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Why JuD opts for electoral politics?: op-ed in The News, Aug 16, 2017

by Mazhar Abbas
It was not an easy decision for someone like Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, chief of Jamaat Ud Dawa (JuD), to enter into mainstream electoral politics and launch its political wing with the name of Milli Muslim League (MML).

It has already shown its presence in NA-120, and decided to oppose PML-N candidate Kulsoom Nawaz, but also decided to distance itself from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) which it considers as a ‘liberal’ party.

Interestingly, the JuD sources said the MML opposition to Kulsoom Nawaz is not because she is a woman but because they are against the PML-N politics and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. “We have lot of respect for Mrs Nawaz and we are not opposing her but the PML-N,” party source said.

The MML held its first corner meeting in NA-120 constituency, which was also attended by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leaders. The JI announced support for the JuD likeminded independent candidate, but sources hinted at the possibl....... Read more

August 16, 2017   No Comments

PPP leadership asked to help recover ‘missing’ workers

report in Dawn, August 16th, 2017
HYDERABAD: Chairman of his own faction of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz Dr Meer Alam Mari has written letters to PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah drawing their attention towards cases of ‘enforced disappearances’ in Sindh and calling for their immediate recovery.

In his letter addressed to the PPP chairman, he has stated that his party is a Sindhi nationalist and secular political party, which follows ideology of G.M. Syed, believes in non-violence and practices peaceful ways and means of struggle.

He has claimed that law enforcement agencies have arrested his party activists, office bearers and supporters in Sindh.

He has attached a list of 19 such persons along with his letter. He said that there was no complaint or case pending against them as they were all peaceful political workers.

He said that JSQM-A believed tha....... Read more

August 16, 2017   No Comments

Balochistan Spirals into chaos: op-ed

 op-ed by Muhammad Akbar Notezai in Dawn, August 16th, 2017
The writer is a member of staff.
HISTORICALLY speaking, Balochistan in general and the Baloch community in particular are secular. Even in traditional Baloch society, the mullah is not a revered figure. Instead, he is merely a functional figure. But this is now changing.

There are two dominant forces in the province: the state and the Baloch. The perennial conflict between these two has had dire consequences. Extremism is one of them. During the Afghan war, money was pumped into Balochistan, especially central Baloc­histan, which led to a breakdown of the social fabric. Before, the Baloch were not aware of differences between Shia and Sunni. Today, they are divided on the basis of sect and creed. Wahabism was alien to Balochistan but, largely through preaching activities, it is influencing increasing numbers of people, especially the youth.

While the seeds of extrem....... Read more

August 16, 2017   No Comments

Pak SC warns against use of Anti Terrorism Act over ‘non-terrorist actions’

by Nasir Iqbal in Dawn, August 15th, 2017
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has cautioned the lower courts to keep ordinary crimes from being pushed into the grey area of terrorism-related cases.

“The courts of law shall not lightly ignore that being a harsh law enacted to punish terrorist or hardcore militant, the Anti Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 will not be extended liberally to cover criminals who commit the crime of murder or attempted murder for any reason or motive that has no connection with terrorism or militancy,” explained a 22-page judgement authored by Justice Dost Mohammad Khan.

Justice Khan was part of a three-judge Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, which had taken up an appeal against a May 20, 2009 Lahore High Court verdict dismissing the appeals of six individuals who were convicted of perpetrating a heinous bloodbath on April 24, 2001.

The incident occurred in Chatha police precincts, in the village of Behroop Garh in Gujra....... Read more

August 16, 2017   No Comments

Railway track blown up near Noshki :

report in Dawn, August 16th, 2017
QUETTA: Goods train service between Pakistan and Iran was suspended on Tuesday after militants blew up a railway track near Noshki, some 170 km from here.

Levies officials said that the militants planted an explosive device at the railway track linking Quetta with Zahidan and blew it up.

The officials said that a goods train was scheduled to cross the area on its way to Quetta from Zahidan.

“The powerful blast blew up around eight-foot-long portion of the track, suspending train service between the two countries,” they said.

Railways officials, while confirming the incident, said that a team of railway engineers and other staff concerned had reached the area and started repairing the damaged track.

No-one has claimed responsibility for the blast so far.

