Islamabad, Apr 15 (Xinhua) Police in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi have arrested five militants affiliated with proscribed organization Islamic State (IS) during a search operation, local reports said Monday.
The raid was conducted on an intelligence tip-off regarding the presence of the alleged militants in their hideout in Gulshan-e-Maymar area of the city, ARY News quoted local police as reporting.
Arms and ammunitions were also recovered from the five militants who were accused of radicalization and indoctrination of Pakistani youth by using social media platform.
The arrested suspects were shifted to some unknown location for investigations.
The raid came two days after IS claimed a deadly suicide attack in the country’s southwestern Balochistan province. Targeting a minority Shiite ethnic group, the explosion left over 20 people killed and scores of others injured.
A senior security official from Balochistan earlier told Xinhua that the IS recently announced its “revenge for defeat in Syria,” and authorities got a tip-off that Pakistan might be an easy target for the local militants returning back to their countries of origin from Syria after the defeat.
Security was beefed up across the country following Friday’s IS attack, and Monday’s raid is being taken as a timely act by the law enforcement agencies to foil the possible IS attacks in the future.
Move comes after Boeing CEO apologised for crash that killed 189 people last October.
More families of victims of the Lion Air crash in Indonesia are suing Boeing after its chief executive apologised and said a software update for the MAX 8 jet would prevent further disasters.
Family members and lawyers said on Monday that CEO Dennis Muilenburg’s comment last week related to an automated flight system was an admission that helps their cases.
The anti-stall system is suspected as a cause of the Lion Air crash in October and an Ethiopian Airlines crash in March that also involved a MAX 8 jet. The two crashes killed a total of 346 people.
At a news conference organised by Jakarta law firm Kailimang & Ponto, families of 11 Lion Air victims said they are joining dozens of other Indonesian families in filing lawsuits against Boeing.
“Boeing’s CEO explicitly apologised to 346 passenger families,” said Merdian Agustin, whose husband died in the crash. “We hope this is good momentum to have compensation rights.”
Agustin, a mother of three, said that she and dozens of other families have not received 1.2 billion rupiah ($85,000) compensation they are entitled to in Indonesia because they refused to sign a “release and discharge” document that extinguishes their right to sue Lion Air, Boeing or their subsidiaries.
“We refused to sign such a document containing statements that are treating our loved ones like lost baggage,” said Agustin. “It’s ridiculous and hurts us.”
Boeing acknowledged that the sensor malfunctioned and Muilenburg said last week that a new software update would prevent future incidents.
“It’s our responsibility to eliminate this risk,” Muilenburg said in a video statement. “We own it, and we know how to do it.”
Lawyer Michael Indrajana said that since the crash, families in Indonesia have faced a complicated and painful process against Boeing and Lion Air in their battle to get compensation.
He said the Boeing CEO’s statement shows the airline is now acknowledging responsibility.
“No amount of money can bring their loved ones back,” he said. “We want to fight for the orphans, so they have the opportunity to get a better future.”
Boeing said last week that it will cut production of its troubled 737 Max airliner this month, underscoring the growing financial risk it faces the longer that its best-selling plane remains grounded after the two crashes.
Islamabad says its stance vindicated, as US magazine quotes US officials as verifying that no Pakistani F-16s shot down.by Asad Hashim25 minutes ago
Islamabad, Pakistan – Pakistan’s military has called on India to share “the truth” about an aerial dogfight at the height of tensions between the nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours in February after a US magazine published a report refuting Indian claims that it had shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet.
“This is what Pakistan has been saying all along, the truth,” said Pakistani military spokesperson Major-General Asif Ghafoor on Friday. “It’s time for India to come up with [the] truth about losses on their side including targeting of [a] second jet by Pakistan.”
Ghafoor’s statements came hours after the publication of a report in US-based Foreign Policy magazine that quoted two unnamed US defence officials as verifying that, following a count of Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jet fleet, there were no aircraft missing.
There was no immediate official comment from India on the Foreign Policy report.
India claims that one of its MiG-21 fighter jets shot down a Pakistani F-16 before itself being shot down on February 27. The pilot of that jet, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, was captured by Pakistan and returned to Indian custody two days later.
Pakistan, however, has consistently denied that claim, saying none of its aircraft were shot down during the weeks of tensions between the two countries. It also claims to have shot a second Indian air force jet during the engagement, a claim India has denied.
The F-16 aircraft are manufactured by US weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin, and have formed the backbone of Pakistan’s air force for decades.
A large number of the F-16s were purchased by Pakistan under a US security aid programme, which imposes certain limits on how the aircraft can be used.
Those restrictions do not apply to Pakistan’s entire fleet of F-16s, and Islamabad says all of its aircraft – whether purchased outright or through US aid – can be used in legitimate cases of self-defence, such as the engagement on February 27.
