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Afghan President accuse Pakistan being centre of Taliban terror

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Afghan President accuse Pakistan being centre of Taliban terror

Pakistan rejects accusation, instead alleged Afghanistan for attacks on its soil

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani has said that Pakistan is the centre of the Taliban and advised Islamabad to take “practical and clear action” for eliminating the militant groups and other terror outfits on its soil. However, Pakistan rejects his allegations.

According to Kabul based TOLO News channel, President Ashraf Ghani addressed the nation on Friday after congregation prayer in a mosque in the Presidential palace in Kabul. He was quoted saying, “Pakistan is the center of the Taliban,” and that the Afghan people are waiting for action by Pakistani government against terrorist groups on its soil.

He said that Kabul has shared a list of insurgents with Pakistani government. “We are waiting for movement. Word and process are the words on paper; the Afghan nation wants clear practical action,” the president said.

He disclosed that “Eleven suspects have been arrested and their roots have been identified. Their roots are known. Taliban has claimed the responsibility; of course, those Taliban who neither accept the Almighty God nor they accept the Sharia of the Messenger (the prophet) Mohammad.”

Afghan president was referring to the recent attacks in Kabul which claimed more than 100 lives and wounded over 200 others. He said those Taliban who will continue the war will be suppressed by the Afghan forces.

Within a span of ten days three consecutive major attacks took place in Kabul between 20 to 29 January. The attacks included on Inter-Continental Hotel killing over 40 persons including 14 foreign nationals, Ambulance bombing near old Interior Ministry building killing 103 people and injuring 235 and an attack on Marshal Fahim National Defense University killing 11 soldiers. Four militants were also killed in this incident.

President pointed out to the ongoing Afghan forces’ operations against insurgents across the country and said the military operation in Band-e-Temor area, in Kandahar, was “very successful”, where at least 50 Taliban militants were killed on Thursday evening.

President Ghani’s remarks come after a series of deadly attacks in Kabul and other parts of the country, claimed by Taliban and Daesh militants in the past two weeks. The attacks claimed dozens of lives.

Meanwhile, Dawn, a leading Pakistani newspaper reports that  Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, the head of Afghanistan’s NDS spy agency told reporters on Thursday that Kabul has handed “undeniable” evidence to Pakistan, that it claims, shows a recent spate of deadly attacks were planned on Pakistani soil. He said that it was clear that the attacks were “planned from across the border”.

“We asked Pakistan to hand over the culprits of the attacks in Afghanistan and we shared undeniable evidence that the attacks were planned there,” Stanekzai said, a day after meeting with top Pakistani officials in Islamabad.

Hoiwever, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Muhammad Faisal,  has, on Saturday,  rejected accusations of Pakistan supporting the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network and said that Pakistan would not allow its land to be used against any of its neighbors. He also claimed that Pakistan had constructed 975 posts along its border with Afghanistan, while Afghanistan had built nearly 200 posts only.

Faisal claimed that “Around 470 attacks were carried out in Pakistan from Afghanistan” and noted that 27 suspects handed over to Afghan authorities recently were connected to the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network.

Faisal reiterated Pakistan’s stance that there was no military solution to the Afghan problem saying only an Afghan-led and owned peace process would ensure peace in that country.

Meanwhile, officials of the two countries are meeting on Saturday in Kabul in their first meeting of Joint Working Group. Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua is leading her country’s delegation.

The Daily Times reported  that Pakistan had proposed a number f joint working groups to focus on counter-terrorism, intelligence sharing, military, economy, trade and transit interaction, refugee repatriation and connectivity.

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Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda says statements on reclaiming Katchatheevu island from Sri Lanka have no ground

Devananda told the media on Thursday that it is not unusual to hear such claims and counterclaims about Katchatheevu as elections are taking place in India.

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Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda has said the statements from some political leaders in India on reclaiming Katchatheevu from the island nation have no ground. He told the media on Thursday that it is not unusual to hear such claims and counterclaims about the strategic island as elections are taking place in India.

The Sri Lankan Minister said he thought India is acting on its interests to secure this place to ensure Sri Lankan fishermen would not have any access to that area and that Sri Lanka should not claim any rights in that resourceful area. According to the 1974 agreement, Devananda said Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen can go fishing in the territorial waters of both countries until the pact was reviewed and amended in 1976.

