JANUARY 2017

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- Suresh Jaura
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MORE SMOKE & MIRRORS

0712 flag pakistanSectarian violence in Karachi is just another chapter in Pakistan’s long history of violence against minorities, has afflicted Pakistan virtually from its moment of birth...

TRUMP'S FOREIGN POLICY

U.S. allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, smiling through their teeth, are feverishly hoping that Washington will maintain its security commitments. The Russians are ... . . ..   

AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN-USA

A US revaluation of its Af-Pak policy appears likely under Trump... It is, however, unlikely that US AfPak policy under Trump will be ‘more of the same’. Crucially, Pakistan’s role in supporting terrorism in Afghanistan . . .

NUCLEAR WWWIII

Escalation of hostility may become a thermonuclear WWIII.

ARM & TRAIN

Non-Muslims in violent conflict areas to enhance the security...

HYDRO BOOM & CONFLICTS

With approval of power plants, conflicts have arisen ...

SUICIDE TERRORISM

Growing support for suicide terrorism

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PAKISTAN: News Briefs

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Mamnoon Hussain elected as the 12th President of Pakistan: Mamnoon Hussain, a veteran politician and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's trusted ally, was elected as the 12th President of Pakistan in a vote by legislators on July 30. Hussain defeated his rival Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf candidate Justice (retired) Wajihuddin with a huge margin of 355 votes in a one-to-one contest after opposition Pakistan People's Party (PPP) boycotted the Presidential election as a mark of protest against the rescheduling of the elections by the Supreme Court on a petition file by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Daily Times, July 31, 2013.

53 civilians and 29 militants among 82 persons killed during the week in FATA: Eight militants were killed when a United States (US) drone fired two missiles at a house in the Shawal valley of North Waziristan Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on July 28.

At least 48 persons were killed and 100 others were injured in a coordinated twin suicide attacks at Parachinar in the Kurram Agency on July 26.

Dead bodies of 20 suspected militants were recovered from the Khurmatang area of Bara tehsil (revenue unit) in the Khyber Agency on July 25. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, July 23-29, 2013.

17 civilians and eight SFs among 26 persons killed during the week in Balochistan: At least seven Pakistan Coast Guards personnel were killed and an equal number of them sustained injuries in an attack carried out by unidentified armed militants at a check post located in the Sundsar area of Gwadar District on July 27.

Unidentified militants shot dead four persons, including three tribesmen and a Levies constable, near the Gazgi Chowki area of Khuzdar District on July 25.

Three persons were killed in separate incidents of violence in Balochistan on July 23.

At least three bullet-riddled dead bodies, identified as those of Ameer Hamza, Khawand Bakash and Abdul Gaffar, were found from the Sui area of Dera Bugti District on July 22. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, July 23-29, 2013.

19 civilians and four militants among 26 persons killed during the week in Sindh: At least nine persons were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi (Karachi District), the provincial capital of Sindh, on July 26.

Suicide bombers and armed militants mounted an attack on the local office of Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) in high security zone of Sukkur Barrage Colony in the Sukkur town of Sukkur District on July 24, sparking a shootout that killed eight persons, including four terrorists, three ISI officials and a civilian, and injured 50 others.

Five persons were killed in separate incidents of violence in different areas of Karachi on July 24.

Four persons were killed in separate incidents of violence in different areas of Karachi on July 23. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, July 23-29, 2013.

Election Commission issues new Presidential Elections schedule: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on July 23 issued a new schedule for the Presidential Elections following orders of the Supreme Court to hold polls on July 30, 2013. Earlier it was reported that the Presidential Elections would take place on August 6, 2013. The new President will be sworn in after the tenure of President Asif Ali Zardari expires on September 8, 2013. The News, July 24, 2013.

35 militants and 10 SFs among 51 persons killed during the week in FATA: At least 28 militants and six Security Forces (SFs) were killed during clashes in Khyber Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on July 20.

At least six militants were killed and five others injured in SFs' operation in Akkakhel area of Bara tehsil (revenue unit) on July 19.

Three members of anti-militants peace committee were killed when a remote controlled bomb went off in Badan area of Mamond tehsil in Bajaur Agency. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, July 16-22, 2013.

20 civilians and five militants among 28 persons killed during the week in Sindh: Two bomb blasts occurred within an hour of each other in separate areas of Karachi (Karachi District), the provincial capital of Sindh, killing four persons and wounding at least half a dozen people on July 20.

