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  1. geo_embedgallery ANGOOR ADDA: Pakistan's military took the rare step of flying international media to the border with Afghanistan Wednesday to showcase its efforts to harden the porous, militancy-wracked frontier: a chain-link fence shrouded in barbed wire. The roughly 10-foot tall fence ? which Pakistan announced it had begun building in March ? stretches through parts of the rugged tribal districts of North and South Waziristan along the Afghan border. Over recent decades militants from the Afghan Taliban, al-Qaeda, and other groups have operated with impunity in the region, crossing the colonial-era frontier at will. A top Pakistani officer in South Waziristan told foreign media at Angoor Adda's Hamza Fort that the fence was an "epoch shift" in control of the border. To date, only 43 kilometres of the border have been separated by the fence, but the officer said the entire length would be covered by the end of next year. "There'll not be an inch of the international border that shall not remain under observation by December of (20)18," said the officer, who the military requested not be named. Trump backs off Afghan withdrawal, slams Pakistan over ?terrorist safe havens? Trump warns vital aid could be cut if Pakistan does not stop "By the time we are done, Inshallah (God willing), we'll be very sure of one thing, that nobody can cross this place." Pakistani soldiers at the forts spaced along the frontier scanned the rolling, bush-covered hills on the other side. Inside the forts, more troops monitored CCTV cameras trained on the fence, illuminated by solar power at night. The military also took reporters by helicopter to Kitton Orchard Fort near Ghulam Khan in North Waziristan, more than 200 kilometres away. Pakistan and Afghanistan have long accused one another of offering safe havens in the border region, from where militants could launch devastating cross-frontier attacks. In August, US President Donald Trump lambasted Islamabad for harbouring "agents of chaos" on its soil. Washington has for years accused Pakistan of allowing Afghan Taliban fighters to regroup inside its borders and target NATO and Afghan troops inside Afghanistan. Islamabad has repeatedly denied the accusations and claimed the US has ignored the price it has paid in thousands of lives as it grapples with militancy. Fencing Problems: Torkham border remains closed for third day LANDIKOTAL: The Torkham border between Pakistan and Afghanistan remained closed for the third consecutive day on Thursday after talks between Pakistani and Afghan authorities failed to reduce... Kabul, meanwhile, has denounced the fence, which threatens to upset the daily lives of communities who have traditionally paid little mind to the border. Afghanistan has refused to recognise the Durand Line ? a 2,400-kilometre frontier drawn by the British in 1896 ? as it splits the Pashtun ethnic group between the nations. Some villages straddle the frontier, with mosques and houses with one door in Pakistan and another in Afghanistan. Residents there now face stricter controls and are obliged to use official crossing points, which are subject to delays and frequent closures, including one that was lifted last week after a full month. The media visit to the fence came after a US drone targeted a compound along the border used by Taliban-allied Haqqani fighters late Monday, killing over two dozen militants. The barrage was initially reported to have struck inside Pakistan but this was later refuted by Islamabad, highlighting the opaque nature of where the border exactly lies.
  2. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday the United States holds Myanmar´s military leadership "accountable" for the Rohingya refugee crisis, drawing a distinction with Aung San Suu Kyi´s civilian government. Photo: AFP file WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday the United States holds Myanmar´s military leadership "accountable" for the Rohingya refugee crisis, drawing a distinction with Aung San Suu Kyi´s civilian government. Myanmar´s recent return to elected rule has given it a hybrid government in which the military still has wide powers in the security domain and in Rakhine state, where the United Nations has reported ethnic cleansing. "We´re extraordinarily concerned by what is happening with Rohingya in Burma," Tillerson said. "I´ve been in contact with Aung San Suu Kyi the leader of the civilian part of the government, as you know this is a power-sharing government. "We really hold the military leadership accountable for what´s happening," he said, warning the world won´t stand and "be witness to the atrocities that have been reported." In the last seven weeks, more than half a million Rohingya have fled Rakhine and crossed into Bangladesh. Their stories have shocked the world globe, with accounts of Myanmar soldiers and Buddhist mobs murdering and raping civilians before torching their villages to the ground. The western region descended into chaos when Rohingya militants attacked Myanmar police posts on August 25, triggering the brutal military crackdown. Tillerson said that Washington understands that Myanmar is facing "serious rebel terrorist elements" in Rakhine, but warned the military must be disciplined and "restrained." And he said Myanmar must grant fuller access to aid agencies to aid civilians and to allow the world "a fuller picture of what is going on." "Someone is going to be held to account for that and it´s up to the military leadership of Burma to decide what role do they want to play in the future of Burma," he said. "This is a real test for this power-sharing government."
