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Pakistan rejects US request for military bases

By Javed Rana | Press TV | May 27, 2021

Islamabad – As the US is negotiating with countries in Central and South Asia to set up its military bases in the region to carry out possible airstrikes on Afghanistan after later this year withdrawal from the country, Pakistan says it won’t ink any similar agreement with the US once again.

The US is fast pulling out its troops from Afghanistan under a peace deal with Afghan Taliban. However, before completing its withdrawal by September 11 this year, Washington is desperately negotiating with regional countries in Central and South Asia to set up military bases to retain its political clout in this part of the world.

The US used Pakistan’s military bases for years to carry out over 57,000 sorties on Afghanistan which killed tens of thousands of Afghan civilians. Similarly as many as 4,000 Pakistani civilians were killed in the bordering region with Afghanistan in US drone attacks most of which were carried out from the secret southern locations of Pakistan.

Not long ago, under public pressure Pakistan shut down the US military bases. Now the US is once again struggling hard to be allowed to have military bases in this part of the world.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government, which won the 2018 general elections partially exploiting anti-American sentiments, has vowed not to allow the US to have military bases again in Pakistan.

Earlier the Foreign Office denied the presence of any US military or air base in Pakistan, stating that any speculation is “baseless and irresponsible” and should be avoided.

If nothing works, the Pentagon says it can use its aircraft carriers already stationed in the West Asia and Persian Gulf to carry out any possible airstrike on Afghanistan in future.

Despite shutting down the US military bases in Pakistan, the Pentagon continues to use air corridors of Pakistan to support its shrinking military presence in Afghanistan. And Pakistan has yet to clarify on whether or not it would allow the US to retain its air space facility for any possible airstrike in Afghanistan after the US completely exits from Afghanistan later this year.

May 27, 2021 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

CNN anchor flies into rage after Pakistani FM says Israelis control media

This photo shows CNN anchor Brianna Golodryga’s twitter page, accusing Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi of anti-Semitism.
Press TV – May 22, 2021

A CNN news anchor has accused Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi of anti-Semitism after he said the Israeli regime has lost the media war in the latest aggression against Palestinians.

During a live interview with CNN on the latest Israeli war, Qureshi was accused of “invoking an anti-Semitic slur” after he simply said Israelis “control the media,” and have influential “connections”.

“Israel is losing out. They’re losing the media war despite their connections. The tide is turning,” the Pakistani foreign minister told CNN anchor Bianna Golodryga.

An apparently outraged Golodryga, who is Jewish herself, put aside her supposed journalistic impartiality, pouncing on the remarks to accuse Qureshi of anti-Semitism.

The journalist followed the statement asking for clarification on what their connections were. “Deep pockets,” he replied, adding later, “they are very influential people. They control media.”

Golodryga went on to accuse the FM of making an anti-Semitic remark, to which he responded, “Well, you see, the point is, they have a lot of influence. They get a lot of coverage. Now, what balances that is the citizen journalist who has been reporting, sharing video clips, and that has jolted people, and woken up people, and people who were sitting on the fence are today speaking up.”

Golodryga then took her inquisition to the next level, asking if the FM would condemn the anti-Jewish sentiment that is allegedly taking hold due to the Israeli violence in Palestine.

According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, 248 Palestinians were killed in the new Israeli offensive, including 66 children and 39 women, and at least 1,910 were injured.

Golodryga repeated her accusation later as she tweeted a clip of the interview, saying, “I had planned to speak with Pakistan’s foreign minister about paths towards a peaceful resolution between Israel and Hamas. Instead, he began the interview by invoking an anti-semitic slur.”

The interview prompted a chorus of support for the Pakistani foreign minister, while pro-Israeli voices cast scorn at his remarks.

Journalist and talk show host Fereeha Idrees defended Qureshi.

“He didn’t even utter the word ‘Jew’ or even made a feeble reference to it. All he said was media is controlled by Israel,” Idrees wrote on Twitter.

Idrees pointed out that during the recent aggression, Israeli jets had leveled a high-rise building in Gaza that housed the offices of several media outlets, including the Associated Press and Al Jazeera.

May 22, 2021 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 4 Comments

Pakistanis hold massive rally against ties with Israel

Press TV – January 23, 2021

Tens of thousands of Pakistanis have held an anti-Israel march in the country’s major city of Karachi, rejecting the possibility of normalizing ties with the occupying Israeli regime.

