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2004 UK envoy attack: Death for 3 Huji men upheld

Dhaka: The High Court today upheld death for three militants of banned outfit Huji including its chief Mufti Abdul Hannan over 2004 attack on UK envoy in Bangladesh.

The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Amir Hossain also upheld the life imprisonment for two other Huji militants in this case.

http://www.thedailystar.net/country/2004-uk-envoy-attack-death-3-huji-men-upheld-432475....... Read more

February 11, 2016   No Comments

IPR report proposes slashing number of federal ministries

LAHORE: With the country’s debt piling up each quarter, the Institute for Policy Reforms (IPR) has identified the country’s huge expenses as the main reason behind an unstable economy. In its latest report, IPR has recommended to cut down the number of federal ministries in an attempt to lower expenditure.

For greater fiscal management, the report suggests transferring several functions to provinces and getting rid of ministries at the centre. “Government may also take up zero-based budgeting through which it can decide whether to continue with some of the many autonomous organisations that exist.”

Additionally, the report states that the government can also rationalise debt-servicing expenditure by locking in the present reduced markup for debt.

The report also addresses one of the economies most crucial aspects: loss making public sector enterprises (PSEs). It advises the government to revisit the way PSEs are managed and suggests separating them from the....... Read more

February 10, 2016   No Comments

NAB approves corruption references against PPP minister, others By Asim Yasin in the News, Feb 10, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Another provincial minister of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) from Sindh, Muhammad Ali Malkani, has come under the radar of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) that has launched an inquiry against him for allegations of land grabbing and corruption.

NAB has also launched an inquiry against a senior leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and ex-minister for ports and shipping Babar Ghauri and ex-minister of state for ports and shipping Nabeel Gabol, along with officers/officials of the PNSC for alleged illegal appointments in KPT/PNSC beyond the age of 60 years, illegal allotment of plots, illegal re-imbursement of hefty medical bills and unauthorised retention of vehicles and staff by ex-KPT officers/trustees/ex-minister and minister of state, thus, causing a huge loss of millions of rupees to the national exchequer.

The decisions were taken in the meeting of the Executive Board of the NAB with its Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry in the chair here on Tu....... Read more

February 10, 2016   No Comments

Khattak tipped as next KP governor BUREAU REPORT in Dawn, February 10th, 2016

PESHAWAR: Following the resignation of Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan as governor of Khyber Pakhtun­khwa, Defence Secretary retired Lt Gen Mohammad Alam Khan Khattak is likely to be appointed to the coveted post, according to sources.

Hailing from Nowshera district, Mr Khattak served in several important positions before his retirement from Pakistan Army in 2013. He was appointed as the defence secretary in Aug 2014.

He served as inspector general of the Frontier Corps from 2006 to 2008, at a time when the force was fighting against militants in tribal regions.

Mohammad Alam Khattak was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general in Sept 2009 and appointed as chief of the logistics staff. Later, he served as corps commander of the Southern Corps, based in Quetta.

The sources said the decision to appoint Mr Khattak as governor of Khyber Pakhtun­khwa had been taken in view of his experience.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1238576/khattak-tipped-as-next-kp-governor....... Read more

February 10, 2016   No Comments

Above the law: by ZAHID HUSSAIN in Dawn, February 10th, 2016

The writer is an author and journalist.
MAULANA Abdul Aziz of the Lal Masjid is seldom away from controversy. In a video message posted on social media last month, the cleric accused a senior ISI official belonging to “the other sect” of playing the role of spoiler in what he described as positive negotiations with other officials of the agency.

But the security agencies have not taken action against him for attempting to incite sectarian hatred again this time. Clearly, the long arm of the law does not reach a proclaimed offender even if he defies the country’s Constitution and openly defends militant violence. The case of Maulana Aziz is yet another example of the selective use of the National Action Plan that has long lost its way. With no less than the federal interior minister often defending him one cannot blame the security agencies for their inaction.

In a rare gesture last week, the maulana announced his readiness to forgive former president Gen Musha....... Read more

February 10, 2016   No Comments

A signpost to the old ways?: By Nasim Zehra in the News, Feb 10, 2016

The writer is a national security strategist, visiting faculty at NUST and fellow at Harvard University’s Asia Centre.
At a recent press conference in Islamabad, Maulvi Abdul Aziz announced ‘forgiveness’ for Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf during whose regime the 2007 Lal Masjid Operation was conducted. Aziz said he forgave Musharraf and all those “characters” involved in the operation and also those who had spoken against him.