Security personnel have launched a search operation in the area to trace militants involved in the subversive act.https://www.dawn.com/news/1351857/ra....... Read more

August 16, 2017   No Comments

Karachi chief of TTP splinter group killed in ‘encounter’

Report  in Dawn, August 16th, 2017
KARACHI: Two suspected militants associated with the proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakis­tan’s Mufti Shakir group, including its Karachi chief, were killed in a “shoot-out” with police on Tuesday, said officials of the Counter-Terrorism Department.

One of the militants was identified as Abdul Jabbar alias Saleem alias Leghari, who had recently been “appointed” the chief of the TTP splinter group’s Karachi wing, the CTD officials said.

A team of CTD officials, led by SSP Omar Shahid Hamid, set up checkpoints and launched an operation on information provided by the held suspects of the same group.

“The terrorists in custody told the police the newly-appointed chief was in contact with Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, and had been provided with trained suicide bombers and suicide jackets by Mufti Shakir,” said a statement.

“The apprehended terrorists also discl....... Read more

August 16, 2017   No Comments

70 suspects held in Peshawar: report in The News, August 16, 2017

PESHAWAR: Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Operations Sajjad Khan has said that over 30 search and strike operations were carried out and 70 suspects were held ahead of the Independence Day.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Sajjad Khan said they seized 42 Kalashnikovs, two rockets, two mortar shells and other weapons during these operations carried out in the last one week.

“We wanted to ensure foolproof security so we tasked all the officers to increase patrolling and vigilance,” the SSP told media.He added that special measures were taken for security in and around the city on the Independence Day.

“It was a good sign that thousands of people celebrated the day with fervour on roads, parks and other public places,” said Sajjad Khan.The SSP said that Peshawar was much more peaceful now due to the efforts of police and it was the reason that hundreds of thousands of people took to the roads to celebrate August 14 in this way for the first....... Read more

August 16, 2017   No Comments

Seven FC men martyred in two Balochistan attacks

by Saleem Shahid in Dawn, August 15th, 2017
QUETTA: Seven personnel of the Frontier Corps were martyred and three others injured in a bomb blast in the Khost area, about 150km northeast of Quetta, in Harnai district, and in firing in Panjgur district on Monday evening.

According to officials, a vehicle carrying FC personnel was hit by a powerful bomb when it was passing through Khost, about 16km from Harnai town. Six FC soldiers lost their lives and the driver and a non-commissioned officer of the paramilitary force suffered injuries.

“Six FC soldiers were martyred on the spot,” Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar, a spokesman for the Balochis­tan government, told Dawn, adding that two others were seriously injured.

Levies officials said the FC personnel were patrolling areas between the Khost checkpost and Shahrag coalmine.

The vehicle was destroyed in the powerful explosion that was heard far and wide, a senior Levies official said, adding that an improvised exp....... Read more

August 16, 2017   No Comments

Pak Cabinet divided over ban on automatic weapons

by Amir Wasim in Dawn, August 16th, 2017
ISLAMABAD: After facing opposition from some of his colleagues in the federal cabinet to his proposal of imposing a ban on automatic weapons in the country, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday constituted a committee to further deliberate the matter in order to come up with a consensus decision.

Sources told Dawn that almost all the cabinet members belonging to Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa opposed the proposal of banning the issuance of arms licences for prohibited and automatic weapons, citing security reasons.

Taking part in the discussion on the first agenda item — “arms licensing regime and ban on automatic weapons” — the ministers and advisers belonging to the two provinces said the people had been forced to keep automatic weapons with them due to the serious security situation in the wake of terrorism.

“We have survived terrorist attacks,” one of the ministers was quoted to have stat....... Read more

August 16, 2017   No Comments

CTD arrests ‘LJ terrorists’ in Faisalabad: Report in Dawn, August 13th, 2017

LAHORE: The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of police claimed on Friday to have arrested members of a banned outfit from Faisalabad and seized arms, ammunition and explosives from their possession.

A CTD spokesman said they received intelligence reports that four suspected terrorists of Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ) were present in Faisalabad district and planning to attack Independence Day celebrations on Aug 14.

He said a CTD Faisalabad team conducted a raid at Paras Gate, Jhang Road on Friday afternoon and arrested three suspects, identified as Amjad Ali, Ali Khan and Ali Muhammad. One of their accomplices, Muhammad Naeem Akhtar, managed to flee from the spot leaving behind his bag.

The spokesman said they also seized explosives, arms and ammunition from their possession and shifted the suspects to an undisclosed location for interrogation.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1351078/ctd-arrests-lj-terrorists-in-faisalabad....... Read more

August 14, 2017   No Comments