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US defense chief, NATO head on surprise Kabul visit

Monitoring Desk

KABUL:  Over a dozen rockets hit Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport Wednesday, an hour after the U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis landed in the capital along with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Ministry of Interior spokesman Najib Danish told Anadolu Agency there was no damage from the rockets that landed “near the airport”.

“Luckily, no harm to people or the property has been done. Flight operations continue normally,” Danish said.

Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Zabehullah Mujahed, spokesman for the group, claimed in a statement the military section of the airport had been hit, with missiles targeting the plane of the U.S. defense secretary.

It remains unclear if the US defense secretary used the airport that came under attack.

Later in the day, Mattis and Stoltenberg joined President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in a news conference in Kabul to urge the Taliban to participate in a peace process and forget about anticipating a victory on the war front.

Ghani said his government is pursuing peace in the war-ravaged country through a two-pronged policy.

“One is peace with Pakistan that is achieved via state-to-state talks with a particular vision that stability in Afghanistan is not against the interests of any country, in fact on the contrary stability in Afghanistan paves way for economic growth in the region,” he said.

“For stability in the region, I call upon our near and far neighbors from India to Russia to join the renewed [efforts] of regional consensus, especially because the threat of terrorism has not yet been eradicated, but has in fact got even [more] serious.”

Ghani said the Taliban now have to choose between continuing to serve international terrorism or to take part for peace and reconstruction in the country.

He added that Afghan security forces were getting stronger, but an intra-Afghan peace and internal dialogue remains a priority of his administration.

NATO chief said the Taliban must understand they cannot win on the battlefield and there is much more for them to gain on the negotiating table.

Welcoming the new U.S. strategy for Afghanistan, Stoltenberg said Afghan armed forces have come a very long way with NATO’s help.

He added the alliance would continue to train, advise and assist the Afghan forces, noting the fact that around 13,000 troops from 39 countries continue to serve in Afghanistan.

“If NATO leaves, we risk Afghanistan returning to a state of chaos: a safe haven for international terrorism,” he said.

“The last time that happened, it led to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in which almost 3,000 people were murdered — we cannot allow that to happen again.”

Mattis said instability in South Asia is a threat to the world. Expressing confidence about the future of Afghanistan, he accused the Taliban of intentionally using civilians in ways that results in their deaths.

He also said that the U.S.’s new strategy was an “opportunity” for Pakistan to fight terrorism.

This is the first trip to Afghanistan of the two top Western security bosses following U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement of a new Afghan strategy in late August.

On Tuesday, Mattis met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Indian capital New Delhi to discuss improved defense cooperation and Trump’s plan for India to take a larger role in bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan.


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MQM-L activists confess to killing people political opponent

F.P. Report

KARACHI: A political worker of Mutahida Qaumi Movement-London (MQM-L) confessed of killing the political opponents, this was revealed in report which was published in the local media.

The MQM-L arrested worker identified as Saleem Chaudhry, told the officials that he used to killing the people with the axe brutally after kidnapping them. He added that he received commands from the party’s torture Cell to kidnap an activist identified as Azad Hasan from orange town and then I killed him with axe and his buried his bodies parts on a hilltop. He also told the officials that he was assisted by a man identified as Iqbal in killing the people.

He also informed that Noorud Din, Hayat, Kamran, Asif Bhayya and a few others were also involved in the killings. The investigative report said that the suspects named 22 of their accomplices to law enforcement personnel.

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Rice export increased to 40% in last two months

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan exported rice worth $ 223.937 million during the first two months of financial year, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics share the data.

It added that rice exports were increased to 40.36 percent comparing to the last year exports.

The exports of basmati rice grew by 10.35 percent and about 59,433 metric tons of basmati rice worth US$ 62.741 million exported as compared the exports of 59,192 metric tons valuing US$ 56.857 million of same period last year, it added.

The exports of rice other then basmati also witnessed an increase of 58.98 percent, around 369.580 metric tons of rice costing US$ 161.198 million exported as compared to the exports of 251,669 metric tons worth US$ 102.888 million of last year.



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Rifts in PTI over change of leader of opposition

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The rifts in the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was emerged over the nomination of Shah Mehmood Qureshi for the slot of opposition leader in the National Assembly as several MNAs raised questions over Qureshi nomination for replacing Khursheed Shah as opposition leader.

The PTI started recently started consultation with opposition parties to change the opposition leader in the National Assembly and asked their favor for electing PTI candidate for the slot.

PTI announced Shah Mehmood Qureshi as its candidate for the slot of opposition leader and in the Qureshi leadership delegation visited MQM-P headquarters to discuss the issue and later they were agreed to bring another candidate and replace Syed Khursheed Shah as opposition leader.

