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Istanbul: Missing Journalist Khashoggi Killed In Saudi Mission

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Istanbul: Missing Journalist Khashoggi Killed In Saudi Mission

In a major development, Turkish authorities have confirmed that the dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared four days ago after entering Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, has been killed.

According to the Reuters, a Turkish official said on Saturday, “The initial assessment of the Turkish police is that Mr Khashoggi has been killed at the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul. We believe that the murder was premeditated and the body was subsequently moved out of the consulate.”

However, a Saudi source at the consulate  has denied that Khashoggi had been killed at the mission saying that the accusations were baseless.

The Turkish official position was made public about the  suspected assassination four days after he entered the Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on Tuesday.

His fiancée Hatis, who refused to disclose her second name for security reasons, was waiting outside the consulate. She said that Khashoggi entered the building at 1.00 pm and never returned till the mission was closed at 5.00 pm. In panic she called her family and friends and also reported to the police and other authorities.

Istanbul: Missing Journalist Khashoggi Killed In Saudi Mission

Next day, Saudi consulate issued a statement telling that Khashoggi went missing only after his departure from the mission. However, it was told that Saudi authorities were investigating the incident.

Read More: Saudi Arabia Denies Detaining Dissident Journalist

Earlier on Saturday, sources told Al Jazeera that a delegation of 15 Saudi officials arrived in Turkey the day Khashoggi, 59, disappeared.

Jamal Elshayyal, Aljazeera’s Istanbul correspondent quoted sources saying, “The Saudi officials flew into Istanbul on two different flights on Tuesday.” It was not clear if the Saudi delegation consisted of security or diplomatic officials.

Report from Istanbul says that Saturday’s revelations came as Turkey widened its investigation as Saudi Arabia failed to substantiate its claim that he left the consulate on Tuesday.

The mysterious disappearance of the Saudi journalist may create further tension between the two countries that are already at loggerheads on Qatar crisis. One of the Saudi Arabia’s demands was the withdrawal of Turkish forces from Qatar in the aftermath of severing ties last year. At present Turkey has been supporting Qatar with supplies and assured military support in case of any further adventure.

On missing of Jamal Khashoggi Turkey’s ruling party has asserted that it will “uncover” the details surrounding journalist’s vanishing, saying that the country’s sensitivity on the issue was at the “highest level”.

Istanbul: Missing Journalist Khashoggi Killed In Saudi Mission

Omer Celik, the spokesperson of the ruling AK party, while talking to the reporters at a summit chaired by President REcep Tayyip Erdogan, said, “The condition of the lost journalist, details on him and who is responsible for this will be uncovered.”

On Friday, Turkey’s foreign ministry summoned Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Ankara over the issue.

Later that day, Saudi Arabia’s heir apparent Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) said that he would allow Turkey to search its consulate.

He told Bloomberg TV Network on Friday, “We will allow them to enter and search and do whatever they want to do … We have nothing to hide.”

Mohammad al-Otaiba, the Saudi Consul General in Istanbul said, “I would like to confirm that…Jamal is not at the consulate, nor in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the consulate and the embassy are working to search for him.”

Saudi Arabia has also invited a group of journalists into the Istanbul mission on Saturday, in an effort to show that Khashoggi was not on the premises.

Rights groups had called on Saudi Arabia to verify Khashoggi’s whereabouts, with Human Rights Watch calling on Turkey to deepen its investigation into the case, saying if Saudi Arabia had detained Khashoggi without acknowledging it, his detention would constitute an enforced disappearance.

Khashoggi, living in self- exile in the US for over a year, was one of the well known critics of the reforms being implemented under the stewardship of the Crown Prince MBS.

His regular columns published by Washington Post used to be critical of Saudi policies towards Qatar and Canada, the war in Yemen, and a crackdown on dissent and the media persons in the kingdom.

Khashoggi gained fame for his interview and by co-travelling with Alqaeda’s fugitive head Osama Bin Laden in 1987 and 1995.

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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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