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Eight Taliban fighters killed in drone strike

Monitoring Desk

FARAH: Afghan Officials claimed that at least eight Taliban fighters were killed in a drone strike conducted in Farah province.

The Farah officials on Monday confirmed that the drone strike was carried out in Bala Bolok district of Farah province and adding that the drone targeted a drug factory on Sunday belonging to the Taliban in result eight Taliban fighters was killed.

The Taliban has not yet commented.

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PM Abbasi rejects rumors about rift within PML-N

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that all the leaders and workers of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are united under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif.

PM Abbasi said this while giving interview to private news channel on Sunday. He rejected all the speculations regarding the groups against the party leadership.

He added Nawaz Sharif is the leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and adding that Maryam Nawaz is not holding any party position and she not even elected member then how can her leadership be discussed within the party.

He suggested that the former Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan should express his opinion in party meetings rather than expressing them in public.

PM Abbasi claimed that the PML-N will win the next general elections on the basis of its performance and narrative as we have done record development works and put the country on the road of development.

Replying to a question, he added that people only recognize Nawaz Sharif as he is the face of the party and Shahbaz Sharif is only the provincial president of PML-N.

I am free to perform my duties as the Prime Minister and in the last seven months Nawaz Sharif never called, me to do this or not to do the other, PM Abbasi said.

Regarding the Imran Khan’s criticism, premier said that I don’t have any acquaintance with him because he didn’t even come in assembly to vote and adding that he is not concerned on his opinion.”






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Sri Lanka crushes Bangladesh to complete T20 series sweep

Monitoring Desk

SYLHET: Opener Kusal Mendis smashed a half-century Bangladesh and Sri Lanka completed a 2-0 clean sweep on Sunday after crushing Bangladesh by 75 runs in the second Twenty20 international.

Sri Lanka scored 210-4 in the 20 overs with the help of Mendis blazing 70 runs off 42 balls.

In reply Bangladesh was not in a mood of chase and they were struggling from the beginning and bowled out for 135 in Sylhet.

Skipper Mahmudullah Riyad top-scored for Bangladesh with 41 before being run out, with opener Tamim Iqbal making the only other meaningful contribution with 29.

Mendis, who was named both man of the match and series, hit six fours and three sixes in reaching his T20 international career-best score, taking the attack to the opposition while Gunathilaka at the other end made a brisk 42.

Sri Lanka also won the preceding tri-nation one-day international tournament and a two-Test series by 1-0 in their successful month-long tour.



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Khawaja Asif leaves for Moscow

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Monday has left Islamabad for Moscow on a four-day visit with the aim to strengthen the relations among the two countries.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had invited the Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif to visit Russia from 19-22 February 2018.

The visit comes in a situation following the US along with its allies were trying to place Pakistan on Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey-list for allegedly not taking appropriate steps to curb money-laundering and terror financing.

Khawaja Asif will hold official talks with his Russian counterpart and both the leaders will discuss the bilateral ties as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.

The visit would provide an opportunity to explore ways and means to further strengthen cooperation in political, economic, trade and investment, defense, education and cultural fields.

Russia enjoys a special place in our foreign policy. The relations between the two countries have been growing steadily in all fields.

The two countries are also celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year.

The two Foreign Ministers had earlier met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York in September 2017.

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Pakistani forces ready to respond any misadventure: Khurram Dastagir

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Khurram Dastagir, Minister for Defense, has said that Pakistan forces are fully ready to give befitting response to India in case of any misadventure from them.

Defense Minister said this while talking to private news channel. He said that India is trying to establish cantonments and air-bases along the line of control (LoC), but we are prepared for any misadventure.

Dastagir added that neighboring country continuously violating the ceasefire along LoC and now the India had lost the opportunity of dialogue with Pakistan.

Pakistan had taken serious steps to end out terrorism in the country and in the region, he added.

He appreciated China for helping Pakistan in eliminating terrorism, and power load shedding and replying to a question he said that all the institutions should work under their domain.

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Farooq Sattar elected MQM-P convener in intra-party election

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Dr Farooq Sattar was elected as the convener of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM-P) PIB faction on Sunday.

Farooq Sattar secured 9,433 votes in the intra-party polls held in Karachi and Hyderabad on Sunday.

However, the Bahadurabad group of MQM-P, termed the elections illegal and criticized for dividing the loyal loyal party workers.

They said that only The Rabita Committee, alone, can make policy decisions and no one has the right to do so.

As per the election result, 45 members contesting the election, 35 have formed the new Rabita Committee, which will appoint deputy conveners of the party today.

While addressing to workers at KMC Ground, Farooq Sattar had said the elections were not just polls but a referendum and adding that workers are important part of the party and today they have given their decision.

