Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Security forces kill 2 ‘IS militants’ linked to 2013 abduction of Yousuf Raza Gilani’s son

Two suspected members of the militant Islamic State group allegedly linked to the ,2013 abduction, of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s son, Ali Haider Gilani, were killed in a pre-dawn raid on a ‘militant hideout’ in Faisalabad on Tuesday, a Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) official said.

CTD official Rai Tahir identified the two militants as Adeel Hafeez and Usman Haroon. He said both were killed during an intense shootout in the raid conducting by security officials.

Tahir said officials had, in the past, foiled other attacks the pair had plotted, adding that they were also behind the killing of two intelligence officials in recent years as well as other high-profile crimes.

The two militants were also linked to the 2011 Al Qaeda ,abduction of an American development worker,, Warren Weinstein, the official said. Weinstein, who was taken from Lahore, was ,accidentally killed in a United States drone strike, in 2015 on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. He provided no specific information about the role the two had in Weinstein’s case.

The American worker’s accidental death was announced by Washington in 2015. President Barack Obama at the time said he ,took full responsibility for US counter-terror missions, and offered his condolences to families of the hostages.

After the Sept 11 attacks in the United States, Washington aggressively targeted militant hideouts in neighbouring Afghanistan and Pakistan’s tribal regions, killing local and foreign militants. Pakistan considers US drone strikes a violation of its sovereignty, while the US accuses Pakistan of providing safe havens for militants. Pakistan has always denied the charge, saying it acts against militants without discrimination.

Many former Al Qaeda militants are thought to have joined the regional IS affiliate, which emerged a few years ago, around the time the group was at the height of its caliphate in Iraq and Syria. IS has since lost nearly all the territory it once controlled in the two Middle Eastern countries.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - January 15, 2019 at 1:25 pm

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FBI opened a probe into whether Trump was working for Russians: NYT

NEW YORK: The FBI opened a probe into President Donald Trump for possible obstruction of justice after he ,fired FBI Director James Comey,, counterintelligence agents were investigating why Trump was acting in ways that seemed to benefit Russia, according to a source familiar with the matter, The New York Times reported.

As the FBI opened the Trump probe in the hectic days after Trump fired Comey, after considering various options for dealing with the firing. In addition to the Comey dismissal in May 2017, Trump had raised concerns in the FBI for comments he made to Russian officials in the Oval Office about firing his FBI director, according to the source familiar with the matter.

The source spoke to CNN after New York Times reported that the FBI were so concerned they began investigating whether Trump was working on behalf of Russia against US interests.

Rudolph Giuliani, lawyer for Trump, was quoted by The Times as saying that the investigation seems to have gone nowhere. “The fact that it goes back a year and a half and nothing came of it that showed a breach of national security means they found nothing,” Giuliani said on Friday.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that Comey was fired for just cause and that Trump has never favoured Russia. “This is absurd. James Comey was fired because he’s a disgraced partisan hack, and his Deputy Andrew McCabe, who was in charge at the time, is a known liar fired by the FBI. Unlike President Obama, who let Russia and other foreign adversaries push America around, President Trump has actually been tough on Russia.”

The decision to investigate Trump himself was an aggressive move by FBI officials who were confronting the chaotic aftermath of the firing of Comey and enduring Trump’s verbal assaults on the Russia investigation as a “witch hunt”, The Times reported.

CNN reported that counterintelligence agents were investigating why Trump was acting in ways that seemed to benefit Russia.

The obstruction probe was an idea the FBI had previously considered, but it didn’t start until Comey was fired, CNN reported. The justification went beyond Trump’s firing of Comey, CNN said, according to its sources, and included Trump’s conversation with Comey in the Oval Office asking him to drop the investigation of his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The FBI director’s firing is central to an obstruction of justice investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is also looking into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election in order to help Trump.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2019

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - January 13, 2019 at 6:25 am

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‘Mistrust on both sides needs to be unwound’: Former envoy Ali Siddiqui on Pak-US ties

Former ambassador to the United States Ali Jahangir Siddiqui, who served in Washington from May-Dec 2018 ? a period when Pak-US ties ,went from cold to frigid, ? spoke to Dawn about the complexities in relations between the two countries, the challenges he faced as an envoy, and whether Pakistan can contribute to normalcy in Afghanistan.

Siddiqui, who left Washington yesterday, told Dawn that he could have been more effectual serving a full three-year term, but maintained that he had contributed to an improvement in bilateral ties during his short seven-month tenure.


Q: How did America’s demand for Pakistan to do more impact bilateral ties?

Siddiqui: I cannot say whether they recognise that it was an unfair demand i.e. Pakistan had done a lot at a great cost to herself. But it is clear that the US South Asia strategy was not successful.

I think that Pakistan has gained from standing its ground. Of course, in the interim, there was a lot of pressure on the relationship but we sustained it.

Q: What do you believe is preventing Pak-US relations from taking off?

Siddiqui: The lack of clarity on both sides. Pakistan has not had broad-based strategic dialogue with the US for a long time and that has held things back.

But when we did have the strategic dialogue in the Obama years, that was precisely when the relationship was worsening rapidly. So, the problem is deeper than a structured engagement.

There is mistrust on both sides that needs to be unwound and that will take effort, whereby the leadership on both sides needs to be engaged by their respective diplomats and historical issues are discussed, and we clear and put the last 20 years of history behind us.

Q: The common perception is that both sides fail to understand each other. Instead of talking to each other, do they talk across each other?

Siddiqui: I don’t think this perception is correct. The bureaucracies on both sides are sophisticated. But the US political system has much more influence in its bureaucracy compared to ours ? many US bureaucrats at the Assistant Secretary and higher levels are political appointees. So there is a strong political dimension in their system, which means that the direction that the US President wants is where the system goes.

Both sides have an understanding of each other and of their own historical positions. It is true that both sides don’t spend enough time understanding where the other is coming from and frequently miss the considerations and pressures the other side has to manage. From our foreign policy perspective, I would say that I observed that since we are busy dealing with short term issues and crises, there is limited long term policy planning at least vis a vis the US.

For example, an answer to the question ‘Where do we want the Pak-US relationship to be in 15 years?’ will dictate whether the next generations of our students will study in the US, whether our scientists will collaborate with US scientific institutions, whether our economy will have significant linkages to the US economy etc. The answer vis-a-vis China is clear, but with the US it is not so.

Q: Can Pakistan help create a semblance of normalcy in Afghanistan as the Americans demand?

Siddiqui: There is a lot of focus on Pakistan here but we have already done everything we can. We used every ounce of security and diplomatic goodwill we had to get all parties to the table.

The outcome of these talks will be determined by the Americans and the Afghan people, not Pakistan.

The Americans understand that and we are facilitating the process as best we can because not only is peace in Afghanistan a noble goal but Pakistan has been the second-worst sufferer in this conflict and we want a peaceful Afghanistan.

Q: Pakistanis often say that they want trade, not aid. Are they serious about it?

Siddiqui: I sometimes think that our policy planners missed something here. Trade not aid is quite dated, by some decades. The adage about teaching a man to fish, instead of giving him fish has been replaced by teaching a man to change fishing!

