JANUARY 2017

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- Suresh Jaura
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MORE SMOKE & MIRRORS

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PAKISTAN: News Briefs

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Militants in FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa targeted 37 shrines during last five years: Militants have targeted 37 shrines of saints in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in the past five years. Explosions at shrines also killed 10 persons, including three children, and injured 30 others. CentralAsia Online; Jang Group Online, November 29, 2012.

Federal Minister for Interior Rehman Malik offers amnesty to banned groups: Federal Minister for Interior Rehman Malik said on November 26 that the Government was ready to give a general amnesty for all proscribed organisations, including Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), if they renounced terrorism. "If proscribed organisations agree to cooperate with the government and give up terrorism, they will be removed from the list of banned organisations," the interior minister said. Dawn, November 27, 2012.

Political violence in country rises in second quarter, says FAFEN report: Political violence rose by as much as 37 per cent during the second quarter of 2012 (April-June), as compared with the January-March quarter, with as many as 709 incidents of violence reported across the country, The Express Tribune reported quoting a Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) report. According to the report, Sindh reported the most incidents (280) followed by Balochistan (172), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (121), Punjab (68), Federally Administered Tribal Areas (61), Gilgit-Baltistan (4) and Islamabad Capital Territory (3). A total of 2,658 people fell victim to political violence - a 30 per cent increase compared with the preceding quarter. Tribune, November 27, 2012.

20 Shias killed in a suicide attack on a Muharram procession in Punjab: At least 20 mourners, including two minors, were killed and more than 30, including three Police personnel and five children, were wounded in a suicide blast at a Muharram procession. The procession was taken out from the Qasar-e-Shabbir Imambargah (Shia place of commemoration) in Dhok Syedan area on Misrial Road in Rawalpindi District in the night of November 21. Only six Police personnel were deployed at the Imambargah to protect the procession, the participants claimed. The News, November 22, 2012.

Taliban-linked militants active in 15 areas of Karachi, reveals Police report: A Police report, prepared in compliance of the Supreme Court's directives in a suo moto case on the target killings in Karachi, revealed that Taliban-linked militants have recently stepped up their activities in 15 "identified" areas of the city. "There are certain indications of their [the arrested militants'] involvement with the hardcore Taliban in the tribal areas, be it in the form of fundraising for them or training with those jihadists," it was stated in the report. The News, November 21, 2012.

Supreme Court regrets lack of visible change in the law and order situation in Balochistan: The Supreme Court on November 20 regretted that there had been no visible change in the law and order situation in Balochistan since the court's October 12, 2012, interim order which questioned the constitutional authority of the Provincial Government. "Apparently there is not much difference from the situation prevailing on October 12," observed the Apex Court. Dawn, November 21, 2012.

At least 91 journalists killed since 2000: During a seminar, 'International Journalist Day', organised at the National Press Club (NPC) in Islamabad on November 19 it was said that at least 91 journalists have been murdered across the country since 2000. It was told that Pakistan has become the third most dangerous country for journalists after Somalia and Syria. Dawn, November 20, 2012.

32 civilians and four SFs among 40 persons killed during the week in Sindh: At least three people were killed and over a dozen were injured in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast near an imambargah at Abbas Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh on November 18.

At least seven persons, including two Policemen, were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi on November 15.

At least eight persons, including a Deobandi and a Shia man, were killed in separate incidents of target killings in Karachi on November 14.

Seven persons, including Police Intelligence Officer, were killed in separate incidents of target killing in Karachi on November 13.

Sectarian and politically motivated killings claimed 11 lives in Karachi on November 12. Daily Times; Dawn; The News, November 13-19, 2012.

Taliban leader Anwarul Haq Mujahid released from Pakistani jail, confirms his family: Pakistani authorities released Anwarul Haq Mujahid, a Taliban leader and the eldest son of late Afghan resistance leader Maulvi Yunus Khalis, following negotiations with an Afghan peace delegation on November 15, 2012, said his family on November 16. Pakistani security officials on November 14 said authorities released at least seven Afghan Taliban leaders in a move seen as a potential breakthrough in stalled peace negotiations before the withdrawal of United States (US)-led NATO troops in 2014. It is not clear if Mujahid was among that group. But he is the first Taliban prisoner recently released by the Pakistani authorities to be identified by name. Daily Times, November 17, 2012.

58 civilians and 10 SFs among 73 persons killed during the week in Sindh: At least 19 persons, including six students of Deobandi School of thought, were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, on November 10.

Three persons were killed in separate acts of violence in Karachi on November 9.

Six persons, including two Shia men and a Policeman, were killed in separate acts of violence in Karachi on November 8.

At least three Rangers personnel were killed and 14 others injured in a suicide attack outside the Sachal Rangers Headquarters in North Nazimabad Block B area of Karachi on November 8.

13 persons, including five Shia men, were killed in separate incidents of target killing in Karachi on November 7.

15 persons, including three Bohra community members, were killed in separate incidents in Sindh on November 6.

Three people, including two activists of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi on November 5. Daily Times; Dawn; The News, November 6-12, 2012.

