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Won’t accept military or political role of India in Afghanistan: Pak PM Abbasi at UN

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Won’t accept military or political role of India in Afghanistan: Pak PM Abbasi at UN

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The recently sworn-in PM also alleges that India is using aggression along the Line of Control to divert attention from the turmoil in Kashmir

Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that while his government has no problem with India extending economic assistance to Afghanistan, it will “not accept a political or military role” of the country in their mutual neighbour.

Abbasi’s comments, made during an interaction organised by American think-tank Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York, come at a time when the United States government under President Donald Trump is shunning its old alliance with Pakistan and decisively allying with India in its attempt to restore economic growth in Afghanistan.

The recently sworn-in Prime Minister is in New York to attend a session of the United Nations General Assembly where India’s Minister for External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj had, a few days earlier, hit out Pakistan for supporting terror outfits and condoning North Korea’s controversial nuclear program.

Asked at the CFR interaction to comment on the Trump administration’s recently unveiled Afghan policy, under which the US President has sought more help from New Delhi to bring peace and stability in the war-torn country, Abbasi said Pakistan sees zero political or military role for India in Afghanistan.

“We don’t foresee any political or military role for India in Afghanistan. I think it will just complicate the situation and it will not resolve anything. So, if they want to do economic assistance that’s their prerogative, but we don’t accept or see any role politically or militarily for India in Afghanistan,” Abbasi said.

Abbasi added that India, like all other countries, has “the right to trade” with Afghanistan and had done so in the past too, but insisted that the two countries must restrict their exchange purely to economic activities and not indulge in military cooperation.

The Pakistan PM also reiterated his country’s demand for granting Kashmiris the “right to self determination” while alleging that people in the northernmost Indian state had “risen against the Indian occupation”.

Insisting that the dispute over Kashmir between India and Pakistan and the latter’s demand to settle it through a right of self determination that should be granted to the Kashmiris as per resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council, Abbasi said: “There is Indian aggression along the Line of Control, mostly to draw attention away from the genuine struggle of the Kashmiri people, who have today risen against the Indian occupation there. And we fully support the right of self-determination… And that issue should be resolved as per the UN Security Council resolutions.”

The Pakistan PM alleged that “Indian occupation forces there (in Kashmir) have committed atrocities which are really beyond belief” and that his country expects the world community to take notice of those atrocities.

Asked how his country plans to take forward discussions with the Indian government given the ongoing diplomatic standoff between the two nations, Abbasi said “that certain core issues have to be addressed and Kashmir is one of the core issues”.

In a comment that can at best be viewed as a war-mongering effort, Abbasi said his country has developed short-range nuclear weapons to counter the ‘cold start doctrine’ adopted by the Indian Army. “We have a very robust and secure command-and-control system over our strategic nuclear assets. Time has proved that it’s a process that is very secure. It’s a process that has complete civilian oversight through the NCA,” he said.

Making tall claims of having destroyed terrorism and terror networks in Pakistan at a time when Pak-based terror outfits like Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba have been called out by international forums like BRICS and the UN, Abbasi said: “This perception that there are (terrorist) sanctuaries (in Pakistan) is absolutely not correct. We have defeated the enemy on our own territory. We have destroyed the sanctuaries”.

Responding to another question about Pakistan’s spy agency ISI having terror links, the prime minister dismissed any links between the Haqqani network and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). “We do not condone any activities by any organisation to pose a terrorist threat within Pakistan or to export it to other countries,” Abbasi said.

Asked about the presence of a number of terror groups and terrorists like Hafeez Saeed in Pakistan, Abbasi said he (Hafiz Saeed) belonged to a “proscribed organisation”. He went on to say: “We have taken action against him. He is in house arrest. In the recent by-election, a candidate did use his picture in an election poster, which is illegal to do, and action will be taken against him by the election commission.”

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Nawaz Sharif, Bilawal Bhutto’s parties strike deal on Pakistan coalition Govt, Shehbaz Sharif to be PM

The PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari, 68, is set to assume the role of the President of Pakistan again.

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Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have agreed on a power-sharing deal to form a new coalition government after days of intense negotiations, as per the senior party leaders.

On Tuesday night, in a joint conference, the PPP Chairman Bhutto announced that PML-N president, 72-year-old Shehbaz Sharif will be the Prime Minister of Pakistan once again and the PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari, 68, is set to assume the role of the President of Pakistan again.