  3. A screengrab of a promotional video shared by ISPR The Pakistan Army has organised a cross-country motor rally from October 21 to commemorate the country's 70th year of independence. According to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the army's media wing, the "Pakistan Motor Rally? will be held from October 21-31. The rally will involve more than 300 jeeps, 500 bikers and 150 vintage vehicles drawn from 23 motor clubs from across the country. Originating from Khunjrab, at the country's northern-most point, passing through Gilgit, Islamabad, South Waziristan, Quetta and Karachi, the rally will culminate at Gwadar after covering more than 3,000 kilometres. "The routes and areas selected for the rally are relatively less visible, developed with extraordinary efforts and serve as seeds of prosperity for Pakistan," the ISPR statement reads. The rally aims to promote adventure sports, showcase the tourism potential, cultural heritage and sports talent of Pakistan, network piecemeal and scant clubs dealing with the motorsports and encourage vintage preservation in Pakistan, according to the army.
  4. [embed_video1 url= style=center] LAHORE: Federal Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique said that despite many shortcomings Pakistan still has a functioning, strong judiciary and its army is among the best in the world. Speaking to a ceremony here, Rafique said that that the condition of the country is not as bad is being painted all over the world. ?Third world countries don?t even have media [freedom]; Pakistanis have the right to elect their representatives,? he said. US says CPEC passes through disputed territory US Defence Secretary James Mattis backs India's allegations that CPEC crosses through disputed territory Commenting on US Defence Secretary's statement that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor passes through disputed territory, the minister said the United States needs to keep its statements on the project to itself. He said that Pakistan will not listen to the ?do more? rhetoric, adding that the government is cleaning up the mess created by the US in Pakistan.
  5. LAHORE: Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said there is a need to ensure the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) works in an honest, impartial manner, instead of expanding its ambit to the army and judiciary. In a statement, Shehbaz said that the judiciary and army already have a system for accountability in place. NAB has failed to hold accountable corrupt people and looters of the national exchequer and needs to work impartially, the statement said. The chief minister said that a strict accountability system is needed in the country. PML-N, PPP agree to form new accountability body to replace NAB New commission will only have jurisdiction over federal institutions The leaders of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in August agreed to form a new body to replace NAB, although no major development on the matter has happened so far. Pertaining to the jurisdiction of the new commission, PPP had claimed that judiciary and the Army should also be investigated by the commission.
  6. ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani Army said the captors of a US-Canadian family held by the Taliban fled on foot after troops shot at their vehicle's tyres, as it offered a fuller account Friday of the operation to rescue the hostages. American Caitlan Coleman and her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle, who were kidnapped while backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012 and had all three of their children in captivity, have left Pakistan after being freed, according to a US official. Pakistan has faced increased pressure from Washington to crack down on militant groups after it was lambasted by US President Donald Trump in August. Family freed from Taliban captivity leaves Pakistan for Canada: sources Caitlan Coleman, her husband Joshua Boyle and their three children left via PIA flight: airport sources The Army said it launched the rescue after a tip-off from US intelligence that the family had been moved into Pakistan?s semi-autonomous tribal areas from across the border in Afghanistan. Residents in the tribal districts of Kurram, where the operation took place, and North Waziristan told AFP they had seen drones flying in the skies above them for several days before the operation. Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor said Pakistan was told by US intelligence at 4pm Wednesday that the hostages were on the move. "We sent our troops, traced the vehicle on the basis of intelligence sharing by 1900 hours on Wednesday and recovered the hostages," he said in televised comments late Thursday. The Army had planned to intercept the vehicle at a security checkpoint in Kurram tribal district, a security source told AFP - but the militants drove it off the road. Troops tried to stop the vehicle once it had travelled a few miles over the border. "But when the militants refused to halt, they shot out its tyres," Ghafoor told AFP. The militants "fled on foot", leaving the family in the car, according to Ghafoor, who added that Pakistani soldiers had not wanted to risk injuring the hostages by firing on their fleeing captors. Late Thursday a US military official told AFP the couple was hesitating to board a US military jet in Pakistan over Boyle's concerns he could face American scrutiny over his previous marriage to the sister of a Guantanamo detainee. In 2009 he was briefly married to Zaynab Khadr, the sister of Canadian-born Omar Khadr, who spent a decade at Guantanamo. Canadian and US officials have said Boyle is not being investigated. A second US official confirmed the couple had left the country on condition of anonymity Friday afternoon, but gave no further details.
