Connect with us

Asia

Pak-Afghan issue: No surrendering to US demands!

Published

on

Afghanistan can rely on world community's support

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said today it would not succumb to any ‘demand’ by the United States in the wake of a negotiated settlement as proposed by the US President Donald Trump for Afghanistan’s peace.
“We will be part of negotiations, but without surrendering to any US demand,” Foreign Office Spokesman Muhammad Faisal said here at the weekly press briefing.
The response came as the spokesman was reminded of Pakistan earlier releasing Taliban leader Mullah Baradar in October following the previous visit of US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad to Islamabad.
“It will be negotiations only, not demands. We will move forward through talks, continuing with our stance of no-military solution to the Afghan problem,” he said.
President Trump in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Imran Khan had sought Islamabad’s assistance and facilitation in achieving a negotiated settlement on Afghanistan, followed by the visit of Ambassador Khalilzad.
The spokesman termed the recent move by the US as “heartening”, which “registered and acknowledged Pakistan’s stance for the peaceful settlement of the Afghan conflict.
He denied confirming the reports of Taliban leaders currently present in Islamabad for talks.
To a question whether the Taliban sought China or Russia as international guarantor for the settlement, he said he “cannot go into intricate details”.
He categorically rejected the impression that groundbreaking of Kartarpur Corridor would lead to putting the Kashmir issue on back-burner.
“Kashmir is our core issue, and no other development at Pakistan-India front can sideline it,” he said, adding the Kashmir dispute would be addressed in accordance with the United Nations’ resolutions and the aspirations of Kashmiris.
He said the Kartarpur Corridor was a step taken in view of religious sentiments of Sikhs and “should not be regarded as an attempt to claim credit”.
Muhammad Faisal said India’s reciprocity was important in response to Pakistan’s initiatives for peace between the two countries, adding India’s attitude was the “biggest impediment in the way to move forward”.
About a recent reward of US $5 million announced by the United States against the facilitators involved in Mumbai attack, the spokesman said the matter was “subjudice and complex” with regular hearings being conducted in Anti-Terrorism Court.
“The Law of land will take its course and I can assure you that justice would be done,” he said.
He dismissed the notion that the map shown at Chinese national television while airing the news of terror incident at Chinese Consulate, Karachi showed Kashmir as part of India.
“Instead, the China Global Television Network showed Kashmir in white shade depicting disputed territory and Pakistan and India in brown color to make distinction,” he clarified.

 

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Asia

Tokyo stocks gain on bargain-hunting

Published

on

Tokyo stocks gain on bargain-hunting

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks gained slightly on Monday as investors bought on dips following a sharp decline late last week, while their focus shifted ahead of a US Federal Reserve meeting.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which dropped more than two percent on Friday, rose 0.62 percent or 132.05 points to close at 21,506.88, while the broader Topix index was up 0.13 percent or 2.04 points at 1,594.20. “Buy-back was seen among shares in major companies following a sharp decline on Friday,” Daiwa Securities senior technical analyst Hikaru Sato told AFP. “But the buy-back was not strong enough to boost shares further,” Sato said, adding that it may take more time to improve market sentiment.
Takashi Hiroki, the chief strategist at Monex, said the two-day US Fed meeting that ends on Wednesday is “the most important event this week” and investors are watching for the pace of rate hikes in 2019. “Falls in US shares (last week) is said to be caused by weak economic data in China and Europe, but these are not new factors,” he said in a commentary, adding that current market sentiment is vulnerable to “even the slightest worries given the prevailing uncertainty”.
In Tokyo, SoftBank’s initial public offering on Wednesday will also likely have an impact on the market, analysts said. The dollar fetched 113.51 yen in Asian afternoon trade against 113.29 yen in New York late Friday. Banks were higher, with Mitsubishi UFJ trading up 0.13 percent to 583.9 yen, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial up 0.56 percent at 3,939 yen and Mizuho Financial up 0.22 percent at 179.7 yen. Nissan was down 0.27 percent at 929.9 yen ahead of its board meeting to discuss corporate governance and choosing a replacement for former chairman Carlos Ghosn, after his arrest and dismissal. Rival Toyota was up 0.16 percent at 6,840 yen but Honda was down 0.13 percent at 3,050 yen.

Continue Reading

Asia

Dozens hurt in Sapporo bar explosion!

Published

on

SAPPORO (Japan): Dozens were reported wounded due to an explosion in a bar here today. 

Continue Reading

Asia

Ousted PM of S. Lanka reinstated!

Published

on

Ammar Ahmed Khan

Sri Lanka’s president on Sunday reappointed as prime minister the same man he sacked from the job nearly two months ago, ending a messy power struggle that had paralyzed the island nation.

Ranil Wickremesinghe, whose shock dismissal in late October threw Sri Lanka into a constitutional crisis, was sworn in at a closed-door ceremony in the president’s office in Colombo.

The 69-year-old had refused to step aside since being dumped and replaced by controversial strongman Mahinda Rajapakse – leaving the country with two rival leaders and no functioning government.

The ousted premier had long asserted his dismissal was illegal, a view supported by Sri Lanka’s parliament which six times voted against Rajapakse’s claim to rule during tumultuous sessions that erupted into brawls.