The “million-man march” organized by opposition Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) was held with participants donning the colors of the JUI-F and raising tall black and white striped flags.

“Israel is involved in the genocide of Muslims in Palestine and we would never allow the federal government to establish diplomatic relations with it,” JUI-F leader Maulana Saleemullah Alwazi told Pakistani daily The News International.

In recent months, the news of deals signed by a few Arab dictatorships to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel under intense US pressure has sparked widespread anger among Pakistani people, who hold strong feelings for the Palestinian cause.

In December, top Pakistani officials fiercely denied rumors publicized by Israeli news outlets that Islamabad was moving towards a similar deal.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan rejected as “baseless” reports of his government officials visiting Israel, insisting why would any of his ministers visit Tel Aviv when Islamabad does not even recognize Israel.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said later in December that he had informed the UAE — one of the US-backed kingdoms that recently normalized ties with Israel — of Islamabad’s “steadfast” policy towards Tel Aviv, insisting that the country will refuse to recognize it until the issue of Palestine is resolved.

The top Pakistani diplomat said he had explained to his Emirati counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan the “depth of emotions and feelings Pakistanis have about Palestine and Kashmir.”

The normalization trend has drawn widespread condemnation from Palestinians, who seek an independent state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital. They say the deals are “a stab in the back” of the Palestinians.

January 23, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saudi FM to visit Pakistan to discuss strained bilateral ties

MEMO | December 29, 2020

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Faisal Bin Farhan Al-Saud will lead a high-level delegation, including business leaders, in a visit to Pakistan next month in an effort to discuss recently strained relations, according to the Pakistani daily the Express Tribune.

The kingdom’s Energy Minister Abdulaziz Bin Salman will join the delegation to discuss the establishment of a Saudi oil refinery in Pakistan.

Al Saud will hold talks with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in addition to meeting President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The visit comes amid tense relations between Riyadh and Islamabad since August when Qureshi criticised the Saudis over their lack of support on the issue of Kashmir over which Pakistan and rival India both claim in its entirety.

The Pakistani diplomat even stated that Islamabad would be “compelled” to “call a meeting of Islamic countries that are ready to stand with us”.

However, the Saudis who interpreted the statement as a veiled threat to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which is dominated by Riyadh, responded by requesting the earlier repayment of a $3 billion loan to Pakistan made two years ago and refused to renew deferred oil payments scheme which part of the loan agreement worth another $3.2 billion. Earlier this month, long-term ally China agreed to help Pakistan repay the debt.

Earlier this year Beijing also helped Pakistan repay $1 billion to the Saudis meaning Pakistan has thus far repaid $2 billion with $1 billion outstanding.

Meanwhile, the Saudis have been developing ties with India despite its traditional ties with Pakistan, with a historic visit by the head of the Indian military to Riyadh earlier this month aimed at strengthening their bilateral ties, particularly in defence.

Read also:

Railway link from Turkey to Pakistan, through Iran to start in 2021

December 29, 2020 Posted by | Economics | , , , | Leave a comment

Pakistani PM firmly rejects Israeli ties as ‘baseless’, publicity campaign

Press TV | December 19, 2020

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has rejected as “baseless” reports of his government officials visiting Israel, insisting why would any of the ministers visit Tel Aviv when Islamabad does not recognize the occupying regime.

Khan made the remarks during an interview on Friday with the local Samaa TV emphasizing that the Israeli-based news story was part of “an entire campaign” targeting his administration.

The development came following a publicity campaign by the Israeli regime’s news outlets alleging on Wednesday that a senior advisor to Khan had visited the occupied territories last month.

Citing a source close to the Tel Aviv regime, Israel Hayom and other Israeli dailies published a report claiming that the Pakistani aide had met with Israeli officials during an alleged trip to Tel Aviv.

The apparent propaganda story also said the Pakistani official was carrying a message from Khan that reflected his “strategic decision” to open political and diplomatic talks with the regime. The Jerusalem Post also covered the publicity item but later removed it from its website.

Pointing to recent efforts by a coalition of 11 opposition groups — led by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and the now London-based former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted after being convicted and later jailed on official corruption charges – Khan said he was prepared to face everything the opposition alliance aims to throw at him.

