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Category — Army

Army major martyred in clash with militants in DI Khan

Report in The News, Nov 23, 2017
DERA ISMAIL KHAN: A major of the Pakistan Army was martyred in an operation against terrorists in the Kulachi area on Wednesday.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) through a statement said security forces launched the operation on the basis of information about the presence of militants in the area. 28-year-old Major Ishaq embraced martyrdom in the exchange of fire with militants, it said, adding, the officer hailed from the Khushab district in Punjab and left behind a widow and a one-year-old son.
Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa attended the funeral prayer of the martyred officer in Dera Ismail Khan. The sources said that the forces launched a search operation in the area after the incident. However, there was no word about any arrest being made. The pictures of the late Major Ishaq with his infant child went viral after the news of his martyrdom broke out. There were reports that Major Ishaq led the charge on the house where the terrorists were holding out and lying in wait. Kulachi is known as a place where terrorists have been operating.
Meanwhile, KP Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra offered his condolences on the martyrdom of Major Ishaq. In his message, he said that peace was restored in the country due to the unmatched sacrifices of the Pakistan Army and security forces.
APP adds: President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi expressed grief and sorrow over the martyrdom of Major Ishaq and said that he embraced martyrdom to achieve a great objective, which was the elimination of terrorism. In their separate messages, the president and prime minister said the sacrifice of Major Ishaq for his beloved country would not go in vain. They said the armed forces and other security agencies had rendered invaluable sacrifices for the homeland. They emphasised the Operation Raddul Fasad was being carried out all over the country to eradicate terrorism without any discrimination.https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/247675-army-major-martyred-in-clash-with-militants-in-di-khan

November 23, 2017   No Comments

Govt set to send 95 cases to military courts

By Zafar Bhutta in The Express Tribune, November 23, 2017
ISLAMABAD: After Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa had drawn the attention of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to slowing down of transfer of cases to military courts, the government is set to send 95 fresh terrorism-related cases to special courts for trial.

Gen Qamar had written a demi-official (DO) letter to explain the issue prior to it being referred officially, drawing the attention of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to the lack of terrorism-related cases being transferred to military courts.

He informed the prime minister that the government had not forwarded any cases to the military courts since January this year.
As per procedure, all cases require the federal government’s approval before transfer to the military courts. Hence, the defence ministry could not send these cases to the courts directly.

The government had to determine the age because in August last year, the Peshawar High Court suspended a death sentence awarded to Haider Ali by a military court.

The high court said since Ali was a juvenile, he could not be executed because the juvenile justice system ordinance prohibited trial of an underage suspect other than by a designated court.

Sources told The Express Tribune that a committee of the ministry of interior was constituted to examine and recommend the cases to the competent authority for trial and prosecution by the courts established under the Pakistan Army Act 1952.

The committee met on October 31 and again on November 1 in the interior ministry to examine 90 cases recommended by the government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and 10 cases recommended by Sindh.

Recently, the committee briefed the cabinet that it had thoroughly discussed each case and observed that 85 out of 90 cases forwarded by the K-P government and 10 cases of the Sindh government were covered under Section 2 of the Pakistan Army Act 1952.

Moreover, the committee also deferred four cases of the K-P government for further discussion whereas the case of an accused, who had died in custody, had been closed.

The cabinet granted approval to sending the cases to the military courts on a summary submitted by the interior division.

November 23, 2017   No Comments

State failure & extremism: By Rasul Bakhsh Rais in The Express Tribune, Nov 22, 2017.

The writer is a professor of political science at LUMS, Lahore.
There are many pathologies and symptoms of state failure in Pakistan among which failure to counter religious extremism is the most obvious one. The monster of religious extremism — intolerance of other sects in Islam and religious beliefs and acts of targeted violence against minorities — has been in the making for decades. While the extremist groups, leaders and movements have been on the rise and creating greater public and social space for themselves, the state institutions and the ruling groups have been surrendering their power and shirking their responsibility to protect security of life and freedom of citizens. The narrative of state failure in Pakistan — an intellectual taboo some decades back — is for real now. Failure to recognise the state failure and do something about it is bound to further weaken the state and make society more vulnerable to attacks from the religious extremists.

