Pakistan investigating death of suspect in 2013 killing of accused Indian spy

Pakistan investigating death of suspect in 2013 killing of accused Indian spy
Indian Sikhs shout slogans against Pakistan as they display photographs of Sarabjit Singh, center, a convicted Indian spy who was on Pakistan's death row, died from a head injury after two inmates attacked him with a brick in a Lahore jail, during a protest in Kolkata, India, on May 2, 2013. (AP/File)
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Updated 15 April 2024
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Pakistan investigating death of suspect in 2013 killing of accused Indian spy

Pakistan investigating death of suspect in 2013 killing of accused Indian spy
  • Accused Indian spy Sarabjit Singh died in 2013 after inmates attacked him in a Lahore prison
  • Pakistan has previously accused India’s intelligence agency of being involved in killings inside Pakistan

LAHORE, Pakistan: Pakistani authorities are investigating the shooting death of a man suspected in the killing of accused Indian spy Sarabjit Singh in a Lahore prison in 2013, a police official said Saturday.

Pakistan has previously accused India’s intelligence agency of being involved in killings inside Pakistan, saying it had credible evidence linking two Indian agents to the deaths of two Pakistanis last year.

The man who died in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on Saturday was Amir Tamba. He was a suspect in the death of Sarabjit Singh, an Indian national who was convicted of spying in Pakistan and handed a death sentence in 1991.

But Singh died in 2013 after inmates attacked him in a Lahore prison. His fate inflamed tensions between the two South Asian nuclear-armed rivals.

Tamba was accused of being involved in Singh’s death but was not convicted.

The deputy inspector general of police in Lahore, Ali Nasir Rizvi, said gunmen entered Tamba’s house and shot him. They fled the scene on a motorbike. Officials from Pakistan’s army and intelligence agency reached the site and removed Tamba’s body, taking it to the city’s Combined Military Hospital.

Rizvi said a case had been lodged against unidentified assailants but gave no further information about the case, including a possible motive for the attack.

There was scant coverage of Tamba’s death in Pakistan’s media. However, Indian outlets were quick to report on the shooting. There was no immediate comment from the Indian authorities.

Singh was arrested in 1990 for his role in a series of bombings in Lahore and Faisalabad that killed 14 people. His family said he was innocent.

Last year, both the United States and Canada accused Indian agents of links to assassination plots on their soil. India dismissed the allegation of its involvement in the killing in Canada as “absurd.”

In the case involving the US, India’s foreign ministry said it had set up a high-level committee to investigate the accusations, adding that the alleged link to an Indian official was “a matter of concern” and “against government policy.”


Pakistan look to end World Cup preparations on a high against England in 4th T20I

Pakistan look to end World Cup preparations on a high against England in 4th T20I
Updated 30 May 2024
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Pakistan look to end World Cup preparations on a high against England in 4th T20I

Pakistan look to end World Cup preparations on a high against England in 4th T20I
  • England win toss, put Pakistan to bat first as rain threatens to disrupt today’s match 
  • All-rounder Imad Wasim rested after experiencing discomfort in rib cage, says PCB

ISLAMABAD: England won the toss and elected to put Pakistan to bat first, as the two sides lock horns today, Thursday, at The Oval for the fourth and last T20I match before both teams leave for the United States to take part in the T20 World Cup. 

Pakistan’s preparations for the ICC T20 World Cup 2024, scheduled to be held next month in the United States and the West Indies, have been anything but impressive. The green shirts lost 4-1 to New Zealand in an away series in January before drawing 2-2 against a second-string New Zealand side in a home series in April. 

The green shirts then scraped a 2-1 series victory over Ireland this month but still lag 1-0 behind England in the four-match T20I series. Two matches of the series were abandoned due to rain. 

“Toss: England won and decided to bowl,” the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement. 

Pakistan said all-rounder Imad Wasim is not playing in Thursday’s match after experiencing discomfort in his rib cage. 

“While batting in the nets during Wednesday’s training session, he experienced discomfort in his right rib cage. He was sent for a preventative scan as advised by the PCB medical panel,” the cricket board said. 

The PCB said Wasim is expected to be fit before Pakistan begins its World Cup campaign next month. 

“The panel is actively monitoring Imad’s progress and will provide further update if deemed necessary,” the PCB said. 

Playing XIs

Pakistan: Usman Khan, Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Azam Khan (wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Amir, Naseem Shah

England: Jonny Bairstow, Phil Salt (wk), Will Jacks, Harry Brook, Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali (c), Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, Mark Wood


Pakistan’s PM urges world to rein in Israel as it intensifies Rafah military offensive 

Pakistan’s PM urges world to rein in Israel as it intensifies Rafah military offensive 
Updated 30 May 2024
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Pakistan’s PM urges world to rein in Israel as it intensifies Rafah military offensive 

Pakistan’s PM urges world to rein in Israel as it intensifies Rafah military offensive 
  • Israel has intensified bombardment of Rafah, killing dozens of Palestinian civilians since last week
  • Sharif lauds Spain, Norway and Ireland for recognizing Palestinian state, hopes others follow suit 

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday urged world powers to play their role in ending Israel’s war on Gaza, as the Jewish state pushes on with its military campaign in Rafah despite global protests and outrage. 

