Daily Archives: December 4, 2017

JTI Awarded Top Employer 2018 in Asia Pacific Region

GENEVA, December 4, 2017/PRNewswire/ —Exceptional Employee Offerings Acknowledged for the fourth consecutive year

JTI (Japan Tobacco International) has once again been recognized with the prestigious Top Employer certification in the Asia Pacific region for the fourth consecutive year. Along with the regional award, nine JTI offices and factories in eight countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore and Thailand – also received the national Top Employer certification.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130528/617491 )

“Our continued success as a Top Employer in the region is a recognition of the high standards we set ourselves,” says Mike Griffiths, JTI’s Human Resources Vice President for Asia Pacific. “Investing in our people is the cornerstone of our HR strategy in order to enable our employees to develop a fulfilling career within JTI, and to grow into future leaders. A good example is our recent pan-regional Asia Pacific Management Trainee Programme `Explore` that builds functional expertise and a broad business perspective with multicultural awareness, through rotational assignments across the region.”

David Plink, CEO at the Top Employers Institute, confirms: “Our extensive research concluded that JTI forms part of a select group of employers that advance employee conditions worldwide. Their people are well taken care of. Having reconfirmed their outstanding HR practices again this year in the Asia-Pacific region, they can truly consider themselves at the top of an exclusive group of the world’s best employers.”

The annual international research undertaken by the Top Employers Institute recognises leading employers around the world: those that provide excellent employee conditions, nurture and develop talent throughout all levels of the organization, and which strive to continuously optimize employment practices. JTI’s employee offerings were assessed on the following criteria: Talent Strategy, Workforce Planning, On-boarding, Learning & Development, Performance Management, Leadership Development, Career & Succession Management, Compensation & Benefits, and Culture.

For JTI, the renewed regional Top Employer 2018 certification in Asia Pacific is the latest addition to a list of awards recognizing its HR excellence across the globe: JTI is currently Number One Global Top Employer and holds regional Top Employer certifications in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

About JTI

JTI is a leading international tobacco company with operations in more than 120 countries. It is the global owner of both Winston, the number two cigarette brand in the world, and Camel outside the USA and has the largest share in sales for both brands. Other global brands include Mevius, LD and Natural American Spirit. With its internationally recognised brand Logic, JTI is also a major player in the e-cigarette market and has, since 2011, been present in the heated tobacco category with Ploom. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, JTI employs around 27,000 people and was awarded Global Top Employer for three consecutive years. JTI is a member of the Japan Tobacco Group of Companies. For more information, visit http://www.jti.com.

About the Top Employers Institute

The Top Employers Institute is the global Human Capital Management research and Certification company, identifying and celebrating excellence in HR practices and employee conditions in companies around the world. Organisations which also achieve its International Standard in HR best-practice receive the coveted, and well-deserved, Top Employer Brand Certification: a globally recognised validation of their commitment to HR excellence and advancing employee conditions, and powerful differentiator for business performance. Certified Top Employers are the world’s premium employers. To learn more about the Top Employers Institute and the Top Employers certification visit: http://www.top-employers.com.

Source: JTI

Gemalto Gives Google Cloud Platform Customers Flexible Encryption and Key Management Capabilities

Google customers can use Gemalto’s SafeNet Data Encryption Solutions to bring their own encryption keys to secure their sensitive data on the cloud

Amsterdam, 4 December, 2017 – Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO), the world leader in digital security, today announced it is providing Google Cloud Platform customers with the ability to manage and maintain full control of their encryption keys on Google Cloud Platform. Gemalto’s SafeNet Luna Hardware Security Module (HSM) and SafeNet KeySecure now both fully support Google Cloud’s Customer-Supplied Encryption Key (CSEK) feature, meaning customers can generate, manage and bring their own encryption keys to protect data and workloads in Google Cloud Storage and Compute Engine.

A recent study by 451 Research found a third of organizations currently work with four or more cloud vendors. The ability to control all data encryption and key management operations across all cloud services providers helps companies ensure they have total control of their encrypted data, enabling them to protect their most sensitive information and meet compliance mandates.

