Last update: Sun, 14 Feb 2016 06am

General News: Pakistan


Afghanistan's government on Saturday appealed to Pakistan to take action to find and free a former provincial governor who has been kidnapped in Islamabad. Fazlullah Wahidi, former governor of Afghanistan's western Herat province, was abducted on Friday afternoon in the Pakistani capital, the Afghan foreign ministry said. The motive for the kidnapping was not clear, but the Afghan government asked Pakistani authorities "to use all their tools and possibilities to identify the group of kidnappers and take action to free Wahidi immediately", the foreign ministry said.
A fierce gun battle killed two soldiers and five suspected militants on Saturday in Indian-held Kashmir near the de facto border with Pakistan, army officials said. The seven died during a heavy exchange of fire in the border village of Marsari, 130 kilometres (80 miles) north-west of the main city of occupied Srinagar, defence spokesman N N Joshi said. The 16-hour gun battle began on Friday when government forces zeroed in on an abandoned house after receiving information about the presence of suspected rebels.
The Indian reaction to Washington's decision to sell eight Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets to Islamabad on Saturday "surprised and disappointed" Pakistan. "Pakistan is surprised and disappointed at the Indian government's reaction," said Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria while reacting to his Indian counterpart Vikas Swarup's statement. Referring to the India's largest arsenal, Zakaria further said that their army and arsenal stock is much larger and they are the largest importer of defence equipment.
India Saturday said it was disappointed with the US decision to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan. India conveyed its "displeasure and disappointment" to the US envoy when he arrived at the South Block. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar summoned the envoy to the South Block and told him about India's concerns over US military aid to Pakistan which New Delhi believes goes into anti-India activities. The Indian External Affairs Ministry made it clear that it refused to buy the US argument that the deal, worth nearly 700 million US dollars, will help Pakistan combat terrorism.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Saturday stated that the militant Islamic State (IS) group which is a Middle Eastern organisation, has no presence in Pakistan "Daesh does not exist in Pakistan. Other terrorist groups, which are involved in activities against the state are using Daesh's name and are causing death and destruction in the country," the interior minister elaborated. He said IS does not maintain the same level of presence in Pakistan as it does in North African and Middle Eastern countries.
Federal Information Minister, Pervaiz Rashid has called upon all political parties to evolve a code of conduct to ensure peace during elections in Azad Kashmir. Talking to newsmen here on Saturday evening, he said peaceful atmosphere can be maintained by avoiding negative slogans. He regretted the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir recently used language that amounted to encouraging violence. To another question, he said Imran Khan has taken U-turn on the issue of hereditary politics with the joining of PTI by Hamid Nasir Chatta. To a question, the Information Minister said the Government is committed to eliminate terrorism from all over the country.
To ensure transparency, merit and fairness, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed for the adoption of policy guidelines over foreign appointments. These guidelines would be followed in letter and spirit concerning postings in Pakistan Missions and against Pakistan's positions at international, multilateral and regional organisations and bodies, said contents of a letter from the office of Secretary to the Prime Minister on Saturday.