“The PDM can do anything that it wants. I am ready,” said the premier, adding that PDM’s recent protest rally in Lahore had damaged the opposition’s alliance.

“I am a jalsa specialist and I am telling you that this was a flop show,” he said.

Khan’s administration had dismissed the Lahore rally as “more [of] a ploy” to distract from the corruption charges against Sharif.

Khan also touched upon the threat of mass resignations by opposition legislators, saying, “If they resign, it would be better for Pakistan.”

He went on to say he would even assist the opposition if they came to Islamabad, but noted, “They cannot even last a week [in Islamabad] even if I support them.”

The Pakistani leader defended the country’s top military commander General Qamar Javed Bajwa against the opposition’s persisting allegations against him and the army, saying that “anger” and “disappointment” prevailed among the ranks after Bajwawas was targeted by opposition leaders during public gatherings.

“Gen Bajwa believes in democracy. Had it been another general, he would have given a quick rebuttal,” Khan said, adding that the army chief was “angry” but he was “controlling it.”

He also emphasized that all institutions — including the army — stood beside him, saying, “There are excellent civil-military ties in the country.”

He said the army serves under him as he is the prime minister, and as the army is a government institution.

India’s scheme to discredit Pakistan

Referring to a recent report by EU DisinfoLab, Khan said the NGO’s research had exposed India’s network that kept spreading misinformation about Pakistan.

The Brussels-based NGO, which works to combat disinformation against the European Union, unveiled earlier this month that a 15-year-old operation run by an Indian entity had used hundreds of fake media outlets and the identity of a dead professor to defame Pakistan.

The report – Indian Chronicles: deep dive into a 15-year operation targeting the EU and United Nations to serve Indian interests – described the effort as the “largest network” of disinformation they have exposed so far.

The report – released on December 9 – said the disinformation network run by the Srivastava Group, a New Delhi-based entity, was designed primarily to “discredit Pakistan internationally” and influence decision-making at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the European Parliament, Al-Jazeera reported.

The report also revealed that in order to “undermine Pakistan internationally,” the network “resurrected dead NGOs” at the UN, impersonated the EU and laundered content produced by fake media to real media, and reached millions in South Asia and across the world.

December 19, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 1 Comment

Iran, Pakistan open 2nd border crossing for trade surge

Press TV | December 19, 2020

Iran and Pakistan have inaugurated the second official border crossing for the transfer of goods and passengers.

The border point opened during a ceremony on Saturday, with Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami and the Pakistani Minister for Defense Production Zubaida Jalal attending the event.

The gateway connects Rimadan, located in Dashtyari country of Iran’s southeastern Sistan and Baluchestan Province, with Pakistan’s Gabd.

The Rimadan border crossing has a capacity for exporting and importing goods and transporting Pakistani pilgrims and tourists.

The border’s 70-kilometer distance with Gwadar port also enables Pakistani citizens to reach Iran’s strategic Chabahar port, from where they can travel by plane or train to Iran’s religious cities and tourist sites.

The connection of the Rimadan border with Pakistan’s Karachi port would pave the way for linking China and Southeast Asian countries to Eastern Europe.

In an interview with IRNA news agency, Iran’s Ambassador to Pakistan Mohammad Ali Hosseini said there was only one crossing, Mirjaveh-Taftan, on the 900-kilometer border between the two neighboring states.

So, he added, Iranian and Pakistani officials decided to open two more border gateways, Rimadan-Gabd and Pishin-Mand.

The envoy also stressed that the inauguration of Rimdan-Gabd border point will increase economic and trade cooperation between Tehran and Islamabad, reduce smuggling and improve the livelihood of border residents as well as the security situation along the common frontier.

December 19, 2020 Posted by | Economics | , , | Leave a comment

Pakistan returns $1 bln of Saudi Arabia’s loan over Kashmir dispute

MEMO | December 16, 2020

Pakistan has returned $1 billion to Saudi Arabia as a second installment of a $3 billion soft loan, as Islamabad reaches out to Beijing for a commercial loan to help it offset pressure to repay another $1 billion to Riyadh next month, officials said on Wednesday according to a report by Reuters.

Analysts say it is unusual for Riyadh to press for the return of money. But relations have been strained lately between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, historically close friends.

