Saturday, March 2, 2024
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NEWS IN BRIEF

PAKISTAN

Red Cross cuts operations across
Pakistan following Khalil Dale murder
The International Committee of the Red Cross has announced it has recalled foreign staff to the Pakistani capital Islamabad and cut operations across the country following the murder of British staff member Khalil Dale. The body of Khalil Dale was dumped outside the south-western city of Quetta, capital of Balochistan, at the end of April, almost four months after he was kidnapped.


PNS Mehran attack – Base commander among 3 officers court-martialled
Hearing the PNS Mehran Base attack, a military court court-martialled three officers, a private TV channel reported. According to details, an investigation team had found Base Commander Commodore Raja Tahir, Commanding Officer Israr, Air Base Security Officer Lieutenant Commander Absar irresponsible and negligent of their duties.
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Death marches on Karachi streets
Awami Tehreek rally against Mohajir province attacked (11 killed, dozens injured) 15 motorcycles, seven vehicles, eight shops, three houses set on fire.

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A Pakistani Doctor Shakeel Afridi
Who helped in the CIA hunt for Osama bin Laden has been convicted of high treason and sentenced to 33 years in prison?
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Speaker blocks road to disqualification
Fehmida says no question of disqualification of PM Gilani from being member of parliament | Charges against PM not relatable to grounds mentioned in Clause (1) of Article 63.
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Army declares Gayari victims as Shuhada
The military says there is no probability of recovering any person alive. However, army authority vowed to carry on the search operation during which three out of 139 soldiers’ bodies were recovered. “It has been decided to declare the remaining brave soldiers as Shuhada. This is being done with mixed feelings of pride, grief and above all unflinching resolve to continue all out efforts to recover the bodies of all shuhada,” ISPR.
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National Conference on Balochistan
Leaders urge end to garrison reign
Adopt resolution; stand united against military solution to Balochistan issue. It was a while ago that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif separately talked of calling an all-party conference to discuss highly volatile Balochistan solution. But other contentious issues became a hindrance. Creditably for it, the Supreme Court Bar Association provided a neutral ground for the purpose be hosting a “National Conference on Balochistan Issue and its Solution.”
Army backs political solution to Balochistan
Gen Kayani promises armed forces, FC will not violate law, Information minister says six-member committee to be formed to look into missing persons’ issue, FC to work under Balochistan CM : Talks will be held with estranged Baloch leaders. Six-member body formed to talk to baloch dissidents, High-level huddle gives operational control of FC to Balochistan Chief Minister Raisani
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Pakistan tests short-range nuclear-capable Hatf IX missile
The Hatf IX has a range of only 60 kilometres and can carry conventional warheads. It was the third time Pakistan has test fired a ballistic missile since India last month launched its new long-range Agni V, capable of hitting targets anywhere in China.

Afghanistan::

To announce handover of last British – controlled area of Helmand
Hamid Karzai will next week announce the handover of the last British-controlled area of Helmand, opening the way for the possible return home next year of thousands of troops from Afghanistan.
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Parents of US soldier held hostage by Taliban break their silence
The parents of an American soldier held captive by a Taliban faction for nearly three years have spoken of their frustration that Barack Obama has failed to contact them and talks to release him have stalled.
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US support for war in Afghanistan hits all-time low
Support for the war in Afghanistan has reached a new low, with only 27 per cent of Americans saying they back the effort, according to a new poll.


