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Results for "Taliban"

‘Too cold, they don’t speak English’: Afghan refugees don’t want…

Afghan refugees have rejected the plan to relocate them to Scotland and Wales citing cold weather and limited English language skills as reasons, according to a report. Currently, they are housed in hotels and the UK is spending about £1 million a day for 9,500 Afghans who fled the country in…

We used to think 10 times before stepping out of…

Their grim existence for nearly a year changed on August 3, when they arrived in India as part of a group of 28 Afghan Sikhs who were flown in from Kabul with the help of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the Indian World Forum and the central government Recounting…

‘Justice has been delivered,’ says Biden as 9/11 key plotter…

President Joe Biden in a televised address on Monday (local time) announced that Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in an air strike by the United States stating that "Justice has been delivered." al-Zawahiri was one of the world's most wanted terrorists and a mastermind of the September 11, 2001…

Ayman-al-Zawahiri, from eye surgeon to most wanted terrorist

Al Qaeda chief and key plotter of the 9/11 terrorist attack, Ayman al Zawahiri, was killed in a US drone strike in Afghanistan on Saturday.US President Joe Biden confirmed it on Monday, saying that "Justice has been served". Zawahiri, who had just turned 71, took over the leadership of Al-Qaeda…

Liz Truss: Tory frontrunner for PM claiming to be Thatcher’s…

As a seven-year-old in 1983, Liz Truss played the role of Britain's then prime minister Margaret Thatcher in her school's mock elections but failed to get a single vote. Four decades on, the foreign secretary is again bidding to emulate the Iron Lady to become Conservative party leader and prime…

‘Cricket match’ in UK created pitch for Imran Khan’s political…

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the party formed by former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan whose political rise has stemmed from anti-corruption rhetoric, had received funding via a private cricket tournament organised by a Pakistani tycoon, the Financial Times reported. The report said that Pakistani tycoon Arif Naqvi, founder of Dubai-based Abraaj Group,…

Can talk to TTP, separatists, but not to Shahbaz govt:…

Referring to leaders of Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) as thieves, The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said that he can hold talks with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the separatists of Balochistan and Sindh, but cannot sit down for talks with the Shahbaz Sharif government. The remarks came while…

Taliban claims to solve security problems, urges Hindus, Sikhs to…

The Taliban claimed that the security situation in Afghanistan has been solved and urged its minorities - Hindus and Sikhs to return back to the country. The assertion comes after the Director General of the Office of the Minister of State of the Taliban, Dr Mullah Abdul Wasi met with…

Taliban not to accept international favours if ‘against Islam’

Taliban on Sunday said that it is ready for engagement with the international community, but if "they are against Islam, are not acceptable." "We just follow Allah, Prophet Mohammad, the Caliph of Rashidun and Companions in implementation of our law. We don't accept anything from anyone which is against Islam,"…

Taliban tortures Afghanistan’s Youtubers Ajmal Haqiqi and his team for…

A video has gone viral on social media, which shows the Taliban torturing Youtubers Ajmal Haqiqi and his team, according to sources. As per the local media, they filmed it for fun and the Taliban members sent the video to each other. The horrific videos show that Ajmal Haqiqi and…

Who could take over as UK prime minister?

BRITAIN's Boris Johnson will reportedly announce his resignation as Conservative leader, paving the way for an internal party contest to replace him and become prime minister. While several possible successors have been suggested, there is no clear favourite. Rishi Sunak The UK's first Hindu chancellor of the exchequer, who quit…

I’m gonna blow this plane up: Brit teenager Aditya Verma…

A British teenager appeared in court in the Spanish island Menorca on Tuesday (5) over a bomb hoax on an EasyJet flight from the UK. He was identified as Aditya Verma, 18, a chess-playing prodigy who has been offered a place at Cambridge University, the MailOnline reported. Verma was released…

‘Every day at least one or two Afghan women commit…

'Every day there are at least one or two women who commit suicide', said a former deputy speaker of the Afghan Parliament on Friday, highlighting the lack of opportunity and ailing mental health that is taking a toll on Afghan women. This revelation came during a rare urgent debate on…

EXCLUSIVE: End our cost of living crisis suffering

The chancellor must do more to help families and business. The call comes from Lord Karan Bilimoria, who is stepping down as the president of the Confederation of British Industry after two years at the helm. In an exclusive interview with Eastern Eye, the peer said the cost of living…

Taliban’s new draconian decree bars Afghan women participation in religious…

Ahead of the religious scholars' grand gathering of Taliban, the deputy Prime Minister of the Taliban, Mawlawi Abdul Salam Hanafi announced on Wednesday that the meeting will convene without the participation of women. Over 3,000 religious scholars, tribal elders, intellectuals, influential figures and national traders will attend the gathering at…

‘In April, the Taliban killed a midwife, amputating her legs,…

Amid the plummeting humanitarian and economic conditions, women and girls in Afghanistan are being deprived of their most basic human rights -- employment and education, speakers told the Security Council on Thursday, as they examined the restrictive policies of the Taliban who took control of that country in August last…

Afghanistan earthquake death toll surpasses 1,000

MORE THAN 1,000 people were killed in Afghanistan after a powerful earthquake hit the country on Wednesday, media reports said. A severe earthquake struck in the early hours of this morning near the city of Khost in the southeastern part of the country. The most affected areas are in Spera…

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Muslim countries are the biggest hypocrites, they have the…

CONTROVERSIES are not new to him but he remains unfazed even when they tend to take the most sinister form. Geert Wilders is never known for mincing words and often they are hard-hitting, so much so that he often ends up receiving life threats. But the Party for Freedom leader…

Taliban fail to explain closure of girls’ schools in Afghanistan…

Taliban on Thursday failed to explain the closure of girls' schools in Afghanistan to the UN after the Taliban earlier backtracked within a few hours of announcing the reopening of girls' schools. The UN Rapporteur for Afghanistan Human Rights, Richard Bennett said that "specific reasons were not given" for the…

TV anchor once, Afghan journalist now selling food on street…

Kabir Haqmal, who worked with the Hamid Karzai-led Afghan government, has shared pictures of former TV anchor Musa Mohammadi selling food on a street. "Journalist's life in Afghanistan under the Taliban. Musa...worked for years as anchor & reporter in different TV channels, now has no income to feed his family…

Afghan women protest against violations of rights, removal from government…

A group of Afghan women protested in Kabul against the Taliban for the violations of their rights and the removal of women from government institutions. The group protested on Thursday (9) under the banner of Female Civil Service Employment of Afghanistan and urged the Taliban to allow women to return…

Taliban detain Afghan fashion model for ‘disrespecting Islam’ in YouTube…

The Taliban regime in Afghanistan arrested well-known model Ajmal Haqiqi and three of his colleagues, accusing them of disrespecting Islam and the holy book of Quran.A handcuffed Haqiqi and his colleagues were later seen apologising to the government and religious scholars even as Amnesty International called the action “coercive” and…

Violations of women’s rights in Taliban-led Afghanistan growing: HRW raises…

The list of Taliban violations of the rights of women and girls is long and growing, said Heather Barr, Women's Rights Division at Human Rights Watch (HRW), as she raised growing concerns about the violation of the rights in the country.When the Taliban announced last month that women and girls…

First time since Taliban takeover, Indian diplomats visit Kabul

For the first time since the Taliban's capture of power in Kabul, India has sent a team led by a senior diplomat to Afghanistan to oversee the delivery of its humanitarian aid and meet with senior members of the Taliban. The team, led by JP Singh, the external affairs ministry's…

The special relationship with the people of Afghanistan over centuries…

India was and is an important stakeholder in Afghanistan, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval said today and called for enhancing the capability of the war-torn country to counter-terrorism and terrorist groups which pose a threat regional peace and security. Speaking at the 4th Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan in Tajikistan's…

Afghan male news presenters wear masks on Air in protest…

This month Afghanistan's supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada issued a diktat for women to cover up fully in public, including their faces, ideally with the traditional burqa.The Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice ordered women television presenters to follow suit.Presenters relent after defianceAfter defying the order a day…

Review attacks Prevent programme on “double standards”

A leaked review of the government’s counter-terrorism programme has said that it is too focused on right-wing extremism and should now crack down on Islamist extremism, according to a report.  The government-commissioned Prevent review by Sir William Shawcros has claimed that there has been a “double standard” approach to tackling different…

US panel says India’s religious freedom worsens ‘significantly’

RELIGIOUS freedom has deteriorated "significantly" in India under the Hindu nationalist government, a US commission said Monday (25) as it again recommended targeted sanctions over abuses.It was the third straight year that the US Commission on International Religious Freedom asked that India be placed on a list of "countries of…

Rwanda president says UK migrant deal ‘not trading in humans’

Rwandan President Paul Kagame said Kigali was not "trading in human beings" when it agreed to a controversial deal allowing Britain to send migrants and asylum seekers to his country. The agreement announced last week has attracted a chorus of criticism from rights groups, opposition figures in Britain and Rwanda…

Afghanistan death toll in ‘Pakistan strikes’ rises to 47

THE DEATH toll from Pakistani military airstrikes in the eastern Afghanistan provinces of Khost and Kunar has jumped to at least 47, officials said Sunday (17), as Islamabad urged Kabul to act against militants launching attacks from Afghan soil.Border tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan have risen since the Taliban seized…

Pakistan calls for action against militants after rocket attacks kill…

PAKISTAN on Sunday (17) called on the Taliban government in Kabul to take "stern actions" against militants launching attacks against the country from inside Afghanistan, a day after alleged rocket attacks by the Pakistani military killed six Afghans.Border tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan have risen since the Taliban seized power…

Shehbaz Sharif elected as Pakistan’s new prime minister

PAKISTAN lawmakers on Monday (11) elected Shehbaz Sharif as the country's new prime minister following the weekend ouster of Imran Khan, who resigned from the National Assembly along with most of his party members.Khan was dismissed on Sunday (10) after losing a no-confidence vote, paving the way for an unlikely…

Shehbaz Sharif likely to become Pakistan’s new prime minister

SHEHBAZ SHARIF, expected to become Pakistan's new prime minister Monday (11) after leading the opposition alliance that ousted Imran Khan, is a tough administrator with a penchant for quoting revolutionary poetry. Sharif is the younger brother of three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who was dismissed then jailed on corruption charges…

Imran Khan dismissed as Pakistan prime minister after losing no-confidence…

Imran Khan was dismissed on Sunday as Pakistan prime minister after losing a no-confidence vote in parliament following weeks of political turmoil. It was not immediately clear when a new premier will be chosen, but Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) chief Shehbaz Sharif was almost certain to be picked to lead…

Pakistan lawmakers clash as no-trust debate begins

PAKISTAN lawmakers clashed angrily in the National Assembly on Saturday (9) ahead of a no-confidence vote on prime minister Imran Khan that will likely see him booted from office.The speaker adjourned proceedings without giving a reason after just 30 rowdy minutes, ordering lawmakers to return in the afternoon.Khan, who was…

No-trust motion: Verdict on Imran Khan’s actions likely tomorrow

PAKISTAN'S top court could rule on Thursday (7) on prime minister Imran Khan's move to block an opposition attempt to oust him, a step his critics say is unconstitutional and has touched off political turmoil.Khan, a former cricket star, lost his parliamentary majority last week and had faced a no-confidence…

Imran Khan outfoxes opposition

REGARDED as a wily cricket captain during his playing days, Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan appeared on Sunday (3) to have stumped his political opposition as well.The country's president dissolved the national assembly just hours after the deputy speaker declined to accept a no-confidence motion that would likely have seen…

Imran Khan slams US for ‘meddling in Pakistan politics’

PAKISTAN prime minister Imran Khan has accused the United States of meddling in Islamabad's politics - a claim quickly denied by Washington - as a debate on a no-confidence motion against him in parliament was postponed.No Pakistan premier has ever seen out a full term, and Khan is facing the…

Truss calls for stronger ties during India visit

STRONGER ties with India are more important than ever before in view of the crisis in Ukraine, British foreign secretary Liz Truss said Thursday (31), but she said the UK would not tell India not to buy discounted Russian oil. Her comments came after talks with India’s external affairs minister…

Pakistani Taliban announce Ramadan offensive against security forces

The Pakistani Taliban on Wednesday announced it would launch a Ramadan offensive against security forces, after claiming an attack which the military said killed at least six of its soldiers. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a separate movement that shares common roots with the militants that took power in Afghanistan last…

Imran Khan faces toughest challenge to his rule in four…

FOREIGN ministers of Muslim nations began meeting in Pakistan on Tuesday (22) as the country's leader trumpets his Islamic credentials while at the same time battling the most serious challenge to his rule in four years.The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is meeting in Islamabad with an ambitious agenda that…

Parents of slain photojournalist start legal action against Taliban

THE PARENTS of Reuters photographer Danish Siddiqui, who was killed in a Taliban attack in Afghanistan last year, have begun legal action at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the Islamist group, a lawyer for the family said on Tuesday (22).Siddiqui, a Pulitzer Prize winner, was embedded with Afghan special…

Daesh bomber of Pakistan mosque was ‘Afghan’

A DAESH suicide bomber who killed 64 people at a Shiite mosque in northwest Pakistan last week was an Afghan exile who returned home to train for the attack, police said Wednesday (9).There have been warnings Afghanistan could become a recruiting ground and staging post for militants since the Taliban…

Sunder Katwala: Public opinion supports helping Ukrainian refugees

HALF a century ago, it was the Ugandan Asians who needed sanctuary. Given just 90 days to get out by the dictator Idi Amin, it was not clear where they would go. At the height of the Powellite era, some MPs floated hare-brained schemes to send them all to the…

Pakistan to allow India to send wheat, medicine to Afghanistan…

PAKISTAN will allow India to use its territory to transport 50,000 tons of wheat and medicine to Afghanistan, beginning this month, Pakistani customs officials said on Tuesday (15).The permission of such a convoy is rare by Pakistan, which has barred the entry of goods from India for years as the…

Malala: Ban on hijab in schools is ‘horrifying’

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE winner Malala Yousafzai has said disallowing the hijab (Islamic headscarf) in schools is “horrifying”, referring to a row over the controversy in a south Indian state. Yousafzai's observation comes amid protests in Karnataka after a college in the temple town of Udupi banned the hijab. Six students…

Firing from Afghanistan kills 5 Pakistan troops

AT LEAST five Pakistan soldiers were killed due to firing from neighbouring Afghanistan, Islamabad said on Sunday (6), in an attack claimed by the Pakistan Taliban.It comes just days after Baloch separatists in the southwest killed nine Pakistan troops in a series of brazen attacks that officials said involved planners…

‘Tories, leave the BBC alone’

FOR anyone who has had to move cities for a new job, you have my heartfelt sympathies. That is exactly the situation I faced this month. Finding a rented place. Moving in. Getting the bills set up. Make sure everything works. The worst part for me is having to buy…

Fighting mistrust, Pakistan marks one year polio-free

BATHED in crisp morning light, Sidra Hussain grips a cooler stacked with glistening vials of polio vaccine in northwest Pakistan.Watching over Hussain and her partner, a policeman unslings his rifle and eyes the horizon.In concert they begin their task - going door-to-door on the outskirts of Mardan city, dripping bitter…

Security beefed up in Pakistan capital after deadly Lahore blast

SECURITY was beefed up across Pakistan's capital on Friday (21), police said, a day after three people were killed and 22 wounded by a bomb in the eastern city of Lahore.The country has suffered a string of blasts and attacks since December when a truce between the government and Pakistan's…

Daesh militants on the run in Pakistan after evading police…

A band of suspected Islamic State (Daesh) militants are on the run in Pakistan after escaping a police raid that killed six other members of the group, officials said Monday. Counterterrorism police said in a statement they had stormed a hideout in the southwestern city of Quetta on Saturday and…

Top Pakistan Taliban fugitive killed in Afghanistan

A high-profile member of the Pakistan Taliban has been killed in Afghanistan, a senior security official said Monday, after being on the run since 2014 when the army cracked down on the militant Islamist group. Muhammad Khurasani, spokesman for the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), died in the eastern province of…

Taliban regime to ‘disallow’ further fencing of Pakistan border

AFGHANISTAN'S Taliban regime has said it will not allow fencing by Pakistan in any form along the Durand Line. It issued a stern warning to Islamabad amid tensions between the neighbouring countries on the contentious issue of border fencing, a media report said. “We (Taliban) will not allow fencing in…

Bangladesh scraps women-only beach zone after outcry

Authorities in Bangladesh's main tourist resort scrapped a dedicated beach section for women and children after a social media outcry over gender segregation, officials said Thursday. On Wednesday afternoon, Cox's Bazar officials inaugurated a section of the shoreline on the world's longest natural sea beach as an exclusive zone for…

Pakistan-Afghanistan border fencing row resolved: official

PAKISTAN and Taliban authorities in Afghanistan resolved the recent row over border fencing, a media report said on Saturday (25). They agreed that further work on the project that led to a tense situation would be done through consensus. A senior official, who spoke to a group of journalists on…

Pakistan-India ties: Near yet far apart

When Pakistan and India agreed to restore peace along the highly volatile Line of Control (LoC) in February 2021, it appeared that they were again ready to take a turn on the bumpy road of animosity and mistrust. The ensuing months, however, showed that it was yet another mirage. The…

Top Pakistan Taliban commander escapes suspected drone strike

A top leader of the Pakistan Taliban escaped unhurt from a suspected drone strike on a safe house in eastern Afghanistan, the militant group said on Friday (16). The strike on Thursday evening came a week after a ceasefire between the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the government collapsed, with militants…

When Johnson met serial killer Charles Sobhraj

WRITER and filmmaker Farrukh Dhondy has written a plausible and entertaining new book on the serial killer Charles Sobhraj, who was the subject of an eight-part BBC-Netflix drama, The Serpent, earlier this year, with French actor Tahar Rahim in the lead role. Dhondy’s book is called Hawk and Hyena because…

Fixing Indo-UK defence ties

CURRENTLY, an unprecedented, politically driven commitment towards the transformation of the India-UK relationship is taking place. This began with the virtual summit between the two prime ministers Boris Johnson and Narendra Modi on May 4, 2021. The new UK foreign secretary, Liz Truss, visited New Delhi and Mumbai in late…

Pakistani Taliban call off ceasefire with government

The Pakistani Taliban has called off a ceasefire mediated with the help of the Afghan Taliban, accusing the government of violating the terms of the agreed truce. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) -- a separate movement that shares a common history with Afghanistan's new leaders -- plunged the country into a period…

Dozens of Pakistani Taliban members freed as truce holds

Authorities have released up to 100 Pakistani Taliban prisoners as part of a truce with the militant group, sources on both sides said on Thursday. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) -- a separate movement that shares a common history with the Afghan Taliban -- plunged the country into a period of horrific…

UK blasted for Afghanistan evacuation response

The British government was on Tuesday accused of botching its handling of the evacuations from Afghanistan, after claims it was unprepared and could have done more to help. The chairman of the cross-party foreign affairs committee, Tom Tugendhat, said the emergency response to the Taliban takeover in August left Afghans…

Dhamija’s path to fame and fortune

Entrepreneur reveals his ebookers story in memoir THE title of Dinesh Dhamija’s very entertaining memoir, which is due to be released formally by his publishers, Austin Macauley, on November 30, sums up how he worked his way to fame and fortune – Book It! How Dinesh Dhamija sold travel agency…

