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Four rockets target US Embassy in Baghdad: Iraqi officials

As per officials, three of the missiles struck within the perimeter of the US Embassy, while another hit a school located in a nearby residential complex.

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Four rockets target US Embassy in Baghdad: Iraqi officials
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Baghdad: At least four rockets targeted the American Embassy in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, two Iraqi security officials said. 

The Green Zone, the area which is home to diplomatic missions and the seat of Iraq's government.     

As per officials, three of the missiles struck within the perimeter of the US Embassy, while another hit a school located in a nearby residential complex.

An Iraqi military statement said a girl and a woman were injured in the attack, without providing more details. 

According to official statement the rockets had been launched from the Dora neighbourhood of Baghdad. 

Witnesses said they heard the embassy's C-RAM defense system — supposed to detect and destroy incoming rockets, artillery and mortar shells — during the attack. 

The attack is the latest in a series of rocket and drone attacks that have targeted the American presence in Iraq since the start of the year.

Last Thursday, a series of attacks targeted American troops in Iraq and Syria after rockets struck an Iraqi military base hosting US troops in western Anbar province and the capital.

Mehak Javed

Mehak Javed is immensely creative and an enthusiastic journalist, contributing in the publication of timely and accurate news. She is a skilled writer along proven history of achievement in the field with several years of professional experience. Mehak is working with GNN since 2020.

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Taliban pledge to open all schools for girls after March 21

Taliban say they hope to be able to open all schools for girls across the country after late March.

Published by Siddra Sumreen

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Taliban pledge to open all schools for girls after March 21

Kabul: Afghanistan s new Taliban rulers say they hope to be able to open all schools for girls across the country after late March, their spokesman told The Associated Press, offering the first timeline for addressing a key demand of the international community.

Since the Taliban takeover in mid-August, girls in most of Afghanistan have not been allowed back to school beyond grade 7. The international community, reluctant to formally recognize a Taliban-run administration, is wary they could impose similar harsh measures as during their previous rule 20 years ago. At the time, women were banned from education, work and public life.

Zabihullah Mujahid, who is also the Taliban s deputy minister of culture and information, said their education departments are looking to open classrooms for all girls and women following the Afghan New Year, which starts on March 21. Afghanistan, like neighbouring Iran, observes the Islamic solar Hijri Shamsi calendar.

Education for girls and women “is a question of capacity,” Mujahid said in the interview.

Girls and boys must be completely segregated in schools, he said, adding that the biggest obstacle so far has been finding or building enough dorms, or hostels, where girls could stay while going to school. In heavily populated areas, it is not enough to have separate classrooms for boys and girls — separate school buildings are needed, he said.

“We are not against education,” Mujahid stressed, speaking at a Kabul office building with marble floors that once housed Afghan attorney general s offices and which the Taliban have adopted for their culture and information ministry.

The Taliban dictates so far have been erratic, varying from province to province. Girls have not been allowed back to classrooms in state-run schools beyond grade 7, except in about 10 of the country s 34 provinces. In the capital, Kabul, private universities and high schools have continued to operate uninterrupted. Most are small and the classes have always been segregated.

“We are trying to solve these problems by the coming year,” so that schools and universities can open, Mujahid said.

The international community has been skeptical of Taliban announcements, saying it will judge them by their actions — even as it scrambles to provide billions of dollars to avert a humanitarian catastrophe that the UN chief this week warned could endanger the lives of millions.

With a breakdown of services and only sporadic electricity in the bitterly cold Afghan winters, most people rely on firewood and coal for heat. Among the hardest hit are some 3 million Afghans who live as refugees within their own country, having fled their homes because of war, drought, poverty or fear of the Taliban.

Earlier this month, the United Nations launched a $5 billion appeal for Afghanistan, the single largest appeal for one country.

Washington has spent $145 billion on reconstruction and development projects in Afghanistan since the 2001 US-led invasion that ousted the Taliban regime. Yet even before the Taliban recaptured the country, the poverty rate was 54 per cent —and a 2018 Gallup poll revealed unprecedented misery among Afghans.

Mujahid appealed for economic cooperation, trade and “stronger diplomatic relations.” So far, neither Afghanistan s neighbours nor the United Nations seem ready to grant formal recognition which would help open up the Afghan economy. However, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called for greater economic development, saying it s critical to rapidly inject liquidity into the Afghan economy “and avoid a meltdown that would lead to poverty, hunger and destitution for millions.”

