Muslim World News

Muslim World News

Sushma, Aziz shake hands in Kathmandu

Kathmandu : Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Tuesday briefly met and shook hands with top Pakistani official Sartaj Aziz on the eve of the Saarc Summit beginning here Wednesday.

"It was out of courtesy," Sushma Swaraj said later, when journalists wanted to know if their meeting was a sign that the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers would meet on the sidelines of the summit.

"If you meet ministers of other countries at an international platform, you greet each other," she added.

Pakistan PM heads to Nepal for Saarc summit

Islamabad : Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif left for Nepal Tuesday to attend the 18th Saarc Summit Nov 26-27, officials said.

On the sidelines of the event, the Pakistani prime minister will meet leaders from Saarc member countries to discuss issues of bilateral and regional interest, Xinhua reported citing a foreign ministry statement.

The South Association for Regional Cooperation groups Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The theme of the summit this year is "Deeper Integration for Peace and Prosperity".

Tripura seeks access to Bangladesh ports

Agartala : The Tripura government will ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi to persuade Bangladesh to provide access to its water and land routes to transport men and goods for India's northeastern states, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar has said.

"Access to the Chittagong port and Ashuganj river port in Bangladesh are crucial for the northeastern states to ferry men and materials," Sarkar told reporters here Monday night.

Modi will undertake a four-day visit starting Nov 29 to the northeast region. He will visit Assam, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh.

Hope Saarc reduces India-Pakistan tensions: minister

Islamabad : Pakistan hopes that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's participation in the Saarc Summit in Nepal will help reduce India-Pakistan tensions, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said Tuesday.

Asif said Pakistan wanted good relations with India but Islamabad's desire should not be seen as a weakness, reports Xinhua.

He said Sharif had expressed his resolve to improve relations with India.

The minister insisted that Pakistan would have to play a role to restore peace in Afghanistan.

Sharif, Modi won't meet in Kathmandu: Pakistan

Kathmandu : Prime Ministers Narendra Modi of India and Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan won't meet on the sidelines of the Saarc Summit here, a senior Pakistani official said Tuesday.

Sartaj Aziz, advisor to Sharif on national security and foreign affairs, told the media on his arrival here that there were no plans for a Modi-Sharif bilateral, Geo TV reported.

But he added that such a meeting could be held if Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made a request.

Azia said it was up to India to have "informal talks" with Pakistan.

WHO team to assess how Pakistan is tackling Ebola

Islamabad : A World Health Organization (WHO) mission arrived in Pakistan to assess arrangements made by the government to keep Ebola virus out of the country, a media report said Tuesday.

During its week-long stay, they will visit Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi airports and other entry points to assess arrangements to deal with an affected person, Dawn online reported.

Michel Torres, country head of WHO, said he was informed the government has taken steps, but his team would analyse whether standard operating procedures were being followed.

Man with Ebola like symptoms dies in Pakistan

Islamabad : A man who was hospitalised with Ebola like symptoms has died, a media report said Tuesday.

Zulfiqar Ahmed, 40, who returned from Togo a week ago, died Monday, Dawn online reported. He was admitted to a hospital at Chiniot town in Punjab.

The patient's blood samples have been sent to National Institute of Health (NIH) in Islamabad for laboratory tests and it will take at least two weeks for the test results to arrive, the report added.

Israel postpones vote on controversial nation bill

Jerusalem : Israeli politicians decided Monday to postpone by one week a planned vote on a controversial bill due to political quarrels that could possibly threaten the stability of the governing coalition, a parliament spokesperson confirmed to Xinhua.

Sunday, the Israeli cabinet voted in favour of a bill proposal known as the "Jewish nation law" after heated debate. After the government decided to adopt the proposal, the bill moves on to the parliament for several rounds of voting.

UN, PNA to rebuild 24,000 destroyed Gaza houses

Gaza : The UN has notified the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) that construction raw material to rebuild some 24,000 destroyed houses will be allowed soon into Gaza Strip, a senior official said Monday.

Mufied Hassayna, the Palestinian unity government's minister of housing and public work, told reporters in Gaza that UN representatives officially informed the Palestinian government on allowing construction material into Gaza Strip.

Modi leaves for SAARC Tuesday, meeting with Sharif not ruled out

New Delhi : A likely meeting between Prime Minster Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the SAARC summit has lent added interest to the meeting of the eight-member bloc of South Asian nations to be held in Kathmandu Nov 26-27.

The prime minister leaves Tuesday for Kathmandu to attend the 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit. It will be his second meeting with nearly all the leaders, except for Afghanistan which has a new president in Ashraf Ghani.