“Many cloud service providers are offering variations of flexible key management such as bring-your-own-key (BYOK) and hold-your-own-key (HYOK).This is a big step in helping organizations leverage the growing number of cloud-based applications and services, while maintaining full control of their encryption keys across all of the cloud providers they use,” said Todd Moore, senior vice president of encryption products at Gemalto.

By integrating with Google’s CSEK functionality, companies including those in highly regulated industries can use an on premise SafeNet Luna HSM to generate, manage and retain complete control of keys to secure sensitive data on Google Cloud Platform. Companies also have the choice to decide what level of key ownership and control is desired when migrating operations, workloads and data to Google Cloud Platform. Gemalto’s SafeNet data encryption solutions make it easy to work across multiple clouds by centralizing encryption and key management allowing organizations to:

  • Gain visibility and control to consistently and effectively enforce security controls
  • Simplify monitoring and auditing of encryption and key management operations to demonstrate compliance with internal policies, industry standards like Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) or HIPAA and government mandates like Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Reduce the burden on IT to manage multiple security services across each cloud platform

Product information:

Additional resources:

About Gemalto

Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO) is the global leader in digital security, with 2016 annual revenues of €3.1 billion and customers in over 180 countries. We bring trust to an increasingly connected world.

From secure software to biometrics and encryption, our technologies and services enable businesses and governments to authenticate identities and protect data so they stay safe and enable services in personal devices, connected objects, the cloud and in between.

Gemalto’s solutions are at the heart of modern life, from payment to enterprise security and the internet of things. We authenticate people, transactions and objects, encrypt data and create value for software – enabling our clients to deliver secure digital services for billions of individuals and things.

Our 15,000+ employees operate out of 112 offices, 43 personalization and data centers, and 30 research and software development centers located in 48 countries.

For more information visit www.gemalto.com, or follow @gemalto on Twitter.

Gemalto media contacts:

Tauri Cox
North America
+1 512 257 3916
tauri.cox@gemalto.com
Sophie Dombres
Europe Middle East & Africa
+33 4 42 55 36 57 38
sophie.dombres@gemalto.com
Jaslin Huang
Asia Pacific
+65 6317 3005
jaslin.huang@gemalto.com
Enriqueta Sedano
Latin America
+52 5521221422
enriqueta.sedano@gemalto.com

Attachments:

http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/f40d75c3-11b9-4698-97ce-b2f4d785b062

شركة جيمالتو تتيح لعملاء منصة سحابة جوجل إمكانية التشفير المرن وإدارة المفاتيح

الفرصة متاحة أمام عملاء جوجل لاستخدام حلول تشفير البيانات ““SafeNet من شركة جيمالتو لتأمين بياناتهم الحساسة الموجودة على السحابة

دبي، الإمارات العربية المتحدة – 4 ديسمبر2017 – أعلنت شركة جيمالتو، الشركة الرائدة في مجال الأمن الرقمي (ومسجلة في بورصة يورورنكست تحت الرمز NL0000400653 GTO )، عن أنها تتيح لعملاء منصة جوجل السحابية إمكانية إدارة مفاتيح التشفير على تلك المنصة كما أنها تتيح لهم إمكانية التحكم الكامل فيها، حيث تُستخدم وحدات أمن الأجهزة SafeNet Luna Hardware Security Module (HSM)  وSafeNet KeySecure في الفترة الحالية في دعم خاصية مفتاح التشفير الخاص بالعميل (CSEK)، مما يعني أنه يمكن للعملاء وضع مفاتيح التشفير وإدارتها من أجل حماية البيانات وأحمال العمل الموجودة في منصة غوغل كلاود ستوريج وكوبيوت إنجين.

كشفت دراسة حديثة أجرتها 451 جهة بحث أن ثلث المنظمات تعمل مع أربعة موردين سحابيين أو أكثر. علمًا بأن القدرة على التحكم في جميع عمليات تشفير البيانات وإدارة المفاتيح في جميع الخدمات السحابية تتيح للشركات التحكم في بيناتها المشفرة، مما يمكنها من حماية أكثر معلوماتها حساسية والوفاء بالتزاماتها.