There is little doubt about who I am talking about; yes, those who use our sacred religion or any other religion for violence of all forms from hate-speech to physical harm like murder, militancy, terrorism and suicide bombings. These people no matter what elevated positions in religious or social hierarchy they occupy, their choice of violent means for achieving their social or political objectives makes them an enemy of the people, society, and even the religion they pretend to profess. No religion by its spiritual values, moral ethos and teaching allows violence against society, which the nation-states — based on citizenship and multi-faith populations — represent. Actually, if we look at the past 40 years of history of the region, the connected theatres of a terrible war, religious violence has taken a structural form, a stubborn character and growing religious industry.

More than 70,000 citizens have lost their lives among whom a good number of those killed are from the Shia sect, Ahmadis and Christians is an undeniable fact. What kind of a state and society we are, if people professing a particular faith, which is a fundamental right universally acknowledged, can be targeted, killed and even expelled from their ancestral places. Is religious freedom only for the majority, the powerful?

The personal tragedy of tens of thousands of children, women, scholars, poets, intellectuals, political and social activists, soldiers, policemen and tribal maliks makes the tragedy of Pakistan. The tragedy is further compounded, as it goes on and on with ruling groups —the PML-N — taking the course of political expediency. In the face of these horrible acts of violence, it wanted to negotiate with the TTP even after the terrorists had trashed seven negotiated agreements. The security forces took decisive action, leaving the ruling political clique to a choice between watching from the sidelines or following in their tracks.

A new religious group, the Tehreek-e-Labbaik, has paralysed the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi by marching from Lahore and occupying Faizabad interchange. Once again, we see political expediency shaping the choice of the ruling clique. The response of the PML-N is no different in this situation than a normal attitude of a banana republic. Failure to act in such situations created by religious groups is a normal response of the government.

The power of extremist groups has grown because the power of the state to act in support of law, justice and in public interest has considerably declined. Popular support has rarely energised religious extremist groups; instead, it will always be the inability of governments to act against them in support of the law when they have to. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1564652/6-state-failure-extremism/

November 22, 2017   No Comments

Taming politics: op-ed by Dr Niaz Murtaza in Dawn, Nov 21, 2017

The writer is a senior fellow with UC Berkeley and heads INSPIRING Pakistan, a progressive policy unit.
POST-2008 politics has followed a few unstated rules based on the twin cities having a tacit ‘no-nuclear-first-strike pact’ in place. Pindi will not use its nuclear option (coup) first if Islamabad doesn’t first use its nuclear option (clipping Pindi’s wings). Politicians will rule but Pindi will run the security and foreign policy domains. In return, Pindi will avoid politicking if its core powers aren’t threatened.

Zardari tried putting the ISI under civilian control reportedly under US advice. But faced with a furious backlash from the security establishment, he gave up soon and remained meek subsequently. Nawaz too kept his desire for civilian supremacy well under check. Yet, despite civilian meekness, this elite political pact appears to be unravelling after 10 years. There are many hints, perhaps even evidence, that Pindi is becoming restive and, like in the 1990s, wants to covertly manage politics even when its core interests are not threatened.

The targets are seemingly our main parties. Early signs emerged in 2015. Carried away by its success in crushing violence in Karachi, the security establishment perhaps felt it could end sleaze too. Whether the intent was really this or merely bringing to heel politicians, the anti-PPP drive failed. This month, further signs emerged with the failed attempt to arrange a marriage between the MQM-P and PSP.

Finally, in the PML-N’s case there are more hints than evidence. The PML-N leaders hint at the establishment’s hand in Sharif’s disqualification. The verdict itself is so weak it encourages speculation whether an elected prime minister would be evicted on such flimsy grounds without establishment support. Sharif faces more solid proof of sleaze in NAB cases. So, the unfair de-seating may soon become moot. But it has instigated political instability. The electoral entrance of fringe religious groups and rumours about mysterious calls being made to PML-N MNAs further muddy the water.

