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Last update: Sun, 07 Feb 2016 04am

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Nations aim for Afghan peace talks with Taliban by end-February ISLAMABAD: Officials from the four nations seeking to end Afghanistan's 15-year-old war agreed on Saturday to press for direct talks between Taliban groups and the U.S.-backed government in Kabul by the end of the month.Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China have for weeks been trying to lay the groundwork for talks with the Taliban, which has made gains since the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan in 2014.Rival factions competing for leadership of the Islamist movement have expressed different views on whether to join the process, but officials appeared hopeful that at least some groups would be willing to participate.In a statement following the meeting in Islamabad, officials said the countries "agreed to continue joint efforts for setting a date for direct peace talks between the representatives of the Afghan government and Taliban groups expected to take place by the end of February 2016".Senior members of the Afghan Taliban ...

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Pervaiz urges political parties not to politicize PIA issue ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid on Saturday said the PML-N government always respected the mandate of other political parties and never interfered in their affairs but it was not reciprocated by them particularly in the case of Pakistan International Airline (PIA).He said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government was introducing reforms in the health sector and started privatization process of hospitals despite opposition from the doctors. Since it was a ...

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Zubair hopes PIA employees to call off strike ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Privatization and Chairman Privatization Commission, Muhammad Zubair has said the positive development was expected on Friday regarding ending of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) employees strike.In an interview to Radio Pakistan, he said that talks would be held with PIA' union if it called off the strike.He said the joint action committee of PIA' employees has been asked to end the strike as the passengers were facing difficulties.Muhammad Zubair said the ...

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Pakistan to stand by Kashmiris as they struggle for freedom: Maleeha    NEW YORK: Pakistan will continue to support the valiant struggle of Kashmiri people for freedom and self-determination as it has always done, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told a large gathering of Kashmiri and Pakistani community members on Friday evening. "Until Kashmir is free, our moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people will continue," Dr. Lodhi, Pakistan's permanent representative to the United Nations, declared at the meeting organized by the Consulate General of Pakistan to ...

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Ambassador Olson meets Gen Raheel, appreciates Pakistan's efforts against terror ISLAMABAD: The United States Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Richard G. Olson Saturday called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif, here at General Headquarters. A news release of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.Overall regional security situation with particular reference to situation in Afghanistan came under discussion during the meeting.Ambassador appreciated the efforts of Pakistan in fight against terrorism. Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2016