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Imran Khan has accused the US of “pushing Pakistan away” despite the country’s help to bring the Afghan Taliban to peace talks.

Reflecting on the two nations’ changing relationship, the Pakistani prime minister said his country would no longer want to be “treated like a hired gun”, referring to the war against the Soviet Union in the 1980s and the ongoing US “war on terror”.

Mr Khan and Donald Trump were involved in a Twitter spat last month after the American president suggested Pakistan had harboured Osama bin Laden despite receiving billions in US aid.

Mr Khan told The Washington Post: “I would never want to have a relationship where Pakistan is treated like a hired gun – given money to fight someone else’s war.

“We should never put ourselves in this position again. It not only cost us human lives, devastation of our tribal areas, but it also cost us our dignity. We would like a proper relationship with the US.”

He added: “For instance, our relationship with China is not one-dimensional. It’s a trade relationship between two countries. We want a similar relationship with the US.”

When asked if Pakistan was trying to hedge its bets using China, Mr Khan replied: “The US has basically pushed Pakistan away.”

Bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 terror attacks and the head of al Qaeda, was killed in 2011 during a raid by US special forces on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The raid strained relationship between America and long-time ally in the region.

On Twitter last month following the bin Laden accusations, Mr Khan said Mr Trump needed to be “informed about historical facts”, adding that Pakistan had “suffered enough fighting US’s war [on terror]”.

The former cricketer told the newspaper he was merely “setting the record straight” with Mr Trump “saying Pakistan was the reason for these sanctuaries [for Taliban leaders]”. The Pakistani leader insisted there “are no sanctuaries in Pakistan”.










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US will strip 300m aid from Pakistan

He said: “The exchange was about being blamed for deeply flawed US policies – the military approach to Afghanistan.”

The comments come as Pakistan’s army backed US efforts for a political settlement with the Afghan Taliban to end 17 years of fighting. Major General Asif Ghafoor urged the US to leave Kabul as a “friend of the region” rather than a “failure”.

Mr Khan said peace in Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s interest and vowed to put pressure on the Afghan Taliban but said it was “easier said than done” with “about 40% of Afghanistan now out of the government’s hands”.

On Wednesday, he met with a US peace envoy in Islamabad and pledged to help find a political solution to the long-running war.

During last month’s exchange with Mr Trump, the Pakistani leader said his country had suffered 75,000 casualties and lost $123bn (£95.7bn) during America’s so-called war on terror despite no one from his country being involved in the 9/11 attacks.

He said the US provided a “minuscule” $20bn (£15.6bn) in aid.

In his latest interview, Mr Khan spoke also about his plans to tackle poverty in Pakistan and said he was inspired by the UK’s welfare state.

“I went as an 18-year-old to play cricket in England. It was the first time I saw a welfare state,” he said. “It cared for the underprivileged, for the people who can’t compete in the race.”



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Chernobyl beats Game Of Thrones and Breaking Bad to top IMDB TV chart | Ents & Arts News

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New TV series Chernobyl has quickly become the top-rated show on entertainment website IMDB, jumping ahead of long-running fan favourites shows such as Game Of Thrones, Breaking Bad and The Wire.

The five-part Sky Original series is a chilling dramatisation of the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine and its aftermath, following the stories of those affected by the explosion as well as those in charge of the operation.

Starring Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard, Emily Watson and Jessie Buckley, the show has received widespread critical acclaim and a host of five-star reviews since its debut on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV on 7 May.

Almost two million people tuned in to watch the first episode.



Meet the brave men and women who made incredible sacrifices to save Europe from unimaginable disaster. Premiers 7 May.







Watch the trailer for Chernobyl

And in less than three weeks, Chernobyl has jumped to the top of the charts on film and TV internet database IMDB, peaking with a score of 9.7 out of 10.

Currently, it is scoring 9.5 – placing it joint top alongside the 2016 David Attenborough series Planet Earth II – from almost 40,000 ratings.



jared harris







Jared Harris: Chernobyl is still relevant today

Game Of Thrones, which has more than 1.5 million ratings, Breaking Bad (1.2 million), Band Of Brothers (316,000) and the first Planet Earth series (147,000) all score 9.4, while The Wire and Our Planet score 9.3.

Speaking about Chernobyl’s success, Sky’s director of programmes Zai Bennett said: “This jaw-dropping Sky Original is gripping viewers across the UK and beyond for good reason – the writing and production are second to none, and the story is both fascinating and utterly tragic.

“This is must-watch TV, and we’re delighted that audiences are enjoying it as much as we are.”

:: Chernobyl airs on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV on Tuesdays, with the fourth episode coming up on 28 May

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One Irishman killed on Everest and another missing | World News

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An Irish man is among eight people who have been killed scaling Mount Everest in the last week, while another Irish climber is missing

Kevin Hynes, 56, died in his tent in the early hours of Friday at a height of 7,000m, after deciding to turn back before reaching the summit.