Islamabad bids to quell rise in Pakistani Taliban attacks

Since the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan, Pakistan's offshoot of the hardline Islamist group has ramped up attacks on its side of the border, leaving Islamabad scrambling to reach a peace deal. Active in the remote tribal areas of Pakistan, experts say the militant group has been emboldened by the Taliban's…

Lucky that I got a husband who understands my values:…

NOBEL Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who married a top-ranked Pakistan cricket official last week, said she had concerns about marriage but she was lucky to get a husband “who understands my values”. The women’s rights activist from Pakistan told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday (14) that she…

Kamala Harris still searching for her role

THE first woman and first person of colour to become US vice president, Kamala Harris made history on November 3, 2020. But a year later, she is still trying to figure out what part to play in a role that is by definition thankless. President Joe Biden, by teaming up…

Pakistan long played disruptive role in Afghanistan: Congressional report

PAKISTAN has long played an active and disruptive and destabilising role in Afghan affairs, including its support to the Taliban, a US Congressional report said. In the report prepared by independent subject area experts, the bipartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) said if other countries such as Pakistan, Russia, China or…

Pakistan hosts ‘Troika Plus’ conference on Afghanistan

PAKISTAN held a meeting on Afghanistan with envoys from the United States, China and Russia on Thursday (11) as Islamabad warned its neighbour was on the brink of economic collapse. The grouping of countries, known as the "Troika Plus" met formally for the first time since the Taliban took over…

Pakistan Supreme Court slams Imran Khan over 2014 school massacre

PAKISTAN’S Supreme Court asked prime minister Imran Khan why he was “negotiating” with militants behind the 2014 attack on a Peshawar school, which left 150 dead, most of them students. A total of 147 people, 132 of them children, were killed when Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants stormed the Army Public…

Malala gets married in Birmingham

MALALA YOUSAFZAI, the campaigner for girls' education and Nobel Peace Prize winner who survived being shot aged 15 by a Taliban gunman in her native Pakistan in 2012, has got married, she said on social media on Tuesday (9). The 24-year-old, who lives in Britain, said she and her new…

Australia postpones Afghanistan Test until ‘situation is clearer’

CRICKET AUSTRALIA (CA) confirmed on Friday (5) it has postponed the Afghanistan Test in Hobart scheduled for Nov. 27 until the situation regarding the women's game in the South Asian nation becomes clearer. CA had said in September it would scrap the Test if the Taliban government, which took power…

Carpets ‘carriers of culture’

Indian and Persian rugs set to go under the hammer A KASHMIR carpet from the late 19th century has been included in a Christie’s auction due to be held on Thursday (28). It is part of the auction of the “Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds Including Oriental Rugs…

Rashid pleads for peaceful Afghanistan, Pakistan clash after 2019 violence

Rashid Khan has pleaded with Afghanistan and Pakistan fans to behave when the two neighbours meet in the T20 World Cup on Friday (28) after a match in England two years ago was scarred by fighting and a pitch invasion. Afghanistan's star spinner Rashid played in that 50-over World Cup…

Biden plans to pick career diplomat for top posting in…

US president Joe Biden plans to nominate Donald Blome, currently ambassador to Tunisia, as his top diplomat in Pakistan as Washington works to manage the situation in neighbouring Afghanistan following the withdrawal of American troops. Blome is a career foreign service diplomat with long experience in the region who once…

Pakistan Airlines suspends Afghan operations, cites Taliban interference

PAKISTAN International Airlines (PIA) suspended flights to Afghan capital Kabul on Thursday (14) after what it called heavy-handed interference by Taliban authorities, including arbitrary rule changes and intimidation of staff. The suspension took place as the Taliban government ordered the airline, the only international company operating regularly out of Kabul,…

Afghan junior female football team to relocate to UK

AFGHANISTAN'S junior female football team and their immediate families are set to relocate to Britain from Pakistan after recently escaping their homeland, the UK government said on Monday. "We are working to finalise visas to the Afghanistan women's football team and look forward to welcoming them to the UK shortly,"…

Modi, Johnson discuss Taliban, vaccines, trade and climate

INDIA prime minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson on Monday (11) discussed the current situation in Afghanistan and agreed on the need to develop a common international perspective on issues regarding extremism and terrorism as well. Following a telephonic conversation between Modi and Johnson, the UK government,…

Australia’s Test against Afghanistan ‘likely to be postponed’

AUSTRALIA'S Test against Afghanistan is likely to be postponed until it is clearer what impact the takeover by the Taliban will have on sport in the country, Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley told local media on Monday (11). CA last month threatened to scrap the Test, which is scheduled…

Covid committee to decide on T20 World Cup matches, says…

THE fate of Twenty20 World Cup matches if players test Covid positive will be decided by a committee and not by the member boards, the global governing body said on Sunday. T20 cricket's showpiece events begins October 17 in the United Arab Emirates and Oman with the International Cricket Council…

Flower named Afghanistan team consultant for T20 World Cup

FORMER Zimbabwe captain and England coach Andy Flower has been named the Afghanistan team's consultant for the Twenty20 World Cup, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) said. Flower played 63 Tests and 213 one-day international matches for Zimbabwe from 1992 to 2003, then coached England from 2009 to 2014, helping them…

Regional security, economic cooperation figure in US-Pakistan talks

PAKISTAN and the US discussed regional security issues and bilateral economic cooperation as American deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman visited Islamabad. She held talks with Pakistan's national security advisor (NSA) Moeed Yusuf on Friday (8) but no official statement was issued after the meeting. According to Radio Pakistan, both…

US should deny assistance to Pakistan, says Trump’s former advisor

A FORMER US national security advisor has said America should not provide any fresh aid to Pakistan as it has “had it both ways” for too long.  General (retired) HR McMaster, who advised former US president Donald Trump, said America should hold Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan accountable for his comments apparently hailing…

Pakistan’s top spy agency gets new chief

IN a surprise military shake-up, the Pakistan Army has announced that the powerful spy agency ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed has been appointed as Peshawar Corps commander - a crucial position, given the Taliban's takeover of neighbouring Afghanistan. Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum was appointed as the new director-general of…

Top British envoy holds talks with Taliban in Kabul

A TOP British envoy held talks with senior Taliban officials in Kabul on Tuesday (5) - the first since foreign forces evacuated from Afghanistan - as the country's new masters seek a path out of international isolation. Taliban officials tweeted pictures of the first meeting between Simon Gass, Britain's special…

Pakistan government in talks with militants for reconciliation: Imran Khan

PAKISTAN prime minister Imran Khan has said his government is in talks with some groups of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for "reconciliation" with the help of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Commonly known as the Pakistani Taliban, the TTP is a banned militant group based along the Afghan-Pakistan border. It…

US official calls for Pakistan action on militants

A TOP US official has called for Pakistan to take action against all extremist groups as Islamabad has sought reconciliation with militants both at home and in Afghanistan. Deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman will on October 7-8 meet officials in Pakistan, which has long faced US accusations of playing…

Daesh’s Afghanistan affiliate claims onus for Sikh physician’s killing in…

DAESH'S Afghanistan affiliate, known as Islamic State Khorasan or ISIS-K, has claimed responsibility for the killing of a well-known Sikh 'hakeem' (traditional medicine practitioner) in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar. 'Hakeem' Sardar Satnam Singh (Khalsa), 45, was at his clinic on Thursday (30) when unidentified gunmen barged into his cabin…

US ‘lost’ the 20-year war in Afghanistan: top US general

The top US general conceded in a stark admission on Wednesday (29) that the United States "lost" the 20-year war in Afghanistan. "It is clear, it is obvious to all of us, that the war in Afghanistan did not end on the terms we wanted, with the Taliban in power…

Death by sadness, or the Taliban: LGBTQ Afghans in hiding

As the Taliban appeared on every corner of Kabul, Marwa and her friend -- both gay Afghans -- took the drastic decision to become husband and wife. The hurried marriage was conducted with no ceremony or family around them. "I was telling myself that the Taliban would come and kill…

Legislation in US Senate seeks report on Pakistan’s role in…

A LEGISLATION has been introduced in the US Senate seeking a report from the secretary of state about his assessment of Pakistan's role in the Taliban offensive that led to the toppling of the American-backed Afghan government. It also sought to know Pakistan’s support for the Taliban offensive in Panjshir…

US deputy secretary of state Sherman to visit India, Pakistan

US Deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman will travel in October to Pakistan and India, who have clashed on the way forward in Afghanistan, the State Department announced Monday (27). Sherman, after CIA chief Bill Burns, will be one of the first high-level officials under president Joe Biden to visit…

Malala pleads with world to protect Afghan girls’ right to…

NOBEL Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan as she left school in 2012, has pleaded with the world not to compromise on the protection of Afghan women's rights following the Taliban takeover. As countries and organisations take the first steps to engage…

Blinken sees unity on Taliban after talks with Pakistan, China

US SECRETARY of State Antony Blinken on Thursday (23) said he believed the world was united on pressing the Taliban after speaking with Pakistan, China and Russia, key players with Afghanistan's new rulers. Blinken met with his counterpart from Pakistan, the chief ally of the Taliban regime that was toppled…

Rajapaksa calls for protection of Buddhist heritage in Afghanistan

SRI Lanka has called on the world to safeguard the Buddhist heritage of Afghanistan under the Taliban, who provoked outrage by destroying giant Buddha statues when they were in power earlier. "I request the United Nations and the international community to ensure the protection of the Buddhist heritage of Afghanistan,"…

Afghanistan wants to host Pakistan for cricket series

Newly appointed Afghanistan cricket chairman Azizullah Fazli said on Wednesday he would visit neighbouring Pakistan later this week to invite the side for a one-day series. The war-torn nation has steadily risen in international cricket over the past few years, with stars such as the world's top spinner Rashid Khan,…

Pakistan calls for unfreezing of Afghan assets

PAKISTAN has called on world powers to unblock billions of dollars in Afghan assets frozen after the Taliban takeover but said it did not expect recognition of the new government soon. Ahead of talks on Afghanistan at the UN General Assembly, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Monday…

Pakistan cricket dread becoming no-go area again after New Zealand…

AFTER a decade spent trying to woo back cricket's international elite, Pakistan is facing the prospect of being declared the game's no-go area again, and the anger is palpable. A sense of deja vu swept the country on Friday (17) when New Zealand abruptly pulled the plug on their first…

New reality established in Afghanistan with Taliban takeover: Imran Khan

PAKISTAN prime minister Imran Khan on Friday (17) said a "new reality" has been established in Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power in Kabul. It is now in the international community's "collective interest" to ensure that there is no renewed conflict in the war-torn country and it will never again…

Five players to watch as IPL rivalries are revived

THE Indian Premier League roars back this weekend in the United Arab Emirates, more than four months after being halted by the coronavirus pandemic in India. With the high-octane tournament concluding immediately ahead of next month's Twenty20 World Cup, AFP Sport highlights five players to watch in the white-ball extravaganza:…

Winners and losers from UK government reshuffle

PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson has carried out a major reshuffle of his government, replacing his foreign secretary and giving his former nemesis a key role. Here are winners and losers from a day of drama in Westminster: Liz Truss Truss, 46, had been earmarked for promotion after presiding over a…

Imran Khan takes swipe at US president, says Biden is…

"HE is a busy man," Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan has said of Joe Biden, expressing his disappointment over the US president's reluctance to contact him since coming into office in January this year. During an interview to CNN on Wednesday (15) from his private Bani Gala residence in Islamabad,…

Afghan security risk

THERE is, of course, a risk that some of the violent politics of Afghanistan will spill over on to the streets of Britain. Those refugees coming to Britain from Afghanistan will include people strongly opposed to the Taliban. If they set up opposition groups in Britain, supporters of the Taliban,…

Political chameleon Truss hits world stage as UK foreign minister

Britain's new foreign secretary is a free-trade champion who once opposed Brexit and whose straight talk and willingness to wade in on the culture wars has made her popular among grassroots Conservative voters. Prime minister Boris Johnson nominated Liz Truss to be the country's top diplomat on Wednesday -- a…

Top Pakistan diplomat defends Taliban

PAKISTAN has sought to defend the Taliban, saying the hardline group - which has taken over Afghanistan - has “delivered on its promises". Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Asad Majeed Khan, said on Thursday (16) that the security situation in Afghanistan is “in control” under the new regime which,…

Pakistan ‘open’ to pardon Taliban offshoot members

PAKISTAN’S government would be "open to giving" a pardon to members of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) if they promise not to indulge in terrorist activities and submit to the country's constitution, foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said. Qureshi made the remarks during an interview with Britain's online newspaper…

Afghan girls’ football team flees to Pakistan

Members of Afghanistan's national girls' football team have fled across the border into Pakistan, officials said Wednesday, a month after the hardline Taliban swept back into power. The group of junior players and their coaches and families had tried to escape the country last month but a devastating bomb attack…

Rishi Sunak, Priti Patel retain top jobs as Johnson shuffles…

British prime minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday (15) undertook a reshuffle of his top team, keeping two of his senior Cabinet ministers Rishi Sunak and Priti Patel in their posts. Sunak will remain next door to Johnson at Downing Street as his chancellor of the exchequer and Patel, who had…

Javed Akhtar: India’s constitution does not discriminate on the basis…

A few days ago, in an interview, writer Javed Akhtar drew parallels between the Taliban and Hindu extremists. However, now in a statement given to PTI, he has expressed the views. In the emailed statement, Akhtar said, "India can never become like Afghanistan because Indians by nature, are not extremists;…

US will look at Pakistan’s role in last 20 years:…

US SECRETARY of state Antony Blinken on Monday (13) told his country’s angry lawmakers that Washington will look at the role Pakistan played in the last 20 years after they expressed outrage over Islamabad’s “duplicitous” role in Afghanistan post the 9/11 attacks and demanded that the US reassessed its relationship…

Pakistan to restart commercial flights to Kabul

PAKISTAN International Airlines (PIA) will resume flights from Islamabad to Kabul next week, a spokesman said Saturday (11), making it the first foreign commercial service since the Taliban seized power last month. Kabul airport was severely damaged during a chaotic evacuation of over 120,000 people that ended with the withdrawal…

Sri Lanka name squad for T20 World Cup

SRI Lanka named a 15-player squad for next month's Twenty20 World Cup but said they were undecided on whether to play against Afghanistan over the Taliban's reported ban on women playing sport. Sri Lanka Cricket retained Dasun Shanaka as the captain with Dhananjaya de Silva as his deputy for the…

Afghan cricket board signals women could still play: report

WOMEN could still be allowed to play cricket, the chairman of Afghanistan's Cricket Board has claimed to an Australian broadcaster in an apparent backflip on the Taliban's hardline stance. Azizullah Fazli said the governing body would outline how this would happen "very soon", adding that all 25 of the women's…

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed: the defiant ‘mass murderer’ of 9/11

When Americans honor the nearly 3,000 killed in the September 11, 2001 Al-Qaeda attacks on the 20th anniversary on Saturday, a grim shadow will lurk in the background, that of attacks mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has yet to be tried and convicted for the heinous crime. Mohammed, who boasted…

Paine says teams could boycott T20 World Cup over Afghanistan

AUSTRALIA Test captain Tim Paine said on Friday (10) he believes teams could pull out of next month's Twenty20 World Cup or boycott playing Afghanistan over the Taliban's reported ban on women participating in sport. The International Cricket Council has yet to decide how to deal with the regime's stance…

Mohammad Nabi named captain of Afghan team for T20 WC…

Veteran all-rounder Mohammad Nabi has been named Afghanistan skipper for the upcoming T20 World Cup after star spinner Rashid Khan stepped down from captaincy protesting the selection of the national squad without his inputs. The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) is yet to officially announce Nabi's appointment as captain but the…

‘Dire Afghanistan situation demands urgent action’

Politicians urge ministers to help Britons with relatives seeking to flee Taliban rule MPs HAVE revealed that they have been flooded with pleas from Britons to help evacuate their relatives from Afghanistan to escape the Taliban. Britain’s last military flight left Kabul at the end of August after helping more…

Australia will cancel Afghanistan Test if women’s cricket banned

AUSTRALIA'S cricket board said on Thursday (9) it will scrap a planned Test match against the Afghanistan men's team if the Taliban rulers do not allow women to play the sport. Australian broadcaster SBS quoted a Taliban representative as saying he did not think women would be allowed to play…

CIA director meets Pakistan Army chief, ISI head

AMERICA'S Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director William Burns on Thursday (9) met Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI head Lt Gen Faiz Hamid. They discussed regional security issues and the current situation in Afghanistan, the Pakistan Army's media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said in a statement.…

Afghanistan’s reality requires world to discard old lenses: Pakistan

PAKISTAN foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday (8) said Afghanistan’s "new reality" required the world to discard "old lenses" and proceed with a "realistic approach". Qureshi who chaired a virtual meeting of Foreign Ministers of China, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - the neighbours of Afghanistan, said the situation…

Families forcibly removed from evacuation flights: Labour MP

A LABOUR MP claimed that family members of his constituents, including a “seven-month-old child,” were disembarked from rescue flights and “thrown out of the Kabul airport”. Imran Hussain accused the government of “leaving behind Afghans and British nationals” in Afghanistan after the Taliban overran the Asian country. “What is completely…

Afghan cricket board waits to hear from Taliban on fate…

AFGHANISTAN cricket chiefs are still awaiting instructions from the country's new Taliban government on the future of the women's game and are not anticipating a decision any time soon, a top cricket official told Reuters. The Taliban named a new government on Tuesday (7), three weeks after sweeping to power…

Pakistan Taliban warns against calling them ‘terrorists and extremists’

THE banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an umbrella organisation of armed Islamist groups, has warned the country's media and journalists against calling them a "terrorist outfit. TTP spokesman Mohammad Khurasani, in a statement on social media on Monday (6), said his organisation was tracking media coverage that branded the TTP with…

Muslim leaders should do more to tackle radicalisation: Ex-MI6 chief

SIR Richard Dearlove has said Muslim leaders should be forthcoming in tackling radicalisation and Islamist extremism in their communities. The former chief of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service said the involvement of community leaders makes counter-radicalisation efforts more effective than others telling their people what to do. He felt there is…

China seeks to extend Belt and Road Initiative to Afghanistan

CHINA has expressed hope to extend its multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) into Afghanistan, saying the “Taliban believes” the initiative is good for development and prosperity in the war-ravaged country and the broader region. China in the recent past outlined plans to extend its $60 billion (£43.27 bn) China-Pakistan…

‘No direct terror threat to India’, says Shivshankar Menon on…

A FORMER Indian diplomat has warned that the withdrawal of US and allied troops from Afghanistan raises the question of whether it will revert to exporting terrorism. Shivshankar Menon previously served as national security advisor to then India’s prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh. In a virtual interaction with the Indian…

Britain says it wants to engage with Taliban

BRITAIN will not recognise the Taliban as the new government in Kabul, but must deal with new realities in Afghanistan, UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab said on Friday (3). He asserted that the UK does not want to see Afghanistan’s social and economic fabric "broken". On a visit to Pakistan,…

‘Afghanistan unlikely to be America’s finest hour’

MANY wonder what the current catastrophe in Afghanistan will mean for the wider world order, and particularly how the withdrawal will affect the United States’ image on the global stage in terms of its position as an international leader. What can be said is that the pullout has certainly done…

Pakistan to ‘step up counter-terror cooperation with China’

PAKISTAN remains cognizant of the threats posed by various terror groups operating from Afghanistan and it will strengthen intelligence sharing, counter-terrorism cooperation with China post-US withdrawal, the country's envoy to China has said. The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan on August 15, two weeks before the US was set to…

Afghan Paralympian makes debut after top-secret evacuation

AFGHAN taekwondo athlete Zakia Khudadadi competed in the Paralympic Games on Thursday (2), becoming the first female Afghan to do so since Athens 2004, after a secret international effort to help her get out of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. The 22-year-old and her compatriot Hossain Rasouli arrived in Tokyo on aug 28…

We need to adjust to new reality in Afghanistan: Raab

BRITISH foreign secretary Dominic Raab said on Thursday (2) there is a need to engage with the Taliban on Afghanistan, but Britain has no immediate plans to recognise their government. "Our commitment on the part of the United Kingdom to Afghanistan remains. We need to adjust to the new reality,"…

Naseeruddin Shah upset with Indian Muslims for celebrating Taliban’s return…

Last month, the Taliban ousted the government in Afghanistan and took over the control of the country after capturing Kabul. Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah is upset with the section of Indian Muslims who are celebrating Taliban's rise to power in Afghanistan. In a video that’s trending on social media, Shah…

Comment: ‘We have a responsibility to help Afghans in need’

TWO weeks ago, the world received news that the president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, had fled, and the Taliban had strolled into the halls of the presidential palace unopposed. It was not supposed to end like this. We needed an exit plan, but this was not it. Afghan institutions are not yet…

UK intel officials engage Pakistan, Taliban over security threats

BRITAIN has been in touch with Pakistan and the Taliban to address emerging threats, amid growing concerns that the new regime in Afghanistan could be used for terror attacks in the West. While British Secret Intelligence Service officials held talks with the group in Kabul, the spy agency’s chief, Richard…

Pakistan fears rise in militant attacks along Afghan border

THERE is growing concern among Pakistani officials about security in neighbouring Afghanistan, as the Taliban tries to form a government and stabilise the country following the departure of the US and other foreign forces. Islamabad is particularly worried about militant fighters from a separate, Pakistani Taliban group crossing from Afghanistan…

Johnson says UK owes ‘huge debt’ to Afghan refugees as…

PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson on Wednesday (1) said Britain owed "an immense debt" to Afghans who worked with NATO forces as he announced, "vital support" for those resettling in the UK. But his government is coming under fire after thousands of Afghans who helped NATO and are eligible to move…

What lies ahead for Afghanistan under the Taliban?

