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Afghanistan may fall into civil war if inclusive govt not formed: PM Imran

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Prime Minister Imran Khan warned that Afghanistan might see a civil war if all factions were not included in an inclusive government.

In an interview with the BBC, the prime minister said “If they do not include all the factions, sooner or later they will gradually descend into a civil war,” adding that it would again impact Pakistan.

“That would mean an unstable, a chaotic Afghanistan and an ideal place for terrorists. That is a worry,” he observed.

The prime minister further said that in case, there had been a fighting on Afghan soil, it would lead to a humanitarian crises and refugees issue for Pakistan.

To a question, he replied after twenty years of civil war, Taliban have come into power. It had been few months, since they had been in power.

He, however, expressing his optimism said that Taliban leadership’s statements after coming into power had been very encouraging.

Responding to another query by the British broadcast host John Simpson regarding Afghan women’s rights, Prime Minister Khan said Afghan women were very strong, ‘give them some time and they will assert their rights.”

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COAS, Saudi FM discuss matters of mutual interest, regional security

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Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa says the 17th extraordinary session of OIC is extremely important to channelize international efforts and save Afghanistan from looming security and humanitarian crises.

He was talking to Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud, who called on him in Rawalpindi.

Matters of mutual interest, regional security, current situation in Afghanistan and bilateral defence relations were discussed during the meeting.

The Army Chief also emphasized that peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute is essential for stability in South Asia.

He reiterated that Pakistan wants cordial ties with all its neighbors in pursuit of regional peace and prosperity.

The visiting dignitary appreciated Pakistan’s role in Afghan situation, specially its efforts for border management and its role in regional stability.

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NIH confirms first case of Omicron in Pakistan

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The National Institute of Health (NIH) Pakistan on Monday confirmed the first case of Omicron variant of coronavirus.

“The NIH has been able to confirm (via whole genome sequencing) that a recently suspected sample from Karachi is indeed the ‘Omicron variant’ of SARS-CoV2,” said NIH Pakistan in a tweet.

“This is the first confirmed case but continued surveillance of suspected samples is in place to identify the trends.”

According to the NIH, “The importance of getting vaccinated to protect from serious effects of existing and new variants is therefore highlighted. Please get yourself vaccinated according to guidelines issued by the NCOC.”

On December 9, Pakistan had reported its first “suspected” case of the new coronavirus variant Omicron in a woman, 57, in Karachi.

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PM Imran Khan to visit Lahore today

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Prime Minister Imran Khan will reach Lahore on a day-long visit today (Wednesday). He is scheduled to chair important meetings during his stay in the provincial capital.

According to sources, the Prime Minister is scheduled to hold separate meetings with Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.

Chief Minister Usman Buzdar will brief the Prime Minister on important issues of the province. The Prime Minister will also address a ceremony in connection with Health Cards.

The Prime Minister will also meet the Vice Chancellors (VCs) and Principals of medical universities and colleges in Lahore. Key senior ministers will also meet PM Imran.

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