But the announcement of Shah Mehmood Qureshi brings rifts among the PTI ranks and it was reported that a group of Jehangir Tareen opposed the decision and demanded that Imran Khan needs to be opposition leader. Not only the nomination of Qureshi angered the MNAs, MNA Ali Muhammad Khan expressed his opposition over Qureshi nomination.

The rift over the Qureshi nomination forces Imran Khan to call a immediately meeting of the top leadership and take them into confidence.

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Govt focusing on development of FATA says PM Abbasi

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that initiating development projects in FATA and rehabilitation of temporary Displaced Persons (TDPs) is the top priority of the current government.

This he said during the briefing by ministry of SAFRON at Prime Minister’s office. PM Abbasi said that people of tribal areas sacrifices their lives and everything in the fight against militancy to ensure the peace in other part of the country.

PM Abbasi reviewed various measures for mainstreaming of FATA and provides chance of development to the people of FATA and increased their living standard as par the rest of the country.

The ministry of SAFRON informed the Prime Minsiter Abbasi that out of 237,000 displaced families, only 16,000 families were yet to be rehabilitated and adding that Rs 52.874 billion had been spent so far for the purpose of rehabilitation of the dislocated persons. PM Abbasi showed satisfaction over the performance of the ministry so far.

In the meeting the issue of Afghan refugees in the country was also discussed and the meeting informed that 1.4 million registered and nearly 0.6 million unregistered Afghan refugees are still living in the country.

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Save Governments Schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Raza Ullah Khan

Education is fundamental right of every citizen and constitutional responsibility of every government to provide it. Education plays a key role in the development of any nation. For the promotion of education government has been established many governments schools throughout the country in order to give every one free and compulsory education.

But due to lack of government attention these governments’ schools are not working properly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa such as academically weak teachers, absentees of teachers, increasing of schools and schools in rural areas. Such as, majority government’s schools teachers are academically very weak.  According to a recent survey by Alif Ailaan,

In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 44 per cent of teachers report of having done only their intermediate or matriculation while in Balochistan, only 46 per cent of teachers in private schools have an intermediate or matriculation certificate.  How it’s possible for such kinds of teachers to teach matric class Biology, Chemistry and Physics which are basic and these basic subject play very important role in students academia.

Due to this reason, majority of governments schools students after matriculation are not able to read English newspaper.  It is necessary for governments that they must take teacher through NTS if they really want to improve education systems.

Similarly, majority of governments schools are lack of basic facilities.  There are no proper arrangements of drinking water and toilets for students in schools.  Such as, Peace, Education and Development (Pead) Foundation organised the seminar.

The foundation’s executive director Sameena Imtiaz said that about half of government primary schools lacked basic facilities, while over 400 schools were lying non-functional due to various reasons in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.  She said that according to annual report 2011-12 of Education Management Information System, as many as 45 per cent boys and girls’ primary schools lack of electricity, bathrooms, boundary walls and clean drinking water for students. Governments must provide all basic facilities in Khyber Paktunkhwa.

In Pakistan and especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, government’s schools are increasing day by day without any kind of policy. Such as in my own district Lakki Marwat the numbers of Middle Schools for Boys are 54, and for girl’s schools are 43.  Due to increasing of schools in majority schools there are only 10 to 20 students.

In these schools teacher used their students as a labor and students are performing different jobs such as they engage their students in construction of their houses and other domestic activities.  It is necessary for governments that they must built newly schools in those areas where schools are necessary and they must fix a ratio for students in concerned areas.

Such as, in majority government schools teachers are absent a whole month.  In majority Schools, the teachers have hired private teachers to teach in government schools as their substitutes, while they carry out their private businesses.  From governments there is no check and balance. Governments must start check and balance on these teachers on regular bases. The claims of the provincial government to build a Naya K-P cannot materialise without concrete practical steps and across-the-board accountability.  Translating the slogan of ‘Education First’ into reality requires a lot of work.

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Blame game

During his two days visit to India the US defense secretary James Mattis said that Washington will work with New Dehli to eradicate terrorist safe heavens across the world. He said, “Terror safe heavens will not be tolerated anywhere in the world”. India and the US have resolved to work together to nip this scourge. The statement by Mattis came after a press conference following his meeting with his Indian counterpart, Nirmala Sitharaman.

The US defense secretary oblique reference of blame game is covertly directed against Pakistan. He has in fact repeated the stance taken by the President Donald Trump in a speech to the UN general assembly. The foreign minister Khwaja Asif strongly rebutted the US allegations of terrorist safe heavens in Pakistan. In a speech at the Asia Society Forum, the foreign minister said Pakistan refuses to take the blame for Haqani network and other alleged outfits, reminding the US that these ‘terrorist’ were considered ‘darlings’ of the white house until a few decades ago. The weak diplomacy of Pakistan has given leverage of Pakistan bashing to the India and the US. Merely, reminding the US of its support to the afghan warlords and militant outfits during Soviet Union occupation of Afghanistan will not produce the desired results in the domain of foreign policy. India is exporting terrorism to Pakistan by using Afghan’s soil. FATA has been almost cleared by the Pakistan Army in operation Zarb e Azb and the Government writ has been fully restored. The recent cricket match between UK-11 and Pak-11 in Miramsha confirms it.

