Another high-level India, Pakistan talks meaningless unless terror infra is dismantled: Husain Haqqani


Another high-level India, Pakistan talks meaningless unless terror infra is dismantled: Husain Haqqani

Washington: Supporting India's determination that "talks and terror" cannot go together, a former top Pakistan diplomat has said another high-level meeting between the two countries would be fruitless unless Islamabad ensures the terrorist infrastructure on its territory is dismantled.

Pakistan's recent initiatives for talks with India must be seen in the context of the economic and international pressures on it, former Pakistani ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani told reporters here Tuesday. His remarks have come just ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit in Kyrgyzstan on June 13-14. India and Pakistan are part of the regional security grouping and leaders of both the countries are set to attend the meeting in Bishkek.

In a letter written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, Pakistan premier Imran Khan had requested resumption of talks between the two countries to resolve all differences. But no meeting has been planned between them on the sidelines of the summit. Haqqani's remarks also came on a day the government in Islamabad presented its national budget amid an austerity drive to wriggle the country out of the financial mess it is in.

Earlier this month on Eid festival, Khan said there will be no increase in the defence budget because of "our critical financial situation". The defence budget presented Tuesday reflected that sentiment with no increase proposed in expenditure compared to last fiscal. Weeks ago, Khan's government negotiated a USD 6 billion bailout package with the International Monetary Fund to overcome the financial woes. Haqqani said another high-level meeting between India and Pakistan would be meaningless unless it is accompanied with dismantling of terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan and giving up the notion of the two countries being "permanent enemies".

"Between 1950 and December 2015, when Modi dropped in on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Lahore, leaders of the two countries have met 45 times," he said, but talks have never led to durable peace. "The door to negotiations must never be considered permanently shut but nor should dialogue be an end in itself," he reiterated. Haqqani, now the director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute, is considered an uncompromising critic of the Pakistani establishment and the Jihadi ideology. He has often voiced his disagreements with the establishment during public discussions.

In an article published recently, he wrote that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is right to have determined that "talks for talks' sake are meaningless as long as Pakistan refuses to change its view of its larger neighbour as a permanent enemy." In Haqqani's view hostility towards India emanates from Pakistan's national ideology based on religious identity and antipathy cultivated by the military that dominates the country.

Like many other countries, India and Pakistan have unresolved disputes, he said, but other countries do not have national ideologies revolving around opposition to others. "Pakistan tends to engage in talks with India for global respectability, but its dominant military is unable to shed its ideological aversion to normal ties with India," he stressed. The former diplomat cited the Pakistani military and said it was "not raised proportionate to an external threat". "It needs a threat proportionate to its size to justify its claims on the meagre resources of a low-income country," he said, adding Pakistan inherited one-third of British India's army, which had originally been raised for the Second World War.

By Lalit K Jha/PTI

 
 



Kim Jong Un agrees to dismantle main nuke site if US takes corresponding measures


Kim Jong Un agrees to dismantle main nuke site if US takes corresponding measures

Pyongyang: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to permanently dismantle his main nuclear complex at Nyongbyon if the United States takes corresponding measures, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday after the two leaders held summit talks in Pyongyang to try to sustain nuclear diplomacy with Washington, which has been pushing hard for stronger disarmament moves from the North. The Korean leaders also said the North would dismantle a missile engine test site and launch pad in the presence of outside inspectors, and would seek to host the 2032 Summer Olympics together. Moon also said Kim would try to visit Seoul sometime this year.

Washington wants North Korea to outline the entirety of its nuclear program, and its response to Wednesday’s joint statement from the Koreas remains to be seen. While the declaration appears to fall short of what Washington wants, President Donald Trump has maintained that he and Kim have a solid relationship and both leaders have expressed interest in meeting again after their June summit in Singapore.

North Korea has been demanding a declaration formally ending the Korean War, which was stopped in 1953 by a ceasefire, but neither leader mentioned it as they read the joint statement.”We have agreed to make the Korean Peninsula a land of peace that is free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threat,” Kim said as he stood by Moon’s side at the guesthouse where Moon is staying.


