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PM Shehbaz, US ambassador discuss bilateral ties

The premier says US companies are needed to be encouraged by the Development Finance Corporation of the US to invest in Pakistan’s large market

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PM Shehbaz, US ambassador discuss bilateral ties
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Islamabad: The Ambassador of the United States to Pakistan, Donald Blome, called on Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Friday. 

The Prime Minister congratulated the Ambassador on his presentation of credentials and expressed the hope that the Ambassador would devote his efforts to deepening and enhancing bilateral ties between the US and Pakistan.

In this context, the Prime Minister highlighted the historic, longstanding ties between the two countries and underscored Pakistan’s desire to further develop this relationship on the basis of mutual respect, trust, and interest.

Recalling the depth and breadth of Pakistan-US relationship, the Prime Minister underscored that various Dialogues established between Pakistan and US have been playing a critical role in strengthening our bilateral ties in the areas of trade, investment, IT, climate change, health, and energy.

The Prime Minister emphasized that given Pakistan’s economic and demographic potential, US companies needed to be encouraged by the Development Finance Corporation of the US to invest in Pakistan’s large market.

The Prime Minister also stressed the need to have the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Ministerial meeting take place later this year, also hold the Business Opportunities Conference this year. 

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Pakistan and the United States. The Prime Minister hoped that both countries would celebrate this historic occasion in a befitting manner, which would further deepen bilateral and people-to-people ties. He also stressed the need to have more exchanges at high-level between the two countries. 

Ambassador Blome thanked Pakistan for its prompt and effective assistance in facilitating evacuation from Afghanistan. In this context, the Prime Minister emphasized that the deepening of cooperation between Pakistan and the United States would promote peace  and stability in Afghanistan and contribute to averting the humanitarian crisis in that country, which had been further aggravated by the recent earthquake. 

While highlighting the rising wave of Islamophobia in India, he condemned the sacrilegious remarks by the two BJP officials about the revered personality of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) that had deeply hurt the sentiments of Muslims. 

The Prime Minister also underlined that India was committing grave violations of human rights in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). While reiterating Pakistan’s commitment towards promotion of peace in the region, he stressed the importance of peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. In this context, he called upon the international community to discharge its moral and normative obligations, while also calling upon India to adhere to the UN resolutions. 

The Prime Minister also conveyed his sincere good wishes to the people and Government of the United States on their 246th Independence Day. 

Ambassador Blome thanked the Prime Minister for receiving him and reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to further strengthen and reinforce Pakistan-US ties. 

World

10 including prominent cleric killed in bombing at Kabul mosque

There were fears the casualty numbers could rise further.

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10 including prominent cleric killed in bombing at Kabul mosque

A bombing at a mosque in the Afghan capital of Kabul during evening prayers on Wednesday killed at least 10 people, including a prominent cleric, and wounded at least 27, an eyewitness and police said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the latest to strike the country in the year since the Taliban seized power. Several children were reported to be among the wounded.

The Islamic State group’s local affiliate has stepped up attacks targeting the Taliban and civilians since the former insurgents’ takeover last August as U.S. and NATO troops were in the final stages of their withdrawal from the country. Last week, the IS claimed responsibility for killing a prominent Taliban cleric at his religious center in Kabul.

According to the eyewitness, a resident of the city’s Kher Khanna neighborhood where the Siddiquiya Mosque was targeted, the explosion was carried out by a suicide bomber. The slain cleric was Mullah Amir Mohammad Kabuli, the eyewitness said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. 
 
He added that more than 30 other people were wounded. The Italian Emergency hospital in Kabul said that at least 27 wounded civilians, including five children, were brought there from the site of the bomb blast.

There were fears the casualty numbers could rise further.

Khalid Zadran, the Taliban-appointed spokesman for the Kabul police chief, confirmed an explosion inside a mosque in northern Kabul but would not provide a casualty toll or a breakdown of the dead and wounded.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid also condemned the explosion and vowed that the “perpetrators of such crimes will soon be brought to justice and will be punished.”

A U.S.-led invasion toppled the previous Taliban government, which had hosted al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.

Since regaining power, the former insurgents have faced a crippling economic crisis as the international community, which does not recognize the Taliban government, froze funding to the country.

Separately, the Taliban confirmed on Wednesday that they had captured and killed Mehdi Mujahid in western Herat province as he was trying to cross the border into Iran.

Mujahid was a former Taliban commander in the district of Balkhab in northern Sar-e-Pul province, and the only member of the minority Shiite Hazara community among the Taliban ranks.

Mujahid had turned against the Taliban over the past year, after opposing decisions made by Taliban leaders in Kabul.

SOURCE: AP NEWS

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Regional

Relief operations for flood affectees in full swing by PAF in South Punjab Region

Basic food items and commodities were distributed amongst the needy families

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Relief operations for flood affectees in full swing by PAF in South Punjab Region

Rawalpindi: Relief operations for the flood affectees are in full swing by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in South Punjab Region.

According to a press release, food and medical facilities are being provided round the clock to the affected families by the relief teams of PAF.

12155 pounds of basic food items and commodities were distributed amongst the needy families. Moreover, 939 patients were also attended by the paramedical team of Pakistan Air Force.

The recent floods have caused devastation in the low-lying areas of South Punjab Region, badly damaging the villages and infrastructure.

Despite inclement weather conditions throughout the country, especially in flood stricken areas, PAF personnel are working hard to provide humanitarian assistance to flood affectees.

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Pakistan

PM directs to speed-up relief operations in flood-affected areas immediately

"50000 rupees should be provided immediately to each victim's family"

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PM directs to speed-up relief operations in flood-affected areas immediately

Islamabad: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has directed NDMA, PDMA, and the provincial government to speed up relief operations in the flood-affected areas immediately.

According to PM Office, Shehbaz Sharif said the first priority in a flood situation is the rescue of the affected people and their immediate assistance.

He also directed that 50000 rupees should be provided immediately to each victim's family.

The Prime Minister directed for immediate provision of accommodation, medical facilities, food, and clean drinking water to the victims.

He expressed deep sorrow over the loss of lives and properties due to floods in southern Sindh.

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