Rumours about minus-three, even minus-four formulae (Altaf, Zardari, Nawaz and Imran) had started appearing in 2015 on social media. As of today, Altaf stands fully eliminated and Nawaz partially so. Imran’s fate is in balance in the court and ECP cases. Of course, all this may not be the result of plotting since our politicians carry sufficient skeletons in their closets to convict them. But engineering is not the right strategy for removing the gaps in our politics. So while the proof may not yet be solid enough to strongly accuse Pindi, the hints are strong enough to put out a cautionary note against devising such a strategy given past failures.

Such forays into politics are seen as the result of the follies of politicians. There are two variants to this logic. The first assigns noble aims to Pindi: politicians mess things so much that it has to intervene. But politicians have never messed things so badly. In fact, dictators have messed things more. The second variant is more cynical. It argues that the follies of politicians allow Pindi to grab power in the garb of being saviour. This variant is closer to our situation. But there is nothing inevitable even about it. There are many states where governance is also poor but where there are no deep states itching to step in. In fact, among major states, such temptations afflict establishments now only in a small group which can aptly be called the TEMPT (Thailand, Egypt, Myanmar, Pakistan and Turkey) Club.

Yet, there is strong support for such politicking among many educated people who view politics via only a moral lens. Such a lens is critical but when used alone it creates unrealistic demands for unconditional, full and instant change. Thus, it must be supplemented with a political economy lens which provides better strategies and realistic time frames for political change.

The PML-N and MQM are currently the two parties facing the most flux. There is much that’s wrong with them when viewed from a moral lens. But a political economy lens helps in analysing how some of their follies emerge from strong needs within society and not just the evil aims of their leaders. The MQM is being asked to give up its name and ethnic politics based on the view that these serve only the needs of its leaders. But more than jobs and flyovers, the MQM provides a sense of unity and identity to Mohajirs. Defanging its violent arms is proper; forcing it to abandon ethnic politics is not.

Similarly, the PML-N is the embodiment of patronage and dynastic politics which produces sleaze. Controlling sleaze is necessary but only via civilian accountability tools and sound verdicts. But trying to demolish the PML-N instantly can affect Punjab’s broader political economy that thrives on patronage.

This all thus requires patient handling rather than crude political engineering by arrogant elements. https://www.dawn.com/news/1371800/taming-politics