  7. The UK and Pakistan Army chiefs along with senior officials at GHQ, Oct 13, 2017. Photo: ISPR RAWALPINDI: UK Army Chief of General Staff (CGS) General Sir Nicholas Patrick Carter called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday. The UK CGS arrived in Pakistan today on a two-day official visit. The two army chiefs discussed matters of mutual interest, including the strengthening of bilateral security and defence cooperation between the two armies during the meeting, according to the Inter Services Public Relations. The visiting dignitary acknowledged Pakistan Army's achievements in the fight against terrorism and continued efforts for peace and stability in the region, according to the Pakistan Army's statement. He said that the UK greatly appreciates Pakistan?s sacrifices in this regard, the ISPR added. The chiefs and senior officials of the two armies also held a meeting, where the Pakistan Army's director general of military operations gave a briefing to the visiting delegation. Earlier on arrival at GHQ, General Carter laid a floral wreath at the Marytrs' Monument. "A smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Army presented the guard of honour to the visiting dignitary," the ISPR stated further. The visiting dignitary will address participants of the National Security and War Course later today.
  8. Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Friday commented on the recovery of the US-Canadian family from Taliban captivity during an operation by Pakistan Army. Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said in a statement that the Pakistan Army conducted the rescue operation based on US intelligence. The couple had been kidnapped in Afghanistan, he added. The Pakistan Army recovered five foreign hostages: a Canadian, his US national wife and their three children, after they were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012. US intelligence services had been tracking the movement of the hostages and informed their Pakistani partners when the hostages were moved across the Pak-Afghan border into Kurram Agency on October 11, 2017. US praised Pakistan?s action and cooperation in recovering the abductees, the Foreign Office spokesman said. Pakistan Army rescues Canadian-US family kidnapped by terrorists Trump identified the kidnapped couple as Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle Pakistan?s agenda is to defeat terrorism, a common enemy, the statement said. Shedding light on US delegation?s visit to Pakistan, Zakaria said the visit was important following Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi?s meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence some weeks ago. The spokesperson said that India?s role in Afghanistan was dangerous for regional stability and was not in regional interest. He further noted that Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua?s meetings with Russian officials during recent visit to Russia were fruitful. Zakaria also highlighted India?s continuing aggression in Occupied Kashmir, and called on the international community to take notice of human rights violations in the region.
  9. File photo Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor on Thursday said there is no restriction in the military which allows only people from a specific school of thought to join its ranks. Speaking to a private news channel, the DG ISPR said the military also has Christian, Hindu and Sikh personnel among its ranks. "We very proudly say that Pakistan Army is the best example of national integration. When we join the Army and wear the uniform, then we are only Pakistani soldiers, irrespective of our religion, province or clan." The DG ISPR stressed that there is a need to sit together and discuss the country's economy. "The security of the country and its economy are deeply linked with each other." Major General Ghafoor said the economy is affected if the circumstances are not good. Commenting on the war against terrorism, the DG ISPR said several countries have given up their fight against terrorism. He added that the terrorists have become aware that they cannot enter into and hide in Pakistan.
  10. [embed_video1 url= style=center] RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Army recovered five foreign hostages who were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012, said a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations on Thursday. The hostages, a Canadian, his US national wife and their three children were rescued from the captivity of terrorists. The foreign nationals were captured in Afghanistan by terrorists, added the Pakistan Army's media cell. US intelligence services had been tracking the movement of the hostages and informed their Pakistani partners when the hostages were moved across the Pak-Afghan border into Kurram agency on October 11, 2017. The kidnapped hostages. -Reuters/File The operation by Pakistani forces, based on actionable intelligence by US authorities, successfully recovered the hostages. ?All hostages were recovered safe and sound and are being repatriated to the country of their origin,? said ISPR. The Army further said that the successful execution of the hostage-rescue operation underscores the importance of timely intelligence sharing and Pakistan?s continued commitment towards fighting this menace through cooperation between two forces against a common enemy. Trump hails release of US-Canadian couple President Donald Trump announced that US and Pakistani officials had secured the release of an American woman, her Canadian husband and their three children from Taliban captivity. The US leader identified the kidnapped couple as Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle, and said their release was a "positive moment" for US relations with Pakistan. "Ms Coleman gave birth to the couple's three children while they were in captivity," Trump said, in a White House statement. "Today, they are free."
