Blaming Pakistan for instability in Afghanistan is unfortunate: COAS

Commander Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan General John Nicholson and US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Richard Olson called on Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif in Rawalpindi today. Regional Security Situation, with particular reference to border management and peace and stability in Afghanistan in the post-21 May US drone strike environment   came under discussion. Expressing his serious concern on the US drone strike in Balochistan as a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty, the army chief highlighted as to how it had impacted the mutual trust and respect and was counterproductive in consolidating the gains of Operation Zarb-e-Azb. General Raheel Sharif said all efforts for durable peace in the region have to be synergized with shared commitment and responsibility in order to make them successful. He said that while Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched against terrorists of all hues and sanctuaries of terrorists have been dismantled without discrimination, all stakeholders need to understand Pakistan's challenges with regard to porous border, inter-tribal linkages and decades-old presence of over three million refugees. Blaming Pakistan for instability in Afghanistan is unfortunate. Raising the demand of targeting TTP and Mullah Fazlullah in their bases in Afghanistan, the army chief reiterated Pakistan's resolve not to allow hostile intelligence agencies' efforts, especially RAW and NDS, of fomenting terrorism. Chief of Army Staff reaffirmed the need for continuing harmonized efforts against terrorists and effective border management as ways to regional peace and stability. He said Pakistan is committed to work for a long term peace process for Afghanistan under the Quadrilateral Coordination Group framework.  

Any future drone strike will be detrimental to the bilateral ties: Sartaj

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. 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. The Adviser expressed his concern that the drone strike has seriously undermined the ongoing efforts for Afghan peace and reconciliation process. He said it comes at a time when Pakistan, along with other Quadrilateral Coordination Group, is engaged in serious efforts to revive peace talks between Afghan Government and the Taliban. Advisor to the US president conveyed President Obama's good wishes for the Prime Minister's speedy recovery.

President stresses protection of women at workplace
President Mamnoon Hussain says protection of women against workplace harassment is inevitable for their effective participation in national progress and prosperity. He was talking to Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Justice (Retired) Yasmin Abbasi in Islamabad. The President said the Ombudsman institution can play a key role in ensuring harassment-free environment at workplace. He advised the Ombudsman to make use of modern technology for immediate and hassle-free redressed of women's complaints.

Obama approves broader role for US forces in Afghanistan

US President Barack Obama has approved broader role for US forces in Afghanistan. The decision would also allow greater use of US air power, particularly close air support. The new policy will also give power to the US commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, to decide when it will be appropriate for American troops to accompany conventional Afghan forces into the field.


Mohammad Amir granted visa by UK authorities

Pakistan’s fast-bowler Mohammad Amir has been granted visa by the British authorities for the upcoming tour of England. The left-arm pacer is set to make a comeback in Test cricket at the Lord's Cricket Ground after six years of absence, the same venue where he played his last Test. The cricket board awaits Amir's travel documents after which the 24-year-old will depart to the British shores on June 18 along with the team. Amir was named in the 17-man Pakistan squad for the tour of England, subject to visa. The Pakistan Cricket Board had made a special request to the England home ministry for leniency in his case. He made his return to international cricket, after serving a five-year ban for bowling deliberate no-balls, earlier this year in a T20 International in New Zealand. Since his return to the limited-overs cricket Amir has bagged 16 wickets across the two formats. Amir, who has taken 51 wickets in 14 Tests, promises to be a threat in the English conditions due to his ability to move the ball both ways at a daunting pace. Pakistan's tour of England kicks off on July 14 with four-Test series followed by five One-Day Internationals and a T20 International. 

Strict security arrangements have been made for the championship
EURO 2016 Football kicks off in France on Friday. The opening match is being played at the Stade de France between host France and Romania. Strict security arrangements have been made for the championship.  More than 90,000 police, soldiers and private guards will be deployed at the tournament, with seven million fans expected to visit the 10 host cities. The organisers, Union of European Football Associations (Uefa), and the French authorities say they have done everything possible to keep spectators safe.

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