(Asian News Hub) – Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has renewed his open offer for dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues with India. Khan gave his statement welcoming the ceasefire recently announced between Indian and Pakistani border security forces along the Line of Control (LoC).
The Pakistani Premier said the country has ‘always stood for peace and remains ready to move forward to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue’.
‘The onus of creating an enabling environment for further progress rests with India,’ he said.
Khan’s renewed offer for dialogue to India comes after the Director Generals for Military Operations (DGMO) of both countries mutually agreed to enforce the ceasefire from February 25, 2021 along the disputed LoC, which has remained extremely tense with escalated engagements of shelling from both sides, leaving casualties of officials and civilians.
However, Prime Minister Imran Khan marked February 27 2021 as ‘Surprise Day’, congratulating the armed forces of the country for successfully conducting Operation Swift Retort, which led to the downing of at least two Indian aircrafts (MiG21 & SU-30) jets and the capture of Wing Commander Abhinandan.
‘The country demonstrated responsible behaviour in the face of India’s irresponsible military brinkmanship by returning the captured Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot’, he said.
‘I congratulate the entire nation and salute our Armed Forces on the 2nd Anniversary of our response to India’s illegal, reckless military adventure of airstrikes against Pakistan’, he added.
Khan said Pakistan is a proud and confident nation as it responded with determined resolve at a time and place of its own choosing.
Tensions have been intensifying between the two arch-rivals since February 2019, after India accused Pakistan’s hand in the Pulwama terror attack and launched an air-strike at an alleged militant training camp in Jabba near Balakot, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province.
India claimed it had killed at least 350 terrorists belonging to Masood Azhar, being trained and fed there to launch terror attacks inside India.
However, Pakistan rejected New Delhi’s claims and stated that the only casualty caused by the Indian ‘botched’ air-strikes was two house buildings and a crow.
In that backdrop, the latest and rare joint statement by both countries is being seen as a major development.
Analysts, however believe that New Delhi’s agreement to enforcing a ceasefire at the LoC may be due to its tense standoff with China, which has been going on for months.
Afghanistan: 37 killed, over 70 injured as blast hits Shia mosque in Kandahar
(Asian News Hub) – Suicide bombers assaulted a Shiite mosque in southern Afghanistan that was packed with worshippers attending weekly Friday prayers, killing at least 37 people and wounding more than 70, Associated Press reported quoting hospital official and an eyewitness.
The attack on the Imam Barga mosque came a week after a bombing claimed by a local Islamic State affiliate killed 46 people at a Shiite mosque in northern Afghanistan.
Murtaza, an eye-witness who like many Afghans goes by one name, said four suicide bombers attacked the mosque. Two detonated their explosives at a security gate, allowing the other two to run inside and strike the congregation of worshippers.
Speaking to The Associated Press by phone, he said Friday prayers are typically attended by around 500 people.
At least 20 killed, over 300 injured in an earthquake in Pakistan
(Asian News Hub) – At least 20 people were killed and over 300 others injured after a powerful 5.9 earthquake struck Pakistan’s Balochistan province early on Thursday, October 7, 2021, according to PTI quoting media reports.
Disaster management officials said the death toll may increase, Geo News reported.
According to the seismological centre, the epicentre was located near Harnai at a depth of 15 km.
The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said many of the dead were women and children.
The quake affected Quetta, Sibi, Harnai, Pishin, Qila Saifullah, Chaman, Ziarat and Zhob in Balochistan.
Images on social media showed people in the city of Quetta out on the streets in the aftermath of the quake, Dawn newspaper reported.
Aftershocks are still being felt in different areas. The earliest tremors were felt at 3:20 am after which panicked citizens rushed out of their houses reciting verses from the holy Quran. Relief and rescue activities are underway, with an emergency declared in all hospitals.
According to Deputy Commissioner of Harnai Sohail Anwar Hashmi, several people have been rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
He said that several buildings in Harnai have been damaged. Many people were left buried under the rubble.
The power supply to the area has been suspended, he said.
According to the rescue sources, more than 70 houses were reported damaged in Harnai.
World surpasses 5M COVID-19 deaths
(Asian News Hub) – The coronavirus death toll around the world surpassed 5 million on Friday, according to Reuters’s tally.
Around the world, an average of 8,000 deaths a day were reported, according to the outlet. However, it noted that the global death rate has slowed in recent weeks.
Reuters reported that it took over a year to accumulate 2.5 million deaths, but it took under eight months to accumulate the second 2.5 million deaths.
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