ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan today termed the US President Donald Trump’s immigration ban as racist and counterproductive.
“Trump’s move on immigration, asylum & visas targeting Muslims is racist & counterproductive. Will also increase hate crimes ag Muslims in US,” the PTI chief said in a tweet on his official account.
“It will also increase hate crimes against Muslims residing in the United States,” he added.
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“Trump’s America” hints at extending travel ban to Pakistan
WASHINGTON (JAN 30, 2017): After US President Donald Trump’s ‘no-visa policy’ for seven Muslim states decision, White House has hinted that Pakistan may be added to the list of countries being denied American visas.
This was disclosed by White House chief of staff Reince Priebus on Sunday.
“You can point to other countries that have similar problems like Pakistan and others – perhaps we need to take it further,” Priebus said in an interview, adding, “for now, immediate steps, pulling the Band-Aid off, is to do further vetting for people traveling in and out of those countries.”
Following his campaign promises, Trump signed an executive order on Friday to impose a visa ban on travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for at least 90 days which caused confusion for would-be travelers with passports from the seven countries.
Priebus reiterated that the US President was “not willing to be wrong” on the issue of immigration.
“This was a promise that President Trump had made and it’s a promise that he’s going to keep,” “And he’s not willing to be wrong on this subject — we need to do our best to be vigilant and protect Americans.”
However, he maintained that this was not a ‘Muslim ban’.
“This is not a Muslim ban,” Priebus said, “All this is identifying the seven countries — and the reason we chose those seven countries is those were the seven countries that both the Congress and the Obama administration identified as being the seven countries that were most identifiable with dangerous terrorism taking place in their country.”
Tensions between Trump’s top foreign policy advisers escalate over Iran strategy: report
NEW YORK: The ongoing US-Iran tensions have exposed the growing strains among President Donald Trump’s top foreign policy advisers: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, according to an American media report .
Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran has exacerbated fissures between the two men, especially “over the tight control Bolton has tried to exert over the national security decision-making process,” an online news service, said.
Pompeo and his special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, have indicated that the Trump administration’s goal in pressuring Iran is renewed negotiations with Tehran, according to Politico, citing two sources familiar with their thinking.
But Bolton is a deep skeptic of the value of negotiating with adversaries, the sources said.
“Though Bolton and Pompeo largely have the same hawkish instincts, when disagreements have arisen, Bolton has made clear why he has a reputation as bare-knuckled bureaucratic infighter,” Politico said in its report.
While Pompeo has worked to carry out the president’s foreign policy directives, Bolton has at times contradicted the president, as when he walked back Trump’s call for a rapid US troop withdrawal from Syria.
Iran FM Zarif discounts prospect of war with US
TEHRAN: Iran’s foreign minister on Saturday discounted the prospect of a new war in the region because Tehran was opposed and no party was under the “illusion” it could be confronted.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have been on the rise as the United States has deployed a carrier group and B-52 bombers over what it termed Iranian “threats”.
“We are certain… there will not be a war since neither we want a war nor does anyone have the illusion they can confront Iran in the region,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told state-run news agency at the end of a visit to China.
US President Donald “Trump does not want war but the people around him are pushing him towards war under the pretext of making America stronger against Iran,” Zarif added.
Iran-US relations hit a new low last year as Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed unilateral sanctions that had been lifted in exchange for Tehran scaling back its nuclear programme.
UN chief’s call to ‘save the Pacific to save the world’
PORT VILLA: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was vital “to save the Pacific to save the world” as he wrapped up his brief South Pacific tour in Vanuatu on Saturday.
Guterres has spent the past week in the region pushing for urgent action ahead of a UN summit in September billed as a last chance to prevent irreversible climate change.
According to the UN, Vanuatu is the world’s most at-risk country from natural hazards, but Guterres said it was also “leading the way” with is resilience.
At a joint press conference with Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, Guterres praised the way the country had bounced back from the catastrophic Cyclone Pam which lashed the archipelago in 2015.
It claimed at least 15 lives, flattened villages and impacted nearly half the 300,000 population.
“It is clear that the Pacific is on the frontline of climate change even though they don’t contribute to climate change,” Guterres said, referring to low-lying Pacific islands which are threatened by rising sea levels.
“So the Pacific has the moral authority to offer a lesson for the rest of the world. We absolutely need to save the Pacific to save the world.”
The UN target is to limit rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial revolution levels and Guterres urged governments “to understand that we need transformative measures, in industry, in agriculture and in relation to the oceans”.
“I believe it is time to recognise that we need to shift taxation away from people to carbon and pollution instead,” he said.
“We need to stop subsidies for fossil fuels. It doesn’t make any sense that taxpayers’ money is contributing to increased storms, the spread of drought, glaciers melting, corals bleaching and putting these islands in danger.”