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TTP militants along border number 7,000 to 10,000: Pakistan minister

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(Last Updated On: December 30, 2022)

Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has said that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militant group has between 7,000 to 10,000 fighters along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area.

In an interview with Dawn News, Sanaullah also said that the militants are “accompanied by 25,000 members of their families”.

His comments come amid an uptick in attacks in Pakistan by the TTP including the recent suicide bombing in Islamabad – the first since 2014.

The TTP increased attacks in late November, when they called off a months-long cease-fire with the Pakistan government.

“The biggest reason for this is the failure of (the) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and Counter Terrorism Department (…) It is their job to stop it,” the interior minister said, blaming the provincial government led by ousted prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

He said that Pakistan had its Army for the protection of the borders, adding that if the provincial government cannot handle the situation, it can request the federal government.

“The Army will eliminate all such elements of terrorism.”

Agreeing with the idea of an all-party conference or a national security meeting on the emerging threat of terrorism, the minister said such huddles must take place but stressed that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government first needed to sit with the federal government and talk.

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Afghan national arrested over death of three women in Austria

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(Last Updated On: February 25, 2024)

Austrian police have arrested a 27-year-old Afghan national suspected of killing three women in a brothel in the capital, Vienna, on Friday.

BBC News reported that the victims were stabbed to death, and the suspect was found hiding near the brothel with a knife in his hand.

The motive for the killings is currently unclear but the man has been questioned.

Another woman and her daughter were killed in an unrelated incident in Vienna in a 24-hour period. Investigators believe the girl’s father was responsible.

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Acting FM Muttaqi leaves for Turkmenistan

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(Last Updated On: February 25, 2024)

Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Amir Khan Muttaqi has left for Turkmenistan for talks with officials of the neighboring country, it was announced Sunday.

Hafiz Zia Ahmad, Deputy Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on his X that Muttaqi, leading a delegation, traveled to Turkmenistan at the invitation of Rashid Murdov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, to discuss bilateral issues.

The delegation includes also officials of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, Railway Authority and Da Afghanistan Brehshna Sherkat.

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China regrets UN Doha meeting’s failure to have dialogue with IEA

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(Last Updated On: February 24, 2024)

China’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Yue Xiaoyong, on Saturday regretted that the United Nations’ meeting in Doha on Afghanistan earlier this week failed to have dialogue with the Islamic Emirate.

Yue said on X that the meeting was useful for exchange of views and it made a call for more pragmatic engagement and dialogue with Afghanistan.

“Pity is Doha Afghanistan meeting again failed to have dialogu with Afghan interim government or DFA (IEA) as China and regional countries have been calling,” Yue said.

The envoy said that China called more humanitarian assistance, moderate governance, and women and girls’ education.

China also called on US take major responsibility for Afghanistan’s reconstruction, unfreeze Afghanistan’s overseas assets and lift unilateral sanctions.

China also stressed that it is ready to work harder with UN and regional partners especially through Afghanistan’s nonboring countries foreign ministerial meeting and other platforms to enhance engagement with Afghanistan to help for its peace, stability, reconstruction and common prosperity.

The UN had extended an invitation for IEA officials to participate, following their exclusion from the first meeting in May.

However, the Kabul government said they would not participate in the talks unless they could be the sole representative of Afghanistan at the meetings — to the exclusion of civil society groups.

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