Regional security

‘No safe haven here’: Pakistan rejects Brics statement on terror groups

Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir said no militant faction operated freely in the country.

As international pressure to act against terror groups mounts, Pakistan on Tuesday rejected a declaration by Brics nations and said there was no “safe haven” for terrorists on its soil.

At the Brics Summit in China’s Xiamen on Monday, leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa condemned terrorism and said they were worried about the threat posed by terror groups, including those based in Pakistan. The 43-page declaration had named anti-India militant factions such as the Jaish-e-Mohammad, which was blamed for a 2001 attack on India’s Parliament, and the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which India blames for cross-border attacks, including a 2008 strike in Mumbai.

On Tuesday, Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir (pictured above) said no group operates freely inside the country. “These organisations, they have some of their remnants in Pakistan, which we are cleaning,” he told the Geo TV, without specifying which groups he was referring to.

“Terrorist safe havens are found in Afghanistan,” he told local media. “Pakistan does not fear any external aggression as its Army, Navy and Air Force are keeping a strict eye on the situation.”

However, Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said the nation was “seriously concerned” about the threat posed by terrorism and extremism in South Asia, according to a Dawn report.

Pakistan has always strongly denied offering safe haven to militants groups, even as the United States has been calling on it to do more to tackle the alleged Haqqani network sanctuaries. China, too, has raised concerns about Islamist influence spilling over from Pakistan and Afghanistan into its far-western Xinjiang region.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Children's Day is not for children alone

It’s also a time for adults to revisit their childhood.

Most adults look at childhood wistfully, as a time when the biggest worry was a scraped knee, every adult was a source of chocolate and every fight lasted only till the next playtime. Since time immemorial, children seem to have nailed the art of being joyful, and adults can learn a thing or two about stress-free living from them. Now it’s that time of the year again when children are celebrated for...simply being children, and let it serve as a timely reminder for adults to board that imaginary time machine and revisit their childhood. If you’re unable to unbuckle yourself from your adult seat, here is some inspiration.

Start small, by doodling at the back page of your to-do diary as a throwback to that ancient school tradition. If you’re more confident, you could even start your own comic strip featuring people in your lives. You can caricaturise them or attribute them animal personalities for the sake of humour. Stuck in a boring meeting? Draw your boss with mouse ears or your coffee with radioactive powers. Just make sure you give your colleagues aliases.

Pull a prank, those not resulting in revenue losses of course. Prank calls, creeping up behind someone…pull them out from your memory and watch as everyone has a good laugh. Dress up a little quirky for work. It’s time you tried those colourful ties, or tastefully mismatched socks. Dress as your favourite cartoon characters someday – it’s as easy as choosing a ponytail-style, drawing a scar on your forehead or converting a bath towel into a cape. Even dinner can be full of childish fun. No, you don’t have to eat spinach if you don’t like it. Use the available cutlery and bust out your favourite tunes. Spoons and forks are good enough for any beat and for the rest, count on your voice to belt out any pitch. Better yet, stream the classic cartoons of your childhood instead of binge watching drama or news; they seem even funnier as an adult. If you prefer reading before bedtime, do a reread of your favourite childhood book(s). You’ll be surprised by their timeless wisdom.

A regular day has scope for childhood indulgences in every nook and cranny. While walking down a lane, challenge your friend to a non-stop game of hopscotch till the end of the tiled footpath. If you’re of a petite frame, insist on a ride in the trolley as you about picking items in the supermarket. Challenge your fellow gym goers and trainers to a hula hoop routine, and beat ‘em to it!

Children have an incredible ability to be completely immersed in the moment during play, and acting like one benefits adults too. Just count the moments of precious laughter you will have added to your day in the process. So, take time to indulge yourself and celebrate life with child-like abandon, as the video below shows.


This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.