Category Archives: current-topic-views

Gold Coast bids memorable farewell to CWG athletes

If the opening was about history and traditions, the signing off was all about celebration as Gold Coast threw a big party to mark the end of the 21st Commonwealth Games with the legendary boxer MC Mary Kom carrying the flag for India at the closing ceremony.

In Pics: Sportspersons who brought glory to the country

With 26 gold, 20 silver and 20 bronze medals at Gold Coast, India excelled at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

In Pics: Sportspersons who brought glory to the country

With 26 gold, 20 silver and 20 bronze medals at Gold Coast, India excelled at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Gunmen open fire at residence of Pakistan Supreme Court judge

LAHORE: The residence of a Supreme Court judge who is monitoring the corruption cases against ousted premier Nawaz Sharif came under firing by unknown gunmen today, triggering widespread condemnation in Pakistan.

No casualty or injury was reported in the firing incident at the house of Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan in Model Town Lahore.

According to a statement issued by the Supreme Court, Justice Ahsan’s residence was targeted twice at 4:30am and 9am on Sunday.

Following the incident, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar reached Justice Ahsan’s house and summoned Punjab Inspector General Arif Nawaz Khan.

The Chief Justice is personally monitoring the situation, it said, adding that a forensic team has also reached the scene to collect evidence while ballistic experts are called in to determine the nature of fire.

The police officials are investigating whether it was a targeted attack or aerial firing, it said.

Police said two bullets have been fired – one at the entrance gate and other at kitchen door.

“Elite force commandos have cordoned off the area and investigation is underway,” police spokesman Niyab Haider said, adding that the Rangers have also been deployed at the residence of Justice Ahsan.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Pakistan People’s Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto and the Supreme Court Bar Association and Lahore High Court Bar Association condemned the incident.

Pakistan People’s Party co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari termed the attacks alarming and called for a judicial probe.

Prime Minister Abbasi directed the federal and provincial authorities to bring the culprits to task.

Cricketer-turned-politician and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan indirectly blamed Sharif for the incident.

“Strongly condemn the firing at Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan’s house. These Sicilian-mafia-like tactics (referring to Sharif) to pressurise senior judiciary are unacceptable in any democracy. PTI stands firmly behind the Judiciary and rule of law,” he said.

Justice Ahsan was also part of the Supreme Court bench that had disqualified Sharif from the office of the prime minister in the Panama Papers case. It had also called Sharif and company a “Sicilian mafia”.

After the Panama Papers verdict in July last, Justice Ahsan was appointed as a monitoring judge in the three corruption references against Sharif and his children – Hasan, Hussain and Maryam – and his son-in-law Capt (retd.) Mohammad Safdar.

The Sharif family is primarily facing money laundering and amassing huge wealth abroad charges.

An accountability court is Islamabad is likely to announce a verdict in these references in coming weeks.

Dismissing the trial as farce and a conspiracy against him and his family, Sharif said it is likely that he is sentenced to jail in these ‘fake references’ and Adiala Jail Rawalpindi is being cleaned for the purpose.

Young and old ‘shine bright like a diamond’ in India’s eventful CWG campaign

The exuberance of youth, the endurance of experience and a bit of usual drama that is signature of Indian sports – the country’s Commonwealth Games campaign was all this and much more with a medal count that turned out to be the third best ever.

We could have won more medals with favourable scheduling: Gopichand

A historic gold medal in team event was the highlight of India’s outstanding show at Commonwealth Games says badminton chief coach Pullela Gopichand but was critical of scheduling, which he feels prevented them from winning more medals.

China FM visits Japan for talks on North Korea

TOKYO: Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi was due in Tokyo Sunday for a visit seen as a sign of a gradual thaw between the Asian rivals, amid flurries of diplomacy over North Korea.
Shortly after his arrival, Wang will meet his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono with their talks expected to touch on key subjects such as economic relations, territorial disputes in the East China Sea, and ways to push North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, Japanese officials have said.

Kono met Wang in China in January when he became the first Japanese foreign minister to visit the country in nearly two years.

“I hope that we will be able to discuss what Japan and China can work together on in the international arena, not just bilateral issues,” Kono told reporters on Friday.