In the same way, trade not aid is no longer applicable. There is a role for aid, there is a role for trade, but with all the evolution in technology and other change in the world, we need to look for something new. Perhaps technology, not trade. Although I would repeat that trade and aid are both relevant.

Q: Pakistanis often boast about their strategic location, arguing that they cannot be ignored because of this. Was this strategic location an asset for you or an obstacle?

Siddiqui: Saying we have a strategic location, like saying we have a young population, is taking a one-sided position on what is a fact. A one-sided position, while correct on its own, ignores the disadvantages. A youthful population also means a struggle to get them employed while a strategic location means geopolitical complexity.

So, I dealt with our strategic location as a fact. Sometimes there were advantages and other times there was complexity. But all complexity is an opportunity to clear matters. For example, we were caught up in the US-China competition as a result of our strategic location, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and closeness to China.

There were statements made both on Capitol Hill and by the US administration that money Pakistan may get from the International Monetary Fund may end up repaying China but we have been successful in explaining to all US departments of government and this is not how IMF and our loans to China are structured.

Having dealt with this complexity due to our strategic location, we have created a better understanding of Pakistan and our positions with these stakeholders.

Q: Do you think your performance would have been better if you had a full term? Would you like to return with a full term?

Siddiqui: Of course. Diplomatic results are a function of skills and time. If I had three years rather than seven months, we would have achieved 10 times the results.

I’m not being simplistic as its not linear. It takes time to build relationships and access and, in the end, Washington, like Islamabad is a small town. There are a few hundred relevant people in leadership and they are split between the White House, Congress, departments of government, the security establishment, business, scientific establishment etc.

We have lost a lot of ground over the last two decades and more hard work and time are what is needed to regain it.

As for me, I haven’t given much thought to returning if ever offered. I spent 18 months in government between Islamabad and Washington at great personal cost in terms of opportunity, family life etc. My wife Saira has been a pillar of support both in going along with my transition to government and in her capacity as the wife of an ambassador, particularly in Washington where the spouse has a major role in diplomacy. So, it would have to be a ‘team-decision’!

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - January 11, 2019 at 10:25 am

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Former US president George H.W. Bush dead at 94

George H.W. Bush — the upper-crust war hero-turned-oilman and diplomat who steered America through the end of the Cold War as president and led a political dynasty that saw his son win the White House — died on Friday. He was 94.

George W. Bush called his father a “man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for,” in a statement announcing his death.

“The entire Bush family is deeply grateful for 41′s life and love, for the compassion of those who have cared and prayed for Dad, and for the condolences of our friends and fellow citizens.”

Bush’s passing comes just months after the death in April of his wife and revered first lady Barbara Bush — his “most beloved woman in the world” — to whom he was married for 73 years.

The 41st American president was a foreign policy realist who navigated the turbulent but largely peaceful fall of the Soviet Union in 1989 and assembled an unprecedented coalition to defeat Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein two years later.

But the decorated war pilot and former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief suffered the ignominy of being a one-term president, denied a second term over a weak economy when he lost the 1992 election to upstart Democrat Bill Clinton.

His favoring of stability and international consensus stands in sharp contrast to the provocative bluster of fellow Republican and current White House occupant Donald Trump, a man whom Bush did not vote for in 2016.

Bush presided over economic malaise at home, and infuriated his fellow Republicans during a budget battle with rival Democrats by famously breaking his vow: “Read my Lips: No new taxes”.

But he was the respected patriarch of a blue-blood political dynasty — son George spent eight years in the White House, and son Jeb served as governor of Florida.

At the time of his death, Bush was the American president to have lived the longest.

Jimmy Carter was born a few months later, so he could quickly reset the record.

“America has lost a patriot and humble servant in George Herbert Walker Bush. While our hearts are heavy today, they are also filled with gratitude,” former president Barack Obama said in a statement.

War, oil, politics

George Herbert Walker Bush was born on June 12, 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts into a wealthy New England political dynasty — the son of Prescott Bush, a successful banker and US senator for Connecticut.

Bush had a pampered upbringing and attended the prestigious Phillips Academy in Andover, but delayed his acceptance to Yale in order to enlist in the US Navy on his 18th birthday and head off to war.

He flew 58 combat missions during World War II. Shot down over the Pacific by Japanese anti-aircraft fire, he parachuted out and was rescued by a submarine after huddling in a life raft for four hours while enemy forces circled.

Bush married Barbara Pierce in January 1945, shortly before the war ended, and the couple went on to have six children, including one, Robin, who died as a child.

Instead of joining his father in banking upon graduation from Yale University, Bush headed to bleak west Texas to break into the rough-and-tumble oil business.

He surprised many with his success, and by 1958 had settled in Houston as president of an offshore drilling company.

In the 1960s, Bush, now independently wealthy, turned to politics.

He was a local Republican Party chairman, and in 1966 won a seat in the US House of Representatives. He served there until 1970, when he lost a bid for the Senate.

Over the next decade, he held several high-level posts that took him and Barbara around the world: head of the Republican National Committee, US ambassador to the United Nations, envoy to China and director of the CIA, where he was praised for restoring morale after revelations of widespread illegal activity.

He served as vice president to Ronald Reagan after losing to him in the 1980 Republican primary, an eight-year period of hands-on training for the top post he would go on to win by a solid margin in 1988, as the Cold War was coming to an end.

‘This will not stand’

In a major test of the post-Cold War order, Saddam’s million-man army invaded Kuwait in 1990 and looked set to roll into Saudi Arabia, which would have given the Iraqi strongman more than 40 percent of the world’s oil reserves.

Bush famously vowed: “This will not stand, this aggression against Kuwait.”

He assembled a coalition of 32 nations to drive Iraqi forces out in a matter of weeks with a lightning air and ground assault.

Some 425,000 US troops backed by 118,000 allied soldiers took part in Operation Desert Storm, decimating Saddam’s military machine without ousting him from power — a task that would be accomplished 12 years later by Bush’s son.

Buoyed by his victory in the Gulf, Bush and his hard-nosed and widely respected secretary of state James Baker cobbled together the 1991 Madrid Conference to launch the Arab-Israeli peace process.

The conference was mainly symbolic, but it set the stage for the Oslo Accords two years later.

In late 1989, Bush sent US troops to Panama to oust strongman Manuel Noriega. He also set the groundwork for the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Domestically, however, the economy stalled and Bush broke his pledge not to raise taxes in order to reach a budget deal with Democrats — a cardinal sin in the eyes of Republicans.

In 1992, Bush lost his re-election bid to Clinton — whose aide coined the now famous slogan “It’s the economy, stupid” — as eccentric third-party candidate Ross Perot syphoned off conservative votes.

The elder Bush’s cautious realpolitik would later be contrasted to his son’s far more costly ambition to transform the Middle East, but “Bush 41″ refused to weigh in on the debate, insisting he was proud of the presidency of “Bush 43″.

