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A three-day conference of selected Pakistani envoys would begin in Islamabad from Tuesday for brainstorming on important foreign policy issues.  Responding to questions at the weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said the participants will discuss potential strength of the foreign policy and options available in view of the geo-political and regional situation. The concluding session of the conference would be chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. Asked what options Pakistan has to deal with the situation arising out of US Strategy for South Asia, the spokesperson said based on the on-going internal deliberations a strategy to deal with the challenges and engage with the United States would be formulated. He, however, pointed out that Pakistan has longstanding relationship with the United States. The two countries work together in a variety of fields including security, non-proliferation, science and technology and counter-terrorism. Nafees Zakaria said both Pakistan and the United States have desire to take further steps for collaboration and engage with each other. To a question about allegations of US General John Nicholson regarding presence of terrorist safe havens in Pakistan, the spokesperson said such remarks are unwarranted and unacceptable.

Topic: Over two million faithful in Maidan-e-Arafat to perform Rukn-e-Azam Waqoof-e-Arafat

Over two million faithful, including about one hundred and seventy-nine thousand Pakistanis are in Maidan-e- Arafa to perform the Rukn-e-Azam Waqoof-e-Arafat.They listened to Hajj sermon delivered from Masjid-e-Nimra by Imam Dr. Shaykh Sa'd bin Nasir al-Shithri. The Hujjaj will offer Zohar and Asr prayers together and stay at Arafat till the call for Maghrib prayer.After Azaan-e-Maghrib, they will leave for Muzdalfa where they will offer Maghrib and Isha prayers and spend the night under open sky.

Topic: National Security Committee meeting- A strong defence posture to be maintained to ensure national security in a challenging environment

This decision is taken in its 13th meeting held in Islamabad with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the chair. The Committee reviews internal and external security situation and the threats and challenges to national security in the evolving regional and global context. US President Trump policy on Afghanistan and South Asia was also discussed in the meeting.

Topic: National Assembly categorically rejects Gen. Nicolson's baseless allegations regarding the existence of the Taliban shura in Pakistan

National Assembly passes a unanimous resolution rejecting hostile and threatening statements against Pakistan made by US President and top US commander in Afghanistan. Members of the National Assembly strongly denounce the statement of US President Donald Trump, saying that the whole nation is on one page against the new US policy. Pakistan is not responsible for US failure in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Senate unanimously passes a motion asking the government to launch a regional diplomatic initiative to coordinate responses to President Trump's new Afghan policy. The Senate has stressed the need for crafting a national policy paper putting forth Pakistan's narrative for US policy makers.

Topic: 5 killed as heavy rain lashes out Karachi, emergency declared

In Karachi, an emergency has been declared as heavy rains inundated several low lying areas of the city killing five people.  The staff of concerned departments and agencies has been put on high alert to deal with any untoward situation. Meanwhile, National Disaster Management Authority has said it is closely monitoring the flood developing situation in Karachi due to heavy rainfall.

Topic: PIA offers 25% discount on all domestic flights during Eid-ul-Azha

Pakistan International Airlines has announced twenty-five per cent flat discount on all domestic flights during Eid-ul-Azha days. Spokesman for the national flag-carrier says passengers can enjoy this facility on the second and third day of Eid-ul-Azha. Special discount is an Eid gift for Pakistanis.

Topic: India should learn lesson from border standoff between two countries in Doklam area: China

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has expressed hope that India will learn lessons from a recently resolved border standoff between the two countries and avoid such occurrences in the future. He was speaking in Beijing after the two countries agreed to pull back their troops from the common border. Earlier, Chinese Foreign Office spokeswoman had stated that Beijing would complete building of roads and other infrastructure along the Himalayan border with India for border protection and to help local people's livelihoods. She said that its border troops will also continue their patrols in the Doklam area.

Topic: “Talking is not the answer” to the tense standoff with North Korea over its nuclear missile development: U.S President

President Donald Trump on Wednesday declared “talking is not the answer” to the tense standoff with North Korea over its nuclear missile development, but his defense chief swiftly asserted that diplomatic options remain, and Russia demanded U.S. restraint. Trump’s comment, a day after Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile over Japan that drew U.N. and other international condemnation, renewed his tough rhetoric toward reclusive, nuclear-armed and increasingly isolated North Korea. “The U.S. has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years,” Trump, who just last week said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was “starting to respect” the United States, wrote on Twitter. “Talking is not the answer!”.

Topic: U.S.-led jets strike in Syria to block Islamic State evacuation deal

U.S.-led warplanes on Wednesday blocked a convoy of Islamic State fighters and their families from reaching territory the group holds in eastern Syria and struck some of their comrades traveling to meet them, a coalition spokesman said. The strikes were aimed at stopping an evacuation deal for Islamic State fighters to leave their enclave on the Lebanon-Syria border for areas they hold in eastern Syria, arranged by the Lebanese Hezbollah group and the Syrian army. It was part of a ceasefire agreed after offensives last week by the Lebanese army on one front, and the Syrian army and Hezbollah on another, that pushed Islamic State back into a small part of its enclave straddling the frontier.

Topic: UN Secretary General calls for lifting of blockade of Gaza Strip

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appealed for large-scale humanitarian aid to Gaza. Speaking at a UN-backed elementary school in Gaza Strip today, he ordered immediate release of four million dollars from the world body's relief fund He also called for lifting the blockade of the Gaza Strip. He said he was deeply moved to be in Gaza to witness one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises.

Host: Syed Sddaruddin Saddar

Co-Host: Dr.Mujeeb Afzal


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