“Pakistan retains the right to use anything and everything in its legitimate self defence,” said a Pakistani military statement on the aerial engagement released on Monday.
At the time, Indian officials shared shrapnel from an AIM-20 advanced medium range air-to-air missile used during the engagement – one that could not be fired from Pakistan’s other fighter aircraft – as proof that F-16s were used in the dogfight.
The Foreign Policy report comes at a sensitive time for the Indian government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has touted the recent escalation in military hostilities between the two countries as a victory for his national security stance.
The recent India-Pakistan face-off is expected to boost Modi’s chances of re-election in the staggered general elections beginning on April 11.
Tensions between the South Asian countries reached a fever pitch following a suicide attack on Indian security forces in the disputed territory of Kashmir that killed at least 40 Indian personnel in the town of Pulwama in mid-February.
India blamed the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) armed group for the attack, with an Indian general alleging that Pakistani intelligence services had “controlled” the attack. Pakistan denied the claim.
On February 26, India launched air attacks on Pakistani territory near the northern town of Jaba, claiming it had destroyed a JeM “training camp” housing “hundreds” of fighters.
Media visited to the site of the air raids a day later found evidence of the attacks having hit a forested hillside and causing light damage to a farmer’s home. While a JeM school was found near the site, there was no evidence of mass casualties, as India had claimed.
Pakistan then claimed to have carried out a series of retaliatory air raids at sites adjacent to military targets in six locations of Indian-administered Kashmir, saying the attacks were intended to show resolve and not to cause any casualties or infrastructure damage.
It was during the aftermath of the Pakistani air raids on February 27 that the aerial dogfight that saw Wing Commander Varthaman shot down, and the accompanying Indian claim of shooting down an F-16, took place.
At the time, US officials told Al Jazeera the Pakistani military had invited US inspectors to visit Pakistani airbases to verify the number of F-16s in the fleet.
“All aircraft were present and accounted for,” Foreign Policy quoted an unnamed US official as saying following those inspections. A second unnamed US official corroboratedthe claim to the magazine.
US officials in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, offered no immediate comment on the Foreign Policy report.
Riyadh, Apr 2 : The four children of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the US-based Saudi Arabian dissident and contributing columnist for The Washington Post, receive each month at least $10,000 apiece from Saudi authorities in the wake of their father’s murder in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year, and have also been given estates in the kingdom worth millions more,officials said on Tuesday.
According to Saudi officials, Khashoggi’s children ? two sons and two daughters ? were presented with houses in the Saudi port city of Jeddah, worth around $4 million each, adding that the estates were likely to be later put on sale.
Moreover, the officials believe that each of Khashoggi’s children may additionally receive tens of millions of dollars as compensation after the trial on their father’s suspected murderers.
Some of the officials said that the payments were partially aimed at making sure that the journalist’s family would continue to avoid making harsh comments against Saudi Arabia following the tragedy.
Another official, however, refuted the idea, saying that it was a common practice in the kingdom to financially help the families of victims of violent crimes.
A former Saudi official also said that the payments to Khashoggi’s children were a way of acknowledging that “a big injustice has been done.”
Khashoggi, who was a well-known critic of Saudi policies, went missing last October after he entered the Saudi consulate in Turkey’s Istanbul.
Wellington, Apr 2 (Xinhua) A new gun law following the Christchurch shootings on March 15 has passed its first reading in New Zealand’s parliament on Tuesday.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the morning after the shootings that gun laws must change.
New Zealand’s Police Minister Stuart Nash said the attacks in Christchurch exposed the considerable weaknesses in New Zealand’s current firearms law.
The most critical weakness in the firearms law is that too many people have legal access to too many semi-automatic firearms capable of causing significant harm, he said.
“We are driven by one objective. We are driven by the need to ensure public safety is as strong as it can be. We are also driven by the memory of fifty men, women and children who were taken from their loved ones on March 15. Their memory is our responsibility. We don’t ever want to see an attack like this in our country again. We are compelled to act quickly,” said Nash.
New Zealand’s current firearms legislation came into force 35 years ago. It dates from the 1980s, a time when the country was more isolated from the rest of the world, he said. There were strong import controls and no internet market place or social media.
“Since this time, firearms technology has shifted, the weapons market has become global and there are a significant online community and trading environment. To bring the firearms legislation more up-to-date and substantially reduce loopholes and risk, major change is needed. This Bill takes the first steps to modernize the Act,” said Nash.
The new gun law seeks to essentially ban all semi-automatic weapons. However, it is important to reiterate that the legislation is not directed at law-abiding firearms owners who have legitimate uses for their guns.
