JANUARY 2017

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MORE SMOKE & MIRRORS

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PAKISTAN: News Briefs

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21 civilians and nine militants among 37 persons killed during the week in Sindh: At least four persons, including a Policeman, were killed and 19 others injured during Police operation in Lyari area of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, on April 29.

An encounter between Police and Lyari gangsters left 10 persons dead, including a Station House Officer (SHO) and a Constable, in Lyari area of Karachi.

At least eight persons, including two Security Force personnel, were killed in a gun battle between Police and Lyari gangsters in Lyari area of Karachi on April 27.

Four persons, including a Head Constable, were killed in separate acts of target killings in Karachi on April 26.

At least five people, including a political activist and two football players representing the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) team, were killed in separate target killings incidents that took place in Karachi on April 24. Dawn; Daily Times; The News; Tribune, April 24-30, 2012.

Afghan Taliban to get 'safe passage' for reconciliation talks, says Afghan Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas: Pakistan, US and Afghanistan agreed on April 26 to provide 'safe passage' to Afghan Taliban militants willing to join reconciliation talks and set up a working group to settle modalities for their unhindered movement. This was announced by Afghanistan Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani. Dawn, April 28, 2012.

Osama Bin Laden wanted shoe bombers to follow up on 9/11 attacks, reveals British convict Saajid Badat: Al Qaeda's slain leader Osama Bin Laden had planned to follow up the September 11, 2001, (also known as 9/11) attacks with shoe bombers to blow up American passenger planes, which would have brought the American economy to its knees, a British man, Saajid Badat (33), convicted on terrorism charges testified in a trial Federal District Court in Brooklyn (New York) on April 23. "He (bin Laden) said that the American economy is like a chain. If you break one link of the chain, the whole economy will be brought down," Badat testified.

Laden had also planned to mount indiscriminate attacks on Pakistani soil, revealed the documents seized by the Americans from the compound in the Abbottabad ares of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) where Laden was killed.. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) shared intelligence about possible al Qaeda attacks inside. Times of India, April 25-28, 2012.

MQM, PPP and ANP involved in extortion, alleges Federal Minister of Interior Rehman Malik: Federal Minister of Interior Rehman Malik on April 23 revealed that activists belonging to political parties of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP)-led coalition Government of Sindh are to be blamed for the menace of extortion in Karachi. Malik said that activists of PPP, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Awami National Party (ANP) and other parties were involved in extortion in the metropolis. Dawn, April 24, 2012.

Era of wars over, says Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on April 23 said that the era of wars has ended and Pakistan is prepared to resolve all outstanding issues with India, including the Kashmir dispute and terrorism, through talks. Instead of trying to resolve issues through force, the Government has adopted a policy of progress and negotiations, he added. Times of India, April 24, 2012.

42 civilians and two militants among 44 persons killed during the week in Sindh: At least 18 persons were killed and 10 others injured in ethnic violence in Orangi Town area of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, on April 20.

Three people, including a Senior Assistant Editor of Dawn and an activist of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), were killed and several others were injured in different parts of Orangi Town in Karachi on April 19.

At least eight people, including two women, were shot dead in a renewed wave of violence in Karachi on April 18.

Nine persons, including a Shia man, identified as the Vice Principal of Jinnah Polytechnic Institute, Imran Zaidi (55), were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi on April 17.

At least five persons were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi on April 16. Dawn; Daily Times; The News; Tribune, April 17-23, 2012.

US pledges USD 110 million aid amid talks over NATO supplies: US Ambassador Cameron Munter has pledged USD 110 million in aid to Pakistan for the reopening of NATO supplies. Notably, the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) in Pakistan is expected to review the policy guidelines recently passed by the parliament.

Meanwhile, the World Bank (WB) on April 20 allocated an unprecedented amount of USD1.8 billion for Pakistan's development projects, mainly in energy sector, in 2012, Finance Minister Doctor Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said. Tribune; Daily Times, April 17-21, 2012.

Pakistan needs to act against Haqqani network, says US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker: The Haqqani network was responsible for a series of attacks in Afghanistan a few days ago, the US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker said on April 19. "There is no question in our mind that the Haqqanis were responsible for these attacks. We know where their leadership lives and we know where these plans are made. They're not made in Afghanistan. They're made in Miranshah, which is in North Waziristan Agency, which is in Pakistan," Crocker said, adding, "We are pressing the Pakistanis very hard on this. They really need to take action." Dawn, April 20, 2012.

More than 650 Shias in Quetta and 450 in Dera Ismail Khan were targeted and killed recently, NAHRC told: The National Assembly Human Rights Committee (NAHRC) was told on April 18 that more than 650 Shias in Quetta (Balochistan) and 450 in Dera Ismail Khan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) were targeted and killed recently. Mohammad Amin Shahidi, Deputy General Secretary of Wahdatul Muslimeen, a Shia organisation, informed the committee that more than 650 Shias in Quetta and 450 in Dera Ismail Khan were targeted and killed recently. Daily Times, April 19, 2012.

Islamabad has no right to use Kashmir issue to allow militant outfits like Haqqani Network to operate from its soil, says US Republican Senator John McCain: US Republican Senator John McCain on April 18 said that Pakistan has no right to use Kashmir issue as an excuse for not taking action against groups like Haqqani Network. He said, "Pakistan should not take refuge behind Kashmir conflict for not taking action against terrorist groups that operate almost openly in Pakistan. I have sympathy for Pakistani military leadership, but disappointed at Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) Agency's continued cooperation with the Haqqanis." The News, April 19, 2012.

Violence against journalists on the rise in Pakistan, claims Committee to Protect Journalists: The Committee to Protect Journalists said in its newly updated Impunity Index released on April 17 that deadly, unpunished violence against the press rose sharply in Pakistan and Mexico, continuing a dark, years-long trend in both nations. The global index, which calculates unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country's population, shows that Pakistani authorities routinely fail to bring prosecutions in journalist murders, including several with suspected Government links. Dawn, April 18, 2012.

19 militants and seven civilians among 30 persons killed during the week in FATA: At least 15 militants were killed when Army gunship helicopters heavily pounded militants' positions near the Afghan border in Joki Zaranna areas of Kurram Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on April 12.

Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) militants shot dead five Zakkakhel tribe persons in Bara tehsil (revenue unit) of Khyber Agency on April 11.

Four militants and two soldiers were killed during a clash when a group of 20 militants attacked a military check post in the Khapyanga area of Kurram Agency on April 9. Dawn; Daily Times; The News; Tribune, April 10-16, 2012.

28 civilians and four militants among 33 persons killed during the week in Balochistan: Unidentified assailants riding motorcycles killed eight Shias, belonging to Hazara community, in two incidents of sectarian attacks in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan on April 14.

Three people belonging to the Hazara community were shot dead and another wounded in separate incidents of target killings in the provincial capital Quetta on April 12.

Six Shias belonging to the Hazara community were killed and three others were injured when armed militants opened fire at a cobblers shop on Prince Road in Quetta on April 9. Dawn; Daily Times; The News; Tribune, April 10-16, 2012.

19 civilians and three militants among 24 persons killed during the week in Sindh: Four persons, including two Sunni Tehreek (ST) cadres, were shot dead in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh on April 15.

At least six people were killed and 17 others injured in separate incidents of firing and rocket attacks in Lyari area of Karachi on April 13.

Four people, including two activists of the Jaye Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), were shot dead by unidentified armed assailants in Karachi on April 11.

Five people, including two activists of the Muhajir Qaumi Movement (MQM) and a member of the Pakhtoon Action Committee, were shot dead in different parts of Karachi on April 10.

Three persons, including two Pakistan People's Party (PPP) workers, were shot dead in Karachi on April 9. Dawn; Daily Times; The News; Tribune, April 10-16, 2012.

Over 181,000 have fled Khyber Agency of FATA, says UNHCR: More than 181,000 people have fled fighting between Government troops and Taliban or al Qaeda-linked militants in the Khyber Agency Areas of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on April 13. "The number of people displaced by an ongoing government security operation in northwest Pakistan has now surpassed 181, 000," said a statement from the office of the UNHCR. Daily Times, April 14, 2012.

Parliament approves new norms on US ties: Parliament on April 12 approved new guidelines for the troubled ties with the US, a decision that will likely pave the way for the reopening of supply lines to NATO troops in neighbouring Afghanistan that have been blocked since November 2011. The proposals call on the Government to allow the international coalition to resume transporting its supplies through the country, as well as demand an end to US drone strikes on Pakistani soil. Times of India, April 13, 2012.

Address religious intolerance to curb sectarian killings in Pakistan, says HRCP: The continuous spilling of blood in sectarian killings in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) is a result of failure to address religious intolerance in society, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said on April 11. The commission said, "... The killings demonstrate a disturbing pattern and appear to be part of a well-planned sequence. It has been stated that miscreants from Afghanistan have been involved. That may be one problem, but it certainly is not the only one. The mindless bloodshed that we witness day in and day out is rooted in religious intolerance cultivated by the state." Daily Times, April 12, 2012.

Peshawar High Court orders closure of illegal detention centres: The Peshawar High Court on April 10 directed the local Police to close down three illegal detention centres, which were run by a former Station House Officer (SHO) of Hayatabad Police Station in his area. The bench directed the Police to hand over the three premises to their owners and provide their details to the court so that they could be asked not to rent out their premises in future for such illegal purposes. Dawn, April 11, 2012.

37 civilians and four SFs among 43 persons killed during the week in Sindh: At least 11 more persons were killed in Karachi on April 7.

Six persons were killed in Karachi on April 6.

A suicide bomber targeted a senior Police Officer, Superintendent of Police (SP) Anwar Ahmed Khan, said to be a leading name in the crackdown on militants, killing four passers-by and injuring 17 others in the Malir area of Karachi on April 5. Earlier in a pre-dawn attack, three Policemen were shot dead in PIB Colony. Four more people were killed in different parts of Karachi.

Five people, including an activist of Awami National Party (ANP), were killed in separate acts of target killing in Karachi on April 4.

