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India trying to divert attention from Indian atrocities in Kashmir by committing LoC violations: Masood Khan

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan has said India attacking the innocent civilian and Pakistani soldier on the line of control with the aim and trying to divert the attention of Pakistan and international community from its continued atrocities in occupied Kashmir.

Sardar Masood Khan said this while giving interview to local news channels. He said that United Nations is failed so far to provide justice to Kashmiri people and resolve the Kashmir issue through diplomatic way as it was under Indian pressure.

He criticized the US for declaring the Kashmiri liberation movement as terrorist organization with the basis of its ties and relation with India and ignored the ground reality of the Kashmir freedom movement.

After the martyrdom of Burhan Wani, a new wave of liberation has emerged after and the chain of sacrifices for the mission continues against the Indian oppression, he added.

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Putin: Cryptocurrencies bear serious risks

MOSCOW (Monitoring Desk): Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned against the rise of cryptocurrencies, saying they are often issued by anonymous sources and could be used for money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

“In a number of countries, cryptocurrencies are becoming or have already become a full-fledged means of payment, as well as a means of investment. Cryptocurrencies usage, at the same time, bears significant risks, I’m aware of the [Russian] Central Bank’s position,” Putin said on Tuesday.

Putin warned that the risks include, “first of all, opportunities to launder funds acquired through criminal activities, tax evasion, even terrorism financing, as well as the spread of fraud schemes.”
The other issue related to the cryptocurrencies is the lack of transparency or any monetary standard.

As the cryptocurrencies “are issued by an unlimited number of anonymous sources,” in case of any problems, including “system malfunctions” or emerge of currency bubbles, there will be no one liable, Putin warned.

Top Russian officials have been recently discussing measures to fix the legal limbo surrounding cryptocurrencies, ranging from introducing a regulation of sorts to imposing an outright ban on the token-based electronic currencies.

Russia’s lower house has been discussing a bill to regulate the cryptocurrency trade, while the Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets Anatoly Aksakov suggested a pilot program of bitcoin trading on Russian markets.

The Finance Minister, however, sees the cryptocurrency market as an extremely volatile pyramid-like structure, and seeks to protect the public. Russia’s Central bank takes a similar view.

“We have seen how bitcoin has transformed from a payment unit into an asset, which is bought in order to obtain a high yield in a short period of time.  This is the definition of a pyramid,” First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia Sergey Shvetsov said.

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‘We’re not a tribal state’: Erdogan

BELGRADE (Monitoring Desk): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has strongly criticized the US decision to suspend issuing visas to Turkish citizens, following the arrest of Metin Topuz, a Turkish citizen employed at the US consulate in Istanbul.

“There is nothing to discuss with the US if the administration initiated the visa row,” Erdogan said on Tuesday, while speaking at a joint news conference with his Serbian counterpart, Aleksandar Vucic, in Belgrade. Erdogan questioned whether the move was made by the US ambassador to Ankara or the administration itself.

If Turkey’s ambassador to the US made such a move on his own, “we would not keep him there for a second,” Erdogan said, as cited by the Turkiye newspaper, adding that in that case the row could simply be resolved by the US sacking the ambassador and overturning the ban.

The Turkish president denounced US Ambassador John Bass, stating that “we don’t see him as a representative of the United States in Turkey” and adding that senior Turkish officials would not receive his farewell visits.

While Turkey retains the right to detain and prosecute its citizens working for the US, Washington should ask itself how and why such “spies” infiltrated their diplomatic facilities in the first place, Erdogan said.

“The US needs to evaluate: How did these spies get in here? Who put them in here? No state will allow such spies.  Turkey is not a tribal state,” Erdogan stated, apparently referring to Topuz and another consulate employee for whom the Turkish authorities issued a detention warrant.

The president’s remarks were echoed by Turkey’s PM, Binali Yildirim. “Turkey is not a tribal state, we will retaliate against what has been done in kind,” Yildirim told ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) MPs on Tuesday.

While promising “retaliation,” Yildirim also took a somewhat reconciliatory stance, urging the US to be “more reasonable” and resolve the visa row “as soon as possible.”

“Who are you punishing? You are making your citizens and ours pay the price, this is not being serious. You can’t run a country with emotional decisions,” Yildirim said.

The recent flashpoint in Turkey-US relations emerged last Wednesday with the arrest of Topuz, a US consulate employee in Istanbul, over alleged links to the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara named as a mastermind behind the 2016 botched coup attempt.

The arrest was criticized by the US embassy in Turkey as “devaluing” for relations between the two countries.

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Tim Cahill bags brace as Australia beat 10-man Syria after extra time

SYDNEY (Agencies): Tim Cahill rolled back the years to rescue Australia’s World Cup qualification hopes on Tuesday evening with two goals for Ange Postecoglou’s side against 10-man Syria, who took the Socceroos to extra time before finally relenting.

Omar Al Soma gave Syria the lead before Cahill’s double — one in the first half and the second in extra time — guaranteed Australia will face either Panama or Honduras for a place in the draw for next year’s World Cup finals in Russia.

