A US government panel called for India to be put on a religious freedom blacklist. The panel called for it over a “drastic” downturn under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, triggering a sharp rebuttal from New Delhi. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom recommends but does not set policy, and there is virtually no chance the State Department will follow its lead on India, an increasingly close US ally.
According to Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy Islamabad, Lisa K. Heller, the Trump administration will increase its support for educational opportunities and student exchange programs for Pakistani students of different backgrounds. The US embassy, in collaboration with Education USA, organized International Education Week (IEW) from November 18th to 22nd to encourage Pakistani youngsters to study in the US.
Turkish President announced military operation against US-backed Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria three days after Trump administration unexpectedly announced withdrawal of US troops stationed in the region. The Turkish leader discussed the operations’s goal that was to neutralise terror threats against Turkey and preservation of Syria’s territorial integrity which will lead to establishment of safe zone.
President Donald Trump threatened Turkey (NATO ally) to destroy its economy if Ankara takes any action in Syria that he considered “off-limits”. Leaders from both parties and both houses of Congress joined in the criticism. The United States began pulling troops back from the northeast Syrian border giving Turkey a green light to move into the area who has repeatedly threatened to carry out invasion in the same region.
American lawmakers took legislative measures against India, expressing solicitude over the humanitarian crisis in Indian-Occupied Kashmir (IOK), for the first time ever. The report submitted to the Senate notes with concern to the current situation in (IOK) and calls on Indian government to lift the lock down and curfew in occupied territories; restore telecommunication and internet services and release the detainees.
The United States informed Pakistan that it has removed a 25-mile travel ban and other restrictions imposed last year on Pakistani diplomats and diplomatic staff stationed in the country. In return, Islamabad also has restored facilities that US diplomats had enjoyed in Pakistan until last year. Trump administration imposed these restrictions on May 10, 2018 and on May 11, Islamabad imposed similar restrictions.
The US State Department has announced on its Twitter account that Trump administration is ready to approve $125 million for Pakistan to provide technical support to its fleet of F-16 aircraft. The programme has been sent to Congress for approval after being given a go-ahead by State Department. The good news comes immediately after PM Imran Khan’s visit to USA.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has reportedly expressed desire to stay at the ambassador’s official residence instead of an expensive hotel during his three-day visit to Washington, starting on July 21. While staying at ambassador’s residence can considerably reduce the cost of the visit, neither the United States secret service nor the city administration appears “very receptive” to the idea.
One of the owners of the attacked oil tanker in Gulf of Oman have suggested that the crew might have seen bullets as they saw some objects flying over water before they were hit. This contradicts US government’s narrative suggesting an unexploded mine might have done the damage. Earlier, US has blamed Iran for the attacks on the ships.