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PAKISTAN: News Briefs

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Sectarian outfits active in Balochistan, says HRCP report: Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on the occasion of International Day of the Disappeared on August 30 said that during the tenure of the present Government, as many as 450 mutilated dead bodies have been recovered and over 1300 persons went missing in different areas of Balochistan Federal Government should take remedial steps to resolve the issue. Chairperson HRCP Zohra Yusuf said that there is war like situation in Balochistan. Hazara Community is being killed by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and now Jama'at-ud-Dawa (JuD) has also started opening offices in Balochistan.

A report quoting a fact finding mission of the HRCP on Balochistan stated that Talibanisation is growing in several areas of Balochistan and Security Forces might be patronising militants, turning Quetta into a haven for militants. The report observed that religious fanaticism was not being exported to the province from outside, rather it was being bred within Balochistan. Dawn; Tribune, August 31, 2012.

Hate content in school textbooks has increased since 2009, reveals NCJP report Education or Promotion of Hatred: Hate content in textbooks used in the Punjab has increased from '45 lines in 2009 to 122 in 2012' a content analysis report titled Education or Promotion of Hatred published by the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) said on August 30 at a conference, Biases in Textbooks and Education Policy. Doctor Mehdi Hasan, the School of Media and Communication Dean at the Beacon House National University said seminaries, where less than 4 per cent of the Pakistani children studied in Pakistan, did not pose a greater threat than schools, where hate material was being taught to students as young as to be in class 1. Tribune, August 31, 2012.

US designates eight LeT-JuD leaders as terrorists and Places sanctions: The US Treasury Department on August 30 designated eight leaders of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) as terrorists and placed sanctions on them, holding them accountable for the Mumbai attacks in 2008, and attacks on coalition and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.

After the US announced its sanctions the Jama'at-ud-Dawa (JuD) said that it had no link with the LeT. Senior JuD leader Amir Hamza described the US decision as an attempt to defame the JuD leadership. "The LeT is an occupied Kashmir-based religious organisation, which has been struggling to help Kashmiris get freedom from India and we have no link with the LeT," said Amir Hamza, adding the American action to place JuD leaders' names on the US list of specially designated persons with link to terrorism was absolutely wrong and baseless. Tribune; Times of India; Dawn, August 31, 2012.

United States and Pakistan are not planning a joint military operation in tribal areas, says report: The United States and Pakistan are not planning a joint military operation in tribal areas as Islamabad will not allow foreign troops on its soil, said officials familiar with talks between the two countries on this issue. In a recent meeting with American journalists in Washington, a group of Pakistani officials explained that the media was causing "much confusion" by using the term joint operation. Dawn, August 30, 2012.

Mullah Omar and aides living in Pakistan, says NATO commander in Afghanistan General John Allen: The NATO commander in Afghanistan General John Allen on August 28 said that reclusive Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar was hiding in Pakistan along with his commanders. "Omar lives in Pakistan, as do many of his commanders. From that safe vantage point, they've sent hundreds of young, impressionable, largely spiritual and helpless youths to their deaths and detention in Afghanistan. For this, they must forfeit their honour and any claim to Islamic virtue," General John Allen said. Pakistan Today, August 29, 2012.

US officials rule out role of ISI in attacks on NATO troops in Afghanistan: US officials refused to endorse Afghanistan's claim that Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) have infiltrated their Security Forces and were attacking American and NATO troops, dressed as Afghan soldiers, reported on August 27. "It's our understanding that these attacks aren't the work of foreign intelligence services," a senior US defence official told Wall Street Journal. Citing US investigations of the incidents, the official said, "They're typically Afghans who themselves decide to conduct them, and some Afghans from insurgent networks might have helped on occasion."

Earlier, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, issued a statement, insisting that "foreign spy agencies" had infiltrated Afghan Security Forces and were now using their uniforms to attack US and NATO troops. Dawn, August 27, 2012.

85 militants and 17 civilians among 102 persons killed during the week in FATA:Security Forces on August 26 killed at least 20 militants and injured 10 others in a clash during a raid in Batwar area of Salarzai tehsil (revenue unit) in Bajaur Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

At least 28 militants and four members of the Salarzai Qaumi Lashkar were killed and 10 militants and four Security Force (SF) personnel injured as the fighting continued for the second day on August 25 along the border area of Batwar in Bajaur Agency. In addition, seven persons belonging to one family were killed and eight others, including women and children, were injured when two mortar shells hit a house in Qambarkhel area of Bara region in Khyber Agency.

