nasir Yousafi to convey Pakistan’s concern regarding the use of Afghan soil by terrorist elements in the Bacha Khan University attack. Afghan government has already denied involvement in the attack.
Ruling party, Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz came under strong criticism after attack on Bacha Khan University over failure to implement National Action Plan (NAP). However Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan came down hard on his political opponents for criticism , saying it was being criticised for mere point-scoring.
Interior minister said that our politicians started criticising the government and its policies without realising that we all were doing that our enemies wished for to spread panic. The minister also defended the government’s anti-terrorism policies as well his ministry’s performance and claimed that effective implementation of NAP has yielded results.
He also criticised the PPP leadership and the Sindh government for “politicking on serious national security issues,” observing that through such attitude disappointment and despair were being spread.
Meanwhile the Supreme Court on Wednesday annulled an election tribunal verdict and restored the National Assembly membership of Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi, a National Peoples Party (NPP) candidate from NA-211. Pakistan Peoples Party candidate Zulfiqar Ali had challenged Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi degree, while election tribunal had disqualified Jatoi over hiding of assets.
Amid tense situation between Pakistan and India after the Pathankot attack, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said that they are still waiting for India’s response regarding secretary level talks.
The talks, which were to be held on January 15 in Islamabad, were cancelled after terror attack on Indian air base in Pathankot. India has now said there is no mutually convenient date for the foreign secretary-level talks so far. The comment of Vikas Swarup, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, came as Pakistan said that it will ask India for more evidence in the investigation of the attack on the Pathankot Air Force base.
However according to media reports Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said on Thursday that Pakistan-India foreign secretary level talks will be held in February this year. The Pakistani envoy also said that action will be taken if Pakistani team found evidences of involvement of country’s individuals or organization in Pathankot attack.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office also urged India to abstain from hurling unsubstantiated terror allegations. Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said such a practice underlines efforts to eliminate terrorism from the region in a collaborative manner.
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