  11. File Photo RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Army on Thursday recovered five foreign hostages who were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012, said a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations. The rescue was the result of an intelligence-based operation conducted by the forces. The hostages, including a Canadian, his US National wife and their three children, were rescued from the custody of terrorists. The foreign nationals were captured in Afghanistan by terrorists, added the Pakistan Army's media cell. US intelligence agencies had been tracking them and shared the information regarding their shifting across to Pakistan through Kurram Agency border on October 11, 2017, the ISPR stated. The statement read: "the operation by Pakistani forces, based on actionable intelligence from US authorities was successful; all hostages were recovered safe and sound and are being repatriated to the country of their origin." The success underscores the importance of timely intelligence sharing and Pakistan's continued commitment towards fighting this menace through cooperation between two forces against a common enemy, ISPR added.
  12. Myanmar's General Min Aung Hlaing takes part during a parade to mark the 72nd Armed Forces Day in the capital Naypyitaw, Myanmar YANGON: Rohingya Muslims are not native to Myanmar, the army chief told the US ambassador in a meeting in which he apparently did not address accusations of abuses by his men and said media was complicit in exaggerating the number of refugees fleeing. Senior General Min Aung Hlaing gave his most extensive account of the Rohingya refugee crisis aimed at an international audience in the meeting with Ambassador Scot Marciel, according to a report posted on his Facebook page. The general is the most powerful person in Buddhist-majority Myanmar and his apparently uncompromising stance would indicate little sensitivity about the military?s image over a crisis that has drawn international condemnation and raised questions about a transition to democracy under Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. The military campaign is popular in Myanmar, where there is little sympathy for the Rohingya, and where Buddhist nationalism has surged. Min Aung Hlaing, referring to Rohingya by the term ?Bengali?, which they regard as derogatory, said British colonialists were responsible for the problem. ?The Bengalis were not taken into the country by Myanmar, but by the colonialists,? he told Marciel, according to the account of the meeting posted on Thursday. ?They are not the natives, and the records prove that they were not even called Rohingya but just Bengalis during the colonial period.? The UN human rights office said on Wednesday Myanmar security forces had brutally driven out half a million Rohingya from northern Rakhine state to Bangladesh, torching their homes, crops and villages to prevent them from returning. Coordinated Rohingya insurgent attacks on some 30 security posts on Aug. 25 sparked a ferocious military response. The UN rights office said in its report, based on 65 interviews with Rohingya who had arrived in Bangladesh, that abuses had begun before the Aug. 25 attacks and included killings, torture and rape of children. US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley last month denounced what she called a ?brutal, sustained campaign to cleanse the country of an ethnic minority? and called on countries to suspend providing weapons to Myanmar until its military puts sufficient accountability measures in place. The European Union and the United States are considering targeted sanctions against Myanmar?s military leaders, officials familiar with the discussions said this week. Suu Kyi is due make a speech on television later on Thursday. She was swept into office last year after winning an election, but the military holds immense power, including exclusive say over security. ?FEEL INSECURE? UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra?ad al-Hussein has described the government operations as ?a textbook example of ethnic cleansing? and said the action appeared to be ?a cynical ploy to forcibly transfer large numbers of people without possibility of return?. Min Aung Hlaing did not refer to such accusations, according to the published account, but said the insurgents had killed 90 Hindus and 30 Rohingya linked to the government. Insurgents? opposition to a citizenship verification campaign, which used the term Bengali, was behind the attacks, he said. ?Local Bengalis were involved in the attacks under the leadership of ARSA. That is why they might have fled as they feel insecure,? he said, referring to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army insurgents. ?The native place of Bengalis is really Bengal,? he said. ?They might have fled ... assuming that they would be safer there.? He said it was an exaggeration to say the number fleeing to Bangladesh was ?very large? and there had been ?instigation and propaganda by using the media from behind the scene?. He did not elaborate, or say how many people he thought had fled, but said the ?real situation? had to be relayed to the international community. UN political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman is due to visit Myanmar on Friday. Min Aung Hlaing repeated a promise from Suu Kyi that refugees would be accepted back under an agreement with Bangladesh in the early 1990s, adding that details were being worked out. Many refugees doubt their chances of going home fearing they will not be able to prove their right to return.
