Pakistan rejects Afghan concerns on FATA-KP merger

Dr. Mohammad Faisal. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 27 May 2018
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Pakistan rejects Afghan concerns on FATA-KP merger

  • Dr. Mohammad Faisal, in his series of three tweets, termed Kabul’s concerns as interferences in Pakistan’s internal matters.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has rejected Afghanistan’s opposition to the merger of federally administrated areas (FATA) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (KP).

Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammad Faisal, in his series of three tweets, termed Kabul’s concerns as interferences in Pakistan’s internal matters.
“Pakistan rejects a statement issued by the official Afghan press agency on the merger of the tribal areas with KPK,” he said. “Our parliament’s decision reflects the will of the people of Pakistan.”
Earlier the Afghan government called Pakistan’s decision to merge federal administrative tribal areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa a one-sided decision.
Faisal said: “The principles of non-interference and non-intervention in the conduct of bilateral relations need to be scrupulously adhered to by Afghanistan.”
Both of the houses, the National Assembly and the Senate this week passed the 31st Constitutional Amendment Bill for the merging of FATA with KP province.


Duterte foes cry foul as Philippine police push sedition charges

Updated 8 min 6 sec ago
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Duterte foes cry foul as Philippine police push sedition charges

  • Thirty-six opposition figures are accused of cyber libel and sedition
  • A series of online videos ahead of May’s mid-term elections alleged that Duterte and his family members were involved in the illegal drugs trade

MANILA: Opponents of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte expressed shock and outrage on Friday at police moves to charge dozens of them with sedition, calling it persecution aimed at stamping out scrutiny of his increasingly powerful rule.
Thirty-six opposition figures are accused of cyber libel and sedition for orchestrating a series of online videos ahead of May’s mid-term elections. The videos feature a hooded man alleging that Duterte and his family members were involved in the illegal drugs trade, which they deny.
The man, who had said he was a witness, later surrendered and appeared with police on television to say his claims were false and that he was cajoled into making the videos by opposition members. They included the vice president, lawyers, Catholic priests, a former attorney general, and incumbent and former lawmakers, the man said.
The justice department is looking into the complaint, which is the latest move against Duterte’s detractors who say the aim is to create a power monopoly for a president who already enjoys a legislative super-majority and a public approval rating of about 80 percent.
Duterte insists he is open to challenges but has shown no qualms about threatening high-profile critics, several of whom he said last month he would jail if they tried to impeach him.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte had no involvement in the police sedition complaint.
“We have nothing to do with this case, not at all, absolutely nothing,” he told news channel ANC. “Let the judicial process do its work.”
Antonio Trillanes, a former senator and Duterte’s strongest critic, described the complaint as “political persecution and harassment” intended to stifle democratic dissent.
A spokesman for Vice President Leni Robredo, who was not Duterte’s running mate and was elected separately, called the complaint “completely baseless.” Her party ally Senator Francis Pangilinan said it was part of a series of moves toward removing her from office.
Leila de Lima, an anti-Duterte senator detained on drugs charges, said it was “hogwash, pure hogwash,” and Samira Gutoc, a candidate in recent Senate elections, urged the police not to become partisan.
“I really am baffled,” Gutoc said of being accused of involvement.