The prime minister’s televised comments came as Israel ramped up its military operations against Hamas in Rafah, which it launched earlier this month. 

Israel has vowed to destroy the remaining Hamas battalions in the city in southern Gaza, where it says it believes Israeli hostages are also being held. Its offensive in Rafah since last week has killed dozens of Palestinians as NGOs and professional unions declared Gaza a “famine-stricken” zone.

Israel’s war on Gaza, which is about to enter its eighth month, has caused widespread outrage in many parts of the world owing to mounting civilian casualties. Israel has killed over 36,000 people in its military campaigns, including women and children, in Gaza since Oct. 7 when it retaliated to a surprise attack from Hamas. 

“I urge world powers to play their role in helping Palestinians get their rights,” Sharif said on Thursday. “We pray to God to bring a halt to this unjust war.”

Sharif lauded the governments of Norway, Spain and Ireland for recognizing Palestine as a state, hoping others would follow suit. 

“I believe this will give courage to other states to raise their voice with these European nations to demand a separate, independent homeland for Palestinians and will also put in efforts to do so,” he said. 

The Pakistani prime minister thanked Muslim states for raising their voices for the people of Palestine at global forums such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the United Nations. 

“The Saudi crown prince is taking the lead in this and also Qatar, UAE, Kuwait and other countries are involved too,” he said. 

Pakistan does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. The South Asian country has called for an unconditional ceasefire and a separate homeland for Palestinians according to the wishes of the Palestinian people. 


Pakistan inks agreements with Kuwait in industrial cooperation, engineering amid investment push 

Pakistan inks agreements with Kuwait in industrial cooperation, engineering amid investment push 
Updated 30 May 2024
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Pakistan inks agreements with Kuwait in industrial cooperation, engineering amid investment push 

Pakistan inks agreements with Kuwait in industrial cooperation, engineering amid investment push 
  • Pakistan’s Privatization and Investment Minister Abdul Aleem Khan participates in joint ministerial commission meeting in Kuwait 
  • Khan says Pakistan to “soon” start visa on arrival service for GCC countries, hopes for visa relaxation for Pakistanis as well

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Kuwait signed agreements on industrial cooperation and engineering on Thursday, Pakistan’s privatization ministry said, as both countries vowed to enhance bilateral economic ties for their mutual benefit. 

The agreements were signed as Pakistan’s Minister of Communications, Investment Board and Privatization Abdul Aleem Khan led a delegation of officials to Kuwait for the fifth joint ministerial commission meeting between the two countries. 

Pakistan has increasingly sought to attract foreign investment, particularly from Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait as it struggles with a macroeconomic crisis that has depleted its reserves and caused inflation to surge. 

“Pakistan and Kuwait signed agreements in the fields of industrial cooperation and engineering,” a statement from the privatization ministry said. 

“Federal Minister for Investment Abdul Aleem Khan and Kuwait’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Omar Saud Al-Omar signed the agreements.”

Khan said during the meeting that Pakistan would appoint a commercial consular in Kuwait to promote its business activities in the Gulf country. He added Pakistan would promote bilateral cooperation in pharmaceuticals, engineering and automotive sectors with Kuwait. 

He said Pakistan aims to invest more in the food, textile and energy sectors with Kuwait. The Pakistani minister hoped for relaxation in visa restrictions from Kuwait. 

“We will soon start visa on arrival for GCC countries,” Khan said. “We will provide Kuwait with a Pakistani workforce of veterinary staff, doctors, nurses and from other important sectors.”

During Kakar’s Nov. 2023 visit to Kuwait, various memoranda of understanding aimed at boosting cooperation in the fields of manpower, information technology, mineral exploration, food security, energy and defense were signed between the two countries. 

His visit to the country came a few months after Pakistan established the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), a civil-military hybrid body designed to oversee foreign financing with a specific focus on the Gulf region in key economic sectors. 


Azerbaijan urges Pakistani businesses to capitalize on global transit corridors connecting both states

Azerbaijan urges Pakistani businesses to capitalize on global transit corridors connecting both states
Updated 30 May 2024
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Azerbaijan urges Pakistani businesses to capitalize on global transit corridors connecting both states

Azerbaijan urges Pakistani businesses to capitalize on global transit corridors connecting both states
  • Azerbaijan’s foreign minister is in Islamabad on a two-day visit to review bilateral ties
  • Pakistan seeks to enhance role as pivotal trade, transit hub connecting Central Asia with world

ISLAMABAD: Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov urged Pakistani businesspersons on Thursday to capitalize on opportunities provided by international transit corridors passing through the Central Asian country as Islamabad eyes greater regional trade and connectivity. 

Bayramov arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday night for a two-day visit during which he met Pakistan’s Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar and held delegation-level talks. According to Pakistan’s foreign office, both sides reviewed progress on bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional and global developments.

Pakistan has aimed to enhance its role as a pivotal trade and transit hub connecting the Central Asian republics with the rest of the world, leveraging its strategic geographical position.