Seven persons killed in separate incidents of violence in different areas of Karachi on July 19.

At least seven people, including two Policemen and two Awami National Party (ANP) workers, were shot dead in separate incidents of targeted killing across Karachi on July 18.

Six persons killed in separate incidents of violence in different areas of Karachi on July 16.. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, July 16-22, 2013.

203 incidents of sectarian violence in 18 months, says US Commission on International Religious Freedom report: In the last 18 months, 203 incidents of sectarian violence in Pakistan resulted in 1,800 casualties, including 717 deaths, of which 635 were Shia, disclosed a detailed Fact Sheet issued by US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on July 18. The fact sheet prepared under the Pakistan Religious Violence Project, an undertaking of the USCIRF, took into account publicly reported attacks against religious communities in Pakistan during the past 18 months. Daily Times, July 19, 2013.

Al Qaeda can't be defeated without Pakistan's help, says Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey: In a written statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee on July 18, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said that the US cannot defeat al Qaeda without Pakistan's support. He also emphasised the need to help Pakistan stabilise as instability in this key South Asian state would hurt the entire region. "Our strategic and national security goals remain to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda and to prevent the return of safe havens in Afghanistan and Pakistan," he wrote. "This would not be possible without Pakistani support." Dawn, July 19, 2013.

Situation in Balochistan worsening, says Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry: Despite a new Government in place, the situation in Balochistan has turned worse, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said on July 17. The Chief Justice made this comment while hearing the Balochistan law and order case. Then apex court bench observed that the former Government failed to protect the people of the province and everyone hoped the new government will change things for better, however, the situation has not improved. The Chief Justice further lamented zero progress in the missing persons' case. Commenting on the sectarian violence in the province, Chief Justice Chaudhry said only one community is being targeted by the extremists. He added that the militants are strengthening because of the Government's soft stance. Tribune, July 18, 2013.

Presidential election will be held on August 6: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced on July 16 that Presidential elections would be held on August 6 and result would be announced on August 7. According to a notification, the ECP has fixed programme for receipt of nomination papers (to be filed at different places), scrutiny of nomination papers, withdrawal of candidature, publication of the list of validly nominated candidates and about the polling day and the places of polling. Daily Times, July 17, 2013.

TTP sets up base in Syria to assess "the needs of jihad", claims BBC reports: Tehreek-e- Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have set up a base in Syria to assess "the needs of the jihad". Citing a Taliban operative, the BBC reported that the base was set up with the assistance of ex-Afghan fighters of Middle Eastern origin who have moved to Syria in recent years. At least 12 experts in warfare and information technology had gone to Syria in the last two months, the Taliban operative told BBC. The Pakistani Government has not yet commented on the issue. BBC; The News, July 13, 2013.

Malala Yusufzai vows not to be silenced by terrorists: Malala Yusufzai, in a speech to the United Nations on her first public appearance since being shot at and injured by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on October 12, 2012, vowed on July 12 not to be silenced by terrorists. "They thought that the bullet would silence us, but they failed. The terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life, except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born," Malala said on her 16th birthday in a presentation in which she called for books and pens to be used as weapons. Daily Times, July 13, 2013.

Federal and Provincial Governments should act against illegal Jirgas, says Supreme Court: The Supreme Court on July 11 observed that the Federal and Provincial Governments must ensure the implementation of law as well as court judgments for preventing a parallel system of justice by holding Jirgas (tribal council) in violation of the law, reports The News. A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, heard a suo moto case of Rajanpur wherein a 10-member Jirga awarded severe punishment to a person after he could not prove himself innocent. The News, July 12, 2013.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif urges to increase civil-military cooperation for elimination of terrorism: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his visit to Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) headquarters on July 11 urged to increase civil-military cooperation for eradication of terrorism. Annihilation of terrorism is the top most priority of the Government, he added. He apprised the intelligence officials over National Security and counter-terrorism policies of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Government. Dawn, July 12, 2013.

TTP 'court' stays 'central spokesman' Ehsanullah Ehsan's sacking: A 'court' on July 10 stayed the removal of Ehsanullah Ehsan as 'central spokesman' of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for another 45 days, says a signed order by the 'court' in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) bordering Afghanistan. The Dar-ul Qaza court of the TTP has issued a 'stay order' against the decision until members of the 'central council' appear for a hearing, says the leaflet, a copy of which is available with Dawn. The July 10 'order' is one of a series of signs of growing divisions within the TTP, an umbrella group of different militant factions. Dawn, July 12, 2013.