Active post-presidency

After retiring from public life, Bush fulfilled a wartime pledge to one day jump out of a plane for fun and famously went skydiving on his 75th, 80th, 85th and 90th birthdays.

He joined Clinton to raise funds for victims of the 2004 Asian tsunami and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. In 2011, Obama awarded Bush the highest US civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom.

He worked with Carter, Clinton, Obama and son George to raise money for hurricane victims in Texas in 2017.

In 2001, Bush became just the second US president after John Adams to see his son become president.

Son Jeb made his own presidential run in 2016, but fell short in the Republican primaries against Trump.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - December 1, 2018 at 11:25 am

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‘Baseless rhetoric about Pakistan totally unacceptable’: foreign secy tells US ambassador

Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua on Tuesday summoned United States Chargé d’Affaires (CdA) Ambassador Paul Jones to register a strong protest against the “unwarranted and unsubstantiated allegations made against Pakistan” by US President Donald Trump over the last two days.

According to a press statement, Janjua rejected the insinuations about Osama bin Laden made by Trump and reminded Jones that it was Pakistan’s intelligence cooperation that provided the “initial evidence to trace the whereabouts of bin Laden”.

She also conveyed the “government’s disappointment on the recent tweets and comments by the US president”. The US CdA was told that such baseless rhetoric about Pakistan was totally unacceptable.

President Trump, while ,talking to Fox News on Sunday, about the reasons for ending the over a billion dollar annual aid for Pakistan, said the country didn’t do “a damn thing for us”. He raked up allegations of global terror kingpin having lived in Pakistan with relative ease. “But living in Pakistan right next to the military academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there,” said Trump.

He then repeated the same allegations in his tweets the next day, saying the US no longer pays billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan “because they would take our money and do nothing for us”.

Last year, former US president Barack Obama, under whom the bin Laden raid was carried out, ,while speaking at a summit had said,: “We had no evidence that Pakistan was aware of his presence — that is something that we looked at.”

Prime Minister Imran Khan ,hit back at Trump, in a series of tweets. “Pakistan has suffered enough fighting US’s war. Now we will do what is best for our people & our interests,” he said.

“Trump’s false assertions add insult to the injury Pak has suffered in US WoT in terms of lives lost & destabilised & economic costs. He needs to be informed about historical facts.”

‘Baseless allegations’

According to the statement issued on Tuesday, the foreign secretary told the US official that no other country had paid a heavier price than Pakistan in the fight against terrorism. “The US leadership had acknowledged on multiple
occasions that Pakistan’s cooperation had helped in decimating the core Al-Qaeda leadership and eradicating the threat of terrorism from the region.

“The US must not forget that scores of top AQ [Al-Qaeda] leaders were killed or captured by active Pakistani cooperation. Pakistan’s continued support to the efforts of international community in Afghanistan through Ground/ Air and Sea lines of communication was unquestionably critical to the success of this Mission in Afghanistan.

“In the wake of recent US pronouncements to seek political settlement in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the US were working in close coordination with other regional stake holders in order to end the prolonged conflict,” added the statement. “At this critical juncture, baseless allegations about a closed chapter of history could seriously undermine this vital cooperation.”

Pak-US ties dip to new low

The premier on Monday ,led the sharp reaction by political leaders, to Trump’s tirade against Pakistan by hinting at review of foreign policy options and asking the US president to introspect on the real reasons for America’s failure in Afghanistan.

“Instead of making Pakistan a scapegoat for their failures, the US should do a serious assessment of why, despite 140,000 Nato troops plus 250,000 Afghan troops & reportedly $1 trillion spent on war in Afghanistan, the Taliban today are stronger than before,” PM Khan said in one of his four tweets in response to Trump’s remarks.

PM Khan reminded Trump that Pakistan’s support for the US in the war on terror cost it 75,000 casualties and over $123 billion in financial losses, tribal areas were devastated because of terrorist attacks and millions of people were displaced because of counterterrorism operations that had to be carried out to reclaim the area from terrorists.

Although US aid for Pakistan had been on decline since the last years of President Barack Obama as the strategic misalignment of the two countries grew, it was after ,Trump’s New Year tweet accusing Pakistan of “lies and deceit”, that the security aid was ended.

Trump has been consistent in his criticism of Pakistan since he ,launched his South Asia and Afghanistan strategy, despite multiple attempts made by the two governments to fix the problems in their ties.

While Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who has been spearheading the most recent attempt at rebooting US ties, had appeared optimistic about progress in ties after his meetings with American leaders, Trump’s latest remarks indicate that underlying irritants that have kept the relationship unstable remain unaddressed.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - November 20, 2018 at 12:25 pm

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‘We will do what is best for our people, our interests’: PM Khan fires back after Trump tweets

What started with United States President Donald Trump’s ,tirade against Pakistan, on Sunday night culminated into a heated exchange between him and Prime Minister Imran Khan on Twitter on Monday, with the latter making it clear that “Now, we [Pakistan] will do what is best for our people and our interests.”

PM Khan’s latest rebuttal came after Trump tweeted about Pakistan’s alleged inaction against “Osama bin Laden and Afghanistan”. The US head of state was repeating his statements from his ,interview to Fox News, on Sunday in which he attempted to justify his administration’s decision to pull “military aid” to Pakistan.

The US president claimed he had pointed out Osama bin Laden in his book “just BEFORE” the 9/11 attacks and that his country “of course” should have captured the Al Qaeda leader “long before we did”.

“President Clinton famously missed his shot. We paid Pakistan Billions of Dollars & they never told us he was living there. Fools!..” he wrote.

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Reiterating his earlier comment, Trump said the US no longer pays billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan “because they would take our money and do nothing for us”. He cited the capture of bin Laden in Abbottabad and the Afghanistan war as the two areas of alleged inaction by Pakistan.

“They [Pakistan] were just one of many countries that take from the United States without giving anything in return. That’s ENDING!” Trump said.

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The US president’s tweets were shortly followed by a Twitter post by Prime Minister Khan, who said Trump “needs to be informed abt historical facts”.

“Trump’s false assertions add insult to the injury [that] Pak has suffered in US WoT in terms of lives lost & destabilised & economic costs,” the premier wrote.

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“Pak has suffered enough fighting US’s war. Now we will do what is best for our people & our interests,” he concluded.

PM Khan’s response to Trump’s tirade

PM Khan first hit back at Trump’s remarks earlier today, suggesting that Washington assess its efficacy in the War on Terror in Afghanistan instead of making Pakistan a scapegoat for its failures.

While ,speaking to Fox News,, Trump had justified his administration’s decision to cancel military aid for Pakistan by linking it to bin Laden being found in Pakistan in 2011. “They [Pakistan] don’t do a damn thing for us,” the US president had said.

Speaking of the compound in Abbottabad where bin Laden was found in 2011, Trump said the bin Ladens had been “living in Pakistan right next to the military academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there.”

However, contrary to Trump’s insinuations, former US president Barack Obama, under whom the raid was carried out, had said last year: “We had no evidence that Pakistan was aware of his presence — that is something that we looked at.”