The amended agreement resulted in fishermen from both countries being barred from fishing in neighboring waters. India’s ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday steered clear of the row surrounding Katchatheevu island. To a volley of questions on the Katchatheevu issue, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal reffered to External affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s recent comments on the matter.

He said he would like to talk about the issue that has been raised. He added the External Affairs minister has spoken to the press here in Delhi and also in Gujarat and has clarified all the issues. He said everyone should look into the press engagements and they would find the answers to their questions there.

The remarks from Devananda, a Sri Lankan Tamil, came days after the Narendra Modi government accused the Congress and its ally DMK in Tamil Nadu of overlooking national interests by handing over Katchatheevu island to Sri Lanka in 1974. The BJP has also been slamming the 2 parties for not ensuring the rights of the fishermen wanting to fish in waters around the island.

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US reiterates its call for fair, transparent, legal process for Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, speaks on Congress frozen accounts

The US spokesperson said that they are also aware of the Congress party’s allegations that tax authorities have frozen some of their bank accounts in a manner that will make it challenging to effectively campaign in the upcoming elections.

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A day after India summoned an US diplomat over their remarks on the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the liquor policy case, the US reiterated its call for fair, transparent, timely legal processes on Wednesday.

Responding to questions on India summoning Gloria Berbena, the US Acting Deputy Chief of Mission in New Delhi, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said that they will continue to follow these actions closely, including the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Notably, the meeting at the foreign ministry’s South Block office lasted nearly 40 minutes yesterday with India objecting strongly to the US remarks on the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal.

Matthew Miller also responded to a question on the Congress party’s frozen bank accounts. The US spokesperson said that they are also aware of the Congress party’s allegations that tax authorities have frozen some of their bank accounts in a manner that will make it challenging to effectively campaign in the upcoming elections. He added that the US encourages fair, transparent and timely legal processes for each of the issues.

Arvind Kejriwal was arrested last week by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection to the Delhi liquor policy scam. Earlier, AAP leaders Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain and Sanjay Singh were arrested in the same case.

The External Affairs Ministry had earlier stated that states are expected to be respectful of the sovereignty and internal affairs of others, and this responsibility is even more so in case of fellow democracies, adding that it could otherwise end up setting unhealthy precedents.

The Ministry further emphasized that India’s legal processes are based on an independent judiciary which is committed to objective and timely outcomes. It mentioned that casting aspersions on India’s legal procedure is unwarranted.

The United State’s remarks followed days after Germany’s Foreign Office stressed that Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is entitled to a fair and impartial trial. The Indian government labelled their remark as blatant interference in internal matters.

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5 Chinese nationals killed in suicide bomb attack in Pakistan

This is the third major attack on Chinese interests in Pakistan within a week.

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Nearly five Chinese nationals were killed in an explosion during an attack on their convoy by a suicide bomber in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday. Reportedly, the suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a convoy of Chinese engineers travelling from Islamabad to their camp in Dasu, situated in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Regional police chief Mohammad Ali Gandapur said that five Chinese nationals and their Pakistani driver were killed in the attack. As yet, none has claimed responsibility for the attack. Bisham Station House Officer (SHO) Bakht Zahir asserted that the incident was a suicide blast and the authorities concerned were collecting the evidence.

The Station House Officer further added that security arrangements were tightened at the spot and the bodies were being shifted to a hospital. He added that they will investigate from where and how the vehicle of a suicide bomber came and how it happened. Notably, this is the third major attack on Chinese interests in Pakistan within a week.

Previously, two attacks hit an airbase and a strategic port in the southwest province of Balochistan where China is investing billions in infrastructure projects. Several Chinese engineers and Pakistani construction workers have for multiple years been working on hydroelectric projects as part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative in the western province of Khyber-Paktunkhwa.

Notably, Dasu is home to a significant dam project, has been a target of previous attacks. Earlier in 2021, the attack in Dasu resulted in the deaths of nine Chinese nationals, along with two Pakistani children. The incident occured when a bus carrying Chinese engineers and workers to the Dasu Hydropower Project site was targeted.

There was confusion surrounding the nature of the attack initially, with some reports suggesting it was a bus accident. Nonetheless, subsequent investigations revealed that it was indeed a terrorist attack. The bus was hit by a blast, leading it to plunge into a ravine.

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