Pakistan's obsession with India led to successful Osama raid, says probe report: The United States (US) Navy SEALs were able to sneak into Pakistan covertly to kill al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden because of Pakistani military's obsession with India and advanced American stealth technology, the report of the Abbottabad Commission said. The leaked report of the Abbottabad Commission said India remained the focus of Army "despite a growing American threat including actual border raids, drone strikes, special operations, the spread of a hostile spy network" among others. Times of India, July 11, 2013.

Punjab announces to try ISI brigadier in missing persons' case: The Supreme Court was told on July 9 that the Punjab Government had decided to initiate legal proceedings against Army officers, including an Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) brigadier, in the missing persons' case. During the hearing of the missing persons' case, Punjab Additional Advocate General (AAG) Faisal Malik told the three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, that there is no need for further investigation in this matter and the Provincial Government has decided to submit challan against the nominated persons in the light of statements of Dr Imran Munir and former Rawalpindi CPO Rao Iqbal. Daily Times, July 10, 2013.

Tirah valley cleared of militants, claims FC chief Inspector General Major General Ghayyur Mehmud: The Frontier Corps Inspector General Major General Ghayyur Mehmud on July 9 claimed that all internally displaced families of Tirah will soon return to their homes as Security Forces have cleared the valley of militants. He was speaking at the opening ceremony of cultural and heritage centre at the Khyber Rifles Mess in Landi Kotal. Dawn, July 10, 2013.

Government to confront all violent groups in Balochistan, says Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, while talking to a delegation of the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M), led by its President Sardar Akhtar Mengal, in Islamabad, on July 9 expressed the Government's resolve to confront all groups indulging in violence in Balochistan to restore peace. Chaudhry Nisar said that the difficult conditions prevailing in Balochistan called for joint efforts by all political forces in the province to extricate it out of the crisis. Dawn, July 10, 2013.

Islamabad had reached an understanding with US on drone strikes, reveals report quoting former ISI Chief Ahmad Shuja Pasha: Pakistan had reached an understanding with the United States (US) on drone strikes targeting militants, according to leaked remarks from a former Intelligence Chief Ahmad Shuja Pasha. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, who headed Pakistan's premier Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Agency at the time of bin Laden's killing in 2011, told investigators that drone strikes had their uses. Daily Times, July 10, 2013.

Don't forget Kashmir issue while fostering trade relations with India, says PoK President Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan: Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) 'President' Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan on July 9 urged the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Government not to neglect the Kashmir issue while fostering trade relations with India. Addressing a gathering at the Lahore High Court Bar Association, Khan said the Kashmiris did not want to "defeat" India but desired the right of expression and freedom. Dawn, July 10, 2013.

Supreme Court seeks lists of all detention centres: After getting no response about the verification of 84 missing persons allegedly detained in internment centres under regulations known as Action in Aid of Civil Power Regulations 2011, the three-member bench Supreme Court headed by Justice Jawad S Khawaja on July 8 sought the names of commandants, who are the in charge of these centre. Daily Times, July 9, 2013.

26 civilians and five militants among 32 persons killed during the week in Sindh: At least five persons were killed in separate incidents of target killing in Karachi (Karachi District), the provincial capital of Sindh on July 7.

At least six persons, belonging to Katchi Rabta Committee (KRC), were killed and 18 others were injured on sixth consecutive day of violence in Lyari area.

At least three people, including a woman, identified as Zulekha Aslam (50), Abdul Latif (25) and Akhter Ahmed (50), were killed in an exchange of gunfire between two groups in Lyari and other old city areas on July 3.

At least three people, including an activist of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), were shot dead in firing incidents in Lyari area on July 2.

At least seven persons, including three Sunni Tehreek (ST) cadres, were shot dead in separate incidents of targeted killing in Karachi, on July 1. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, July 2-8, 2013.

18 militants and five civilians among 28 persons killed during the week in FATA: At least five Security Force personnel were killed and three others injured in a suicide attack on Bowia check post in North Waziristan Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on July 4.

At least 17 suspected militants were killed and two others injured by a US drone which attacked a house in Sirai Darpakhel area near Miranshah in North Waziristan Agency on July 2. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, July 2-8, 2013.

