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US should review its options for dealing with Pak: experts

PTI report in the Times of India online, Apr 28, 2017, 10.47 AM
WASHINGTON: The US should review its options for dealing with Pakistan, including taking unilateral actions against terrorist safe havens in the country, if it does not cease its support to the militant outfits attacking neighbours like India, eminent experts told American lawmakers.

Seth G Jones, director International Security and Defence Policy Centre RAND Corporation, in his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee said Congress has reduced its military assistance to Pakistan in recent years and curtailed Pakistan`s access to foreign military financing.

“But even today’s reduced amounts of US assistance could be cut further,” he said, adding that targeted economic sanctions could be selectively applied against specific organisations and individuals.

Washington could encourage other countries to consider similar steps. “The United State....... Read more

April 28, 2017   No Comments

Iran criticizes Pakistan over militant groups’ use of its soil

Xinhua report in Global Times, Apr 28, 2017 at 10:52
Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday criticized the Pakistani government for its “failure” to protect its borders against militant groups who recently killed Iranian border guards in a cross-border attack, Tasnim news agency reported.

Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said Pakistan should be held accountable for the presence and operation of militant groups in its territory.

The Islamic republic will spare no efforts to follow up on the issue through all diplomatic and political channels, Qasemi was quoted as saying.

On Wednesday, 10 Iranian security forces were killed in the clashes with the armed groups in the southeastern border region of Iran.

Four guards were injured in the clashes, which took place at the Mirjaveh border point in Sistan and Baluchestan province.

The border guards were patrolling when they were targeted, Tehran Times daily reported.

“Our border g....... Read more

April 28, 2017   No Comments

TTP claims Ehsanullah being ‘used for propaganda’

AP report in The Nation, April 27, 2017, 6:21 pm
The Taliban in Pakistan have accused the country’s premier intelligence service of using a notorious captured militant leader to give the impression the group is being funded by foreign spy agencies to orchestrate attacks, a militant spokesman said.

Meanwhile, two Pakistani intelligence officials said Thursday an overnight US drone strike killed seven militants in a tribal region near the Afghan border, the first such strike since 2014.

Mohammad Khurasani, spokesman for Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, commented late Wednesday after the Pakistan Army released a video of militant Ehsanullah Ehsan. In the video, the ex-spokesman of the group said he surrendered to authorities after seeing his leaders receiving help from Indian and Afghan intelligence services to orchestrate attacks in Pakistan.

Nafees Zakaria, spokesman for Pakistan’s foreign ministry, said Thursday that Ehsan had laid down arms and reveal....... Read more

April 28, 2017   No Comments

Pakistan’s ISI supporting terrorist groups, US lawmakers told

PTI report in The Times of India online, Apr 28, 2017, 09.45 AM IST
WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s ISI is supporting terrorist organisations inside the country, US lawmakers were told by a newly formed Muhajir (refugee) group which alleged terror outfits like Taliban and al-Qaeda are trying to take control of the port city of Karachi.
“Nowadays, Pakistan has become a safe haven for extremist groups with full support of Pakistani intelligence agency ISI,” World Muhajir Congress said in a letter to members of The House Foreign Affairs Committee during a Congressional hearing on Afghanistan here on Thursday.
Representatives of the World Muhajir Congress met members of The House Foreign Affairs Committee and briefed them on alleged strong connection between the ISI and the terrorist groups.
“We are afraid as Jihadi outfits are getting stronger with the support of ISI, important port city of Karachi which is the supply line of US and ....... Read more

April 28, 2017   No Comments

Police on census duty without food, transport

by Mohammad Asghar in Dawn, April 28th, 2017
RAWALPINDI: More than 2,260 police personnel, including additional police force, deployed on the ongoing census duty are not being provided transport, food, tea or even drinking water.

Besides the police personnel, 152 officials from the special elite group have been called for patrolling in areas where teams are conducting census.

As many as 48 police personnel and 10 reserves of the Punjab Constabulary have been called from Attock to assist the Rawalpindi police while 48 police personnel and two reserves from Attock have been sent to assist 330 police personnel in Jhelum and 48 police personnel with two reserves to Chakwal where 464 police officials are taking part in the census duty.

“I did not take lunch for two days but on the third day went to a vendor and purchased something to eat,” a sub-inspector told Dawn requesting anonymity.

He said army personnel and teachers who were also ....... Read more

April 28, 2017   No Comments

Pak terrorism scene- Apr 28, 2017

Five ‘militants’ killed in Mand encounter

GWADAR: Five suspected militants were killed and two security officials suffered injuries in a fierce gun battle in the Mand area of Kech district on Thursday.

