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  • Multiple casualties after bomb goes off on bus outside Karbala

    Security officials say several others wounded after explosive device planted on the bus detonated.

     

     

     

    At least 12 people have been killed and several others wounded in a blast from a bomb planted on a bus near the Iraqi city of Karbala, south of Baghdad, two local police officers said.

    Two police spokesmen at the blast site told Reuters News Agency that an explosive device planted on the bus detonated at a northern entrance to the city, setting fire to the vehicle. 

    Quoting local officials, the Associated Press said five passengers were wounded in the explosion, which occured as the bus was passing through an Iraqi army checkpoint between Karbala and the town of al-Hilla.

    One official told The Associated Press that before the blast, a passenger exited the minibus but left a bag containing explosives under one of the seats.

    The device was then detonated remotely at the checkpoint.

    There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

    The officials said all of the dead were civilians killed in the explosion and subsequent fire in the bus

    The bombing took place during a holy period marked by Shias between two important religious events, Ashoura and Arbaeen.

    Arbaee is the annual commemoration marking the end of the mourning period for the martyrdom of Hussein, the Prophet Mohammed's grandson.

    Iraqis and Shia pilgrims from around the world visit Karbala, some 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Baghdad, during this time of year.

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  • PM leaves for New York to attend UNGA session

     

    Prime Minister Imran Khan left Saudi Arabia on Friday for New York to attend the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, during which he is slated to meet several heads of states and governments, and attend various summits.

    The prime minister will lead the Pakistan delegation during the high-level week of the session from September 21 to 27, the Foreign Office said in a statement.

    He will deliver his address to the UNGA on September 27. Khan will share Pakistan’s perspective on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, its current human rights situation and related dimensions.

     

     

     

    Maleeha Lodhi@LodhiMaleeha
     
     

    Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives Saturday morning on Mission Kashmir to a packed program at He will be the voice of the Kashmiri people at the UN. In addition to his GA address he will also speak at Asia Society &Council on Foreign Relations

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    Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN, took to Twitter to announce that PM Khan will be coming to New York Saturday morning on “Mission Kashmir”. She said the UNGA will be a packed programme and that the premier will also speak on foreign relations at the Asia Society & Council.

    The premier will avail the opportunity to articulate Pakistan’s stance on some key contemporary issues, the statement read. Overall, the centrality of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute would be emphasised through myriad engagements.

    New Delhi controversially revoked on August 5 the autonomous status of the part of Jammu and Kashmir it controls. Hours before its move, it curtailed movement and shut down phones and the internet, bringing hundreds of thousands of troops in the occupied Himalayan territory.

    The two nuclear-armed neighbours have since been locked into a war of words, with tensions heightening at the border. Split between India and Pakistan since 1947, Kashmir has been the spark for two major wars and countless clashes between the two arch-rivals.

    The Pakistan premier will hold several bilateral meetings with his counterparts from various regions and participate in high-level UN summits on climate change, sustainable development, universal health coverage and financing for development.

    Khan will also attend and speak at high-level side events co-hosted by Pakistan and Turkey on countering hate speech, and on environmental protection and poverty alleviation, co-hosted by Malaysia and Pakistan. A trilateral summit meeting of Pakistan, Malaysia and Turkey will also be held on the sidelines.

    Apart from these engagements, the statement read further, the prime minister will interact with a cross-section of international media outlets including meetings with editorial boards. He is also expected to speak at leading think-tanks and hold meetings with heads of major international human rights organisations during the visit.

    Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will also attend the UNGA session. He will interact with his counterparts from various countries and address important ministerial meetings, especially the OIC Contact Group on Jammu & Kashmir.

    Earlier, PM Khan left Saudi Arabia upon completion of a two-day tour of the kingdom. During his visit, Khan called on Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and apprised him of the current situation in India-administered Kashmir, the ongoing lockdown and communication blackout and a humanitarian crisis originating from these restrictions.

    The two figures also discussed bilateral relations and affairs of mutual interest at the meeting held Thursday.

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  • ٹیکساس عدالت، کشمیریوں نے مودی کی طلبی کرادی

     

    مقبوضہ وادی میں انسانی حقوق کی خلاف ورزیوں پر امریکا کی عدالت نے بھارتی وزیراعظم اور وزیر داخلہ کو طلب کرلیا۔

     

    ذرائع ابلاغ سے جاری خبروں کے مطابق امریکی ریاست ٹیکساس کی عدالت میں کشمیری رہنماؤں کی جانب سے اپیل دائر کی گئی تھیں۔ درخواست میں مؤقف اختیار کیا گیا ہے کہ بھارتی قابض فوج کی جانب سے وادی میں لوگوں کو زبردستی گرفتار کرکے غائب کیا جا رہا ہے، 46 روز سے نافذ کرفیو کے باعث گھروں میں دوائیں اور کھانے پینے کی اشیا ختم ہوگئی ہیں۔

    واضح رہے کہ 22 ستمبر کو امریکی شہر ہیوسٹن میں بھارتی وزیراعظم نریندر مودی کے اعزاز میں بڑی تقریب کا انعقاد کیا گیا ہے، کشمیری رہنماؤں کی جانب سے دائر درخواست 72 صفحات پر مشتمل ہے، جس میں امیت شاہ اور بھارتی فوج کے سربراہ لیفٹننٹ جنرل کنول جیت سنگھ کو بھی طلبی کے سمن جاری کیے گئے ہیں۔

    یہ مقدمہ امریکا میں ایک قانون کے تحت درج کیا گیا ہے جس کے مطابق دنیا میں امریکی شہری کے کسی رشتہ دار پر کہیں بھی تشدد کیا جائے تو امریکی شہری اس قانون کے تحت کارروائی کرسکتا ہے۔ یہ مقدمہ ایک کشمیری مرد اور خاتون کی طرف سے کیا گیا ہے، جن کے نام خفیہ رکھے گئے ہیں۔

    انہوں نے مؤقف اختیار کیا ہے کہ ہمارے اہل خانہ کو مقبوضہ کشمیر میں ٹارچر کیا گیا ہے، والد کو اغوا کیا گیا اور وہ کرفیو کے نافذ ہونے کے دن سے غائب ہیں، جب کہ دوسری درخواست میں کہا گیا کہ دوا نہ ملنے کے باعث رشتہ دار کا انتقال ہوگیا۔ بتایا گیا ہے کہ اس سمن پر کوئی گرفتاری نہیں ہوسکتی تاہم مقدمہ چل سکتا ہے۔ مدعیوں نے مقبوضہ کشمیر میں بھارت کی جانب سے انسانی حقوق کی خلاف ورزیوں کے بارے میں عدالت کو تفصیل سے آگاہ کیا۔

    این آر جی اسٹیڈیم میں ہونے والی اس تقریب میں 50، ہزار افراد کی آمد متوقع ہے، جب کہ 300 ملین افراد براہ راست اس تقریب کو دیکھ سکیں گے۔

     

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  • PM Imran Khan and Bushra Maneka perform Umrah together

     

    Prime Minister Imran Khan and his delegation performed Umrah in Makkah on Thursday. He is in Saudi Arabia on a two-day official visit. 

    The first lady also accompanied him. The prime minister also had the opportunity to enter the Holy Kaabah as the door was opened especially for him. They prayed for the people of Kashmir inside the Kaabah.

     

    The prime minister and his delegation also visited Madina on Friday to pay respect at Roza-e-Rasool (pbuh).

    On Thursday, he met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and informed him about the current situation in Indian-Administered Kashmir.

    Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Adviser Hafeez Sheikh, Special Assistant for Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Bukhari and other officials are accompanying the PM on his visit.

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  • US issues visas for Iran's Rouhani, Zarif to travel to UNGA

    Zarif says Pompeo tried to 'dodge the US obligation to issue visas for UN delegates'.

     

    Rouhani, right, listens Zarif prior to a meeting in Tehran, Iran [File: Vahid Salemi/AP Photo]

     

     

    The United States has issued visas allowing Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to travel to New York for the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations next week, Iran's UN mission said on Thursday.

    Iran's foreign minister spokesman said in a tweet that Zarif was set to leave for New York on Friday.

    Zarif said earlier on Thursday that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was trying to delay issuing visas for the Iranian delegation to the upcoming United Nations General Assembly.

    "@SecPompeo tries to dodge US obligation to issue visas for UN delegates by resorting to self-arrogated designation," Zarif tweeted. 

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had declined to comment specifically on the case on Wednesday, saying "We don't talk about granting or absence of granting of visas."

    "If you're connected to a foreign terrorist organisation, I don't know," he added. "Seems to me it would be a reason to think about whether they have to be permitted to attend a meeting which is about peace."

    As the host government, the US generally is obliged to issue visas to diplomats who serve at UN headquarters.

    'We won't blink to defend our territory'

    The reports came as the US and Saudi Arabia considered its response to last weekend's attacks on Saudi oil facilities. 

    Tehran has repeatedly rejected allegations it was behind the attacks, which hit the world's biggest crude processing facility and initially knocked out half of the Saudi production

    Zarif, speaking to CNN on Thursday, warned that any attacks on Iran will result in an "all-out war". 

    "We don't want war, we don't want to engage in a military confrontation," Zarif said. "But we won't blink to defend our territory."  

     

    Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the US alleged the attack involved cruise missiles from Iran and amounts to "an act of war".

    Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday that Iran "unquestionably sponsored" the attacks and the weapons used were Iranian-made - but did not directly blame its regional rival.

    After meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) on Thursday, Pompeo tweeted that the US backs the kingdom's "right to defend itself" and that "the Iranian regime's threatening behavior will not be tolerated". 

    Trump 'not looking' to meet Rouhani

    The new violence has led to fears that further action on any side could rapidly escalate a confrontation that has been raging just below the surface in the wider region in recent months. 

     

    Last month, Trump called off a military attack on Iran at the last minute after Tehran downed an unmanned US military drone. Iran maintains the drone was in Iranian airspace. The US says it was in international territory.

    Those tensions have been boiling ever since Trump pulled the US out of Iran's 2015 agreement with world powers that curtailed Iranian nuclear activities and the US reimposed sanctions that sent Iran's economy into freefall.

    Iran has ruled out talks with Washington unless it returns to the pact.

    Trump said earlier this week that he is not looking to meet Rouhani during a UN event in New York.

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