China on Thursday said the international community “must respect” Pakistan’s sovereignty, tacitly confirming reports that it has asked the US not to violate Islamabad’s territorial integrity, following the killing of Osama bin Laden. Asked about reports that China has asked US during its recently concluded strategic dialogue with Washington to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty as Islamabad came under heavy pressure after bin Laden’s killing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Jiang Yu told media in Beijing that “sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan must be respected.” “We believe that Pakistan has made great contribution to international counter-terrorism efforts, as well as huge sacrifices. The international community should understand and support Pakistan’s efforts to restore national stability and develop its economy,” she said.
According to Pakistan’s state run APP news agency, Gilani told Pakistan media in Beijing Wednesday after his meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao that “China supported Pakistan’s cause on its own.” Gilani said the Chinese conveyed a clear message to the US that “there should be no harm to the Pakistani sovereignty and the US should understand and appreciate concerns of Pakistan.” China asked the US to work with Pakistan in improving their bilateral relations in view of the present scenario, he said, adding that the Chinese leadership has conveyed to the US that Pakistan should be helped and its honour should be upheld keeping in view its sacrifices in war on terror.
Gilani quoted Wen as saying that Pakistan faced challenges in the wake of killing of bin Laden and Chinese leadership was categorical in supporting Pakistan’s stance as well as its concerns over national honour and sovereignty. China has “warned in unequivocal terms that any attack on Pakistan would be construed as an attack on China,” diplomatic sources were quoted as saying. The warning was formally conveyed by the Chinese foreign minister at last week’s China-US strategic dialogue and economic talks in Washington, it said.
For his part, Gilani reiterated Pakistans’s support for its policy of ‘One China’ and said his country fully supports China on the issues of Taiwan and Tibet. During her briefing today Jiang skirted questions about Pakistan-China signing new defence agreements. Asked about assertions by Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Masood Khan before Gilani’s arrival that new defence deals would be signed, she said the two sides signed agreements in economy, technology, finance and energy resources. “As to specific cooperation, please refer to relevant companies,” she said, adding that China is actively implementing pledges to help pro-disaster reconstruction and exerting utmost to help tide over difficulties.”
Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin
Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.
The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.
Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.
Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.
Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.
Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told
The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.
The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.
Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.
“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.
DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.
Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.
In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.
The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.
The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.
But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.
Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.
It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.
Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus
New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.
Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.
The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.
Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.
In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.
According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.