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Posts from — April 2017

Office-bearer of Musharraf’s party held over fake currency

by Tariq NaqashSH in Dawn, April 30th, 2017
MUZAFFARABAD: An office-bearer of former president Pervez Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) was arrested by the city police here on Saturday for his alleged involvement in preparation and circulation of counterfeit currency.

Station House Office (SHO) Rashid Habib Masoodi told Dawn that Javed Mughal, president of the Muzaffar­abad chapter of the APML, was booked in a number of cases of fraud and forgery, including preparation and circulation of counterfeit currency.

He said the suspect, a resident of Makri, was a member of an inter-provincial group which duped people by using fake currency.

Police arrested the suspect in the Eidgah road area and seized 15 packs of counterfeit currency, chemicals and dyes used for preparation of fake currency from his possession, the SHO said, adding that the police were looking for accomplices involved.

Govt asks special court to expedite Musharraf’s trial
By Hasnaat Malik in The Express Tribune, Apr 30, 2017

ISLAMABAD: As the security establishment and the government locked horns over the controversial Dawn Leaks issue, the government has requested the special court to expedite the trial of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in the high treason case, initiated against him for abrogating the Constitution on November 3, 2007.

“Under Section 9 of the Criminal Law Amendment [Special Court] Act, 1976, this Honourable Court [Special Court] is required to proceed with the trial and not grant any adjournment for any purpose unless it is of opinion that the adjournment is necessary in the interest of justice,” stated the prosecution team while submitting a written synopsis on the trial.

On March 31, the special court asked the prosecution to submit a synopsis regarding the completion of the trial.

“The special court may, in the interest of preserving both the fundamental and special law of the land and to comply with the order of the apex court and to thwart repeated efforts of the accused to impede justice, kindly proceed with the trial after taking whatever steps deemed necessary for the purpose,” says Akram Sheikh in a written submission.

Sheikh also claimed that it is evident from the record and behaviour of the accused that he [Musharraf] was not ill and that furthermore his absence was just an attempt to impede the course of justice.

The prosecution team pointed out that Musharraf intermittently sought to adjourn the trial and subsequently stopped appearing in the case simply to impede the course of justice. The prosecution closed its evidence on September 18, 2014.

On March 8 last year, the special court issued notice to the accused to appear in person for examination, however, without permission from this court the accused travelled abroad purportedly for medical reasons. Subsequently, the accused was declared by this court as a proclaimed offender and absconder, and attachment proceedings were directed against his properties under Section 88 CrPC, stated the head of the prosecution.

On March 5, 2014, Musharraf filed a CMA before the special court, requesting the court to allow him to travel aboard. He had assured the court that he would be back whenever his presence was required.

“No trial before the special court shall be adjourned for any purpose unless the special court is of opinion that the adjournment is necessary in the interest of justice and, in particular, no trial shall be adjourned by reason of the absence of any accused person due to illness, or if the absence of the accused or his counsel has been brought about by the accused person himself, or if the behaviour of the accused person prior to such absence has been, in the opinion of the special court, such as to impede the course of justice but, in any such case, the special court shall proceed with the trial after taking necessary steps to appoint an advocate to defend any such accused person,” Section 9 read.

April 30, 2017   No Comments

Three suspected terrorists with arms arrested

CHARSADDA: The local police claimed on Saturday to have arrested three suspected terrorists and recovered heavy weapons from their possession in Shabqadar area, adjoining the Mohmand tribal region.

Officials at the Saro Kalay police station told mediapersons that the arrested terrorists had affiliation with the proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, Mohmand Agency chapter. The arrested men were identified as Jan Alam, Rozi Khan and Zora Din.

According to the police, three rockets, four hand grenades, one improvised explosive device and hate literature were recovered from the possession of the suspected militants. A case was registered against them and further investigations were started. https://www.dawn.com/news/1330185/three-suspected-terrorists-with-arms-arrested

April 30, 2017   No Comments

Youth kidnapped by ‘banned outfit members’ recovered

SAHIWAL: Police on Saturday recovered a youth belonging to a known industrialist family of Sahiwal who was kidnapped for ransom on Friday, arresting his two alleged kidnappers, who belonged to a banned militant outfit and their facilitator.

According to sources in Farishta family, Abdul Wahab, 22, a resident of Old Civil Lines, went missing on Friday morning, while his mobile phone was found powered off. Later, the family received an SMS from a mobile phone that Wahab had been kidnapped. The caller demanded Rs10 million for his release.