Trump also added that the US used to give Pakistan $1.3 billion a year, but doesn’t anymore. “I ended it because they don’t do anything for us.”

Read more: ,’Appeasement does not work with US’: Shireen Mazari claps back at Trump over tirade against Pakistan,

PM Khan responded to Trump’s statements, saying that Islamabad had decided to “participate in the US War on Terror” although no Pakistani was involved in the 9/11 attacks.

“Pakistan suffered 75,000 casualties in this war and over $123 billion was lost,” he added, of which “US ‘aid’ was a minuscule $20bn”, the premier said.

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In addition to economic losses, the PM highlighted the impact of the US war on Pakistan’s tribal areas. “Our tribal areas were devastated and millions of people were uprooted from their homes. The war drastically impacted the lives of ordinary Pakistanis,” he said.

“Pakistan continues to provide free lines of ground and air communications (GLOCs/ALOCs),” he added.

“Can Mr Trump name another ally that gave such sacrifices?” he asked.

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“Instead of making Pakistan a scapegoat for their failures, the US should do a serious assessment of why, despite 140,000 Nato troops, plus 250,000 Afghan troops and reportedly $1 trillion spent on the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban today are stronger than before,” he suggested.

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Earlier today, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari also ,called Trump out, over his remarks about Pakistan, saying: “@realDonaldTrump suffers conveniently from perpetual historic amnesia!”

Relations between the United States and Pakistan, which began to strain in 2011, reached a new low in January when Trump suspended US security assistance to Islamabad over the alleged presence of Afghan militant groups in Fata. The government as well as the military had rejected the charge as incorrect.

The Inter-Services Public Relations had clarified at the time that the Coalition Support Fund, received from the US, is reimbursement of money spent for operations in support of the coalition for regional peace.

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PM Khan counters Trump’s tirade against Pakistan

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday clapped back at United States (US) President Donald Trump on Monday, suggesting that Washington assess its efficacy in the War on Terror in Afghanistan instead of making Pakistan a scapegoat for its failures.

While ,speaking to Fox News, on Sunday, Trump had attempted to justify his administration’s decision at the start of 2018 to pull “military aid” to Pakistan by linking it to Osama bin Laden being found in Pakistan in 2011. “They [Pakistan] don’t do a damn thing for us,” the US president had said.

Speaking of the compound in Abbottabad where bin Laden was found in 2011, Trump said the bin Ladens had been “living in Pakistan right next to the military academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there.”

However, contrary to Trump’s insinuations, former US president Barack Obama, the raid was carried out, had said last year: “We had no evidence that Pakistan was aware of his presence — that is something that we looked at.”

Trump also added that the US used to give Pakistan $1.3 billion a year, but doesn’t anymore. “I ended it because they don’t do anything for us.”

Read more: ,’Appeasement does not work with US’: Shireen Mazari claps back at Trump over tirade against Pakistan,

PM Khan responded to Trump’s statements, saying that Islamabad had decided to “participate in the US War on Terror” although no Pakistani was involved in the 9/11 attacks.

“Pakistan suffered 75,000 casualties in this war and over $123 billion was lost,” he added, of which “US ‘aid’ was a miniscule $20bn”, the premier said.

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In addition to economic losses, the PM highlighted the impact of the US war on Pakistan’s tribal areas. “Our tribal areas were devastated and millions of people were uprooted from their homes. The war drastically impacted the lives of ordinary Pakistanis,” he said.

“Pakistan continues to provide free lines of ground and air communications (GLOCs/ALOCs),” he added.

“Can Mr Trump name another ally that gave such sacrifices?” he asked.

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“Instead of making Pakistan a scapegoat for their failures, the US should do a serious assessment of why, despite 140,000 Nato troops, plus 250,000 Afghan troops and reportedly $1 trillion spent on the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban today are stronger than before,” he suggested.

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Earlier today, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari also ,called Trump out, over his remarks about Pakistan, saying: “@realDonaldTrump suffers conveniently from perpetual historic amnesia!”

Calling Trump’s tirade a lesson for Pakistani leaders “who kept appeasing the US esp after 9/11″, the minister added: “Whether China or Iran, US policies of containment and isolation do not coincide with Pakistan’s strategic interests.”

Relations between the United States and Pakistan, which began to strain in 2011, reached a new low in January when Trump suspended US security assistance to Islamabad over the alleged presence of Afghan militant groups in Fata. The government as well as the military had rejected the charge as incorrect.

The Inter-Services Public Relations had clarified at the time that that the Coalition Support Fund, received from the US, is reimbursement of money spent for operations in support of the coalition for regional peace.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - November 19, 2018 at 2:26 pm

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‘Appeasement does not work with US’: Shireen Mazari claps back at Trump over tirade against Pakistan

A day after United States President Donald Trump claimed that Pakistan “does not do anything for his country”, Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari ,took to Twitter, to remind the US head of state of the losses incurred by Pakistan over the years.

“The loss of Pakistani lives in US War on Terror, the ,free space for Raymond Davis, and other operatives, the illegal killings by drone attacks — the list is endless,” said Mazari on Monday, adding, “once again history shows appeasement does not work”.

While ,speaking to Fox News, on Sunday, Trump attempted to justify his administration’s decision at the start of 2018 to pull “military aid” to Pakistan by linking it to Osama bin Laden being found in Pakistan in 2011.

“They [Pakistan] don’t do a damn thing for us,” the US president said.

Mazari called “Trump’s tirade against Pakistan” a lesson for those Pakistani leaders “who kept appeasing the US esp after 9/11!”.

The minister added: “Whether China or Iran, US policies of containment and isolation do not coincide with Pakistan’s strategic interests.”

Read: ,Shireen Mazari calls out Trump’s ignorance on US role in destabilising ME,

In reply to another ,tweet calling out Trump over his remarks,, Mazari said: “@realDonaldTrump suffers conveniently from perpetual historic amnesia!”

Former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani termed Trump’s remarks “contrary to the facts” and reminded the US president that “Pakistan is not a client state of the US.”

“The US president’s language regarding a sovereign state was aggressive,” he said. “He should be careful; Pakistan is not a state or colony of the US.”

The veteran PPP leader reminded Trump of all that Pakistan did for the US over the years. “The US killed Pakistanis in unauthorised drone attacks, the US sponsored terrorism in Kabul, and a drug industry was created on the Pak-Afghan border for the financial assistance of the US,” he said.

“The Pakistani nation is paying the price of political and economic instability due to its alliance with the US.”

Former foreign minister Khawaja Asif also took note of Trump’s remarks, saying: “We continue to pay in blood for what we did for USA.”

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Relations between the United States and Pakistan, which began to strain in 2011, reached a new low in January when ,Trump suspended US security assistance to Islamabad, over the alleged presence of Afghan militant groups in Fata. The government as well as the military ,had rejected, the charge as incorrect.

The Inter-Services Public Relations ,had clarified at the time, that that the Coalition Support Fund, received from the US, is reimbursement of money spent for operations in support of the coalition for regional peace.

