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PAKISTAN: News Briefs

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TTP 'deputy chief' Wali-ur-Rehman killed in drone strike in FATA: The deputy 'chief' of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Wali-ur-Rehman was killed along with militants in a United State (US) drone strike in Chashma village near Miranshah town of North Waziristan Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Area (FAAT) on May 29. Confirming the death of Wali-ur-Rehman, TTP 'spokesman' Ehsanullah Ehsan on May 30 announced that the offer to hold talks with the incoming Pakistani Government was also being withdrawn. The TTP also chose Khan Said as the new 'deputy chief'. Daily Times; Dawn; Tribune, May29-31, 2013.

Freelance journalist Shahid Orakzai files petition in Supreme Court to stop parleys with TTP: The Supreme Court was petitioned on May 28 for issuance of a declaration that no person, civil or military, can engage in any contact or negotiation with any Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an act that is forbidden by Article 256. Freelance journalist Shahid Orakzai has filed the petition under Article 184(3) of the constitution, nominating as respondents the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSS) through its chairman and Director General (DG) of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Daily Times, May 29, 2013.

Karachi's security to weaken if TTP not confronted, warns Combating Terrorism Centre: Combating Terrorism Centre, an American think tank, in a report on the growing sway of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Karachi warned the Pakistani authorities that if they fail to confront the growing influence of TTP in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, the militant network will weaken the city's overall security and stability. The study, released last week, identifies the various Taliban factions operating in the city, the neighbourhoods where they hold influence and the various methods of extortion they use. The News, May 28, 2013.

29 civilians, three militants and one SF among 33 persons killed during the week in Sindh: At least seven persons, including an activist each of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jama'at (ASWJ), were killed in separate incidents in Karachi (Karachi District), the provincial capital of Sindh Province, on May 26.

At least four persons, including a Policeman, were killed in separate acts of targeted attacks in Karachi, on May 25.

At least four persons, including two militants, were killed in separate incidents in Karachi on May 24.

Eight persons were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi on May 23.

At least six persons, including activists of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Party (STPP), were killed in separate incidents in Karachi (Karachi District), the provincial capital of Sindh, on May 20. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, May 21-27, 2013.

22 civilians and two militants among 23 persons killed during the week in Balochistan: 13 persons, including 12 Balochistan Constabulary (BC) personnel, were killed and 17 others sustained injuries in an explosion caused by a bomb rigged to a rickshaw near Link Badini Road in the proximity of Bhossa Mandi on Eastern Bypass in Quetta (Quetta District), the capital of Balochistan, on May 23.

At least six persons, including five women, were killed and two others sustained injuries in a firing incident on Noorpur Road in Bakra Mandi area of Sibi District on May 23. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, May 21-27, 2013.

13 SFs, five civilians and four militants among 22 persons killed during the week in KP: At least six Policemen were killed and a District Police Officer (DPO) and his guard were injured when militants attacked their vehicles with rockets on the Indus Highway in Mattani area of Darra Adamkhel District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on May 24.

At least three persons were killed in a suicide attack, targeting Hazi Hayatullah, leader of Afghan religious outfits Jamatul Dawa Alquran and Sunnah, on Pajagi Road in Saeedabad area of Peshawar (Peshawar District), the provincial capital of KP, on May 24. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, May 21-27, 2013.

Committed Pakistani jihadists with ties to Afghan militants have replaced the slain top al Qaida leaders in the Pakistan's tribal region, says report: The New York Times reported on May 26 that committed Pakistani jihadists with ties to Afghan militants have replaced the slain top al Qaida leaders killed by US drones in the country's tribal region. The paper said, "Although many senior leaders of al-Qaida sheltering there have been felled by CIA missiles, they have been largely replaced by committed Pakistani jihadists with ties that span the border with Afghanistan." Times of India, May 27, 2013.

TTP issues fresh threat to assassinate former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) issued a fresh threat to assassinate former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf, currently detained in his palatial farmhouse in Islamabad, over a string of high-profile cases. In a video posted on the jihadi website Umar Media, TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ihsan said, "Soon we will punish this Satan (Musharraf) to death for his wicked deeds. From Balochistan to Waziristan, Musharraf engulfed this country in blood and fire. He is the killer of hundreds of innocent students of Lal Masjid." This is the second video issued by the TTP with a threat against Musharraf. Before Musharraf returned to Pakistan from self-exile in March, the TTP had issued a video that said the militants had formed a special squad of suicide bombers and snipers to kill him. The Hindu, May 26, 2013.

US drone strikes have 'minimal' impact on militants recruitment, says ICG report: The United States (US) drone strikes in Pakistan have a "minimal" impact on militants' recruitment, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said in report titled "Drones: Myths and Reality in Pakistan". "The actual benefit to extremist groups, including in terms of recruitment, appears, however, minimal," the report said. Tribune, May 21, 2013.