Eighteen suspected militants were killed and another six were injured when missiles fired by United States (US) drones slammed into suspected militants' hideouts in Shawal area of North Waziristan Agency (NWA) on August 24. Also, eight militants were killed and two of their hideouts destroyed after SFs shelling in Gawaki area of Orakzai Agency. Also, six militants and two Lashkars (tribal militia) were killed and five civilians were injured when at least 100 militants from across the Afghanistan border entered Batwar village in Salarzai tehsil (revenue unit) in Bajaur Agency and started firing on the posts set up by Salarzai Qaumi Lashkar.

Five militants were killed and two others injured when a US drone fired missiles at a vehicle near Shnakhura village in NWA on August 21. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, August 21-27, 2012.

There is evidence of TTP presence in Karachi, says Interior Minister Rehman Malik: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on August 23 said that there was evidence of presence of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, and that action was being taken against them. He asked TTP to surrender arms, saying that otherwise the Government was determined to take the campaign against terrorism to its logical conclusion. Daily Times, August 24, 2012.

Osama bin Laden's Abbottabad hideout carved out of Pakistan military academy, claims book: A new book, 'Leading from Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him', written by American journalist Richard Miniter, has claimed that Abbottabad [Khyber Pakhtunkhwa] house where al Qaeda 'chief' Osama bin Laden lived was "carved out" from Pakistan Military Academy compound and its Army chief may have been briefed beforehand on the 'kill Osama mission'. The Book also claims that an officer of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) helped the CIA track down Laden. In addition, the book said that the US President Barack Obama put off three times operations to kill Osama bin Laden before finally going ahead with the mission at the insistence of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The Indian Express, August 23, 2012.

53 militants and six civilians among 65 persons killed during the week in FATA:Thirteen persons were killed and nine others injured in two US drone attacks on Mana village in the Shawal tehsil (revenue unit) of North Waziristan Agency (NWA) in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on August 19.

At least six militants were killed and five others injured in jet planes shelling by Security Forces (SFs) on suspected militant hideouts in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency. In addition, at least six militants were killed in a drone attacks in Shuwedar village in NWA on August 18. Also, at least eight terrorists were killed and four others injured in clashes with SFs in Mamuzai area of Orakzai Agency.

Four bodies, including that of a father and son, were found in Yakh Ghund area of Mohmand Agency on August 17.

Around 20 militants and five soldiers were killed in a clash in Ghaljo area of Orakzai Agency on August 14. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, August 14-20, 2012.

31 civilians and one SF among 32 persons killed during the week in Sindh: A fresh wave of sectarian and ethnic killings claimed 15 more lives in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, on August 18.

Eleven persons killed in separate incidents of target killing in Karachi on August 17.

Five people, including three activists of the Awami National Party (ANP), were killed, while another activist sustained severe injuries in an attack in the Frontier Colony No-1 of the Peerabad Police jurisdiction in Karachi on August 13. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, August 14-20, 2012.

32 civilians killed during the week in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Militants forced passengers to step out of three buses in the Lulusar area of Manshera District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and shot dead 25 of them in an apparent sectarian attack on August 16.

Six dead bodies dumped in gunnysacks were recovered from three separate places in Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP, on August 15. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, August 14-20, 2012.

No joint operation in NWA, says Army chief General Ashfaq Parvaiz Kayani: The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvaiz Kayani on August 17 ruled out any joint Pakistan-US operation against militants in North Waziristan Agency (NWA), saying such an operation would be unacceptable to the people and armed forces of Pakistan. The Army Chief categorically dispelled the speculative reporting in the US media regarding an understanding given to ISAF Commander General John Allen about Pakistan Army's readiness to launch joint operations in NWA. Daily Times, August 18, 2012.

24 militants and six civilians among 35 persons killed during the week in FATA: Ten militants were killed and four others injured when jet fighters bombed their hideouts in Mamozai area of Orakzai Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on August 12.

A remote-controlled bomb attack killed three soldiers in Mir Ali town of North Waziristan Agency.

Thirteen militants were killed and eight others got injured when warplanes pounded in Bootakhel and Toorsimath areas of Mamozai areas in Orakzai Agency on August 10. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, August 7-13, 2012.

TTP plans attacks on security installations in Punjab, warn Intelligence reports: Intelligence reports states on August 10 that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) may attack the Pakistan Air Force Base and other security installations in Lahore before Eid to avenge the August 1, 2012, killing of its commander, Ghaffar Qaiserani (alias Saifullah), at Dera Ghazi Khan. Central Asia Online, August 11, 2012.