Victim’s father Yahya Ijaz, a businessman, secretly reported the matter to District Police Officer Dr Atif Ikram, who formed a three-member team headed by City Circle Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Gulam Muhammad, CIA police in charge Zafar Dogar and Fateh Sher SHO Imdad Husain to recover the youth and arrest the kidnappers.

The sources said the police asked the family to engage the kidnappers in negotiations. Meanwhile, the police, using GPS and mobile-tracking technology, traced the location, a three-marla house at 82/6-R village, from where the calls were being made by the kidnappers.

On Saturday, police raided the house and recovered the victim who was drugged by his kidnappers — Bilal Zia and Muhammad Tariq — who were arrested. The police also arrested Qari Khalil, who rented the house to the suspects.

CIA in charge Zafar Dogar told Dawn the both suspects belonged to banned Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan and received six-year madressah education.

“Four months back they (suspects) rented the house from Qari Khalil in the three-marla scheme (82/6-R village). They had been planning to kidnap any member of the (Farishta) family,” Mr Dogar said.

He said the suspects had been tracking Wahab for the last 20 days. However, they could not shift the victim out of the district, he added.

Fateh Sher police registered an FIR (233/17) under Section 265-A of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).https://www.dawn.com/news/1330172/youth-kidnapped-by-banned-outfit-members-recovered

April 30, 2017   No Comments

Kidnapped official’s father appeals to COAS

QUETTA: The 82-year-old father of Abdullah Jan, the kidnapped Balcohistan higher education secretary, has appealed to Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa to take notice of the kidnapping and help recover his son.

Mr Jan’s father said his son was kidnapped by armed men while going to office from his residence one-and-a-half months ago but no clue to his whereabouts had been found so far. “I have lost all hopes and am writing to you for your kind attention and help for the recovery of my son,” Muhammad Ismail said in his letter to the COAS.

He said: “My son Abdullah Jan is an honest officer and has been serving the country for the last 30 years as a civil servant in different capacities. He was kidnapped on March 15 while going to office from his residence.”

Mr Ismail, a retired officer of the police department, said the kidnappers had demanded a huge amount as ransom for the release of his son. “I do not have such a big amount to pay to the kidnappers,” he said, adding that he would not pay ransom to any terrorist. “I am suffering from a tragedy at the age of 82, which is very painful to me.”https://www.dawn.com/news/1330132/kidnapped-officials-father-appeals-to-coas

No clue to gang looting in security men uniforms
by Imran Gabol in Dawn, April 30th, 2017

LAHORE: The city police seem clueless about a gang of robbers that has been carrying out robberies in uniforms of security agencies.

At least seven robberies have been reported to police during this month involving robbers clad in uniforms of police and Rangers entering houses on the pretext of search operations or conducting census. The cases were reported two each in Manawan and Barki and one each in Hadiara, Factory Area and Batapur.

Police authorities had started a number of patrolling projects, such as Police Response Unit and Dolphin Force, to keep a tab on the ever-increasing street crime. There are 700 Dolphin officials working on eight-hour patrolling shifts. They were given expensive 500CC Honda motorcycles.

A first information report registered at Hadiara police station on April 18 revealed that Kamran Ali, a complainant, said that seven to eight armed men wearing Punjab Rangers uniform entered his house and started searching the premises. The suspects gathered all family members, tied them up with ropes and locked them in a room. They then looted two licenced pump action guns, cash, jewellery and other valuables worth Rs1.2 million and left the house hurling threats of dire consequences.

In another case, Khalid Hameed of Revenue Society said he was going home by car after closing his shop in Johar Town when two suspects wearing police uniforms stopped him near Allah Hoo Chowk. The suspects asked him to get out of the car that they wanted to search. He said they frisked him, took Rs250,000 cash as well as documents of the vehicle before leaving the scene.

In a third case, Pakistan Air Force Squadron Leader Nuzhat Alvi stated that she was driving to a market in Defence around 8pm when two men on a motorcycle – with one dressed in a police uniform — stopped her in a street near Ghazi Road. One of the men pulled out his pistol and ordered her to hand over all the belongings, including purse and the mobile phone. She said her purse carried Rs10,000, service and identity cards, but she was not carrying her mobile phone.

Data available with Dawn showed that 392 people were murdered in separate areas of the city in 2016 — 87 in City division, 64 each in Saddar and Cantonment divisions. Five kidnap for ransom cases were registered and 21 people killed for resisting robberies. A total of 2,853 cases of robbery and theft were registered in the city during 2016.

Crimes Investigation Agency (CIA) Superintendent of Police (SP) Tariq Mastoi said that the cases had been transferred to them and they were working on them. Robbers wearing security agencies’ uniforms were conducting robberies in rural areas of the city on the pretext of carrying out search operations.