Dialogue with Taliban best option to restore peace, says PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif: Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif on May 20 said that dialogue with Taliban is the best option to restore peace. "Forty thousand precious lives have so far been lost and the national economy is suffering a loss of billions of dollars (in the war against terrorism). Why should not (we) sit for a dialogue to restore peace," Sharif told his party's legislators-elect on May 20. "Is it a bad option?" he asked and then answered himself: "It is the best available option." He said gun was not a solution to any problem, adding, that the Taliban's offer for dialogue should be taken seriously. Every option should be explored to bring an end to the ongoing carnage in Karachi and tribal areas, he suggested. Dawn, May 21, 2013.

27 civilians and six SFs among 33 persons killed during the week in KP: Twenty-one persons were killed and around 120 others sustained injuries in separate bomb blasts during the Friday prayer at two mosques in Baz Darra village in Palai Union Council of Malakand District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on May 17.

Three soldiers and two civilians were killed while six others sustained injuries in a bomb attack followed by firing on a Security Forces' convoy on the Kohat Road near Sra Khawra area of Matani in Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in the night of May 16. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, May 14-20, 2013.

19 civilians and two SFs among 23 persons killed during the week in Sindh: At least seven persons, including activists of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), were killed in targeted attacks across Karachi (Karachi District), the provincial capital of Sindh, on May 17.

At least six persons, including Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) activists were killed in separate incidents in Karachi on May 14.

At least four persons were killed in separate incidents in Karachi on May 13. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, May 14-20, 2013.

TTP luring more women to become suicide bombers, says report: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is luring more women to become suicide bombers. The number of incidents involving female suicide bombers is rising, officials say. "Terrorists are exploiting psychologically fragile women, motivating them to execute attacks in the name of religion," said Muhammad Ali Babakhel, a Deputy Inspector General of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Police. Central Asia Online, May 18, 2013.

Over 500 terror suspects held in detention centre in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad High Court told: A man detained by intelligence agencies since 2011 told the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on May 15 that over 500 terror suspects had been kept in an internment centre in Lakki Marwat town of same District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Rana Amir, who went missing in 2011, also was detained at the centre. Dawn, May 16, 2013.

We do not rule out a 'ceasefire' if the new Government 'shows seriousness', says TTP: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said that they do not rule out a 'ceasefire' if the new Government 'shows seriousness' to their dialogue offer. TTP 'spokesman' Ehsanullah Ehsan said, "If they [the new government] takes our dialogue offer seriously and makes some progress, then we could also stop attacks… I would reiterate that we are serious in our dialogue offer but the outgoing rulers had adopted a non-serious approach." Tribune, May 15, 2013.

20 civilians and five SFs among 26 persons killed during the week in Balochistan: Balochistan Inspector General of Police Mushtaq Sukhera narrowly escaped a suicide attack in the high security zone on Zarghoon Road in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, on May 12 that killed at least six persons and injured 46 others.

At least 15 persons were killed and 20 others were injured when unidentified assailants attacked the convoy of the candidate of PB-28 Syed Khadim Hussain's nephew in Naseerabad District, on May 11. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, May 7-13, 2013.

28 civilians and eight SFs among 38 persons killed during the week in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa:: At least six persons including three Policemen were killed and more than 10 others injured in a remote controlled blast near a Police van in Sarmal Nusratkhail area in Torghar town of same District on May 9.

Two Policemen, a woman and a suicide bomber were killed and another militant arrested with a suicide vest during an encounter in Rasheed Garhi area of Peshawar in the evening of May 8. Also, a Policeman and two women were killed and 27 others injured as a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into Domail Police Station in Bannu city of same District.

At least 12 persons were killed and 35 others were injured in a remote-controlled blast when a candidate of the Fazlur Rehman led Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) was conducting his election campaign in Doaba Town of Hangu District on May 7. Five persons, including Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader Muhammad Zahir Shah Khan, were killed in a remote-controlled bomb blast near the Babagam village in Maidan area of Lower Dir District. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, May 7-13, 2013.

45 civilians and 18 militants among 67 persons killed during the week in FATA: At least 16 persons were killed in a blast that ripped through a passenger bus in Miranshah town of North Waziristan Agency (NWA) of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on May 12.

Nine militants and three soldiers were killed in a gunfight in Parachamkani area of Kurram Agency on May 10. In addition, four persons were killed and 21 others injured in a bomb blast occurred at the Khwaja Jan Chowk in Miranshah bazaar of NWA near the election offices of candidates for the NA-40 seat.

At least nine militants were killed and their three hideouts destroyed in an operation by SFs in Mamozai and surrounding areas of Orakzai Agency FATA on May 8.

Twenty-three persons were killed and more than 70 others injured in a blast at the election rally of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) candidates at a Madrassa in Sewak village in Kurram Agency on May 6. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, May 6-13, 2013.

29 civilians and four militants among 36 persons killed during the week in Sindh: Seven persons, including political activists and an ASWJ cadre, were killed in separate incidents of violence across Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, on May 12.

At least 14 persons were killed and 61 others injured in three separate bomb blasts in Karachi on May 11.

