President Donald Trump said he had not confronted or discussed the U.S. intelligence reports that Moscow offered bounties to Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “I have never discussed it with him,” Trump said during an interview with Axios on HBO, and also cast doubt on the intelligence reports. Asked why he did not confront Putin on the issue

29 July 2020

With no evidence of seasonal variations as the number of cases increases, the World Health Organisation (WHO) described the COVID-19 pandemic as “one big wave” that is continuing and accelerating. Margaret Harris, a WHO spokesperson, insisted that discussions on what consists a second wave are not helpful in understanding the disease. “People are still thinking about seasons. What we all need to get our heads

29 July 2020

India said it was resisting U.S. pressure to keep the strategic Chabahar port project going in Iran. The statement by the Indian envoy to Iran Gaddam Dharmendra, was seen as New Delhi exercising its strategic independence as the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran. However, earlier media reports had indicated that the U.S. had spared Chabahar from sanctions to support Afghanistan’s access to the port. The

25 July 2020

Pakistani journalist Matiullah Jan, who was a vocal critic of the country’s powerful military, was released 12 hours after being abducted, his family told Reuters. “My husband was abducted this morning outside the school [in the capital Islamabad] where I work,” Kaneez Sughra, wife of the 51-year-old journalist, told the news agency. Security camera footage showed Jan, who had arrived to pick-up his wife

22 July 2020

A COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford, officially called AZD 1222, has shown positive results in the initial human trials. The findings, published in the reputed medical journal, The Lancet, show that the vaccine triggers an immune response from the body as antibodies and T-cells, a type of white blood cells, are produced to fight the Coronavirus. The clinical name

20 July 2020

Baloch activists in Germany held a protest against human rights violations in the southwestern province of Balochistan, a sparsely populated region in Pakistan. The Saturday protest was organized by the Baloch National Movement (BNM Germany Zone) for the Harnai incident where the Pakistani army raided the home of a herder and then killed the entire family, including 9-year-old child named Naz Bibi. Some sources

19 July 2020

The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported a record spike in the global Coronavirus cases for the second day in a row, with a total of 259,848 cases in 24 hours. The biggest increases were in the U.S. (71,484), Brazil (45,403), India (34,884) and South Africa (13,373) on Saturday. The previous WHO record for new cases was 237,743 on Friday. The single-day COVID-19 death toll also rose

19 July 2020

Pakistan has welcomed the UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions against Noor Wali Mehsud, the leader of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The banned leader has been added to the IS and Al Qaeda sanctions list of individuals and entities subject to the assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo. The sanctions against Mehsud “are being implemented by Pakistan in compliance with the relevant UNSC resolutions and we

18 July 2020

On Wednesday, India saw a record-high of 29,429 new COVID-19 infections, along with 582 fatalities within 24 hours, with the peak still to arrive. The Indian health ministry’s official figures now stand at 936,181 cases with 24,309 deaths. These are the highest daily figures yet. The Indian Council of Medical research (ICMR) has set an ambitious August 15 deadline for the development of two vaccines

15 July 2020

Iranian Railways has started working on the rail line from Chabahar port to Zahedan, along the Afghan border, citing funding delays from the Indian side to start the construction. The entire 628-kilometer project will be completed by March 2022, Iran said as it launched the track-laying process last week. It will extend all the way to Zaranj in Afghanistan. The government will tap into the

14 July 2020