Official sources said that the personnel of the Frontier Corps and an intelligence agency, acting on a tip-off about the presence of suspected militants, launched a search operation in Gowak, a town near the Pakistan-Iran border.

They said that the militants opened fire on the security forces, causing injuries to two soldiers of the FC. The security forces cordoned off the area and returned fire.

“Five members of a banned militant organisation were killed in the exchange of fire that lasted an hour,” Turbat Deputy Commissioner retired Capt Sarmad Saleem said.

A spokesman for the FC, Balochistan, said that four kilogrammes of explosives, AK-47 rifles and pistols were found in the hideout of the militants....... Read more

April 28, 2017   No Comments

Policeman to be booked over forced conversion

By Rana Tanveer in The Express Tribune, April 28th, 2017.
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has ordered police to book an assistant sub-inspector for keeping a Christian minor girl in illegal detention and forcing her to embrace Islam.

The orders came on Thursday after the 13-year-old girl was recovered by the court bailiff from the residence of ASI Munir Ahmed in Hafizabad and presented in court.

The minor told Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan that she wanted to go with her mother – the petitioner Elizabeth Arif. The judge sent the girl with her mother and directed her to file an application to register an FIR against the accused and his accomplices, if any.

Munir’s lawyer told the court the minor girl had embraced Islam and the policeman with his family was looking after her.

The petitioner’s counsel, Tahir Bashir, contended the girl was forced to embrace Islam and even if she had converted to Islam, the religion did not all....... Read more

April 28, 2017   No Comments

Why doesn’t Pakistan reform its blasphemy laws?

Comment in The Economist, April 25, 2017
PAKISTAN’S blasphemy laws have been a source of infamy for decades. International human-rights groups regularly document their abusive implementation. Many cases would be comic if they were not so tragic: in 2010 a doctor was arrested for tossing out the business card of a man who shared the name of Islam’s prophet, Muhammad. Nineteen people are currently on death row for blasphemy. Members of Pakistan’s beleaguered Christian minority are used as targets by hate-mongering mullahs and others. Accusers often level false claims of blasphemy to settle land disputes, and other entirely worldly affairs. Police, scared of the mobs that round on alleged blasphemers, rarely resist pressure to lodge charges. Judges in the lower courts are unwilling to throw out even the most nonsensical cases for fear of retribution. Why doesn’t Pakistan make its blasphemy laws less prone to abuse?

In their original, colonial-era fo....... Read more

April 28, 2017   No Comments

Pak terrorism scene: Comments, Apr 27, 2017

Urban warfare: EDITORIAL in Dawn, April 27th, 2017

THE complexity of the war on terrorism was illustrated by a battle in the heart of Karachi on Monday evening. The seven-hour exchange of gunfire began with a raid by the Sindh Rangers on a multi-storey residential building in the city’s Urdu Bazaar area and continued into the early hours of Tuesday. By the end of it, four suspected militants, including a couple — and an infant, believed to be the couple’s daughter — were dead. The gun battle, described by Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan as a major success for the paramilitary force, was triggered when the suspects — holed up in one of the apartments — hurled hand grenades and started firing on the Rangers while they were taking up positions around the building. Four Rangers personnel and two passers-by were injured in the explosions. A statement by the ISPR listed a number of terrorist acts allegedly carried out by the suspe....... Read more

April 27, 2017   No Comments

Afghan Scene- Apr 27, 2017

Airstrikes kills terrorists at Pak-Afghan border: ISPR
report in The Nation, April 27, 2017, 9:18 am
Web Desk: Airstrike kills a number of terrorists on Pak-Afghan border, says Inter Services Public Relation latest press release.
According to ISPR, “Terrorists were moving from Nangarhar, Afghanistan into Rajgal valley Khyber Agency. Airstrike was carried out in Sattar Kalay and Narai Nau, Rajgal Valley khyber Agency.”
A number of terrorists were killed while many were injured. The injured and survivors fled back. Their hideouts have been destroyed as per credible intellegence, says the statement.http://nation.com.pk/national/27-Apr-2017/airstrikes-kills-terrorists-at-pak-afghan-border-ispr

Geopolitical games being played around Afghanistan: Russia
KHAAMA PRESS – Wed Apr 26 2017, 5:28 pm

Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov has said geopolitical games are being played around A....... Read more

April 27, 2017   No Comments