NATO leaders expect France to remain part of Afghan effort
NATO leaders said they expected France to remain part of the military effort in Afghanistan despite Francois Hollande’s campaign pledge to pull French forces out early.
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US hostage pleads for his life in al-Qaeda video
In a video released by al-Qaeda, American hostage Warren Weinstein said he will be killed unless President Barack Obama agrees to the militant group’s demands.
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Afghan soldier kills US marine in latest attacks against foreign troops
An Afghan soldier killed one US marine and wounded another before being shot to death in return fire in southern Afghanistan, the latest in a series of attacks against foreigners blamed on government forces within their own ranks.
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Barack Obama should learn from the First Afghan War
There is an uncanny resemblance between the Britain’s experience in Afghanistan in 1842 and the present day, writes Allan Massie.
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Plight of Afghan poor may worsen
A top U.N. official says Afghanistan’s security situation has overshadowed the humanitarian needs of the nation’s poorest, and their plight may worsen as international assistance wanes. The World Bank says the transition, in which NATO forces are handing over security to Afghans, will likely coincide with a decline in foreign aid. That could lead to serious economic problems and job losses. U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos says without action that could result in economic migrants flooding informal settlements already filled with people fleeing the fighting or returning from refuge abroad.
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Our enemy is not only the Taliban
As world powers discuss Afghanistan’s future, American troops are finding new pockets of Taliban resistance close to Kabul. The American paratroopers crouched in silence as the roar and dust of the Chinook helicopters receded. The only illumination of their heavy-laden figures was the desert starlight and the ghostly glow of night-vision scopes.
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Afghan war will cost British taxpayers £20 billion by time mission is complete
Britain’s war in Afghanistan will cost taxpayers almost £20 billion by time the mission draws to a close, new figures have revealed. As David Cameron prepares to agree the final timetable for withdrawing most British troops from Afghanistan, official figures have disclosed the financial cost of more than a decade of military operations.————————————————————

Why Britain’s pledge to end Afghanistan’s deadly heroin trade has failed
Nato leaders meet in Chicago on Sunday to discuss the schedule for pulling out of Afghanistan, amid fears that local forces are still no match for the Taliban. Yet the war on the country’s drug barons is also far from won.

INTERNATIONAL ::

India claims to reclaim tea as Their national drink
A cup of tea may be as British as fish and chips, but India’s plantation owners are campaigning to reclaim it as India’s national drink. Their campaign to brand the cuppa Indian follows a surge in popularity of tea or chai drinking across the world’s second most populous country in recent years.
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North Korea ‘resuming work’ on nuclear reactor
Satellite imagery has revealed that North Korea has resumed work on a light water reactor that analysts believe indicates Pyongyang’s intention to push ahead with efforts to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons. North Korea recently declared that “the day is near at hand” when the light-water reactor, at its Yongbyon nuclear complex, will become operational.
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North Korea upgrading missile launch site
North Korea has started work to upgrade its Musudan-ri missile launch site and potentially make the facility capable of firing an intercontinental ballistic missile.
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Libya still ruled by the gun
Six months after the death of Col Muammar Gaddafi, we were on the edge of a Libyan battlefield. Around us were armed men, tanks, bombed-out vehicles. The sound of gunfire was constant as artillery rounds and bullets whistled over our heads. This skirmish was not significant enough to be reported in the British press. But the dead were piling up: the militia we were with had lost 12 men with more than 100 wounded.
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Pirates beware
European antipiracy troops carried out their first air attack on mainland Somalia, strafing a beach from a low-flying helicopter and destroying pirates’ boats, fuel supplies and an arms cache.
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US cuts multi-billion dollar training programme for Iraq police
Cave-dwelling Palestinians face eviction: A unique way of life in the West Bank is under threat after Israel renewed a legal bid to evict more than 1,600 cave-dwelling Palestinian farmers from their land in the desert hills near the Biblical city of Hebron.
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Al-Qaeda will expose agent’s identity, security chiefs fear
Security chiefs believe the identity of the double agent who foiled an al-Qaeda underwear bomb plot will be exposed by the terrorist group within weeks. Al-Qaeda leaders trusted a British double agent because they thought he had a radical Islamic pedigree
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US resumes arms sales to Bahrain
The US has partially resuming sales of military supplies Bahrain after having frozen the shipments last year after the Arab state cracked down on human rights protesters.
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Israel is an ‘aggressor’ and ‘enemy’, say Egypt presidential candidates
Egypt’s presidential front-runners have pledged to revise the country’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel, using a pre-election television debate to denounce the Jewish state as an “aggressor” and “enemy”.
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British spy cracked ‘underpants’ bomb plot
A British undercover agent infiltrated al-Qaeda and volunteered to be a suicide bomber, before smuggling out the deadly device.
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Israel ‘faces West Bank uprising’
Israel has been warned that it faces a major uprising in the West Bank after six Palestinian prisoners taking part in one of the largest and most protracted hunger strikes ever staged in its jails were said to be close to death.

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