Pakistan Prime Minister Khan says will try to persuade Taliban to meet Afghan government

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, left, and United States Institute of Peace President Nancy Lindborg take part in a discussion at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, DC, on July 23, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 23 July 2019

Pakistan Prime Minister Khan says will try to persuade Taliban to meet Afghan government

  • Says Taliban had wanted to meet him a few months back but he didn’t due to Afghan government opposition
  • Taliban have so far refused to negotiate with the Kabul government, denouncing it as a US puppet regime

WASHINGTON: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said he would try meet with the Taliban in an effort to persuade the group to meet with the Afghan government, as the United States seeks to end the nearly 18-year-old war.
“I will meet the Taliban and I will try my best to get them to talk to the Afghan government,” Khan said during an appearance at the US Institute of Peace in Washington.
Khan said a Taliban delegation had wanted to meet him a few months back but he did not because of opposition from the Afghan government.
The United States and the Taliban are getting closer to a deal that is expected to be centered on a US pledge to withdraw troops in exchange for a Taliban promise not to let Afghanistan be used as a base for terrorism, officials say.
However, the Taliban have refused to negotiate with the government, denouncing it as a US puppet, but in an effort to foster Afghan reconciliation, a 60-strong delegation of citizens met the Taliban for two days of talks in Qatar from Sunday.
Pakistan’s role in the peace negotiations is a delicate one.
Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of supporting the Taliban, a charge Pakistan denies, saying it has suffered heavily from the fighting.
The United States has also pressed Islamabad to do more to curb militant groups based in its territory.
Even as talks continue, the Taliban and the government have continued fighting.
Afghan government forces mistakenly killed seven civilians, including children, in an attack on militants south of the capital, a provincial official said on Monday, the latest victims of a war undiminished by peace talks.


Karachi braces for weekend rains as billions lost to drenches this week

Updated 26 August 2020

Karachi braces for weekend rains as billions lost to drenches this week

  • Losses from Tuesday's flooding estimated at Rs5 billion ($30 million), Karachi traders say
  • Met agency says floodwater in Karachi must be drained immediately to prevent further flooding on Saturday

KARACHI: Another spell of heavy rain is expected to lash the port city of Karachi on Saturday, Pakistan's meteorological department warned, as it called on the city's authorities to drain water from flooded neighborhoods to avoid further damage and casualties.

Rain-related incidents in the past few days killed dozens of people in the coastal metropolis of Sindh province, while streets, homes and factories were flooded with sewage water, causing losses of billions of rupees in the city where the drainage and sewage systems are outdated.

"There will be a gap of two days (in rains). If it is not utilized to drain out the water from the affected areas, a light to moderate spell on Saturday will drown them again," Sardar Sarfraz, chief metrological officer of the Pakistan Meteorological Department, told Arab News.

On Tuesday, he said, a record 345 millimeters of rainfall flooded most of the city.

As flooding brought operations at the city's industrial zones to a standstill, Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) president Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan said the government should declare the rains a national disaster to allow people to be compensated.

Shaikh Umar Rehan, president of the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) told Arab News that work has been heavily disrupted at the city's factories which normally operate non-stop.

“The factories work round the clock, but on Tuesday, even one shift couldn’t be completed,” he said.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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According to Atiq Mir, president of the Karachi Traders Association, losses from damages to the markets in the old city area alone are estimated to be Rs1 billion.

"As trade volume is Rs4 billion per day, both direct and indirect losses make it Rs5 billion ($30 million). On Wednesday, as the markets could not open completely, the (trade) community will have to bear another Rs2.5 billion losses."

The Sindh government and the military say teams are on the ground to drain the water and rescue the affected.

“It has broken an 89-year record and it was continuously raining for eight hours but as soon as the rain stopped teams were on ground to clear the areas. Most of the city’s thoroughfares were cleared by the Tuesday evening. The entire Sindh government was in the field to supervise the relief work,” Sindh Labor Minister Saeed Ghani told Arab News.

He added that the problem will not be resolved within days.

The military's media wing said in a statement that relief and rescue efforts were underway in the heavily flooded Malir Nadi, Kohi Goth and Dur Muhammad Goth areas of the city.