November 21, 2017   No Comments

Engineering politics: by Shahzad Chaudhry in The News, Nov 17, 2017

During the PTI’s 2014 sit-in the government engaged the then army chief. When APS was hit with its attendant tragedy and was followed by the formulation of the National Action Plan, the army chief led the way evolving a consensus and a commitment to its implementation. When Yemen blew up in an internecine Arab war asking Pakistan to choose sides, the army chief was asked to accompany the prime minister in soothing ruffled feathers in Arab capitals.
While the post-Nawaz PML-N government is its weakest in effectiveness and functioning the army chief has made two critical visits to Kabul and Tehran, each with a different set of objectives essential to Pakistan’s interests; something the foreign minister should have done.
These and other initiatives are the domain of a government and its ministers, yet in each case the army chief led the way. General Ashfaq Kayani was frequently asked by the then government to take on responsibilities usually left to chief diplomats in resolving vexing problems that afflicted Pakistan during those difficult days.
Two of the most recent counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations in Fata and Karachi respectively may have been led by the army, but a large part of consolidating gains and sustaining peace remains through actions purely under political domain. This is especially so for Fata, which has needed resolute political action at the legislative and political level addressing replacement of the antiquated FCR with politico-legal conditions at par with the rest of the country.
While there could be disagreements among political players in ways to bring reform to Fata no one differs with its absolute need. And while that is where the process seems to be stuck, the military continues to push for urgency through an early resolution and implementation. That only will ensure that gains are consolidated and peace is sustained and Fata and its people can realise the promise of making good in the twenty-first century. What should have been a patent political concern has the army acting as a major catalyst because in its absence the calm returned and the gains achieved will only be reversed. The army is seen to be driving the political process for the larger good.
Ditto Karachi. It had become an unfortunate haven for terrorists like Omar Sheikh Mohammad who not only found refuge but converted it into a crime capital over time. Militant wings ruled the roost; some belonged to religious groups while others were subsidiaries of political parties. The social and economic activity of the city was ransomed to their vile ways and death and extortion became a common course. The environment sired even more criminal outfits which not only found refuge in this culture but added to the malignancy that Karachi had become. Karachi degenerated into a crime pit where normal life became impossible.
Both Karachi and Pakistan, therefore, suffered. This is what the army and the Rangers were asked to clean up. It took them six long years, innumerable lives and a persistently well-integrated effort of all elements of law enforcement, including intelligence agencies, to revert Karachi to its old self and reinstitute its vigour. The fight goes on but a large part of the malice has washed out. This included a gradual alienation of a party supremo who spewed fire against the country and its military from the safety of his exile in London. Altaf Hussain’s network of criminals, which sustained his deadly clout, was strangulated little by little.
Politically too these were significant developments. Better law and order meant normal political activities could gain momentum. The 2013 elections threw up the PTI as a potential player in Karachi that could gradually replace the fascist methods of the MQM, the party that held control of Karachi through terror and economic manipulation. The PPP, despite that it too wielded influence of the armed gangs in specific areas began to make inroads where the MQM had reigned supreme for three decades. The MQM itself suffered with the loss of a central authority whose shadow was enough to retain its supremacy. Without him, the ‘party of Karachi’ literally withered in the winds of change.
That is when newer players rose, like the PSP of Mustafa Kamal which is famously attributed to have been under the military’s umbrella. As the influence of the MQM waned and the citizenry, ever the follower of its nationalist philosophy, lost its moorings, the PSP only turned out more Trojan. The PPP hoped to fill in but kept Karachi decrepit. Due to serious infighting, the PTI failed to capitalise on the toehold provided to it in 2013 and remained listless. In all this, Karachi suffered more. The fountain of Pakistan’s economic and social energy began to dry up for lack of ownership even though the reign of terror which once ruled the city was no more.
This is when it became apparent to all: the people of Karachi, its business community and its security minders – though not as vividly to the political parties (except the MQM and the PSP) which were each driven by their selfish motives – that Karachi had to unite to belong to someone who would care and walk it out of despair, and ensure sustainable peace. This a la Fata, an entirely deprived region though for different reasons. It is thence that those who wished to consolidate gains and preserve peace and ensure sustainable progress and development got the principals of Karachi, the political parties fighting for the rights of the majority of citizenry – the Karachi-ite, the Mohajir, the former MQM core and cadre – urging them to come together to own Karachi and give back to Pakistan’s economic capital its due place.
If, and this is by way of mere deduction, the military or its functionaries – those who had earned Karachi its peace after a prolonged war against the terror-crime nexus – considered bringing people together to re-form the core that will tend to Karachi and own it, minus its malignance, it was a noble thought. In line with its own philosophy of consolidating gains, sustaining peace and ensuing prosperity. Then only the mission endured for the last six years and more could be declared successful and enduring. Such engineering is good and nobly aimed. Not to divide and break up but to unite and consolidate.
That it failed is sad. And there could be many a reason to it. Perhaps the 2018 elections might partially allay apprehensions attached to it failing to work out. But it has left behind important questions: who ensnared the MQM into parleys with their nemesis, the PSP; did Farooq Sattar deliberately walk into one with a design? Imagine what Farooq Sattar has gained for himself from the episode. He has neutralised the PSP and shown it as an establishment’s stooge; he has created space for himself within his party to exercise greater influence; and he has reignited the Mohajir flame as a rallying cry in what had become a literally sullen entity.
The engineers failed while the manipulators played a smarter hand and extorted some immediate benefits despite crying wolf. Altaf’s shadow looms large even though his alienation may have been considered complete. The future of Karachi hangs in the balance. This ride could be rougher than we had imagined. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/245286-engineering-politics

