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Rex Tillerson to visit Pakistan next week

Monitoring Desk

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson will starts Asia tour from 20 to 27 October and will also visit Pakistan during his Asia tour.

US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, told that Rex Tillerson will travel to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Pakistan and India and after that he will leave for Geneva during his visit. Tillerson will meet with senior Pakistani leaders to discuss bilateral mutual issues and will try to strengthen the relations after it was shattered following the Donald Trump allegations against Pakistan.

Nauert added that Rex Tillerson will reach Pakistan after visiting Saudi Arabia and Qatar and adding that Tillerson will also discuss that Pakistan’s role in the success of US South Asia strategy and also expand economic ties between the two allies.

 

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Ahead of centenary, Putin calls 1917 Bolshevik revolution ‘complex’

MOSCOW (AFP): Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that the 1917 Bolshevik revolution had “complex” results, as Russia approaches the centennial of the history-changing event.

Speaking at the annual Valdai club conference of international experts, Putin said: “revolution is always a consequence of a deficit in responsibility”.

“Today, I want to draw attention to the lessons of the events that happened a hundred years ago, to the Russian revolution of 1917,” Putin told the conference.

“We see that its results were complex. We see how tightly knitted the negative (results) are with, one has to admit, the positive consequences of these events,” Putin said.

“Was it not possible to develop not through revolution, but via the road of evolution,” he said, “without paying the price of destroying statehood and ruthless breaking of millions of human losses but via the road of gradual, consistent moving forward?”

Next month, Russia marks a hundred years since the seismic Bolshevik takeover.

Putin has rarely commented on the centenary and the Russian government has not announced major plans on how to mark the anniversary. Putin’s critics have called the centenary uncomfortable for the Kremlin.

Putin, who has been in power in Russia since 1999, is expected to run for a fourth presidential term next year.

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India announces to issue medical visas for Pakistanis

NEW DELHI (AFP): On the auspicious occasion of Deepawali, India announced to grant medical visas to all Pakistani deserving cases pending.

In a tweet on Thursday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said: “On the auspicious occasion of India’s Independence day, we will grant medical visas in all bonafide cases pending with us.

To a request for a visa by a Pakistani woman named Amna Shamin, whose father is already in Delhi for treatment and she wants to visit him, Swaraj said, “Please contact Indian High Commission in Pakistan. We will allow this.”

she had directed the Indian High Commission in Islamabad to issue a visa to a Pakistani child for medical treatment in India.

The child’s father, Kashif, had requested Swaraj on Twitter to grant medical visa for treatment of Abdullah, saying he needed post-liver transplant evaluation in India.

“The treatment of your child must not suffer for want of medicine. I have asked Indian High Commission to issue medical visa. @ChachaKashif,” the minister tweeted.

Kashif had said the child’s medicines were about to finish and he needed immediate medical consultation in India.

In another tweet, Swaraj said a medical visa has also been approved for a Pakistani woman, who wants to undergo liver surgery in India.

The woman’s son, Rafique Memon, had requested Swaraj to intervene and grant visa to his mother.

Swaraj also responded positively to a request for a visa by Nazir Ahmed, whose eight-year-old child Mohammad Ahmed was awaiting medical visa for a year.

“We will issue visa to facilitate treatment of your 8- year-old child in India,” she said.

Swaraj has been taking a sympathetic approach in granting medical visas to Pakistani nationals, notwithstanding strain in ties between India and Pakistan over a host of issues, including cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

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Italy arrests seven in migrant-smuggling ring

ROME (AFP): Italian police said Thursday that they had arrested seven people while breaking up a ring of smugglers who were ferrying migrants from Greece and Albania to Italy.

A criminal gang, with a known history of smuggling black-market cigarettes in the southern port city of Brindisi, was using its network to ferry over the migrants, mainly from Syria but also Iraq and Somalia.

Twenty-six people were involved in the trafficking, charging about 4,500 euros ($5,300) per person, the police said.

The seven main members, six Italians and a Greek, were arrested and one boat was seized. Italy has been a primary destination for the thousands of migrants who have been risking perilous sea voyages to reach western

Europe in recent years, from Greece as well as Libya and other North African countries.