  13. RAWALPINDI: A woman from Indian Occupied Kashmir, identified as Azmat Jan, was sent back home on Tuesday after she crossed over the Line of Control near Chirikot, according to Inter-Services Public Relations. Azmat, who is married to Muhammad Shakeel and lives in Degwar Maldialan, was returned to IoK at Rawala-Poonch crossing point on humanitarian grounds. Photo: ISPR Azmat, who is married to Muhammad Shakeel and lives in Degwar Maldialan, was returned to IoK at Rawala-Poonch crossing point on humanitarian grounds, the ISPR stated. The move is a "gesture of goodwill and in continuation with Pakistan Army?s efforts to maintain peace and tranquillity along Line of Control," the Pakistan Army's media cell added. Civil and military officials of both sides were present at the occasion. Earlier in the year, Pakistan had released Afghan nationals to their home country as a gesture of goodwill. The Afghan nationals who were returned had spent a week under the open sky as the Torkham border remained closed. Among them were women and children.
  14. RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa met with newly appointed Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi on Tuesday, said a statement released from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). Matters of professional interest were discussed and the army chief congratulated Admiral Zafar on assumption of command of Pakistan Navy. On arrival at the GHQ, the naval chief laid a floral wreath on the Martyr's Monument. On Saturday, former naval chief Admiral Zakaullah on Saturday handed over the command of the navy to Admiral Abbasi, becoming the 16th naval chief of Pakistan. Admiral Abbasi was commissioned in the Navy's operations branch in 1981. He received his initial education from Royal Naval College Dartmouth. For his 39-year extensive services to the Navy, he has also been conferred with Hilal-e-Imtiaz (military).
  15. RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday visited Pakistan Military Academy Kakul and was briefed on various functional aspects of the Academy for grooming and professional upbringing of the cadets, said a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) The army chief also talked with the faculty member and appreciated the high standards at the premier Army institution. He also appreciated the institutions' efforts towards grooming of the young cadets to take on challenges of the future battlefield, lead men from the front and be good citizens of Pakistan with the drive, acumen and outlook to contribute to both their institution and the country. Earlier, on arrival COAS was received by Commandant PMA Maj Gen Abdullah Dogar.
  16. PPP leader Dr Asim speaking in a press conference at Karachi Airport, after his return from London. Photo: Geo News KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples? Party leader Dr Asim Hussain said on Friday that the government?s clash with army leadership is not good for Pakistan. Speaking at Karachi?s Jinnah International Airport after his return from London, he said that the Pakistan Peoples? Party will react to any action taken against the armed forces of the country. ?If you don?t stop your actions against it, then you will see what PPP will do to you. We stood with armed forces before, and we are standing with them today as well,? Dr Hussain said. I will be back, says Dr Asim before leaving for London Former petroleum minister, out on bail in two cases of corruption and one of terrorists' support, was recently allowed by the Supreme Court to travel abroad for treatment The PPP leader said that he wants to tell the Pakistan Muslim League-N leader that he is not one of those who run away from the country. ?Our politics is for Pakistan. We saved the country in past and we will save it again,? adding, ?the PML-N wants to push back the progress of Pakistan.? The former petroleum minister said that that there is a difference between the actions and words of PML-N leadership. Responding over a question, the PPP leader alleged that the PML-N leadership wants to put into action, their design of ?Greater Punjab?. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader, who is out on bail in two cases left for London on September 10 for medical treatment, after his name was struck off the Exit Control List (ECL). Dr Asim hospitalised in London for surgery Medical reports had recommended that Asim undergo disc replacement surgery in London On August 29, the Supreme Court ordered the relevant authorities to remove Dr Asim's name from the ECL, overturning an earlier Sindh High Court ruling. His name was placed on the ECL in November 2015. Asim has been allowed to leave for abroad for one month for medical treatment and had to submit a surety of Rs6 million. Dr Asim faces trial in two cases of alleged corruption of over Rs450 billion and another of allegedly facilitating and treating terrorists at his medical facility ? Dr Ziauddin Hospital. He was released from the sub-jail at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre in Karachi on March 31 this year after obtaining bail in all the cases lodged against him. He was initially arrested by the Rangers in August 2015 and then transferred into police custody.
