Russia opens consulate in Peshawar

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Guests stand in honor of the national anthems of Russia and Pakistan at the inaugural ceremony. (AN photos)
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Russian Ambassador Alexey Yurievich Dedov (second from right in the first row) at the inaugural ceremony. (AN photos)
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Russian Ambassador Alexey Yurievich Dedov addressing the inaugural ceremony of the first Russian consulate in Peshawar. (AN photos)
Updated 19 February 2018
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Russia opens consulate in Peshawar

PESHAWAR: Russia on Monday inaugurated its consulate in the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province.
At the inauguration ceremony in Peshawar, Russian Ambassador Alexey Yurievich Dedov said his country and Pakistan have enjoyed 70 years of diplomatic relations.
Recent developments, including visits of Pakistani premiers to Russia, show that bilateral ties are improving, he added.
“Trade between the two countries has reached $541 million, and we want this to grow further. We need to give an additional push to the current dynamics,” he said, adding that the consulate is aimed at promoting bilateral friendship and cooperation in various sectors.
Mohammed Arshallah Khan, Russia’s honorary consul for KP, said the two countries are “natural allies” by geography and culture. “We need to give this a helping hand to make this friendship long-lasting,” he added.
In his address at the ceremony, KP Gov. Iqbal Zafar Jhagra said Russia “has had highs and lows in diplomatic relations with Pakistan,” and the inauguration of the consulate “is a new chapter” in those relations.
Former Pakistani Ambassador to Russia, Khalid Khattak, also addressed the ceremony, welcoming the consulate’s opening and expressing hope that it will promote bilateral ties.
Provincial Assembly members Shah Farman, Atif Khan and Sardar Hussain Babak were also present.
Dr. Sarfaraz Khan, director of the Area Study Center (Russia, China and Central Asia) at the University of Peshawar, told Arab News: “The opening of the consulate shows the paradigm shift in Pakistan’s policy.”
He added: “In the current situation, the US and India are allies. Meanwhile, an alliance is growing between Pakistan, China and Russia.”
Both the federal Pakistani government and KP’s provincial government are interested in closer ties with Russia under the prevailing circumstances, he said.
“Pakistan and Russia carried out joint military exercises in Gilgit-Baltistan (Pakistan) and also in Russia in 2017. The KP government has also signed an agreement with Russia to set up an oil refinery in Karak district. These activities show growing relations between Russia and Pakistan.”


UK interior minister says was victim of moped theft, pledges police action

Updated 3 min 22 sec ago
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UK interior minister says was victim of moped theft, pledges police action

LONDON: Britain’s interior minister, Sajid Javid, said on Sunday that his phone had been stolen by moped-riding thieves several months ago and that he was seeking changes to police rules to help tackle the growing problem.
Moped theft, in which attackers surprise pedestrians and grab phones and bags, is one of several violent crimes in London that have attracted national attention. Earlier this year, a spate of stabbings briefly pushed London’s murder rate ahead of New York’s.
In an interview with the Sun on Sunday newspaper, Javid said the incident occurred outside London’s Euston station as he went to make a phone call. It happened before he took up his job in charge of domestic security.
“I was walking out of Euston station and reached for my phone to call a taxi ... before I knew what was happening, it had gone. They just rode up, grabbed it and zoomed off,” he said.
Javid, seen by some as a potential challenger to Prime Minister Theresa May, was appointed in April after a scandal over the treatment of legal migrants led to the resignation of his predecessor.
Javid said that while overall crime levels were down, he would make tackling rising knife crime and serious violence a priority. He wants to change rules which prevent police from chasing suspects on mopeds if they are not wearing helmets.
“It’s ridiculous. Police should be allowed to get on with the job,” he said. “If someone commits a crime and police want to pursue them, they should have much more freedom to.”