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EU foreign ministers warn Moscow of vigorous response as Ukraine crisis aggravates

If there are attacks against Ukraine, we will be very harsh and very strong and robust in our response, Swedish FM says

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EU foreign ministers warn Moscow of vigorous response as Ukraine crisis aggravates
GNN Media: Representational Photo

EU foreign ministers on Friday warned Russia of a "robust" response, fearing that a cyberattack against Ukraine could prepare the ground for military action by Moscow against its neighbour.

Even before Friday's assault on key Ukrainian government websites, European ministers had warned that cyberattacks could precede, or accompany, a military incursion that Russia may be planning as it masses 100,000 troops on the Ukraine border.

The standoff with Russia "is serious, more serious than anything we've seen in recent years", Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg told reporters at a meeting of the bloc's top diplomats in the French city of Brest.

"Some say the cyberattack could be the prelude for other activities, military activities," he said.

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said: "This is exactly the kind of thing that we have warned of and that we are afraid of,"

"If there are attacks against Ukraine, we will be very harsh and very strong and robust in our response," Linde said.

Another European foreign minister, asking not to be identified in order to speak more freely, told AFP: "Our conviction is that there is a risk of a Russian intervention in Ukraine and we must be ready to react."

When Russia annexed the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in 2014 "it took us weeks to agree on our response, this can't happen again", the minister said.

-- Avoid escalation -- 

The EU was meanwhile mobilising to aid Ukraine deal with the cyberattack, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

Borrell said the EU's political and security committee would convene later on Friday for an urgent meeting on the attack and the EU's rapid response cyber unit was also being activated.

"We are mobilising all our resources to help Ukraine deal with this type of cyberattack," Borrell said.

Ministers left little doubt that they suspected Russia was behind the cyberattack. "You can imagine who did this," Borrell said, acknowledging however that "we don't have proof".

Ministers said sanctions against Russia were among options on the table to persuade President Vladimir Putin that invading Ukraine would have severe consequences for Moscow.

"Our aim is to deter Russia," said French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

"We have a joint determination to act," he said

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said there was still room for diplomacy with Russia.

"Especially in moments of crisis, diplomacy requires much stamina, patience and strong nerves," she told reporters.

Baerbock, who is to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday in Moscow, added: "We are doing everything to avoid any further escalation."

She said the trip was part of efforts "to use every possible channel of communication".

The United States' ambassador to NATO welcomed the EU's mobilisation for Ukraine, saying it was a valuable addition to the defence alliance's own capabilities.

"There's a real capacity now being built up in Brussels, inside the European Union, to pair with the depth of knowledge, expertise and the toolkit that NATO," Julianne Smith told reporters in Brussels.

SOURCE: AFP

Faisal Ali Ghumman

Mr. Ghumman is a seasoned journalist who has 19 years of diversified experience in print, electronic and digital media. He has worked with 92 News HD, Daily Pakistan Today, Daily The Business, Daily Dawn, Daily Times and Pakistan Observer as News Reporter, Feature Writer, Editor, Web Content Editor and Article Writer. Mr Ghumman has graduated from the Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan and is currently enrolled in M.Phil in Mass Communication at the University of Punjab.

Regional

Two colleges closed in Islamabad amid rising coronavirus cases

Six cases of COVID-19 have been reported in two colleges of Islamabad

Published by Faisal Waqas

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Two colleges closed in Islamabad amid rising coronavirus cases

Islamabad: Islamabad administration has closed two colleges after emerging coronavirus cases on Sunday. 

According to the details garnered, positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported in two colleges of the federal capital. In this regard, the Islamabad district health officer (DHO) has informed the Deputy Commissioner in a letter.

In the letter to the deputy commissioner (DC), the DHO informed that six cases of COVID-19 have been reported in two colleges. The DHO said that three Corona cases have been reported in IMCG G-6/1, while three Corona cases have also come to light in IMCG F-6/2. 

Following to the coronavirus cases, the district health officer directed to close the two colleges immediately till the next order and spray disinfectant.

