It could be a beginning for a diplomatic thaw between regional rivals
Having long rivalry in the region and day-to-day allegations and counter allegations, Iran and Saudi Arabia have lately shown some kind of diplomatic thaw. The first indication came from Tehran by Bahram Qassemi, the foreign ministry spokesperson on Saturday when he said that his country plans to open an interests section in Saudi Arabia.
Riyadh had closed its missions in Iran, including embassy in Tehran and consulate in Mashhad after unruly protesters damaged some window panes etc after the execution of a revered Shia clergy Sheikh Mohammed Baqer Al-Nimr by Saudi authorities in early 2016.
Bahram Qassemi said, “There have been advances made in the past two weeks, and I believe there are signs that the interests section will open and become operational.”
Switzerland has been representing Iranian interests in Saudi Arabia for last eight months. He said that the Iranian interests section would be located in the Swiss Embassy in Riyadh.
Since severing their ties after 1979 Islamic Revolution, Swiss embassy in Tehran hosts US interest section while Pakistan embassy in Washington hosts Iranian interests section.
The Iranian interest section in Swiss embassy in Riyadh will deal with the issue of Iranian Hajj pilgrims, which has been the point of much contention between the two countries for years.
Another bone of contention was the 2015 Mina tragedy when, according to Tehran about 4,700 people, including 460 Iranian were killed in a stampede. Iran held Saudi Arabia responsible for the death of the Haj pilgrims. However, Saudi Arabia claims nearly 770 people were killed in the incident. Hundreds remain missing till date.
The stampede, which was supposedly caused by a member of Saudi Royal family, who allegedly drove for hitting symbolic Satans in Mina ground against the law and the traffic arrangements.
This tragedy came shortly after a huge construction crane collapsed into Mecca’s Grand Mosque, killing more than 100 pilgrims, including some Iranians.
Iranians claim that some important scientists were killed among the Haj pilgrims and there could be a conspiracy to hinder Iran’s progress in various developmental projects, including its nuclear program.
Iran did not send pilgrims for Hajj the following year on the grounds that Saudi Arabia was not able to ensuring safety of the pilgrims.
Replying to a question of possibility of rapprochement between the two countries, Qassemi said, “We have announced time and again that we are ready for negotiations with regional countries, even Saudi Arabia.” He said that Iran has never rejected offers by third countries to mediate.
Ever since breaking its ties with Iran, the Saudi Arabia has ramped up its rhetoric against Tehran over its role in the region. Riyadh, along with Tel Aviv and Washington, has been critical of Iranian cooperation to Syrian and Iraqi government fighting Daesh (IS) terrorists and other similar groups.
Saudi Arabia has also been accusing Tehran of supporting and supplying arms, especially missiles to Yemen’s Houthis who are fighting tooth and nail against Riyadh-led aggression since March 2015.
However, Saudi Press Agency or Al-Arabia have not yet reported about any positive diplomatic move with Iran.
Pakistan: 34 killed, 130 injured after blast near mosque in Balochistan
City Station House Officer (SHO) Mohammad Javed Lehri asserted that the explosion was a suicide blast
In a tragic incident, nearly 34 people were killed and more than 130 people were injured in a suicide blast near a mosque in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province on Friday, according to reports. The incident took place when people were gathering for a rally to celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad. Reports state that the explosion occurred near Madina Mosque in the Mastung district.
Mastung’s Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Nawaz Gashkori, who was on duty for the rally, was among the deceased. The explosion took place when hundreds of people were gathering to mark Eid Miladun Nabi, the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad.
Speaking about the matter, City Station House Officer (SHO) Mohammad Javed Lehri asserted that the explosion was a suicide blast and that the bomber exploded when he himself was standing next to DSP’s car. Mohammad Javed Lehri further affirmed that the wounded are being shifted to a medical facility for immediate treatment while an emergency has been imposed in the hospitals.
Local media reports quoted Dr Saeed Mirwani, who is the chief executive officer of Shaheed Nawab Ghous Bakhsh Raisani Memorial Hospital as saying that nearly 34 people were killed and more than 130 people were injured in the blast in Balochistan. Some of the injured are in critical condition, as per reports.
