Pakistan has asked its Election Commission to bar from politics a new party supported by LeT founder Hafiz Saeed. Pakistan’s interior ministry recommended that the Election Commission of Pakistan reject the newly formed Milli Muslim League’s (MML) application to become an official party as it is affiliated with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a militant group blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.
The ministry said MML is ideologically of the same type as LeT and its affiliated charities Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and the Falah-e-Insanyat Foundation (FIF). The interior ministry said the security agency has informed that considering the clamour, philosophy, outreach and modus operandi to operate, it is difficult to believe that MML will tread its own path completely at variance with its mother organization. It said such groups would breed violence and extremism in politics, and therefore, registration of such groups be avoided.
The ministry also said foreign countries have raised diplomatic objections to MML’s existence. Spokesman for the MML,Tabish Qayyum, said in a statement that the ministry’s letter is unlawful. He denied that MML had links with any banned militant group. Recently, the United States has designated Hafiz Saeed, who presently leads the Jamaat-ud-Dawa Islamic charity, a terrorist and views him as the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Saeed is currently under house arrest.
Pakistan’s reluctance to press charges against him has been a sore point in relations with Washington and India over the past decade.
Chief Executive of Afghanistan, Dr Abdullah Abdullah today said that Afghanistan has never differentiated between good and bad terrorists. Delivering a lecture on Regional Peace-Building in New Delhi, Dr Abdullah said, terror groups are threatening security of Afghanistan and it is a big challenge for the whole region.
He said, Afghanistan wants friendly relations with all nations in the region. He said, the relationship between Afghanistan and India has further strengthened in the last 16 yrs and it has made a difference to lives of millions of Afghans. He said, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan is in the interest of the region.In an apparent reference to Pakistan, Dr. Abdullah said, terrorism should not be used as an instrument of foreign policy.
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said, visit of Dr. Abdullah comes in the context of New Afghan Policy and New Development Partnership. He said, India will help in low-cost housing for returning Afghan refugee.The Foreign Secretary said, India’s commitment to Afghanistan remains steadfast. Dr. Abdullah is on a two day working visit of India. Yesterday, he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind. He also had talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
Prime Minister meets Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive of Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met the Chief Executive of Afghanistan, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah today afternoon.
Prime Minister extended a warm welcome to Dr. Abdullah, who is in India on a two-day working visit.
Both leaders reaffirmed the strength and closeness of the multifaceted strategic partnership between India and Afghanistan. They welcomed the accelerated cooperation, including through the recent announcement of a New Development Partnership during the meeting of the bilateral Strategic Partnership Council in New Delhi. They discussed enhancing bilateral economic and development cooperation and the abundant opportunities in this regard.
Dr. Abdullah conveyed Afghanistan’s deep appreciation for India’s continuing support for infrastructure development and capacity building in Afghanistan.
Prime Minister reiterated India’s commitment to extend full support to Afghanistan’s efforts for building a peaceful, united, prosperous, inclusive and democratic Afghanistan.
The two leaders exchanged views on the security environment in Afghanistan and the extended region, and, in this context, agreed to continue close coordination and cooperation.
An MoU for Technical Cooperation on Police Training and Development was exchanged in the presence of the two leaders at the conclusion of the meeting.
Prime Minister deeply appreciated the mosaic portrait prepared by an Afghan master craftsman, which was presented to him by Dr. Abdullah.
UNESCO’s Executive Board to nominate a new Director-General for the Organization during its 202nd session
Paris, 28 September—The 58 members of UNESCO’s Executive Board will hold their 202nd session from 4 to 18 October, chaired by Ambassador Michael Worbs of Germany, at UNESCO’s Headquarters.
One of the highlights of the session will consist in the nomination of the Board’s candidate for the post of Director-General, to be proposed for election to all of the Organization’s 195 Member States on 10 November, during the forthcoming 39th session of the General Conference of UNESCO (30 October to 14 November).
Voting on a candidate will start on 9 October. It will be conducted by secret ballot in private meetings. A majority is required to win the nomination. Eight candidates are in the running at the time of publication, following the withdrawal of one of the initial contenders. The winner is expected to be announced no later than Friday, 13 October. (For information about the procedure and candidates see:http://en.unesco.org/executive-board/dg-candidates-2017).
The election of the Executive Board’s nominee is expected to take place on 10 November and the new Director-General is scheduled to take office on 15 November. She or he will succeed Irina Bokova (Bulgaria) who will have served two four-year terms at the head of UNESCO.
The Executive Board, whose sessions take place twice a year, will also finalize the preparation of the Organization’s Draft Programme and Budget for 2018-2020, which will be submitted for the approval of the General Conference.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called for action from the Security Council to end the tragedy in Rakhine State of Myanmar.
