Istanbul, January 18: Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan said that Pakistan and Turkey are “two countries, one nation”.
According to Geo News, the Air Chief was addressing a meeting comprising board members of the Association of Justice Defenders and Strategic Studies Center (ASSAM) in Turkey on Friday.
The Air Chief said that Pakistan fully supports Turkey on Cyprus and other regional issues and also stands by Ankara in its war against terrorism.
Pakistan’s declining relations with its two biggest sources of foreign remittances and foreign exchange– Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)– is “bad news” for its already ailing economy, said scholar Salman Rafi Sheikh.The Khan regime’s tilt towards Turkey is reflected in his recent foreign policy choices, including its stated willingness to revive the dormant transnational rail service linking Istanbul, Tehran and Islamabad (ITI) in 2021.
The ITI transnational railroad is expected to enhance connectivity via China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by providing a direct rail connection between China and Turkey via Iran. China’s presence in the line’s revival is of central importance.
In an opinion piece in Asia Times, Salman Rafi Sheikh said Pakistan is tentatively reorienting its foreign policy away from Saudi Arabia and the UAE towards China’s New Silk Roads. Last August, Saudi Arabia asked Pakistan to repay early a USD 3 billion soft loan, Islamabad tried to defuse the tensions by quickly dispatching its current army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
“While Pakistan tentatively expands its ties with Iran and Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have applied clear pressure on Pakistan’s two biggest sources of foreign remittances at a delicate economic juncture, undermining – at least for now – Islamabad’s ability to chart a truly independent and perhaps more forward-looking foreign policy,” the scholar noted.
Erica Robin becomes first ever Miss Universe Pakistan
Erica Robin, a model from Karachi has been crowned “Miss Universe Pakistan 2023”, becoming the first-ever woman from the country to win the title.
Four other models from different parts of the country participated in the beauty pageant, including Hira Inam from Lahore, Jessical Wilson from Rawalpindi, Pakistani-American Malika Alvi from Pennsylvania, and Sabrina Wasim. Jessica Wilson, a 28-year-old cyber security engineer was named first runner-up while Hira Inam (24), Malyka Alvi (19), and Sabrina Wasim (26) were the rest of the finalists.
Award-winning actress, mental health advocate, and former Miss International Kylie Verzosa from the Philippines was one of the distinguished panel of judges who picked the winner.
Robin will be the official representative of Pakistan at the Miss Universe pageant, scheduled to be held in El Salvador later this year. Pakistan will be sending five models to compete in the prestigious Miss Universe pageant. This landmark moment marks the first time Pakistan has ever been represented in the world’s most esteemed beauty competition.
Morocco earthquake: Death toll surpasses 2000
According to state TV, the number of fatalities following a strong 6.8-magnitude earthquake that shook Morocco on Friday night has surpassed 2,000. The death toll makes it the deadliest earthquake to strike the nation of North Africa in decades.
Rescue teams are reportedly struggling to reach the most affected areas, with roads blocked by debris. One witness said “we are hoping for miracles from the rubble,” CNN reported.
The epicenter was in the High Atlas mountains, about 72 kilometers (45 miles) southwest of Marrakech, a popular tourist city of about 840,000 people. The city’s historic walls, first laid out in the early 12th century, have been damaged.
The quake was the most powerful to shake the area surrounding Marrakech in more than 120 years, according to the US Geological Survey.
Powerful earthquake in Morocco kills more than 800 people
More than 800 people were killed and hundreds were injured in a massive earthquake that struck Morocco. It was the deadliest tremor to hit the country in more than 60 years, and it destroyed homes in isolated mountain towns while rescue workers searched through the debris for survivors, reuters reported.
As per reuters, a magnitude 7.2 quake struck in Morocco’s High Atlas mountains late on Friday night. The Interior Ministry said 820 people had been killed and another 672 injured.
Most of the fatalities are in mountainous areas outside Marrakech, the nearest city to the epicentre, its updated toll showed.
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