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Amid Torkham tension,Pakistan now building gate at Taftan with Iran border

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Amid the tension between Islamabad and Kabul over construction of a gate at Torkham border crossing, the Pakistani side is building a gate at the country’s border with Iran at Taftan to curb illegal trade.

Frontier Corps Sector Commander Brigadier Khalid Beg and Balochistan Collector Customs Saeed Ahmed Jadoon on Friday laid the foundation stone of the ‘Pakistan Gate’ at Taftan in Chagai district, Dawn online reported.

The construction of the gate will complete in two months at a cost of Rs 15 million. It will be inaugurated on the country’s Independence Day (August 14).

Iran has already constructed a trade gate inside its border at Mir Java in Zahedan, capital of Sistan and Balochistan province, and has been demanding that Pakistan build a similar gate on its side of the border.

Iran has also erected 10-foot-high walls at various places along with its border with Pakistan.

Speaking at the Taftan ceremony, Beg said the purpose of building the gate was to make border management more effective.

He said the trade gate would facilitate thousands of traders and tourists crossing into Pakistan.

Jadoon said the gate would be a symbol of the country on the border.

He said although the gate was needed by Pakistan to improve border management, it was also requested by the Iranians. It would help curb illegal trade on both sides of the border.

The government is also constructing a ‘Pakistan House’ at Taftan to provide facilities to people going to Iran and Iraq for pilgrimage.

“The construction of Pakistan House is in progress and will be completed soon,” said Chagai Commissioner Qadir Bakhsh Pirkani.

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Indonesia’s Sulawesi island volcano erupts,spewing ashes upto 7.5 km high

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Jakarta, Dec 16 : A volcano erupted in Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province on Sunday, spewing a column of ash measuring 7.5 km to the sky.

Mount Soputan erupted twice — first at 7.43 a.m. and the second at 8.57 a.m., an agency spokesman told Xinhua news agency.

There were no reports of casualties and the ash was not considered a threat to aviation, agency spokesman Sutopo Nugroho said on Sunday.

Ashes were spread toward south west and south of the crater and small tremors jolted the area.

“In anticipating the hot ash from sliding into the flank of the volcano and flows of cool lava, the community is prohibited from having activities at the radius of 4 km from the crater, and for the area at southwest of the crater the no go-zone has been declared at 6.5 km,” the spokesman said.

Mount Soputan is one of 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia which lies on a vulnerable quake-hit zone called “the Pacific Ring of Fire”.

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Wickremesinghe reinstated as Sri Lankan PM

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Colombo, Dec 16 : Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was forced out of office in October, was sworn in as Sri Lankan Prime Minister on Sunday by President Maithripala Sirisena.

Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) said on its official Twitter account that the deposed leader took oath before President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday.

“We thank the citizens of the country who fought the illegal seizure of power and ensured that democracy was restored,” the UNP said on Twitter.

His reinstatement has ended a nearly two-month political crisis,but has brought major embarrassment for Sirisena, who had replaced him with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa following differences over policymaking and other issues.

However, Rajapaksa failed to win a parliamentary majority and resigned on Saturday as a government shutdown loomed.

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Chhota Shakeel’s brother Anwar Babu Sheikh detained in Dubai

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Mumbai, Dec 15 : The D-company received a major blow as  Gangster Chhota Shakeel’s brother Anwar Shaikh, who is wanted in Mumbai for 1993 Mumbai serials blasts, was arrested from Abu Dhabi Airport on Friday.Chhota Shakeel is considered the trusted right hand of fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar.

Sheikh, who is wanted in Mumbai and Thane in connection with several offences including the March 1993 Mumbai serials blasts, was detained and questioned by the Dubai Police at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Among other things, Sheikh is wanted for allegedly co-ordinating the Mumbai serial blasts from a location abroad.

After the Mumbai serial blasts red corner notice has been issued against him  and Indian authorities are trying to seek Anwar’s custody.

After search and interrogation, the Dubai Police are understood to have recovered a Pakistani passport from Sheikh, raising questions on his extradition to India.

Both Indian and Pakistani embassies in the UAE are said to be in touch with the Dubai authorities seeking his deportation to their respective countries.

 

Mumbai and Thane police sources said that Sheikh is linked to Pakistan’s ISI and was involved in several terror acts in India before he fled this country.

Earlier this year, Thane Anti Extortion Cell chief Pradeep Sharma had nabbed couple of persons for illegally keeping AK-56 Army assault rifles in their Mumbai suburban home in Goregaon.

 

 

 

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