PM Khan arrives in Bishkek to attend two-day SCO summit

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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, to attend the 19th meeting of the Council of the Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on June 13, 2019 – (Photo PM Office)
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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan holds his tasbih, while having tea on a plane on his way to a campaign rally ahead of general elections in Sialkot, Pakistan, July 12, 2018. (REUTERS – File)
Updated 13 June 2019
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PM Khan arrives in Bishkek to attend two-day SCO summit

  • Originally an observer, Pakistan become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in 2107
  • Indian PM Modi also attending summit but no bilateral with Khan planned

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, to attend the 19th meeting of the Council of the Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Prime Minister Office said on Thursday.
PM Khan was received by Mukhammedkalyi Abylgaziev, Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan and Kyrgyz Minister for Health Kosmosbek Sarievich Cholponbaev.
The Council of Heads of State is the highest forum of the SCO which set the strategy, prospects and priorities of the body.
The SCO was founded in Shanghai in 2001 by the leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Russia and China. It evolved from an earlier regional security grouping formed in 1996 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the Central Asian states gained independence.
India and Pakistan, originally observers, became full members in 2017 at a summit in Astana, Kazakhstan. Iran, Afghanistan, Mongolia and Belarus have observer status.
“The Prime Minister [Imran Khan] will address two sessions of the [Council of Heads of State] Meeting,” the foreign office statement said. “A number of decisions will be approved by the Leaders, besides signing of Agreements to intensify cooperation in diverse fields. The Prime Minister will have bilateral interaction with other participating Leaders on the sidelines.”
Though Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also attend the summit, a bilateral meeting has not been scheduled between him and Khan.
“SCO’s multi-sectoral cooperation agenda is in line with the Government of Pakistan’s policy of promoting regional peace and stability and seeking enhanced linkages in infrastructure, economic, trade and cultural spheres,” the foreign office said. “Pakistan offers critical overland route for trade and energy and supports SCO’s efforts for regional integration through linking CPEC [China Pakistan Economic Corridor] with the 6 land routes of SCO.”
When it was first formed, the SCO focused on regional security and confidence-building, including border conflicts, terrorism, and militant Islam. The body’s activities have since expanded to cover cooperation in economics and trade, transportation and law enforcement. Security and economic cooperation remain priorities.


Jailed Pashtun lawmakers released after four months in custody

Updated 21 September 2019
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Jailed Pashtun lawmakers released after four months in custody

  • Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar were arrested after a deadly clash at a security checkpost in northern Pakistan in May
  • In Twitter post after his release, Dawar thanked Bilawal Bhutto for support; said allegations of violence were “most hurtful”

PESHAWAR: After months of detention, two Pakistani parliamentarians from South and North Waziristan were released two days after they received bail in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, a senior member of their political party, the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), said on Saturday.
The two lawmakers, Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar, were arrested alongside several members of the PTM following a deadly clash between troops and party supporters at the Khar Qamar checkpost in North Waziristan tribal district in May, where 13 people were killed.
“Justice has won and it is proved that Wazir and Dawar were innocent. Both the members (of the) National Assembly are among us and our constitutional and peaceful struggle will get fresh momentum,” Abdullah Nangyal, a senior leader of the PTM, told Arab News.
He said that hundreds of PTM supporters greeted the two lawmakers when they came out of the high-security Haripur prison after midnight on Saturday.
“The release of the MNAs had to be delayed for hours because of submitting legal documents and furnishing surety bonds,” Nangyal said.

From right, lawmaker Mohsin Dawar, leader of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), Manzoor Pashteen, PTM leader Abdullah Nangyal and lawmaker Ali Wazir in a car heading to the provicial capital Peshawar after the release of the two lawmakers from a jail on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. (Photo: Social Media)

Soon after their release, both parliamentarians drove straight to the provincial capital of Peshawar alongside supporters, from where it is expected they will travel onwards to their home constituencies in North and South Waziristan.
After his release from jail, lawmaker Mohsin Dawar said in a series of Twitter posts that the “allegation of violence against us preachers of non-violence,” was the most “hurtful in all this.”
“I would like to thank all of those who raised their voice for our release. There are too many names, but one that I must mention is @BBhuttoZardari for his unwavering support both in & out of parliament,” he tweeted.
Headed by Justice Nasir Mehfooz, the Bannu bench of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday had conditionally approved bail applications that said the lawmakers would furnish surety bonds of Rs. 1 million each.
In addition, the court barred the parliamentarians from leaving the country, and directed them to appear before district police officers once a month.
Later, in a detailed verdict, the bench stated that the bail was granted only for a period of one month, and would be subject to conditions of “good behavior.” Before the expiry of that period, both men would need to file fresh bail applications in the PHC.
Separately, the two lawmakers were also named in a case lodged on June 7 at a police station in Bannu, after an IED explosion in Doga Macha in North Waziristan tribal district, left four army officers martyred. Wazir and Dawar were already in custody at the time of the IED blast and received bail in the Doga Macha case last month by an anti-terrorism court.