2013 deadliest year for LEAs in Karachi, says official: The year 2013 is emerging as the deadliest one in decades for the Law-Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in Karachi as in the first six months of 2013 more than 100 Policemen and Rangers personnel have been killed in different parts of the city amid growing violence and worsening law and order, said an official on July 7. "A total of 93 Policemen have been killed this year in the first six months [January to June 2013]," said an official citing a number of casualties of Karachi Police. Dawn, July 8, 2013.

Commission on missing persons incompetent, says Supreme Court: A three-member bench, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja on July 5 expressed dissatisfaction over the competency and effectiveness of the Commission on missing persons regarding handling cases. The bench said that the Commission was not handling cases effectively therefore, all cases were being heard at the Supreme Court. Daily Times, July 6, 2013.

Government rejects Afghanistan allegations of controlling Taliban: Government on July 3 rejected remarks from the Afghan Army 'chief' Sher Mohammad Karimi that Pakistan 'controls' the Taliban. "The allegations that Pakistan 'controls' the Taliban and has 'unleashed' them on Afghanistan have no basis. We reject them categorically," the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan said in a statement. "Pakistan has exercised extreme restraint in the face of highly provocative language used by the Afghan civil and military officials over the last few months, not to mention some totally fabricated accusations," Islamabad said. Dawn, July 4, 2013.

Civilian Government had little or no reply to the American drone strikes and therefore there is no use of talking with it, reiterates TTP: Following the July 3, 2012, drone strike in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) targeting the Haqqani Network, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on July 3 reiterated its earlier stance that civilian Government had little or no reply to the American drone strikes and therefore there is no use of talking with it. TTP spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan announced that the TTP would take revenge, blaming Pakistani authorities for sharing information with the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on presence of militant leaders. The News, July 4, 2013.

US Government reduces aid request for Pakistan, says a report: The United State (US) Government has requested USD 1.16 billion for aid to Pakistan in the 2014 financial year - almost half of the USD 2.6 billion it spent in 2012 and a quarter of the USD 4.5 billion it spent in 2010, says a report released on July 3. The military aid also goes down to USD 397 million from over USD 1.2 billion in 2010. The cuts, however, may not have a major impact on the Pakistani economy as the country received an estimated USD 12.8 billion from July 2012 to May 2013. Dawn, July 4, 2013.

JuD Chief and LeT founder Hafiz Muhammad Saeed warns Islamabad not to buy electricity from India: Jama'at-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief and the founder of Laskar-e-Toiba (LeT) Hafiz Muhammad Saeed on June 30 warned the Pakistan Government that it should not buy electricity from India. India is producing electricity on Pakistani rivers and offering the same to us to buy. Don't our rulers understand this basic point?" Saeed asked while addressing an 'Ummat Conference' at Sheikhupura in Sheikhpura District. "There is no need to beg India," he asserted. Times of India, July 3, 2013.

'Missing persons' issue might take decades to solve, says Attorney General Munir A Malik: The Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Munir A. Malik submitted before the Supreme Court on July 1 that the issue of missing persons is the legacy of dictatorial regimes and might take decades to be completely solved. Malik said that taking cue from the past it seems that investigation in the matters related to the forced disappearances was very difficult. He said that stories of internment centres' detainees are true and there is a possibility that these people have been picked up on national security grounds. Daily Times, July 2, 2013.

273 dead bodies found in Karachi so far in 2013: In 2013, till June, around 273 people were abducted from various parts of the metropolis and their bodies were later found dumped in gunny bags. The recovered bodies carried marks of severe torture before they were being shot, tortured to such extent that many of them are still lying unidentified in morgues. As many as 92 bodies were recovered from Lyari and its adjoining areas including Baghdadi, Chakiwara, Eidgah, Pak Colony, Kharadar, Old Golimar, Garden and Kalri. The remaining bodies were recovered from other areas including Malir, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Nazimabad, Rizvia, Landhi, Khokhrapar, Shah Faisal Colony and Orangi. Daily Times, July 1, 2013.

28 persons killed in suicide attack in Hazara Town of Balochistan: 28 people were killed and over 60 others sustained wounds when a suicide bomber blew himself up near an Imam Bargah (Shia place of worship) in Aliabad area of Hazara Town in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, on June 30, reports The News. According to Capital City Police Officer (CCPO), the suicide bomber detonated the explosive strapped to his body when he was stopped from entering the premises of the Imam Bargah Abu Talib. According to an eye witness, the blast took place near an Imam Bargah followed by firing. The News, July 1, 2013.

[Source: SATP]

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