وقد صرح السيد تود موور، النائب الأول لرئيس قسم منتجات التشفير بشركة جيمالتو، قائلًا “يوفر العديد من مقدمي الخدمات السحابية مجموعة متنوعة ومرنة من أساليب إدارة المفاتيح نحو “ضع مفتاحك الخاص (BYOK)” و”أمسك مفتاحك الخاص (HYOK)، مما يمثل خطوة وثابة في ميدان مساعدة المنظمات في الاستفادة من زيادة عدد التطبيقات والخدمات السحابية فضلًا عن التحكم بصورة كاملة في مفاتيح التشفير لدى جميع مقدمي الخدمات السحابية التي تستعين بهم.

هذا ومن خلال الاستعانة بآلية مفتاح التشفير الخاص بالعميل، يمكن للشركات، بما في ذلك تلك التي تزاول نشاطها في قطاعات خاضعة للوائح صارمة، استخدام وحدة أمن الأجهزة “SafeNet Luna” في المبنى، لوضع المفاتيح وإدارتها والاستمرار في التحكم بها بشكل كامل لتأمين البينات الحساسة الموجودة في منصة جوجل السحابية. وبالإضافة إلى ذلك، تتمتع الشركات أيضًا بخيار تحديد المستوى المطلوب من ملكية المفاتيح والتحكم بها عند نقل العمليات وأحمال الأعمال والبيانات على منصة سحابة جوجل. كما تعمل حلول تشفير البينات “SafeNet” الصادرة عن شركة جيمالتو على تسهيل العمل عبر العديد من السحب عن طريق إدخال نظام المركزية على عملية التشفير وإدارة المفاتيح مما يتيح للمنظمات مل يلي:

  • الرؤية والتحكم لمواصلة تعزيز الضوابط الأمنية بشكل فعال
  • تسهيل الإشراف على عمليات التشفير وإدارة المفاتيح لإبراز الامتثال للسياسات الداخلية، والمعايير القطاعية مثل معيار أمن بيانات قطاع بطاقات الدفع (PCI-DSS) أو نظام حماية معلومات المرضى الأمريكي (HIPAA) والأوامر الحكومية مثل لائحة حماية البيانات العامة الأوروبية (GDPR)
  • تخفيف العبء عن إدارات تقنية المعلومات فيما يتعلق بإدارة العديد من الخدمات الأمنية في كل منصة سحابية

معلومات المنتج:

موارد إضافية:

نبذة عن جيمالتو

شركة جيمالتو (المدرجة في بورصة يورونيكست تحت الرمز NL0000400653 GTO) هي الشركة الرائدة عالمياً في مجال الأمن الرقمي،, بعائدات سنوية بلغت 3.1 مليار يورو في عام 2016 وعملاء في أكثر من 180 بلداً. نحن نحقق الثقة في عالم متزايد الترابط. نحن نحقق الثقة في عالم متزايد الترابط.

من البرمجيات الآمنة إلى القياسات البيومترية وعمليات التشفير، تمكّن تقنياتنا وخدماتنا الشركات والحكومات من التحقق من الهويات وحماية البيانات كي تبقى آمنة كما أنها تمكّن الخدمات في الأجهزة الشخصية، والكيانات المرتبطة والسحابة الحاسوبية وما بينها.

تقع حلول جيمالتو في القلب من الحياة العصرية، من عمليات الدفع إلى أمن المؤسسات وإنترنت الأشياء. فنحن نتحقق من هوية الأشخاص، والمعاملات والكيانات، والبيانات المشفرة ونخلق قيمة للبرمجيات – بحيث نمكّن عملاءنا من تقديم خدمات رقمية آمنة لمليارات الأفراد والأشياء.

لدينا أكثر من 15,000 موظف يعملون انطلاقاً من 112 مكتباً، و43 مركزاً للتخصيص والبيانات، و30 مركز أبحاث وبرمجيات في 48 دولة.

للمزيد من المعلومات، قم بزيارة www.gemalto.com، أو تابعنا على تويتر عبر @gemalto.

 

جهات الاتصال الإعلامية لشركة جيمالتو:

توري كوكس
أمريكا الشمالية
3916 257 512 1+
tauri.cox@gemalto.com

صوفي دومبريس
أوروبا والشرق الأوسط وأفريقيا
38 57 36 55 42 4 33+
sophie.dombres@gemalto.com

جاسلين هوانغ
منطقة آسيا والمحيط الهادئ
3005 6317 65+
jaslin.huang@gemalto.com

إنريكيتا سيدانو
أمريكا اللاتينية
5521221422 52+
enriqueta.sedano@gemalto.com

لا يُعتبر نص هذا الإصدار الصحفي المُترجم صيغة رسمية بأي حال من الأحوال. النسخة الموثوقة الوحيدة هي الصادرة بلغتها الأصلية وهي الإنجليزية، وهي التي يُحتكم إليها في حال وجود اختلاف مع الترجمة.