TTP will not hold talks with any political party, says TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on August 8 described the Government as "liberal and secular" and said they will not hold talks with any political party, including the Awami National Party (ANP) that rules the north western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said that an offer of talks from the ANP was misleading and that the militants considered the incumbent rulers liberals and secular and thus "not sincere to the cause of Islam". Indian Express, August 11, 2012.

TTP urges senior clerics to issue fatwa against democracy and Security Forces in the country: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) urged the senior cleric in a letter to issue a fatwa (religious edict) against democratic system and Security Forces (SFs), and explain why the TTP had rebelled against the state. The letter read, "Please go through this letter and help the Muslims know the Taliban stance," read the six-page letter in Urdu, sent by TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan. The letter also complained about the clerics who were "silent" when the government was publicly acknowledging being a "front-line ally of America and NATO". Daily Times, August 10, 2012.

Pakistan to release key Afghan Taliban 'commander' and former chief of Quetta Shura Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, reveals official: Pakistan may release a key Afghan Taliban 'commander' and former chief of Quetta Shura Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar to provide impetus to Afghanistan's ongoing reconciliation efforts with the Taliban. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was arrested in Karachi in February 2010, is ranked second in influence to Taliban head honcho Mullah Omar. American officials believe that in addition to overseeing the Taliban's military operations, Mullah Baradar was the head of the Quetta Shura. Tribune, August 8, 2012.

Pakistan's military to make final decision on North Waziristan operation, says report: On August 7 Pakistan's military brass in its next Corps Commanders Conference, which is scheduled to be held sometime in August 2012, would make a final decision on the operation in the North Waziristan Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). According to the informed officials, two options are likely to be discussed in the moot: the launch of a full-scale military offensive with the logistical support of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), or a curtailed crackdown in the area through intelligence sharing between the two forces. However, the Army said that it was carrying out targeted actions against militants in North Waziristan Agency, but denied planning joint operations with the United States." The Nation; Dawn, August 7, 2012.

Both 'friends' and 'foes' involved in Balochistan uprising, says Interior Minister Rehman Malik: Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the Upper House that both 'friends' and 'foes' of Pakistan were financing and encouraging them for Balochistan uprising. Malik said, "Give me an opportunity and let me tell you what our friends are doing with us. Let our enemies be aside but I have astonishing facts about the friends." He claimed that 14 organisations are operating in Balochistan.

Meanwhile, Balochistan National Party (BNP) leader Sardar Akhtar Mengal rejected the claims of Malik saying the Secret Agencies, establishment and Security Forces were responsible for the deteriorating law and order situation in the province.

Earlier, the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry observed that the worsening law and order in Balochistan could be restored in a week if the Frontier Corps (FC) so desired. Daily Times; Dawn; The Nation, August 1-4, 2012.

Haqqani Network emerging as a significant economic player in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, reveal recent study of CTC: According to the recent study of Counter-Terrorism Centre (CTC), a Pentagon think tank, the Haqqani Network in Afghanistan, which is a deadly source of terror attacks against Indian and United States (US) interests, is also emerging as a significant economic player in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. It is getting into new businesses like rare earths mining, which are of interest to both India and China, making them a more complicated foe. Times of India, August 3, 2012.

TTP chief asks fighters to step up attacks in Punjab, reveal media report: According to a media report, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Chief Hakimullah Mehsud directed his fighters to step up attacks in Punjab, especially on intelligence organisations and military facilities like the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) base in Lahore District. The TTP chief has decided to increase terrorist attacks in Punjab to "inflict maximum damage", especially in the provincial capital of Lahore. Indian Express, August 2, 2012.

US asks Pakistan to act against the threat posed by LeT: Expressing great concern over continued threat posed by Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) to stability in South Asia, the US asked Pakistan to take more action against the terrorist group. "We've urged Pakistan to take more action against Lashkar-e-Toiba," Daniel Benjamin, coordinator for counterterrorism said in a special briefing on the State Department's annual terrorism report. Times of India, August 2, 2012.

US releases USD 1.1 billion from CSF to Pakistan: The US released USD 1.1 billion to Pakistan from the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) hours after the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Islamabad for regulating NATO supplies to Afghanistan. Earlier, the US Charge d'affaires Richard Hoagland said after signing the agreement with Defence Ministry's Additional Secretary Rear Admiral Farrukh Ahmed, "This MoU is a demonstration of increased transparency and openness between our Governments in respect of Pakistan's sovereignty as requested by the Pakistani parliament." Dawn, August 1-2, 2012.

[Source: SATP]

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