  17. Sindh Rangers. Photo:File KARACHI: Sindh Rangers on Friday claimed to arrest a man posing as an army major to con people during snap checking in Gulistan-e-Jauhar area, said a press release issued by the paramilitary department. Muhammad Rafiq, the con man introduced himself as Major Ali affiliated with an intelligence agency when stopped by the Sindh Rangers. The paramilitary troops started inspection of his car when Rafiq failed to provide his departmental identity card. During inspection one illegal 9mm pistol, narcotics and fake property papers were recovered. The man was immediately taken into custody. Initial investigation with the suspect revealed that the man posing as an army official used to take bribes from the families of arrested suspects, and was also involved in land grabbing. Two of his accomplices, Ghulam Fareed and Ali Hasan were arrested by the law enforcement authorities after Rafiq?s disclosure. The suspects have been handed over to Police.
  18. A US Army Black Hawk helicopter. Image Courtesy: SlashGear WASHINGTON: The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the September 21 collision of a civilian drone and a US Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter near Staten Island, New York, as concerns mount over the rising number of unmanned aircraft in US airspace. The safety board said on Thursday the helicopter had landed safely but that its main rotor blade, window frame and transmission deck were damaged. Lieutenant Colonel Joe Buccino ? a spokesman for the 82nd Airborne Division ? said the Army had concluded that the helicopter was not being targeted and was struck by a drone being operated by a hobbyist. The helicopter was flying at about 500 feet (152 metres) when the drone struck the side of the aircraft, he said. The helicopter was repaired within 24 hours with only minor damage and was in New York to assist in security efforts for the United Nations General Assembly. The NTSB said it had recovered a motor and arm from the DJI Phantom 4 drone from the helicopter, identified and interviewed the drone operator and reviewed data logs for the flight. China-based DJI said it was assisting the agency. ?DJI is firmly committed to the safety of our products,? the company said. ?We have always instructed drone operators to obey the laws and regulations applicable to drones in their jurisdiction.? Government and private-sector officials are concerned that dangerous or even hostile drones could get too close to places like military bases, airports and sports stadiums. Earlier this year, the US Federal Aviation Administration banned drone flights over 133 US military facilities. In August, the Pentagon said US military bases could shoot down drones that endanger aviation safety or pose other threats. Also on Thursday, the FAA began banning drone flights over 10 US landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty in New York and Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, at the request of national security and law enforcement agencies. The FAA and US Interior Department barred drone flights up to 400 feet (122 metres) within the boundaries of sites including the USS Constitution in Boston, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, and Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia. The list also includes Folsom Dam and Shasta Dam in California, Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona, Hoover Dam in Nevada and Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state. The restrictions were announced last week. The Trump administration said in June that it wanted to promote drones. The Obama administration implemented rules opening the skies to small drones for education, research and routine commercial use. The Trump administration is considering allowing expanded drone use for purposes such as deliveries, where aircraft would fly beyond the sight of an operator.
  19. SHAH PORIR DWIP: Rohingya refugees arriving in Bangladesh amid a fresh exodus from strife-torn Myanmar have described whole villages being emptied and thousands marching to the border as security forces redouble efforts to drive remaining Muslims from their homes. More than 500,000 Muslim Rohingya have fled ethnic bloodshed in Myanmar in the past month and numbers are again swelling, with Bangladesh reporting 4-5,000 civilians now crossing the border each day after a brief lull in arrivals. An estimated 10,000 more have reportedly massed in Myanmar near a crossing point into Bangladesh, and are poised to join the hundreds of thousands of mainly Rohingya refugees eking out survival in wretched camps over the border. The spike in new arrivals - prompted by what Rohingya say is a fresh drive to purge Muslims still in westernmost Rakhine state - casts doubt on a Myanmar proposal aired this week to start repatriating the persecuted minority. Rakhine has been emptied of half of its Rohingya population in weeks, and more are on the move as insecurity presses them to leave villages that have so far been spared the worst of the violence ripping through the state. Rashida Begum, who arrived in Bangladesh late Monday, said local officials assured the Rohingya community for weeks they would be safe if they remained in their village. "(But then) the army came and went door to door, ordering us to leave," she told AFP of the military sweep in Maungdaw on