As many as six persons lost their lives and another 28 were injured on April 2 during a daylong clash between protesters and Police in Lyari area of Karachi. Dawn; Daily Times; The News; Tribune, April 3-9, 2012.

24 militants and nine civilians among 39 persons killed during the week in FATA: Army gunship helicopters pounded militant positions in Mamozai area of Orakzai Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on April 8 and killed 14 militants.

Seven people were killed and three others injured when a passenger van was blown up in a roadside bomb blast at Shah Kas area in Jamrud tehsil (revenue unit) of Khyber Agency on April 4.

Five Security Force (SF) personnel were killed when a group of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants from across the Afghanistan border attacked a security post at Olai checkpoint in Mohmand Agency on April 2. At least eight militants died when Security Forces (SFs) retaliated. Dawn; Daily Times; The News; Tribune, April 3-9, 2012.

24 persons killed in the sectarian violence in Gilgit-Baltistan: As many as 24 people lost their lives and another 55 were injured in a fresh wave of sectarian violence across Gilgit-Baltistan, which erupted after clashes between Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) and Police in which five persons were killed in Gilgit city on April 3. Dawn; Daily Times; The News; Tribune, April 3-9, 2012.

We are serious about Hafiz Saeed but need evidence, says Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on April 8 acknowledged that the case of Jama'at-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed was an "issue" between Pakistan and India but said Islamabad needs "substantial" evidence against him to try him in a court of law. "We are serious on the issue of Saeed but the question is how to proceed against him without evidence. Courts here are independent and we need substantial evidence against him," Gilani said. Indian Express, April 9, 2012.

FATA origin of half of terrorism-related stories, says report: Half of the terrorism-related stories published in the country's key national newspapers originate from the border region in Pakistan's northwest, says a new study released by a local media development organisation on April 5. "Almost 50 percent of terrorism stories come from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP)," says the study. Daily Times, April 6, 2012.

ISI should have no role in Pakistan's politics, says Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on April 8 said the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) should have no role in country's politics. "The ISI should have no role in the country's politics," he said. Times of India, April 8, 2012.

No difference between human being and animal in Balochistan, says Supreme Court: The Supreme Court (said on April 6 there was no difference between a human being and animals in Balochistan where mutilated bodies were found on a daily basis. Following the chief justice's directive, Quetta Police produced four of seven 'missing' people of the Marri tribe in the court. Daily Times, April 7, 2012.

Hafiz Saeed helping de-radicalise militants, claims Pakistani official: An unnamed Pakistani counter-terrorism official said that Jama'at-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed has been helping Pakistan de-radicalise militants under efforts to stabilise the strategic US ally. "Hafiz Saeed has agreed with the Punjab Government programme of de-radicalisation and rehabilitation of former jihadis and extended full cooperation," the official said under the condition of anonymity. Times of India, April 7, 2012.

20 million Pakistani children not in school, says UNICEF: Around 20 million children in Pakistan, including an estimated 7.3 million of primary school age, are not in school, said a statement issued by United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on April 6. "Investing in children and their education is vital due to the positive impacts it has on so many socio-economic dimensions. It is therefore imperative that all children in Pakistan, both boys and girls, have the opportunity to attend and complete their schooling," the statement said. Daily Times, April 7, 2012.

41 civilians and one SF among 42 persons killed during the week in Sindh: Nine persons, including an Awami National Party (ANP) activist and a women, were killed in the ongoing violence at different places of Karachi on April 1.

At least 10 persons, including one Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) and an ANP worker, were killed in the ongoing spate of violence in Karachi on March 30.

At least five people were killed in the fresh wave of ethnic violence and at least four vehicles were set ablaze in Karachi on March 29.

At least five people were killed after a worker ANP Sindh Chapter, Zianul Abideen, was shot dead and his two companions injured near Matric Board Office in Nazimabad area of Karachi on March 28.

10 people were killed and 17 others injured while 46 vehicles were set ablaze after the killing of two Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) workers in PIB Police precincts in Karachi on March 27. Dawn; Daily Times; The News; Tribune, March 27 - April 2, 2012.

40 militants and two SFs among 42 persons killed during the week in FATA: At least 14 militants were killed when the Army helicopters targeted militant hideouts in Akhunkot area of Upper Orakzai Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on March 31.

At least 21 militants were killed by the Security Forces in an retaliatory fire in the Khadizai area, around 75 kilometres southwest of Kalaya, which is the main town of Orakzai Agency on March 30.

A US drone launched a missile attack on a militant compound in a market area of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan Agency, killing four Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants and injuring two others on March 29. Dawn; Daily Times; The News; Tribune, March 27 - April 2, 2012.

TTP introduces 'moral policing' in Afghanistan, says Afghan Police: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) introduced "moral policing" in parts of north-eastern Afghanistan, Afghan Police claimed on April 1. Key leaders of the TTP - including its 'commanders' in Swat, Bajaur Agency and Mohmand Agency - Maulana Fazalullah, Maulvi Faqir and Abdul Wali - and dozens of their loyalists had fled military operations and sought sanctuary in the Afghan Provinces of Nuristan and Kunar. They have introduced "moral policing". Tribune, April 2, 2012. [Source: SATP]

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