“Our actions are instead directed at making sure March 15 never happens again. Semi-automatic firearms which are commonly used for hunting, pest control, stock management on farms, and duck shooting will not be affected,” said Nash.
Meanwhile, the government will implement a buyback scheme for the newly banned firearms which are surrendered.
The government is currently working on the details of the buyback scheme and will make announcements shortly.
Arden said, “The cost of the buyback scheme would cost around 100 to 200 million New Zealand dollars.”
“We recognize it is a substantial amount of money but we are committed to doing this. We will find the money to do this because it’s about making New Zealanders safe. We will remove these guns from our communities,” said Nash.
Islamabad, Apr 2 : Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has finally written a letter to opposition leader and president of the Pakistan Muslim League PML-(N) Shahbaz Sharif on the appointment of two members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), asking him to suggest names in writing.
In a four-page letter, PM Khan has rejected all the objections raised by Mr Sharif in his previous letter over the ongoing consultation process through nominees and has also refuted the allegation that the government is in violation of the Constitution due to the delay in the finalisation of the names of the ECP members from Balochistan and Sindh, Dawn reported.
The language of the letter shows that Mr Khan still does not desire a face-to-face meeting with Mr Sharif; he has quoted a number of examples from the earlier court decisions and even a Quranic verse from Surah Baqrah in support of his argument that the consultation could be and should be done in writing.
?Written consultation is surely preferred,? writes Mr Khan in the letter. ?I again stress your good self to participate in the consultative process by giving your views in writing. In case you do not participate in the consultative process, the people of Pakistan and myself shall have no other option but to presume that you are evading the legal process, in which event further rights shall be reserved,? writes Mr Khan, without further elaboration.
In response to a letter written to him by Mr Khan’s secretary Azam Khan on March 26, Mr Sharif had opposed the prime minister’s act of consulting with him on the appointment of ECP members through nominees and termed the delay in filling the two vacancies a violation of the Constitution.
Mr Sharif, through a letter, had also conveyed his reservations over the delay in the appointment of the ECP members due to the apparent reluctance of the prime minister to hold a direct consultation with him. In that letter, he had suggested that three nominations each for the vacant posts of ECP members were against the intent and spirit of the Constitution.
At least 25 dead and more than 400 injured as storm hits villages in a farming region south of capital Kathmandu.
Rescuers are struggling to reach villages in southern Nepal that were cut off by a rainstorm that has killed 25 people and injured hundreds more.
The storm swept through villages in a farming region of Bara and Parsa districts in southern Nepal, about 120km south of capital Kathmandu, on Sunday night.
Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli said he received a report of 25 people killed and 400 injured.
Police official Sanu Ram Bhattarai said people were crushed by falling walls of their own homes and other debris.
Bhattarai said police officers and soldiers from neighbouring areas reached the districts on Monday and were trying to reach the villages.
Police said cars were flipped by the high winds and passengers were killed in one bus that got blown off the highway.
“The thunderstorm uprooted trees, electricity poles and telephone poles. Most casualties occurred after people were struck by them,” said Bhattarai.
Thunderstorms normally hit the country in the spring between April and May, but experts say Sunday’s disaster was unusually severe.
New Delhi, March 30 Nasheman News : An Indian man has been killed and his wife injured after they were stabbed by an immigrant near Munich in Germany, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted on Saturday.
“Indian couple Prashant and Smita Basarur were stabbed by an immigrant near Munich. Unfortunately, Prashant has expired. Smita is stable. We are facilitating the travel of Prashant’s brother to Germany. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family,” Sushma Swaraj wrote on Twitter.
She told the Indian mission in Munich to take care of the couple’s children.
AFPIn Bangladesh, the death toll from the fire at a high-rise office building in the capital has risen to 25. A massive fire engulfed a 22-story building in Dhaka’s Banani area yesterday.
Local media reported that 25 deaths have been confirmed and 76 people have been injured. Fire officials said the blaze erupted on the eighth floor of the building and engulfed the ninth, 10th and 11th floors.
The blaze erupted on the eighth floor of the building and gradually went upward engulfing other floors. It is not clear yet what sparked the fire.
Meanwhile, an eight-member probe committee has been formed to look into the tragic incident.
Kabul, March 26 (Nasheman News) Over 92,600 Afghan refugees have returned from neighbouring countries Pakistan and Iran since January this year, the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported on Tuesday.
“(A total of) 92,698 Afghans returns from Iran and Pakistan since January 1,” said IOM in a statement.
A total of 88,516 Afghans have reportedly returned to their homeland from Iran as the value of local currency had fallen and job opportunities were low, reports Xinhua news agency.
Another 4,182 Afghans were back from Pakistan during the period.
More than 849,000 Afghan refugees had returned or were deported to Afghanistan in 2018, according to figures from Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations.