Category Archives: Business & Finance

Uruguay beat Russia by 3-0

In the FIFA World Cup 2018 at Volgograd Arena, Russia, Uruguay beat Russia by 3-0 while Saudi Arabia beat Egypt by 2-1.

Russia had scored eight goals in sweeping victories over Saudi Arabia and Egypt and were already guaranteed to progress, but they went behind in their final group match after only 10 minutes when Luis Suarez drilled in a clever low free-kick.

Source: Radio Pakistan


DUSHANBE, Tajikistan, Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain Wednesday highlighted the importance of water in human life and called upon the international community to join hands in striving to end poverty, provision of quality healthcare and sustainable development across the globe.

“I invite all nations of the world to put all racial, ethnic, geographic and political reservations aside and to work hand in hand for the collective good of humanity,” Associated Press of Pakistan reported him saying at the inaugural session of high level international conference on the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development” 2018-28 being held in the Tajikistan capital from June 20 to 21.

Besides President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan, the opening session was also addressed by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow of Turkmenistan, Chief Executive of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah and other heads of delegations.

President Mamnoon said from food and energy security to human and environmental health, water was certainly at the core of sustainable development, nationally, regionally and globally.

Water resources and the range of services they provide, underpin poverty eradication, economic growth and environmental sustainability, he said adding effective and efficient management of water resources, therefore, was key for inclusive and sustainable growth.

It is critical for agriculture, energy and industrial sectors, which are the drivers of growth and economy, the President added.

He said water was central to improvements in social well-being and inclusive growth, affecting billions of people.

“It is this recognition that led to the adoption of International Decade for Action on Water by the General Assembly which promotes greater focus on the sustainable development and integrated management of water resources,” he added.

The President said that the World Economic Forum identified water crises as the third most impactful global risk in the 2016 and 2017 Global Risks Reports.

Water related challenges are spread across the globe and do not recognise geographic borders. Increased risks of flooding and droughts due to climatic and other impacts, extreme weather events and water-related disasters have aggravated the situation, posing existential questions, he added.

The President said comprehensive, concrete efforts based on clear plans need to be undertaken to address the situation.

This includes provision of corresponding financial resources and international cooperation, failing which the situation would become even more critical, undermine the sustainable development gains achieved overtime; retard economic growth and push people back to poverty, he added.

Melting glaciers and climatic and environmental changes have further complicated the situation.

The President, however, added that Pakistan was determined to address this challenge and had made steady progress in improving access to safe drinking water during the Millennium |Development Goal (MDG) period, while taking various measures towards inclusive growth through water security, value addition, research, modernisation and best practices of sustainable water management.


Trump says N Korea no longer a nuclear threat

North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat, nor is it the biggest and most dangerous problem for the United States, President Donald Trump said on Wednesday on his return from a summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The summit was the first between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader and followed a flurry of North Korean nuclear and missile tests and angry exchanges between Trump and Kim last year that fueled fears of war.

Everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office, Trump said on Twitter.

There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!

On Tuesday, Trump told a news conference after the summit that he would like to lift sanctions against the North but that this would not happen immediately.

North Korean state media lauded the summit as a resounding success, saying Trump expressed his intention to halt U.S.-South Korea military exercises, offer security guarantees to the North and lift sanctions against it as relations improve.

Kim and Trump invited each other to their respective countries and both leaders gladly accepted, the North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

Kim Jong Un and Trump had the shared recognition to the effect that it is important to abide by the principle of step-by-step and simultaneous action in achieving peace, stability and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, KCNA said. (Reuters)

China hopes that all parties could grasp moment of positive changes on the Korean peninsula

Speaking in a daily news briefing in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said that his country hopes that all parties could grasp the moment of positive changes on the Korean peninsula to take constructive steps towards a political resolution and promoting denuclearization.

Meanwhile ,Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow that the US-North Korean has helped reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

He said it would have been wrong to have expected that all of the issues surrounding North Korea’s missile and nuclear program could have been solved in an hour.

He said we still need to analyze the results of the meeting but the fact that it took place can only be welcomed.

Source: Radio Pakistan

Can Afghan Armistice Open Door for Peace Talks?

Hopes for direct peace talks are high in Afghanistan after the Taliban agreed to a unilateral cease-fire from the Afghan government.

A former high-ranking Taliban official said the temporary peace deal could be extended and efforts for direct peace talks could be made.

“It is even possible the talks to be held with Americans, Afghanistan [the Afghan government] and Taliban. It is much easier than shed blood in the battlefield, kill and spread hatred,” Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, Taliban’s former ambassador to Pakistan, told VOA.

“The people of Afghanistan should take advantage of the opportunity and talk to both sides to extend the cease-fire for three months, it is our and people’s wish,” he added.

In a televised address Thursday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced the unilateral weeklong cease-fire with the Taliban, from June 12-20.

On Saturday, Afghan Taliban released a statement agreeing to three days of a cease-fire, from June 15-18.

Although the conditions and the length of the cease-fire by both sides differ, the hopes are high for advancement toward a lasting peace in the country.