Revealing the supposed modus operandi, he said one of the robbers approaches the security guard of a house by identifying himself as a Rangers official, asks him to bring his weapon licence and enters the building. They later lock all family members and guards in a room and run off with the valuables.

The SP claimed that mostly nomads were involved in disguising themselves as security personnel and conducting robberies, adding that they would be arrested soon.

However, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Operations Dr Haider Ashraf told Dawn that they were clueless about how robbers got police and Rangers uniforms.

He further some retired security agencies’ personnel could be involved in the robberies, adding that the incidents were carried out during late hours and he did not know if anyone entered a house on the pretext of census and carried out robberies.https://www.dawn.com/news/1330169/no-clue-to-gang-looting-in-security-men-uniforms

April 30, 2017   No Comments

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 States should review its options for dealing with Pakistan. For example, the United States could take further steps to pressure Taliban sanctuaries within Pakistan, with or without the support of Islamabad,” he said.

Washington could sketch out a vision of an improved relationship with Pakistan if Islamabad cuts its ties with militant groups attacking both Afghanistan and India, Jones said.

“This outcome would be highly desirable for broader American interests, given Pakistan`s central role in the stability of the entire region and its ability to upend that stability,” he said.

Vanda Felbab-Brown, senior fellow at the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence in the Foreign Policy Programme at the Brookings Institution, said Pakistan’s unwillingness to cease its support for the Taliban also reflects its uncertainties and internal limitations.

“More than a decade after 9/11, Pakistan’s military- intelligence establishment remains preoccupied with India’s ascendance at a time of Pakistan’s own stagnation and atrophy. Afghanistan has repeatedly been a prime theatre for Indian and Pakistani rivalries,” Brown said.

Fearing encirclement by India, Pakistan has been greatly reluctant to suppress Afghan militant groups using Pakistan for sanctuary, he said.

“Pakistan’s continuing support for these groups, despite pressure from the United States and NATO, reflects the persistent view of the Pakistani military-intelligence establishment that the jihadi groups are critical assets in preventing threats on Pakistan’s western flank from an India- friendly regime in Kabul and in securing access to Central Asia’s trade routes,” the expert said.

Bill Roggio, editor, Long War Journal, Foundation For Defence Of Democracies said that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is a dangerous jihadist group that is backed by Pakistan`s military and Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate.

“The LeT is known to operate training camps in Afghanistan and attacked the Indian Consulate in Herat in 2014…The US has also listed several senior LeT operatives, including Hafiz Saeed, the group`s emir, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists,” he said.

Roggio said the Islamic State has established a small, but significant, foothold in the country. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/us-should-review-its-options-for-dealing-with-pakistan-experts/articleshow/58410980.cms

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 guards had been targeted from inside Pakistan’s soil,” Iranian police speaker Saeed Montazerolmahdi was quoted as saying by the daily.

“Our investigations show that long-range arms had been used to launch the attack,” he said.

Over the past decades, Iran’s eastern and southeastern border had been the scene of clashes between Iranian security forces and armed drug smugglers on the one hand and security forces with the ethnic Sunni rebels on the other.

Jaish al-Adl, or “Army of Justice” has claimed responsibility for the attack on Iran’s border guards.

The Sunni rebel group claimed to fight for the rights of Sunni Muslims in the Iran’s provinces of Sistan and Baluchestan.

On Thursday, Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli also said that Tehran will pursue the commitments of neighboring Pakistan to the security and border agreements between the two countries through diplomatic channels.http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1044547.shtml

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 revealed the role of foreign spy agencies in attacks in Pakistan.

However, Khurasani said Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence was using a “prisoner” for propaganda against the group. He refuted what he called ISI’s “childish” acts and “non-serious” claims of Ehsan.

Scores of attacks claimed by Ehsan in the past include the 2012 attack on teenage Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head in Swat for her advocacy for women’s education.

Ehsan quit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan in 2014 and joined the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar group. He was a senior figure in that group before his surrender to authorities. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar is behind dozens of attacks on civilians and Pakistan security agencies.

Pakistan Army officials have said that the head of the Pakistani Taliban, Mullah Fazalullah, has ordered scores of attacks, including the assault on Malala, and that he is hiding in Afghanistan.

Shahhussain Murtazawi, acting spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, said Afghanistan is in a war against terrorism and Kabul has never supported terrorism against others. Without naming Pakistan, he said Kabul expects other states not to allow their soil to be used to stage attacks against Afghanistan.

There was no immediate comment from India.