Saudi Arabia gave Pakistan a $3 billion loan and a $3.2 billion oil credit facility in late 2018. After Islamabad sought Riyadh’s support over alleged human rights violations by India in the disputed territory of Kashmir, Saudi Arabia has pushed Pakistan to repay the loan.

With the $1 billion flowing out, Pakistan – which has $13.3 billion in central bank foreign reserves – could face a balance of payments issue after clearing the next Saudi installment.

“China has come to our rescue,” a foreign ministry official told Reuters. A finance ministry official said Pakistan’s central bank was already in talks with Chinese commercial banks.

“We’ve sent $1 billion to Saudi Arabia,” he said. Another $1 billion will be repaid to Riyadh next month, he said. Islamabad had returned $1 billion in July.

Although a $1.2 billion surplus in its current account balance and a record $11.77 billion in remittances in the past five months have helped support the Pakistani economy, having to return the Saudi money is still a setback.

Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who visited Riyadh in August to ease the tensions, met the Saudi ambassador in Islamabad on Tuesday.

December 16, 2020 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pakistan Makes A Compelling Case That India Is A State Sponsor Of Terrorism

By Andrew Korybko | One World | November 15, 2020

This year’s Diwali celebration got off to a very symbolic start after Pakistan shined some light on the dark activities that it accused India of carrying out in the region. Islamabad released a detailed dossier during a press conference on Saturday strongly making the case that India is a state sponsor of terrorism whose intelligence services have weaponized this phenomenon as part of the proxy war that they’re fighting with respect to the UNSC-recognized international Kashmir dispute and against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship project of Beijing’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). These claims aren’t anything new, but what’s novel is the amount of detail devoted to proving them this time around.

According to Pakistan, Indian diplomatic facilities in Afghanistan are being used to coordinate the training of various terrorist groups on that landlocked country’s territory, including efforts to unite relevant Baloch and Pashtun ones as well as create a new ISIS branch dedicated to attacking Pakistan. Islamabad mentioned names, dates, bank accounts, phone numbers, and other identifying information such as exposing the Indian mastermind of these regionally destabilizing activities to make its case that India is a rogue state whose behavior should be investigated by the international community, which might find it fitting to sanction the country through the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and other related bodies.

Pakistan’s diplomatic masterstroke puts India in a very uncomfortable position because it had hitherto been the latter making such claims about the former and not the reverse. The comparatively muted reaction from the international community in the 24 hours since the dossier was revealed suggests that they feel uncomfortable about the accusations and aren’t too sure how to respond. India is a close military and economic partner of a growing number of influential players such as the US and “Israel” who might now be embarrassed for so closely associating with a country that’s been convincingly accused of such rogue behavior. At the same time, however, “birds of a feather flock together”, as they say.

For reasons of self-interest, it might turn out that the international community as a whole doesn’t react the same way to Pakistan’s accusations as they’ve done in the past whenever India made similar but much less detailed ones. Nevertheless, what’s most important to pay attention to is how these revelations might shape Chinese-Indian relations considering their clashes along the Line of Actual Control this summer and ongoing state of ever-intensifying cold war. The grand strategic interests of the People’s Republic are directly threatened by India’s Hybrid War of Terror on Pakistan, which aims to destabilize CPEC’s northern and southern access points in Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan respectively.

In fact, the timing of this dossier’s release might have been connected to those two countries’ rivalry. To explain, India was handily defeated by China during their clashes over the summer, which might be why it’s doubling down on its proxy war of terrorism against Pakistan in response. After all, Islamabad warned that New Delhi would soon seek to intensify its terrorist efforts in the coming future, so the dossier might have been intended to preemptively thwart that by exposing these plans in order to put pressure on India to reconsider its actions. Of course, it also took plenty of time to assemble all the details that were disclosed, but the timing was at least very convenient from the Pakistani perspective even if it was ultimately coincidental.

All told, the dossier heralds the advent of a new phase of Pakistani diplomacy where Islamabad confidently exposes India’s Hybrid War of Terror on the world stage. Since it can be assumed that China considers these claims credible considering the fact that its interests are directly threatened irrespective of the country’s public reaction (or potential lack thereof in line with its diplomatic traditions), the conclusion can thus far be made that this report already had a significant impact. It might very well end up being the case that Chinese-Indian relations will never return to their former friendliness, especially if Beijing begins to wonder whether Washington might be tacitly supporting New Delhi’s proxy war on CPEC.

