Pakistan says any future drone strike will be detrimental to Pak-US bilateral relations

Pakistan has conveyed a strong message to the United States on violation of its sovereignty by a drone strike targeting Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour. The message was conveyed at a meeting between Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson and Advisor to US President Peter Lavoy in Islamabad today.  Sartaj Aziz said any future strike will be detrimental to the bilateral ties. “Further expressed his concern that the drone strike had seriously undermined the ongoing efforts for Afghan peace and reconciliation process at a time when Pakistan, along with other Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) countries, was engaged in serious efforts to revive peace talks between Afghan Government and the Taliban.” He said the May 21 drone strike was not only a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and breach of the principles of the United Nation's Charter, but has also vitiated bilateral ties. The two sides had candid discussions on bilateral relations, regional security situation and the Afghan peace process in the wake of the drone strike in Balochistan. Advisor to the US president conveyed President Obama's good wishes for the Prime Minister's speedy recovery. 

Arrival of refugees in Pakistan has created socio-political problems in the country: Maleeha 

Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, Maleeha Lodhi has urged international community to take notice of millions of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan for the last four decades. In a statement, she said the issue should be discussed in current summit of the United Nations on refugees. Maleeha Lodhi says arrival of refugees in Pakistan has created socio-political problems in the country. She stressed the need for enhancing aid of the countries who host the migrants.

Senate resumes its session in Islamabad today

The Senate resumed its session in Islamabad today with Mian Raza Rabbani in the chair. Responding to a calling attention notice moved by Taj Haider and others, Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid said that three more LNG (Terminals are being constructed while one has been completed at Port Qasim. He clarified that no LNG terminal is being constructed on Bundal Island in Karachi. The chair referred the matter of the construction of LNG terminals to the Standing Committee on Climate Change. Later, the House resumed discussion on the next year's budget.

Government is fully committed to bring revolutionary changes in the agriculture sector: Bosan

Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Bosan says the government is fully committed to bring revolutionary changes in the agriculture sector. Addressing a seminar on self reliance in food security in Lahore, he stresses the need to promote cooperation between the government, farming community and industry to combat the challenges faced by agriculture sector. He said, “Government has provided sufficient relief to the farming community in the Federal Budget 2016-17.”

Russia, Iran and Syria coordinate in Tehran talks

The defense ministers of allies Iran, Russia and Syria held talks in Tehran on pressing the fight against opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The talks come as Damascus steps up its military campaign against both the ISIS militants and rebels in second city Aleppo whom it accuses of colluding with al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate al-Nusra Front. Iranian Defense Minister General Hossein Dehghan says he and his counterparts from Russia and Syria were determined to deliver a “decisive” battle against “all terrorist groups”. Dehghan said the goal could be achieved by “blocking or preventing” these groups from receiving political support or weapons that could enable them “to conduct wider operations”. He said, “The first step toward restoring security to the region is comprehensive ceasefire” and humanitarian aids.”

News in Brief

  • Pakistan's ambassador to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani attended the funeral of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali held in the state of Kentucky, the United States
  • Spokesman to the Prime Minister Dr Musadik Malik says security situation in the country is gradually improving
  • Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique says Pakistan railway land records would be fully computerized.
  • Meeting between Information minister Pervez Rasheed and Leader of Opposition in Senate Aitzaz Ahsan is underway in Islamabad today
  • Ninety suspects are arrested in Hayatabad, Peshawar today
  • Sindh Rangers arrested five suspects from various areas of the Karachi today
  • In occupied Kashmir, the All Parties Hurriyet Conference Chairman, Syed Ali Gilani, says that a Delhi-based Hindu group backed by RSS is attempting to vitiate the communal harmony of the territory
  • President Obama has officially endorsed Hillary Clinton as presidential nominee of Democratic Party
  • UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will travel to the Greek island of Lesbos next week to meet with refugees and draw global attention to their plight
  • The first deliveries of food aid since 2012 have reached the besieged Damascus suburb of Darayya
  • In Italy, around two thousand  migrants have been rescued off the coast of Libya in the Mediterranean
  • Sixty Ethiopian soldiers have been killed in an attack on an African Union base in Somalia by militant group al-Shabab

Editorial (Gulf News)

UAE takes practical steps to foster tolerance

It is impressive that the government has moved so quickly to develop practical steps to deepen tolerance in the UAE’s society. This week, the UAE Cabinet approved the new National Tolerance Programme, which is based on seven key pillars of Islam, the UAE Constitution, late Shaikh Zayed’s legacy and the ethics of the UAE, the established international conventions on the topic, archaeology and history, and humanity and common values. It was the first Cabinet meeting during this Ramadan and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, pointed out that Ramadan is a great opportunity to spread the spirit of tolerance, showing the real force of moderation and respect for others as tolerance is the basis for building societies and promoting values of peaceful coexistence The programme was presented to the Cabinet by Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance, and it has been designed to be rolled out by federal and local entities under five main themes that will both include using the governments as sponsors of action, while also seeking buy-in from the people, while backing the process by setting up a Council of Tolerance and a Charter defining the way forward. The plan is to strengthen government’s role as an incubator of tolerance; consolidate the role of family in nation-building; promote tolerance among young people and prevent them from fanaticism and extremism; enrich scientific and cultural content; and finally, to look outside the UAE and promote tolerance internationally while taking note of the leading role the UAE is already playing in this area. 

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