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BRUSSELS: The European Union yesterday offered to send observers to Pakistan’s historic elections in May to ensure a “peaceful, credible” vote that will be “acceptable” to all. The vote for the first time would enable the transition of power from one elected government to another, marking the first time a democratically elected government would have seen out a full term. “The EU looks forward to upcoming elections that are peaceful, credible, transparent, inclusive and acceptable to the Pakistani people,” EU foreign ministers said in a statement after talks. The ministers said they looked forward to re-energising ties with the next government and hoped quick contacts could lead to a third EU-Pakistan summit.
Nato chief responds to Karzai’s remarks
Kabul: The commander of the Nato-led forces in Afghanistan, General Joseph Dunford, has taken exception to Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s remarks hinting that Washington has benefited from Taliban attacks. “We have fought too hard over the past 12 years. We have shed too much blood over the past 12 years. We have done too much to help the Afghan security forces grow over the last 12 years to ever think that violence or instability would be to our advantage,” he said. On Sunday, after a weekend bombing in Kabul that killed nine people, Karzai said there are “ongoing daily talks between Taliban, American and foreigners in Europe and in the Gulf states.”
Roadside bomb kills three in Kurram
PESHAWAR: A roadside bomb attack yesterday in northwest Pakistan’s restive tribal region killed three soldiers and wounded two others, officials said. A captain was killed along with two soldiers when their vehicle hit an improvised bomb in Masuzai area of Kurram tribal district. The troops had been patrolling around 30km (18 miles) east of Parachinar, a major town in Kurram district. Kurram also suffers from sectarian violence.
Monastery, rare coins excavated
ISLAMABAD: A team of scholars and students from the Taxila Institute of Asian Civilization (TIAC) discovered rare objects, including coins and a monastery, during excavations near Taxila. “The discovery of the monastery dating the 3rd to early 4th century would add a new chapter to the archaeological history of the site and the Gandhara civilisation,” said Prof Dr Mohammad Ashraf Khan, Director of TIAC. The team also recovered a headless Buddha in mediation, made of stucco; 10 pots, pottery items, iron nails, animal bones, knives, iron pieces and bangle pieces. The materials bring to the fore fresh facts relating to the Gandhara culture, necessitating to rewrite the history of Taxila, officials said.
Dismissed chief minister to return
ISLAMABAD: Two months after being booted out, Nawab Aslam Raisani’s government is likely to return to Baluchistan this week. According to officials in the Presidency, the restoration of Raisani’s government seems certain, given that President Asif Ali Zardari’s proclamation of governor’s rule in the province expires on Thursday. “Baluchistan’s emergency will automatically end when its legality expire on Thursday,” said an official. The decision not to put the matter before the joint sitting of parliament was taken by the president, he added.