“The reality on the ground demands action — swift action — to protect people, alleviate suffering, prevent further instability, address the roots of the situation and forge, at long last, a durable solution,” he told the Security Council.
“I call on the Security Council to stand united and support our efforts to urgently end this tragedy,” he said, when briefing the 15-member council on the situation in Rakhine.
Guterres said the crisis has steadily deteriorated since the Aug. 25 attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army on the Myanmar security forces. “Since then, the situation has spiraled into the world’s fastest developing refugee emergency, a humanitarian and human rights nightmare,” he said.
At least 500,000 civilians have fled their homes and sought safety in neighboring Bangladesh. Although the total number of those displaced is unknown, it is estimated that 94 percent of them are Rohingyas, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority living in the largely Buddhist nation of Myanmar, he said.
“We have received bone-chilling accounts from those who fled — mainly women, children and the elderly. These testimonials point to excessive violence and serious violations of human rights, including indiscriminate firing of weapons, the use of landmines against civilians and sexual violence,” said Guterres, the former head of the UN refugee agency, UNHCR. “This is unacceptable and must end immediately.”
International human rights law and standards are clear: any use of force by the authorities must respect Myanmar’s human rights obligations under international law and comply with well-established human rights standards. Above all, these actions must fully respect the human rights of those affected, regardless of ethnicity or religion, said the UN chief.
The use of lethal force, even in situations of emergency, must be commensurate with the threat to the public order and utmost care must be taken to minimize loss of life and injury, especially for unarmed people and communities, he said.
The authorities have claimed that security operations ended on Sept. 5, following major displacements in northern Rakhine, where Rohingyas were the majority. However, displacement appears to have continued, with reports of the burning of Muslim villages, as well as looting and acts of intimidation, he said.
“There seems to be a deeply disturbing pattern to the violence and ensuing large movements of an ethnic group from their homes,” he said.
He warned that failure to address this systematic violence could result in a spill-over into central Rakhine, where an additional 250,000 Muslims could potentially face displacement.
North Korea’s nuclear weapons program demonstrates “rapid progress” and poses a “new global threat” to international security, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said following the sixth nuclear test by Pyongyang earlier this month.
On September 3 Pyongyang conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test yet, using a hydrogen bomb that was allegedly small enough to be mounted on a ballistic missile. The blast was so potent that it registered as a 5.6 magnitude earthquake.
“(The) yield is much bigger than the previous test, and it means North Korea made very rapid progress,” International IAEA Director Yukiya Amano told reporters in Seoul, after a meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.
“Combined with other elements, this is a new threat and this is a global threat,” he added referring to the development of North Korean ballistic missile rockets.
North Korean official in charge of relations with the US is expected to hold talks with diplomats in Russia’s Foreign Ministry later this week.
North Korean official in charge of relations with the US is expected to hold talks with diplomats in Russia’s Foreign Ministry later this week.
Choe Son Hui, the director general of the foreign ministry’s North American Affairs Bureau, arrived in the Russian capital on Tuesday.
Sources in Russia’s Foreign Ministry have revealed Choe is expected to hold talks with senior diplomat Oleg Burmistrov on Friday.
In the talks, the Russian diplomat is likely to ask North Korea to exercise restraint over its nuclear and missile programs.
He is likely to urge the North to hold dialogue with key nations, including the United States.
The talks come as the North has continued to launch ballistic missiles and carry out nuclear tests, prompting Japan and the US, among others, to apply more pressure on Pyongyang.
China and Russia, which have close links to North Korea, have been appealing to resolve the issues through dialogue.
Russia’s ambassador-at-large Oleg Burmistrov will meet Choe Son-hui, director-general of North Korea’s Foreign Ministry department on North America in Moscow on Friday to discuss the Korean crisis. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also said Thursday a statement will be issued after the diplomats’ meeting.
China has ordered North Korean firms and joint ventures in the country to shut down. This follows the adoption of the latest sanctions resolution by the UN Security Council against Pyongyang for its 6th nuclear test.
The Commerce Ministry said on Thursday that the closures must come within 120 days of the council’s September 11th approval of the resolution.
The resolution calls for UN member countries to close all joint ventures and cooperative groups set up by North Korean individuals and entities. Beijing is apparently trying to demonstrate that it is steadily implementing the resolution.
Chinese and North Korean joint ventures run restaurants and other operations in China. If the directive for their shutdown is steadily implemented, it will likely affect North Korea’s effort to acquire foreign currency.
Chinese government statistics show that China imported more than 1.6 million tons of coal from North Korea last month. The trade took place despite the government’s announcement in February that it would suspend imports of the commodity from North Korea throughout this year in accordance with a UN sanctions resolution.