The successful completion of operation Zarb e Azb in FATA and the ongoing operation Rad UL Fasad all over the country demonstrate our resolve that Pakistan’s soil cannot be used for cross border terrorism anymore. It is now for the civilian leadership to embark upon a pro-active diplomacy to promote the soft image of the country persistently being tarnished by India, Afghanistan and the US.




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No female ultra sound specialist at LRH a matter of concern

Wisal Yousafzai

PESHAWAR: Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) Peshawar, the biggest government hospital of the province, has been running its gynae ward without a female ultrasound specialist, The Frontier Post learnt on Wednesday. Moreover, the gynae ward also lacks the female technicians as the eco and other tests are being done by male technicians.

The government has been claiming the change in the health sector however the condition of the LRH’s gynae ward negates these claims. With no proper sitting arrangements for the female attendants of the patients, and poor cleanliness and hygienic condition of the ward also is a matter of concern.

A visitor Jamal Khan from Swabi talking to The Frontier Post said that there was no facility of female ultra sound and there was no female technician in the ward. He said that in the evening shift male technicians were doing the ultra sound of female patients which was against the religious and cultural norms. He further said that he took his patient outside the hospital to do the ultrasound and other such investigations from female experts.

He criticized the ‘so called’ KP government’s health reforms and said that for the last more than four years the government failed to improve the condition hospitals in the province.

It is to mention here that few months ago a male ultra sound technician was arrested after being beaten by the relatives of a female patient for alleged sexual harassment to the patient.

Even after such a serious incident, the hospital authorities have closed their eyes towards such an important issue and problems being faced by the female patients.

Majority of the patients and their attendants when contacted by this scribe appealed to the administration of LRH to immediately appoint female ultrasound specialist and technicians to provide better healthcare facilities to the female patients.

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Qureshi conspiring against Imran: Khursheed Shah

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah said that Shah Mehmood Qureshi of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) wants to replace party chief Imran Khan.

This he said while issuing a statement to media. Khursheed Shah said that Shah Mehmood Qureshi is not eyeing on my position but in fact he targeting the PTI chief Imran Khan to replace him in the party.

Shah added that if the party leader is the member of assembly how can any other member of the party ask bigger post than the party head and adding that when Bilawal announced that he will be part of the National Assembly, I suggested that Bilawal should be the opposition leader.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi is planning a conspiracy against Imran and if becomes the opposition then he (Qureshi) is step closer in his plan and replacing Imran Khan. He added that Imran should be worried about himself, as far as I am concerned regarding the current situation I am not worried as we believes in democracy.

PTI leaders talk about democracy but are not willing to accept Pakistan People Party’s majority, Shah added.

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Embassy of Pakistan commemorated 52th Defence Day of Pakistan

F.P. Report

WASHINGTON DC: Embassy of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Washington DC commemorated the 52nd Defence Day of Pakistan to pay tribute to the Armed forces who rendered tremendous sacrifices for their motherland.

Ambassador Aizaz Chaudhry in his opening remarks said that the Defence Day is of immense importance in the history of our nation. This Day is observed every year to commemorate the spirit and the valour displayed by our armed forces in defending our borders against the blatant aggression of our neighbor during 1965 war. Armed forces of Pakistan have not only defended our frontiers successfully but have also participated in the world’s largest counter terrorism operation which has resulted in clearing up most of the area, under the influence of anti state elements. Besides, the armed forces also participated in the nation building activities, particularly during natural calamities and emergencies, he added.

Ambassador Chaudhry further stated that the Pakistan is the largest contributor of troops in UN Peace Keeping operations and second biggest contributor of Maritime Coalition efforts in the Indian Ocean. This has earned Pakistan a great respect and prestige in the comity of nations.

In his concluding remarks, Ambassador Aizaz Chaudhry said that Pakistan has enjoyed a multifaceted relationship with the US over seven decades and defence cooperation is at the centre of this relationship. He reiterated that Pakistan would continue to stand with the international community, particularly the US in the fight against terrorism.

Earlier welcoming the guests, Defence & Army Advisor, Embassy of Pakistan Brigadier Chaudhry Sarfraz Ali gave an account of numerous sacrifices Pakistan Army has made on various fronts.  The event was organized to reiterate Pakistan’s resolve to go beyond any limits in making the country and region a safe place for which the support of Pakistani nation itself and partner nations are crucial.

The Defence Day Reception was well attended with representation from civil and military sides of the US government and diplomatic community including military representatives of the allied and partner nations. In addition, large number of notable community members also attended the function.