Maulvi Aziz said he forgave the former military ruler despite opposition from his family members. It is unlikely that such a press conference would have been conducted without prior planning. Obviously some of those in important quarters must believe that a public pardon by Maulvi Aziz would reduce the prevailing threat levels to the former general’s life. Interestingly, in a November 11, 2013 television programme Maulvi Aziz had said: “I have forgiven General Musharraf…I will even embrace him…but on the condition that the Quran and S....... Read more

February 10, 2016   No Comments

The South Asian Tic-Tac-Toe: op-ed by Rubana Huq in the daiy star, Feb 10, 2016

The writer is Managing Director, Mohammadi Group.
It took me ten hours to reach Islamabad from Dhaka via Bangkok. Other options available were via Doha and similar other places. A journey that could have taken only four hours ended up being almost 12. On the 13th hour, after crossing five security checkpoints, and reaching the hotel, I received a text on my phone on February 1 from my children. The text read: “So worried for you. Are you safe?” My safety has never been an issue. The question of being insecure even in the farthest corner of the globe is not applicable here in my case. But then again, I was in ‘Islamabad’ when I got the SMS. A Bangladeshi diplomat had just been released in Islamabad after he went missing and this had made breaking news. The report also read that this was perhaps done in retaliation. A Pakistan High Commission staff Abrar Ahmed Khan was detained at our end for his “suspicious movement”; therefore, this led Islamabad to retaliate ....... Read more

February 10, 2016   No Comments

Our ministers tarnished my image, says Ershad : report in daily star Feb 9, 2016

Dhaka: Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad yesterday said three of his party leaders tarnished his image by taking up ministerial posts.

The former military ruler made the comment at a time when he himself holds the post of prime minister’s special envoy with the status of a cabinet minister.

“Sitting in a jail, I wrote letters to Raushan everyday. I asked her not to take part in the national polls… but she accepted the offer to make party leaders ministers. And that sparked the disaster,” Ershad told a joint meeting of the party grassroots leaders at a convention centre in the city.

“They [ministers] are not in my cabinet; they are in Sheikh Hasina’s cabinet. You [party men] have to realise it.”

He warned party leaders and activists of stern action if they did not comply with party decisions.

The meeting was organised to get reactions from party grassroots to the recent changes in party leadership. Ershad last month appointed his yo....... Read more

February 9, 2016   No Comments

Pakistan summons Bangladesh envoy: report in daily star Feb 9, 2016

Dhaka:  Amid a diplomatic tension between Dhaka and Islamabad, Pakistan authorities summoned Bangladesh High Commissioner in Islamabad Suhrab Hossain yesterday.

Suhrab Hossain confirmed The Daily Star that he was summoned by the Pakistan foreign ministry yesterday afternoon.

He, however, did not specifically say why he was summoned.

A source in Islamabad said an additional secretary at the Pakistan foreign ministry summoned the Bangladesh envoy. The director general of South Asian wing of the ministry was also present.

Diplomatic sources in Dhaka see Pakistan’s move as an act of retaliation following Dhaka’s summoning of Pakistan High Commissioner Shuja Alam on February 2.

Alam was summoned after a Bangladesh mission staff in Islamabad went missing for hours.

Jahangir Hossain, personal officer of the press wing at Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad, went missing on February 1.

“Dhaka had a specific reason for summonin....... Read more

February 9, 2016   No Comments

What next after Charsadda: By Abdul Basit in The News, Feb 8, 2016

The writer is associate research fellow at International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) of S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore.
The discussions in Pakistan after the Bacha Khan University attack have focused on gaps in the country’s counterterrorism framework, weak border management at the Durand Line and the non-implementation of recommended security protocols in education institutions.

Undoubtedly, we must overcome the weaknesses in our internal security framework. However, the larger question is: will the aforementioned measures help Pakistan overcome the threat of home-grown, but externally operated, planned and executed terrorism? The answer is no.

The maximum results that a tactical level policy framework can attain have more or less been achieved by Pakistan’s counterterrorism initiatives. In the aftermath of the APS attack, state-centric counterterrorism policies have pushed militants to the Afghan borde....... Read more

February 8, 2016   No Comments