 
“The road to our future will not always be smooth and we may face challenges and trials we can’t anticipate. But we aren’t afraid of headwinds because our strength will grow as we overcome each trial based on the strength of our nation.” Kim and Moon earlier smiled and chatting as they walked down a hallway and into a meeting room to finalize the joint statement, which also said that the leaders would push for a Korean Peninsula without nuclear weapons and to “eliminate all the danger of war. “North Korea was expected to hold a huge mass games spectacle later in the day, with Moon attending an event expected to draw about 150,000 spectators, Seoul said. It wasn’t clear if Kim would attend.

North Korea first staged its mass games in 2002, when Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il, was leader. They continued most every year until 2014, then were revived during North Korea’s celebrations of the 70th anniversary of its state founding earlier this month.Kim gave the South Korean president an exceedingly warm welcome on Tuesday, the first day of the summit, meeting him and his wife at Pyongyang’s airport – itself a very unusual gesture – then riding into town with Moon in an open limousine through streets lined with crowds of North Koreans, who cheered and waved the flag of their country and a blue-and-white flag that symbolizes Korean unity.

The made-for-television welcome has become routine for their summits, after two meetings earlier this year. The summit talks began at the ruling Workers’ Party headquarters where Kim and Moon were joined by two of their top deputies – spy chief Suh Hoon and presidential security director Chung Eui-yong for Moon, and for Kim, his sister, Kim Yo Jong, and senior Workers’ Party official Kim Yong Chol, according to Moon’s office. At the start of their meeting Tuesday, Kim thanked Moon for brokering the June summit with Trump.

“It’s not too much to say that it’s Moon’s efforts that arranged a historic North Korea-U.S. summit. Because of that, the regional political situation has been stabilized and more progress on North Korea-U.S. ties is expected,” Kim said, according to South Korean media pool reports and Moon’s office. Moon responded by expressing his own thanks to Kim for making a “bold decision” in a New Year’s speech to open a new era of detente and send a delegation to the South Korean Winter Olympics in February.




Adverse weather kills 9 in Sri Lanka


Adverse weather kills 9 in Sri Lanka

Colombo [Sri Lanka]: According to the National Disaster Management Center (DMC), nine people have been killed and, 23 are missing due to floods and landslides caused due to heavy rains in Sri Lanka.

The DMC report claims that 23,741 people have been displaced and sheltered in 163 safe places. In totality, 66,340 have been affected by the adverse weather conditions, as per Colombo Page.Low lying areas like Ranbima, Welihinda, and Yakadagalla were submerged.

According to the Colombo Page, the railway service from in between Chilaw and Thummodera has been curtailed. The government also deployed Army and Navy to rescue the ones stranded in floods.


Relief measures have also been implemented in the affected island.




Imran Khan’s third wife Bushra Maneka returns to maternal home after dispute over pet dogs


Imran Khan’s third wife Bushra Maneka returns to maternal home after dispute over pet dogs

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan’s third wife Bushra Manek has reportedly returned back to her maternal home following a domestic dispute over the ex-cricketer’s pet dogs. As per a report by Times of Islamabad , Imran Khan’s pet dogs, who had earlier been expelled from his palatial house on the direction of Manek, have returned back and are seen wandering around the house.

Though Imran Khan had negated rumours about kicking out his ‘Sheru’ dog, saying the canine in question had died a few years ago.
The presence of dogs reportedly interfered in the religious activities of Manek due to which she wanted the expulsion of the dogs from the house.

Further Manek’s child from her previous marriage was living at Imran’s Bani Gala residence from a long time which flouted a said rule between them that no family member of Manek shall be living at Imran’s residence for a longer period.


It has also been reported that Imran’s sisters were living at Bani Gala and were actively taking part in its renovation work which was not appreciated by Manek. Khan, last month, secretly married his spiritual mentor Bushra Maneka, a divorcee, amid the media frenzy over his third marriage.




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