Afghans on Tuesday (31) woke to the start of another uncertain era after the last American forces left overnight, cementing victory for the Taliban after two decades of war. Many are afraid that the group will once again impose their harsh interpretation of Islamic law, brutally punishing their opponents and…

Biden defends US pullout from Afghanistan as Taliban celebrate

President Joe Biden on Tuesday (31) mounted a fierce defense of his exit from Afghanistan as the "best decision for America," the day after the US military withdrawal celebrated by the Taliban as a major victory. "This is the right decision. A wise decision. And the best decision for America,"…

Taliban opens diplomatic channels with India

INDIA’S ambassador to Qatar held talks with a top Taliban leader on Tuesday (31), the Indian foreign ministry said, the first formal diplomatic engagement since the hardline Islamist group took over Afghanistan. The envoy, Deepak Mittal, met Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the head of the Taliban’s political office in Doha,…

Taliban tell India and Pakistan: Do not use Afghanistan as…

A SENIOR Taliban leader has urged India and Pakistan not to use Afghanistan in their internal fight. Taliban foreign affairs chief Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai said India and Pakistan can fight between themselves on the border. Stanikzai, who is likely to become the nation’s foreign minister, reiterated that the Taliban…

UK nationals still in Afghanistan in “low hundreds”, says Raab

THE number of British nationals still in Afghanistan is in the low hundreds, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Tuesday (31). "I know that the number of UK nationals, the particular responsibility of the Foreign Office, is now down at a very low level... low hundreds given that we taken…

Johnson offers to recognise Taliban if they prevent terror attacks

WITH Taliban now in power in Afghanistan, Britain faces biggest terrorist threat in many years, prime minister Boris Johnson has been warned. However, Johnson has offered diplomatic recognition for Taliban if they prevented terror attacks being launched from Afghanistan soil. Despite the prime minister having promised to use “every lever…

US troops’ stay in Pakistan temporary: Minister

PAKISTAN on Tuesday (31) ruled out the possibility of allowing the long-term presence of US troops coming from Afghanistan in Islamabad, saying the American forces' stay in the country would be for a limited period. Interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad's response came after pictures of US troops at Islamabad airport…

Taxi driver, shopkeeper were UK victims of Kabul attack

TWO persons from the UK were among those who were killed in the Kabul attack on Thursday (26). Mohammad Niazi, an Uber driver from Hamshire and Musa Popal, a shopkeeper from north London were among those who died after a blast shook the Afghan capital. Popal's daughter Zohra told the…

Derby ‘stands ready to help’ Afghan refugees

DERBY “stands ready to help” Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban, with a city leader saying it welcomes them with open arms. Afghanistan is in the midst of a crisis, with the Taliban taking control of the country for the first time in 20 years. Hundreds of thousands of Afghan residents…

Britain criticised for ‘haphazard and chaotic’ Afghan exit

THE UK government on Sunday (29) faced criticism after its hurried withdrawal from Afghanistan ended, leaving hundreds eligible for relocation behind. Prime minister Boris Johnson hailed a mission "unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes" after the UK airlifted over 15,000 people in the last two weeks. Troops landed…

Militant fire across Afghan border kills two Pakistani soldiers

MILITANT fire from across the border in Afghanistan killed two Pakistani soldiers on Sunday (29), the army said. Islamabad said it retaliated and killed two or three attackers, a claim not verifiable because the tribal districts along the Afghan border are off-limits to journalists and human rights organisations. The incident…

Salute to Rakesh Chauhan

ON A fine spring day in 2014, Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan returned home to Britain from Afghanistan – in a coffin draped in the Union flag. A Royal Air Force (RAF) transport plane landed at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, bringing back the bodies of 29-year-old Rakesh and four other…

More people cross Pakistan border as crisis deepens in Afghanistan

THE number of Afghans crossing over to Pakistan has soared since the twin suicide bombings in Kabul on Thursday (26), despite Islamabad’s position that it won’t accept any refugees from its western neighbour. Some 6,000 Afghans would normally move across the Spin Boldak-Chaman border crossing and the number went up…

Johnson urges Taliban to respect human rights as last UK…

BRITAIN has evacuated more than 15,000 people in the two weeks since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan. The last military flight left Kabul late on Saturday (28) ending nearly 20 years of British military presence in the country. "The final flight carrying UK Armed Forces personnel has left Kabul," Britain's…

UK says more can be done for Afghans who have…

THE British government acknowledged that more can be done to help and assist Afghan nationals and their families settle in Britain as they escape from Afghanistan following its takeover by the Taliban. Britain earlier announced plans to welcome up to 5,000 Afghans fleeing the Taliban during the first year of…

What is the Daesh threat in Afghanistan?

The carnage from twin suicide bombings at Kabul airport will fuel fears that a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan could prove an increasingly powerful magnet for terror groups like Daesh (Islamic State). The bombings, claimed by the regionally based Islamic State-Khorosan or IS-K, killed scores of people including 13 US soldiers, and were…

Britain to end Afghan evacuations in ‘matter of hours’

BRITAIN said on Friday (27) that it plans to complete its airlifts out of Afghanistan "in a matter of hours" as the frenzied evacuation effort out of Kabul airport draws to a close. "We will process those people that we have brought with us, the 1,000 people approximately inside the…

How the Taliban’s actions affect India and Pakistan

WHEN I flew into Kabul, I was told there was intelligence that there would be a suicide car bomb attack against an Indian embassy car that week. Nine months earlier the Haqqani network, the most feared terror group affiliated to the Taliban, had carried out the deadliest attack against the…

Imran Khan calls for positive engagement with Afghanistan

PAKISTAN prime minister Imran Khan has called for the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan and asked the international community for positive engagement with Kabul. Khan made the comments during his meeting with the executive director of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), David Beasley, in Islamabad on…

India alarm as Pakistan and China woo Taliban

THE Russian and British empires battled over Afghanistan in the 19th century, and the United States and the Soviet Union in the 20th. As the Taliban takes over in the strategic, landlocked nation, the new Great Game has Pakistan in control, with its ally China looking to cement its grip…

UK advises against all travel to Afghanistan amid ‘high threat…

BRITAIN'S Foreign Office on Wednesday (25) advised against all travel to Afghanistan, adding the security situation in the country remained volatile, with a "high threat of a terrorist attack". "The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advise against all travel to Afghanistan. You should not travel to Afghanistan", the Foreign…

Malala’s skull bone still sits on her bookshelf to remind…

MALALA Yousafzai said she has preserved a surgically removed skull bone as a reminder of the horror she went through after she was shot by a Taliban insurgent in Pakistan nine years ago. The Nobel Peace Prize winner, who survived the brutal attack as she received intensive medical care in…

Council leader’s comments criticised in racism review

THE chair of a review into racism in Torbay says he “would find it very hard to continue” if he were in Steve Darling’s position – the Liberal Democrat leader who made comments about ethnicity in the Bay area last week. Cllr Darling found himself in hot water after suggesting…

Exclusive: Afghanistan ‘will become terror base’

BRITAIN’S top counter-terrorism police officer has warned that Afghanistan will again become a base for exporting terrorism, and predicted lone-wolf attacks “probably within two years”. In an exclusive interview with Eastern Eye, assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan Police, Neil Basu, said the Taliban take-over in Afghanistan earlier this month will…

G7 agreed Taliban must allow departures after Aug 31, says…

BRITISH Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the G7 had agreed to a plan to deal with the Taliban, with the No. 1 condition being that militants must allow safe passage to Afghans wanting to leave the country even after an Aug. 31 deadline. "What we've done today, the…

Rashid Khan sends Sussex into T20 Blast final

RASHID KHAN saw Sussex into the finals of English cricket's T20 Blast despite the turmoil in his native Afghanistan as his dashing innings capped a five-wicket win over Yorkshire on Tuesday (24). After Luke Wright had made 54, Khan came in with south coast club Sussex needing 43 off 21…

UK says deadline for Afghanistan evacuation is to the last…

BRITISH foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Wednesday (25) that the deadline for evacuating people from Afghanistan was up to the last minute of this month. Raab was asked after a White House spokesperson said at a briefing on Tuesday (24) they needed to check if the deadline for evacuations…

Javid daughters to take part in charity run for refugees

HEALTH SECRETARY Sajid Javid’s daughters are taking part in a run to raise money for the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. The country has descended into chaos in recent days as the Taliban seized control of the government, almost two decades after they were expelled by a US-led coalition. Following…

These refugees want to go back to Afghanistan where ‘peace…

FROM trucks stuffed with carpets, bedding, clothes and even goats, around 200 Afghan refugees look beyond the horizon toward Spin Boldak in their country's south, waiting to return home from Pakistan. Dreading another period of harsh rule after the Taliban's rapid takeover following the US troop withdrawal, thousands have been…

Pakistan-Afghanistan ODI series postponed until next year

THE first-ever bilateral series between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been postponed until next year over logistics and multiple other issues, both boards decided on Tuesday (24). "Pakistan has accepted Afghanistan Board's request to postpone the next month’s ODI series due to players’ mental health issues, disruption in flight operations in…

Extending Kabul evacuations ‘unlikely’; ‘Direct threat’ people found among evacuees

UK defence secretary Ben Wallace today (24) said it is "unlikely" evacuations from Afghanistan will be extended beyond Aug 31. Meanwhile, six people deemed as “direct threats” to the UK were found in security checks of would-be evacuees from Kabul, MPs were told on Monday (23), amid broader warnings that…

‘Afghan authorities’ told to control Pakistan Taliban: Islamabad

PAKISTAN on Monday (23) said the Afghan Taliban have assured that they would not allow their soil to be used against Islamabad by Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants, amidst reports that several hardcore terrorists have been released in Afghanistan after the insurgents seized Kabul. The TTP, commonly known as the Pakistani…

British Muslims ‘celebrating’ return of Taliban, claims UK Islamic scholar

A UK-based Islamic Sharia Council scholar has said that the Talibans have “grown-up” and should be "given a chance", claimed media reports on Sunday (22), adding the scholar's comments that British Muslims are “celebrating” the return of the Islamic group to power and “western media loves misrepresenting Muslims”.   claimed…

Uncertainty, distress for Afghan cricketers after Taliban takeover

THE crack of bat on ball echoes around Kabul's international stadium as Afghanistan's top cricketers prepare for their next tour - just days after the country fell to the Taliban. The calm of the empty stadium is a surreal contrast to scenes just a few kilometres north, where tens of…

Tony Blair slams West’s ‘abandonment’ of Afghanistan

Former UK prime minister Tony Blair, who in 2001 took Britain into war in Afghanistan alongside the United States, on Saturday (21) condemned their "abandonment" of the country as "dangerous" and "unnecessary". In his first public comments on the crisis since the Afghan government collapsed last weekend, Blair criticised the…

As China, Pakistan weigh recognising Taliban, experts warn long-term losses

AS China and Pakistan mull a joint strategy to push for a global recognition of the Taliban regime in war-torn Afghanistan to further their interests, experts have warned the “all-weather allies” of long-term losses, especially a blowback effect from the US. Since the Taliban's takeover of Kabul on August 15,…

Anjem Choudary advocates stringent sharia in Afghanistan

RADICAL preacher Anjem Choudary has advocated a stringent implementation of sharia in a “fledgling” Afghanistan”. The British cleric from East London also called upon the Taliban to declare Afghanistan a caliphate and enforce punishments like stoning for adultery, chopping off hands for thefts and lashing for drinking alcohol. Choudary, who…

‘Garbage at airport’ forces Pakistan to suspend Kabul flights

PAKISTAN has "temporarily suspended" Kabul flight operations and is not evacuating anyone at the moment, according to media reports. The state-run Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was the sole commercial airline that had been operating flights to and from Kabul during the past few days to help the evacuation of diplomats…

Seven died near Kabul airport as UK races against time…

SEVEN people died near Kabul airport amid chaos, reports stated on Sunday (22), citing Britain's Ministry of Defence. Meanwhile, the UK, US and other allies continue to struggle to evacuate thousands of foreign nationals and Afghans who are trying to flee Afghanistan after Taliban Islamists took control a week ago.…

An Indian’s tale of Afghanistan escape

WHEN the New Delhi-bound Kam Airlines flight finally took off from Kabul airport hours before the Taliban entered the city on August 15, Subrata, an Indian working in a senior position with an international NGO (INGO) posted in Afghanistan, sent up a silent prayer of thanks. Subrata had been able…

Afghan cricket team returns to training in Kabul

THE Afghan national cricket team were feeling "spirited" after resuming training in the capital this week, just days after the Taliban seized control of the country, the head of the cricket board said on Friday (20). Following the collapse of the government at the weekend, Hamid Shinwari said the team…

Johnson says UK will work with Taliban if necessary

PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson said on Friday (20) Britain would work with the Taliban if necessary after the militants capture of Afghanistan, and defended his foreign minister who has come under fire for his handling of the situation. "What I want to assure people is that our political and diplomatic…

Indians released after detention by Taliban earlier, reports say

A group of Indian nationals were learnt to have been stopped and taken to an unknown location near the Kabul airport on Saturday (21) for questioning and verification of travel documents, triggering some confusion and concerns in India. People tracking the developments in Kabul said there were no specific reports…

Pakistan to expect new US chasm as Taliban win

After the September 11 attacks, the United States gave Pakistan a harsh ultimatum to break with the Taliban. Pakistan offered help but insisted -- it will not be abandoned again, as in the 1990s after Washington lost interest in Afghanistan. Twenty years later, the Taliban has retaken Afghanistan from a…

Jaishankar says safe return of Indian nationals is our priority

INDIA is carefully monitoring the situation in Afghanistan but its first priority is the safe return of Indian nationals, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said. He added that India's approach to the Afghanistan situation would be guided by the country's relationship with the Afghan people. "At the moment, we, like…

Raab defends his priorities amid calls to quit

AMID mounting calls for his resignation for declining to speak to his Afghan counterpart at a crucial time last week, Dominic Raab on Friday (20) defended his action, saying he was “rightly” focussing on his priorities. The British foreign secretary was holidaying on the Greek island of Crete on Friday…

Khan says London ready to welcome Afghan refugees

SADIQ KHAN has said London “stands ready to help Afghan refugees” as the UK prepares to offer sanctuary to 20,000 Afghans fleeing violence. Thousands of people have attempted to leave the country since the Taliban took control of the capital city, Kabul, on August 15. In chaotic scenes following the…

Taliban takeover will inspire terrorists, warns UK defence secretary Ben…

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan will inspire terrorists and trigger an “explosion” of extremism and security challenges for the world, UK defence secretary Ben Wallace warned on Thursday. Speaking to the BBC, the cabinet minister said he feared that terror groups like Al Qaeda would view the Taliban advance as…

Sharia law around the world

With the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan there are fears they will reimpose their harsh interpretation of sharia law. Most Muslim nations incorporate elements of sharia in their legal systems, particularly in family law. But very few carry out its punishments known as hudud, which even Muslim scholars disagree on. -…

Indian defence minister worried over rising national security challenges

INDIA'S national security challenges are increasing and becoming “complex” in view of the changing geopolitical situation across the globe, the country's defence minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday (19) said and pitched for a strong, capable and completely “self-reliant” domestic defence industry. Singh said this amid growing concerns in India and…

Taliban’s Afghanistan action

CELEBRATIONS to mark the 74th anniversary of Indian independence and the creation of Pakistan have been overshadowed by the astonishingly swift take-over of Afghanistan by the Taliban. Afghanistan has been in the British psyche for a long time. Whenever I think of Afghanistan, I recall Sherlock Holmes’s remark to Dr…

British lawmaker questions UK’s aid to Pakistan

A CONSERVATIVE parliamentarian has questioned the rationale behind Britain sending aid to Pakistan whose leader “praised” the Taliban. Daniel Kawczynski drew the Commons’ attention to the allegations that Islamabad has been supporting the insurgent group, which, he said, is “most concerning”. The Warsaw-born politician’s comments came amid the reports that…

UK will double humanitarian aid to Afghanistan this year

THE United Kingdom will double its humanitarian and development aid to Afghanistan to £286 million ($393.34 million) this year, foreign secretary Dominic Raab has said. "We call on others to follow our lead to ensure the most vulnerable Afghans receive the humanitarian assistance they need," Raab said late on Wednesday…

Uncertainty hangs over New Zealand’s tour of Pakistan

NEW Zealand will go ahead with its tour of Pakistan subject to clearance from security consultant Reg Dickason after some Kiwi players expressed concerns about touring the country following the Taliban's takeover of neighbouring Afghanistan. New Zealand are due to reach Islamabad on September 11 to play three ODIs and…