Osama bin Laden

Speaking of the compound in Abbottabad ,where bin Laden was found in 2011,, Trump said in the Fox News interview: “You know, living — think of this — living in Pakistan, beautifully in Pakistan in what I guess they considered a nice mansion,” adding: “I don’t know, I’ve seen nicer.”

“But living in Pakistan right next to the military academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there,” he continued.

“We give Pakistan $1.3 billion a year… [bin Laden] lived in Pakistan, we’re supporting Pakistan, we’re giving them $1.3 billion a year — which we don’t give them anymore, by the way. I ended it because they don’t do anything for us.”

Contrary to Trump’s insinuations, former US president Barack Obama, under whose tenure the bin Laden raid was carried out, ,while speaking at a summit last year had said,: “We had no evidence that Pakistan was aware of his presence — that is something that we looked at.”

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Americans vote in mid-term polls seen as referendum on Trump

WASHINGTON: Americans voted on Tuesday in an election that is seen as a referendum on President Donald Trump’s first two years of a four-year term. At stake are all 435 seats in the US House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate. Voters will also elect 36 governors and hundreds of state and local government representatives.

As millions of voters turned out to vote, Democrats claimed that they were 100 per cent sure of reclaiming the House from Mr Trump’s Republicans. However, Republicans are hoping that this “over-emphasis on the Trump factor” can bring out the president’s supporters and give them yet another surprise win, as in 2016 when Mr Trump beat Hillary Clinton.

“Some are calling (this) the biggest referendum on a president in recent memory,” commented CNN in a report on the last-minute campaigns to persuade undecided voters.

“Trump is the dividing force in this election,” noted the USA Today newspaper. “While he isn’t on the ballot, he is at the centre of both the conflict and its consequences.”

President Trump also endorsed this impression, telling voters in a campaign rally that “your vote in 2018 is every bit as important as your vote in 2016,” when they elected him. “That’s why we will be campaigning for every last vote in every part of our great country,” he said.

Former US president Barack Obama, who campaigned across the country for Democrats, warned Americans that in his first two years in office President Trump has de-shaped America. “The character of our country is on the ballot,” Mr Obama said at a rally in Miami.

Most US media reports and straw polls suggested that Democrats had an edge in early voting. Reports from some states showed high turnouts of women and young voters in some states, particularly on the East Coast. This is a good sign for Democrats as both groups tend to vote for them. Another group that came out in large numbers on Tuesday was that of immigrants, who also mostly favour the Democrats.

The most likely scenario, according to The Washington Post, is: “Democrats win the House, while Republicans hold the Senate.”

Since all such predictions were proven wrong in 2016, when Mr Trump won against all odds, no media outlet or opinion survey ruled out a surprise Republican win.

And, as The New York Times pointed out, Mr Trump is counting on his negative campaigning to bring out his supporters.

“Where are the police? Where are the military? Where are ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement? Where are the Border Patrol?” he declared at a rally in a clear attempt to stir anti-immigrant sentiments.

Some political pundits say that the midterm could also decide whether Mr Trump will be a one or two-term president. Although an outsider in 2016, Mr Trump now leads the ultra-right conservatives in the Republican Party.

His victory in 2016 encouraged conservatives across the globe, bringing wins for them in several European countries as well. Liberals hope that a Republican defeat in the midterm could halt this trend.

In the past two years, Mr Trump has enforced several key points of his conservative agenda — scrapping the Iran nuclear deal, a ban on Muslim visitors, undoing health reforms, appointing conservative judges — also because Republicans control both the House and the Senate. He promised to do the rest — taking away the birthright to citizenship, building the Mexico wall — in the remaining two years of his four-year term.

Democrats believe that if they win back Congress on Nov 6, they can prevent Mr Trump from completing his agenda and winning a second term.

Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018

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US vows ‘relentless’ sanctions as Iran pledges to stand up to ‘bullying’ by Washington

The United States vowed on Monday to be “relentless” in countering Iran as sweeping sanctions took effect, but the Islamic republic defiantly promised to stand up to the “bullying” by Washington.

President Donald Trump’s administration nonetheless issued eight exemptions from its demand on all countries to stop buying Iranian oil, the country’s largest export, amid bitter international opposition to the unilateral US sanctions.

Six months after Trump pulled out of an international agreement on ending Tehran’s nuclear program, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the ultimate US goal was for Iran to make a “180-degree turn” and abandon its “revolutionary course.”

While stopping short of urging regime change, he reiterated demands for Iran to end policies rooted in the 1979 Islamic revolution including its support for regional proxies such as the Lebanese militia Hezbollah and its development of missiles.

“We hope a new agreement with Iran is possible, but until Iran makes changes in the 12 ways I listed in May, we will be relentless in exerting pressure on the regime,” Pompeo said.

He said the sanctions — which took effect on the 39th anniversary of Iranian zealots’ seizure of the US embassy following the ouster of the pro-US shah — intended to “starve the Iranian regime of the funds it uses to fund violent activity throughout the Middle East and around the world.” UN inspectors say Iran is abiding by an agreement reached with Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama to draw down its nuclear program. That deal was backed by European powers, Russia and China and sealed by a UN Security Council resolution.

“I announce that we will proudly bypass your illegal, unjust sanctions because it’s against international regulations,” Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech as the sanctions took effect.

“We are in a situation of economic war, confronting a bullying power. I don’t think that in the history of America, someone has entered the White House who is so against law and international conventions,” he added.
In one of Tehran’s bazaars, there was anxiety over the future.

“The shadow of the sanctions has already affected the economy in a disastrous way, people’s purchasing power has plunged,” said Ehsan Attar in his herbal remedy shop.

‘Act on your commitments’

Rouhani said four countries had approached him during his visit to New York for the UN General Assembly in September, offering to mediate with the US but he turned them down.

“There is no need for mediation. There is no need for all these messages. Act on your commitments, and we will sit and talk,” he said.

But Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in an interview published on Monday with USA Today, said Iran would consider fresh diplomacy if there were a “different approach” by Washington.

The latest tranche of US sanctions aims to significantly cut Iran’s oil exports — which have already fallen by up to one million barrels a day since May — and cut off its banks from international finance.

The Belgian-based SWIFT banking network, the backbone for international monetary transfers, said Monday it had suspended several Iranian banks from its service.

The International Monetary Fund forecasts that US sanctions will cause Iran’s economy to contract 1.5 per cent this year and 3.6 per cent next year — pain that Trump has boasted about as he touts his record ahead of Tuesday’s congressional elections.

Iran’s economy was already suffering major structural problems — including widespread corruption, weak investment and a banking sector laden with toxic assets — before Trump walked out of the deal.

Rouhani’s plan since his election in 2013 was to boost the economy by rebuilding ties with the world and attracting billions of dollars in foreign investment — a strategy that now looks in tatters.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - November 5, 2018 at 7:25 pm

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Putin warns Trump over ‘dangerous’ plan to quit N-deal

MOSCOW: Russia on Sunday warned US President Donald Trump that his plan to ditch a Cold War-era nuclear weapons treaty with Moscow was a dangerous step.

Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said this “would be a very dangerous step” and accused the US of risking international condemnation in a bid for “total supremacy” in the military sphere.

He insisted that Moscow observed “in the strictest way” the three-decade-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, known as the INF, while accusing Washington of “flagrant violations”. The treaty was signed in 1987 by the then US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

INF treaty was signed in 1987 by Reagan and Gorbachev

But Trump on Saturday blamed Russia for violating it.

“We’re the ones who have stayed in the agreement and we’ve honoured the agreement, but Russia has not unfortunately honoured the agreement, so we’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out,” he told reporters.

“Russia has violated the agreement. They’ve been violating it for many years. I don’t know why president (Barack) Obama didn’t negotiate or pull out. And we’re not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons (while) we’re not allowed to.”

Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton was set to arrive in Moscow on Sunday evening and meet next week with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

That comes ahead of what is expected to be a second summit between Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin this year.

Bolton was also set to meet Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and Putin aide Yuri Ushakov. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a “possible meeting” was being arranged between Putin and Bolton.

Deputy foreign minister Ryabkov said he hoped that Trump’s national security adviser would explain the US plans “more substantively and clearly”. The US administration has complained of Moscow’s deployment of 9M729 missiles, which Washington says can travel more than 500 kilometres, and thus violate the INF treaty.

The treaty, which banned missiles that could travel between 500 and 5472 kilometres, resolved a crisis that had begun in the 1980s with the deployment of Soviet SS-20 nuclear-tipped, intermediate-range ballistic missiles targeting Western capitals.

A Russian foreign ministry official earlier accused Washington of implementing policy “toward dismantling the nuclear deal”.

Washington “has approached this step over the course of many years by deliberately and step by step destroying the basis for the agreement”, said the unnamed official, quoted by Russia’s three main news agencies.

The official accused the US of backing out of international agreements that put it on an equal footing with other countries because it wanted to protect American “exceptionalism”.

Russian senator Alexei Pushkov wrote on Twitter that the move was “the second powerful blow against the whole system of strategic stability in the world” after Washington’s 2001 withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty.

“And again, the initiator of the dissolution of the agreement is the US,” he added.

Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2018

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Heatwaves can become yearly affair if global climate not controlled, warns UN report

The landmark United Nations (UN) report on limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius was released in South Korea on Monday after a week-long meeting of the 195-nation Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

More than 90 scientists wrote the report, which is based on more than 6,000 peer reviews.

A “Summary for Policymakers” of the 400-page tome underscores how quickly global warming has outstripped humanity’s attempts to tame it, and outlines stark options — all requiring a makeover of the world economy — for avoiding the worst ravages of climate change.

“Things that scientists have been saying would happen further in the future are happening now,” Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International, told AFP.

Before the Paris Agreement was inked in 2015, nearly a decade of scientific research rested on the assumption that 2C was the guardrail for a climate-safe world.

The IPCC report, however, shows that global warming impacts have come sooner and hit harder than predicted.

1.5C vs. 2C

A raft of recent research shows that 2C is not the guardrail it was previously assumed to be.

“Climate impacts are exponentially more dramatic when we go from 1.5C to 2C,” said Henri Waisman, a scientist at the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations, and a coordinating lead author of the IPCC report.

What used to be once-a-century heatwaves in the northern hemisphere, for example, will become 50 per cent more likely in many regions with an extra half-degree of warming.

Some tropical fisheries are likely to collapse somewhere between the 1.5C and 2C benchmark. Staple food crops will decline in yield and nutritional value by an extra 10-15pc. Coral reefs will mostly perish. The rate of species loss will accelerate “substantially”.

Most worrying of all, perhaps, are temperature thresholds between 1.5C and 2C that could push Arctic sea ice, methane-laden permafrost, and melting polar ice sheets with enough frozen water to lift oceans by a dozen metres, past a point of no return.

The stakes are especially high for small island states, developing nations in the tropics, and countries with densely-populated delta regions already suffering from rising seas.

Read: ,Climate change a ‘threat multiplier’ for Pakistan, says researcher,

Meeting the tougher-to-reach goal “could result in around 420 million fewer people being frequently exposed to extreme heat waves, and about 65 million fewer people being exposed to exceptional heat waves,” the report says.

The deadly heat waves that hit India and Pakistan in 2015 will become practically yearly events if the world reaches the hotter of the two goals.

“We have only the slimmest of opportunities remaining to avoid unthinkable damage to the climate system that supports life as we know it,” said Amjad Abdulla, chief negotiator at the UN climate talks for the Alliance of Small Island States.

“We have done our job, we have now passed on the message,” Jim Skea, a professor at Imperial College London’s Centre for Environmental Policy and an IPCC co-chair, said at a press conference. “Now it is over to governments, it’s their responsibility to act on it.”

Here are some key findings.

‘Unprecedented changes’

Capping global warming at 1.5C above pre-industrial levels will require “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”, the IPCC said.

Earth’s average surface temperature has already gone up 1C — enough to unleash a crescendo of deadly extreme weather — and is on track to rise another 2-3C in the absence of a sharp and sustained reduction in carbon pollution.

At current levels of greenhouse gas emissions, we could pass the 1.5C marker as early as 2030, and no later than mid-century, the report finds with “high confidence”.

To have at least a 50-50 chance of staying under 1.5C without overshooting the mark, the world must, by 2050, become “carbon neutral”.

“That means every tonne of CO2 we put into the atmosphere will have to be balanced by a tonne of CO2 taken out,” said lead coordinating author Myles Allen, head of the University of Oxford’s Climate Research Programme.

Emissions of carbon dioxide — the main greenhouse gas — should peak no later than 2020 and curve sharply downward from there, according to scenarios in the report.

Easier said than done: humanity dumped a record amount of CO2 into the atmosphere last year.

A contrasting “pay later” scenario compensates for a high-consumption lifestyles and continued use of fossil fuels with a temporary breaching of the 1.5C ceiling.

It depends heavily on the use of bio-fuels. But the scheme would need to plant an area twice the size of India in biofuel crops, and assumes that some 1,200 billion tonnes of CO2 — 30 years’ worth of emissions at current rates — can be safely locked away underground.

“Is it fair for the next generation to pay to take the CO2 out of the atmosphere that we are now putting into it?”, asked Allen. “We have to start having that debate.”

The steep cost of inaction

The 30-page executive summary also details humanity’s “carbon budget”, i.e., the amount of CO2 we can emit and still stay under the 1.5C ceiling.

For a two-thirds chance of success, that is about 420 billion tonnes, an allowance that would — according to current trends — be used up in a decade.

The share of electricity generated by renewables — mainly hydro, solar and wind — would have to jump by mid-century from about 20 to 70 per cent. The share of coal, meanwhile, would need to drop from 40 per cent to low single digits.

Limiting global warming to 1.5C will require investing about $2.4 trillion in the global energy system every year between 2016 and 2035, or about 2.5 per cent of world GDP.

This price tag, however, must be weighed against the even steeper cost of inaction, the report says.

Pathways

IPCC authors say the 1.5C goal is technically and economically feasible, but depends on political leadership to become reality.