Andrew Korybko is an American political analyst.

November 15, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

Relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in crisis

By Lucas Leiroz | September 17, 2020

In early August, the diplomatic crisis between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia increased considerably when Pakistani Chancellor Shah Mehmood Qureshi officially criticized the Arab country for its lack of support for Islamabad’s interests in the dispute with India over Kashmir. According to the Pakistani government, there should be greater cooperation between both countries due to the fact that they share religious ties, and this is not happening.

Qureshi recently said during an interview that Islamabad expects the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to convene a meeting soon to discuss the issue of Kashmir. Furthermore, he said that if the OIC does not convene such a meeting, Pakistan itself will be obliged to organize a meeting of Islamic countries in order to obtain support in the dispute for Kashmir. Qureshi’s words were immediately received by the Saudis as a threat of conspiracy against the OIC for the creation of a new bloc, led by Islamabad.

There are three countries that unconditionally support Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir, which are Turkey, Iran and Malaysia. These countries, in December 2019, met at the Kuala Lumpur Summit, where they discussed various topics related to the entire Islamic world. Since then, Saudi Arabia sees the alliance of these countries as a threat to its interests and to the role of hegemony it exercises over the OIC. So, if Pakistan convenes a meeting with such countries, a major step will be taken towards the creation of a new group of Islamic nations.

Qureshi’s comment was made to warn the Saudis, but the consequences were disastrous. Riyadh immediately refused to give a third of the 3 billion dollars loan it had granted Pakistan in 2018, and the 3.2 billion dollars oil credit line that was also part of the 2018 deal has not been renewed.

Until now, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have shared close ties, forming an important alliance in Asian geopolitics. Both countries have shared strategic ties of mutual interest for decades and on several occasions have supported each other diplomatically, economically and militarily. Examples of this shared interest can be seen in events such as the placement of Pakistani troops in the Saudi territory, joint military exercises, oil supply by Saudi Arabia amid sanctions on Pakistan due to its nuclear tests and several other cases of economic aid and diplomatic support.

But, occasionally, the interests of both countries have collided. There were reprisals after Pakistan’s refusal to send troops within the Saudi-led coalition in the 2015 Yemen war, for example. Interestingly, in Yemen Iran and Saudi Arabia face each other in a proxy war. Iran supports Pakistan in Kashmir, while the Saudis hesitate on this issue. Certainly, the cases are related, but that is not enough to explain the current crisis.

The geopolitics of the Islamic world is changing completely. The Arab countries’ peace agreements with Israel, mediated by the US, are becoming a strong trend. Saudi Arabia has already denied the possibility of entering into such an agreement, but the precedent set by Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates is significant and it is very likely that, over time, pro-Western Arab nations will gradually join peace with Israel. Such Arab nations have not changed their views on Palestine, but the current situation in the region has become too dangerous for them. These countries fear the advance of the Muslim Brotherhood supported by Turkey, which grew a lot in the Syrian War. And, above all, the rivalry with Iran cannot be ignored, especially when Tehran and Ankara progressively tighten their ties.

With Pakistan trying to get closer to the Kuala Lumpur Group – which includes Iran and Turkey – the tendency is for the Saudis to not only distance themselves increasingly from Islamabad, but also to carefully consider the possibility of joining peace with Israel, which, indeed, is the only condition for the kingdom to continue to receive the Western support it currently receives.

This “schism” in the Islamic world will be costly for Pakistan, which has always received great economic support from the Saudis. Currently, Saudi Arabia is home to around 2.5 million Pakistani expatriates, whose remittances contribute highly to Islamabad’s economy. Remittances abroad represent about 86% of Islamabad’s foreign reserves. Of these, 30% are inflows from the Saudi kingdom. In addition, Pakistan imports about a quarter of its oil from Saudi Arabia. In 2019, 74% of their bilateral trade, totaling 1.7 billion dollars, was due to oil imports. In addition, there are latent cultural issues. Saudi Arabia has in its territory the sacred sites of Mecca and Medina, where about 500,000 Pakistanis travel each year on pilgrimage.

However, economic and cultural issues tend to be overlooked when topics involve national security, defense and risks of war. A new bloc of Islamic nations is likely to emerge, rivaling the OIC, opposing Iran, Turkey and Pakistan against the Saudis. Interestingly, such a split will lead to an ethnicization of the geopolitics of the Islamic world, considering that Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and Malaysia are not Arab nations, and this may be another focus of tensions in the future.