India and UK agree to work together on Afghanistan crisis

INDIA'S external affairs minister S Jaishankar and his British counterpart Dominic Raab have exchanged views on the developments in Afghanistan and agreed to work together to tackle shared security threats, support refugees and ease the humanitarian plight of Afghans. Jaishankar arrived in New York on Monday (16) to chair meetings…

How the scramble to leave Afghanistan is unfolding

With the Taliban returning to power in Afghanistan, foreign nations are scrambling to get their citizens and Afghans who worked with them out of the country. Here is a round-up of the latest developments: - US banks on 'safe passage' - The United States is looking to get thousands of…

Escorted by Taliban, India pulls off midnight evacuation from Afghanistan

OUTSIDE the main iron gate of the Indian embassy in Kabul, a group of Taliban fighters waited - armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers. Inside the compound were 150 Indian diplomats and nationals - growing increasingly nervous as they watched news of the Taliban tightening their grip on…

Johnson, Merkel reach out to Imran Khan over Afghan situation

THE UK and Germany reached out to Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan to discuss the emerging situation in Afghanistan where the Taliban has seized power. Khan told British prime minister Boris Johnson and German chancellor Angela Merkel who telephoned him that the safety and security of Afghans were critical at…

Johnson says up to 20,000 Afghans to be resettled in…

BRITAIN has helped more than 2,000 Afghans to flee the country in recent days, the prime minister said on Wednesday (18), and added that the Taliban must be judged "on actions, not words". Addressing MPs called back to parliament from their summer holidays for an emergency debate, Boris Johnson also…

Malala ‘fears’ for her Afghan sisters

NOBEL Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai on Tuesday (17) said she feared for “my Afghan sisters" in the wake of the Taliban's stunning takeover of the country. "We will have time to debate what went wrong in the war in Afghanistan, but in this critical moment, we must listen to the…

India has important role to play in Afghanistan: UK

INDIA is a key partner of Britain in Asia and will have an important role to play in dealing with the unfolding crisis in Afghanistan with the takeover of the Taliban, the UK government said on Tuesday (17). Defence secretary Ben Wallace said on Monday (17) described the Taliban takeover…

Taliban promises ‘rights’ but Afghan women fear return of ‘dark…

The Taliban on Tuesday (17) has promised women’s rights and safety along with media freedom and amnesty for government officials in their first news briefing after the swift seizure of Kabul. Meanwhile, thousands of Afghan women and girl students have reportedly started cloistering in their homes, fearing for their lives…

Begum’s lawyer investigated for ‘disgracefully insensitive’ social media post

SHAMIMA BEGUM'S lawyer is being investigated by regulator after posting image of Taliban insurgents in Kabul with reference to Thin Lizzy song 'The boys are back in town'. A solicitors' regulator is investigating Tasnime Akunjee over a social media post he made in reference to the Thin Lizzy song along…

Report: Facebook bans all content supporting Taliban

SOCIAL MEDIA giant Facebook has banned the Taliban and all content supporting it from its platforms, according to a BBC report. The US firm labels the group as a terrorist organisation. The company has said that it has a dedicated team of Afghan experts to monitor and remove content linked…

India airlifts ambassador and staff from Afghanistan

INDIA on Tuesday (17) brought back its ambassador and staff at the embassy in Kabul in an Indian Air Force's C-17 aircraft, after the situation became fluid with the Afghan capital falling to the Taliban insurgents. Earlier in the day, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi confirmed the news in…

UK to announce plans for asylum-seeking Afghans soon

BRITAIN on Monday (16) announced it will soon launch a resettlement scheme for Afghans amid growing pressure to create a safe route for refugees from Afghanistan as the Taliban seized control of the country on Sunday (15).   The government’s resettlement plans for asylum-seeking Afghans will be separate from the…

UN calls for unity against ‘global terrorist threat’ in Afghanistan

The United Nations Security Council said on Monday (16) the international community must ensure Afghanistan does not become a breeding ground for terrorism under the Taliban, following an emergency meeting in New York. The 15-member council issued a joint statement after UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres told the meeting that the…

Malala ‘deeply worried’ for women, minorities in Afghanistan

Pakistani activist and the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has said she is "deeply worried" for women, minorities and human rights advocates living in Afghanistan, now being taken control by Taliban insurgents. The 24-year-old rights activist, who was shot in the head by Taliban militants in 2012 in…

Britain says we’re not going back after Taliban takes control

THE situation is ‘extremely fluid and unpredictable’ on the ground after Taliban took control of Afghanistan, Indian officials said. While Britain's defence secretary said on Monday (16) that British and NATO forces will not be returning to fight the Taliban. "I acknowledge that the Taliban are in control of the…

MPs write to Raab to protect Afghanistan refugees

WITH the situation in Afghanistan deteriorating fast, British parliamentarian Navendu Mishra and 49 of his colleagues from across political parties have written a letter to foreign secretary Dominic Raab for extending urgent help to the refugees in the violence-ravaged nation who are at threat of persecution by the Taliban. In…

Afghan students including girls in despair as UK pauses scholarships:…

AS MANY AS 35 Afghan students, including girls, who were offered Chevening Scholarships by the government to study in the UK, have been told they will not now be able to take up their places, reported the BBC. These scholarships enable promising students around the world to pursue a masters…

British ambassador to be flown out of Afghanistan: report

BRITAIN'S ambassador to Afghanistan will be flown out of the country by Sunday (15) evening, the Sunday Telegraph reported, after UK troops moved to evacuate other British diplomats and officials. Taliban fighters drew closer to Kabul on Saturday (14). The capital and Jalalabad, in eastern Afghanistan, are now the only…

Sri Lanka ‘ready’ to host Afghan-Pakistan T20 series

SRI Lanka's national board has said it is going ahead with arrangements to host a T20 series between Afghanistan and Pakistan, even as a top cricket official in Kabul expressed the optimism that the sport “will not be a casualty” of political changes. However, there was also an element of…

Johnson bypasses Patel to appoint Damian Hinds as new security…

UK prime minister Boris Johnson on Friday (13) made former cabinet minister Damian Hinds his new security minister, after deciding not to let home secretary Priti Patel take on the brief, said media reports.   The official announcement that Hinds will take the job came from No. 10 in less…

Britain will not abandon Afghanistan, says Johnson as 600 troops…

BRITAIN will not abandon Afghanistan, prime minister Boris Johnson vowed on Friday (13), even as he confirmed the imminent withdrawal of most embassy staff in the face of a rapid Taliban onslaught.   With the Islamists seizing control of more Afghan cities, Britain is reportedly deploying around 600 troops to…

UK to send 600 troops to help Britons evacuate Afghanistan

UK DEFENCE secretary Ben Wallace said today (13) that Afghanistan is spiralling towards a failed state and “al Qaeda will probably come back”, a day after he announced that the UK will send 600 troops to Afghanistan to help British nationals leave the country as the Taliban continues to seize…

Pakistani forces clash with Afghan protesters at border crossing

PAKISTANI forces clashed on Thursday (12) with hundreds of Afghans stranded on Pakistan's side of a commercially vital border crossing with Afghanistan after its closure by Taliban insurgents, Pakistani security officials said. The disturbances broke out after a 56-year-old Afghan traveller died of a heart attack as he waited in…

Pakistan says bus blast was a suicide bombing

A BUS blast last month that killed 13 people, including nine Chinese workers, was a “suicide bombing” by Islamist militants backed by Indian and Afghan intelligence agencies, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Thursday (12). The minister said an investigation showed there was a "nexus of Indian RAW…

US finds Pakistan useful only to clean up Afghan mess:…

PAKISTAN prime minister Imran Khan accused the United States of seeing his country as useful only in the context of the "mess" it is leaving behind in Afghanistan after 20 years of fighting. Washington has been pressing Pakistan to use its influence over the Taliban to broker an elusive peace…

World must look into ‘meltdown’ of Afghan forces: Pakistan

PAKISTAN has urged the international community to look into the "meltdown" of Afghan security forces in the face of Taliban offensives, instead of blaming Pakistan for the fast-deteriorating situation. Taliban fighters have swiftly gained territory across Afghanistan since May, including six provincial capitals in the last three days, as international…

Biden unmoved on Afghan exit as Taliban sweep provinces

The Taliban are making swift gains in Afghanistan but president Joe Biden is standing firm on a US exit with limited options appearing to be on the table to reverse the insurgents' momentum. The Taliban's advances, including seizing six provincial capitals within days, may appear startling in their speed but…

UK warns Britons in Afghanistan to leave immediately

BRITAIN has warned all UK nationals in Afghanistan to leave the country immediately due to the "worsening security situation" as Taliban forces sweep across the country.  The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on Friday (6) updated its website to advise against all travel to Afghanistan. "All British nationals in Afghanistan…

Taliban close border crossing with Pakistan, call for visa-free travel

THE Taliban closed a key border crossing with Pakistan on Friday (6), saying no one would be allowed through it until Islamabad dropped or relaxed its visa requirements for Afghans. The Taliban, wresting control of a large part of Afghanistan in the wake of the withdrawal of US and other…

Pakistan has other ‘options’, Imran Khan’s aide tells US

UPSET over US president Joe Biden's reluctance to telephonically contact prime minister Imran Khan, Pakistan's national security adviser Moeed Yusuf has said Islamabad has “other options" if the American leader continues to ignore the country's leadership. "The president of the United States hasn't spoken to the prime minister of such…

Pakistan says Afghans must compromise for peace settlement

PAKISTAN’S national security advisor said Wednesday (4) that Afghanistan's government and the Taliban must both compromise and reach a peace settlement as the insurgents made rapid gains amid a US troop withdrawal. Wrapping up a week of talks in Washington, Moeed Yusuf played down the level of influence on the…

Pakistan has a lot to gain from Afghan peace: US

THE US said Pakistan has a lot to gain and will continue to have a critical role in the Afghan peace process. “We do appreciate Pakistan's efforts to advance the Afghan peace process and stability in South Asia, including by encouraging the Taliban to engage in substantive negotiations,” state department…

New US programme offers refuge to more Afghans

THE US state department has announced a new programme to offer thousands of Afghans, who may be targets of Taliban violence due to their US affiliations, an opportunity to resettle as refugees. The new 'Priority Two' refugee programme, will cover Afghans who worked for US-funded projects and for US-based non-government…

Ex-Canadian minister accuses Pakistan of engaging in ‘proxy war’ in…

FORMER Canadian minister Chris Alexander has accused Pakistan of being complicit in “proxy war and war crimes” and engaging in an "act of aggression" against neighbouring Afghanistan. Alexander, who served as Canada's minister of citizenship and immigration from 2013 to 2015, said in a tweet on Sunday (1), "Taliban fighters…

Pakistan government is not spokesperson for Taliban: Imran Khan

PAKISTAN’S government is not a spokesperson for the Taliban and Islamabad cannot be held responsible for the actions of the insurgent group in Afghanistan, prime minister Imran Khan has said. In his comments to Afghan media representatives that were aired on Thursday (29), Khan also said Pakistan will have good…

Road to ruin: Double tax and bandits on Pakistan-Afghan trade…

THE Taliban's capture of a key Afghan-Pakistan border post has sent trucking costs soaring, with insurgents and government officials separately taxing traders, and bandits demanding bribes to allow safe passage of goods. Thousands of vehicles cross daily from Chaman in southwestern Pakistan to Spin Boldak on the other side of…

Afghanistan will become ‘pariah state’ if Taliban seize power, says…

Afghanistan would become a "pariah state" if the Taliban take control by force, US secretary of state Antony Blinken said on Wednesday (27), as a top-level delegation from the insurgent group visited China to assure officials of their international obligations. "An Afghanistan that does not respect the rights of its…

US, India must stand together to fight ‘democratic recession’, says…

IN his first official visit to India, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday (28) issued a veiled warning about Indian democracy backsliding. Blinken told civil society groups -- his first appointment before meeting Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Modi -- that the US and India are "connected by…

Chinese national wounded in gun attack in Pakistan

A CHINESE national was wounded in a gun attack in the southern Pakistani megacity of Karachi on Wednesday (28), police said, in the latest assault targeting Chinese citizens in the country. Local police said two masked assailants riding on a motorbike fired at a car carrying two Chinese nationals, who…

Pakistan reopens Afghan border crossing at Chaman

PAKISTAN has reopened a major southwestern border crossing with Afghanistan that is currently under Taliban control on the Afghan side, Pakistani customs officials said. The measure allowed more than 100 trucks carrying goods to cross into Afghanistan. The Chaman-Spin Boldak crossing, a key port for a landlocked Afghanistan, had been…

Afghan soldiers seek refuge in Pakistan as Taliban advances

DOZENS of Afghan soldiers sought refuge in Pakistan after losing control of military positions across the border following advances by Taliban insurgents, Pakistan's army said on Monday (26). Hundreds of Afghan army soldiers and civil officials have fled to neighbouring Tajikistan, Iran and Pakistan in recent weeks after Taliban offensives…

Bus blast probe likely to figure in China-Pakistan talks

PAKISTAN foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi to discuss several bilateral issues, including the security of thousands of Chinese workers in Pakistan. The meeting has assumed significance after a blast in a bus in northwest Pakistan killed nine Chinese engineers and jolted…

No evidence Afghan ambassador’s daughter was kidnapped: Pakistan

AN INVESTIGATION into the alleged kidnapping of the Afghan ambassador's daughter has found no evidence of an abduction, Pakistan's interior minister said Tuesday (20), as relations between the two countries become increasingly strained. The Afghan foreign ministry said Saturday (17) that Silsila Alikhil was riding in a taxi in Islamabad…

Pakistan seeks Afghan cooperation to probe kidnap of envoy’s daughter

PAKISTAN has said it is waiting for information from the Afghan government in an investigation into the brief kidnapping of the Afghan ambassador's daughter in Islamabad. The statement comes after Afghanistan raised questions over the credibility of the probe. Silsila Alikhil, 26, the daughter of Afghanistan's ambassador to Pakistan, told…

Body of photojournalist returns to India, hundreds attend funeral

Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui was buried in India's capital on Sunday (18), two days after he was killed covering fighting between Afghan security forces and the Taliban near a border crossing with Pakistan. Siddiqui, an Indian national with the Reuters news agency, was embedded with Afghan special forces in…

Foreign missions in Kabul urge Taliban ceasefire

FIFTEEN diplomatic missions and the NATO representative in Kabul joined hands on Monday (19) to urge the Taliban to halt military offensives across Afghanistan, just hours after a peace meeting in Doha failed to agree on a ceasefire. A delegation of senior Afghan leaders met the Taliban's political leadership in…

Afghanistan withdraws ambassador, diplomats from Islamabad

Afghanistan has withdrawn its ambassador and diplomats from Pakistan's capital following the kidnapping of the ambassador Najib Alikhil's daughter, the Afghan foreign ministry said on Sunday (18), a new blow to relations at a sensitive time for the Afghan peace process. The daughter of Afghanistan's ambassador to Pakistan was seized…

Young Pakistani’s Taliban idealism ends with death in Afghanistan

The last time Abdul Rasheed's family saw him alive was in May, when the young Pakistani left for Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban. He returned home last week in a cardboard coffin. The militant group is waging an offensive across Afghanistan's countryside, snapping up territory and leaving the Afghan…

Daughter of Afghan envoy to Pakistan kidnapped, ‘severely tortured’

THE daughter of Afghanistan’s ambassador to Pakistan was briefly kidnapped and “severely tortured” by unknown assailants in Islamabad, the Afghan government said on Saturday (17).   Silsila Alikhil, the daughter of Afghan envoy Najibullah Alikhel, was held for several hours on Friday (16) in Islamabad by some unidentified persons who…

‘Taxi drivers interrogated’ in abduction case of Afghan envoy’s daughter

PAKISTAN on Sunday (18) said the taxi drivers who drove the daughter of Afghan envoy before her abduction were interrogated and a first information report was registered in the case. The 26-year-old daughter of Afghanistan's ambassador to Pakistan was on Friday (16) “abducted, tortured and assaulted" by unknown persons in…

Pakistan allows thousands to cross Afghan border

PAKISTAN on Saturday (17) partially reopened its southern crossing with Afghanistan, shut off since the Taliban seized control of the strategic border town on the other side. Thousands of Afghans were left stranded in the Pakistani town of Chaman after militants captured Spin Boldak from Kabul's forces on Wednesday (14),…

US, Pakistan to be part of new quad group

THE US, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan have agreed in principle to establish a new quadrilateral diplomatic platform focused on enhancing regional connectivity, the Biden administration has said. “The parties consider long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan critical to regional connectivity and agree that peace and regional connectivity are mutually reinforcing,”…

Reuters photographer Danish Siddiqui captured the people behind the story

Danish Siddiqui, the Reuters journalist killed in crossfire on Friday (16) covering the war in Afghanistan, was a largely self-taught photographer who scaled the heights of his profession while documenting wars, riots and human suffering. A native of New Delhi, Siddiqui, 38, is survived by his wife Rike and two…

Afghan forces fighting to retake Pakistan border crossing

AFGHAN forces clashed on Friday (16) with Taliban fighters in Spin Boldak after launching an operation to retake the key border crossing with Pakistan, as regional capitals stepped up efforts to get the warring sides talking. Dozens of wounded Taliban fighters were being treated at a Pakistan hospital near the…

Pulitzer-winning photojournalist killed in Afghanistan

PULITZER Prize winner Danish Siddiqui, whose photographs of mass cremations and cemeteries in India during the second wave of Covid-19 were published by various media outlets worldwide, died on Friday (16) while reporting in Afghanistan's Kandahar. A photographer since 2010, Siddiqui's recent work included drone images of funeral pyres during…

Pakistan forces use tear gas as mob attempts to cross…

PAKISTAN security forces used tear gas on Thursday (15) to disperse hundreds of people who tried to force their way across the border from Chaman to Spin Boldak in Afghanistan. Pakistan officials closed the border on Wednesday (14) after the Taliban seized Spin Boldak and raised insurgent flags above the…

UK will work with Taliban should they come to power,…

BRITISH defence secretary Ben Wallace said the United Kingdom was prepared to work with the Taliban if it enters into a power-sharing government. "Whatever the government of the day is, provided it adheres to certain international norms, the UK government will engage with it," he was quoted as saying to…

‘Won’t let Afghan situation affect Pakistan’

PAKISTAN said the federal government will ensure that the country will be insulated from fallouts if Afghanistan plunges into a civil war after a complete withdrawal of American troops. “Even if Afghanistan descends into a civil war, the government will not let the fallout affect Pakistan,” federal information and broadcasting…

Mary Akrami, fighting to keep Afghan women’s shelters open

Gathered around a tandoori oven in the kitchen of a small Kabul restaurant, a group of Afghan women prepare naan for their lunchtime customers. They are all survivors of domestic violence, and many will never be able to return to their families. Mary Akrami, the founder of the shelter where…

Militants kill three Pakistani soldiers near Afghan border

MILITANTS killed three Pakistani soldiers close to the border with Afghanistan in the north Waziristan tribal region, security sources said on Monday (5). The militants fired on a checkpost in Spinwam district, in the latest of a spate of attacks on security forces, government officials, and suspected collaborators in north…

