News Updates

August 28th - 06th September
  • Pakistan, US agree to make fresh start
    Pakistan and the United States have decided to give reset in ties another shot after the positive initial engagement on September 5 resulted in an understanding between the Trump administration and the new Pakistani government on delivering on each other’s expectations. The positivity shown by the two sides after their meeting deeply contrasted the clouds of negativity under which US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Islamabad. (Dawn News, September 6, 2018)
  • PM Imran Khan, US Secretary of State Pompeo discussed bilateral ties during meeting at PM House. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI chief Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar were also present in the PM's meeting with the US delegation. (Dawn News, September 05, 2018)
  • India has agreed to allow Pakistan to inspect the projects in the Jhelum basin, including Kishanganga hydroelectric project, in the near future and Islamabad will allow New Delhi to carry out inspection of the Kotri barrage over the Indus under Article VIII (4) (c) of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), it has been learnt.
  • According to the minutes of the 115th meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission held between the two countries from Aug 29 to 30 in Lahore, “Pakistan also urged India to arrange for the Special Tour of Inspection of the projects in Jhelum basin including Kishanganga HEP which is pending since 2014, on which ICIW (India’s Commissioner for Indus Waters) gave his assurance to arrange the same promptly”. (Dawn News, September 4, 2018)
  • India agreed to get sites of its two hydropower projects — 1,000MW Pakal Dul and 48MW Lower Kalnal — inspected by Pakistani experts by the end of next month. It also assured Pakistan of taking up its objections/concerns over the two projects seriously by resolving them amicably in the light of technical memorandums to be prepared and exchanged by the two countries in the next meeting to be held in New Delhi.
  • “The major breakthrough of the two-day talks held in Lahore is that India has agreed to get the projects’ sites visited by our experts. Therefore, our team comprising experts will visit the sites in India by the end of next month,” Water Resource Secretary Shamail Ahmad Khawaja. (Dawn News, August 31, 2018)
  • After many years, a small but significant breakthrough seems to have been made in the talks between the Pakistani and Indian water commissioners.
    The talks had been largely stalled since 2014 so the latest agreement by the Indian side to permit an inspection of two of the facilities being built on the Chenab river is a step forward. Even in the latest round of the Permanent Indus Commission talks, the first day seemed to lead to a cul-de-sac. It was only at the end of the second day that news of the breakthrough emerged. (Dawn News, September 01, 2018)
  • Suspension of $300 million payment to Pakistan not a new decision: US
    A day before an expected meeting with the new Pakistani government, the Pentagon on Monday dispelled the impression that the United States had cancelled its assistance to Pakistan.
  • In a statement, Pentagon spokesperson Lt Col Koné Faulkner explained that the suspension of security assistance to Pakistan was announced in January 2018 and the Pentagon asked Congress to ‘reprogramme’ a suspended amount of about $300 million that Pakistan was to receive from the Coalition Support Fund (CSF). “CSF is included in the suspension and it remains in place. This is not a new decision or a new announcement, but acknowledgement of a July request to reprogramme funds before they expire,” he said. (Dawn News, September 4, 2018)
  • Delay in approvals, disbursements hits CPEC western route projects
    The delay in project approvals by China and non-disbursement of funds allocated in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) because of political transition has hit the implementation of Western Route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This was disclosed by the National Highway Authority (NHA) in a presentation to the Senate Standing Committee on Planning and Development. (Dawn News, September 4, 2018)
  • US military confirms $300m cut in aid to Pakistan. Decision taken over perceived failure to tackle militants further strains Washington relations. The US has confirmed it will cut $300m in aid to Pakistan over its perceived failure to tackle militant groups, ratcheting up the tension in a deeply strained relationship ahead of a visit to Islamabad by the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, on Wednesday. (The Guardian, September 2, 2018)
  • US spells out terms of engagement with Pakistan. the Trump administration has made it clear that Pakistan will have to back the US strategy in Afghanistan if it wants good relations with Washington. The strategy — as defined by both the State Department and the Pentagon this week — is to use a combination of military and diplomatic pressures to force the Taliban to work with Kabul for restoring peace in Afghanistan. (Dawn News, September 3, 2018)
  • Pakistan urged India on August 29 to entertain the objections it has raised over the construction of the 1,000MW Pakal Dul and 48MW Lower Kalnal hydropower projects on the River Chenab.