Both Italian and EU officials have been trying to curb the influx which has seen nearly 1.5 million people arrive in Europe since 2015, according to the International Organization for Migration.

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Diwali Festival: Explosion in firework factory kills seven

Monitoring Desk

NEW DELHI: At least seven workers were killed and nine others were injured in illegal firecracker factory in eastern India just before the Thursday’s Diwali festival.  

Firework sale were on the peak in India during the Diwali festival of Hindu but the government trying to stop or restrict the sale of firework as it was creating pollution and also becoming source of killing innocent people because of it.

District Magistrate Pramod Kumar Das said that the explosion occure on late Wednesday and it completely destroyed the makeshift structure following the fire touched off the gunpowder and chemical stocks which were used to be in the making of fireworks in Balasore district of Odisha state.

Earlier in the month of September, as many as nine people were killed in Jharkhand state of India after their workshop was gutted by fire. India’s firecracker industry, worth nearly one billion dollars a year, is the second largest in the world after China.

Indian Supreme Court this month temporarily banned the sale of firecrackers in New Delhi because of the air pollution threat.

More than two dozen were arrested by police in New Delhi over the illegal sale of firecrackers since the court order on October 9 and have seized cache of firework during the crackdown.

 

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Jashua Boyle contacts FP

Jalil Afridi

WASHINGTON DC: Recently recovered abductee, Jashua Boyle contacted The Frontier Post yesterday and shared brief details of his release. The Frontier Post will be publishing his detail interview in coming days.

Jashua said that he became Muslim in 2008 and right before his release by Pakistan army, when was still in the custody of the kidnappers and the firing had begun, the two kidnappers were arguing with each other whether to kill them or not but eventually the kidnapper with the gun refused to kill us because we were Muslim.

 

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Iraqi forces drive Kurdish fighters out of Mosul

Monitoring Desk

BAGHDAD: The Iraqi security forces took control of the Kurdish-held areas in Mosul province on Tuesday and the areas were evacuated by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters before the arrival of the Iraqi forces.

The Peshmerga had taken the areas from the Islamic state militants three years back as part of the war against IS.

The Iraqi forces backed by Iranian-trained paramilitary groups captured the Kurdish held oil region Kirkuk on Monday after the Kurdish referendum and transfer the balance of power in the country.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered the retaking of Kirkuk all the disputed areas claimed by the Kurdish Regional Government and the central authorities in Baghdad.

 

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Car bomb kills Panama Papers journalist in Malta

VALLETTA (Reuters): Daphne Caruana Galizia, Malta’s best-known investigative journalist, was killed on Monday when a powerful bomb blew up her car, police said, in a case that stunned the small Mediterranean island.

Caruana Galizia, 53, ran a hugely popular blog in which she relentlessly highlighted cases of alleged high-level corruption targeting politicians from across party lines.

“There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate,” she wrote in a blog published on her site just half an hour before an explosion tore into her car. Locals said Caruana Galizia had just left her house and was on a road near the village of Bidnija in northern Malta when the bomb detonated, sending her car flying into an adjacent field.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who faced accusations of wrong-doing by Caruana Galizia earlier this year, denounced her killing, calling it a “barbaric attack on press freedom”.

He announced that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had agreed to help local police investigate the killing and was flying experts to the island as soon as possible. “I will not rest until I see justice done in this case,” he said in a statement, calling for national unity.

Around 3,000 people held a silent, candle-lit vigil on Tuesday evening in Sliema, just outside Valletta. The hashtag Je Suis Daphne circulated widely among social media users on the island of 400,000 people, the European Union’s smallest state.

“Everyone knows Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine, both politically and personally, but nobody can justify this barbaric act in any way,” Muscat said. “The only remedy for anyone who felt slandered was through the courts.”

Muscat sued Caruana Galizia after she wrote blogs earlier this year saying his wife was the beneficial owner of a company in Panama, and that large sums of money had been moved between the company and bank accounts in Azerbaijan. Both Muscat and his wife denied the accusations.