The report lays out four 1.5C scenarios that shadow current and future policy debates on the best way to ramp up the fight against climate change.

One pathway, for example, relies heavily on a deep reduction in energy demand, while another assumes major changes in consumption habits, such as eating less meat and abandoning cars with internal combustion engines.

Two others depend on sucking massive amounts of CO2 out of the air, either though large-scale reforestation, use of bio-fuels, or direct carbon capture.

“Radical change”

Special Representative on Water Affairs for the Netherlands, Henk Ovink, while talking to reporters in Hague about the alarming UN report, stressed that countries must work urgently to solve water issues caused by climate change.

“We need a radical change,” said Ovink.

“There is this urgent need to change, the IPCC report is right, we are not heading in the right direction,” he told a small group of international journalists.

The UN’s IPCC said in a landmark report on Monday that warming is on track toward an unliveable 3C or 4C rise and avoiding global chaos will require a major transformation.

Ovink — who travels the world spreading the know-how gleaned by the low-lying Netherlands in its millennium-long battle against the seas and is billed as the world’s only “water ambassador”— said the report shows “we all need to do more”.

Recent events such as the disastrous flooding caused by Hurricane Florence in the United States, Japanese typhoons and the Indonesian tsunami showed that “the world isn’t ready for these challenges, and is responding after these crises, not before”.

He said one important area was fostering “collaboration” — within and between countries, agencies and the UN — citing the example of the Netherlands where “water democracy is nearly 1,000 years old”.

But while United States President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate pact caused international dismay, Ovink said that there was no need to be unduly pessimistic.

“I don’t despair only because of Trump,” said Ovink, who previously served on a task force on hurricane rebuilding created by Trump’s predecessor, president Barack Obama.

“The world is not dependent on one nation. It wasn’t easy before Trump. “

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - October 9, 2018 at 5:25 am

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US has failed to achieve its goals in Afghanistan: survey

WASHINGTON: More Americans are now saying that despite 17 years of war, the United States has failed to achieve its goals in Afghanistan, says a survey released on Saturday.

The Pew Research Centre, Washington, which conducted the survey from Sept 18-24, found that about half of American adults (49 per cent) believe the United States has mostly failed to achieve its goals in Afghanistan. About a third (35pc) say Washington has mostly while another 16pc say they do not know if the US has succeeded or failed.

Between 2009 and 2011, when asked whether the US will succeed or fail to achieve its goals, majority said the US would be successful. But in 2014 and 2015, opinions about the mission were similarly more negative than positive.

In this month’s survey, Republicans appear more optimistic than Democrats that the US mission in Afghanistan has succeeded in achieving its goals, according to the new survey. About half of Republicans and Republican-lean­ing independents (48pc) say the US has succeeded, compared with about three-in-ten Democrats and Demo­cratic-leaning independents (28pc).

According to Pew Research Centre, American public has become more divided on whether the 2001 invasion was right or wrong decision

Three years ago, during the presidency of Barack Obama, partisan opinions were nearly the reverse: 42pc of Democrats said the US had succeeded, compared with 29pc of Republicans.

As Afghanistan becomes America’s longest-ever military engagement, the American public has become more divided on whether the 2001 invasion was the right or the wrong decision. Today, 45pc say the US made the right decision in using military force and 39pc say it was the wrong decision.

The share of Americans saying the initial decision was right declined over time. In 2006, 69pc said it was the right decision and 20pc said it was the wrong decision. In early 2002, a few months after the start of the war, 83pc of Americans said they approved of the US-led military campaign against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

Republicans have consistently expressed more support than Democrats for the decision to use force in Afghanistan, though support has fallen in both parties over the past decade.

About two-thirds of Republicans and Republican sympathisers (66pc) now say it was the right decision to use force in Afghanistan.

Only about a third of Democrats and Democratic sympathisers (31pc) say the same. About half of Democrats (53pc) say it was a wrong decision, compared with 21pc of Republicans.

Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2018

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Saudi king wouldn’t last 2 weeks without US support, says Trump

United States (US) President Donald Trump says Saudi Arabia’s king “might not be there for two weeks” without US military support, further increasing his pressure on one of America’s closest Mideast allies over rising oil prices.

As crude oil prices reach a four-year high, Trump repeatedly has demanded OPEC and Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, push prices down.

Read more: ,Shireen Mazari calls out Trump’s ignorance on US role in destabilising ME,

However, analysts are warning prices could go up to $100 a barrel as the world’s production is already stretched and Trump’s sanctions on Iran’s oil industry take effect in early November.

Criticising America’s longstanding military relationships with allies has been a hallmark of Trump’s presidential campaign and his time in office.

Trump returned to that theme Tuesday night in Southaven, Mississippi, mentioning both Japan and South Korea. However, Trump’s comments on Saudi Arabia implied the kingdom’s Al Saud monarchy, which oversees the holiest sites in Islam, would collapse without American military support.

“We protect Saudi Arabia, would you say they’re rich?” Trump asked the cheering crowd.

“And I love the king, King Salman, but I said, ‘King we’re protecting you. You might not be there for two weeks without us. You have to pay for your military, you have to pay.’”

Trump didn’t elaborate on when he made the comments to Saud Arabia’s 82-year-old monarch.

Trump and King Salman last shared ,a reported telephone call, on Saturday, in which they discussed “efforts to maintain supplies to ensure the stability of the oil market and ensure the growth of the global economy,” according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

There was no immediate reaction Wednesday in Saudi Arabia to Trump’s remarks. Riyadh has worked to cultivate warm relations with Trump after having rocky moments with former president Barack Obama.

Saudi Arabia welcomed Trump for his first overseas trip as president. Trump’s administration, particularly his son-in-law Jared Kushner, has sought a close relationship with King Salman’s son Mohammed bin Salman, the country’s crown price and next in line to the throne.

But oil prices seem to be getting in the way, especially as benchmark Brent crude oil is near $85 a barrel a four-year high.

Trump in July tweeted without evidence that Saudi Arabia would increase its production “maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels” a day.

Saudi Arabia currently produces some 10 million barrels of crude oil a day. Its record is 10.72m barrels a day.

Meanwhile, US gasoline prices are up ahead of November midterm elections in which Trump already faces political headwinds.

The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in the US is $2.88, up from $2.55 a year ago, according to AAA.

Trump criticised oil producers in his speech before the United Nations General Assembly last week.

“OPEC and OPEC nations are, as usual, ripping off the rest of the world, and I don’t like it. Nobody should like it,” he said.

“We defend many of these nations for nothing, and then they take advantage of us by giving us high oil prices. Not good. We want them to stop raising prices. We want them to start lowering prices and they must contribute substantially to military protection from now on.”

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - October 3, 2018 at 6:26 pm

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Will discuss the $300m US ‘payment’ matter with Pompeo: Foreign Minister Qureshi

After the US military moved to scrap a $300 million aid to Pakistan for what it claimed was Islamabad’s lack of “decisive actions” in support of regional American strategy, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi contended the labeling of the payment as “aid” and vowed to discuss the matter with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.

