Four university campuses approved for FATA

FATA university is the first ever University in the semi-tribal area and was set up in 2016 In Darra Adam Khel. The government has decided to establish four university campuses in FATA region.(Photo courtesy: FATA university website)
Updated 19 March 2018
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Four university campuses approved for FATA

PESHAWAR: Pakistan’s government has decided to establish four university campuses in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
FATA University, the first ever university in the region, was set up in 2016 in Darra Adam Khel, a semi-tribal area infamous for the manufacture and sale of weapons.
Four campuses of FATA University — one each in North Waziristan, South Waziristan, Bajaur and Khyber — have been approved, university Vice-Chancellor Dr. Tahir Shah told Arab News.
Campuses will be set up in other areas in due course, said the university’s deputy director of planning and development, Naveed Tariq.
“Almost a month ago, we visited North Waziristan and Bajaur to select sites for the campuses,” he told Arab News.
“On Friday, we visited Khyber for the same purpose. The visit to South Waziristan… is likely soon.”
Meanwhile, the FATA Grand Alliance, a union of tribal elders, has called for the reopening of colleges that were closed when the army launched an operation against the Taliban.
“Four colleges in North Waziristan alone… remain closed since the army launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb against the militants,” alliance Chairman Malik Khan Marjan told Arab News.
Besides reopening the closed colleges, the government needs to launch another university, as well as medical and engineering colleges in every tribal agency, he said.
“This is the only way to educate the tribals, who have long suffered displacement and wars,” he added.


UK warns dual nationals over travel to Iran, as France holds on envoy nomination

Updated 11 min 46 sec ago
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UK warns dual nationals over travel to Iran, as France holds on envoy nomination

  • Britain is seeking the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation who was arrested in April 2016
  • France will not name a new ambassador to Tehran before getting information from Iran following a foiled plot to bomb an Iranian opposition rally in Paris in June

LONDON: Britain on Wednesday advised British-Iranian dual nationals against all but essential travel to Iran, tightening up its existing travel advice and warning it has only limited powers to support them if detained.

The advisory came in tandem with France’s decision to hold off on appointing a new ambassador to Iran, as it seeks clarification over an attempt to bomb an Iranian opposition rally in Paris in June

“The Foreign Secretary (Jeremy Hunt) has taken the decision to advise against all but essential travel by UK-Iranian dual nationals to Iran,” a foreign office spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.
“British citizens who also hold Iranian nationality face risks if they travel to Iran, as we have seen all too sadly in a number of cases. The Iranian government does not recognize dual nationality, so if a dual national is detained our ability to provide support is extremely limited.”
Earlier this month Britain’s Middle East minister Alistair Burt used a visit to Iran to discuss cases of detained dual nationals, alongside other diplomatic issues.
Britain is seeking the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation who was arrested in April 2016 at a Tehran airport as she headed back to Britain with her daughter, now aged four, after a family visit.
She was convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran’s clerical establishment, a charge denied by her family and the Foundation, a charity organization that is independent of Thomson Reuters and operates independently of Reuters News.
Meanwhile, France will not name a new ambassador to Tehran before getting information from Iran following a foiled plot to bomb an Iranian opposition rally in Paris last June, French officials said on Wednesday.
An Iranian diplomat based in Austria and three other people were arrested on suspicion of plotting the attack on a meeting of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
Iran has said it had nothing to do with the plot, which it called a “false flag” operation staged by figures within the opposition group itself.
The incident has hit relations just as France and its European partners are seeking to salvage a 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers.
France’s ambassador to Iran departed in the summer. Iran has also yet to replace its departed ambassador to Paris.
“We have a charge d’affaires today in Tehran and there is a high-level dialogue between French and Iranian authorities,” said a French presidential source.
“We are working together to bring to light what happened around this event ... I wouldn’t say there is a direct link (in not appointing an ambassador), but Iran has promised to give us objective facts in the coming weeks that would allow us to pursue our diplomatic relationship as it is today.”
A French diplomatic source said the nomination had indeed been suspended as a result of the alleged plot.
France’s Foreign Ministry in August told its diplomats and officials to postpone non-essential travel to Iran indefinitely, citing the plot and a hardening of Tehran’s attitude toward France, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.
President Emmanuel Macron is likely to discuss the issue with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani when they meet on Sept. 25 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the source said.
Along with Britain and Germany, France is trying save a 2015 agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, which was thrown into disarray when US President Donald Trump pulled out of the accord in May and re-imposed economic sanctions on Iran.
Even so, tensions between Paris and Tehran have grown in recent months as Macron and his government have become increasingly frustrated with Iran’s activities in the Middle East region, in particular its ballistic missile program.