South Korea has held a drill simulating a North Korean chemical attack on the capital Seoul.
About 300 military and other personnel participated in the biennial exercise held at a stadium in Seoul on Wednesday.
The drill was based on the scenario that the city had been hit by North Korean artillery shells containing chemical agents, resulting in civilian casualties.
Soldiers wearing gas masks were seen washing down people who were carried away from a smoke screen that simulated toxic chemical gas. They were then taken to hospital in ambulances.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in says his country will strengthen its alliance with the United States in dealing with North Korea’s provocations.
Moon spoke at an Armed Forces Day ceremony at a naval base in Pyeongtaek on Thursday.
Moon noted that the most urgent task is securing counter capabilities against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats. He expressed determination to have the North give up its nuclear ambitions.
Moon added that the security situation on the Korean Peninsula is at its most critical ever, and that Pyongyang’s provocations can be deterred only when the South Korea-US alliance is effectively manifested.
Moon also urged stepped up efforts to enhance the country’s own defense capabilities.
Earlier, Moon inspected the 800-kilometer-range ballistic missile Hyunmoo-2, which can target all of North Korea.
The South Korean military is bracing for a possible new provocation as the North marks the anniversary of the founding of its ruling party on October 10th.
Malaysia has prohibited its citizens from traveling to North Korea due to mounting tension on the Korean Peninsula.
The Malaysian government announced the ban on Thursday in view of tensions resulting from Pyongyang’s ballistic missile and nuclear tests. It said the ban will be in effect until the situation returns to normal.
Bilateral ties have deteriorated since the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of the North’s leader, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in February.
The latest move is seen as an attempt by Malaysia to show it’s taking a tougher line on North Korea, as US President Donald Trump calls for efforts to isolate Pyongyang. Media agencies
5.6 QUAKE HITS OFF SOUTHERN MEXICO’S PACIFIC COAST –
An earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale has struck off the coast of southern Mexico, 119 kilometers (73.9 miles) from Tres Picos. The quake had a depth of 21.7 kilometers, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).
This catastrophe comes less than two weeks after Mexico was hit by a destructive 7.1 magnitude quake which killed at least 337 people. Early September, an 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck the country, killing at least 98 people and producing more than 5,400 aftershocks.
8.2-magnitude earthquake which happened on September 7 in southern Mexico caused more than 5,400 aftershocks, which are still continuing, TASS reported Thursday. Up to now, “5,402 aftershocks have been registered in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec,” according to the National Seismological Service.
On September 19, Mexico was hit by a destructive 7.1-magnitude earthquake. The death toll from that earthquake has risen to 343, with 204 of the deaths coming in the nation’s capital, AP quoted National Civil Defense chief Luis Felipe Puente as saying Thursday.
Mexico sits atop five tectonic plates, the movement of which making it one of the most seismically-active countries in the world.
The company said on Wednesday that it will use the planes on routes of up to 540 kilometers, such as flights between London and Paris.
A video released by easyJet shows a plane equipped with electric propulsion systems on both wings and large battery packs under the cabin. The firm says the plane will have a capacity of about 180 people.
easyJet says it is partnering with a US venture company that is developing an electric propeller propulsion system. The airline says electric aircraft will emit no carbon dioxide and produce much less noise than conventional models.
easyJet’s PR official says a growing number of passengers are paying attention to CO2 emissions from aircraft and that they will choose electric jets for their journeys.
The official adds that competition to become the first developer of electric planes is underway among aircraft manufacturers. They include leading US and French aerospace firms.
Challenges in developing electric jets include coming up with high-performance batteries that will allow several hours of flight.
The leaders of the newly-formed Hope party and the opposition Democratic Party have confirmed they will speed up the selection of Democrats as candidates for Hope in Japan’s general election on October 22nd.
The head of Hope, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, and Democratic Party President Seiji Maehara held talks on Friday morning.
The meeting came after the Democrats’ approval on Thursday of Maehara’s proposal for a de facto merger with Hope.
Maehara proposed that the Democratic Party will not field any candidates in the election and would instead allow its members to run under the banner of the new party.
The 2 leaders agreed that former Lower House member Masaru Wakasa of Hope and former foreign minister Koichiro Gemba, a Democrat, will select the members of the Democratic Party who will be allowed to run.
Maehara said he would like all the candidates to be approved, but he understands the reality of the situation.
He said the decisions will be based on whether the candidates share the ideas and policies of the Hope party and whether they can win single-seat constituencies.
Koike told reporters after the meeting that she has no intention of allowing all the Democrats to run on her party’s ticket.
She said the potential candidates must support Hope’s policies, and they will be carefully screened.
Maehara told reporters that the talks with Koike focused on how to topple the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He said he expects that the arrangements for election cooperation will pick up speed.