The President, Maithripala Sirisena had refused to bow to pressure as the country drifted, declaring he would never reappoint Wickremesinghe and deriding his once-ally in public speeches as their alliance imploded.

The acrimony between the two was underscored Sunday when Sirisena barred journalists from attending the swearing-in ceremony — leaving it to Wickremesinghe’s legislators to announce the appointment.

“We thank the citizens of the country who fought the illegal seizure of power and ensured that democracy was restored,” his United National Party of Sri Lanka posted on Twitter.

On Wednesday, the legislature voted overwhelmingly to demand the reinstatement of Wickremesinghe.

Sirisena’s resistance became untenable after the country’s highest court last week ruled that he acted outside the constitution when he dissolved parliament in early November and called early elections.

The Supreme Court also confirmed that Rajapakse could not exercise the powers of a prime minister until he proved his legitimacy — which without enough support in parliament was impossible.

But on Saturday Rajapakse – who presided over the bloody end to Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2009 – backed down from the post of prime minister, signaling the 51-day standoff had come to a bitter close.

The strongman, whose past administrations were accused of gross rights abuses and whose family still holds considerable sway in Sri Lanka, promised to make a comeback at local council elections.

“There is no doubt at all that the people who stood by us since 2015 will continue to support us in the future as well,” he said addressing his close associates.

“We will bring the forces opposed to the country down to their knees by organizing the people.” His aides said he was returning a fleet of limousines he had used since his disputed appointment.

The country has been heading for a government shutdown as parliament failed to approve spending for 2019, and credit rating agencies downgraded its debt amid fears of a sovereign default.

There were doubts about the country’s ability to repay $1.5 billion due to bondholders by January 10 without a legally constituted administration.

Some factions within Sri Lanka’s parliament have pushed for Sirisena to be investigated for orchestrating an alleged coup.

Relevant: 

Sri Lanka’s president on Sunday reappointed as prime minister the same man he sacked from the job nearly two months ago, ending a power struggle and immediately setting off an uneasy cohabitation government.
Ranil Wickremesinghe, whose shock dismissal in late October threw Sri Lanka into an unprecedented constitutional crisis, was sworn in at a closed-door ceremony in the president’s office in Colombo.
In a scathing attack on Wickremesinghe and his United National Party (UNP), President Maithripala Sirisena said he grudgingly gave the job back and intended to check his premier every step of the way.
“I still believe that I should not have made Ranil Wickremesinghe the prime minister, but I bow to the wishes of the majority in parliament,” Sirisena said. “But, I don’t know how far we will succeed in fulfilling the wishes of our people.”
Sirisena came to power in January 2015 with the help of Wickremesinghe’s UNP, but in the past three years they have drifted apart with clashes coming to a head when he was sacked in October.
The 69-year-old Wickremesinghe refused to step aside since being dumped and replaced by controversial strongman Mahinda Rajapakse — leaving the country with two men claiming the premiership and no functioning government.
The ousted premier had long asserted his dismissal was illegal, a view supported by Sri Lanka’s parliament which six times voted against Rajapakse’s claim to rule during tumultuous sessions that erupted into brawls.
The acrimony between the two leaders was underlined on Sunday when Sirisena berated Wickremesinghe and his supporters at length following the swearing-in, according to a 45-minute video released by the presidential secretariat.
After the frosty reception, which Sirisena closed to the press, the reinstated premier thanked parliament and “all those who campaigned to restore democracy”.
“The first priority is to restore normality,” he said in a brief address to the nation.
“The work we initiated had been brought to a standstill.”
There was no immediate reaction from Rajapakse, who stood down Saturday. But Namal Rajapakse, his son and also a legislator, publicly extended his congratulations to Wickremesinghe.
India, which like the United States and others in the global community urged the warring factions to resolve their differences and refused to recognise Rajapakse’s government, welcomed an end to the power struggle.
“This is a reflection of the maturity demonstrated by all political forces, and also of the resilience of Sri Lankan democracy and its institutions,” India’s foreign ministry spokesman said Sunday.
Wickremesinghe said he will form a cabinet in the coming days.
The country has been heading for a government shutdown as parliament failed to approve spending for 2019, and credit rating agencies downgraded its debt amid fears of a sovereign default.
Sirisena’s resistance became untenable after the country’s highest court last week ruled that he acted outside the constitution when he dissolved parliament on November 9 and called early elections.
Some factions within Sri Lanka’s parliament have pushed for Sirisena to be investigated — and possibly impeached — for orchestrating what they say was a coup.
Rajapakse, who Sirisena appointed in a sudden, late-night oath-taking ceremony, pressed ahead forming a purported government and naming a cabinet even as parliament cut off state funds to his office.
The Supreme Court confirmed Rajapakse could not exercise the powers of a prime minister until he proved his legitimacy — which without enough support in parliament was impossible.
On Saturday Rajapakse — who presided over the bloody end to Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2009 – backed down, signaling the standoff had come to a bitter close.
However, the strongman, whose past administrations were accused of gross rights abuses and whose family still holds considerable sway in Sri Lanka, promised to make a comeback at local elections next year.

 

Continue Reading

News Pakistan Trending