PM’s THREE-DAY VISIT TO AZERBAIJAN CONCLUDES
Pakistan and Azerbaijan agreed to transform bilateral relations into sustainable economic cooperation
PRESIDENT URGES THE UNITED NATIONS TO FULFILL ITS PROMISES REGARDING THE KASHMIR ISSUE FOR DURABLE PEACE IN SOUTH ASIA
PAKISTAN SOUGHT BRITAIN'S ASSISTANCE IN PUTTING AN END TO HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES BY INDIAN FORCES IN OCCUPIED KASHMIR
ANY MISADVENTURE BY INDIA WILL BE RESPONDED IN A BEFITTING MANNER: NAVAL CHIEF
AFGHANISTAN WANTS TO BE PART OF CPEC: ENVOY
US BROADENS SYRIA TALKS AFTER FAILED TRUCE WITH RUSSIA
THE COMING BATTLE FOR MOSUL (NEW YORK TIMES)
The coming battle to retake Mosul in northern Iraq could be a turning point in the American-led fight against the Islamic State. The city is the terrorist group’s stronghold in that country and critical to its claim to having established a caliphate. For two years the Islamic State, or ISIS, has exercised total authority over Mosul’s inhabitants and subjected many of them to brutal treatment. If, as the allies expect, Mosul is soon liberated, ISIS will suffer a huge blow. But what happens next? Despite months of planning by the United States, the Iraqi government and their partners much could go wrong. A comprehensive post-battle arrangement for governing the city has yet to be worked out, meaning that even the best-executed military operation could unleash new tensions. It is also not clear whether the allies are prepared to handle the humanitarian needs of hundreds of thousands of civilians who might flee the fighting.
DONALD TRUMP’S DANGEROUS PLOY TO DESTABILIZE DEMOCRACY (WASHINGTON POST)
Intelligence Agencies teach their officers how to respond in case of exposure: Admit nothing, deny everything, and make counter-accusations. While perhaps good advice in the amoral context of espionage, these are not, or should not be, words to live by for those who take part in democratic politics. Yet when Republican Donald Trump was outed as a serial abuser of women, first by his own words and then by testimony from a lengthening list of alleged victims, he responded with tactics worthy of the Russian ex-KGB man Vladimir Putin, whose leadership he so admires. Mr. Trump branded the women liars and blamed “the establishment and their media enablers” for the purported smear.
THE GUARDIAN VIEW ON INTERNATIONAL LAW: WE NEED ENFORCEMENT AND EXAMPLE
War used to be described as the continuation of politics by other means. But decades of effort have ensured that some tactics are no longer just a brutal form of diplomacy, but are defined as crimes. In recent years, the noble goal to protect humanity has been hollowed out by the despicable attacks on hospitals and schools carried out with apparent impunity in the wars across the Middle East. This deliberate targeting has to stop. In Yemen more than 140 people attending a funeral in the country’s capital Sana’a were killed in an air strike by Saudi-led coalition forces prosecuting a bloody war against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. Russia allies itself with a state that uses chemical weapons against its own civilians. Russian and Syrian warplanes above Aleppo appear to be intentionally targeting civilians. Below them, hospitals, UN aid convoys and schools are no longer safe.
BAN ON PAKISTANI ARTISTES IS SHORT-SIGHTED COP-OUT, NOT PATRIOTISM (HINDUSTAN TIMES)
There are many ways to fame and approval but in the backdrop of tense ties with Pakistan, the quickest and most popular route appears to publicly proclaim one’s patriotism. A clutch of Indian theatre owners exhibited that tendency on Friday when they moved to ban movies with Pakistani artistes or technicians, attributing the reason to “patriotism”. They were following in the footsteps of the Indian motion picture producers association (IMPPA) which last month, banned Pakistani artistes from the film industry “till normalcy returns”. They gave the same reason for their decision: Patriotism. Except that nothing about this action is patriotic. The attempt to banish Fawad Khan from our cinemas is loud chest-thumping, unthinkingly nationalist and short-sighted, yes, but not patriotic – for the simple reason that patriotism emanates from a love of the country and is supposed to benefit the country, not be a short-cut to primetime television. The rush to ban movies with Pakistani connections and push artistes from the neighbouring country to apologise for militancy and terror betrays two simple motives. One, that there is little thought invested in the action. Banning individuals or hurting an industry does little to dissuade Pakistan’s terror leadership from launching more strikes against India or subvert the bilateral atmosphere. Indeed, steps such as these or banning cricket matches vitiates the atmosphere and robs the tense relationship of its only silver lining: Human-to-human bonds across the border.