India probes suspected drone attack at Jammu air base

IN what was called a drone attack by Pakistan-based terrorists for the first time, two bombs were dropped at the Indian Air Force (IAF) station in Jammu airport in the early hours of Sunday (June 27), officials said. The airport where the blasts took place is used for VVIP movements…

Pakistan seeks ‘even-handed’ relationship with US: Imran Khan

PAKISTAN is seeking a "civilised" and "even-handed" relationship with Washington like the one that existed between the US and the UK or with India "right now", prime minister Imran Khan has said, underlining the role Islamabad could play in the region, including in Afghanistan after America leaves the war-torn country.…

Hosting American bases may lead to revenge attacks in Pakistan:…

PAKISTAN prime minister Imran Khan has ruled out hosting American bases in his country for military action inside war-torn Afghanistan, fearing it might lead to Pakistan being "targeted in revenge attacks" by terrorists. In an opinion piece in The Washington Post ahead of US president Joe Biden's meeting with top…

India’s presence in Afghanistan is larger than it ought to…

WITH India stepping up its diplomatic activities in Afghanistan's peace process as the US prepares for withdrawal of its troops, Pakistan has said “at times” it feels that New Delhi's presence in the war-torn country “is perhaps larger than it ought to be". Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi's remarks…

‘I hope to find someone who’ll love me and take…

By Amit Roy MALALA YOUSAFZAI is now a young woman of 23 and has talked, probably for the first time, about finding love. The activist for girls’ edu­cation is now so famous that she is known by her first name. She has just spent three days in London being glammed…

Pakistan remains US focus for base after pullout from Afghanistan:…

THE US is still focusing on Pakistan for a military base after American troops leave Afghanistan this year, although no substantial progress has been made in the negotiations between the two countries, according to a media report. Pakistan effectively demanded that the American military or CIA need its approval for…

Pakistan seeks Afghan settlement before foreign troop pullout: Khan

Prime minister Imran Khan said Pakistan is pushing for a political settlement in Afghanistan before foreign troops leave later this year, to reduce the risk of civil war in its western neighbour. The United States has said it will withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan on Sept. 11 after a…

Imran Khan: Ready for talks if India gives roadmap to…

PAKISTAN prime minister Imran Khan said he will resume talks with India if New Delhi provides a roadmap towards restoring the previous status of Kashmir. India and Pakistan control parts of Kashmir but claim it in full. In 2019, India withdrew Jammu and Kashmir's autonomy, sparking outrage in Pakistan, the…

You can have voice within your culture: Malala Yousafzai

NOBEL Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai said it is possible to have a voice and equality within one’s culture which may seem orthodox and patriarchal. In an interview, the activist, who appears on the cover page of British Vogue magazine’s July edition, said the headscarf she wears is her cultural…

Taliban warns Afghan neighbours against allowing US bases

THE TALIBAN warned Afghanistan's neighbours on Wednesday (26) against allowing the United States to operate military bases on their soil, with the insurgents insisting they would thwart any such "heinous and provocative acts". Washington is in the final stages of withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan, and a flurry of diplomatic…

China offers to host Afghan peace talks, backs leading role…

CHINA, which has stepped up its diplomacy between Pakistan and Afghanistan in the wake of the US troops’ withdrawal from the war-torn country, has offered to host peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, who in the last two days held telephone talks…

CIA operation resulted in vaccine hesitancy in Pakistan: Findings

A FAKE vaccination drive the CIA conducted to seek out Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan has led to a drop in immunization rates by almost two-fifths in areas where political extremists find strong tractions, according to findings in the Journal of the European Economic Association. The CIA…

Sadiq Khan: London’s feisty mayor wins second term

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who won re-election on Saturday, has risen from humble roots to spar with prime ministers and presidents since taking charge of the British capital five years ago. The 50-year-old Labour party politician, a former human rights lawyer brought up on a London public housing complex, won…

Pakistan says 4 soldiers killed in ambush by Afghan militants…

FOUR Pakistani soldiers were killed and six others were wounded along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border on Wednesday (5) in an ambush by militants from Afghanistan, Pakistan's military said, as the soldiers were doing controversial border fencing work. The soldiers were working on fencing along the border in Zhob district, an area…

Ten years after his death, Bin Laden still haunts Pakistan

Children play cricket in a patch of scorched grass and scattered rubble in Abbottabad -- all that remains of the final lair of the man who was once the most wanted person on the planet. It was in this Pakistani city that Osama bin Laden was killed in the clandestine…

Pakistan Taliban claim deadly blast at luxury hotel

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility on Thursday for a deadly suicide blast at a luxury hotel hosting the Chinese ambassador in the southwest of the country, as officials raised the death toll to five. Beijing said it strongly condemned the attack, although the Taliban said Pakistan security officials were the…

Quitting the Great Game

By Amit Roy NOW that the US and the UK have announced they are to withdraw all their remain­ing troops out of Afghanistan by September 11, 2021, the chances are the Taliban will eventually makes its way back to power. As a consequence, girls will be stopped from going to…

Removal of US, NATO troops from Afghanistan may cause ‘tremendous…

INDIA could face the possible consequences of a resurgent Taliban after US and NATO troops leave Afghanistan by September, experts have cautioned, as they noted the likelihood of the war-torn country being used as a safe abode by terrorists. US president Joe Biden said on Wednesday (14) that all American…

Biden warns Taliban, presses Pakistan as he announces Afghan exit

US president Joe Biden has said India, Pakistan, Russia, China, and Turkey have a significant stake in the stable future of Afghanistan. Biden added that these regional stakeholders should do more to bring peace in this war-torn country, from where he will withdraw all American troops by September 11. Notably…

UAE is mediating between India and Pakistan, says senior diplomat

THE United Arab Emirates' (UAE) envoy to Washington confirmed the Gulf state is mediating between India and Pakistan to help the nuclear-armed rivals reach a 'healthy and functional' relationship. Top intelligence officers from India and Pakistan held secret talks in Dubai in January in a new effort to calm military…

Mass grave of kidnapped miners unearthed in Pakistan

The decomposed bodies of 16 miners kidnapped nearly a decade ago in northwestern Pakistan have been found in a mass grave, officials said Friday. The miners went missing in December 2011 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province -- once a stronghold of Pakistan's Taliban, who raised funds by kidnapping workers for ransom.…

US envoy meets Pakistan army chief to discuss Afghan peace…

The US special envoy for Afghanistan and the commander of NATO forces there met Pakistan's army chief on Monday to discuss the Afghan peace process at a pivotal juncture for the stalled negotiations. Pakistan is the third country that US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has visited in the last week…

Malala signs Apple TV deal to produce new dramas, documentaries

NOBEL Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has partnered with Apple TV+ to produce dramas and documentaries that focus on women and children. Malala and her production company, Extracurricular, is expanding an already existing partnership with Apple, a blog post on the company's website said on Monday (8). In 2018, the…

Malala says her dream is to see India and Pakistan…

NOBEL LAUREATE Malala Yousafzai has said that her dream is to see India and Pakistan become 'good friends'. She added that the old philosophy of having borders and divisions doesn't work anymore and the people in both the countries want to live in peace. Malala was speaking on her book…

Pakistan army kills militant after female aid workers’ murder

Pakistani security forces on Tuesday killed a notorious Taliban commander who they believed was involved in the murder of four women aid workers in the country's northwest, the army said. Militant commander Hassan alias Sajna was killed during a gunfight after soldiers raided a hideout in the village of Mir…

US, Pakistan generals discuss Biden’s potential Afghanistan withdrawal

Senior US and Pakistani military officials spoke in Islamabad on Friday about the possibility of postponing the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, a move currently under review by US president Joe Biden's administration. The meeting comes with the US expected to announce in the coming days whether it will…

Malala: On a Desert Island with Plato, Pakistani music and…

  By Amit Roy AS A special treat for BBC Radio 4 listeners on Valentine’s Day last Sunday (14), Malala Yousafzai appeared on Desert Island Discs when she revealed many of her thoughts, feelings and interests. The presenter, Lauren Laverne, said her guest, who was very near­ly killed by the…

Pakistani activist fears for father after jailing

A prominent Pakistani activist who fled into exile voiced fear on Wednesday for the life of her father, saying he was thrown back in jail in what she sees as retribution for her outspokenness. Gulalai Ismail, who won international recognition for her campaigns for girls before falling afoul with authorities,…

Imran Khan accuses Shiite protesters of ‘blackmail’

Pakistan's prime minister Imran Khan on Friday (8) accused Hazara Shiite protesters of blackmailing him, as they refused for a sixth day to bury the bodies of miners killed in a brutal attack claimed by the Islamic State group. The 10 miners from the minority community were kidnapped near a…

Hazara Shiites refuse to bury dead as Pakistan protest continues

Hundreds of mourners in Pakistan protested on Wednesday (6) for a fourth day alongside the bodies of miners killed in a brutal attack claimed by the Islamic State (Daesh) group, as officials urged them to bury their dead. Up to 2,500 people from the minority Shiite Hazara community have since…

Shiites mourn miners killed in Pakistan attack claimed by Islamic…

Islamic State (Daesh) claimed responsibility for an attack on Sunday (3) that killed 11 miners from Pakistan’s minority Shi’ite Hazaras in Baluchistan province. The attack took place early on Sunday morning in the Mach area of Bolan district around 100 kms southeast of Baluchistan's capital Quetta, killing the miners who…

Pakistan court orders release of mastermind behind Daniel Pearl murder

A court in Pakistan on Thursday (24) ordered the release of a British-born militant convicted of murdering American journalist Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and beheaded in the southern city of Karachi in 2002. The decision by Sindh High Court comes months after it sparked outrage for overturning the murder…

Appeal opens against acquittal of Briton convicted in Daniel Pearl…

An appeal against the controversial acquittal of a British-born militant convicted of murdering American journalist Daniel Pearl opened at a Pakistani court on Tuesday (1). A Karachi court sparked outrage earlier this year when it overturned the 2002 murder conviction of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, and acquitted three other men…

Pakistan court opens appeal against acquittal of British-born militant convicted…

AN appeal against the controversial acquittal of a British-born militant convicted of murdering American journalist Daniel Pearl opened at a Pakistani court on Tuesday (1). A Karachi court sparked outrage earlier this year when it overturned the 2002 murder conviction of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, and acquitted three other men…

Massive crowds attend funeral for Pakistani firebrand cleric

Massive crowds of maskless mourners gathered in Lahore on Saturday for the funeral of hardline Pakistani cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi, who for years terrorised the country's religious minorities, incited riots and advocated the destruction of European nations in the name of fighting blasphemy. Vast throngs of men were seen packing…

Pakistan’s ‘university of jihad’ proud of Taliban alumni

Maulana Yousaf Shah cracks a wide smile as he rattles off a list of former students turned Taliban leaders, revelling in their victories over superpowers on Afghanistan's battlefields after graduating from Pakistan's "university of jihad". The Darul Uloom Haqqania seminary has churned out a who's who of Taliban top brass…

India denies Pakistan’s allegations over funding of militant groups

India on Sunday denied allegations by its arch-rival Pakistan that New Delhi had helped fund militant groups on Pakistani soil, with a foreign ministry spokesman dismissing them as "fabricated" and "figments of imagination". Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Saturday the country would present its evidence to the…

‘Biden admin likely to be pragmatic in dealing with Pakistan,…

The Biden administration is likely to be pragmatic in its dealings with Pakistan, pressing Islamabad to act on terrorism related issues and support America's endeavours for peace in Afghanistan, according to a former top Pakistani diplomat. There may be a resumption of the strategic dialogue process with Pakistan, but it…

Huge anti-France rally in Bangladesh as Macron backlash widens

Tens of thousands of protesters marched through the Bangladesh capital on Tuesday in the biggest anti-France rally since president Emmanuel Macron defended cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed. Muslims across the world have reacted furiously to Macron's robust defence of the right to mock religion following the murder of a French…

Bomb blast at a religious school in Pakistan kills seven

A bomb blast at a religious seminary in the Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday(27)  killed at least seven people and wounded more than 80, police and hospital officials said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bomb in the northwestern city, near the border with Afghanistan, which…

Malala’s experiences of terrorism and trolling

By Amit Roy POLITICS in Britain has become so toxic, even at university, that Malala Yousafzai has been trolled for voicing her support for a close friend who was standing to be president of the Oxford University Conservative Association. Intentionally or otherwise, the Daily Telegraph ran the Malala sto­ry above…

Afghan official Abdullah in Pakistan for talks on peace bid

Senior Afghan peace official Abdullah Abdullah arrived in Pakistan on Monday (28) for meetings in a country seen as vital to the success of Afghan talks aimed at ending decades of war. During his three-day visit to Islamabad, Abdullah, a former foreign minister and chairman of Afghanistan's High Council for…

Two sentenced to death for deadly 2012 Pakistan factory fire

Two men were sentenced to death on Tuesday (22) for starting a fire at a Pakistan garment factory that killed over 260 people in 2012. A Karachi court found Mohammad Zubair and Abdul Rehman guilty of arson, ruling the pair intentionally set the Ali Enterprises factory ablaze after the owner…

‘Are you Taliban?’: Passengers assault Sikh musician-turned-cabbie in Reading

By S Neeraj Krishna POLICE have launched an investigation after a Sikh music teacher, who had taken up taxi driving due to Covid constraints, was assaulted by passengers in an alleged hate crime in Reading. Vaneet Singh, 41, said that a group of four men slapped and shoved him, after…

Daesh offshoots continue to grow globally even after Syria rout:…

DAESH continues to expand globally with about 20 offshoots, despite being crushed in Syria, a top US counter-terror official has said. The Islamic State group "has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to rebound from severe losses over the past six years by relying on a dedicated cadre of veteran mid-level commanders,…

Historic Afghan peace talks begin in Doha, 19 years after…

PEACE talks opened between the Taliban and the Afghan government on Saturday (12), with the warring parties meeting face to face in Qatar even as violence continued on the ground in Afghanistan. Abdullah Abdullah, the former chief executive for Afghanistan who is heading the peace process for Kabul, called for…

Trump set to announce US troop withdrawals from Iraq, Afghanistan

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump is expected to announce further troop withdrawals on Wednesday (9) from Afghanistan and from Iraq, where several thousand US troops hunting down jihadist sleeper cells have faced increasing attacks blamed on pro-Iran factions. The deadly bomb and rocket attacks have put additional pressure on Iraqi Prime…

Taliban political team in Pakistan to talk Afghan peace push

A Taliban political team arrived in Pakistan on Monday (24) as efforts appear to be ramping up to get negotiations underway between the Afghan government and the insurgents. The start of the talks, envisaged under a US-Taliban peace agreement signed in February, was hampered by a series of delays that…

Pakistan sanctions Taliban to avoid global finance blacklist

PAKISTAN issued sweeping financial sanctions against Afghanistan’s Taliban, just as the militant group is in the midst of US-led peace process in the neighboring country. The orders, which were made public late on Friday (21), identified dozens of individuals, including the Taliban’s chief peace negotiator Abdul Ghani Baradar and several…

‘Holy warrior’ selfies: Pakistan teen feted for killing US blasphemy…

Faisal Khan, a 15-year-old Pakistani, beams for selfies with lawyers and police. Thousands hail him in the streets as a "holy warrior." His claim to adulation? Allegedly gunning down in open court an American accused of blasphemy, a capital crime in this Islamic republic. Khan is charged with murder, which…

Book by writer Hamed Amiri focuses on NHS’ dedication to…

By Amit Roy THIS is a sad story, which is also a very inspiring one, about how the NHS did its best to look after Hussein Amiri, who arrived in Britain in 2001 as a 14-year-old refugee from Afghan­istan with his parents, Mohammed and Fariba, and his young­er brothers, Hamed…

Six people killed in attack on Pakistan Stock Exchange

AT LEAST six people were killed when gunmen attacked the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi on Monday (29), with a policeman among the dead after the assailants opened fire and hurled a grenade at the trading floor, police said. The assault was claimed by ethnic Baloch separatists who have hit…

Pakistan PM Imran Khan slammed for saying bin Laden was…

PAKISTAN's prime minister Imran Khan faced a growing backlash after he said former Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had been "martyred". Khan made the comment in parliament as he was describing the history of Pakistan's troubled relations with the US since American special forces killed bin Laden in 2011 in…

Malala looks forward to ‘Netflix, reading, sleeping’ as she graduates…

MALALA YOUSAFZAI, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner who once took a bullet for campaigning for girls' education in Pakistan, has graduated from Oxford University. Malala, 22, who attended the Lady Margaret Hall college, took to Twitter to share two pictures that show her celebrating the milestone with her family.…

Virus lockdowns stifle Eid celebrations as infections rise

Muslims around the world marked a sombre beginning to Eid al-Fitr on Sunday (24), many under coronavirus lockdown, but lax restrictions offered respite to worshippers in some countries despite fears of skyrocketing infections. The three-day festival, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, is traditionally celebrated with…

Pakistan’s counter-terrorism steps important but not irreversible: US

The Trump administration is pressing Islamabad to take "credible steps" to dismantle the terror groups operating from its soil, a top US diplomat has said, describing Islamabad's recent counter-terrorism mesaures like the prosecution and conviction of JuD chief Hafiz Saeed as important but not irreversible. Speaking at an Atlantic Council-organised…

My top 10 favourite reads – Anju Gattani

Duty And Desire by Anju Gattani: The debut in the Winds of Fire series, Duty and Desire follows the story of Sheetal Prasad, a modern young Indian woman, and the twist of fate when she is forced to marry playboy millionaire Rakesh Dhanraj. Secrets, lies and deceptions tear apart Sheetal’s…

Parents of murdered US journalist Daniel Pearl appeal acquittals

The parents of murdered US journalist Daniel Pearl filed an appeal with Pakistan's Supreme Court Saturday to reverse a decision overturning the longstanding convictions of four men in the case. A Karachi court sparked outrage last month when it acquitted British-born militant Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and three other men…

Four acquitted in Daniel Pearl murder rearrested pending appeal

Four men acquitted in the kidnapping and killing of American journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan have been rearrested and will stay in jail while prosecutors appeal the ruling, officials said. A Pakistani court sparked US outrage on Thursday after it quashed the murder conviction of British-born militant Ahmed Omar Saeed…

Pakistan court acquits four in Daniel Pearl murder case

A court in Pakistan on Thursday (4) acquitted all four defendants, including the main accused British-born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, in the 2002 murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl, the lawyers and the court record said. Omar Saeed Sheikh’s death sentence commuted to 7 years in prison, already served. He…

Coronavirus forcing parents to skip kids’ vaccinations: UNICEF

The novel coronavirus pandemic that has forced billions of people across the globe to stay home is making parents skip routine immunisations for their kids, the United Nations children's agency UNICEF warned Thursday. The phenomenon is being aggravated by overburdened health services where medical workers are being diverted from giving…

India condemns terror attack on gurdwara in Afghanistan which killed…

INDIA strongly condemned the terror attack on a gurdwara in Afghanistan's Kabul on Wednesday (25) which killed 11 people. Targeting of a religious place in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak reflects the "diabolical mindset" of the perpetrators and their backers, the external affairs ministry said. Heavily armed gunmen and…

Pakistani Women’s Day marchers hit with stones, sticks

Protesters marking International Women's Day in ultra-conservative Pakistan on Sunday came under attack with stones and sticks, reflecting the movement's challenge in a society where females are still put to death under ancient "honour" codes. During a march in the capital, Islamist counter-protesters hurled sticks and stones at the women's…

