News Updates

22 January - 31 January
  • Challenges in South Asia to grow due to elections in Afghanistan and India: US report
    United States Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats expects challenges facing the South Asian region to grow in 2019 due to elections in Afghanistan and India, large-scale Taliban attacks and "Pakistan’s recalcitrance in dealing with militant groups". (Dawn, January 30, 2019)
  • Taliban say they are not looking to rule Afghanistan alone
    The Taliban said they are not seeking a "monopoly on power" in a future administration in Afghanistan but are looking for ways to co-exist with Afghan institutions — the most conciliatory statement to date from the militants. The statement came amid the US "agreements in principle" toward a framework for peace with the Taliban, who now control almost half of the country and carry out near-daily attacks, mainly targeting Afghan security forces and government officials. (Dawn, January 31, 2019)
  • Taliban, US, Pakistan hail progress in peace talks
    Afghan Taliban acknowledged that progress had been made in talks held last week in Qatar but denied reaching any agreement with their American interlocutors on a ceasefire and talks with the Afghan government. (Dawn, January 28, 2019)
  • Work on 900km Pak-Afghan border fence completed: army
    The army has said that work on a 900-kilometre-long portion of fence along the Pak-Afghan border has been completed. (Dawn, January 28, 2019)
  • Pakistan and Russia agreed to continue coordinating their positions on efforts for peace in Afghanistan.
    The understanding was reached during Russian Special Representative on Afghanistan Ambassador Zamir Kabulov’s meetings with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua. (Dawn, January 30, 2019)
  • Pakistan holds 'keys to war', says Afghan president
    Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani said that the “keys to war are in Islamabad, Quetta, Rawal¬pindi”, suggesting Pakistan was a safe haven for cross-border militant activities.
    Ghani said the “key to peace was in Afghanistan”, as talks between Taliban and US officials on ending the 17-year war in Afghanistan appear to be gaining momentum. (Dawn, January 31, 2019)
15 January - 21 January
  • Pakistan rules out India’s role in Afghan peace process
    “India has no role in Afghanistan,” Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal said at the weekly media briefing while responding to a query about Pakistan’s position on India’s part in the reconciliation process. (Dawn, January 18, 2019)
  • Pakistan steps up efforts to salvage stalled US-Taliban talks
    Pakistan affirmed its continued support for the Afghan peace and reconciliation process as it stepped up efforts for salvaging the stalled talks between the United States and Taliban.Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a telephonic conversation with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, reassured the latter that Pakistan was making “sincere efforts” for a politically negotiated settlement of the Afghan war. (Dawn, January 18, 2019)
08 January - 14 January
  • Islamabad wants Taliban to negotiate with Afghan govt
    Pakistan wants the Taliban to give up their refusal to talk to the Afghan government so that a political settlement of the 17-year-old conflict could be negotiated.
    “We want them to sit together. It is for Afghans to sort out their problems and as long as they do not sit down and talk to each other, outsiders can do little to help them,” Foreign Minis¬ter Shah Mehmood Qureshi said. (Dawn, January 11, 2019)
  • Pakistan protests HC official’s arrest in India
    An official of the Pakistan High Commission was arrested by the Indian authorities and was released a few hours later. They said the official was forced to sign a note before being released when the matter was immediately taken up with the Indian side.
    “Pakistan strongly protested this violation of the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations and reserves the right to respond,” said an FO official who requested not to be named. (Dawn, January 14, 2019)
  • Indian officials try to create problems for Pakistani team at FATF meeting
    While the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has expressed satisfaction over Pakistan’s efforts as well as plans against money laundering, India continues to raise questions about terror financing.
    “The proceedings went well and almost all the FATF members appreciated measures taken by Pakistan and actions planned by it,” sources told Dawn after the conclusion of a three-day conference in Sydney, Australia.
    The sources said that India kept asking questions about the measures Pakistan had taken against Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and other such organisations. It dem¬anded that the steps be made public. (Dawn, January 12, 2019)
01 January - 07 January
  • Want a great relationship with Pakistan: Donald Trump says will hold meeting with Imran Khan soon
    The US President underscored that his administration has initiated peace talks with the Taliban. He also announced that a meeting with the new leadership of Pakistan will take place “very soon”. (Hindustan Times, January 3, 2019)
  • Pakistan hails Trump’s desire for 'great ties' The Foreign Office welcomed US President Donald Trump’s remarks on ties with Pakistan and said the government was keenly waiting for the engagement at the highest level. (Dawn, January 04, 2019)
  • $3 billion financial assistance sealed as Abu Dhabi Crown Prince meets PM Khan in Islamabad Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan paid a quick visit to Islamabad ─ his first in nearly 12 years ─ and met the prime minister and other top officials as both countries seek to capitalise on the fresh momentum in ties due to a flurry of recent contacts at the leadership level. (Dawn, January 06, 2019)
  • China acknowledges it’s extending financial help to Pakistan China tentatively acknowledged it was extending financial assistance to help Pakistan boost its dwindling foreign exchange reserves. (Dawn, January 03, 2019)
  • Indian leaders’ provocative remarks under political compulsions threat to regional peace: Qureshi Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi criticised the Indian leadership and warned that their “provocative and negative statements, given under domestic political compulsions, can jeopardise regional peace”, Radio Pakistan reported. (Dawn, January 05, 2019)