One of the main international transit corridors Pakistan can use to enhance regional trade is the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), also referred to as the Middle Corridor. It begins from southeast Asia and China, crosses Kazakhstan and connects to Azerbaijan through the Caspian Sea. From there, the route proceeds to Georgia, Turkiye, and Europe. It is utilized extensively in both directions.

“We invite Pakistani business representatives to consider the opportunities provided by the international transit corridors passing through the territory of Azerbaijan and the Baku International Sea Trade Port,” Bayramov said as he spoke at a joint media briefing with Dar in Islamabad.

The Baku port, situated at a pivotal intersection with Europe to the west, Asia to the east, and the Middle East to the south, serves as a hub for connecting these three major regions.

Relations between Pakistan and Azerbaijan have strengthened recently, particularly in defense, energy, and trade. Last year, they signed an agreement for discounted LNG supplies from Azerbaijan to Pakistan to boost Pakistan’s energy reserves. 

Pakistan also seeks to boost its status as a key trade link between Central Asia and the world through the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. China has invested over $65 billion in the energy and infrastructure corridor which aims to enhance both countries’ connectivity and improve Pakistan’s infrastructure. 

Bayramov said Azerbaijan was also investing heavily in railroad infrastructure, both in its territory and neighborhood.

“At the same time we are aware of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and we believe that the transit transportation dimension of this project can also be a very good synergy when we talk about the participation of both countries in connectivity, in trade, and we see great potential here, and it was one of the topics of today’s discussions,” the Azeri foreign minister said. 

Pakistan has sought third-party investment in CPEC for which it has invited Saudi Arabia, Turkiye, Germany, UAE, Iran, Indonesia and Afghanistan to join the multi-billion-dollar project. However, there has been no progress on that front.

Dar, meanwhile, said both countries agreed to further enhance multifaceted cooperation in trade, investment, connectivity, security, energy, and defense.

The Pakistani deputy premier also sought support from Azerbaijan in the upcoming election for non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) where Pakistan is vying to be elected for the eighth time.

Elections for five of the 10 non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council for 2025-26 are scheduled for June 6.

“I will take this opportunity for your [Azerbaijan] great support for our candidature as the non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the election which is going to be held on the 6th of June next month,” Dar added.

'PAKISTAN’S ADVANTAGEOUS LOCATION'

Taimur Ali, who works at the Central Asia section at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, said Pakistan’s growing inclination toward maintaining beneficial bilateral and multilateral relations with Central Asian republics stemmed from Islamabad’s comprehensive national security policy, which was published in 2022.

“Apart from this, the tilt toward Central Asian republics is a factor in the overall Eurasian integration process as well, because Pakistan’s strategic location is at a very advantageous position, which plays the role of a zipper between Central Asian and South Asian countries,” he told Arab News.

He said Pakistan wants to remain connected to Central Asian states through CPEC to derive maximum benefits from the mega project.

“Since Central Asian republics are geographically very close to Pakistan and CPEC-related projects, it is but natural that Pakistan would invite all Central Asian countries to invest and be a part of the CPEC project,” he explained.


Pakistan election was ‘biggest robbery,’ says ex-PM Imran Khan

Pakistan election was ‘biggest robbery,’ says ex-PM Imran Khan
Updated 30 May 2024
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Pakistan election was ‘biggest robbery,’ says ex-PM Imran Khan

Pakistan election was ‘biggest robbery,’ says ex-PM Imran Khan
  • These were first remarks made by former PM, who is incarcerated in Rawalpindi’s central jail 
  • Khan was allowed by top court to plead petitions he filed against amendments to anti-graft laws

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s jailed former prime minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that February’s national election was stolen from his party, describing it as the “biggest robbery of a public mandate.”

Khan, speaking in the Supreme Court via video link from Adiala jail in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, said he was being held in solitary confinement.

His remarks were the first to be heard in open court since he was jailed in August.

“My party is being victimized. There have been gross human rights violations,” Khan said. “The February 8 election was the biggest robbery of a public mandate.”

The Election Commission has denied the election was rigged.

Khan, a 71-year-old cricketer-turned-politician, was jailed on corruption charges. He is also fighting dozens of other cases.

He and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party (PTI) say the charges were politically motivated to thwart his return to power.

Candidates backed by Khan won the most seats in February’s election but fell short of a majority required to form a government. His opponent Shehbaz Sharif became prime minister in a coalition government with several other parties.

Khan was allowed by the top court to appear and plead petitions he had filed against amendments in the country’s anti-graft laws, which he claims were made to favor corrupt politicians.

The court, however, turned down his request to live-stream the proceedings. It said it was not a public interest case, according to a Reuters reporter inside the court room.

Khan has previously been speaking to a select group of reporters who are allowed to cover his closed-door trials conducted inside the jail.

His aides have been conveying his messages after visiting him and his social media accounts remain active, but it is unclear who is operating them.

He has faced numerous cases since his ouster in 2022 in a parliamentary vote of confidence, which he alleged was backed by the powerful military after he had fallen out with the army generals.

The army denies the accusations.