Looking for a vote of confidence to counter the allegations, Muscat called snap elections in June which he easily won. Recently, Caruana Galizia’s outspoken blog had turned its fire on opposition politicians. Malta Television reported that Caruana Galizia had filed a complaint to the police two weeks ago to say she had received threats. It gave no further information.

“POLITICAL MURDER”

Opposition leader Adrian Delia said the blogger was the victim of a “political murder”. “Caruana Galizia revealed the Panama Papers and was the government’s strongest critic,” he said, calling for a independent probe of her killing.

“We will not accept an investigation by the Commissioner of Police, the Army commander or the duty magistrate, all of whom were at the heart of criticism by Caruana Galizia,” he said. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said he would offer a 20,000 euro ($23,578.00) reward for information leading to the conviction of Caruana Galizia’s killers, and European politicians expressed dismay at her death.

Frans Timmermans, first vice president of the European Commission, tweeted that he was “shocked and outraged”, adding that “if journalists are silenced our freedom is lost”. Manfred Weber, head of the conservative bloc in the European Parliament, said the killing marked “a dark day for democracy”.

Caruana Galizia took aim at politicians and senior officials from across Malta, seeing the island as a hotbed of corruption. “Malta’s public life is afflicted with dangerously unstable men with no principles or scruples,” she wrote last year.

Her family asked that the magistrate assigned to investigate the case, Consuelo Scerri Herrera, be substituted because of an alleged conflict of interest, court documents showed. Herrera had sought libel damages after Caruana Galizia attacked her in her blog.

 

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Taj Mahal built by traitors, says BJP ‘hate speaker’

NEW DELHI (AFP): The world-renowned Taj Mahal has been dragged into an ugly political row after its exclusion from a Uttar Pradesh tourism booklet earlier this month.

First Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the famed monument does not reflect Indian culture. Now Sangeet Som, a controversial lawmaker of the ruling BJP, has said the monument was built by “traitors” and is a “blot on Indian culture”.

“Many people were worried that the Taj Mahal was removed from the list of historical places in the UP tourism booklet. What history are we talking about? The man who built Taj Mahal imprisoned his father. He wanted to massacre Hindus. If this is history, then it is very unfortunate and we will change this history, I guarantee you” Som said at a rally in Meerut on Sunday.

His party senior Nalin Kohli disowned the comments as ‘individual view’.

Hours later, Som issued a clarification. “I don’t oppose Taj Mahal. It’s a beautiful heritage. I oppose the Mughals who built it and how they’ve been portrayed in history,” he said.

Som is notorious for his inflammatory speeches and is among the politicians charged with instigating riots that left over 60 dead and tens of thousands displaced in Muzaffarnagar in 2013.

Despite the BJP denouncing his comments, there is also support within the party for him. “The Taj is a tourist spot…don’t link it with Indian culture,” said BJP parliamentarian Anshul Verma.

The Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, attracts millions of foreign and Indian tourists each year. But the 17th century marble mausoleum was missing from a booklet released recently to mark six months of the BJP government.

What did find a place among top attractions of UP was the temple of Gorakhnath at Gorakhpur, which is headed by Yogi Adityanath.

Meanwhile, Muslim parliamentarian from Hyderabad, Asaduddin Owaisi of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party, reacting to Som’s comments, said: “Will Prime Minister Narendra Modi stop hoisting national flag from a monument built by traitors? I challenge them to say it to UNESCO that they should remove it from list of world heritage sites.

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12 wounded in bomb attack on police van in Turkey

ANKARA (Reuters): A police vehicle in Turkey’s southern province of Mersin was hit in a bomb attack on Tuesday, wounding several people, security sources and Turkish media said.

Broadcaster NTV said that some 12 people were injured in the attack, in Mersin’s Yenisehir district.

Mersin Mayor Burhanettin Kocamaz told another broadcaster, Haberturk, that the attack took place on the street where the local governor’s office is located. He said the police vehicle was moving at the time of the attack.

An image of the street published on NTV’s website showed smoke billowing from the area, which had been cordoned off by police.

Ambulances, police and fire trucks were sent to the site of the attack, security sources said.

A blast also occurred a day earlier, on Monday, when an improvised explosive device detonated in Hakkari province of the country, reports stated.