Pakistan does not want any security role for India in…

Foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said Pakistan does not want any security role for India in Afghanistan as he accused New Delhi of playing the role of a "spoiler" in the war-torn country, according to a media report. After months of negotiations, the US and Taliban signed a landmark…

Will be meeting Taliban leaders soon: Trump

US president Donald Trump on Saturday (29) said he planned to meet Taliban leaders in the "not-too-distant future", asserting that it was time that the war against terrorism was fought by someone else, particularly the countries in the region. "I will be meeting personally with Taliban leaders in the not-too-distant…

Imran Khan visits Qatar just before US-Taliban peace deal

PAKISTAN prime minister Imran Khan will visit Qatar on Thursday (27), just two days prior to the signing of the peace deal between the US and the Taliban in Doha to end more than 18-year-long Afghan war that has claimed tens of thousands of lives. The US is set to sign a…

Pakistan court orders release of Pashtun rights leader

A Pakistani court on Saturday (15) ordered the release of a Pashtun rights leader critical of the military, his lawyer said, weeks after he was arrested on sedition charges. Manzoor Pashteen, chief of the Pashtun Protection Movement (PTM), was arrested last month on charges of sedition, hate speech, incitement against…

British High Commissioner, team compete in Swat Valley skiing

THE British High Commissioner to Pakistan led the UK’s team in a skiing competition held in the Swat Valley. Dr Christian Turner and his team from the British High Commission in Pakistan competed alongside a host of international teams. The Karakoram International Alpine Ski Cup 2020 is held in Malam…

Surrendered Pakistani Taliban spokesman escapes custody

A leading member of the Pakistan Taliban has escaped custody more than two years after surrendering to authorities, a senior security official said Sunday (9). The confirmation comes days after Ehsanullah Ehsan -- the former spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) -- released an audio message claiming he had escaped…

Malala’s shooter escapes from Pakistan prison

PAKISTAN Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai’s shooter Ehsanullah Ehsan escaped from an Army jail last month. In an audio recording released on Thursday (6) and shared via an online private messaging platform, Ehsanullah claimed that he has escaped from jail on January 11. Speaking in Urdu, Ehsanullah claimed that he had…

Gul Makai movie review: Malala Yousafzai deserves a better biopic

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani girl who has inspired a lot of girls, not just in her country but all over the world. She has made a mark with her achievements and is a role model for many. Director H.E. Amjad Khan has helmed a biopic on her titled Gul…

Reem Shaikh on playing Malala Yousafzai in Gul Makai: I…

H.E. Amjad Khan’s directorial Gul Makai is a biopic on Malala Yousafzai which stars Reem Shaikh in the lead role. Reem Shaikh is known for her stint on the television and currently plays the lead role in TV serial Tujhse Hai Raabta. When we recently met Reem we asked her…

Pakistan police arrest Pashtun rights leader critical of military

A charismatic Pashtun rights leader who repeatedly accused the powerful military of abuse has been arrested in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar, police said Monday. Manzoor Pashteen, chief of the Pashtun Protection Movement (PTM), appeared before a magistrate after being detained shortly after midnight, said police official Shiraz Khan. Khan…

Afghanistan President: Pakistan still shelters insurgents

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani said on Thursday that Pakistan continued to give sanctuary to an insurgent group that helps the Taliban in its war against Kabul and the United States, directly contradicting an earlier statement by Pakistan's prime minister. On Wednesday, prime minister Imran Khan of Pakistan told reporters at…

Will Gul Makai release in Pakistan? Here’s what director H.E.…

Gul Makai is a biopic on Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl, who fought against the Taliban for the education of girls. Malala became a household name and won many international awards for her bravery. Well, we all know that from the past few years, Indian films are not allowed to…

Trump says US ready to ‘help’ in India-Pakistan Kashmir dispute

President Donald Trump said the United States was watching developments between India and Pakistan over Kashmir "very closely" and was prepared to help if necessary, but did not say how. Speaking ahead of talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, Trump said…

Biopic on Malala Yousafzai to hit the screens on January…

Gul Makai, a biopic on Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, is slated to be released on January 31, 2020. The film has been directed by HE Amjad Khan and produced by Sanjay Singla. It is presented by Jayantilal Gada and Tekno Films. Actor Reem Shaikh will star as Malala.…

BRAC founder Fazle Hasan Abed dies aged 83

Fazle Hasan Abed, the founder of the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), one of the world's largest NGOs, has died in Dhaka aged 83, the charity said. Abed passed away while undergoing treatment for a brain tumour, according to a BRAC statement released Friday. "We will honour his legacy with…

India, US urge Pakistan to take ‘immediate action’ against terrorists

India and the US on Thursday (19) asked Pakistan to take "immediate and irreversible action" to ensure that no territory under its control is used for terrorism against other countries and to prosecute the perpetrators of cross-border terror attacks, including Mumbai and Pathankot strikes. The two countries also asked Pakistan…

US promises to consider India in Afghan withdrawal

The United States promised on Wednesday (18) to take into account India's concerns as it looks to pull out of Afghanistan, in high-level talks aimed at boosting the two democracies' emerging alliance. The talks in Washington came against the backdrop of major protests in India over a citizenship law that…

US to restart Taliban talks after Trump green light

The US negotiator on Afghanistan will shortly resume talks with the Taliban and seek efforts toward a ceasefire, officials said Wednesday, three months after President Donald Trump abruptly halted diplomatic efforts that could end America's longest war. Zalmay Khalilzad has arrived in Kabul to meet President Ashraf Ghani, a senior…

Months after abrupt halt, Trump gives blessing for Taliban deal

Nearly three months after he abruptly ended talks with the Taliban, President Donald Trump has given his blessing to fresh diplomacy, but major obstacles stand in the way of a deal to end the Afghanistan war. Chief among the questions is how to address the soaring violence in Afghanistan --…

US backs sustained Indian role in Afghanistan

The United States said that it supported continued Indian involvement in Afghanistan, even as president Donald Trump looks to withdraw troops. India is one of the most enthusiastic backers of Afghanistan's government, contributing more than $3 billion since the 2001 US-led invasion toppled the Taliban, who harbored virulently anti-Indian militants.…

Translation of controversial Pakistani novel A Case of Exploding Mangoes…

Featuring bumbling generals, assassination plots, and homosexual romance, Pakistani military satire A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif has finally been released in the country's official language Urdu - even as the army tightens its grip on freedom of expression. The former fighter pilot turned journalist, novelist and librettist…

Who are the Haqqanis, Afghanistan’s most feared insurgents?

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani announced on Tuesday (12) that he will free Anas Haqqani, the brother of a feared militant leader whose eponymous group is considered one of the most dangerous factions fighting Afghan and US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan. The release of Haqqani and two other high-ranking Taliban prisoners…

Bangladesh bans fringe Islamist group

Bangladesh has banned a radical Islamist group over a threat to the Muslim-majority country's "security and safety", officials said, as the government steps up a crackdown against extremists. The South Asian nation has been ravaged by Islamist extremism since the late 1990s after jihadists who fought in the war in…

Kabul soap factory helps former addicts stay clean

A young Afghan mother of seven sits on a red woollen rug alongside four other women who are slicing huge slabs of handmade, flowery soap into smaller bars. She is one of about 20 female employees -- many of them recovering drug addicts -- working part time on an organic…

Mullah on the march: Pakistan cleric takes on Imran Khan

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan faces the first major challenge to his leadership as a grey-bearded, orange-turbaned rival he calls "Maulana Diesel" marches to Islamabad with thousands of Islamists hoping to bring down the government. Maulana Fazlur Rehman -- one of the country's most seasoned political operators -- has dominated…

Father of Pakistani activist who fled to US arrested

A Pakistani security agency said on Friday it had arrested the father of a prominent political activist for spreading hate of the state on social media. Muhammad Ismail was detained on Thursday after leaving a court in the northwestern city of Peshawar. A US official had earlier raised concern about…

Deeply concerned over human rights abuses, religious discrimination in Pakistan:…

DESCRIBING shrinking space for civil society and media freedom in Pakistan as "troubling", the US has said it remains "deeply concerned" over reports of human rights abuses and discrimination faced by people in the country because of their faith. It urged the Pakistani government to uphold the rule of law…

Al-Qaeda’s South Asian chief killed in Afghanistan

India-born Asim Umar, the chief of the Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), has been killed during a joint US-Afghan raid on a Taliban hideout in Afghanistan's Helmand province, Afghan officials said on Tuesday (8). Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri had announced the formation of the AQIS to take the fight…

Taliban release three Indian engineers, insurgents say

The Taliban have released three Indian engineers who were kidnapped in Afghanistan last year, Taliban sources told AFP on Monday (7), as part of an apparent prisoner swap that saw 11 insurgents released. In May 2018, the Taliban seized six Indian engineers who were working on a power plant project…

Taliban co-founder heads to Pakistan as US envoy visits

Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar was due in Pakistan on Wednesday (2) as US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad also visited, officials said, though it was unclear if they would meet for the first time since Donald Trump scuttled talks between Washington and the Islamist extremists. Insurgent spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted that the…

Pakistan committed one of the biggest blunders by joining US…

Prime minister Imran Khan admitted on Monday (23) said that Pakistan committed "one of the biggest blunders" by joining the US after the 9/11 attacks, saying the previous governments "should not have pledged what they could not deliver." Speaking at a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) think-tank event, Khan also…

Pakistan prime minister presses Trump to seek Taliban, Kashmir deals

Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan on Monday pressed US president Donald Trump to restart talks with Afghanistan's Taliban and said Washington has a "duty" to calm the Kashmir standoff with India. "Stability in Afghanistan means stability in Pakistan," Khan said at the start of a meeting with Trump on the…

Home Office urged to overhaul its asylum system to avoid…

THE British government has been urged to overhaul its systems to ensure that the Windrush generation mistakes are not repeated. Lessons Not Learned, the report published on Wednesday (18) by Freedom from Torture and seven other leading organisations, exposes the government's "historical and systemic failures of asylum decision-making." The report…

Government’s extremism adviser urges politicians to watch their words

THE government's chief adviser on extremism has urged politicians from across the divide to be careful of their language, pointing out that they risk provoking violence, it was reported on Monday (16). Sara Khan, who leads the Commission for Countering Extremism, told the Guardian that inflammatory language was undermining the…

Malala urges UN to help Kashmiri children go back to…

Nobel Peace Prize winner and Pakistani education rights activist Malala Yousafzai has urged the UN to work towards peace in Kashmir and help children in the Valley to go back to school. Taking to Twitter, Malala, 22, said she was deeply concerned about reports that Kashmiri students "have not been…

Trump confirms death of Al-Qaeda heir Hamza bin Laden

US president Donald Trump on Saturday (14) confirmed that Hamza bin Laden, the son and designated heir of Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, was killed in a counter-terrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. US media reported more than a month ago, citing intelligence officials, that the younger Bin Laden had…

US, Taliban keep open door to talks after summit scrapped

The United States and Afghanistan's Taliban on Sunday (8) both left the door open to fresh talks after president Donald Trump abruptly cancelled a secret summit, but the insurgents threatened to inflict greater costs. Washington also said it would not relent in fighting the militants after Trump blamed the scuttling…

On again, off again: Erratic history of talks with the…

A secret US summit with the Taliban and Afghanistan's leader, abruptly cancelled by president Donald Trump on Saturday (7), was not the first time Washington has sought a deal with the Islamists. Since well before the US invasion Washington has tried to obtain promises from the Taliban, resulting in a…

Tan Dhesi challenges Johnson over ‘hurtful’ veil comments

  By Rithika Siddhartha LABOUR MP Tan Dhesi prompted unprecedented applause in the Commons this afternoon (4) as he challenged prime minister Boris Johnson over the use of his language describing women wearing veils as looking like letterboxes. Dhesi, a turban wearing Sikh who represents Slough, said: “If I wear…

Trump: Other countries, including India and Pakistan, must shoulder fight…

US president Donald Trump said Wednesday (21) that other countries must assume the battle against Islamic extremists as the US negotiates a withdrawal from Afghanistan. He also warned Europeans to take back nationals captured fighting for the Islamic State, or he will release them back to their countries. Asked by…

Fears in US of bad peace deal with the Taliban

An Afghanistan peace agreement that the US seems close to reaching with the Taliban has prompted worries that president Donald Trump's desire to quickly withdraw US troops could further plunge the country into civil war. Trump said Friday he was pleased with talks on ending the war, 18 years after…

Trump urges India-Pakistan talks on Kashmir in call with Imran…

US president Donald Trump talked by phone on Friday (16)  with Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan and urged that Pakistan engage with India to defuse tensions in the flashpoint region of Kashmir, the White House said. "The president conveyed the importance of India and Pakistan reducing tensions through bilateral dialogue…

Lord Meghnad Desai: Modi and Shah ‘have found a solution…

by LORD MEGHNAD DESAI INDIA’S home minister, Amit Shah, and prime minister, Narendra Modi, achieved a fundamental change last week in abrogating Article 370 and announcing the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir state into two union territories. To understand the significance of the move, you have to go back to…

Activist slams anti-extremism policy as toxic amid row over ‘British…

  By Nadeem Badshah MINISTERS have been criticised by a prominent expert for turning the strategy to tackle extremism into a “toxic brand” which communities are shunning. Hanif Qadir, the founder of the Active Change Foundation (ACF), has worked with around 300,000 young people over 17 years, including more than…

Five things to know about Indian Kashmir’s changed status

The Indian government on Monday (5) issued a presidential order to scrap the constitutionally mandated special status of Kashmir, the country's only Muslim-majority region. Here are five things to know about the unprecedented move: - What is Article 370? - Article 370 gave Jammu and Kashmir state a special position…

US, Taliban push for peace in day two of talks

The US and the Taliban were thrashing out elements of a deal to bring a close to Afghanistan's 18-year conflict at the second day of renewed talks in Doha on Sunday (4). The US, which invaded Afghanistan and toppled the Taliban in 2001, wants to withdraw thousands of troops and…

New York man plotting to travel to Pakistan to join…

A 33-year old New York man, plotting to travel to Pakistan and then to cross the border into Afghanistan to join the Taliban, was arrested and charged with attempting to provide material support for terror plots to kill US nationals and soldiers abroad. Delowar Mohammed Hossain of the Bronx was…

Karachi vice: Pakistani cop channels police stories into gritty novels

His father was assassinated by a notorious Karachi hitman, while his police partner was murdered by the Taliban. Personal tragedy haunts the hard-boiled novels that are turning top cop Omar Shahid Hamid into one of Pakistan's most popular English-language authors. For nearly two decades Hamid has worn a badge in…

Afghanistan seeks clarification after Trump ’10 million’ war dead claim

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani said Tuesday (22) the United States should clarify remarks president Donald Trump made about Afghanistan, including a claim he could easily win the war but didn't "want to kill 10 million people". Trump made several controversial statements a day earlier alongside Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan…

Imran Khan could help broker a political settlement to end…

PRESIDENT Donald Trump voiced optimism on Monday (22) that Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan could help broker a political settlement to end the nearly 18-year-old US war in Afghanistan and held out the possibility of restoring aid to Islamabad. "I think Pakistan is going to help us out to extricate ourselves," Trump said, with Khan…

Trump praises Pakistan’s role in ‘progress’ on Afghan peace

President Donald Trump on Monday (22) hailed Pakistan for its help in advancing peace talks in Afghanistan, in a marked shift in tone as the United States seeks an accord with the Taliban to end more than 18 years of war. Speaking from the Oval Office alongside Pakistan's prime minister…

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan to meet Trump hoping to…

Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan travels to the United States today (21) hoping the arrest of a militant leader with a $10 million US bounty on his head and progress in Afghan peace talks will help secure a favourable reception. Khan is expected to try to mend fences and attract…

Pakistan announces religious school reform ahead of Imran Khan’s US…

Pakistan on Friday (19) said it has agreed with the country's clergy to introduce reforms in madrassa religious schools to bring them in line with conventional schools, curbing hate speech and extremist narratives. The announcement came just before prime minister Imran Khan's visit to Washington for a Monday meeting with…

Books at private Islamic school promoted extremism

Ofsted has rated a private Islamic school in Birmingham "inadequate" after books that supported extremist views were found in its library. The Jamia Islamia Birmingham had in its library books that supported the Islamic State, and others containing "misogynistic messages." On the front page of one book were the words…

Pakistan hopes to ‘refresh’ US ties with PM Khan’s visit

Pakistan expressed hopes on Tuesday (16) that prime minister Imran Khan's maiden trip to the White House later this month would help repair its acrimonious relationship with Washington as the US seeks its help in ending the war in Afghanistan. Observers believe that the nearly 18-year conflict will be the…

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan to meet Trump for talks…

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan will meet US president Donald Trump in Washington later this month, its foreign office said on Thursday (4), a visit that could help to ease tensions between the two countries. Trump late last year accused Pakistan of not doing "a damn thing" for the United…

Politics spices up Pakistan-Afghanistan World Cup tie

Afghanistan v Pakistan is perhaps the World Cup match that cricket fans in the war-weary nation will be watching most intensely. It is a complicated relationship. Many Afghanistan players learned the game growing up as refugees in Pakistan but lots of Afghans also accuse their powerful neighbour of supporting Taliban…

Pakistan foreign minister says trust must be rebuilt with Afghanistan

Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday (22) called for trust to be rebuilt between Islamabad and Kabul as Pakistan began a new initiative to bolster a faltering peace process aiming to end Afghanistan's lengthy civil war. Pakistan on Saturday hosted a conference to bring together more than 50…

Bangladeshi immigrant charged with planning Times Square attack

A New York man who prosecutors say plotted an attack on Times Square, spoke about killing police officers and praised Islamic militants appeared in court on firearms charges on Friday (7) and was denied bail. Bangladeshi-origin Ashiqul Alam, 22, from Jackson Heights in the city's Queens borough, was charged with…

Rashid Khan: from refugee to Afghan World Cup star

Groomed on dusty pitches as a refugee, record-breaking Rashid Khan will face his toughest examination yet at the World Cup, with former coaches confident the Afghan can "dismantle" top batting line-ups. The world's top-rated Twenty20 bowler from the war-torn nation last year made history as the fastest to reach 100…

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan slams hotel attack as bid…

An attack on a luxury hotel in the southwestern city of Gwadar was a bid to "sabotage prosperity", Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan said on Sunday (12), as police confirmed all the attackers had been killed. At least one person was shot dead Saturday after gunmen stormed a luxury hotel…

Five dead in Pakistan luxury hotel attack: military

Five people including a soldier were killed after gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in the southwestern Pakistani city of Gwadar, the centrepiece of a multi-billion dollar Chinese infrastructure project, the military said Sunday. The soldier was among security forces who rushed to the five-star Pearl Continental Hotel after the attack…

Suicide blast at popular Pakistani shrine kills at least 10

A suicide blast at one of Pakistan's oldest and most popular Sufi shrines killed at least 10 people and wounded 24 in the eastern city of Lahore Wednesday, police said, in an attack claimed by the Pakistani Taliban. The blast -- which a faction of the militant group claimed by email…

