Pakistani ambassador hits back at US envoy

Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi. (File photo/AFP)
Updated 04 January 2018
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Pakistani ambassador hits back at US envoy

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, has hit back at critical remarks by the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.
“We have contributed and sacrificed the most in fighting international terrorism,” Lodhi said in response to Haley saying the US would continue to withhold $255 million in assistance to Pakistan until the country became a better partner in the war on terror.
“US spokespersons should not shift the blame for their own mistakes and failures onto others,” Lodhi added.
“We can review our cooperation if it is not appreciated. Pakistan’s cooperation is not based on any consideration of aid, but on our national interests and principles.”
Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump criticized Pakistan on Twitter. This was followed by Haley’s claim that “Pakistan has played a double game for years. They work with us at times, and they also harbor the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan. That game is not acceptable to this administration.”
Key Pakistani Cabinet ministers and the heads of the armed forces on Tuesday held an emergency meeting of the National Security Committee, chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
The committee said close interactions with the US since Trump’s policy announcement on South Asia had been useful in creating a better understanding of each other’s perspectives and moving forward to achieve durable peace and stability in Afghanistan.
As such, the Trump administration’s criticisms “were completely incomprehensible as they contradicted facts,” and were made “with great insensitivity,” the committee said.
The US criticisms “negated the decades of sacrifices” made by Pakistan, which “has contributed so significantly to regional and global security and peace,” the committee added.


No-go warning as Japan volcano erupts for first time in 250 years

Updated 20 April 2018
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No-go warning as Japan volcano erupts for first time in 250 years

  • Eruption throws smoke and ash 400 meters into the air
  • Mount Ontake's outburst on September 27, 2014 was Japan's deadliest in almost 90 years
TOKYO: A volcano in southern Japan erupted for the first time in 250 years on Thursday, spewing steam and ash hundreds of meters into the air, as authorities warned locals not to approach the mountain.
“There is a possibility that (Mount Io) will become more active,” said Makoto Saito, an official from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), confirming the eruption.
In a televised press conference, he warned residents in the area to stay away from the mountain, part of the Mount Kirishima group of volcanoes, as major ash deposits spread from the crater.
It was the first eruption of the mountain since 1768, the JMA said.
The agency warned that large flying rocks could fall over a three-kilometer (two-mile) radius.
The eruption threw smoke and ash 400 meters (1,300 feet) into the air.
Footage captured by the JMA and local media showed thick white and grey smoke rising from several areas of the mountain.
There were no immediate reports of injuries, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, adding that the government was “taking all possible measures” to prevent damage and casualties.
The eruption occurred a few kilometers (miles) away from Shinmoedake, which featured in the 1967 James Bond film “You Only Live Twice” and erupted in March.
Japan, with scores of active volcanoes, sits on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire” where a large proportion of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are recorded.
In January, a Japanese soldier was killed and several other people injured after an eruption near a popular ski resort in northwest of Tokyo.
On September 27, 2014, Japan suffered its deadliest eruption in almost 90 years when Mount Ontake, in central Nagano prefecture, burst unexpectedly to life.
An estimated 63 people were killed in the shock eruption which occurred as the peak was packed with hikers out to see the region’s spectacular autumn colors.