Pakistan PM: ‘Nobody Wants Peace in Afghanistan More Than Pakistan’

KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Monday at the start of talks with visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that Pakistan is committed to the war against terror.

“Nobody wants peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistan,” Abbasi said.

He added that the United States and Pakistan “share the same common objectives.”

Monday’s meeting in Islamabad also included Pakistan’s interior minister, national security adviser and the Inter-Services Intelligence chief.

Mattis did not offer any public comment on Monday’s talks.

Ahead of his visit to Islamabad he said he did not plan to “prod” Pakistan, but expected it to adhere to its promises to combat terrorism. He also expressed hope for a collaborative approach.

“I believe that we (can) work hard on finding common ground and then we work together,” Mattis said.

In October, Mattis warned the United States is willing to work “one more time” with Pakistan before taking “whatever steps are necessary” to address its alleged support for militants.

But on Sunday, Mattis said he is focused on trying to find “more common ground … by listening to one another without being combative.”

The United States has for a decade accused Pakistan of sheltering or having ties to terrorists, such as the Haqqani Network and the Afghan Taliban, which attack NATO coalition forces in neighboring Afghanistan.

Islamabad rejects the accusation, saying Washington is scapegoating Pakistan for its own failures in Afghanistan, where the United States remains in a stalemate after 16 years of war.

Tougher stance

Before Mattis’ visit, other Trump administration officials are taking a harder public stance on Pakistan.

Speaking at a defense forum Saturday, CIA director Mike Pompeo said, “We are going to do everything we can to ensure that safe havens no longer exist,” if Pakistan does not heed the U.S. message on militants.

Since 2004, the CIA has conducted drone strikes – mostly against al-Qaida and Pakistani Taliban targets – in northwest Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan.

The United States is considering expanding those strikes, along with several other measures, according to media reports.

Other options include downgrading Pakistan’s status as a major non-NATO ally or sanctioning individual Pakistani leaders suspected having ties with the Taliban.

But any kind of punitive action wouldn’t take place for at least a few weeks at minimum, predicts Michael Kugelman, a South Asia analyst with the Woodrow Wilson Center.

“I think (the administration) wants to give the Pakistanis a bit more time to see if they’re responding to the various demands the United States made of them when it comes to cracking down on terrorists,” said Kugelman.

One of the likelier U.S. responses, according to Kugelman, is expanding not only the geographic scope of the drone war, but also widening the type of targets the United States goes after.

“I think we could start seeing the U.S. trying to target more Haqqani Network and Afghan Taliban targets,” especially in the sparsely populated Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, he said.

The Trump administration has also threatened cut off aid to Pakistan. Since 2002, the United States has given over $33 billion in assistance to Pakistan. But the aid has already been cut sharply in recent years.

Pakistani leverage?

If ties were to deteriorate, the United States also has much to lose. Pakistan controls U.S. military supply routes to landlocked Afghanistan, and could close them down, as they did in 2011. The United States would also like Pakistan to scale back its nuclear modernization, improve ties with India, and stay engaged in the broader fight against Islamic militants.

But despite the risks, Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, warns Washington appears to be running out of patience.

“For many years we were trying to hold out hope that the Pakistanis would change their mind about Afghanistan and our role there,” he said. “But those kinds of hopes aren’t as prevalent anymore. And on balance, therefore, I think we are closer to using some of those tougher methods.”

Mattis, who is on a regional tour that also took him to Egypt, Jordan, and Kuwait, wouldn’t elaborate on any possible U.S. action. But he says the situation is pressing.

“There’s always an urgency to something when 39 nations plus Afghanistan have their troops in the midst of a long war where casualties are being taken,” he said.