Friday. "They said they wouldn´t harm us, but eventually they drove us out and burned our houses." Begum, 30, fled with her daughter to the coast, where hundreds of Rohingya waited to cross the Naf River dividing Myanmar and Bangladesh. Myanmar state media said the fleeing Rohingya had left "of their own accord" despite assurances they would be safe. "I wanted to stay in my village," Hasina Khatun, 25, told AFP in the coastal border town of Shah Porir Dwip. "They (local officials) said 'don't go to Bangladesh. Everything will be fine'. We believed them, but nothing improved. Eventually, we had to leave." Sumaya Bibi, a softly spoken Rohingya teenager, described more than a thousand civilians hiding along the riverbank late Monday. She said they boarded about 10 wooden fishing boats, many overloaded and carrying mainly women and children, and drifted under the cover of darkness across the Naf where they washed up on a remote beach. Reports are difficult to independently verify due to reporting restrictions in Rakhine. Fazlul Haq, a local councillor in the area, said the flow of boats had almost stopped by late September but has resumed in recent days, bringing scores of Rohingya families reporting threats and intimidation by the army. The UN said Tuesday that 509,000 refugees had crossed into Bangladesh as of September 30. 'Burned to the ground' The influx began after August 25, when attacks by Rohingya militants spurred a ferocious Myanmar army crackdown that the UN says amounted to "ethnic cleansing". Myanmar´s government refuses to recognise the Rohingya as a distinct ethnic group and considers them illegal migrants from Bangladesh. On Monday a Myanmar minister proposed taking back hundreds of thousands of Rohingya, many of whom are at risk of disease in packed makeshift camps along the border but offered no timeline. Violence appears to have ebbed in northern Rakhine, although independent reporting is still blocked by an army lockdown, fear has unsettled many of the Rohingya who remain. Nurul Amin, who arrived Sunday after the military ordered his village to be evacuated, described a long column of Rohingya civilians growing in size as it snaked toward the coast. "As we left, people from villages all around us started joining. They (the Myanmar army) weren't killing anyone, just burning houses," he told AFP. Thick plumes of smoke could be seen from Bangladesh rising beyond the border on Tuesday. An EU delegation in Rakhine earlier this week urged an end to the violence after seeing "villages burned to the ground and emptied of inhabitants". Amin said there were just "two, maybe three families in hiding, but no houses" in the villages surrounding his razed home in Maungdaw. "They too will come in time," he said.
  20. RAWALPINDI: A soldier of the Pakistan Army embraced martyrdom after terrorists fired from across the Afghan border on an Army border post, a statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations said on Tuesday. The incident occurred at the recently cleared area around Mustil pass, an important passage from Afghanistan into Rajgal, in Khyber Agency. The martyred soldier was identified by ISPR as Naib Subedar Azher Ali, whose funeral prayers will be offered at Peshawar Garrison. Deceased has been identified as naib subedar Azher Ali. Photo: ISPR The "jasde khaki of shaheed will be taken to his native town where shaheed will be laid to rest with full military honour," said the Pakistan Army's media cell. On September 23, a 22-year-old soldier of the Pakistan Army, Lieutenant Arsalan Alam, was martyred during firing by terrorists from across the border in Rajgal, Khyber Agency, according to ISPR. Terrorists fired from across the border on the newly established Pakistani border post in Rajgal, martyring Lieutenant Arsalan Alam, who was commanding the post when he got hit, the ISPR had said. On Sunday, the army chief discussed regional security, among other issues, with President Ashraf Ghani during his day-long visit to Kabul. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said both sides reviewed the prevailing security environment in the region and the bilateral relationship between the two countries. The army chief offered Pakistan?s complete support in achieving shared interests in the war against terrorism, including training and capacity building of the Afghan security forces.
  21. KINHASA: A military transport plane belonging to the Congolese army crashed near Kinshasa on Saturday, killing "several dozen" people, military and airport sources told AFP. The Antonov transport plane had just taken off and had "several dozen people" on board, an airport source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. The plane went down in Nsele, about 100 kilometres to the east of Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the source said. A local official in the area of the crash told AFP there were "no survivors". The plane, which had a Russian crew, was carrying "two vehicles and weapons" and military personnel, a source at the army's headquarters told AFP, also speaking on condition of anonymity. He said there were "between 20 and 30 people" on board when it took off from Ndolo airport in Kinshasa. A witness at the crash site told AFP he had seen the plane "falling" out the sky shortly before 9:00 am but said there was no sign of any smoke coming from the aircraft.