Three activists of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), identified as Qasim Saeed, Anis Ilyas and Bilal Ahmed, were shot dead and one other, identified as Muhammad Hussain was injured by unidentified assailants in Jumma Goth area within the premises of Ibrahim Hydri Police Station of Karachi on May 8. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, May 6-13, 2013.

Peshawar High Court orders shooting down of drones: The Peshawar High Court on May 9 ordered that drones entering Pakistani airspace be shot down. In its detailed verdict about drone attacks, the court has said they constitute a violation of international law and the basic human rights and also violate the territorial sovereignty of Pakistan. The court directed the Government to stop drone strikes and contact the International War Crimes Tribunal (IWCT) over the issue. Daily Times, May 10, 2013.

Religious parties in Gilgit Baltistan call for a new and 'acceptable' governing system for the region: Religious parties in Gilgit and Diamer Districts, including the Ahl-e-Sunnat-Wal-Jama'at (ASWJ) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), on May 7 called for a new and 'acceptable' governing system for the region, terming the existing Gilgit Baltistan (GB) Empowerment and Self-Governance Order 2009 'biased'. "The existing governance system is unacceptable to us as it has deprived us of our rights," ASWJ GB chief Qazi Nisar Ahmed told journalists in Gilgit. He accused Chief Minister Mehdi Shah for being biased in favour of a particular sec. Tribune, May 9, 2013.

36 militants and eight SFs among 46 persons killed during the week in FATA: The Security Forces (SFs) on May 5 destroyed two militant hideouts and killed 16 militants after heavy overnight fighting at a flashpoint near the Afghan border in the Tirah Valley in the Khyber Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in which two soldiers also died.

At least eight militants were killed and three hideouts destroyed in Security Forces' action against militants in Upper tehsil (revenue unit), including Qismat Sanga and Sheen Qamar, of Orakzai Agency on May 4.

Four militants and one security official were killed during a clash when militants tried to ambush a security checkpost in Ladha area of South Waziristan Agency on May 3.

At least eight militants were killed as jet fighters pounded their hideouts in Dabori area of Orakzai Agency, on May 1.

The dead bodies of three missing Security Force (SF) personnel were found in Adamkot area of North Waziristan Agency on April 29. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, April 30-May 6, 2013.

32 civilians and three SFs among 36 persons killed during the week in Sindh: At least three persons were killed and 35 others, including Rangers personnel and children, were injured when two consecutive blasts jolted a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) office near the MQM head office Nine Zero in Karachi (Karachi District), the provincial capital of Sindh, in the evening of May 4.

At least six persons, including an Awami National Party (ANP) candidate, were killed in Karachi on May 3.

At least three persons, including a Pakistan People's Party (PPP) activist were killed in separate incidents in Karachi on May 2.

At least eight persons, including a Navy sailor, were killed in separate incidents in Karachi on May 1.

At least 11 persons, including activists of the MQM, the PPP and the Sunni Tehreek (ST), were killed in separate incidents in Karachi on April 30.

At least five persons, including a Policeman, were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi on April 29. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, April 30-May 6, 2013.

FIA prosecutor handling 26/11 Mumbai attack and Benazir Bhutto assassination case shot dead in Islamabad: Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfizar Ali handling the 26/11 Mumbai (India) attacks case and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's assassination case was shot dead by unidentified assailants in the busy commercial area of Karachi Company in Islamabad, the federal capital nation, on May 3. Ali was heading for an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi for a hearing of the Bhutto assassination case when he was attacked. Times of India, May 3, 2013.

TTP aims to kill democracy in Pakistan, says TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud: Against the backdrop of a spate of attacks on election meetings and campaign offices ahead of the May 11 polls, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Hakimullah Mehsud said on April 30 that his group is focussed on ending the country's democratic system. The TTP aim is to "end the democratic system", Mehsud said in a letter to the media. As part of this campaign, the group will hinder elections in the country, he said. Times of India, May 1, 2013.

Conspiracy afoot to bring pro-TTP PM, says Former Federal Minister of Interior Rehman Malik: Former Federal Minister of Interior Rehman Malik on April 30 said a conspiracy is afoot to break the country by bringing in a pro-Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Prime Minister (PM). Speaking at a joint press conference, with Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)'s Farooq Sattar and Awami National Party (ANP)'s Shahi Syed at MQM headquarters Nine-Zero in Azizabad, a sub-division of Federal B. Area of Karachi, he, while referring to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), said, "The public wants to know your agreement with the Taliban. I had been told that the upcoming elections would be against terrorists. The election is in fact against the anti-Taliban parties," Malik added. He said that the parties campaigning on the symbol of bat and tiger are actually supporting the Taliban, but they should remember that their parties only exist if the country remains. Tribune, May 1, 2013.

Court bans Pervez Musharraf from polls for life: Former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf's plans to stage a political comeback were virtually sealed on April 30 after the Peshawar High Court banned him from contesting polls for life. The High Court's ruling came on an appeal by the former President who had challenged the rejection of his nomination papers for the national assembly seat in the north-western hill-station of Chitral. Times of India, May 1, 2013.

[Source: SATP]

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