‘India not too inclined to pursue deeper defence ties with…

India has not shown an inclination to pursue a deeper defence relationship with Afghanistan even as it has been the largest regional contributor to the war-torn country's reconstruction, according to a US Congressional report. US president Donald Trump in his South Asia speech in 2017 encouraged India to play a…

After ‘caliphate’ collapse, jihadists head to Afghanistan to plot attacks,…

Daesh (Islamic State) fighters who waged a bloody campaign in Syria and Iraq are heading to Afghanistan to continue their jihad and help plot "spectacular" attacks against America, a US official has told AFP. The warning comes as Daesh seeks to assert a regional influence after the loss of its…

Imran Khan’s interior minister pick raises questions about “new” Pakistan

Pakistan's new interior minister, appointed in a major cabinet reshuffle this month by Prime Minister Imran Khan, is a former spy chief and close ally of the country's last military ruler who has long been accused of deep ties to militant groups. The appointment of retired Brigadier Ijaz Shah has…

Two terrorists involved in WSJ journalist Danial Pearl’s killing held…

Two Pakistan Taliban militants have been arrested for their involvement in the kidnapping and killing of American journalist Danial Pearl and several terror-related activities in the country, officials said on Friday(19). The Counter-Terrorism Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Manshera district said they are the most dreaded terrorists of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan…

Daesh claims deadly Pakistan fruit market bombing

Daesh (Islamic State) claimed responsibility for a suicide blast in Pakistan's Quetta city on Friday (12) that killed 20 people and left 48 more injured. The group released a photograph of the bomber along with his name on Saturday and said the attack targeted Shiite Muslims. On Friday, a little…

Bomb blast kills 16 in Pakistan

A BOMB hidden between bags of potatoes at an outdoor Pakistani market killed at least 16 people today (12), half of them ethnic Hazaras, officials said, in an attack apparently aimed at minority Shi'ite Muslims. At least 30 people were wounded in the blast in the southwestern city of Quetta,…

Facts about Sharia law around the world

Brunei on Wednesday introduced harsh new sharia laws -- including death by stoning for adultery and gay sex -- despite a storm of global criticism from rights groups. Although most Muslim nations incorporate elements of sharia law in their legal systems, very few carry out the harsher punishments -- known…

Pakistan minister brands US envoy ‘little pygmy’ in Twitter row

A PAKISTANI minister has branded the US ambassador to Kabul a ‘little pygmy’ in a high-level diplomatic Twitter row that erupted over ongoing peace talks between Washington and the Taliban in Afghanistan. The furore underscores the delicate balance of regional tensions as the US steps up a push to find…

Afghan refugee Nadia Nadim scales summit of women’s football

"I don't really think about the past and what happened," says Nadia Nadim, the daughter of an executed Afghan general who spent years playing football in the fields beside her refugee camp before becoming a Denmark international. "I am fortunate to be in a situation where I can play football…

Pakistan to lodge ‘eco-terrorism’ complaint against India over airstrikes

Pakistan plans to lodge a complaint of "eco-terrorism" against India after airstrikes by New Delhi in Pakistani territory this week damaged dozens of trees, its climate change minister told AFP on Friday (1). "Eco-terrorism is exactly what happened," Malik Amin Aslam told AFP, adding that environmental assessments were under way.…

Fear and hoping: expectations surge ahead of new US-Taliban talks

The US and the Taliban are to meet in Qatar for fresh talks Monday seeking an end to 17 years of grinding conflict in Afghanistan, with the stakes ratcheting higher as the spring fighting season approaches. Marathon talks held in Doha last month have stoked hopes of a breakthrough after…

Taliban announce talks with US in Islamabad: spokesman

The Taliban said on Wednesday (13) that its negotiators would meet US envoys for talks this month in Islamabad, and also sit down with Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan to discuss Afghanistan. The announcement, not immediately confirmed by Washington or Islamabad, comes as America's chief negotiator tours the globe shoring…

US-Taliban talks: As hopes rise of a deal, what comes…

More than 17 years after the US invasion of Afghanistan, Washington and the Taliban appear closer than ever to some sort of agreement that could bring the insurgents to the table for peace talks. However with the withdrawal of US troops seen as part of the deal, fears are rising…

Donald Trump urged to meet ‘agent of change’ Imran Khan

Leading US Senator Lindsey Graham vowed on Sunday (20) to urge president Donald Trump to meet Imran Khan to boost Washington's Afghanistan peace efforts, calling the Pakistani prime minister an "agent of change". The Republican -- an influential ally of Trump -- made the comments in Islamabad after meeting with…

Unwanted Afghan refugees pin hopes on Pakistan’s Imran Khan

Shahzad Alam has proposed marriage to several women and been rejected each time for the same reason, he says: their discovery that he is not the Pakistani shoe shop owner they thought he was, but an Afghan refugee. His romantic future could be given a boost by prime minister Imran…

Fight against injustice

by Amit Roy IF THE Taliban had had their way, Malala Yousafzai – who wanted nothing more than for girls to be able to go to school – would have been dead in 2012. Instead, she seems to be having fun as a second-year undergraduate reading philosophy, politics and economics…

Trump criticises Modi for building library in Afghanistan

US president Donald Trump on Wednesday (2) mocked Indian prime minister Narendra Modi for funding a library in Afghanistan, suggesting it was of no use. Trump brought up India's aid during a rambling press appearance at a cabinet meeting as he defended his push for the United States to invest…

“We will no longer fight someone else’s war,” says Imran…

Pakistan will no longer act as a hired gun in someone else's war, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Friday, striking a note of defiance against US demands for Islamabad to do more in the battle against militancy. Khan -- who also reiterated his backing for a recent push by the US…

Pakistan using Afghan Taliban as hedge against India: US commander

Pakistan is not using its full potential to influence the Taliban to come to the table for peace talks, believes a top American commander, who said Pakistan continues to use Afghan Taliban as a hedge against India. Marine Corps Lt General Kenneth McKenzie said this while talking about the US’…

Pakistan ready to support US to end war in Afghanistan

Pakistan assured visiting US special representative Zalmay Khalilzad on Tuesday that it would back a negotiated settlement with the Taliban to end the long war in Afghanistan, after President Donald Trump personally asked for Islamabad's help. Khalilzad, an Afghan-born veteran US diplomat who served as George W. Bush's ambassador to Afghanistan,…

Trump seeks Imran Khan’s help to secure settlement in Afghanistan

Pakistan's foreign ministry said on Monday (3) that US president Donald Trump has written a letter to prime minister Imran Khan seeking Islamabad's support in securing a "negotiated settlement" to the war in Afghanistan. The development comes as Washington steps up efforts to hold peace talks with the resurgent Taliban,…

Suicide Attack Kills At least 31 In Pakistan

At least 31 people were killed and 50 wounded when a suicide blast ripped through a crowded marketplace in Pakistan's restive northwestern tribal region Friday (23), officials said. The attack took place during the regular Friday bazaar in Kalaya, a town in a Shiite-dominated area of Orakzai tribal district, senior…

A-Z of qawwali: Music of the Sufis

by ASJAD NAZIR. AN ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW GUIDE ABOUT THE OLDEST COMMERCIAL MUSIC GENRE IN THE WORLD. THE oldest commercial music genre in the world, qawwali has been going strong for over 700 years and remains popular today. A genre that was founded by a Sufi saint in the 13th century,…

US Exempts India Backed Iran’s Chabahar Port From Sanctions

The United States said on Tuesday (6) that it would exempt Iran's Indian-backed port of Chabahar from new sanctions on Tehran, recognising the value of the project to Afghanistan. Late last year, Iran inaugurated the port on the Indian Ocean which provides a key supply route to landlocked Afghanistan and…

‘Father Of Taliban’ Mullah Sami ul-Haq Killed In Pakistani City

Muslim cleric Sami ul-Haq, known as the "Father of the Taliban" for having taught some of the Afghan Islamist movement's leaders, was found killed on Friday (2) in a Pakistani city, a relative and his deputy said. Unknown attackers killed the cleric, who runs an Islamic seminary in northwestern Pakistan,…

Pakistan Releases Two Senior Taliban Commanders: Sources

Pakistan has released one of the co-founders of the Afghan Taliban along with another high-ranking militant commander, senior members of the Taliban said on Thursday (25), with the freed fighters allowed to reunite with their families. Pakistan declined to comment on the alleged release, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal…

‘A league of our own’ – T20 tournament adds glamour…

Afghanistan defied decades of conflict to join cricket's elite club of Test nations, but now they have added a dash of glamour with their inaugural Twenty20 league in the United Arab Emirates. Ten years after India's IPL changed the face of cricket with music, fireworks and cheerleaders, the Afghanistan Premier League…

India And China Launch Joint Programme to Train Afghan Diplomats;…

India and China launched a programme on Monday (15) to train Afghan diplomats and China's ambassador said it would likely be followed by joint programmes in other fields to help war-torn Afghanistan. Such co-operation is the first by the two Asian giants which have long been locked in a tussle…

Christian mother of five in last appeal on blasphemy death…

Pakistan's Supreme Court said it had reached a judgement on Monday (8) after hearing the final appeal of a Christian mother on death row for blasphemy, but that it will announce its ruling later in the notorious case, which has gone all the way to the Vatican. Chief Justice Saqib…

US peace envoy arrives in Kabul as Taliban ramp up…

Senior US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has arrived in Kabul for talks with Afghan leaders, an official said Sunday, in his first trip to the Afghan capital since being appointed to lead peace efforts with the Taliban. The visit by Khalilzad, a former US ambassador to Kabul, Baghdad and the United…

Pompeo lands in Pakistan seeking ‘reset’ in ties with Islamabad

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo landed in Islamabad on Wednesday (5) to meet new prime minister Imran Khan, saying he was hoping to "reset the relationship" with Pakistan which has worsened in recent months. The conciliatory remarks by Pompeo, whose flight touched down just before 1:00 pm (0800 GMT),…

Will Washington’s $300 million aid cut to Pakistan work?

The United States accuses Pakistan of playing a dangerous double game, taking billions in US aid since 2002 while supporting the Taliban and other militants who attack American forces in Afghanistan. Its decision announced Saturday (1) to cut $300 million in military aid is part of a broader aid suspension announced in…

Pompeo calls on Pakistan’s Khan to act against ‘terrorists’

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo pressed new Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan in a phone call to take "decisive action" against "terrorists" operating in Pakistan, the State Department said Thursday. Pompeo wished Khan success in the wake of his being sworn in as prime minister in Islamabad Saturday following victory…

Pakistan’s new foreign minister calls for dialogue with India

Pakistan wants an "uninterrupted, continued dialogue" with arch-rival India, its new foreign minister said on Monday (20), stressing the importance of talks between the nuclear-armed countries who have fought three wars. "We are not only two neighbours but we are two atomic powers," Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who became Pakistan's foreign minister…

Cricket hero Imran Khan sworn in as Pakistan prime minister

Pakistan's new prime minister Imran Khan was sworn in at a ceremony in Islamabad on Saturday, ushering in a new political era as the World Cup cricket hero officially took the reins of power in the nuclear-armed country. The ceremony at the President's House in the capital marks the end…

Ahmadiyya community comes together for largest Muslim convention in the…

MORE than 35,000 people from 100 countries gathered in the town of Alton, Hampshire to take part in the largest Islamic convention in the UK. The Ahmadiyya Muslim community hosted its three-day Jalsa Salana (annual gathering) at their UK base, the Hadeeqatul Mahdi,,a 200-acre farm in Alton, last weekend (Friday-Sunday,…

Pakistan parties demand new elections as Khan wins vote

Pakistan's main parties rejected the outcome of elections won by cricket star Imran Khan and announced protests demanding new polls Friday, after foreign observers criticised the pivotal vote over rigging allegations. The announcement by the All Parties Conference (APC), including the outgoing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), is a fresh obstacle to…

WILL ARMY SWAY PAKISTAN VOTERS?

Military deployed as Imran Khan eyes power  VOTERS in Pakistan were set to cast their ballots on Wednesday (25) while the military fanned out across the country as the south Asian nation elects a new prime minister this week. The contest has largely been distilled to a two-party fight between…

Imran Khan, playboy Pakistan cricket hero turned reformist politician

Imran Khan was catapulted to global fame as a World Cup cricket champion, but the man known in the West as a celebrity playboy is now seeking to lead Pakistan as a populist, religiously devout, anti-corruption reformist. Khan's shot at becoming prime minister in elections on July 25 -- believed to be…

Nobel winner Malala slams Trump’s child separation policy

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai described as "cruel" a policy launched by US president Donald Trump to separate children of illegal immigrants from their families, during her first visit to South America to promote girls' education. More than 2,300 children were separated from their parents after the Trump administration…

Study: India most dangerous country for women

INDIA is the world's most dangerous country for women due to the high risk of sexual violence and being forced into slave labour, according to a poll of global experts released on Tuesday (26). War-torn Afghanistan and Syria ranked second and third in the Thomson Reuters Foundation survey of about…

Taliban chief dies in US drone strike

MALALA ATTACKER WAS MILITANT GROUP GUNMAN THE president of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani confirmed last Friday (15) that Pakistani Taliban chief Maulana Fazlullah had been killed in a US drone strike. Fazlullah is believed to have ordered the failed 2012 assassina­tion of Malala Yousafzai, the stu­dent activist who became a global…

Taliban leader behind Malala shooting killed in US drone strike

The Taliban leader who ordered the hit on Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has been killed in a US drone strike. Mullah Fazlullah, one of Pakistan's most wanted militants, was killed with four other insurgents in the attack that took place on Thursday morning, officials said. The 44-year-old leader, nicknamed Mullah Radio…

Suicide blast in Kabul kills 13

A blast on Monday (11) killed 13 people and wounded more than 25 people during rush hour at the entrance to Afghanistan’s Rural Rehabilitation and Development Ministry in Kabul. The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes as security has deteriorated in Afghanistan's capital city ahead…

Army backs Pakistan polls

PAKISTAN’S military hit back at mounting criticism of its long cam­paign against militancy and stressed its support for upcoming elections in a major public relations offensive on Monday (4). The push came a day after a rights group clashed with Taliban-linked militants in the country’s northwest, sparking fresh claims the…

5 unknown facts about Manisha Koirala

1. Manisha Koirala comes from a political family. Her grandfather was the prime minister of Nepal, her father Prakash Koirala is a politician and a former minister of environment and mother Sushma Koirala is a homemaker. Manisha never aimed to become an actress. In fact, her ambition was to be a doctor,…

‘Spy Chronicles’ causes a stir

PAKISTAN ARMY PROBES NEW BOOK AS AUTHOR GROUNDED PAKISTAN’S army ordered an inquiry on Monday (28) into a former spy chief for co-writing a book with the ex-chief of an in­telligence agency from India that has stirred controversy on a range of issues. Retired lieutenant general Asad Dur­rani, who headed…

Judge orders probe into Peshawar school massacre

THE top judge in Pakistan has ordered the first official investiga­tion into the country’s deadliest terror attack, a massacre at a school that killed more than 150 people in 2014, authorities said last Thursday (10). Relatives of the victims – mainly children – have called for a probe into security…

Pakistan’s Sharif ignites firestorm with Mumbai attacks interview

Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif has sparked a firestorm at home and in India after suggesting Pakistani militants were behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks, with the National Security Council slamming his remarks on Monday. The former premier approached what is seen as a red line in the country by…

Pakistan to free bin Laden doctor?

LAWYER’S RELEASE HOPE AS SHAKIL AFRIDI MOVED TO RAWALPINDI JAIL PRISON authorities in Pa­kistan moved the jailed doctor believed to have helped the CIA hunt down Osama bin Laden, his law­yer said last Saturday (28), speculating it could be a prelude to his release. The continued imprison­ment of Dr Shakil…

Indian engineer in US pleads guilty to raising money for…

A 38-year-old Indian engineer in the US state of Ohio, accused of funding a top al-Qaida leader, has pleaded guilty to concealment of financing of terrorism. Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad, second of the two brothers, is accused of sending money to Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. Al-Awlaki was later designated a terrorist…

Pakistan party linked to Mumbai attacks blasts US blacklisting

A Pakistan political party linked to the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai attacks blasted Washington on Tuesday (3) for violating the country's "sovereignty and constitution", hours after the United States blacklisted the group. The move by the US comes as the White House continues to ratchet up pressure on Islamabad…

Malala returns to London after nostalgic Pakistan trip

Pakistani Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has returned to London after her nostalgic visit to her hometown in Pakistan last week. Malala's recent visit was her first to the country since she was shot in the head by Taliban almost five years ago for campaigning for female education. Malala's visit to…

Malala visits hometown in Pakistan and says she’s never been…

Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai on Saturday visited her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley for the first time since ever since the failed assassination attempt by the Taliban when she was a teenager. Talking to Reuters, Malala said she's never been so happy before. “I had never been so excited for…

Malala returns to Pakistan

NOBEL laureate Malala Yousafzai has returned to Pakistan more than five years after she left the country following a failed assassination attempt by the Taliban. Yousafzai arrived at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport at around 1.40 am and she is expected to be in the country for about four days.…

US still not ready to resume security aid to Pakistan

The United States of America, which suspended more than $1.15 billion security assistance to Pakistan in January, is still not ready to resume dispensing aid to the country until it eliminates terrorist safe havens. The US had accused Pakistan of harbouring terrorist organisations such as Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network,…

Why barbers in Pakistan are banned from offering “fashionable” haircuts

HAIRDRESSERS in Pakistan's conservative northwest have announced a ban in their shops on "fashionable" beards, saying trendy facial hair violates Islamic law. The decision affecting Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province echoes a similar ban introduced there more than a decade ago, after militant groups including the Pakistani Taliban threatened barbers with dire…

US Offers Reward for Information on person Who Shot Malala…

The US government has offered $5 million reward for any information on Pakistani Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah, whose men were responsible for shooting Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai. Fazlullah, also known as Radio Mullah, came to prominence after the four-man team he sent out to kill Malala, a 14-year-old…

US hopes to bring Taliban to negotiating table despite Trump…

US President Donald Trump's Afghanistan strategy will succeed only if the Taliban agrees to come to the negotiating table for peace talks. But in the wake of multiple attacks in Kabul last month, Trump ruled out any such talks, at least in the near future, thereby contradicting his strategy. There…

U.S. yet to see any evidence to end suspension of aid to Pakistan: State…

U.S. aid suspension to Pakistan would end when "decisive and sustained" actions are taken against militant groups operating in its territory, said a State Department official on Sunday, adding that U.S. is yet to see any evidence of such steps. “U.S. has seen no evidence that Pakistan has met Trump…

Afghanistan: Multiple attacks in Kabul have put everyone on edge

Life is yet to return to normal in Afghanistan's capital city of Kabul, as the city is still reeling from the multiple terror attacks it endured in January. Residents are on edge and people have limited their movements around the city for fear of another terror attack, reports indicate. “People…

Afghan president takes a shot at Pakistan for supporting Taliban

Afghanistan is still reeling from a series of attacks that hit the nation in the past few weeks, and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani feels Pakistan should take stringent measures to stop the Taliban from working out of its soil. In a televised speech to the nation, Ghani said slammed Pakistan…

Trump says ‘no’ to Taliban talks after wave of attacks

US president Donald Trump on Monday (29) ruled out quick talks with the Taliban, following a wave of bloody large-scale attacks in the Afghan capital Kabul. "I don't think we are prepared to talk right now," Trump said, throwing into question Washington's strategy of pushing the group toward the negotiating…