November 17, 2017   No Comments

Volcano alert: op-ed by Aasim Sajjad Akhtar in Dawn, Nov 17, 2017

The writer teaches at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.
THE vaunted ‘establishment’, it would appear, is getting rather anxious. Over the past week whatever little pretence there remained about the autonomy of Pakistan’s mainstream politicians was put to bed in three almost simultaneous announcements. First came Musharraf’s (laughable) 20-odd party alliance, followed by the MQM-PSP farce in Karachi and finally the revival of the MMA.

The open secret of behind-the-scenes machinations of the permanent state apparatus makes clear that for all that has changed in Pakistan, much remains the same. It took 23 years for the establishment to even permit direct elections in this country, and historians have shown that even in 1970 the Yahya Khan regime did its utmost to manufacture the outcome. Since then, the actors and methods may have changed, but the instincts of the men in khaki have never wavered.

If the establishment is concerned with little else than asserting its exclusive right to rule this country, those on the civilian side clearly don’t possess the leadership and foresight to challenge status quo. It is simply not enough to cry foul at ‘hidden hands’ and make politics only about wresting power from these hidden hands. What vision do we have for the future? And how can we put it into practice?

Recently I came across a photo of more than 20,000 youth converging at Jamshoro for admission to Sindh University. Only a small fraction will be enrolled, the rest turned away to ruminate on a bleak future. It is repeated often enough for it to now be common knowledge: more than 60 per cent of Pakistan’s 200 million people are below 25 years of age. In principle, youth bulges can signal golden periods for societies, especially if young people are equipped and motivated to contribute to their own development and that of society.

As of now, Pakistan’s youth bulge seems like a volcanic eruption waiting to happen. Ours is an education system that leaves young people ill prepared to cope with the challenges of the 21st century. The majority of our educated youth do not have the cognitive tools to understand the vast global changes taking place, let alone think about ways to engage with these changes creatively so as to build sustainable, equitable societies.

In any case, we still have over 20m children out of school. Amongst those who do go to school many do not continue beyond the secondary level. Addressing this crisis is not simply about playing a numbers game in donor-funded conferences. It requires deeper thinking about class and other social structures that reinforce inequality over generations — and a commitment to policy steps that challenge class privilege.

Both those who go to school (even university) and those who don’t share one thing: they all have precarious employment prospects. The numbers are mind-boggling: at least 30m young people will enter the workforce in the next couple of decades. This does not include those not accounted for in formal statistics such as child labourers. A large number of both educated and uneducated young people seek employment outside Pakistan; many resort to illegal means and suffer untold misery in doing so. But the fact remains that there are not nearly enough opportunities, inside the county or outside, illegal or legal, for the number of young people out there.

This is the making of a social crisis unlike anything this country has seen if only because the scale of the problem is unprecedented. Given the sway of reactionary political ideologies here and around the world, there’s every chance that many young people will think that their growing alienation can only be explained by a politics of hate, bigotry and violence.

It is telling that columns and editorials have been printed on these pages recently commemorating the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution yet there has been little discussion on how the egalitarian ideal symbolised by the creation of the Soviet Union can be resuscitated in our times. I believe it must be, that transformative politics that speaks to the tens of millions of young people for whom the current system offers little hope is the need of the hour.

What does this look like? Free education, restructuring of our curriculum, health and housing for all, a reclaiming of the commons – land, water and other natural resources — from the nexus of state and capital (and particularly the fetishism of consumption), the building of an ecological civilisation based on harmony between human needs and the environment, and personal freedoms irrespective of caste, creed, gender or religion.