Balochistan interim Information Minister Jan Achakzai stated that rescue teams have been dispatched to Mastung. He further added that the critically injured persons are being transferred to Quetta and that an emergency has been implemented in all the hospitals.
Jan Achakzai underlined that the enemy wants to destroy religious tolerance and peace in Balochistan with foreign blessings. He added that the explosion was unbearable.
He also affirmed that caretaker Chief Minister Ali Mardan Domki has directed concerned authorities to arrest those responsible for the blast. In addition, interim Interior Minister Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti strongly condemned the blast.
Hardeep Singh Nijjar killing: Canada is committed to building closer ties with India despite credible allegations, says Canadian PM Justin Trudeau
Canadian Prime Minister stated that the US has assured that Secretary of State Antony Blinken would be raising the allegations made publicly about India’s role in Nijjar’s murder during the meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday asserted that Canada is still committed to building closer ties with India, despite credible allegations that the Indian government was involved in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Addressing a press conference, the Prime Minister said that India is a growing economic power and important geopolitical player. He added that as they presented their Indo-Pacific strategy last year, they are very serious about building closer ties with India.
Justin Trudeau underlined that at the same time, as a rule of law country, they need to emphasises that India needs to work with Canada to ascertain that they get the full facts of this matter. He further mentioned that he thinks it is extremely important that Canada and its allies continue to engage constructively and seriously with India.
In addition, the Canadian Prime Minister also stated that the US has assured that Secretary of State Antony Blinken would be raising the allegations made publicly about India’s role in Nijjar’s murder during the meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
He noted that the Americans have been with them in speaking to the Indian government about how important it is that they be involved in following up on the credible allegations that agents of the Indian government killed a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil.
Referring to Canada’s charges about the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Justin Trudeau stated that this is something that all democratic countries, all countries that respect the rule of law, need to take seriously. He added that his country is moving forward in a thoughtful, responsible way anchored in the rule of law along with all their partners, including the approach of the Government of India.
In the past few days, there has been an escalating diplomatic standoff between India and Canada after PN Justin Trudeau told the Canadian House of Commons that the Canadian security agencies had been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the Indian government and killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Google celebrates its 25th birthday with a special doodle
Birthdays can also serve as an opportunity for reflection, even though we at Google are always looking to the future.
The world’s largest search engine, Google, is marking its 25th birthday today with a unique doodle. Although Google Inc. was founded on September 4, the firm has been commemorating its birthday on September 27 for more than ten years.
In order to commemorate this unique event, the organisation today took a walk down memory lane and displayed several doodles. The GIF accompanying today’s Google Doodle changes Google into G25gle. The IT company claimed that it was utilising today as a time to reflect while remaining focused on the future.
Google said in a blog post, the Doodle for today honours Google’s 25th anniversary. Birthdays can also serve as an opportunity for reflection, even though we at Google are always looking to the future. Take a trip down memory lane to discover how we were created 25 years ago.
Sergey Brin and Larry Page, two PhD students at Stanford University studying computer science in the late 1990s, developed Google. The two quickly discovered that they had similar goals for the World Wide Web, including making it more user-friendly. According to its blog, the duo put in a lot of effort from their dorm rooms to create a prototype for a better search engine.
They transferred the operation to Google’s first workplace, a rented garage, as they made significant headway on the project. The formal founding date of Google Inc. is September 27, 1998, it stated.
The company further said that although a lot has changed since 1998, its goal has not changed, to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Google said in a statement that it was grateful to users for evolving with us over the past 25 years and added, we can’t wait to see where the future takes us, together.
Google’s current CEO Sundar Pichai wrote a letter to commemorate the company’s birthday last month. He reflected on the company’s history, its contribution to the transformation of technology, and the way ahead. He expressed his appreciation for the customers, staff members, and collaborators who contributed to Google’s success. He also expressed gratitude for the commitment of both former and current Google employees as well as the ongoing challenge to innovate.