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India says Jadhav-terrorist swap offer is Pakistan’s ‘imaginary lie’

NEW DELHI (Web Desk): India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson has described Pakistan’s assertion “an imaginary lie” that it received an offer to swap self-confessed Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav with a terrorist involved in Army Public School attack in Peshawar.

“You have already seen a press release issued by the Afghan National Security Adviser’s office. If you have gone through the press release, it seems this is one more addition to the long list of imaginary lies and stories created by the Pakistani establishment,” Raveesh Kumar was quoted in a Times of India report as saying in a weekly media briefing.

During an interview with Asia Society, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif had disclosed that Pakistan was offered to exchange Jadhav with a terrorist involved in the 2014 Peshawar school attack. “The Afghan government has admitted that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has safe havens on Afghan soil and operates from there. The terrorist who killed children in APS in Peshawar, is in Afghan custody,” Asif had said.

The foreign minister further added, “The [Afghan] national security adviser told me we can exchange him for the terrorist you have, which is Kulbhushan Jadhav.”

The Times of India reported on Friday that Afghan forces had captured Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Chief Mullah Fazlullah. It said a source had revealed that the Afghan national security adviser could have been hinting at swapping Fazlullah, wanted in Pakistan, in exchange for Jadhav to Pakistan’s foreign minister.

However, the Indian newspaper report also said that the office of Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Haneef Atmar issued a statement saying there was no mention or reference to India or an Indian citizen during his meeting with Asif on September 21 in New York.

“The two sides also discussed sanctuaries in Pakistan and exchange of the top five Taliban leaders detained in Pakistan. There was no mention or reference to India or an Indian citizen.”

Former Indian naval officer Jadhav was arrested last year in Balochistan and had has admitted his involvement in espionage, terrorist and subversive activities in the country.


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Up to 30 feared dead as DR Congo army plane crashes

KINHASA (AFP): A military transport plane belonging to the Congolese army crashed near Kinshasa on Saturday, killing “several dozen” people, military and airport sources told AFP.

The Antonov transport plane had just taken off and had “several dozen people” on board, an airport source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The plane went down in Nsele, about 100 kilometres to the east of Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the source said.

A local official in the area of the crash told AFP there were “no survivors”.

The plane, which had a Russian crew, was carrying “two vehicles and weapons” and military personnel, a source at the army’s headquarters told AFP, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

He said there were “between 20 and 30 people” on board when it took off from Ndolo airport in Kinshasa.

A witness at the crash site told AFP he had seen the plane “falling” out the sky shortly before 9:00 am but said there was no sign of any smoke coming from the aircraft.

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Oxford University removes portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi

LONDON (AFP): The Oxford University, where Aung San Suu Kyi studied as an undergraduate, has removed her portrait from public display amid criticism of her handling of the Rohingya crisis.

The humanitarian crisis in Myanmar has seen more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims flee to neighbouring Bangladesh. Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of the country, has been criticised for failing to address UN allegations of ethnic cleansing.

The governing body of Oxford’s St Hugh’s college decided to remove the painting of the Nobel laureate from its main entrance, days before the start of the new term. St Hugh’s College said her portrait had been replaced with a Japanese painting.

The portrait, painted by the artist Chen Yanning in 1997, belonged to Suu Kyi’s husband, the Oxford academic Michael Aris. After his death in 1999, the portrait was bequeathed to St Hugh’s, and hung near the college’s main entrance.

In 2012, Suu Kyi was celebrated with an honorary doctorate from Oxford University, where she studied politics, philosophy and economics between 1964 and 1967.

Suu Kyi, who won a Nobel peace prize in 1991, has been Myanmar’s de facto civilian leader since winning elections in 2015. She has been facing growing international pressure to act, after evidence emerged that Myanmar’s military forces were driving hundreds of thousands of Rohingya out of the country.

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Air strikes kill 28 civilians in Syria safe zone: monitor

BEIRUT (AFP): At least 28 civilians were killed in air strikes on northwestern Syria where a planned safe zone has been overshadowed by a bombing campaign against militants, a monitor said Saturday.

Four children were among the dead in the overnight strikes on the town of Amanaz, in Idlib province near the Turkish border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based watchdog said it could not immediately determine whether the strikes had been carried out by warplanes of the Syrian government or its ally Russia.