Lucas Leiroz is a research fellow in international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

September 17, 2020 Posted by | Economics | , , | Leave a comment

Qatar, Pakistan rule out possibility of normalization with Israel

Press TV – September 15, 2020

A high-ranking Qatari official says Doha will not follow in the footsteps of neighboring Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to normalize relations with Israel, emphasizing that Doha will not take such a measure as long as the Palestinian issue is unresolved.

“We don’t think that normalization was the core of this conflict and hence it can’t be the answer,” Qatari Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lolwah Rashid al-Khater, said in an exclusive interview with Bloomberg television news network on Monday.

She added, “The core of this conflict is about the drastic conditions that the Palestinians are living under” as “people without a country, living under occupation.”

Last week, Bahrain joined the UAE in striking an agreement to normalize relations with Israel.

In a joint statement, the United States, Bahrain and Israel said the agreement to establish ties was reached after US President Donald Trump spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah.

The deal came one month after the UAE and the Tel Aviv regime agreed to normalize ties under a US-brokered accord.

Bahrain will join Israel and the UAE for a signing ceremony at the White House hosted by Trump later on Tuesday. The ceremony will be attended by Netanyahu, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani and Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Elsewhere in her remarks, Khater pointed to the attempts, backed by Kuwait, to end the economic and diplomatic blockade Saudi Arabia and a number of its allies imposed on gas-rich Qatar in June 2017, noting that the efforts have not yet reached a tipping point.

“In the past couple of months, there have been messages and messengers going back and forth,” she said.

“It’s very early to talk about a real breakthrough,” but “the coming few weeks might reveal something new,” the top Qatari official pointed out.

“We’re beyond this point. The point we are at is engaging constructively in unconditional negotiations and discussions” that “do not necessarily need to include all parties at once,” Khater said.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar on June 5, 2017, after the quartet officially accused Doha of meddling in regional affairs and supporting terrorism.

The quartet later issued a 13-point list of demands in return for the reconciliation, which was rejected as an attack on Qatar’s sovereignty.

‘Pakistan won’t compromise on Palestine cause’

Meanwhile, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan reacted to Bahrain’s normalization of ties with the Israeli regime following the UAE, saying, “Any recognition of Israel will face strong opposition from Palestinian people. We cannot make a decision which runs counter to the aspirations of the oppressed Palestinian nation. We will continue to support the fair resolution of the Palestinian issue.”

“If the whole world wants to recognize Israel, Islamabad would not do so and would never make a decision contrary to the wishes of the Palestinian people” Khan told Urdu-language 92 News television news network on Tuesday.

He underlined that the Pakistani government will never compromise on its fundamental principles of supporting Palestine and its liberation, as stated by the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

“Until a just solution to the Palestinian issue is produced, any recognition of the Zionist regime is ruled out. How can we accept to normalize with the Zionists when the main Palestinian parties do not accept it?” the Pakistani premier said.

September 15, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran, China, Russia to partake in Caucus 2020 military drills

Press TV – September 10, 2020

Military forces from Iran, China, and Russia are scheduled to take part in joint military exercises with a number of other countries in southern Russia later this month.

China’s Defense Ministry made the announcement in a news release on Thursday and said troops from Armenia, Belarus, Myanmar, and Pakistan would also participate in the drills, code-named “Caucus 2020.”

The ministry added that the exercises, to be held from September 21 to 26, would focus on defensive tactics, encirclement, and battlefield control and command.

The drills have special significance “at this important moment when the entire world is fighting the pandemic,” the ministry said.

The United States administration has insinuated that the coronavirus was artificially developed in a Chinese lab. China has rejected that insinuation.

Iran, China, and Russia have over the past years increased their military and diplomatic cooperation to counter the United States’ hostile policies and extra-territorial presence in their regions.

Late last year, the three countries held four days of naval exercises code-named the “Marine Security Belt” to promote regional security and peace and safeguard international trade in the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean.

September 10, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Pakistani Olive Branch Extended In Efforts to End the Afghani Conflict

By Vladimir Odintsov – New Eastern Outlook – 30.08.2020

In the face of the obvious failure of US policy in Afghanistan, Pakistan has stepped up its efforts to peacefully resolve the Afghani conflict.

