The political crisis in Colombo deepened Saturday as Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena suspended Parliament till November 16 a day after sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe sought an emergency session to prove his majority.

Sirisena’s decision comes a day after former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as the Prime Minister and is seen as a move to allow Rajapaksa more time to seek a majority in Parliament. Continue reading


 China’s first attempt to deploy a privately developed rocket capable of carrying a satellite has failed. Beijing-based Landspace said that the first and second stage of its ZQ-1 rocket worked normally on Saturday but something went wrong with the third stage.

The ZQ-1 was the first three-stage rocket built by a private company in China. A smaller private rocket was launched in May. Continue reading


Russian and Pakistani servicemen will practice “fox hunting” – an orienteering competition – in the mountains in the framework of the “Friendship 2018” military drills, the press service of Russia’s Southern Military District told reporters on Saturday.

“Russian and Pakistani servicemen will participate in an orienteering competition in the mountains at the training range for special services in the village of Cherat of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in the framework of the joint Russian-Pakistani drills ‘Friendship 2018’,” the press service said. Continue reading


The reported landing of an Israeli private jet has created uproar in Pakistan, with the government issuing a denial on the media reports.The controversy started after Israeli newspaper Haaretz’s English edition Editor Avi Scharf tweeted details of a mysterious jet landing in Islamabad along with snippets of the flight details.

“Israeli business jet flew from Tel Aviv to Islamabad, Pakistan, on the ground 10 hours and back to Tel Aviv. Cleared flight-plan with usual 5 minute ground time trick in Amman,” Scharf wrote on Twitter on October 25. He quoted the data of flight tracking website, flightradar24, to further back his claims. It was alleged that flight had descended near Islamabad before going out of coverage. The aircraft reappeared 10 hours later heading south-west from Islamabad. Continue reading


Around 100 Turkish military servicemen will undergo instruction in the operation and maintenance the S-400 systems at a training center in Russia in the autumn of 2019, a military-diplomatic source informed TASS on Thursday.

“It is planned that around 100 Turkish military servicemen will arrive at the Russian Defense Ministry’s training center in Gatchina, near St. Petersburg, in September or October 2019, where they will undergo training for five months in the operation and maintenance of the S-400 systems, which will be delivered to Turkey almost simultaneously with the beginning of their training course,” he said. Continue reading


Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday said the country would send a human to space in 2022. The minister added that it would be the success of the country’s space programme. He added that Chinese assistance would be sought in this matter.

Earlier this year, Pakistan launched two indigenously built satellites into orbit, using a Chinese launch vehicle.
The satellites were launched onboard a Chinese Long March (LM-2C) rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre located at the Gobi desert, China. Continue reading


The United States has restated that Pakistan would be held accountable if it does not make sincere efforts to curb terrorist fighting in Afghanistan.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday (October 23) made the comment as he welcomed long-delayed legislative elections in Afghanistan, saying the United States was “encouraged” by voter turnout, despite reports of widespread problems.

When asked about Islamabad’s role, Pompeo said, “Our expectation is that Pakistan will not provide any safe harbour to terrorists on their western border.” Continue reading


The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has approved sovereign guarantee certificate over the sale of three JF-17 jets to Nigeria for a sum of $184.3 million, a local media outlet reported on Tuesday. Nigeria and Pakistan had recently signed an agreement over the sale of JF-17’s for the Nigerian Air force. Pakistan had requested the African nation that it would issue a certificate of sovereign guarantee rather than a sovereign bank guarantee.

The guarantee deals with ensuring that the jets and associated equipment would be provided by Pakistan. Continue reading


Saudi Arabia has agreed to give Pakistan $3 billion in foreign currency support for a year and a further loan worth up to $3 billion in deferred payments for oil imports to help stave off a current account crisis, Pakistan’s government said on Tuesday. The $6 billion total exceeds forecasts by analysts and will likely reduce the size of any bailout Pakistan ireceives from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), with whom it is currently engaged in talks on a rescue package.

The Saudi agreement came as new Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan attended a Saudi investment conference that has been boycotted by several other leaders over the death of a dissident Saudi writer at the country’s consulate in Istanbul. Continue reading


The Maldives’ top court Sunday ended weeks of uncertainty by rejecting President Abdulla Yameen’s controversial bid to annul last month’s election results, upholding his landslide defeat to an opposition candidate. The five-judge Supreme Court bench unanimously ruled that Yameen had failed to prove his claim that the election was rigged and a fresh poll was necessary in the Indian Ocean archipelago.

Under international pressure, Yameen initially conceded defeat after Ibrahim Mohamed Solih emerged the winner in the September 23 poll.But the strongman ruler then filed an appeal this month, throwing the island nation into turmoil and attracting warnings from the United States and regional superpower India to respect the outcome. Continue reading


Expressing dissatisfaction over Pakistan’s efforts to combat terror financing, a delegation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has asked the country to take robust steps to strengthen its legal framework if it wants to avoid being blacklisted by the anti-money laundering watchdog, according to a media report on Saturday.

Currently placed on the FATF’s ‘grey list’, Pakistan has been scrambling in recent months to avoid being added to a list of countries deemed non-compliant with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations by the Paris-based watchdog, a measure that officials here fear could further hurt its economy. Continue reading


France said Friday it would send its aircraft carrier to the Indian Ocean next year, to defend freedom of navigation at a time of growing Chinese assertiveness in disputed waters. The Charles de Gaulle, currently in the southern French port of Toulon undergoing renovation, should be ready to sail to the Indian Ocean early next year, Defence Minister Florence Parly said.

France “has always stood in the front line in defence of the inalienable right of freedom of navigation in international waters,” Parly told La Provence newspaper. Continue reading


China has released a video footage of one of its most powerful unmanned fighting jets, the Wing Loong II. It has the capability to avoid radar detection which makes it almost invisible to detect and can successfully destroy targets with laser-guided missiles.

It is speculated that the Wing Loong II has been developed specifically for the export market and it can be used for surveillance and aerial reconnaissance missions. China will be providing 48 of these drones to the Pakistani Air Force.The aircraft has a maximum payload capacity of 400 kg and can also be fitted with a variety of weapons to be used to perform combat and strike operations. The aircraft is remotely controlled by one operator from the ground using consoles. Continue reading


Former National Directorate of Security (NDS) Chief Amrullah Saleh stated that Pakistan’s intelligence services and army have ‘hijacked the hopes of the people’ of both Afghanistan and Pakistan by supporting terrorist organisation Taliban and influencing the situation in Afghanistan through violence.

“We have been suffering many of these years because Pakistan has unleashed, in the words of my President, an undeclared war on the Afghan state. They (Pakistan) created the Taliban, and they still continue to provide training, equipment, logistical support and sanctuary for the Taliban. Even the Taliban leaders who travelled to Doha to meet the US envoy for negotiations, they travelled from Pakistan,’ Saleh told ANI. Continue reading

SOURCE: Reuters

Intimidation and threats drove four members of an election panel in the Maldives to flee the island nation, two officials said on Saturday, a day before its top court hears defeated president Abdulla Yameen’s challenge to his election loss last month.

The tourist paradise has been in political upheaval since February, when a state of emergency was imposed by Yameen, who ran the Indian Ocean islands with an iron hand, critics say, jailing political opponents and Supreme Court justices.Since Yameen lost his bid for re-election, the opposition has been trying to secure a smooth transition of power, due on Nov. 17. Continue reading