Speaking to reports, Bhutto said the PPP and PML-N have achieved the required number, and now they were in a position to form the government.

He said the former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party-backed candidates and Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) could not achieve a simple majority in Parliament to form government in the Centre.

Bilawal hoped that the political alliance with PML-N to form a coalition government would result in a positive market response since the cash-strapped country faced a hung Parliament after the February 8 elections.

Independent candidates, who were supported by the 71-year-old Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, managed to secure 93 seats in the National Assembly.

Shehbaz Sharif, in his speech, expressed confidence that his PML-N party, along with the PPP, now has the necessary numbers to form the next government. He also thanked the leadership of both parties for successfully concluding the talks.

According to the reports, the former prime minister highlighted the unity between the two political parties and their strong position to form the government at the Centre.

The PML-N secured 75 seats in the election, while the PPP came in third with 54 seats. Additionally, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) has agreed to support the two parties with their 17 seats.

To form a government, a party must win 133 out of 265 contested seats in the 266-member National Assembly or the lower house of Parliament.

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Poland Minister Wladyslaw T Bartoszewski says India is a superpower, should play role in World affairs

The Polish Minister said it is time to take the relations between the the two countries to a higher level. He said India has developed into a phenomenal country and is the 5th largest economy in the world. The minister said the Polish economy has also developed and both the countries have much more to offer each other.

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Secretary of state at the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Poland Wladyslaw T. Bartoszewski on Monday said that India should play a bigger role in global politics. He said India is a superpower now and hence India should play a role that fits superpower at the global scale. He said the relations between Poland and India have been extremely good. He said they have not had any problems.

The Polish Minister said it is time to take the relations between the the two countries to a higher level. He said India has developed into a phenomenal country and is the 5th largest economy in the world. The minister said the Polish economy has also developed and both the countries have much more to offer each other.

He said the Polish government wants India to play a more active role in World Politics. He said India is the largest democracy in the world and shares values with Poland as to how the world should be organised. The Polish Minister said he is looking to partner with India. He said Poland is looking at potentially creating the India-Central Eastern European Forum to discuss amongst a few countries.

He said there are a lot of topics and Poland wants to partner with India to play its role in the world affairs. Bartoszewski highlighted the remarkable economic growth India has made under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said Warsaw would like to work in closer co-operation with New Delhi. India and Poland share strong bilateral ties.

After the Ukraine war began, Poland helped in India’s Operation Ganga by aiding in the evacuation of Indian students from the war struck country in 2022.The Polish minister commented on the Russia-Ukraine war which has been going on since the last two years. He said the war will end if immediately if Russian President Vladimir Putin withdraws his forces from neighbouring Ukraine.

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71st Miss World contestants visit Raj Ghat and pay respects to Mahatma Gandhi

The 71st Miss World will take place between February 18 and March 9 which will unfold across various venues, including the Bharat Manadapam in New Delhi. 120 contestants from countries around the world will participate in various competitions and charitable initiatives, serving as ambassadors of change.

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Miss World contestants, accompanied by Julia Morley, chairman and CEO of the Miss world Organisation, visited the Raj Ghat, also known as the Gandhi memorial, on Monday, where they paid their respects to Mahatma Gandhi. The 71st Miss World participants also visited the Gandhi Museum.

The 71st Miss World will take place between February 18 and March 9 which will unfold across various venues, including the Bharat Manadapam in New Delhi. 120 contestants from countries around the world will participate in various competitions and charitable initiatives, serving as ambassadors of change.

Julia Morley, chairman and CEO of the Miss World Organisation said in a statement that her love of India is no secret and having the 71st Miss World Festival in this country means a lot to her. She thanked Jamil Saidi for his herculean efforts to make the return of the event to India a reality. She said the Miss World Organization has assembled the best team for the 71st edition.

The 71st Miss World will end with a dazzling grand finale at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai. India last hosted the international pageant in 1996. Manushi Chhillar was the most recent Indian to win the pageant, having bagged the crown in 2017. Previously, Reita Faria Powell, Aishwarya Rai, Diana Hayden, Yukta Mookhey, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas have also won the competition.

India is currently hosting Miss World 2024 in Delhi and Mumbai after 28 years. The competition will begin on  Februray 18, with the grand finale scheduled  on March 9, the 71st Miss World Pageant will feature 120 contestants from 120 countries and territories, which includes India and will feature various competitions and charitable initiatives. The 21-day fashion and beauty event will feature a variety of events that will empower young women as change agents and future leaders.  

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