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Amid spike in violence, Afghan FM asks Pakistan, TTP to hold dialogue

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  • Afghan minister acknowledges Pakistan’s loss due to terrorism.
  • Muttaqi urges both countries to show flexibility for “brighter future.”
  • Says Taliban authorities have overcome multiple challenges.

ISLAMABAD: As terrorism in Pakistan continues to claim innocent lives, Afghanistan’s Acting Foreign Minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi has urged Islamabad and banned militant outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to sit together for a dialogue.

“It is requested that Pakistan and TTP sit together for dialogue,” the Taliban-led administration’s minister said while addressing an event in Islamabad on Monday.

Muttaqi is currently on a four-day visit to Pakistan to attend bilateral and trilateral dialogues during which, he mentioned, discussions around the region’s security situation were also held.

Pakistan’s anger has increased over the Taliban administration’s failure to reign in TTP which is behind a new wave of terror in the country. The security situation in Pakistan’s northern and southwestern provinces has worsened in recent months forcing the authorities to reiterate their commitment to eradicate the menace of terrorism.

Islamabad had held several rounds of talks — brokered by Kabul — with the outlawed TTP but the negotiations failed last year after which the militant group started terror activities.

Acknowledging Pakistan’s loss while fighting against terrorism, he said: “In the last 20 years, Pakistan has lost 80,000 lives to terrorism.”

The minister also spoke about Afghanistan successfully achieving peace after 44 years.

He added that the challenges faced by neighbouring countries Pakistan and Afghanistan are not different from one another. The minister said both countries have been through various situations and will now work together.

“Pakistan and Afghanistan will have to show flexibility and move towards a brighter future,” Muttaqi said.

Expressing Afghanistan’s interest in maintaining economic ties with Pakistan, the minister stated: “Pakistan has always been our focus. There has been interest in economic ties with the country since the beginning.”

The Afghan leader said trade between the two nations continued despite political differences and hoped to continue economic relations in the future.

Commenting on the significance of trade routes between the two countries, Muttaqi said: “Closure of trade routes eliminates several employment opportunities for ordinary citizens.”

Muttaqi suggested that bilateral progress can increase 10 times with Pakistan’s investment in Afghanistan’s energy reserves.

He added that both countries have been facing political and economic challenges for the last two years, but possess potential for growth.

“Many problems including livelihood and unemployment can be controlled by working together,” he said.

The Afghan minister also spoke about maintaining excellent ties with nations including Pakistan Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

“We want to develop economic relations with Pakistan and Central Asia. Our foreign policy is based on dialogue and mutual relations,” he said, adding that their administration’s recent visits to Uzbekistan, Samarkand and Pakistan are an example of their good relations.

He termed the lack of economic ties with other countries as a “major challenge”.

He praised Pakistan’s efforts for economic prosperity and connectivity in the region. Muttaqi also said that Afghanistan’s relations with Pakistan are also on cultural and religious basis.

Speaking about the Taliban’s government in Afghanistan, the minister said: “It has been 20 months to our government in Afghanistan. Several problems have been overcome by the grace of Allah.”

Responding to a question regarding women’s participation in the workforce, the Afghan minister said: “Afghan women, 1,000 women health workers, are working in various fields including. They are also currently studying in different madrassahs.”

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Today, IHC will hear Qureshi, the founder of PTI,’s arguments against his conviction in the CCI case.

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The PTI founder and Shah Mehmood Qureshi will appeal their convictions in the cipher case to the Islamabad High Court today (Tuesday).

The hearing will be conducted by a division bench that consists of Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Chief Justice Aamir Farooq of the Islamabad High Court.

The attorneys will present their arguments regarding the appeals against the sentencing during the hearing.

However, Bushra Bibi, the wife of the PTI founder, has filed a petition to have her medical examined, and this plea will also be heard today.

Bushra Bibi’s application will be considered by Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb. The petitioner has voiced her concern that the food she was provided was toxic.

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CM Maryam wants a thorough plan for the development of Murree.

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While co-chairing a meeting with party leader Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif asked for a detailed strategy for the development of Murree.

To maintain cleanliness and protect the environment, the chief minister ordered a ban on plastic use in Murree and other popular tourist destinations.

She inspected a possible location in Murree for the building of a cutting-edge hospital. In addition to looking for a plan for the upkeep and filtration of the current water scheme, she gave her general approval to a water supply project that would carry water from the Jhelum River to Murree.

During the discussion, a prohibition on cars entering Murree was discussed. Maryam gave the order for the contemporary tram and cable car services to begin operating so that parking could be done safely in Murree. During the meeting, a plan to give permit cards to cars entering Murree was also discussed.

The chief minister gave instructions to make sure every building has parking. She gave the order to locate any illegal structures in Murree and to dismantle them right away. Additionally, the ultimate strategy for removing encroachments in Murree was accepted. In addition to banning all unlicensed stands in Murree, it was decided to turn the bus stand back on.

Maryam Nawaz gave the order to turn New Murree, Kotli Sattian, and other nearby places into substitute tourist attractions.

She gave the order to build clean, highway-style restrooms in Murree.

She also gave her approval for the creation of the Parks and Horticulture Authority for Murree, as well as Solid Waste Management.

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ATC revokes the arrest warrants for Khadija Shah

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In relation to the arson case at Jinnah House, the anti-terrorism court issued an arrest order for her.

Judge Arshad Javed issued an arrest order for Khadijah Shah because of his non-appearance in court.

After being granted bail by a local Quetta court, she was released from prison on December 28.

In relation to attacks on Jinnah House, Askari Tower, and setting police cars on fire, she was taken into custody.

In connection with a cybercrime case in which she posted messages on social media to incite people against the army during the May 9 unrest, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) also made an arrest of her.

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