Fuel supply to NATO troops via Torkham border check-post restored: The supply of fuel to NATO troops through the Torkham border post, which lies in the Khyber Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), resumed on November 7 after one year when two oil tankers crossed into Afghanistan amid tight security. The fuel supply remained suspended despite resumption of overall supplies in July 2012 after the US apologised to the Government over the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a NATO air strike on the Salala checkpost in Mohmand Agency on November 26, 2011. Dawn, November 8, 2012.

Mullah Fazlullah hiding in Afghanistan, confirm US officials: According to a report, the US officials have confirmed that Mullah Fazlullah, a 'commander' of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), is hiding in Afghanistan. The report stated that the TTP leader has escaped retribution by hiding in a section of eastern Afghanistan where the US forces are present but focused on other targets. Tribune, November 7, 2012.

UN orders global sanction against Haqqani network: The UN Security Council on November 5 ordered global sanctions against the Haqqani Network in Afghanistan and its chief suicide attack organiser Qari Zakir. Haqqani and Qari Zakir were added to the UN's Afghanistan-Taliban sanctions list. US put the Haqqani network on its terror blacklist in September 2012. The network has been widely linked to Pakistan. Dawn November 6, 2012.

CoAS General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani warns SC judges not to cross the limit and undermine military: The Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on November 5 warning Supreme Court (SC) judges said that that any effort to undermine the military and "draw a wedge" between it and its citizens would not be tolerated. "Any effort which wittingly or unwittingly draws a wedge between the people and Armed Forces of Pakistan undermines the larger national interest," said General Ashfaq Kayani. The SC Chief Justice Mian Iftikhar Chaudhary in October 2012 had ruled that the military must stop interfering in politics. Daily Times, November 6, 2012.

38 civilians and three Security Force personnel among 43 persons killed during the week in Sindh: Five persons, including an activist of Awami National Party (ANP), were killed in separate incidents of target killing in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, on November 4.

Seven persons, including an activist of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and a cadre of People's Amn Committee (PAC), were killed in separate acts of violence in Karachi on November 2.

Six persons including two activists of the MQM were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi on November 1.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) went on a shooting rampage in the night of October 31 and killed four persons, including three ANP activists, including the party's Sherpao Colony ward President, outside the Al-Naseer PCO under Quaidabad Police Station in Karachi.

At least five persons, including a local leader of ANP, a Policeman and an alleged militant, were killed in separate incidents in Karachi on October 30 .

Eight persons, including a Shia man, President of ANP Pashtun Students Federation (PSF) and three supporters of the MQM, were killed in separate incidents of target killing on October 28 and October 29. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, October 30-November 5, 2012.

28 militants and six civilians among 38 persons killed during the week in FATA: Three dead bodies were recovered from separate places in Bara tehsil (revenue unit) of Khyber Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on November 2.

At least 10 militants were killed and six injured on November 1 as gunship helicopters and jet fighters pounded militant hideouts in Sairi village of Tirah Valley under Bara tehsil in Khyber Agency.

At least three persons, including two children, were killed when a mortar shell hit a house in the area of Sipah area of Bara tehsil on October 30.

Ten militants were killed when helicopter gunships targeted their hideouts in Nala Malikdinkhel area of Bara tehsil on October 29. In addition, three soldiers were killed when militants attacked their convoy in Nala area. Also, eight militants were killed and a security official was injured in a clash in Mamozai area in Orakzai Agency. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, October 30-November 5, 2012.

27 civilians and one SF among 28 persons killed during the week in Balochistan: Three migrant labourers hailing from Punjab were shot dead at a bus stand in Mund bazaar in Turbat town of the same District in Balochistan on November 4.

At least 18 persons, including seven women and four children, were killed and five others injured as unidentified assailants fired indiscriminately at a local passenger van parked outside a petrol pump in the Jhalawan Complex area of the Khuzdar District on November 2.

Three persons, including two suspected militants, identified as Muzafar and his nephew Hasmatullah, were killed and four others were injured in separate incidents in Balochistan on October 29. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, October 30-November 5, 2012.

Karachi taken hostage by 25 Jihadi groups, security agencies inform Federal Ministry of Interior: As the Supreme Court has directed the Sindh Government to tackle a growing influx of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Karachi to bring peace back, the security agencies have informed the Federal Ministry of Interior about the presence of at least 25 al Qaeda and TTP-linked militant outfits which have infiltrated the port city and turned it into a battlefield between the law enforcement agencies and the miscreants. The Supreme Court had directed the Police and other law-enforcement agencies in Sindh to "take all possible measures to meet the challenge posed due to immigration of Taliban who are armed with sophisticated weapons". The News, November 5, 2012.

Supreme Court seeks report on infiltration of TTP in Karachi: The Supreme Court on October 31 ordered the Sindh Police Chief and other authorities to submit a report on infiltration of over 7,000 Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants in Karachi and release of 150 convicts on parole. A five-member larger bench was seized with the proceedings for the implementation of the apex court's earlier order in a suo motu case related to Karachi killings. Dawn, November 1, 2012.

[Source: SATP]

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