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First Female Baloch Olympic participant Madiea Ghafoor is all set to make history at Rio 2016

Ghafoor was raised in Amsterdam and is the granddaughter of Karachi-based politician late Lal Baksh Rind

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Madiea Ghafoor. Image source: youtube

August 19, 2017: 23-year-old Madiea Ghafoor becomes the first Baloch girl to ever participate in the Olympics. She is going to represent the Netherlands in the 4X400 relay at Rio Olympics, today.

Ghafoor was raised in Amsterdam and is the granddaughter of Karachi-based politician late Lal Baksh Rind. Her parents belong to Lyari town, Sindh, Pakistan. An avid track runner since childhood, Ghafoor’s potential was spotted when she was 13 years old at her school by her coach Sammy Monsels. Her coach for the Rio Olympics is Urtha Rozenstruik.

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“I feel honoured to be a part of this huge event and to be an inspiration for the Baloch people, especially the youth,” says Madiea, who was unaware of the fact that she was the first Baloch female athlete to ever represent a country. She advises all aspiring athlete to never give up on their dreams.

List of her achievements include-

• Winning a bronze medal in women’s 400m race at the European Athletics Junior Championships, Estonia 2011.

• Bringing laurels for the Netherlands at European championships where she has also cleared till the semi-finals.

• With a total score of 1130, Ghafoor stands at the rank 1200 in the Women’s Overall Ranking, as stated by www.all-athletics.com.

Besides the honour and pride that she carries while preparing for the relay to be held today, she was not expecting to be selected for the Olympics after facing one year of severe injury. The selection came as a thrill to her.

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Madiea dedicates two days a week to the gymnasium, and at least six times preparing for her tournaments on the track. After learning that she is one-of-a-kind Baloch athlete, she is more determined and mentally confident than ever.

NewsGram wishes Ghafoor all the luck and success for her relay! Girl power all the way!

– prepared by Chetna Karnani of NewsGram. Twitter: @karnani_chetna

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Fight Against Terrorism: Iran, Pakistan Agree To Set Up Joint Border ‘Reaction Force’

Stressing that "no third country" could harm Iran-Pakistan ties, an apparent reference to the United States, Rohani said Tehran was ready to boost trade and business ties with Islamabad.

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Pakistan
Iranian President Hassan Rohani (left) and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan reviewing an honor guard in Tehran on April 22. RFERL

Iranian President Hassan Rohani and visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan have agreed to set up a joint border “reaction force” to counter terrorism, Iranian state media reported.

“We agreed to create a joint rapid reaction force at the borders for combatting terrorism,” Rohani was quoted as saying on April 22 during a joint press conference with Khan, who was officially welcomed in the Iranian capital earlier in the day.

The announcement comes following tensions between the two countries who have in recent months accused each other of not doing enough to stamp out militants allegedly sheltering across the border.

“Pakistan will not allow any militant group to operate” from its soil, Khan said at the press conference while adding that the problem of terrorism was “increasing differences” between both countries.

“So it was very important for me to come here and come with our security chief that we resolve this issue,” Khan said.

Pakistan
The visit comes a day after Pakistan asked Iran to take action against terrorist groups believed to be behind the killing of 14 Pakistani soldiers earlier this month. Pixabay

Citing a militant attack on Pakistani security forces in Baluchistan on April 18, he said, Pakistan’s security chief will be meeting his Iranian counterpart on April 22 to discuss how both countries can cooperate in not allowing their soil to be used by militant groups.

Stressing that “no third country” could harm Iran-Pakistan ties, an apparent reference to the United States, Rohani said Tehran was ready to boost trade and business ties with Islamabad.

For his part, Khan said his visit to Tehran aimed to “find ways to increase trade and cooperation…in energy and other areas,” noting that two-way trade was “very limited.”

Khan arrived in Iran on April 21 on his first official visit to the Islamic republic for talks set to focus on strengthening bilateral ties, “fighting terrorism, and safeguarding borders,” Iranian state media reported.

The two countries have in recent months accused each other of not doing enough to stamp out militants allegedly sheltering across the border.

The two-day trip started with a stopover in the holy city of Mashhad, where Khan visited the shrine of Imam Reza, who is revered by Shi’ite Muslims.

The visit comes a day after Pakistan asked Iran to take action against terrorist groups believed to be behind the killing of 14 Pakistani soldiers earlier this month.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on April 20 that 15 gunmen wearing military uniforms ambushed a bus in southwestern Balochistan Province on April 18, killing 14 Pakistani Army personnel.

Pakistan
“We agreed to create a joint rapid reaction force at the borders for combatting terrorism,” Rohani was quoted as saying on April 22 during a joint press conference with Khan, who was officially welcomed in the Iranian capital earlier in the day. Pixabay

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a letter to the Iranian government that the assailants came from an alliance of three Baluch terrorist organizations based in Iran.

Qureshi told reporters that Khan would take up the matter with Iranian authorities.

Earlier this year, Iran called on Pakistan to take action against a militant group behind a deadly attack on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

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Twenty-seven IRGC members were killed in the February suicide car bombing near the border with Pakistan.

The Sunni Muslim extremist group Jaish al-Adl claimed responsibility for the attack in southeastern Iran. (RFERL)