  • It conveyed in categorical terms to the visiting Indian team that Islamabad would approach the international forums defined in the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) in case New Delhi failed to accept the requests as narrated in the detailed objections. (Dawn News, August 30, 2018)
  • Talks between Pakistan and India commenced on August 29 to discuss the pressing issue of water distribution and construction of two dams on the Indian side of river Chenab under the ambit of the Indus Water Treaty of 1960. (Express Tribune, September 30, 2018)
August 18th - 27th
  • PM offers India talks, trade for better relations
    In his first tweet on a foreign policy matter, Prime Minister Imran Khan invited India for a dialogue on all conflicts with an offer to improve trade for normalising Pakistan-India relations which have for long been strained. (Dawn News, August 22, 2018)
  • United States (US) Secretary of State Michael Pompeo is likely to visit Islamabad in the first week of September for consultations with Prime Minister Imran Khan and his team on issues of mutual interests, diplomatic and official sources told Dawn.
    Pompeo, who is expected in Islamabad on Sept 5, will likely be the first foreign dignitary to meet the newly elected prime minister, who took oath of his office on August 18. (Dawn News, August 18, 2018)
  • US looks forward to working with Imran-led govt: State Dept
    Following Khan’s appointment, the US Department of State released a congratulatory statement stressing the importance of the strategic relationship shared by the two countries. (Dawn News, August 18, 2018)
  • UK, Iran, US, Turkey look forward to working with Imran-led govt. (Dawn News, August 19, 2018)
  • Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi was on August 18 sworn in as the 22nd prime minister of Pakistan in a simple ceremony hosted at the Aiwan-i-Sadr. (Dawn News, August 18)
  • Contents of Imran-Pompeo talk trigger spat
    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Islamabad is likely to go ahead despite the controversy that erupted over his telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Imran Khan.
    “We are looking forward to Secretary Pompeo’s visit to engage with him for peace and stability and look at areas where we can cooperate,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said at a press conference at the Foreign Secretary Pompeo is expected to visit Islamabad on Sept 5. (Dawn News, August 25, 2018)
August 10th - 17th
  • US and Pakistani diplomats share hopes for reviving ties
    US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said on August 14 that the United States wanted to further strengthen its ties with Pakistan while Pakistan’s US envoy hoped that the Trump administration would soon restore the suspended training facility for the Pakistani military personnel. Secretary Pompeo’s Independence Day message went beyond customary felicitation, as it recalled seven decades of close ties between the two nations and expressed the desire to rebuild the troubled relationship. (Dawn News, August 15, 2018)
  • Modi softens rhetoric, calls for embracing Kashmiris
    Amid signs of thaw with Pakistan, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15 distanced himself from a militarist line on Jammu and Kashmir, saying he would seek peace in the disputed region by embracing its people.
    In his speech on the Independence Day at the Red Fort in New Delhi, he said his government was following the teachings of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
    Reports suggest China is keen to help improve ties between Islamabad and Delhi
    A week ago, the Chinese envoy in Delhi visited the Wagah border in an unusual move where he declared his country’s support for improved ties between India and Pakistan. (Dawn news, August 16, 2018)
  • Saudi-backed IsDB ready to help Imran-led govt with $4 billion loan
    Pakistan plans to borrow more than $4 billion from the Saudi-backed Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) as part of its attempts to restore dangerously low stocks of foreign currency, reported The Financial Times. (Dawn news, August 10, 208)
  • Chinese counter-terrorism experts have said that overseas Chinese companies should integrate with local people to prevent potential terror attacks. (Dawn News, August 14, 2018)
  • Imran backs Turkey in row with US
    In a statement shared on Twitter, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman assured Turkish President Recap Erdogan and the people of Turkey that Pakistan was praying for their success in overcoming formidable economic challenges. (Dawn News, August 14, 2018)
August 1st - 9th
  • Pakistan Russia signed historic defence cooperation agreement
    According to this agreement, Pakistani troops will be allowed for training at Russian military training institutes. “Both countries signed the Contract on Admission of Service Members of Pakistan in RF’s (Russian Federation) Training Insti¬tutes,” the defence ministry said in a statement. (Dawn News, August 08, 2018)
  • PTI leader sees a ‘potential opportunity’ for economic prosperity in Pakistan in restoring peace and stability to Afghanistan. (Dawn News, August 09, 2018)
  • The construction of dams to begin in 2019, apex court told
    Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, who has been taking a great deal of interest in the construction of dams, was informed on Tuesday that work on their construction would start after his retirement. The CJP’s retirement is due in January 2019. (Dawn News, August 08, 2018)
  • Pakistan US ties heading towards difficult phase under Imran Khan: Analyst
    US-Pakistan relations are heading towards a difficult phase under Pakistan’s new government as Imran Khan’s demand for relations based on equality will be met with staunch opposition from Trump administration. (Dawn News, August 04, 2018)
Credit: Nabila Jaffer