Saudi Foreign Minister Leads Delegation to Pakistan for Bilateral Talks

Islamabad, A high-level delegation from Saudi Arabia, headed by Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, is set to visit Pakistan on April 15 and 16, 2024. The delegation, comprising key Saudi ministers and officials, aims to bolster economic cooperation between the two nations.

According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the visit is a direct follow-up to the recent discussions between Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif of Pakistan and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia in Makkah Al Mukarramah. The meetings are planned with Pakistan’s top leadership including the President, the Prime Minister, and the Foreign Minister, as well as other senior officials and ministers, to discuss avenues for enhanced bilateral economic relations.

The delegation includes the Saudi Minister of Water and Agriculture, Eng Abdul Rahman Abdul Mohsen Al-Fadley; Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Bandar Ibrahim AlKhorayef; Assistant Minister of Investment, Ibrahim Yousef i AlMubarak; and the Head of the Saudi Special Committee, Mohammad Mazyed Al Towaijri, along with senior officials from the Saudi Ministry of Energy and the Public Investment Fund. Their discussions are expected to focus on advancing mutually beneficial economic partnerships and reinforcing the economic ties between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Iltija Mufti Highlights Lok Sabha Elections as a Critical Voice for Kashmiris

Srinagar, Iltija Mufti, Media Advisor to the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and President of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mehbooba Mufti, emphasized that the upcoming Lok Sabha elections are a vital opportunity for the people of the region to express their pent-up sentiments and emotions.

According to Kashmir Media Service, speaking at a party event in Gopalpora, Islamabad district, Iltija Mufti expressed concerns over the suppression of voices in Jammu and Kashmir, which she likened to an “open-air jail.” She noted that the forthcoming elections are particularly significant as they are the first substantial electoral exercise in five years, the only other being the District Development Council (DDC) elections.

Iltija also praised her mother, Mehbooba Mufti, as the sole politician in the region who has consistently voiced her opinions, despite facing repercussions. This statement underscores the charged atmosphere surrounding the electoral process in a region marked by prolonged political and security challenges.

Pakistan Expresses Alarm Over Escalating Middle East Tensions

Islamabad, Pakistan has expressed significant concern over the recent escalations in the Middle East, emphasizing the urgency of international intervention to stabilize the region and restore peace.

According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan has been vocal about the need for collective international efforts to prevent the expansion of hostilities and to establish a ceasefire in Gaza. The concern has intensified with the recent attack on the Iranian consular office in Syria on April 2, 2024, which Pakistan views as a major escalation in an already tense region. The latest incidents further highlight the dire consequences of diplomatic failures and the critical role of the UN Security Council in maintaining international peace and security.

Pakistan is urging all parties involved to exercise maximum restraint and to engage in de-escalation efforts to prevent further deterioration of the situation, which it sees as crucial for regional and global stability.

Escalating Tensions in West Asia Spark Fear Among Kashmiri Students in Iran

Srinagar, As tensions escalate in West Asia, a travel advisory issued by New Delhi for Indian nationals to avoid Iran and Israel has heightened anxieties among hundreds of Kashmiri students currently enrolled in Iranian universities.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the advisory has left these students in a state of uncertainty, with some considering evacuation due to safety concerns. One student from Imam Khomeini University in Qazvin shared her fears of an impending war between Middle Eastern rivals, noting her roommate’s decision to relocate to Lebanon, which has further fueled anxieties among their peers.

These students, already feeling vulnerable far from home, face dilemmas about whether to stay in Iran or attempt to return to India. The emotional toll is palpable, with families back home deeply worried about their well-being. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs required those choosing to travel to Iran despite the advisory to sign a document acknowledging they were doing so at their own risk, adding to the stress and uncertainty.

Parents, like Shakil Ahmad, whose daughter studies in Iran, recall the hardships faced by Kashmiri students in Ukraine during the onset of war there, fearing a similar situation could unfold if conflict escalates and travel becomes restricted. However, Ahmad also expressed confidence in Iran’s ability to manage crises, highlighting a contrasting sense of stability within the country despite the geopolitical tensions surrounding it.

Islamabad Youtuber Adil Raja Loses Defamation Case in UK Court

Islamabad, Major Retired Adil Raja, a well-known Youtuber, has been defeated in a defamation lawsuit in a British court, resulting in significant financial penalties.

According to Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the UK High Court imposed a fine of ten thousand pounds on Raja following a series of legal challenges he presented. The court’s decisions came after Raja attempted to delay the defamation trial brought against him by Brigadier Retired Rashid Naseer, which the judge dismissed. Judge Richard Spearman found that Raja’s social media publications on platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and X contained content that was “seriously defamatory” of Naseer.

The court’s ruling specified that Raja must pay 5,000 pounds as a penalty for his unsuccessful attempt to stay the defamation proceedings and an additional 5,000 pounds for failing in his security for costs application. The total amount ordered reflects the court’s stance on the misuse of social media to spread defamatory content. Raja is required to settle the payments by the upcoming Wednesday.

Road Accident in Doda Claims Six Lives, Including a Child

Srinagar, A devastating road accident in the Doda district of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir resulted in the deaths of six individuals, including a 4-year-old girl and a woman, with four others injured on Saturday.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the accident occurred in the Khanpur-Phagoo area as a vehicle traveling from Thathri to Karhawa Phagsoo tragically met with an accident. The deceased were identified as Mukhtiyar Ahmed, a 4-year-old girl, Riyaz Ahmed, Ireena Begum, Muhammad Rafi, and 8-year-old Noorain Fatima. The injured, including Muhammad Amir, a 10-year-old girl, an 8-year-old girl, Sufiyan Sheikh, and Saima Begum, were transferred to the Government Medical College in Doda for specialized treatment.

This incident highlights the ongoing safety issues in the Doda district, where poor road conditions and reckless driving frequently lead to fatal accidents. In a separate incident in the region, a 63-year-old woman tourist from Gujarat, India, died of cardiac arrest in Pahalgam, South Kashmir’s Islamabad district.

Additionally, a collision on the Batote-Kishtwar Highway resulted in the deaths of twenty sheep and goats and injuries to fifteen others, owned by a nomad family. Following this accident, the family and other protestors blocked the highway, demanding compensation and stringent action against the driver responsible for the crash.

Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal to Receive Prestigious APO Award in Kuala Lumpur

Islamabad, Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, Ahsan Iqbal, has been honored with the Asian Productivity Organization’s Meritorious and Distinguished Award for his contributions to productivity improvement across the Asia-Pacific region.

According to Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the award will be formally presented to Minister Iqbal at the APO Governing Body meeting scheduled to take place in Kuala Lumpur on the 28th of next month. The accolade recognizes individuals who have made significant advancements in productivity within their respective fields. This recognition marks a significant honor for Pakistan and highlights Minister Iqbal’s extensive efforts in enhancing productivity and development initiatives within the country.

Minister Iqbal, often referred to as Mr. CPEC for his role in initiating and promoting the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, has a long history of impactful projects under his leadership. His tenure has seen the launch of major infrastructure projects like the ML Railway and Karachi Circular Railway, as well as developments in electricity, water, and healthcare facilities in Gwadar. His strategic vision has also introduced frameworks aimed at boosting economic corridors and excellence in various sectors of national importance.