The international community has called for a more representative government that includes women as well as ethnic and religious minorities. While all members of the new Taliban Cabinet are men and most are Taliban members, Mujahid said there are exceptions, such as the deputy finance minister and officials in the economics ministry who are holdovers from the previous, US-backed administration.

Mujahid also said 80 per cent of civil servants who have returned to work were employees under the previous administration. Women are working in the health and education sector and at Kabul International Airport in customs and passport control, he added. He did not say if or when women would be allowed to return to work in government ministries.

He also told the AP that most of the new government s revenue will come from customs that the Taliban will collect at border crossings with Iran, Pakistan and the Central Asian nations to the north. Without offering figures, he claimed the Taliban have brought in more revenue in their first four months in power than the previous government in over a year.

He appealed to Afghans who have fled to return to their homeland. Since the takeover, there have been cases of opponents arrested, journalists beaten, rights workers threatened and demonstrations by women dispersed by heavily armed Taliban troops firing in the air.

Mujahid acknowledged incidents of Taliban members harassing Afghan civilians, including humiliating young men and forcibly cutting their hair.

“Such crimes happen, but it is not the policy of our government," he said, adding that those responsible were arrested.

“This is our message. We have no dispute with anyone and we don t want anyone to remain in opposition or away from their country.”

SOURCE: AP

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PML-N asks for ‘deal’ for four people: Shahbaz Gill

Special assistant claims Shehbaz Sharif will soon find himself behind the bars

Published by Faisal Waqas

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PML-N asks for ‘deal’ for four people: Shahbaz Gill

Faisalabad: Special Assistant to PM on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill on Sunday claimed that Opposition Leader in National Assembly and former chief minister Shehbaz Sharif has asked for a deal for four people.

Addressing a press conference in Faisalabad on Sunday, Shahbaz Gill said that the PMLN was demanding that Shehbaz Sharif, his son Hamza Shehbaz Sharif, and Maryam Nawaz be allowed to leave the country. The fourth person, according to Gill, is Nawaz Sharif who is already in London.

Shahbaz Gill also said that the PMLN wants former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to stay in Pakistan and lead the PMLN politics. He said that the government would not give a deal to the Sharifs.

He compared the Sharifs’ demand for a deal with deals served at restaurants. “You are confronted by Imran Khan. We won’t allow you a boiled potato or a corncob and you are asking for a chicken piece. You won’t get a deal … You can only curse and get cursed.”

Shahbaz Gill also said that the law would take its due course and Shehbaz Sharif will soon find himself behind the bars. He said Nawaz Sharif will land in jail when he return to Pakistan.

On the other hand, Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry in a separate media briefing also spoke about the Sharif family, claiming that there is a "race" underway among four leading members.

"When the four big leaders went to meet 'someone', they said that 'Nawaz Sharif did not do right by the country, why don't you consider us?'," the minister claimed further.

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Govt to control Inflation before 2023: FM Qureshi

Global economy has also been in crisis for the past two years due to coronavirus, says minister

Published by Faisal Waqas

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Govt to control Inflation before 2023: FM Qureshi

Multan: Foreign Minister (FM) Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday said that inflation was a temporary phenomenon and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government would control it before 2023.

He expressed these views while addressing a function at Government Primary School Awanpura Middle School Upgradation and talking to people during his visit to different Union Councils of his constituency NA-156.

He said that the government is not indifferent to people and well aware their hardships. He observed that government was striving hard to address public problems, saying that the global economy has also been in crisis for the past two years due to coronavirus. He however maintained that difficulties were temporary.

“We love dear homeland and would continue to live in the country. We know how to be loyal to the country. We have no flats, no accounts abroad and no one has a plan to go abroad. We are among the people and will remain with them,” FM Qureshi maintained. 

The foreign minister hoped that problems of masses would end soon. “We are fighting crises with determination. No matter how much the Opposition marches, there will be no in house change or end to the government. The opposition will face defeat. The democratic government of PTI will complete its term”, remarked FM Qureshi.

He expressed satisfaction and hinted that PTI government’s intentions were positive. “The present government has a credit for not having any corruption scandal”.

Expressing the challenges, Qureshi observed that the problems were much more, compared to available resources which could not be resolved overnight. “We understand the problems and concerns of the people and trying to resolve the issues”, he added.

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