The Syrians had Mahmoud Al Mawas sent off four minutes into the first period of extra time but were just centimetres from qualifying when Al Soma almost claimed a second of the game as 120 minutes of play was coming to an end, only for his free kick to smash off Maty Ryan’s left post.

It was a defiant end to a remarkable campaign for the Syrians, who defied the odds to make it this far. Australia held an advantage going into the game thanks to Robbie Kruse’s away goal in the first leg 1-1 draw, but against a Syrian side boasting the talents of Al Soma that was always likely to be a slender margin.

The Al Ahli striker dismissed any concerns the Syrians had over the absence of Omar Khrbin, who was suspended after picking up a booking in the first leg, showing his customary cool head in front of goal, taking two touches after Tamer Haj Mohammad’s through ball to smash his shot above Ryan and into the roof of the goal.

The goal came after the Syrians punished Australia’s sloppy play in the centre of the park, Mohammad calmly dispossessing Mark Milligan before surging towards the home side’s defensive line and feeding the ball to Al Soma, who finished ruthlessly. As significant as Al Soma’s early goal was, the loss soon after of Brad Smith was to have a major impact for the Socceroos.

Aaron Mooy had, surprisingly, started the game on the bench but, with a change forced upon him due to Smith’s thigh injury, Postecoglou introduced the midfielder 11 minutes into the game.
The Huddersfield Town man, one of Australia’s stand-out performers in the first leg, slotted into the centre of midfield and, alongside Tom Rogic, ensured the Socceroos dominated possession in a similar manner to how they did in the opening game.

By the 13th minute, it was another talismanic figure who had shown the way for Australia when Cahill levelled the scores. It was a trademark goal for the 37-year-old, who steered his header into the top corner following Mathew Leckie’s inch-perfect curling cross from the right after being released down the win by Rogic.

Cahill’s header settled the Socceroos’ nerves but the failings of this campaign continued as Postecoglou’s side controlled possession without finding the back of the net for what remained of regulation time. Leckie was denied by Ibrahim Alma at the second attempt before Rogic hit the side-netting late in the half, with the pattern that dictated the end of the first period carried into the second.

Rogic tried his luck from range and Leckie glanced his header wide before Al Soma could only find the arms of Ryan as the Syrians underlined the threat they still carried. Alma, meanwhile, was sharp enough to deny Rogic as the game went into the final quarter before, seconds later, the Celtic man curled another narrowly wide following the resulting corner.

Cahill saw his attempt late in regulation time deflected wide for a corner, leaving the game to go into extra-time. Syria’s hopes took a major blow when Al Mawas was sent off for a second bookable offence when he upended Kruse, but still Australia struggled to break through.

Then, as so often in the past, came Cahill, rising to head home Kruse’s cross for his 50th international goal for Australia.

Any thoughts that the game was over were allayed in the 120th minute when Al Soma stepped up to strike his right-footed free kick from 20 yards beyond the Socceroos wall, but the ball came back off the post to leave a very relieved Australia to advance.

Ange Postecoglou hailed Tim Cahill as one of Australia’s greatest athletes after the ageless superstar headed the Socceroos a step closer to a fourth consecutive World Cup.

“That’s why Timmy’s Timmy. He’s is a great Australian sportsman,” Postecoglou said. “He’s got an international record that stacks up against the best.”

Of his 109th-minute match winner, Cahill added: “I knew I was going to score. You’ve got to write your own script. I said to Tommy Rogic if you don’t take your moment then I’m going to take it.

“For me, I’m just glad the boss gave me the opportunity and believed in me to leave me out there [for 120 minutes]. “It’s a responsibility when I play. This is my passion. I will run to the end for this manager and these players.”

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Batting disappointed us, we were prepared, says Sarfraz

DUBAI (Monitoring Desk): Pakistan Test captain Sarfraz Ahmed said that the team was fully prepared but the batting performance disappointed them.

“We have learnt a lot from the test series,” he remarked while speaking to media after the match, adding that he hopes to not repeat the mistakes in the future test series.

Sri Lanka’s batting and bowling were exceptional, he said. Toss is very important in such conditions, said the captain who lost the toss twice.

While praising the performance of middle-order batsman Asad Shafiq, who scored 112 in the second innings of the second match, he remarked that if any player would have performed like this in the first innings of either the first or second test then Pakistan would’ve won for sure.

Pakistan lost the second test against Sri Lanka being played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday when the team was dismissed for 248. This was Pakistan’s first Test series loss in the UAE since the team started playing its home matches there. Sri Lanka won by 68 runs, clean sweeping the two-match series.

The last batsman, Wahab Riaz, was caught out at extra cover on a ball by Herath.

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Pakistan Army returns woman who crossed LoC erroneously: ISPR

RAWALPINDI (Online): As a goodwill gesture and continuation of efforts to maintain peace and tranquility along the Line of Control (LoC), Pakistan on Tuesday handed over a woman, who inadvertently crossed over LoC to Indian authorities.