Balochistan: Styling your beard could get you in trouble

Trimming your beard in a stylish fashion is an offence in several parts of Balochistan. On Monday, authorities in Balochistan’s Dilbadin city issued an order prohibiting barbers from trimming beards in a fashionable way. A notice issued by the assistant commissioner of the city said legal action will be taken against…

Kabul Attacks: US vows to work with allies to prevent…

Afghanistan has been hit by a wave of relentless violence in the past few days, prompting doubts that the Taliban has gained ground in the country. In the past 10 days alone, close to 150 people lost their lives in multiple attacks that many believe could be a message to…

Kabul hit by a wave of relentless violence; 11 soldiers…

At least 11 soldiers have been killed and 16 others were injured in an attack in an army post in Kabul. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack near the Marshal Fahim National Defense University. The attack lasted for a few hours, at the end of which four assailants were…

US dismisses Pakistani assertion that American missiles hit Afghan refugees

The United States has dismissed a Pakistani allegation that an American drone had fired missiles at an Afghan refugee camp in Kurram district, in the lawless regions bordering Afghanistan. At the same time, Pakistani security officials who sought anonymity because they were not authorised to disclose the information said the drone strike…

Malala lauds feminism as Trump lands in Davos

Nobel peace laureate Malala Yousafzai on Thursday (25) urged women to "change the world" without waiting for the help of men, as she addressed an audience of the global, and mostly male, elite at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The 20-year-old global education campaigner spoke not long before the…

US-Pakistan relationship is under stress, admits Pakistan envoy Aizaz Ahmad…

Pakistan's relationship with the United States of America is under stress, admitted Pakistan envoy to the US, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, and urged the US not stop viewing the country through the lens of Pakistan. “Currently, it (US-Pakistan relationship) is under stress. I must admit,” Pakistan’s ambassador Chaudhry told a Washington audience…

Save the Children suspends operations in Afghanistan as Islamic State…

Save the Children suspended its operations across Afghanistan on Wednesday as Islamic State militants continued to terrorise staff trapped inside an office in the country's east, in the latest attack on a foreign charity. More than seven hours after gunmen blasted their way into the British charity's compound in Jalalabad…

Pakistan involved in Kabul hotel attack, claims Afghanistan’s spy agency

Afghan spy agency, the National Directorate of Security, has pointed fingers at Pakistan for the Kabul Hotel attack that claimed 22 lives. According to the spy agency, explosives packed in a vehicle used by the Taliban fighters who attacked the Intercontinental Hotel over the weekend came from Pakistan. “The explosive…

Malala Yousafzai offers Stephen Fry a tour of Oxford University

Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai showcased her witty side during a recent Twitter exchange with British actor and author Stephen Fry. Appreciating her Malala Fund's association with Apple to aid underprivileged girls’ education, Fry said she was an inspiration. But there's something he wasn't happy with, and it was her choice…

Kabul Hotel Attack: US urges Pakistan to expel Taliban from…

The United States of America has condemned the attack on Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, and on Monday urged Pakistan to expel Taliban terrorists from its soil. "We call on Pakistan to immediately arrest or expel the Taliban's leaders and prevent the group from using Pakistani territory to support its operations,"…

Kabul Intercontinental Hotel attack: Witness say Security team fled without…

At least 22 people were killed when Taliban terrorists attacked the luxury Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul. Describing what went down inside the hotel when terrorists took control of the building, witnesses said it was pure terror as bullets were sprayed on them, and entire floors were engulfed in flame. A…

Afghan Army will collapse without US support: Ashraf Ghani

[caption id="attachment_5261" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Afghan president Ashraf Ghani[/caption] The Afghanistan National Army will collapse within six months without support from the United States of America, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani said in an interview with a television show. “Because we don’t have the money,” Ghani said in an interview to CBS…

US: UN must step up pressure on Pakistan

Returning from a UN Security Council visit to Afghanistan, US Ambassador Nikki Haley on Wednesday stressed the Kabul government wants world powers to step up pressure on Pakistan. Haley joined the 14 other council envoys for talks with top Afghan leaders in Kabul at the weekend as the government considers holding…

Pakistan army chief says nation felt “betrayed” by US criticism

Pakistan's army chief told a top US general the nation "felt betrayed" by criticism that it was not doing enough to fight terrorism, the Pakistani military said on Friday, after US President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of "lies and deceit". US Central Command chief General Joseph Votel told General Qamar Javed Bajwa during…

Trump could freeze $2bn of Pakistan aid over militant havens

President Donald Trump's freeze on aid to Pakistan could be worth almost $2 billion dollars, a senior US administration official said on Friday -- substantially more than first thought. The move -- designed to force Pakistan's military and intelligence apparatus to cut support for the Taliban and other Islamist groups -- will include…

Why it’s so difficult for the US to crack down…

Washington accuses Pakistan of playing a dangerous double game, taking billions in US aid while supporting militants attacking its forces in Afghanistan, including the Taliban. Its belated move to suspend assistance, after years of mistrust, highlights the perils of alienating a quasi-ally whose support is vital in the long-running Afghan…

Pakistan hits back at ‘incomprehensible’ Trump tweet

Pakistan angrily dismissed threats by US president Donald Trump to cut off aid as "completely incomprehensible", in the latest diplomatic row to rock the shaky alliance between Washington and Islamabad over militancy. The "recent statements... by the American leadership were completely incomprehensible as they contradicted facts manifestly," read a statement…

China and Pakistan to look at including Afghanistan in $57…

China and Pakistan will look at extending their $57 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to Afghanistan, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday, part of China's ambitious Belt and Road plan linking China with Asia, Europe and beyond. China has tried to position itself as a helpful party to promote talks between Pakistan and Afghanistan,…

Who killed Benazir Bhutto? The theories behind the murder

Ten years after former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, the first woman to lead a Muslim nation, was killed in Rawalpindi the unanswered questions about her assassination still fuel conspiracy theories. Earlier this year two police officers were found guilty of "mishandling the crime scene". They are the only people…

Pakistan steps up security after church attack ahead of Christmas

On Monday Pakistani security forces were on high alert across the country after an Islamic State suicide attack on a church killed nine people, officials said. The assault on Sunday in Quetta, the capital of southwestern Baluchistan province, also wounded about 60 worshippers. It was the first attack on a…

Eight dead as Daesh claims suicide bombing of Pakistan church

A suicide bomb attack on a Pakistan church claimed by Daesh (the Islamic State group) killed at least eight people and wounded 30 during a service on Sunday, just over a week before Christmas. Two women were among the dead at a Methodist church in the restive southwestern city of Quetta in…

US Defence Secretary meets Pakistan Prime Minister to review state…

US Defence Secretary James Mattis on Monday met the top Pakistani leadership here and reviewed current state of the bilateral ties and the war on terror, amidst Washington's concern that Islamabad was not doing enough to dismantle terror safe havens on its soil. Mattis, who arrived on Monday in Pakistan…

Time for Pak to make a choice: Afghan President Ghani…

Lambasting Pakistan for its support to terrorism, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani today said time has come for Islamabad to make a clear choice, suggesting the country may have to pay a price under the US's new South Asia policy if it does not stop backing the terror groups. On the…

Tillerson eyes 100-year partnership with India

US SECRETARY of state Rex Tillerson said before a visit to India next week that the Trump administration wanted to "dramatically deepen" cooperation with New Delhi, seeing it as a key partner in the face of negative Chinese influence in Asia. In an upbeat speech yesterday (18), US president Donald…

UNSC must use sanctions as weapon against terror funding in…

India has asked the UN Security Council to use sanctions regime as a weapon against terror funding in Afghanistan and support the strengthening of the war-torn country's sovereignty and stability threatened by terrorist safe havens across the borders.  India also asked the international community to ensure that the forces of…

Pakistan rejects BRICS’ statement on militant groups

"We reject the declaration (released by member countries) at the BRICS Summit," Pakistan's defence minister Khurram Dastgir said during a meeting of the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Defence.  Dastgir claimed that Pakistan has no "safe haven" for terrorists on its soil.  Under mounting international pressure to act against the terror groups, Pakistan rejected a declaration by…

Malala: World is waiting for Suu Kyi to act against…

Education activist Malala Yousafzai has called on her fellow Nobel laureate Aug San Suu Kyi to condemn the "shameful" violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, saying the "world is waiting" for her to condemn the unrest. The 20-year-old winner of the Nobel Peace Prize urged Myanmar's State Counsellor and de-facto…

Pak-based terror groups named in BRICS declaration for first time

In a big diplomatic victory for India, a declaration issued by the BRICS countries in Xiamen in China has named Pakistan-based terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad. This is the first time that the five BRICS nations united together in condemning and finding ways to eliminate terror.  The declaration which…

Musharraf says will face Bhutto murder trial in Pakistan

Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf said he would return to Pakistan to face trial in the murder case of ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto. A Pakistani court on Thursday pronounced Musharraf a fugitive in the murder trial but acquitted five men accused of involvement in the 2007 assassination of Bhutto, the…

Who killed Benazir Bhutto? The theories behind the murder

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court declared former military ruler Pervez Musharraf a fugitive in ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto's murder trial Thursday, nearly 10 years after the iconic political figure was gunned down in the streets of Rawalpindi. The court dismissed charges against five alleged Taliban militants accused of being involved in…

Pervez Musharraf declared absconder in Benazir Bhutto murder case

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Rawalpindi announced the verdict in the Benazir Bhutto murder case on Thursday, acquitting five Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) suspects and announcing 17-year imprisonment for two police officials.  The ATC also declared retired Gen Pervez Musharraf an absconder in the case. The ATC had named Musharraf in the case…

Malala to study politics at Oxford University

  NOBEL Prize winner Malala Yousafzai will study politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) at Oxford University, she has revealed. In a tweet after the A level results were announced this morning (17), Malala said she was “so excited" to go to the prestigious university, and congratulating fellow students on their…

Three terrorists killed in Pakistan

Pakistan's Sindh Police has killed three militants and arrested four others as they were planning a major terrorist attack, officials said today (7). They were planning to bomb Jamaat Khanas (houses) of the Shia Ismaili Aga Khan community and other Imambargahs and shrines, counter-terrorism department's superintendent of police Raja Khatab…

Pakistani abducted diplomats ‘safely recovered’ in Afghanistan

Two Pakistani diplomatic who were abducted in Afghanistan last month have been "safely recovered" in a security operation Wednesday (26), the foreign ministry in Islamabad said. "The two diplomatic officials of the consulate general of Pakistan in Jalalabad who were abducted while travelling from Jalalabad to Torkham on 16 June 2017 have been safely recovered…

Blast kills at least 26, injures dozens in Pakistan’s Lahore

An explosion claimed by the Pakistani Taliban killed at least 26 people and injured dozens in a busy vegetable market in the Pakistani city of Lahore Monday (24), officials said. The powerful blast hit a bustling main road in the south of Lahore and blew out windows in nearby buildings.…

Pentagon trims Pakistan military aid over Haqqani inaction

The US Defense Department has withheld $50 million in Pakistan military payments after Pentagon chief Jim Mattis determined Islamabad is not doing enough to counter the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network, an official said Friday (21). "Secretary Mattis has informed congressional defense committees that he was not able to certify that Pakistan has taken sufficient actions…

No regional peace without Pakistan, U.S. senator McCain says in…

U.S. senator John McCain said on Sunday (2) there could be "no peace" in Afghanistan or the rest of the region without Pakistan's cooperation, as he visited Islamabad ahead of a review from the United States of its Afghan war strategy. McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, met Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan's top foreign policy official, and also…

Two mountaineers missing in Pakistani Himalayas feared dead

Pakistani authorities believe that two mountaineers, a Spaniard and an Argentinian, missing for over a week in Pakistan's northern Himalayan mountains perished in an avalanche, officials said on Sunday (2). Alberto Zerain Berasategi from Spain and Mariano Galvan from Argentina were last heard from on 23 June while at the 6,100 metre base of Nanga…

Massive Kabul truck bomb kills 80, wounds hundreds

At least 80 people were killed and hundreds wounded on Wednesday (31) when a massive truck bomb ripped through Kabul's diplomatic quarter, bringing carnage to the streets of the Afghan capital just days into the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan. Bodies littered the scene and a towering plume of…

Clash erupts along on Pakistan-Afghan frontier

CLASHES erupted between Pakistani and Afghan troops today (5) along their border and at least one person was killed, Pakistan's military said. Pakistan's military said the clashes broke out in a remote village near the Pakistani border town of Chaman as a Pakistani census team, guarded by troops from its…

Top Trump aide in Pakistan says terrorism must be fought…

US president Donald Trump's national security adviser met Pakistan's prime minister and army chief on Monday and emphasized "the need to confront terrorism in all its forms", while praising democratic and economic development. Prime minister Nawaz Sharif expressed hope that the new US administration might mediate between Pakistan and longtime foe…

Malala receives highest UN honor to promote girls education

United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres appointed Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai a UN Messenger of Peace on Monday (10)  to promote girls education, more than four years after a Taliban gunman shot her in the head on her school bus in 2012. At 19, Yousafzai is the youngest Messenger of Peace,…

Malala to become youngest ever UN Messenger of Peace

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai is set to become the UN's youngest-ever Messenger of Peace after she was selected by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for the highest honour bestowed by the world body on a global citizen. The designation ceremony will be held next week at the UN's headquarters here.…

Pakistan moves to hire Washington lobbyists

Pakistan is looking to hire lobbying firms in Washington after a gap of nearly eight years, seeking to refurbish its image in the United States at a time of deteriorating relations between the allies, two government officials said on Tuesday (June 14). Ties have been particularly strained following a US…

Sir Ben Kingsley’s diversity drive

National treasure Sir Ben Kingsley has claimed that film makers will “step up to the plate” when there is a demand for more diversity in cinema. The Oscar-winning actor, who plays a Sikh taxi driver in New York in his latest movie Learning to Drive, told Eastern Eye that the…

Pakistan can’t confirm if Taliban leader was killed in US…

Pakistan’s interior minister said on Tuesday he could not confirm that Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour had been killed in a U.S. drone strike, and described Washington’s justification for the attack as “against international law”. U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday that Mansour had been killed in the…

Obama confirms Taliban leader’s death in US strike

President Barack Obama on Monday confirmed Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in a US air strike, hailing his death as an “important milestone” in efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan. Saturday’s bombing raid, the first known American assault on a top Afghan Taliban leader on Pakistani soil, marks…

Afghan Taliban delegation in Pakistan amid efforts to restart peace…

An Afghan Taliban delegation has arrived in Pakistan to meet officials in a bid to restart a stuttering peace process with Kabul, Afghan officials and Taliban leaders said on Tuesday, although it was unclear who the delegation was meeting. There was no immediate confirmation from authorities in Pakistan but just…

Afghan leader implores Pakistan to battle Taliban

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has implored Pakistan to battle the Taliban instead of trying to bring them to peace talks, in a new hardline stance after a brazen insurgent attack killed at least 64 people. The assault last Tuesday on a security services office in the heart of Kabul appeared…

Bomb blasts kill policeman in Pakistan

Two bomb blasts targeting a police patrol on Wednesday killed at least one policeman and wounded 10 others in the restive northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, officials said. The first bomb planted on a roadside exploded when a police petrol vehicle passed in Aslam Dheri, a neighbourhood in the southern…

Pakistan arrests six in Sikh leader killing, denies Taliban role

Police in northwestern Pakistan have today arrested six people accused of gunning down a Sikh political figure, attributing the killing to rivalry rather than a Taliban attack, as the militants had claimed. Gunmen shot and killed Soran Singh, a prominent leader of Pakistan’s tiny Sikh religious minority and a lawmaker…

Pakistan to host meeting on reviving Afghan Taliban talks

Pakistan will on Wednesday host a new round of four-nation Afghan peace talks aimed at reviving long-stalled negotiations with the Taliban, a foreign office official said. The group comprising Afghanistan, the United States, China and Pakistan has been attempting since January to restart the nascent peace process. But the lack…

Pakistani Taliban claim killing of minority minister

The Pakistani Taliban have claimed the killing of a provincial minister for minority affairs who was shot dead in a restive northwestern district. Gunmen on motorbikes stopped Sardar Soran Singh’s car in Buner district, some 160 kilometres (100 miles) northeast of Peshawar, Friday evening and opened fire, killing him on…

Kidnapped son of Pakistani ex-PM arrives home from Afghanistan

The son of a former Pakistani prime minister who was rescued by Afghan and U.S. forces from al Qaeda captors in Afghanistan arrived home to a rapturous welcome in Pakistan on Wednesday, three years after being kidnapped from his home town. Ali Haider Gilani was rescued on Monday by a…

Gunmen kill prominent Pakistan rights activist: police

A well-known Pakistani rights activist and social media campaigner has been shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the port city of Karachi, police said on Sunday. Khurram Zaki, 40, was sitting at a roadside restaurant with a friend when four gunmen riding two motorcycles opened fire on him late Saturday,…

Afghan civilians slain in US strike on Daesh militants

CIVILIANS were among at least 18 people killed in a US air strike against Daesh (Islamic State) militants in eastern Afghanistan on September 28, officials said, with conflicting claims about the number of civilian deaths. The attack happened in Achin district, a hotbed of Daesh insurgents in Nangarhar province near…

Pakistani prime minister faces a key choice as army chief’s…

PRIME minister Nawaz Sharif faces a key choice in the coming weeks about who should run Pakistan’s powerful military, one that will have a major influence on the country’s often strained relationships with the United States and nuclear rival India. With General Raheel Sharif saying he will step down when…

Insider attack kills twelve Afghan soldiers in their sleep

AS many as 12 Afghan soldiers were killed in their sleep by comrades in an outpost near the northern city of Kunduz, an official said on September 27, in the latest so-called “insider attack”. Two soldiers with suspected links to the Taliban fled and joined the insurgents after carrying out…

Russia and Pakistan announce first joint military exercise

FORMER Cold War-era enemies Pakistan and Russia are due to hold their first ever military exercise this month, Pakistan’s military said on Friday (September 23), in another sign of shifting alliances in South Asia. During the Cold War, Pakistan spent a decade helping the United States funnel arms and fighters…

Pakistan angered by Trump’s vow to free doctor who helped…

Pakistan has angrily criticised Donald Trump, frontrunner for the U.S. Republican presidential nomination, for saying he would force the country to free a jailed Pakistani doctor believed to have helped the CIA hunt down al Qaada leader Osama bin Laden. Trump, a 69-year-old billionaire real estate developer, told Fox News…

Pakistan says has taken steps to root out militants in…

Pakistan has done its best to root out militants from the Waziristan region, according to the Pakistani foreign secretary, after Afghanistan called for its neighbour to act against the Taliban and other groups aligned to the militants. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Monday that Taliban leaders were sheltering in…

Afghanistan confirms peace deal with warlord Hekmatyar

AFGHAN authorities will sign a peace accord on Thursday (September 22) with Hezb-e-Islami of Afghanistan, a party led by one of the country’s most prominent Islamist warlords, the government’s media office has confirmed. The long-expected deal with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a veteran of almost 40 years of fighting in Afghanistan, follows…