The letter said that the federal administration should conduct contact tracing and testing in both the colleges, while the tests should also be conducted of close relatives to the infected female students.

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Entertainment

Veteran actor Rasheed Naz passes away 

The news of sad demise of Rasheed has been revealed by his daughter-in-law and actress Madiha Rizvi who shared a post on her Instagram handle.

Published by Mehak Javed

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Veteran actor Rasheed Naz passes away 

Peshawar: Veteran Pakistani actor Rasheed Naz passed away on Monday, his family confirmed. He was 73.

The news of sad demise of Rasheed has been revealed by his daughter-in-law and actress Madiha Rizvi who shared a post on her Instagram handle.

“Rasheed Naz is no longer with us,” the actress wrote,

"Our beloved Baba Rashid Naz passed away this morning. Please recite Surah Al-Fatihah for the soul of the deceased," she added.

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Madiha Rizvi Official (@diyariz)

The veteran actor’s funeral prayers will be offered at Charsadda Road Eid Gah at 3PM.

Born in 1948, Rasheed started his television career as an actor in Pushto television play. He also worked in several Pashto, Hindko and Urdu language plays.

His first Urdu play was Aik Tha Gaoon (1973). The renowned star also worked in Pakistan's first private television play Dasht, telecast on N T M.

In 1988, he worked in his first Pashto film Zama Jang (in Urdu "Meri Jang"). His first Urdu film was Syed Noor's Dakait. He also worked in Shoaib Mansoor's film Khuda Ke Liye.

Rasheed Naz’s popular films include Karachi to Lahore, Varna, Khuda Ke Liye and others.

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Pakistan

‘Spirit of Riyasat-i-Madina’: PM highlights efforts to embody principles of Holy Prophet (PBUH) 

According to Imran Khan’s views expressed in his piece of writing the core of every civilization was its spiritual principles; when they died, the civilization died.

Published by Mehak Javed

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‘Spirit of Riyasat-i-Madina’: PM highlights efforts to embody principles of Holy Prophet (PBUH) 

Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday stressed upon continuous struggle to embody as a nation and state the principles of Riyasat-i-Madina as laid down by the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

On his official twitter handle, the Premier posted his article published in English daily, the Express Tribune, titled “Spirit of Riyasat-i-Madina: transforming Pakistan”.

“Explaining guiding principles of Riyasat-i-Madina as laid down by our Prophet PBUH creating the foundation of the greatest civilisation of all times. In Pak, to realize our potential today we have to struggle to embody these principles as a nation & state,” the caption read.

According to Imran Khan’s views expressed in his piece of writing the core of every civilization was its spiritual principles; when they died, the civilization died.

“In Islamic civilization, the manifestation of our spiritual principles happened in the Prophet’s (SAW) Madina. Besides many other important principles, there were five very important guiding principles upon which the state of Madina was built. These principles are unity, justice and rule of law leading to meritocracy, strong moral and ethical foundation, inclusion of all humans in progress and prosperity, and finally, the quest for knowledge,” he added.

The prime minister said to help revive the spirit of the covenant of Madina, National Rahmatul Lil ‘Alamin Authority (NRA) has been formed.

Highlighting the ethical and moral transformation of the people as per principles of Riyasat-i-Madina, the Prime Minister said NRA will endeavor to engage in doing good and forbidding evil by teaching seerat-al-nabi (PBUH) to our youth in schools and universities in the hope to raise the level the ethics and morals in our society.

Regarding Islam's principle of quest for knowledge, THE Prime Minister said that all sources that impact human behavior should disseminate knowledge which produces self-control, self-discipline, patience, forbearance, tolerance and a spirit of service and volunteerism.

Talking about the steps taken for the welfare of the people, Khan stated that his government allocated billions of rupees under Ehsaas Program to provide relief to the common masses. 

Imran Khan reiterated to establish the rule of law, which is the most urgent of all challenges facing Pakistan. 

 

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