Pakistan’s safety is world’s safety, says minister

Updated 22 February 2013
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Pakistan’s safety is world’s safety, says minister

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Qamar Zaman Kaira, yesterday said, “Safety of Pakistan is the safety of this region and also the safety of the world.”
In his keynote address at the launching of Center for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS), a think tank, here, Kaira said, “Unless there is peace and stability in this region, we believe, peace and stability is not possible in the world.”
The country, which is the biggest victim of terrorism, is being blamed for harboring terrorism, which is unfortunate, and “our perspective is not being portrayed properly,” the minister observed.
Welcoming the establishment of the CPGS initiative as a fresh breeze of air, in its inaugural seminar “Innovating Pakistan and Gulf Relations”, the chief guest said: “With these platforms we’ll be able to succeed in giving the proper narrative and project our perspective.”
He was all praise for CPGS President Sehar Kamran: “Senator Kamran has taken the initiative which is very important in the strategic, economic, political and diplomatic relations with the Gulf countries and Pakistan.”
The chairman, advisory board of the CPGS, General (Retd) Ehsan-ul-Haq, termed the launching of the think tank as a “long overdue initiative.” Stressing the need to develop structure and initiate dialogue, and The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Ehsan, said: “I’m confident that the CPGS would effectively advance the common goals.”
Addressing the seminar, member advisory board of the CPGS and Chairman Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies, Major General (Retd) Dr. Anwar bin Majed bin Anwar Eshki said: “The US is strong not because of weapons, but due to its strategic centers.”
The seminar was attended by diplomats, intellectuals, scholars, former top brass, students and the civil society members.
In his concluding remarks editor-in-chief, Urdu News, Saudi Arabia, Tarek Mishkhes remarked: “Creation of the CPGS is a step in the right direction and was needed much before.”
Emphasizing the importance of research and dialogue, Mishkhes said it should be the beginning for creating a network of think tanks in the region “to provide a road map for our leaderships for our future.”
Spread into several sessions, the seminar had its first session moderated by Lt. Gen (retd) Agha Muhammad Umar Farooq, and Faheem Al Hamid, assistant editor-in-chief, Okaz newspaper.
The paper on “The emerging Dynamics of energy Security of the Gulf Region: Prospects and Challenges” was presented by Tahir Sher Muhammad while Air Commodore (retd) Khalid Iqbal spoke on “Afghanistan Sans Foreign Troops and Options for Pakistan.”
The second working session was conducted by Gen. Eshki and Dr. Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema, Dean Faculty of Contemporary of Studies at the National Defense University (NDU).
Ambassador Arif Kamal spoke about ‘Pak-Gulf Relations: Past, Present and Future.’ Syed Shaukat Hasan, director, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission made a presentation on “The Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy: Pakistan’s Experience.”


Afghan leaders ‘optimistic’ over Taliban peace talks

Updated 24 June 2018
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Afghan leaders ‘optimistic’ over Taliban peace talks

  • The Taliban last week rejected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s offer to extend the truce, but a government spokesman said on Saturday that the government was optimistic the militants were willing to engage in peace talks.
  • After ending the truce, the Taliban said its attacks against foreign troops and Afghans supporting them would continue.

KABUL: The Afghan government is confident of holding peace talks with Taliban militants despite a recent surge of attacks by insurgents, a palace spokesman said.

Shah Hussain Murtazawi said the announcement last week of a brief truce by the Taliban over Eid, the increasing movement of extremists and some field commanders to government-held areas, and a call for peace by the Imam of Makkah and the Saudi monarch were the basis of the government’s optimism.

The Taliban last week rejected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s offer to extend the truce, but Murtazawi said on Saturday that the government was optimistic the militants were willing to engage in peace talks.

“A new chapter has been opened and the broad support for a cease-fire and an end to the war are the causes for our optimism,” he told Arab News.

“The fact that Taliban announced a truce and their commanders came into towns and celebrated Eid with government officials are positive signs that the extremists will be ready for talks with the government.”

However, no contact has been established with leaders of the group since the militants called off their truce, Murtazawi said.

After ending the truce, the Taliban said its attacks against foreign troops and Afghans supporting them would continue. Scores of Afghan troops have been killed in a spate of attacks, including assaults on military bases where the insurgents joined government forces to celebrate Eid.

Some tribal chiefs and local officials are calling for “safe zones” where extremists can hold initial talks with the government, according to a local official who refused to be named.