Once upon a time, this was what they called socialism. More than any other segment of our society, today’s youth and the generations that follow will have to choose, as Rosa Luxemburg said a century ago, between socialism and barbarism.https://www.dawn.com/news/1371066/volcano-alert

November 17, 2017   No Comments

SC seeks Centre’s report on action taken against errant senior cops

by Jamal Khurshid in The News, November 17, 2017s
Karachi: The Karachi registry of the country’s top court directed the federal government on Thursday to submit a report within a fortnight on the action taken against senior police officers involved in illegal appointments and misconduct.
Hearing the petition of the Sindh police against reinstatement of officers who were removed from service, the Supreme Court’s two-member bench headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed asked the home secretary what action was taken against officers with patchy service records.
The government official told the top court that disciplinary action was initiated against 25 DSPs, whose cases were received from the chief of the provincial police (IGP).
The home secretary’s report stated that major and minor penalties were awarded to 11 DSPs, while disciplinary proceedings against four DSPs were withdrawn by the police chief in the light of the ADIG’s inquiry report. The government official’s report also mentioned that proceedings against five DSPs were disposed of by the police chief, while cases of five DSPs were pending.
The court said government officers were public servants and they should not become public masters, adding that there was discrimination between police officers and police personnel in awarding punishments.
The bench said that all police officers and personnel should be treated equally in their disciplinary proceedings, and that senior officers could not be condoned because of their ranks. The IGP’s statement said misconduct reports against 25 grade-17 officers were transmitted to the home secretary’s office for initiating departmental proceedings, adding that misconduct reports against 35 officers of grade-18 and above were sent to the chief secretary’s office for initiating departmental proceedings.
The 35 officers are facing charges of illegal appointments, misappropriating funds, influencing local police for demolishing historical buildings in Saddar, illegal gratification, harassing businessmen, unauthorised deployment of police personnel as guards to civilians, misappropriating investigation funds, patronising illegal activities such as smuggling of Iranian oil and other contraband items.
The report said former Sukkur DIG Capt (retd) Feroz Shah was involved in malpractices and patronising illegal activities in Sukkur Zone such as smuggling of Iranian oil and other contraband items.
Thirty-one DSPs posted in different areas of the province are facing charges of illegal appointments, forgery, misbehaviour with public, giving benefits to the accused, absenteeism, intoxication, no-show in high court, illegally unsealing filling station, distorting facts in charge sheet of murder cases during PS-81 by-election, embezzling case properties in City Court Malkhana, misbehaviour with police personnel over registering cases against friends, misusing power due to matrimonial affairs, making irresponsible security arrangements for Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s Urs, restraining Chehlum procession in Khairpur, collecting money from immoral businesses, facilitating girl’s murder, illegal encroachment of plot in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, illegally detaining citizens to receive bribes and ruining murder case investigations.
The report also said 1,780 suspected cases of police personnel of BS-5 to BS-16 were accorded personal hearing by the scrutiny committee of the police, adding that 19 cops were dismissed from service, 130 forced to retire and 12 voluntarily retired, while cases of 17 personnel were pending and six personnel were already dismissed out of 184 cases.
The police chief said the remaining police personnel were cleared of suspicion of having patchy records because they were found involved in minor departmental misconduct and absenteeism, so lenient view was taken by the committee in their cases.
He told the court that there was no discrimination in taking or initiating action against delinquent officers, saying that action against them was initiated without any delay. The court then directed the federal government to submit a report within two weeks on action taken against senior police officers, including former IGP Ghulam Haider Jamali, Training DIG Shahab Mazhar Bhalli and Addl DIG Aitezaz Ahmed Goraya, whose cases were sent to the establishment division for disciplinary proceedings.https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/244913-sc-seeks-centre-s-report-on-action-taken-against-errant-senior-cops

November 17, 2017   No Comments

Sindh apex committee decides to send 28 terrorism-related cases to military courts

Report in The News, Nov 16, 2017
KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday chaired a meeting of the provincial apex committee, discussing several issues related to prevalent street crimes, land grabbing and ghost employees in the government departments.