According to Inter Services Public Relations, “As a gesture of goodwill and in continuation of Pakistan Army’s efforts to maintain peace and tranquility along Line of Control (LOC), Azmat Jan wife of Muhammad Shakeel resident of ‘Degwar Maldialan’ (IoK), who inadvertently crossed over LoC at Chirikot Sector, has been returned to IOK today at Rawalakot -Poonch crossing Point on humanitarian grounds.”

The ISPR said civil and military officials of both sides were present on the occasion. In January, Pakistan had also returned one Indian solder, who crossed the LoC as a “goodwill gesture.”

Pakistan had handed over an Indian soldier, Chandu Babulal Chohan, to Indian authorities through Wagah border, the Foreign Office had said in a statement.

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Bilawal condemns posting of convicted cops in Benazir Assassination case

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that promotion and posting to Police officers convicted in Shaheed Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto assassination case by trial court was an “ugly message” from Sharif brothers’ government to the people of Pakistan, especially the followers of Shaheed Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto.

It may be recalled that SP Khurram Shahzad has been posted as SSP Special Branch Rawalpindi this week and DIG Saud Aziz was promoted post retirement.

PPP Chairman said it is unfortunate and astonishing that Nawaz Sharif and his Party was trying to hide themselves behind the sacrifices of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. On the other hand, his Federal and Punjab government were extending promotion and posting to the convicted police officials, he added.

He further said that Punjab government was conspiring and trying to influence the post-conviction case by posting convicted police officials and giving their sensitive powers to intimidate and threaten people connected to the proceedings.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that PPP has already challenged the verdict in Shaheed Bibi’s assassination case in the courts despite the fact that Bhuttos never got justice from them but it was only the all powerful nature that came hard on the perpetrators and administered exemplary justice.

He said message through these promotion and posting from Nawaz Sharif and his party appears to be ugly and aimed at rubbing salt on wounds of our Party, Jiyalas, workers and the women of the country who revere Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto as their role-model.


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Defence Minister, Naval Chief call on COAS to discuss security matters

RAWALPINDI (APP): Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at General Headquarters (GHQ) on Tuesday to discuss security-related matters.

Talking to Admiral Zafar, Gen Bajwa congratulated him after taking the command of Naval Chief and lauded the efforts of Pakistan Navy in maintaining maritime security. Both discussed the matters of mutual concern. Earlier, on arrival at GHQ, CNS laid floral wreath at Yadgar-e-Shuhada and offered fateha for martyrs of Pakistan, according to ISPR.

On the other hand, Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir also arrived in Rawalpindi to meet Army Chief. According to ISPR release, matters related to defence and security situation in the country were discussed in detail. “Prior to the meeting, the Minister was also updated on Security situation at Military Operations Directorate,” the media statement said.

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SC seeks record of Jahangir Tareen’s agricultural lands

ISLAMABAD (NNI): The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the counsel for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) secretary general Jahangir Khan Tareen to place on record the registered document of more than 18,000 acres of agricultural land which his client claims to have obtained on lease.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, who headed a three-member bench, observed that there is no verified document to show who leased out the land, and whether who received the amount was actual owner of the land.

The bench directed the counsel to provide the registered deed of the lease which it would get verified from the revenue department. At the outset, Tareen’s lawyer told the court that his client had acquired 18,600 acres of agricultural land in 2010 on lease.

It was hearing a petition filed by PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi seeking disqualification of PTI chairman Imran Khan and Tareen over non disclosure of assets, offshore companies, and receiving funds from prohibited sources for the party.

Hanif Abbasi had moved the apex court seeking disqualification of both the PTI leaders from membership of the National Assembly. The court was further pleaded to declare them ineligible to hold any office of a political party under the Political Parties Order 2002.

PML-N leader claimed that Jehangir misstated his income for the tax year 2010-11 and willfully and fraudulently concealed the fact that he owns an offshore company.

Whereas, Khan did not declare his offshore company – Niazi Services Limited (NSL) – in his statement of assets and liabilities submitted to the ECP in his nomination papers in the 2013 general elections.

NSL owned a flat at Draycott Avenue in London which he had purchased in 1984 and the flat remained undeclared until the Pakistan government announced an amnesty scheme in 2000.

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Imran Khan is an absconder: Saeed Ghani

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party leader Saeed Ghani reacting to the speech of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf leader Imran Khan has said that there is no comparison between Zardari family and Imran Khan Niazi’s background.

Asif Ali Zardari’s father was a well known businessman in Sindh and his grandfather had established Sindh Madrasatul Islam where father of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was educated whereas Imran Khan’s father was dismissed from government employment on corruption charges.

Saeed Ghani said that Imran Khan is facing money laundering charges in courts and he is surrounded by criminal and corrupt individuals. Imran Khan admitted that jet black terrorists were treated in his hospital. Saeed Ghani said that it is ironic that Imran Khan has been declared absconder by the court but he is roaming free. He is also hiding behind his ex wife to conceal his corruption, Saeed Ghani concluded.