Three-day National Book Festival organized by National Book Foundation ministry of National History and Literary Heritage started here at Pak-China Friendship Center on Saturday. The event was arranged in connection with the annual National Book Day, observed across the country on April 22 with an aim to promote the book reading culture among the people particularly youth. Advisor to Prime Minister on National History and literary Heritage Division, Irfan Siddique speaking on the occasion said that the three-day event would promote books reading culture among the people particularly youth.


Topic:  Curriculum being revised under PM's education reform policy: Marriyum

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb has said under the Prime Minister's Education Reform Policy curriculum is being revised to cater the changing tones of time in line with our national values and ideology. She was addressing a ceremony in a local school in Rawalpindi on Saturday. She said inculcating our young generation with pride in our history, values, language and culture is the need of the hour. The Minister said unfortunately due to absence of child friendly content on internet our children are wasting their time and energy in useless surfing.


Topic: Death toll in Afghan base attack rises to 140, Afghan Officials


As many as 140 Afghan soldiers were killed on Friday by Taliban attackers apparently disguised in military uniforms in what would be the deadliest attack ever on an Afghan military base, officials said. The Defense Ministry said the toll was "over 100" Afghan soldiers killed and wounded. One official in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, where the attack occurred, said on Saturday at least 140 soldiers were killed and many others wounded. Other officials said the toll was likely to be even higher.The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the government has yet to release exact casualty figures.


Topic: US ground operation in Syria kills ISIS operative linked to Turkey club attack


The United States disclosed on Friday a secret military ground operation that killed an ISIS operative seen as a close associate of leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and linked to an attack on a Turkish nightclub that left 39 people dead. Abdurakhmon Uzbeki, who was believed to be from Uzbekistan, was killed during the ground assault near Mayadin, Syria, on April 6, said Colonel John Thomas, a spokesman for the U.S. military’s Central Command. “It was a ground operation. I think that’s all we’re willing to say about that,” Thomas said, declining further comment. He specified that Uzbeki did not die in an airstrike. Uzbeki helped facilitate the attack on the exclusive Istanbul nightclub Reina in Istanbul on New Year’s Eve. ISIS claimed credit for the attack, saying it was revenge for Turkish military involvement in Syria. The attacker opened fire with an automatic rifle, throwing stun grenades to allow himself to reload and shooting the wounded on the ground.  Among those killed in the attack were Turks and visitors from several Arab nations, India and Canada.


Topic: World Earth Day is being observed today.

The theme of this year is "Environmental and Climate Literacy". The day is observed with the aim to remind each of us that the Earth and its ecosystems provide us with life and sustenance.


Topic: US to honour 'dumb' Australia migrant deal

The United States has confirmed it will be going through with a migrant resettlement plan made with Australia. Visiting Vice President Mike Pence was speaking at a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney. The agreement allows for up to twelve thousand and fifty asylum seekers to Australia to resettle in the US.Australia has controversially refused to accept the refugees, most of whom are men from Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq, and instead holds them in offshore detention centres on the Pacific nations of Nauru and Papua New Guinea.Mr Pence spoke at length about military collaboration with Australia, and stressed the need to ensure stability on the Korean peninsula.

Topic: Israel targets Syria positions after Golan mortar fire

Israel has targeted positions inside Syria after alleging a mortar fire that struck northern part of the Golan Heights.A statement from Israel's military said the Israeli army hit the source of the fire.Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres of the Golan from Syria in 1967 war and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.Around 510 square kilometers of the Golan are under Syrian control.The two countries are still technically at war, although the border remained largely quiet for decades until 2011, when the Syrian conflict broke out.The Israeli side is hit sporadically by what are usually deemed to be stray rounds, and Israel has recently taken to opening fire in retaliation.

Topic: Kidnapped Qatari hunting party of 26 freed in Iraq after 16 months

In Iraq, twenty-six Qataris and two Saudis have been freed after being kidnapped and held in the country for nearly a year and a half. A Qatari official said the hostages' release was linked to a major evacuation of Syrian civilians and fighters from four besieged towns completed on Friday. The Iraqi interior ministry said "all 26" were in Baghdad and would be handed over to a Qatari envoy. The hunters were abducted by gunmen in a desert area of Iraq near the Saudi border in December 2015.

Editorial: Cruelty and Cowardice in Kashmir (New York Times)

Host: Sohaib Bin Noor

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