Peace Talks With Taliban Rangers In Karachi Pak-India Talks Other News
Peace Talks With Taliban
Rangers In Karachi
Months of mediation and convincing by Pakistan and China finally brought Afghan Taliban and Afghan government to negotiation table to find a solution of years-long deadly war in Afghanistan. Pakistan hosted the first official peace talks between the two parties in a step towards ending conflict in Afghanistan. According to media reports the meeting concluded with an agreement to meet again after the month of Ramazan. The next round of talks is planned for August 15 and 16 in Doha, Qatar. Media reports quoted a Pakistani official as saying that the atmosphere at the meeting was “positive” and “warm” with a sense of celebration. United States and China also attended the talks.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Russia and expressed satisfaction over peace talks. President Ghani also appreciated the role of Pakistan in facilitating peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had reached out to Pakistan since taking office last year, and Pakistan had pledged to pressure Taliban leaders, many of whom are believed to be hiding in the country, to come to the negotiating table. Meanwhile Just ahead of peace talks, the Taliban launched two suicide attacks in Kabul on Tuesday, killing one person and wounding three. A US drone strike also killed a former Taliban commander, Shahidullah Shahid, who pledged loyalty to Islamic State.
With ongoing operation and raids against criminals in Karachi by Rangers, there is a growing concern among Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leaders over additional powers to the paramilitary force. The Sindh government issued a notification on Thursday, extending the special policing powers assigned to Rangers in the province for a month after a high-level meeting between senior officials. According to media reports Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah said that the provincial assembly would later deliberate on confirmation of their powers and deployment in urban centres under Article 147 of the constitution.
Earlier, MQM chief Altaf Hussain had urged Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and lawmakers of the Sindh Assembly to pass a bill to say no to Sindh Rangers. MQM chief also warned to hold a sit-in at the Chief Minister’s House against arrests and torture by Rangers. Altaf Hussain has also said that the statement by retired Lt Gen Abdul Qadir Baloch that a majority of people of Karachi are in favour of the Rangers operation in the city is against the facts and baseless. Addressing Lt Gen Abdul Qadir Baloch, the MQM chief said if he believes that the people of Karachi are happy with the Rangers operation, he should hold a public referendum to determine the will of the people of Karachi about Rangers operation.
Meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit held in Russia is considered an ice breaker between the two countries. The two leaders held a meeting which lasted for over an hour during which matters of mutual interest were discussed. As per media reports, prime minister’s senior advisor Sartaj Aziz and Special Assistant to PM on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi were also present at the meeting.
Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar while briefing the media told that PM Nawaz reiterated his invitation to Modi to visit South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Summit in Pakistan in 2016 and Modi accepted it. According to media reports, meetings will be held between DG Border Security Forces and DG Pakistan Rangers which will be followed by meetings between DGMOs.
Pakistan also expressed hope that this meeting will have a positive impact on bilateral relations. The Nawaz, Modi meeting came in the backdrop of tensions between the two neighbours that had emerged after a series of controversial statements issued by the Indian premier against Pakistan.
Meanwhile United States has also welcomed the meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart, saying the tension between the two South Asian neighbours is not in anyone s interest.
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