“Of course, the North Korean issue will surely come up in the meeting,” he said.

The visit by Wang, a veteran Japan handler who had served as an ambassador to Tokyo, comes as the world’s second and third largest economies attempt to ease tension, caused by longstanding disputes over maritime claims and Japan’s wartime legacy.

His visit is also seen as paving a way towards Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe‘s wish to host Chinese Premier Li Keqiang next month for a trilateral summit including South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Such a meeting, Tokyo hopes, would lead to a long awaited exchange of state visits between Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Tokyo also hopes to expand its exchanges with China to stay relevant in increasing international efforts to engage with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. China has demonstrated its significant influence over its reclusive ally with Xi hosting Kim and his wife in Beijing.

South Korea’s Moon and US President Donald Trump are also preparing for separate, direct talks with Kim, leaving Abe to continue asserting a “maximum pressure” campaign against the North.

Abe, who is due to meet with Trump in Florida on Tuesday to discuss North Korea, may also meet with Wang.

Wang, who will be in Tokyo until Tuesday, will also participate in the fourth China-Japan High-level Economic Dialogue.

Israel says it destroys Hamas tunnel network in Gaza

JERUSALEM: Israel’s army said Sunday it had destroyed a Hamas tunnel crossing from the Gaza Strip into its territory after more than two weeks of tension along the border of the Palestinian enclave.
Defence minister Avigdor Lieberman said it was the longest and deepest Gazan tunnel discovered by Israel.

The tunnel crossed into Israeli territory by several metres (yards) but did not yet have an exit point, military spokesman Jonathan Conricus told journalists.

It connected to several others within the Gaza Strip and could have been used for attacks,

Israel destroyed the tunnel — which it said connected to several others within Gaza and could have been used for attacks — by filling it with material to make it inoperative.

“We filled the tunnel with material that renders it useless for a very long period of time,” Conricus said. Explosives were not used.

“According to our early assessments, this tunnel reaches kilometres, several kilometres, into the Gaza Strip.”

The tunnel came from the area of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip and was being dug in the direction of the Nahal Oz community in Israel, he said.

It was the fifth Gazan tunnel destroyed by Israel in recent months, Conricus said. Israel destroyed it over the course of the weekend.

The operation comes after protests along the Gaza border since March 30 that have led to clashes in which Israeli forces have killed 34 Palestinians and wounded hundreds of others.

Israel alleges Hamas is seeking to use the protests as cover to carry out violence and said the tunnel destroyed could have been used for that purpose, saying it comes from near an area where demonstrators have gathered.

Israel has faced criticism over its use of live fire along the Gaza border since March 30, while the European Union and UN chief Antonio Guterres have called for an independent investigation.

The military says its soldiers act to stop attacks, damage to the fence and infiltration bids, and says there have been attempts at all three.

Conricus said Israel had been monitoring the construction of the tunnel for some time.

He said Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, began building it after the 2014 war between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, including Hamas.

Israel has fought three wars with the Islamist movement Hamas since 2008, and the group has used tunnels to carry out attacks in the past.

Gaza has been under an Israeli blockade for more than a decade, while its border with Egypt has also remained largely closed in recent years.

Israel has also been building an underground wall around the Gaza Strip to stop tunnel infiltrations.

F1: Ricciardo storms to sensational Chinese GP victory

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo won a sensational Chinese Grand Prix in thrilling style on Sunday when he stormed through the field from sixth place after taking on fresh tyres under a safety car.

Afghan, Pakistani forces clash near disputed border

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN: An Afghan official says Pakistani forces have crossed into eastern Afghanistan and clashed with Afghan troops.

Col. Abdul Hanan, the acting provincial police chief in the eastern Khost province, says the fighting broke out early Sunday and is still underway. He was not immediately able to confirm reports of casualties.

The two countries are separated by the 2,400-kilometer (1,500-mile) Durand Line, which was drawn by British rulers in 1896. Kabul does not recognize it as an international border and has objected to new fortifications being built by Pakistan.

The two US allies routinely accuse each other of failing to crack down on militants who operate along the porous border.