Turkish Foreign Minister arrives in Pakistan

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu holds one on one talks with his counterpart Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mehmood Qureshi. (Photo courtesy: Foreign office)
Updated 14 September 2018
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Turkish Foreign Minister arrives in Pakistan

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is in two-day official visit to Islamabad
  • Cavusoglu is carrying a message from Turkish President Erdogan to Prime Minister Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday morning.
Bearing a message from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu landed in Islamabad on Thursday late night for a two-day official visit.
“Turkish Foreign Minister will arrive tonight and there will be delegation-level talks with our Foreign Minister. The Turkish Foreign Minister will also call on the Prime Minister,” Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mohammad Faisal told reporters in a weekly news briefing on Thursday.
Cavusoglu’s visit follows an invitation by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Besides Qureshi, he is also scheduled to meet with President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“Pakistan and Turkey already enjoy exemplary and historic relations based on heritage, culture, religion and there are very strong bonds,” Ankara’s ambassador to Pakistan Mustafa Yurdakul told Turkish News Agency Anadolu about the visit.
Top on the agenda are discussions relating to the bilateral ties of the two countries, enhanced cooperation and views on regional and international developments.
According to the Turkish News Agency, the bilateral trade volume between Turkey and Pakistan was around $650 million by the end of 2017, while Istanbul intends to improve this volume to $1 billion.
On August 10, US President Donald Trump slapped steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey in an attempt to force it to release US pastor Andrew Brunson. 
"Brunson, who had been living in Turkey for more than two decades, was placed under house arrest for allegedly helping supporters of US-based Fethullah Gulen. Gulen stands accused by Turkey for a failed coup attempt in July 2016."
Turkey established the Maarif Foundation in 2016 to take over the administration of overseas schools linked to Fetullah Organization, Anadolu reported.
Pakistan has expressed solidarity with Turkey and its government over the economic crisis and the unilateral sanctions imposed by the US government. 
“The solution to any and all issues should lie in dialogue, mutual understanding and goodwill. Any steps or actions to the contrary only undermine the peace and stability and make the solution to a problem more difficult and intractable,” a statement issued by the Foreign Office, on August 13, said. 
Earlier, during a telephonic conversation with Cavusoglu, Qureshi had said that Pakistan-Turkey relations had transformed into a mutually-beneficial and strategic partnership over the years.


Karachi police chief asks his cops to be clean, lightly armed

Updated 23 September 2018
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Karachi police chief asks his cops to be clean, lightly armed

  • Karachi police to replace Kalashnikovs, Sub Machine Guns (SMGs) with pistols and revolvers for officials on patrol, escort and picket duties
  • Taking back automatic assault weapons from policemen in a city such as Karachi, where people and groups are heavily armed, is not a wise decision, says former IG Sindh, Afzal Ali Shigri

KARACHI: The chief of police in Pakistan’s seaside megacity of Karachi has introduced reforms in an effort to win public hearts.

“The police persons should be nicely dressed, should be neat and lean and should demonstrate good manners,” Dr. Amir Ahmed Shaikh, the city police chief, told Arab News.
Shaikh, on Saturday, issued a notification, reading; “SMG/automatic assault weapon should not be displayed or pointed toward general public during escort movements or mobile patrolling.”
The directives, from Shaikh, which were forwarded for strict compliance to his subordinates, read: “All assault weapons are to be replaced with pistols/revolvers.”
According to priority, the motorcycle squad will have only pistol or revolver.
For escorts, police patrolling mobile, picket points and Madadgar, 15 mobiles will be allowed to have one SMG each. The rest of the police on these duties will have pistols only.
“It has been observed with great concern that all police persons deployed for patrolling, pickets or escort duties are armed with SMGs, and the display of automatic assault weapon in an urban setting not only scares people but also results in casualties in a case of even accidental firing,” reads the notification.
Shaikh, in an interview with Arab News, said he has carried this and all other measures to reform the police who are infamous.
“I am making police people-friendly. I want a police force which is loved by the people and upon seeing them, criminals should run away,” Shaikh said. “Currently the people are running away from the police. It hurts me a lot that the police are defamed due to a few.”
Shaikh said that he had identified 197 officials who are black sheep of the police force. “Policemen are involved in kidnapping. Would anyone call them policemen? They are kidnappers, they are criminals. They are dacoits but they have no more any place in police force,” the enthusiastic police officer vowed.
Although his good intentions are hailed by many, former officials have criticized the decision of taking automatic weapons back from the police.
“It’s no less than a suicide to take back automatic weapons from police in a city where huge caches of arms are recovered on a regular basis,” Afzal Ali Shigri, former Inspector General of Police Sindh, told Arab News.
In the 1980s, Shigri recalled, the policemen in Karachi would have sticks to deal with criminals. “But it’s not Karachi of those past times. It has remained a center of violence although peace has been restored. The city has faced every type of actors of violence which exists in this country. The city has been host to sectarian, ethnic violence besides hardcore terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Islamic State-inspired youths,” he said.
Shigri said even the common people are armed. “How do we expect police with a pistol to deal with a criminal having an assault rifle?” he asked.
One has to take several aspects before taking such major decisions, the former IG said, adding that instead of AK-47 and other assault weapons with a large range, the police should be armed with close-range weapons like the MP5, which are good for urban centers.
Shaikh said that after assuming power as city police chief he has not only focused on finding black sheep within an otherwise great police force but is also working on building their capacity.
On Saturday another notification issued by Shaikh reads: “It is to state that since last two years no firing refresher courses have been arranged for the constabulary, so training should be provided.”
In his letter to principals of the Saeedabad and Razzakabad police training colleges, Shaikh has requested firing training for 540 policemen in the first phase.