The infighting between MQM-P’s two factions, Sattar-led PIB and Rabita Committee-led Bahadurabad, started over the issue of distribution of party tickets for next month’s Senate elections. The latter had strongly opposed Sattar’s nomination of the relative newcomer Kamran Tessori over seasoned party leaders.

Sattar, on February 11, had announced the decision to dissolve the party’s Rabita Committee during a general workers’ meeting, hours after members of the coordination committee at the party’s Bahadurabad office said he was no longer the convener of the party.

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Avenfield case: NAB court summoned Wajid Zia along with original JIT report on Feb22

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court hearing corruption references against former premier Nawaz Sharif and family, has summoned Additional Director, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Wajid Zia, also head of the Panama Papers case joint investigation team (JIT), to appear before the court in Avenfield properties reference against members of Sharif family.

The accountability court also directed Wajid Zia to appear on February 22 before the court on February 22 along with the original record in the case.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law, Captain (retd) Safdar have also been directed to attend the upcoming hearing.

NAB court likely to record statements of two witnesses including UK-based Quist Solicitors, Akhtar Raja, and principal at the Radley Forensic Document Laboratory, Robert W. Radley  via video link.

The disqualified prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family face three corruption references related to the Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, Avenfield properties, and over a dozen offshore companies, including Flagship Investment Ltd.

The references were filed by the NAB in the light of the Panama Papers case verdict by the Supreme Court in which former premier was disqualified for not being honest.

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Contempt of court case: Tallal Chaudhry gets a week time to prepare case

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Interior Affairs Tallal Chaudhry on Monday appeared before the Supreme Court in the contempt of court proceedings and gets one week time for preparing the case.

Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, headed, a three-member bench of the apex court.

Kamran Murtaza, Tallal’s counsel demanded 10 days from the bench to prepare for the case but later the court granted a week and the hearing was adjourned.

Earlier on February 22, Supreme Court had initiated contempt proceedings against Chaudhry on account of derogatory and contemptuous speeches with regard to the court.

At the last hearing of the case on February 13, Chaudhry appeared before the court where he contended that he had requested noted lawyer Asma Jahangir to be his counsel, but owing to her demise, he was without legal representation. The court then adjourned the hearing till Monday, February 19.

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Imad promises to lead Karachi Kings to PSL3 final

Monitoring Desk

KARACHI: Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Karachi Kings, in their send-off event at Naya Nazimabad, expressed the hope of entering the finals of the third edition of the tournament.

Karachi Kings captain Imad Wasim said team will try to put smiles on the fans of the franchise by winning the title. “We are going to the UAE keeping in mind that we have to win the title by performing in the third edition of the PSL. In the last two seasons we were not able to make Karachi fans happy, but this time we will come to Karachi for the final and win it,” said Imad. “You all just pray for us and leave the rest to us, we will not disappoint you this time.”

Right-handed opener Babar Azam said Kings look in shape courtesy a good mix of players. “We will try to give our best and make it into the final,” he said.

Meanwhile, the first international PSL player to come to Karachi, England all-rounder Ravi Bopara said: “The way I was welcomed by everyone in Karachi was incredible. I just want you all to keep supporting your team. We have a wonderful team and we will win.”

“We did have a good team in previous editions but unfortunately we were not able to make it into the final, but this time we will,” he said, adding that visiting Karachi before the final is a great pleasure for him. “I am here before the final and the security is up to the mark. When I go back, everyone will be asking me about the visit and I know they will be pleased to hear all the good experiences I had in these two days.”

Karachi Kings director cricket operations Rashid Latif believes sixth team’s addition will make the league more competitive. “With the inclusion of sixth team, the level of competition has increased and also the chance for our youngsters to play top level cricket with international stars.”

Chief Minister of Sindh Murad Ali Shah was also present at the ceremony and wished the team well. “This time, instead of going to Dubai to watch PSL, I’ll be waiting here in Karachi to welcome the team for the final and I hope that Karachi is one of the teams in the final.”

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AB de Villiers ruled out of T20I series

Monitoring Desk

CAPE TOWN: AB de Villiers has been ruled out of the ongoing T20I series against India because of an injured left knee.

He suffered the injury before the fifth ODI in Centurion, and though he played the last two matches of the 50-over series, Cricket South Africa decided to give him time to make a full recovery ahead of the upcoming Tests against Australia next month.

“He suffered a blow to the knee while batting ahead of the fifth ODI, and although he passed a fitness test on Friday, the injury worsened significantly throughout the match,” Mohammed Moosajee, South Africa’s team manager, said. The selectors decided not to name a replacement for the remaining T20Is. De Villiers had missed the first three ODIs against India too, because of an injury to his right index finger that he sustained during the third Test. South Africa were already fielding a depleted side for the T20Is, after Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock were ruled out of the limited-overs matches with a fractured finger and a left wrist injury respectively. The second and third T20Is will be played on February 21 in Centurion and on February 24 in Cape Town.