Source: Voice of America

Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar Back Away From Chinese Projects

BEIJING In the short space of just a few weeks, Pakistan, Nepal and Myanmar have canceled or sidelined three major hydroelectricity projects planned by Chinese companies. The rejection of the three projects, worth nearly $20 billion, comes as a serious jolt to China’s ambitious trade-linking project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Pakistan cited tough financing terms imposed by China as its reason for canceling the $14 billion Diamer-Bhasha Dam project.

Nepal’s deputy Prime Minister recently announced a decision to scrap a $2.5 billion contract for a hydroelectricity project, accusing the Chinese company of financial irregularities. And Myanmar, which halted a $3.6 billion Chinese-backed dam three years ago, declared last month that it no longer is interested in big hydro-electric power projects.

The decisions by China’s neighbors could mean a serious loss of image for BRI, which involves plans to build infrastructure across the globe, including in developed countries like the United States and those in Europe.

While there are also diverse local political and economic reasons behind the three decisions, there is a growing realization among poorer countries that Chinese proposals to build massive infrastructure projects come at an extremely high price, analysts said.

Asked about these decisions by Pakistan and Nepal, the Chinese foreign ministry said it was not aware of it. I am not aware of this information, Geng Shuang, foreign ministry spokesman, said at a media briefing. China and Nepal have sound relations and bilateral cooperation covers a wide range of areas.

Against our Interests

According to the local media accounts, Muzammil Hussain, chairman of Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) in Pakistan told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of parliament that the Chinese company involved in the project there had imposed very difficult financing conditions, which included pledging the new dam, as well as an existing dam, as loan security.

Chinese conditions for financing the Diamer-Bhasha Dam were not doable and against our interests, Hussain said.

Himanshu Thakkar, coordinator at the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People, a New Delhi based NGO, said, For Pakistan, the biggest ally has been China. They [Pakistanis] would not take out this project without consulting them [the Chinese].

Indeed, China and Pakistan frequently describe their relationship as all-weather and iron brothers.

As far as Pakistan is concerned, they really want financing for this project, Zorawar Daulet Singh, an analyst at the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi said. Singh said he would not take the Pakistani official’s statement at face value. Islamabad had approached the World Bank and Asian Development Bank for funding but was turned down, he pointed out.

It is the Chinese, which do not want to go ahead with the project in the face of Indian protests, he said. India has been objecting to the Chinese constructing projects in the sensitive Kashmir area, which it claims as its own, because that amounts to backing Islamabad’s view of the Kashmir issue.

They are probably wanting to sort of put this on the backburner for the moment, Singh said adding, I think there is some sort of policy debate within the Beijing establishment on how can they modify feedback to make it somewhat more acceptable to rest of the subcontinent, particularly India, of course.

China even tried to save face for Pakistan he said.

They [Chinese] gave the Pakistanis sort of face-saver, that okay, ‘we let you withdraw this but we actually don’t want to get into this now’, Singh said.

Salvo from the Himalayas

In Nepal, deputy prime minister Kamal Thapa recently took to Twitter to announce, The agreement [with China], marred by irregularities with the Chinese company – Gejuwa Group regarding the construction of Budhi Gandaki hydropower project, has been scrapped in a cabinet meeting as directed by the parliamentary committee.

Thapa said the agreement had been signed with the Chinese company illegally and haphazardly.

Both the awarding and cancellation has resulted in political controversies in Nepal. The cancellation came immediately ahead of an election, which will take another two weeks to complete.

The contract for 1200 MW dam project was awarded to a Chinese company some six months ago by the coalition government comprising [the] Maoist Party and the Nepali Congress, but in a manner that was not clearly transparent, said Yubaraj Ghimire, an analysts of the Nepal political scene.

“There were questions raised about the transparency. You know it was quite a controversial deal. That was six months ago. Then, a parliamentary committee recommended that this deal be scrapped, but nothing happened.”

Talking about the latest decision to scrap the contract, Ghimire said, What has caused controversy now is that this is a election [time] government which is not expected to take major decisions. It has generated debate and criticism.

One of Nepal’s political leaders and a contender for prime ministership has even said he would reverse the decision if he comes to power.

China’s Reasons

Some analysts said there is also some rethinking in Beijing in favor of scrapping projects that offer a poor return on investments. China has come a long way with its BRI plans since it tried to sell projects to neighbors like Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.