But they are the latest in an intensifying air campaign carried out by the two governments against militant fighters who control most of the province and are not party to a safe zone deal brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran.


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Rangers recover weapons hidden by ‘MQM-London members’ in Karachi

KARACHI (PPI): Rangers recovered on Saturday a huge cache of weapons during a raid in Karachi’s Orangi area.

According to Rangers, the Muttahida Quami Movement-London members hid the weapons in three rooms present at the back of a public park.

During the raid, Rangers personnel recovered machine guns, Kalashnikovs, rifles, two pistols and around 1,850 bullets of different kinds.

According to Rangers the weapons were to be used in incidents of terrorism and target-killing in Karachi.

In June, Pakistan Rangers Sindh had recovered a sizeable cache of arms and ammunition buries inside a well in Karachi’s Nazimabad no. 3.

Rangers had said in a statement that the weapons were hidden by miscreants affiliated with MQM-London before the start of the Karachi operation.

The recovered weapons included an RPG-7 rocket launcher, four RPG-7 shells, four 7mm rifles and four secondary fuses, the paramilitary force had said in a statement.

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Indian troops prevent Muharram processions in Occupied Kashmir

SRINAGAR (AFP): Indian troops continued to impose strict restrictions in Occupied Kashmir to prevent people from taking out Muharram processions on Saturday, Kashmir Media Service reported.

Authorities deployed Indian troops, police and paramilitary personnel in full riot gear across Srinagar to stop the Muharram processions. Pedestrian movement has been suspended, while the forces have placed coils of razor-fitted wire on the main roads to prevent movement of traffic.

Officials told media that the restrictions will remain in force until Ashura on Sunday (10th Muharram).

Main Muharram processions are banned in the occupied territory since 1990, and only small mourning rallies are allowed in selected areas.

Meanwhile, Indian police arrested dozens of mourners including a minor boy, during a Muharram procession near Jehangir Chowk on Friday. Scores of people were injured due to the use of brute force on mourners by Indian troops and police personnel in Srinagar.


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Soldier among three martyred in Indian shelling across LOC

RAWALPINDI (NNI): Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that Indian forces once again committed ceasefire violation across the Line of Control (LoC) late Friday, which resulted in martyrdom of a junior commissioned officer (JCO) and two civilians.

According to details, Indian troops resorted to unprovoked fire in Rakh Chikri area of Rawalakot, Azad Kashmir, in which they targeted civilian population through heavy weapons. ISPR statement said.

ISPR added that army patrol assisting evacuation of civilian casualties also came under Indian firing resulting into the martyrdom of Naib Subedar Nadeem while 3 soldiers got injured.

It was second ceasefire violation by Indian forces during the last 72 hours.

The Pakistan Army responded effectively and inflicted casualties and heavy losses on the Indian posts from where the firing originated, the statement said and added the Indian forces deliberately targeted the civil population with heavy weapons, including mortars.

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NAB team visits Jati Umrah with warrants for Nawaz children

LAHORE (Monitoring De-sk): A team of National Acc-ountability Bureau (NAB) L-ahore officials on Friday arri-ved at the residence of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif at Jati Umrah with bailable arrest warrants for his children and son-in-law, sources confided to Geo News.

The accountability court, hearing corruption cases against the Sharif family, had on Tuesday issued bailable arrest warrants for Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam, sons Hussain and Hasan, and son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar to ensure their presence.

They had also been directed to submit surety bonds worth Rs1 million each.

Nawaz Sharif’s personal secretary, Qamar Zaman, received the warrants from the six-member team led by a deputy director, which acted on the orders of the accountability court. Judge Moha-mmad Bashir of the accountability court had also ordered the Sharif children to appear before the court on October 2, the next date of hearing.

Earlier on Friday, NAB sent the warrants to Pakistan HC in London.

At present, Hasan, Hussain and Maryam Nawaz are in London tending to their mother, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, who is undergoing treatment for lymphoma. Safdar is also in London.

Kulsoom Nawaz discha-rged from hospital: Kulsoom Nawaz who is undergoing treatment for lymphoma in London, has been discharged from the hospital, Geo News learnt Friday evening.