The father-of-two had texted friends the day before to say the expedition was “proving the most fun he had had”.

His death comes a week after fellow Irishman Seamus Lawless, from Bray, Co Wicklow, fell as he was descending from the peak, having achieved his “lifelong dream” to scale the mountain.

A search operation was launched to find Mr Lawless, but his family said in a statement on Friday the mission had been called off due to adverse weather.

The statement read: “While the experienced search team has made every effort to locate Shay, the extremes of operating at high altitude and the sheer range of the search area ultimately proved too difficult and based on expert advice we have decided to call off the search rather than risk endangering anyone’s life in the treacherous conditions.”

The family said donations made to a GoFundMe page which had been set up to assist the search would be refunded.

Project Possible Credit: @nimsdai/Project Possible
Image:
Queues of people wait to get to the summit of Everest Pic: @nimsdai/Project Possible

Eight people have died climbing Everest in the last week, amid fears that a traffic jam of mountaineers is making the journey more treacherous.

Kevin Hynes was described by his UK-based climbing company 360 Expeditions as “one of the strongest and most experienced climbers” on their team.

He was travelling with a group from 360 Expeditions as they attempted to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain, but had turned back on Thursday accompanied by experienced Sherpa Dawa Sangee.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was aware of reports of the death of an Irish citizen on Mount Everest and was “ready to provide consular assistance”.

Mr Hynes leaves behind his wife Bernadette and two children, Erin and James.

Others who have died in the last week include two Indian climbers, Kalpana Das, 52, and Nihal Bagwan, 27, who died on Thursday while descending the peak.

A 65-year-old Australian died on the same day on the northern Tibet side of the mountain.

Tour organiser Keshav Patel said: “He (Bagwan) was stuck in the traffic for more than 12 hours and was exhausted.

Sherpas currently have to haul recovered rubbish through the dangerous Khumbu icefall
Image:
Eight people have died while climbing Everest in the last week

“Sherpa guides carried him down to Camp 4 but he breathed his last there.”

Among the other fatalities were American Donald Cash, 55, who collapsed at the summit as he was taking photographs, and Anjali Kulkarni, 55, who died on her way down.

Ms Kulkarni’s expedition organiser, Arun Treks, said heavy traffic at the summit had delayed her descent and caused the tragedy.

“She had to wait for a long time to reach the summit and descend,” said Thupden Sherpa.

“She couldn’t move down on her own and died as Sherpa guides brought her down.”

An Indian and an American lost their lives on the mountain on Wednesday.

Nepal has issued a record 381 permits costing $11,000 (£8,600) each for the current spring climbing season.

It comes as record-breaking climber Nirmal Purja posted an image from his latest expedition showing “traffic” on the world’s highest peak.

He is attempting to climb the 14 mountains higher than 8,000 metres in just seven months.

Project Possible will see him smash the current world record for one individual which stands at seven years, 11 months and 14 days.

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Everest ‘traffic’ blamed for deaths of climbers on overcrowded mountain | World News

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Eight people have died climbing Everest in the last week amid fears that a traffic jam of mountaineers is making the journey more treacherous.

Two Indian climbers, Kalpana Das, 52, and Nihal Bagwan, 27, died on Thursday while descending the peak.

A 65-year-old Australian died on the same day on the northern Tibet side of the mountain.

Tour organiser Keshav Patel said: “He (Bagwan) was stuck in the traffic for more than 12 hours and was exhausted.

“Sherpa guides carried him down to Camp 4 but he breathed his last there.”

Sherpas currently have to haul recovered rubbish through the dangerous Khumbu icefall
Image:
Eight people have died while climbing Everest in the last week

Among the other fatalities were American Donald Cash, 55, who collapsed at the summit as he was taking photographs, and Anjali Kulkarni, 55, who died on his way down.

Ms Kulkarni’s expedition organiser, Arun Treks, said heavy traffic at the summit had delayed her descent and caused the tragedy.

“She had to wait for a long time to reach the summit and descend,” said Thupden Sherpa.

“She couldn’t move down on her own and died as Sherpa guides brought her down.”

An Indian and an American lost their lives on the mountain on Wednesday, while an Irish professor, Séamus Lawless, is presumed dead after falling last week.

Nepal has issued a record 381 permits costing $11,000 (£8,600) each for the current spring climbing season.

It comes as record-breaking climber Nirmal Purja posted an image from his latest expedition showing “traffic” on the world’s highest peak.

He is attempting to climb the 14 mountains higher than 8,000 metres in just seven months.

Project Possible will see him smash the current world record for one individual which stands at seven years, 11 months and 14 days.

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