On August 24, at the invitation of Pakistani Foreign Ministry, a delegation of the Taliban (movement banned in the Russian Federation – ed.), headed by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar arrived from Doha, capital of Qatar, to meet both civilian and military representatives of Pakistan. Its purpose was to discuss the latest developments in the peace process in Afghanistan and further steps in this direction, improving the security situation for civilians in Afghanistan as well as trade between the two neighboring countries, as confirmed by Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen on his Twitter.

This meeting was already the third of its kind: previously the parties met in October 2019 at the Pakistani Foreign Ministry and in February this year in Doha. This third visit of the Taliban delegation, as intended by those behind it, should contribute to resolving the contradictions that have arisen in recent days on the eve of the intra-Afghan peace talks that did not start on August 20 and were postponed to a later date, and were part of the agreement signed in Doha in February between the Taliban and the United States. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi emphasized in his statement that Islamabad invited the Taliban to emphasize the importance of negotiations, adding that negotiations are “the only way forward” in Afghanistan. “It is the Afghanis who need reconciliation, and our task is mediating,” he said. “The main goal is to ensure peace, and the next stage should be the beginning of an intra-Afghan dialogue.”

In a statement in connection with this meeting, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry highlighted Islamabad’s positive contribution to the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan, which culminated in the signing of a peace agreement between the US and the Taliban in Doha on February 29, 2020. Therefore, Pakistani officials are confident that Afghani stakeholders must seize this historic opportunity to secure a comprehensive political negotiated solution to the Afghani conflict. Islamabad called on the international community to step up its participation in the reconstruction and economic development of Afghanistan, by creating the necessary economic opportunities and conditions conducive to the return of Afghani refugees to their homeland.

Islamabad leaping to action in the peaceful resolution of the Afghani crisis is in part due to Washington’s unrelenting criticism of Pakistan for “insufficient efforts to counter Afghani anti-government forces,” which the US State Department has repeatedly noted in its reports. In particular, the United States emphasizes how Pakistan failed to prevent a number of attacks by militants from its territory against Afghanistan, and makes minimal efforts to suppress the activities of terrorist organizations. At the same time, it is especially clear Islamabad only conducted anti-terrorist operations against those militants who carried out attacks specifically on Pakistani territory. This critical position has been repeatedly voiced by the current Afghani authorities close to the United States, accusing Islamabad of supporting the Taliban and other militants operating in the weakly defended border, indicating, in particular, that Taliban leaders are based in cities along the Pakistani-Afghani border, including Quetta and Peshawar.

Washington’s latest accusations against Islamabad were voiced in the annual report on terrorism published by the US State Department on June 24. In it, in particular, it was noted that Pakistan is a haven for terrorists and terrorist groups operating in South Asia, such as the Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and aysh-e-Mohammad (all banned in the Russian Federation), and the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Pakistani army have been accused of inaction. In addition, the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report indicated that religious minorities and children are frequent victims of the slave trade in Pakistan.

For these reasons and for alleged “insufficient support by the Pakistani authorities for the American strategy on South Asia” in 2018, the United States refused to provide financial assistance to Islamabad in the amount of $300 million. This has already caused Islamabad’s harsh discontent with such assessments of Washington’s actions by Pakistan, since the indicated amount was supposed to be not help, but compensation for funds already spent by this country on countering terrorism.

However, today everyone is already well aware that Washington’s criticism of Pakistan in recent years is primarily due to the desire of the current American authorities to shift the blame for the apparent failure of their policy in Afghanistan to a third party, including the deaths here of more than two thousand American soldiers as well as over 20 thousand injuries, hundreds of billions of dollars worthlessly spent on goals incomprehensible to the public, which was more than enough to have long ago made Afghanistan a flourishing state in many ways. An important factor in such attacks by the Donald Trump administration on the Pakistani authorities is also the establishment of closer bilateral relations between Pakistan and China, as a result of which the traditional ties between America and Pakistan have all but disintegrated.

Although it is still early to speak into the results of the third meeting of Pakistani representatives and the Taliban, it is nevertheless obvious that the negotiations that took place in the current situation were very necessary in hopes to settle the Afghani conflict. And once again it was Islamabad who extended the olive branch in an effort to achieve peace in Afghanistan.

August 30, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment