Pak, US discussed security situation in South Asia: Sartaj

ISLAMABAD, Feb 4 (APP) :Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz has said Pakistan and the United States during the eighth round of talks on Tuesday discussed the security situation in South Asia agreeing that peace, security and stability is essential. "We discussed security situation in South Asia and the two sides agreed that peace, security and stability is very essential", the Foreign Minister said in an interview with BBC Radio's Pushto service. In this regard, the Foreign Minister added the United States has expressed its desire that talks initiated by Pakistan with India on security and Kashmir prove successful. "We discussed nuclear issues and it was decided that experts from the two countries will hold meetings in March or April on export control of nuclear technology and fissile material", he said. Sartaj said, "it was also decided that we will hold bilateral consultations regarding negotiations which are presently underway in Geneva on fissile material, adding, and Inshallah we will clarify our position in the light of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif's announcement at UN Genewral Assembly on CTBT." The provision of loans by IMF and World Bank to Pakistan was discussed during the talks, the Foreign Minister added.

Meeting Taliban minister arrives for talks with Inderfurth

ISLAMABAD, Feb 4 (APP) :Taliban's Deputy Foreign Minister Mulla Abdul Jalil Akhund arrived here on Wednesday for talks with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Karl Inderfurth, diplomatic sources said. "There will be no press release, no comments on the meeting, " a U.S. Embassy official told APP on condition of anonymity. Despite repeated efforts, Taliban officials in Islamabad were also not available for comments about the talks. Inderfurth, who accompanied U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott in his February 1-2 visit to Pakistan, stayed back for talks with the Taliban official. The meeting was the first high-level contact between United States and Taliban since Washington's missile attack on Afghanistan in August last.

February 5 to be observed as 'Protest Day'

ISLAMABAD, Feb 4 (APP) :The Federal Government has declared February 5 as a "Protest Day" to mark solidarity and commitment to the Kashmir cause,says an official announcement. All Federal and Provincial Government offices and public and private institutions, shall therefore remain closed on the Day,the announcement further said.

Solidarity Day proof of Pakistan's continued support to Kashmiris' cause:Mir Waiz

ISLAMABAD, Feb 4 (APP) :In the Indian occupied Kashmir, former Chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Mir Waiz Umer Farooq has said that observance of Solidarity Day on February 5 is proof of Pakistan's continued support to Kashmiris' cause. In his pre-Solidarity Day message, he urged Muslim Ummah to take practical steps for securing the right of self-determination of Kashmiris and to compel India to resolve the long-standing Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of Kashmiri people,reports Kashmir Media Service. He thanked Pakistan and all those nations who supported Kashmiris' birth right of self- determination. He said, Kashmiris were particularly grateful to Pakistan and Pakistani people who persistently support Kashmiris' just struggle, politically,morally and diplomatically. He emphasised that Kashmiris would continue their struggle and the unique sacrifices they were offering for their right of self-determination would bear fruit in the near future. He appealed to world community to make positive efforts for resolving the Kashmir dispute through peaceful talks.

No agreement with India on power supply: Gohar informs Senate

ISLAMABAD, Feb 4 (APP) :Minister for Water and Power Gohar Ayub informed the Senate Wednesday evening that no agreement has been reached with India for the export of power due to divergent perceptions during the 2nd round of talks in Delhi. Responding to a host of questions during question hour, the Minister while clarifying a report published in a section of the press that an agreement between India and Pakistan on export of power has been finalised, the Minister said during the 2nd round of talks in Delhi, the Pakistan side confirmed availability of 300 MW capacity for export which would further be enhanced to 600 MW during off-peak periods. He said due to technical limitations on Indian grid, it was suggested by Indian side that Pakistan will have to dedicate a grid -station near Lahore for Interconnection to Patti Grid stations in India.

Govt to observe Kashmir solidarity day in a befitting manner: Mushahid

ISLAMABAD, Feb 4 (APP) :Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Minister for Information and Culture said Wednesday that government is committed to Kashmir cause and it has decided to observe Kashmir Day on Feb.5 in a befitting manner with special programmes. Talking to APP here in his Parliament Chamber, he said the government has curtailed a number of holidays as austerity measures but added it has declared Feb 5 as gazetted Holiday to express solidarity and respect for struggling Kashmiris which reflects government's strong commitment to the Kashmir cause. Mushahid Hussain said this time special prograames have been chalked out in which members of the cabinet will participate. He said Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif will visit Azad Kashmir including forward areas on Feb 5 to demonstrate solidarity with Kashmiris. He said that Ministry of Information has published a "Fact book" on struggle of Kashmir from 1924 to 1988 which highlighted the Kashmir struggle chronologically.