Kulsoom was admitted to the emergency unit of Prin-cess Grace Hospital, London, after her condition worsened on Tuesday. However, she has now been discharged.

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PM chairs NSC meeting, discusses regional, security issues

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: National Security Committee(NSC) reiterated its commitment for peace in Afghanistan through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

The meeting of NSC was held on Friday with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on the chair, which was attended by, Minister for Foreign Affairs Khawaja Asif, Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah and other senior civil and military officials.

The meeting reviewed the current developments in the relationship with Afghanistan as well as common avenues for continued cooperation, especially border management and repatriation of refugees.

The Committee expressed a deep concern over repeated violations of line of control by India, resulting in loss of innocent lives owing to shelling and firing across the line of control. The Committee also condemned violation of human rights in the Indian occupied Kashmir and use of excessive force against unarmed civilians.

NSC was informed that the Prime Minister, in his meeting with UN Secretary General, had handed over a dossier documenting the systematic human rights violations by India in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir and stressed the need for appointing a Special Envoy on Jammu & Kashmir.

The meeting was also briefed that the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister had engaged the leadership of several important countries to share Pakistan’s perspective on regional and global security challenges. Salient aspects and outcomes of the Prime Minister’s visit to New York for the UN General Assembly was also shared with the Committee.

The National Security Committee was apprised too that the Foreign Minister had visited key regional countries, including China, Iran and Turkey to apprise their leadership of Pakistan’s perspective on crucial regional and international issues.

The Committee was further informed that Pakistan’s continued engagement with leading world powers on matters of regional security had generated a supportive sentiment for Pakistan amongst world leaders during interactions on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York.

NSC meeting expressed its unwavering resolve to keep Pakistan’s defence impregnable against all forms of external aggression.

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PAF ready to tackle internal, external threats: Air Chief

F.P. Report

RISALPUR: Air Chief Marshall Sohail Aman on Friday said that Pakistan Air Force is poised to meet any of the internal and external challenges.

Addressing the 119th passing out parade of Combat Support Force held at Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Asghar Khan Academy Risalpur, the Air Chief said that the force has a firm resolve to work in synergy with other two sister forces to root out the menace of terrorism from country as well as the region.

The Air Chief Marshal said that Pakistan and Kuwait have a long history of close cooperation and coordination both at government and Air Force level and the strong bond of fraternal ties between the two countries and their Air Forces would further strengthen in the years to come.

“Pakistan is a peace loving country and supports peace efforts in the world, the region and the Middle East,” he further added.

Speaking on the occasion, Commander of the Kuwaiti Air Force Major General Abdullah Al-Foudari – who was also the chief guest of the ceremony – has expressed the desire to further augment relations with Pakistan in different fields including the defense and security.

“Pakistan and Kuwait enjoy historic relations in different areas including the military training,” he said. The Commander Kuwait Air Force said that Kuwait and Pakistan enjoy strong brotherly relations spanning over decades.

Both countries support each other in a wide range of activities such as social, military training and industrial technology. He also thanked the Pakistan Air Force and especially the Air Chief for sincere efforts in the training of Kuwaiti pilots at PAF Academy.

Course was held at PAF Academy, Asghar Khan today. Major General Abdullah Yaqoob Al-Foudari, Commander Kuwait Air Force was the Chief Guest of the ceremony. On his arrival at the Academy, he was received by Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force.

A total of 52 aviation cadets including 12 Under Training Officers of Kuwait Air Force graduated at the occasion. The Chief Guest awarded branch insignia and trophies to the distinction holders. Trophy for Best Performance in 119 Combat Support Course was awarded to Aviation Cadet Rizwana Nasreen; while overall best performance trophy in Allied Under Training Officers was awarded to Pilot Officer Abdul Rehman Mubarak from Kuwait Air Force.

The Parade was followed by a thrilling performance by “Eaglets”- the Para Motor Glider team of the Academy. “Bravehearts and Sherdils”, the PAF Academy Aerobatics Teams also displayed an exhilarating aerial display at the occasion.

The ceremony was witnessed by high-ranking Military and Civil Officials, foreign dignitaries and a large number of guests of graduating cadets.