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Pakistan Watch

Issue No. 75
February 2017

By: Divya Malhotra
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

POLITICAL ISSUES
BAHRAIN
1. Bahraini delegation meets Pak PM
Islamabad, Tuesday, 3 January 2017   
Commander of the National Guard of Bahrain Isa Al-Khalifa called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and highlighted the historically strong relations and discussed the scope of improving bilateral economic and trade equation.
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan, Islamabad; See also: Radio Pakistan, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad

IRAN
2. Pak grieves demise of Iran’s ex- President Rafsanjani
Islamabad, Monday, 9 January 2017   
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed his condolences over the death of former President of Iran Akbar Rafsanjani, who passed away on 8 January in Tehran at the age of 82 years.
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan, Islamabad

3. Iranian Parliamentary delegation visits Pak
Islamabad, Thursday, 26 January 2017   
Iranian Parliamentary delegation headed by Allauddin Boroujerdi, Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran, outlined the trajectory of Pak-Iran relations in evolving geo-political environment during their meeting with Pakistani National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq.
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan, Islamabad

OMAN
4. Pak, Oman to formulate Parliamentary Friendship Group
Islamabad, Thursday, 12 January 2017   
Omani delegation led by State Council’s Chairman Salim Al-Munthri signed a MoU Chairman of Pakistani Senate Raza Rabbani to enhance their inter-parliamentary linkages and economic cooperation.  
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan, Islamabad

PALESTINE
5. Palestinian delegation visits Pak
Islamabad, Monday, 30 January 2017   
A 17-member Palestinian delegation led by President Mahmoud Abbas paid a three-day visit and held meetings with Pakistani Prime Minister and other officials, and inaugurated the newly constructed Palestine Embassy Complex in Islamabad.
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan, Islamabad; See also: The Nation, Lahore; The Express Tribune, Karachi; Times of Islamabad, Islamabad; Dawn, Karachi

SAUDI ARABIA
6. Def Minister dismisses reports of Raheel Sharif heading Arab Coalition
Islamabad, Wednesday, 11 January 2017   
In response to media reports of Pakistan Army Chief Raheel Sharif’s appointment as Commander-in-Chief of Saudi-led Arab Coalition Forces, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif clarified that the Army Chief has “not intimated” the parent organization regarding the development and no formal request for NoC has been made.
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan, Islamabad; See also: Dawn, Karachi

7. Saudi raises Hajj quota for Pakistani pilgrims
Islamabad, Monday, 23 January 2017   
Pakistan’s Religious Affairs Minister Sardar Yousaf and Saudi Hajj and Umrah Minister Mohammed Taher Bentin held a meeting in Jeddah to raise the limit of Pakistani Hajj pilgrims in 2017 to 179,210.
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan, Islamabad

TURKEY
8. Pakistani PM condemns terrorist attack in Istanbul on New year eve
Islamabad, Sunday, 1 January 2017   
Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain strongly condemned the terrorist attacks in the Besiktas district of Istanbul on 31 December and reassured Pakistan’s support to Turkey in its fight against terrorism.
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan, Islamabad; See also: Business Recorder, Karachi

UAE
9. Pak condoles attack on five Emirati diplomats in Afghanistan
Islamabad, Friday, 13 January 2017
Pakistan Prime Minister’s advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi criticized the bomb attack in Kandahar which killed five Emirati diplomats and left the Emirati envoy to Afghanistan injured.
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan, Islamabad;See also: Pakistan Observer, Islamabad

DEFENCE ISSUES
BAHRAIN
10. Pak Naval Chief visits Bahrain
Islamabad, Sunday, 15 January 2017   
Pakistan’s Chief of Naval Staff Zakaullah paid a visit to Bahrain to discuss matters relating bilateral security and military cooperation with Commander Royal Bahrain Naval Force and Bahraini military leaders.
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan, Islamabad

QATAR
11. Pakistani Naval Chief visits Qatar     
Islamabad, Thursday, 12 January 2017   
Chief of the Naval Staff Muhammad Zakaullah met Qatar’s Minister of State for Defence Khalid Al Attiyapaid in Doha to discuss matters relating defence collaboration.
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan, Islamabad

TURKEY
12. Pak, Turkey hold military dialogue
Islamabad, Wednesday, 25 January 2017   
Pakistan and Turkey initiated two-day 12th round of High Level Military Dialogue Group meeting in Islamabad with Pakistan’s Secretary Defence Syed Hassan Shah and Turkey’s Deputy Chief of Turkish General Staff Umit Dundar representing their respective countries. Both the sides agreed to work on Comprehensive Bilateral Strategic Framework Agreement.
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan, Islamabad

13. Turkish Deputy Chief of Air Staff visits Pak
Islamabad, Thursday, 26 January 2017   
Turkish Deputy Chief of General Staff Umit Dundar met Pakistani Chief of Air Staff, Sohail Aman to deliberate upon potential areas of military and defence cooperation.
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan, Islamabad

ECONOMIC ISSUES
BAHRAIN
14. Pak invites Bahraini investment     
Islamabad, Sunday, 22 January 2017   
Ambassador of Pakistan in Bahrain Javed Malik highlighted the investment environment and invited Bahraini investors to explore Pakistani market, during his interaction with Hamood al Khalifa, a member of Bahrain royal family.
Source: Daily Times, Lahore

MISCELLANEOUS ISSUES
EGYPT
15. Pak embassy coordinating rescue of sailors stranded in Egypt
Islamabad, Monday, 2 January 2017   
Pakistan envoy in Egypt Mushtaq Ali Shah reassured logistical support and rescue assistance to 18 Pakistani sailors stranded onboard MV AKKAZ, the Ship owned by a Kuwaiti company, in the Red Sea, off Port Tawfik in Egypt due to mechanical failure and expiry of technical license.
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan, Islamabad

IRAN
16. Pakistan grieves over Tehran fire incident
Islamabad, Saturday, 21 January 2016   
Pakistan expressed condolences over loss of life and property in the tragic fire accident and collapse of Plasco building in Tehran on 19 January.
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan, Islamabad

17. Iran grieves Parachinar terrorist attack
Islamabad, Tuesday, 24 January 2017   
Iran has expressed deep sorrow over the terrorist incident at a vegetable market in Parachinar city of FATA on 21 January, which resulted in death of 25 people, injuring over 87 citizens.
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan, Islamabad

SAUDI ARABIA
18. Saudi to invest in SWAT expressway
Islamabad, Wednesday, 25 January 2017   
Saudi Arabia has agreed to provide financial aid of PKR 3.4 billion for the construction of four-lane, 113 kilometres long Swat Expressway.
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan, Islamabad; See also: The Nation, Lahore

TURKEY
19. Foundation stone of Recep Erdogan Hospital extension laid by Punjab CM
Islamabad, Tuesday, 10 January 2017   
Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif laid the foundation stone of extension project of Recep Tayyip Erdogan Government Hospital in Muzaffargarh district of Punjab. Family medicine clinic of the hospital was also inaugurated.
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan, Islamabad  

20. Abducted Pak youth rescued by Turkish authorities
Islamabad, Wednesday, 4 January 2016   
Six Pakistani youth, who had been abducted for ransom by Kurdish pirates, were rescued by the Turkish authorities on 4 January, with legal proceedings under way. Additionally, two more Pakistanis were recovered from Avcilarin area of Istanbul on 13 January. 
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan, Islamabad

COMPILED BY DIVYA MALHOTRA

Divya Malhotra is a Doctoral candidate at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.  Email

As part of its editorial policy, the MEI@ND standardizes spelling and date formats to make the text uniformly accessible and stylistically consistent. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views/positions of the MEI@ND. Editor, MEI@ND: P R Kumaraswamy