It is now looking at a large part of Europe and the Americas as potential markets.

China is also keen on exporting its hydroelectricity related machines and construction services across the globe. But it is taking a different view in the case of projects in neighboring countries which are mired in political conflicts and instead focusing on other markets like Latin America and Africa.

They [Chinese] are looking for markets in Africa, Latin America and South East Asia, those regions where neighboring considerations are not very strong, they are looking for industry and machine [exports], Thakkar said.

Incidentally, it is the same Chinese company, Gezhouba Water and Power (Group) Co Ltd. (CGGC), which won the contracts and was consequently rejected by Pakistan, Nepal and Myanmar.

I am not sure we can blame the company for this. They are more [due to] investment and political considerations, Thakkar said.

The recent project cancellations also show a growing realization among governments that the cost of per unit electricity produced in hydropower projects is a lot more than those coming from other sources of renewable energies like solar and wind power, Thakkar said.

In the case of Myanmar, the country’s Construction Minister told Reuters in an interview last month that big hydropower projects are no longer a priority in tackling the problem of power shortages.

Instead, Construction Minister Win Khaing said Myanmar is looking to LNG and smaller dams as an alternative solution.

Source: Voice of America

Mattis’ Softer Approach Is Latest Effort to Foster Change in Pakistan

President Donald Trump’s policy of pressuring Islamabad to rout terrorists seems to have had little effect, adding to the need for U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis’ to mend badly frayed ties, analysts say.

Mattis met Monday with Pakistan’s prime minister, defense minister and army chief of staff during his brief stop. The repeated theme was to find common ground to foster peace in neighboring Afghanistan to benefit the entire South Asian region.

But the response from Pakistan was little changed: it would benefit most from stability in Afghanistan, it doesn’t harbor terror organizations, and it has sacrificed heavily supporting the U.S. war on terrorism. That leaves the question of whether Pakistan is willing to risk a break in its relationship with Washington and an end to the flow of the billions of dollars in U.S. aid.

I think the time-delaying tactics are still in play, Dr. Ijaz Khattak, a professor at the University of Peshawar’s Department of International Relations, told VOA Deewa. I believe this time these talks will be a bit unusual as some progress will come out, whether for good or bad. I don’t think things can move in ambiguity anymore.

‘Miscreants’ blamed

Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, Pakistan army’s chief of staff, claimed success in Pakistan’s fight against terror and said only miscreants are left.

We have eliminated safe havens from Pakistan’s soil but are prepared to look into the possibility of miscreants exploiting Pakistan’s hospitality to the Afghan refugees to the detriment of our Afghan brothers, an army statement quoted Bajwa as saying after meeting with Mattis.

Bharat Gopalaswamy, director of the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Program, said that while Afghanistan feels a sense of urgency in fighting the resurgent Taliban and Islamic State’s new presence, Pakistan may not feel as serious about the situation because it has its own priorities.

Focus on India

The country has been leaning increasingly toward conservatism and religious intolerance, and the powerful military’s focus has always been on rival India.

Trump’s approach provides India with a stronger role to play in the region, and New Delhi has eased the pressure that Pakistan has exerted on landlocked Afghanistan’s international trade by providing alternative delivery routes.

Gopalaswamy told the VOA Urdu show View 360 that Pakistan’s claims it is fighting extremism have been undercut by the release from house arrest of Islamist leader Hafiz Saeed, who has been accused of masterminding terrorist attacks in India.

Saeed said Sunday that his Jamaat-ud-Dawa group, which has been designated a terrorist group by the U.S., plans to run in next year’s elections.

This is the right time to enter the country’s politics and highlight the Kashmir cause, Saeed told reporters in Lahore.

Mattis’ softer approach in Islamabad contrasts with recent comments by other U.S. officials.

‘Clear demands’

Last week, Gen. John Nicholson, head of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said Islamabad had not carried out the clear demands made by Washington. CIA director Mike Pompeo added Saturday: We are going to do everything we can to ensure that safe havens no longer exist, if Pakistan does not heed the U.S. message on militants.

Since 2004, the CIA has conducted drone strikes � mostly against al-Qaida and Pakistani Taliban targets � in northwest Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan.

The United States is considering expanding those strikes, along with several other measures, according to media reports.

Source: Voice of America