Peace council

The Afghan High Peace Council, the body tasked with facilitating peace talks with Taliban insurgents, expressed optimism about the new developments.

“We are hopeful that this historical move ensues direct, Afghan-owned and -led peace talks,” Sayed Ehsan Taheri, spokesperson for the council, told VOA.

The Afghan government, which took the lead and offered unconditional peace talks and a cease-fire with the Taliban, is hoping for more from the deal.

“We welcome the Taliban response and [are] looking forward to seeing it turned into opportunities for lasting peace in Afghanistan,” Shah Hussain Murtazawi, a spokesperson for Afghan President Ghani, told VOA.

The Taliban, which announced their cease-fire after the Afghan government, would not say if it was a direct response to the Afghan government’s action.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid in an interview with a local Afghan Radio station, Spogmai Radio, said this is not the first time the group called a pause in fighting.

“We have been stopping fighting during the Eid days, but we would not announce it publicly due to security reasons,” Mujahid said.

The first-ever cease-fire by Taliban can be considered “exceptional,” experts argue.

“Maybe Taliban stopped fighting during the Eid days in the past, however, this time around, the cease-fire is exceptional. We are very hopeful that warring parties use this period to extend the cease-fire,” Khalil Roman, a Kabul-based political expert, told VOA.

In the 17 years the war has been going on, this is the first time Afghans have officially experienced an armistice between the Afghan government and Taliban.

Ahmad Jawad Rahimi, a California-based Afghan analyst, is giving the credit of the cease-fire to what he calls “a systemic change and a very strategic action by the Afghan leaders.”

“This absolutely can lead to a longer term for peace and it also opens the doors for negotiations and talks between the Afghan and Taliban leaders. However, for this to work, we have to have national and international support,” Rahimi said. “I am positive that Afghan-led peace process will lead to a very successful and peaceful future of the Afghan people, which we have been waiting for for decades.”

International support

Today in China, members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, including Russia, China, India and Pakistan, unanimously announced their support for the Afghan peace process.

The members of the organization vowed to support the Afghan government and work to bring peace and stability to the war-torn country.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg voiced his support for the Afghan cease-fire in a tweet Saturday.

In a written statement, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) welcomed news of the joint cease-fire.

“The United Nations maintains that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, and welcomes these cease-fires as positive developments toward reducing the violence in Afghanistan and ending the war,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA.

No military offense

The Afghan government will stop all offensives against Taliban from June 12-20.

“We will not resort to any kind of firefight against Taliban from 27 of Ramadan until the fifth day of Eid. But our operations will normally be continued against Islamic State and al-Qaida,” General Mohammad Radmanish, spokesperson for the Afghan defense minister, told VOA.

Taliban insurgents announced only three days of a cease-fire, promising not to launch attacks against the Afghan government during that time. Their statement, however, said foreign occupiers are excluded.

U.S. General John Nicholson, commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and NATO-led Resolute Support mission, said the coalition forces will also honor the cease-fire.

“We will adhere to the wishes of Afghanistan for the country to enjoy a peaceful end to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and support the search for an end to the conflict,” Nicholson said.

The NATO-led mission also said the cease-fire would not include counterterrorism efforts against Islamic State-Khorasan, al-Qaida and other regional and other international terrorist groups.

Source: Voice of America

World peace at risk as conflicts knocking at doors of Europe: Masood

AJK President Sardar Masood Khan has stressed the need to empower United Nations to play its role for the maintenance of international peace and security. He made these remarks while chairing the second session of the International Peace Studies Conference on Peace, Development and Governance at Vienna today.

He said that world peace is at risk as conflicts are no longer confined to Africa, Middle East, Latin America, South Asia, but are knocking at the doors of Europe.

Sardar Masood Khan said , there is a risk of a large-scale war that should be averted as local conflicts can ignite regional and global conflicts.

He said major powers, because of their political clout should not monopolize decision making on chronic conflicts like Jammu and Kashmir.

He said that the United Nations, in accordance with its mandate, should be allowed and encouraged to seek democratic solutions to disputes and let the people of Kashmir exercise their right to self-determination.

Source: Radio Pakistan

FMs of Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia to discuss Libyan crisis in Algiers today

Algiers (UNA-OIC) � Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel will host Monday Egyptian and Tunisian counterparts Sameh Shoukry and Khemaies Jhinaoui in a tripartite mechanism meeting to discuss developments in Libya.

The Algerian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that the meeting comes as part of the continued consultation between the three countries on the current situation in Libya. It added that the three ministers will discuss latest developments in Libya, especially at the political and security levels, as well as ways to strengthen the efforts of their countries to contribute to accelerating the process of resolving the Libyan crisis through dialogue and reconciliation.

It is noteworthy that Egypt has hosted several meetings of Libya’s rival factions to amend the Libyan Political Agreement, signed in Skhirat, Morocco, in December 2015, aimed at ending the conflict in the North African country.

The latest round of negotiation was held in Cairo on 23 March 2018, to discuss unifying Libyan army. The meeting concluded with the participating parties confirming their keenness to move forward to unify the military whose top priority is to maintain Libya’s national security and peace.

Source: International Islamic News Agency