“Due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy… $300m (actually $323.6m to include non-Pakistan funds) was reprogrammed by the Defense Department in the June/July 2018 time frame for other urgent priorities,” Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner said in an email to AFP.

The US defence department “is awaiting a congressional determination on whether this reprogramming request will be approved or denied”, Faulkner said.

Take a look: ,US cuts military training programme for Pakistan,

Responding to the development, Qureshi, the newly appointed foreign minister of Pakistan, clarified that the payment, which the US is now considering scrapping, is in fact the support coalition fund.

“This is not an aid of any kind that can be suspended,” he said. “This is actually the payment of expenses incurred by us during the war against terrorism.”

The foreign minister said that to “rid the region and the world from terrorism is a joint effort, for which Pakistan has done a lot. The Pakistan Army and people have sacrificed a lot, which is why the positive thinking should be that all the measures that are for our joint goals should continue as is.”

Qureshi said that the matter will be discussed with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo when he ,visits Pakistan on Wednesday,.

“We will sit with him, present our point of view and exchange ideas,” he said. “We have several combined interest … we will take our mutual respect for each other into consideration and move forward.”

Pakistan has fought fierce campaigns against homegrown militant groups and has lost thousands of lives and spent billions of dollars in its long war on extremism.

But US officials accuse Islamabad of ignoring or even collaborating with groups that attack Afghanistan from alleged safe havens along the border between the two countries.

The White House believes that a Pakistani crackdown could be pivotal in deciding the outcome of the long-running war in Afghanistan.

US frustration boils over

President Donald Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama authorised drone strikes on Pakistani soil and sent US commandos to kill Osama bin Laden in his Abbottabad hideout.

But Trump’s aggressive language has especially angered Pakistani officials. “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” Trump wrote on Twitter at the beginning of the year.

“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

Pakistani leaders disputed the $33b figure, insisting that around half of the money relates to reimbursements, and the prime minister’s office accused Trump of ignoring the great sacrifices the country has made to fight extremism.

In March, a senior US official said that Pakistan has “done the bare minimum to appear responsive to our requests,” and concerns over a lack of action by Islamabad against militant groups still persist.

“We continue to press Pakistan to indiscriminately target all terrorist groups,” Faulkner had said.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - September 3, 2018 at 8:25 am

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Will discuss the $300m US ‘payment’ matter with Pompeo: Foreign Minister Qureshi

After the US military moved to scrap a $300 million aid to Pakistan for what it claimed was Islamabad’s lack of “decisive actions” in support of regional American strategy, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi contended the labeling of the payment as “aid” and vowed to discuss the matter with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.

“Due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy… $300m (actually $323.6m to include non-Pakistan funds) was reprogrammed by the Defense Department in the June/July 2018 time frame for other urgent priorities,” Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner said in an email to AFP.

The US defence department “is awaiting a congressional determination on whether this reprogramming request will be approved or denied”, Faulkner said.

Take a look: ,US cuts military training programme for Pakistan,

Responding to the development, Qureshi, the newly appointed foreign minister of Pakistan, clarified that the payment, which the US is now considering scrapping, is in fact the support coalition fund.

“This is not an aid of any kind that can be suspended,” he said. “This is actually the payment of expenses incurred by us during the war against terrorism.”

The foreign minister said that to “rid the region and the world from terrorism is a joint effort, for which Pakistan has done a lot. The Pakistan Army and people have sacrificed a lot, which is why the positive thinking should be that all the measures that are for our joint goals should continue as is.”

Qureshi said that the matter will be discussed with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo when he ,visits Pakistan on Wednesday,.

“We will sit with him, present our point of view and exchange ideas,” he said. “We have several combined interest … we will take our mutual respect for each other into consideration and move forward.”

Pakistan has fought fierce campaigns against homegrown militant groups and has lost thousands of lives and spent billions of dollars in its long war on extremism.

But US officials accuse Islamabad of ignoring or even collaborating with groups that attack Afghanistan from alleged safe havens along the border between the two countries.

The White House believes that a Pakistani crackdown could be pivotal in deciding the outcome of the long-running war in Afghanistan.

US frustration boils over

President Donald Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama authorised drone strikes on Pakistani soil and sent US commandos to kill Osama bin Laden in his Abbottabad hideout.

But Trump’s aggressive language has especially angered Pakistani officials. “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” Trump wrote on Twitter at the beginning of the year.

“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

Pakistani leaders disputed the $33b figure, insisting that around half of the money relates to reimbursements, and the prime minister’s office accused Trump of ignoring the great sacrifices the country has made to fight extremism.

In March, a senior US official said that Pakistan has “done the bare minimum to appear responsive to our requests,” and concerns over a lack of action by Islamabad against militant groups still persist.

“We continue to press Pakistan to indiscriminately target all terrorist groups,” Faulkner had said.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - September 2, 2018 at 10:25 pm

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Pentagon moves to scrap $300m aid to Pakistan

The US military is seeking to reallocate $300 million in aid to Pakistan due to Islamabad’s lack of “decisive actions” in support of regional American strategy, the Pentagon said on Saturday.

The US has been pushing Pakistan to crack down on alleged militant safe havens in the country — Islamabad denies any safe havens on its soil — and announced a freeze on aid at the beginning of the year that an official said could be worth almost $2 billion.

“Due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy… $300m (actually $323.6m to include non-Pakistan funds) was reprogrammed by the Defense Department in the June/July 2018 time frame for other urgent priorities,” Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner said in an email to AFP.

Take a look: ,US cuts military training programme for Pakistan,

The US defence department “is awaiting a congressional determination on whether this reprogramming request will be approved or denied”, Faulkner said. The move comes ahead of Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Joseph F. Dunford’s visit to Islamabad next week.

They are also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan.

In their talks with Pakistani officials, the delegation will “make very clear what we have to do, all of our nations, in meeting our common foe, the terrorists,” ,US Defence Secretary James Mattis had said earlier,. “And make that a primary part of the discussion.”

Pakistan has fought fierce campaigns against homegrown militant groups and says it has lost thousands of lives and spent billions of dollars in its long war on extremism.

But US officials accuse Islamabad of ignoring or even collaborating with groups that attack Afghanistan from alleged safe havens along the border between the two countries.

The White House believes that a Pakistani crackdown could be pivotal in deciding the outcome of the long-running war in Afghanistan.

US frustration boils over before

President Donald Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama authorised drone strikes on Pakistani soil and sent US commandos to kill Osama bin Laden in his Abbottabad hideout.

But Trump’s aggressive language has especially angered Pakistani officials. “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” Trump wrote on Twitter at the beginning of the year.

“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

Pakistani leaders disputed the $33b figure, insisting that around half of the money relates to reimbursements, and the prime minister’s office accused Trump of ignoring the great sacrifices the country has made to fight extremism.

In March, a senior US official said that Pakistan has “done the bare minimum to appear responsive to our requests,” and concerns over a lack of action by Islamabad against militant groups still persist.

“We continue to press Pakistan to indiscriminately target all terrorist groups,” Faulkner had said.

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Via DAWN.com

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