M. M. ALAM
PARIS: Accusing UNESCO of anti-Israel bias US has said here today that it was pulling out of the UN cultural agency.
Withdrawal decision announced by State Department was not news for pundits at the helm of affairs as Trump administration had been insinuating apropos withdrawal for months.
Viewers of Newspakistan.tv may recall that back in 2011 US stopped funding UNESCO after it voted to include Palestine as a member.
Nevertheless, a UNESCO office was maintained by the US State Department. Presently, America owes US$550m in back payments.
Taliban say kidnapped Canadian-American family was held in Paktia and not in Pakistan
M. M. ALAM
ISLAMABAD: One of the Taliban spokesmen Zabiullah Mujahid has negated the CIA Chief Mike Pompeo’s claim that recently rescued Canadian-American family was held in Pakistan for five years.
According to Zabiullah Mujahid the family that was in Paktia for five years was taken to Kunar province when they were rescued.
On the contrary Afghan Ministry of Defense spokesman while talking to Afghan TOLONews has insinuated that most of those kidnapped in Afghanistan were held in Pakistan.
It is pertinent to remind here that Pakistani forces, while acting on the actionable information shared by US intelligence agencies, have intercepted Taliban when the kidnapped family was being moved across to Pakistan via the border of Kurram Agency.
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Barak Obama returns to politics!
RICHMOND: Former president Barak Obama is returning to the political arena.
This became clear when he announced here that he would attend campaign rallies in Virginia and New Jersey to support Democratic Party candidates for the posts of governor.
It is not yet clear what Obama’s message will be. The former US leader has remained disconnected from the political discussion since leaving office on January 20, in keeping with presidential custom.
Obama has been commenting on the issues of national importance rather than politics, such as immigration, climate change, and healthcare.
But the 44th president seems in the mode to scrutinize Trump, who has regularly and publicly excoriated his predecessor.
Director of CIA Mike Pompeo is positive Canadian-American family was held in Pakistan for 5 years
M. M. ALAM
WASHINGTON: The much trumpeted story apropos rescue of American-Canadian family took a new turn when CIA Chief Mike Pompeo stated that those kidnapped by Taliban (in 2012) were held in Pakistan for five years.
Mike Pompeo while addressing the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank in Washington yesterday (19th of October) opined: “I think history would indicate that expectations for the Pakistanis willingness to help us in the fight against radical Islamic terrorism should be set at a very low level. Our intelligence would indicate the same”.
CIA Director further said: “I think we should have a very real conversation with them about what it is they’re doing and what it is they should do and the American expectations for how they should behave”.
If what mike Pompeo is saying is right then it is at odds with earlier version claiming that the family had been moved from Afghanistan to FATA across the border.
It was told that on receipt of an ‘actionable intelligence’ from US agencies (that American citizen Caitlan Coleman, her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle and their three children have entered Pakistan from Afghanistan) authorities here took action against the Taliban and killed them while rescuing the family from Kurram tribal region near the town of Kohat 60km from Pak-Afghan border.
Meanwhile, US Seals were also ready to operate in case of Pakistani authorities’ failure.
Newspakistan.tv viewers may recall that many American and Canadian pundits have been insinuating that the rescue was a negotiated deal.
Anonymous sources have claimed that Haqqani militant group had kept the kidnapped family in or near its headquarters in NWFP for entire five years.
Cynics go haywire (as in the case of OBL) wondering how conveniently Taliban could operate from the territory of Pakistan. And despite billions spent on LEAs, ‘actionable intelligence’ is still needed from USA’ spooks to nab the militants operating from Tribal Areas.
Meanwhile, it is pertinent to mention here that the CIA Director’s remarks came ahead of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Islamabad meant to put pressure on Pakistan apropos its alleged contact with Haqqani group.
Yesterday (Wednesday 19th of October) Tillerson has said that America was expecting Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorists groups.
America, that is willing to negotiate with Taliban in Afghanistan, accuses Pakistan of providing safe havens to them making negotiations with Taliban impossible.
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