  22. RAWALPINDI: Army command on Thursday appointed Lieutenant General Asim Saleem Bajwa as the new commander of Southern Command, said a statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The current commander of Southern Command, Lieutenant General Aamer Riaz, was appointed Commander Lahore Corps. Lieutenant General Sadiq Ali was appointed Inspector General Arms at the General Head Quarters.
  23. RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Army on Tuesday promoted Major General Zahid Hamid to the rank of Lieutenant General and appointed him as the Surgeon General of the Army Medical Corps. In addition, Lt Gen Sarfraz Sattar was posted as the director general of the Strategic Plans Division (SPD). The SPD is responsible for the protection of Pakistan?s nuclear and strategic assets.
  24. ISLAMABAD: Disgruntled Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MNA Ayesha Gulalai said on Tuesday that the army is the only institution working in the country. Addressing the media outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), she deplored the dragging of the army into politics by some politicians. "Our troops are fighting for us on the frontline, away from their homes. They have eliminated terrorism from the country after tremendous sacrifice," said Gulalai. Gulalai, who hails from South Waziristan Agency, thanked the World Bank for announcing aid worth $114 million recently for the people of tribal areas. World Bank approves $114 million to support IDPs in FATA WB significantly expands support for families affected by militancy-related violence in Pakistan She chided the government over its failure to implement the FATA Reforms, and dismissed the idea of appointing a COO to oversee the process, saying "this is another trick by the bureaucracy to misappropriate funds". Addressing the women of Pakistan, she said they face all kinds of violence every day. ?Don?t think you are weak. Be strong. Get education. And give the power of education to your children. Otherwise, learn a skill so you are not dependent on anyone," said Gulalai, stressing further that women should give polio drops to their children so they are not crippled. Imran no longer popular, lost Lahore by-election: Ayesha Gulalai Gulalai was speaking to media in Islamabad after appearing before the ECP Moreover, addressing Pakistani men, she said keeping women inside the house and not educating them cannot be considered pardah ? referring to the custom of keeping women indoors. "Let your daughters come into sports," pleaded Gulalai, whose own younger sister is a renowned squash champion of Pakistan. National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq has sent a reference against Gulalai to the ECP seeking to denotify her from the assembly for her violation of party discipline. Gulalai alleged on August 1 that PTI chief Imran Khan had sent her inappropriate text messages, but did not reveal any other details to support her allegations. She had also alleged that the ?honour of women is not safe? in the party. Gulalai had also announced leaving the PTI but later on decided to stay put, saying instead that Imran should be the one who is expelled from the party. The ECP hearing on Tuesday was adjourned until October 4.
  25. General Bipin Rawat speaks to newsmen. ? India Today KARACHI: Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat Monday termed the so-called surgical strikes a "message" to Pakistan, which he said could be repeated, according to India media. General Rawat, during his interaction with newsmen on Monday evening, said if the other side did not behave then the strikes would be repeated, the India Today reported. He added that apart from surgical strikes there were also other measures of counteraction. ?Surgical strikes? claim creates controversy in India According to Indian media reports, Shankar questioned why Kejriwal wanted proof of surgical strikes, saying this was an insult to the Indian army. International media casts doubt on Indian ?surgical strikes? claim ?The Diplomat? in a piece titled ?Is India Capable of a Surgical Strike in Pakistan Controlled Kashmir?? raised some serious questions about Indian military's capabilities On September 29, India claimed to have conducted surgical strikes in Azad Kashmir, saying that several terrorists were killed in the military action conducted inside Pakistani territory. The claims were not only rebuffed by Pakistan and the international media, but they also prompted demands from some Indian political leaders for New Delhi to substantiate it with evidence. The Modi government drew criticism after the Pakistani military took a bus full of local and international journalists to the border area in order to show them the ground facts. Furthermore, the United Nations said its mission tasked with monitoring the ceasefire line between India and Pakistan "has not directly observed" any cross-border surgical strike as claimed by India. UN mission finds no proof of Indian 'surgical strike' claims Indian military is not capable of conducting surgical strikes in the presence of Pakistan's missile system, states a report issued in a Japanese magazine The UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) "has not directly observed any firing across the LoC related to the latest incident," Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon told reporters days after the Indian claims. Having been failed to substantiate the claims, Indian Premier Narendra Modi later barred his party members from commenting on the matter.