Speculation on Pakistan’s role in Zawahiri drone attack
The American drone that killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul was possibly laun�ched from an airbase in Kyrgyzstan, some US media reports claimed.
The reports claimed that the attack was launched from Ganci Airbase, a US transit facility at Manas in northern Kyrgyzstan, says Dawn news.
According to the US Department of Defence, Ganci is a former American military base in Kyrgyzstan, near the Bishkek international airport.
It was operated by the US Air Force, which handed it over to the Kyrgyz military in June 2014.
The national Public Radio, America’s largest radio news network, noted that US officials were not saying where they launched the drone from, “but the US no longer has any military bases in the immediate region, suggesting the aircraft may have flown a long distance before reaching its target”.
Michael Kugelman, a scholar of South Asian affairs at the Wilson Center, Washington, noted that the drone strike has generated “lots of discussion” in the US on “Pakistan’s possible role” in the raid, Dawn reported.
“I wouldn’t overstate its role, but also would take with some grains of salt the contention that there was no role at all.”
Kugelman focused his attention on two possible forms of support: airspace and intelligence. “The geography doesn’t lie. If this drone was launched from a US base in the Gulf, it wouldn’t be able to fly over Iran. Flying over Central Asia is circuitous and hard to pull off if you’re undertaking a rapid operation,” he wrote.
“This leaves the Pakistani airspace as the most desirable option for intelligence support and US officials have indicated the planning and surveillance for this operation took months.”
“Could it do that all alone, with no on-ground presence?” he asked, adding that if not Pakistan, “some renegade Taliban members might have supplied that information to the US”.
But Kugelman does not rule out the possibility of Afghanistan’s Central Asian neighbours providing that support to the US, Dawn reported.
Pakistan Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said the drone that targeted and killed Zawahiri was not operated from the country, Geo News reported.
Atif Aslam, wife Sara welcome baby girl in holy month of Ramzan
Pakistani playback singer Atif Aslam, who is known for chartbusters such as ‘Aadat’, ‘Bakhuda’, ‘Jeena Jeena’, ‘Jaane De’ and several others, has become a proud faher as he and his wife Sara Bharwana welcome a baby girl.
The ‘Tajdar-e-Haram’ hitmaker took to his Instagram on Thursday to share the news of his baby’s arrival with his fans. He posted a picture of his daughter wrapped up in pink colour baby sleepwear.
The baby is named Halima.
He wrote in the caption: “Finally the wait is over. The new queen of my heart has arrived.”
“Both baby and Sarah are fine Alhamdulilah. Please do remember us in your prayers. Ramadan Mubarak from Halima Atif Aslam 23/03/2023.”
He also added #Ramadan in the caption.
Atif has sung many songs in Bollywood films including ‘Tere Sang Yaara’ from ‘Rustom’, ‘Tu Jaane Na’ and ‘Tera Hone Laga Hoon’ from ‘Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani’ and ‘Tere Bin’ from ‘Bas Ek Pal’.
FIRST ROZA ON THURSDAY IN SAUDI ARABIA & JERUSALEM OR PALESTINE
JERUSALEM: The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, Mohammad Hussein, declared that Thursday, March 23, will be the first day of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.
RIYADH: The crescent moon was not sighted on Tuesday evening in Saudi Arabia and Thursday, March 23, will be the start of the holy month of Ramadan, the Kingdom’s Supreme Court has said.
The court called on all Muslims in the Kingdom to look for the Ramadan crescent on Tuesday evening that corresponds to Shaban 29, 1444.
The Ministry of Justice announced it has launched an electronic system for crescent sighting “with the aim of automating and governing the moon sighting processes, and unifying work procedures between the courts of first instance and the Supreme Court.”
The service aims to unify the data source of the observatory through a robust electronic system that provides speed and integration with the relevant authorities, raising the quality of the observatory operations, and speeding up the issuance of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding new moon sightings.
More than 1.9 billion Muslims around the world will mark the holy month, during which believers abstain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn until sunset.
Indian flag pulled down by pro-Khalistani protesters at London mission; MEA summons UK diplomat
The tricolour flying atop the Indian High Commission in London was pulled down by a group of protesters waving Khalistani flags and chanting pro-Khalistani slogans on Sunday evening.
Scotland Yard, headquarters of Metropolitan Police, said it was “aware” of an incident in the area but is yet to issue an official statement.
India has, meanwhile, registered its strong protest with the British government over the safety of its diplomatic mission and questioned the lack of sufficient security at the premises.
Images of shattered windows and men climbing the India House building were circulating on social media and videos from the scene show an Indian official grabbing the flag from a protester through the first-floor window of the mission, while the protester is seen waving a Khalistan flag hanging off its ledge.
MEA summons UK diplomat
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the senior-most UK diplomat in New Delhi was summoned late evening on Sunday to convey India’s “strong protest” at the actions taken by separatist and extremist elements against the Indian High Commission in London.
“An explanation was demanded for the complete absence of the British security that allowed these elements to enter the High Commission premises. She was reminded in this regard of the basic obligations of the UK Government under the Vienna Convention,” the MEA said in a statement.
“India finds unacceptable the indifference of the UK government to the security of Indian diplomatic premises and personnel in the UK. It is expected that the UK Government would take immediate steps to identify, arrest and prosecute each one of those involved in today’s incident, and put in place stringent measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents,” it said.
The banned terrorist organisation, Sikhs For Justice, is conducting a so-called “Referendum 2020” amid a crackdown on pro-Khalistan leader Amritpal Singh in Punjab.
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