It is learned that the apex committee has decided to forward 28 high profile terrorism-related cases to the military courts. The committee, after approving the recommendations, has directed the home ministry to forward the cases to the military courts.

The committee was told that the anti-terrorism courts in the province have so far convicted 1,521 criminals, 94 of which awarded death penalty, while 562 convicts were sentenced to life imprisonment.

The provincial apex committee was attended by provincial ministers Nisar Khuhro, Sohail Anwar Siyal, Corps Commander Lt Gen Shahid Beg Mirza, Director General Rangers Maj Gen Mohammad Saeed, Inspector General (IG) Sindh A.D Khowaja, and other senior officials.

The committee agreed to induct street crime in the apex committee’s domain, CM directed police and Rangers to initiate a targeted operations against groups involved in such criminal activities.

While the cases of high-profile prisoners were also discussed during the meeting.http://thenews.com.pk/latest/244499-Sindh-apex-committee-decides-to-send-28-terrorism-related-cases-to-military-courts

November 16, 2017   No Comments

Interior ministry denies suspending firearms licences

By Qadeer Tanoli in The Express Tribune, Nov 14, 2017
ISLAMABAD: The Interior Ministry is in a fix to deal with the constant circulation of fake notifications which are creating misinformation and resulting in deep confusion in the public.

So far the ministry has not been able to play an effective role to control these fake notifications. Generally these fake notifications circulate on social media but sometime conventional media also takes them up which creates a lot of confusion among the citizens.

After two days of taking many rounds on the social and the mainstream media, the Ministry of Interior on Monday finally clarified that it did not issue any notification regarding the suspension of licenses of prohibited bore weapons.

The Ministry, in a statement, clarified that the matter of regulating arms, especially automatic arms, in the country is still under consideration. It further said that the media will be duly informed regarding any progress on the matter.

A few days ago a section of the media carried a story claiming that the interior ministry has suspended the licences for all prohibited bore weapons, through which automatic weapons have been registered.

According to the notification, which was later denied by the ministry, the owners of automatic weapons would be able to get their weapons replaced with semi-automatic firearms or get Rs50,000 in return for their weapons from the district administration. This fake notification had set January 15, 2018 as deadline for submitting weapons following which all licences will be considered revoked.

This is not the the first time that fake notification’s circulation created confusion in the country. Last year, the ministry had to dismiss a notification declaring November 9 a public holiday on account of Iqbal Day.

The Ministry of Interior was forced to deny the fabricated notification when a notification in this context made rounds on social media saying the federal government had decided to declared November 9 as the public holiday. This year too fake news item has been circulating in the social media that November 9 holiday has been restored. However, this time the mainstream media did not carry a story.

Generally these fake notifications are so close to authenticity that it is difficult to judge about their genuineness. These notifications which are created through photoshop carry signatures of officials of the ministry or those who have worked with it in a specific branch.

However, it is not clear whether the ministry has taken any action against the persons who circulated fabricated news.https://tribune.com.pk/story/1557597/1-interior-ministry-denies-suspending-firearms-licences/

November 14, 2017   No Comments

Pak army kills four terrorists in Khyber Agency : report in The News, Nov 10, 2017

RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Army on Thursday killed at least four terrorists and injured five others in a gun battle in country’s tribal belt near Afghan border.

Citing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the army, Geo News reported that a group of terrorists attacked an army post in Khyber Agency’s Rajgal area.

The attack which was repulsed by the army also led to martyrdom of a soldier identified as Muhammad Ilyas.

According to the ISPR, the outpost that was recently set up in Rajgal came under attack from terrorists from across the border in Afghanistan

The ISPR said the army gave befitting and response to terrorists.http://thenews.com.pk/latest/243077-Pak-army-kills-four-terrorists-in-Khyber-Agency

November 13, 2017   No Comments