Ehsan on Wednesday alleged that his leadership’s relations with Afghan and Indian intelligence grew after Pakistan launched a campaign against militants in North Waziristan in 2014, forcing insurgents to flee across the border to Afghanistan.

The media was not given access to Ehsan to independently confirm why he surrendered or when. It was unclear whether he will be tried for his past role against Pakistan.

Meanwhile, an overnight US drone strike killed seven militants in a tribal region near the Afghan border, according to two intelligence officials, who said the strike in Zuwai village in North Waziristan was the first since 2014 when Pakistan launched a major military operation there. The officials said Thursday no high value militant was killed in the strike. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to talk to media on the record.

Pakistan’s military claimed in a statement it killed several militants in overnight strikes after they tried to sneak into the country in the northwest. It gave no further details and it was not possible to independently confirm whether there were any militant casualties.http://nation.com.pk/national/27-Apr-2017/ttp-claims-ehsanullah-being-used-for-propaganda

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 NATO could fall into the hands of these terror groups,” the letter said.
“We fear for the safety of Karachi, Muhajir Nation and especially children, as these jihadi outfits are kidnapping/abducting young poor children and after brainwashing them, turning them into suicide bombers and religious fanatics,” it said.
With Karachi being one of the most vital seaports of Pakistan, the letter said, “the Taliban/ISIS/AlQaeda, and like minded groups” are persistently making every endeavour to “capture the control” of this city.
“Such control can open new resources for manpower and finance for their agenda,” it said.
Alleging that pro-Taliban and Islamic extremist elements are ever increasing in Pakistan, especially in Armed forces and ISI, and are heavily supported financially, physically and armoured by ISI, the World Muhajir Congress urged lawmakers to help them in fighting this menace in the port city of Karachi. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistans-isi-supporting-terrorist-groups-us-lawmakers-told/articleshow/58410102.cms

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 on the census duty took a two-hour lunch break, telling the policemen to go anywhere or stay at the base camp. “How can we work from 8am to 4pm without taking food, tea or even drinking water,” he asked.

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.

The slain militants were involved in attacks on security forces, bomb blasts, targeted killings and other subversive activities, he said.https://www.dawn.com/news/1329770/five-militants-killed-in-mand-encounter

Five terrorists killed in Punjab, KP, Balochistan, Fata: Operation Raddul Fasaad

RAWALPINDI: Five terrorists were killed and 11 apprehended during search and intelligence-based operations (IOBs) carried out in different parts of the country during the last 24 hours, an ISPR press release stated on Thursday.
Security forces conducted 29 cordon and search operations and 12 IBOs in different parts of the country. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) planes also took part in these operations and carried out bombardment on terrorist hideouts.
In Balochistan, the FC and intelligence agencies conducted an IBO in Gawak, Mand. Five terrorists of proscribed organisations were killed while two FC soldiers injured during an exchange of fire with terrorists. In different parts of Punjab, 29 cordon and search operations and IBOs, including Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Lohdran, Pakpattan and Bahawalnagar, were conducted. Nine terrorists were apprehended during these operations.
In KP, terrorist activity was foiled when the FC KP carried out an IBO in general area Bar Qambar Khel, Bara, Khyber Agency. Two terrorists, Shahid and Abdul Raziq, were apprehended who were planning a major terrorist attack in the area on directions from across the border. Sizeable quantity of explosives were recovered. In South Waziristan Agency, security forces recovered large amount of explosives during a search operation in Giga Khel.https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/201244-Five-terrorists-killed-in-Punjab-KP-Balochistan-Fata

Three terrorists gunned down in Khanewal

KHANEWAL:- Foiling a major terror bid, the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), in an operation, killed three suspected terrorists here on Thursday. According to CTD spokesman, acting on a tip-off that four terrorists were hiding in Lakhi Tibbi area of Khanewal, the security officials raided the site and killed three terrorists in shootout. However, a terrorist managed to escape.

According to CTD, the militants were planning for a terrorist activity and they were in the area of Jahanian, Lakhi Tibbi. On getting information, the CTD conducted a raid on the hideout. As the CTD personnel raided the hideout, the terrorists started firing at the security personnel. The forces retaliated and gunned down three alleged terrorists. However, one militant managed to flee.

The CTD officials added that the killed terrorists were affiliated with a banned terrorist group. A huge quantity of weapons including hand grenades, Kalashnikov, pistols, suicide jackets, bullets and detonators were also recovered during the operation. Maps of sensitive sites were also seized.

The search operation is underway to arrest the remaining terrorists and their abettors.http://nation.com.pk/national/28-Apr-2017/three-terrorists-gunned-down-in-khanewal

April 28, 2017   No Comments