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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Provinces can call Army for law and order, says Federal Ministry of Interior: The Provinces can summon military troops under Article 245 of the Constitution to meet an emergency situation and for maintenance of law and order, the Federal Ministry of Interior said in a letter on July 28. Federal Interior Ministry, in an advisory to the provinces, said that a province would have to bear the expenses during the deployment of troops in that federating unit. The provinces will also be responsible for the arrangements for deployment of military, the ministry further said. The News, July 29, 2014.

Operation Zarb-e-Azb to be concluded within two weeks, says Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions Lieutenant General (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch: The Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions Lieutenant General (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch on July 25 revealed that the military operation in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Operation Zarb-e-Azb, will be concluded within two weeks. He added that the action in tribal areas will be completed within a month since the troops are engaged in yet another small operation in adjoining area of FATA. The News, July 26, 2014.

109 militants and 15 SFs among 125 persons killed during the week in FATA: 28 local and foreign militants were killed in air strikes when fighter aircraft hit hideouts in the Shawal Valley of North Waziristan Agency (NWA) in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on July 20.

A US drone strike targeting a Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) compound on July 19 killed 11 militants in Mada Khel suburb of Dattakhel town in NWA.

At least eight paramilitary soldiers were killed and three others were injured as militants mounted an assault on a Frontier Corps (FC) check-post at Ghundi area of Jamrud tehsil (revenue unit) in Khyber Agency on July 18.

Security Force killed 35 militants who were trying to escape from the remote mountainous Shawal Valley in NWA in the morning of July 16.

At least 20 suspected militants were killed when United States drone fired missiles on a compound in Saidgai area of Dattakhel in NWA on July 16.

11 militants and five soldiers were killed and eight others were injured in two separate encounters with the militants in the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb in NWA on July 15. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, July 15-21, 2014.

30 civilians and nine militants among 40 persons killed during the week in Sindh: At least six persons were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, on July 20.

At least six persons were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi on July 18.

At least seven persons were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi on July 17.

At least six persons were killed in separate incidents in Karachi on July 16.

At least five suspected militants were shot dead by Law Enforcement Agencies in an encounter in Gulshan-i-Buner area of Malir Town in Karachi on July 15.

At least nine persons were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi on July 14. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, July 15-21, 2014.

550 suspected terrorists held across country, says report: Security Forces (SFs) arrested more than 550 suspected terrorists belonging to banned outfits from across the country, including the Federal capital Islamabad. According to an official of the Federal Ministry of Interior, more than 300 suspects were arrested from Punjab while more than 100 were arrested from Karachi, provincial capital of Sindh, and around 150 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. The official said the detainees would be treated under the newly introduced Protection of Pakistan Act (PPA) 2014. The arrests have been made against the backdrop of the ongoing military operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) to curb the likely backlash from the militants. The News, July 17, 2014.

91 Police officials and nine Rangers killed in 2014 in Karachi, says report: At least 91 Police officials and nine Rangers personnel have been killed so far in 2014. The report stated that 25 Police officials were killed in January, 19 in February, four in March, seven in April, nine in May, 19 in June and eight in the first half of July. Most of the Police officials were targeted in the West Zone. According to sources, members of a banned outfit target Police officials in the area. Tribune, July 15, 2014.

48 militants and three SFs among 51 persons killed during the week in FATA: At least 18 militants were killed when Army jets and artillery pounded alleged militant hideouts in the Mosaki area, east of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan Agency (NWA) in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in the morning of July 12. 2014.

Militants attacked a security checkpost along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Mamond area of Bajaur Agency in the early hours of July 12, killing three Security Force personnel, including a Captain.

Six unidentified militants were killed in a US drone missile strike in the Doga Madakhel village area of Dattakhel tehsil (revenue unit) in NWA on July 10.

At least 11 militants were killed when Air Force jets pounded militant hideouts in the Zoi Darasaidgi and Shawal tehsil areas of NWA on July 9.

At least 13 militants were killed when the Air Force fighter jets pounded seven suspected hideouts of militants in the Degan village of NWA on July 8. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, July 8-14, 2014.

19 militants and 14 civilians among 34 persons killed during the week in Sindh: The Anti-Violent Crime Cell and the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) on July 9 said that six abductors were killed in shootouts in joint raids in different areas of Karachi (Karachi District), the provincial capital of Sindh. Six abductees were also rescued during the operation.

Six persons, including a Policeman and a 'gang war' accused, were killed and several others were injured in separate incidents on July 9.

Three unidentified persons, aged between 30 and 35, were shot dead by unknown assailants in SITE Area of Karachi on July 8.

At least three suspected militants were shot dead in an encounter in Pak Colony area of Karachi on July 7. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, July 8-14, 2014.

Tehreek-e-Khilafat swears allegiance to Islamic State: Tehreek-e-Khilafat, a Pakistan-based militant outfit, has become the first militant outfit in the South Asia region to break ranks from al Qaeda and declare its allegiance to the Islamic State, earlier known as Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS), which has seized power across Iraq and Syria. Foreign media reports said the outfit, which has claimed responsibility for a string of attacks in Karachi, has pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, chief of Islamic State, and vowed to raise the Islamic State's flag in South Asia. "We are praying from the Almighty Allah to give us chance in our lives to see the expansion of Islamic State boundaries towards the Sub-Continent and Khorasan region in order to hoist the flag of Islamic State here," the group said. The group is believed to be the first outfit beyond the Middle East to have offered support to Islamic State. The News, July 14, 2014.

North Waziristan Agency tribesmen will block return of terrorists, says ISPR DG Major General Asim Bajwa: The Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asim Bajwa said on July 10 that the tribesmen of North Waziristan Agency will never allow the terrorists to return to the area. On his Twitter account, he said the state too will never allow the terrorists to return to North Waziristan. The News, July 11, 2014.

President Mamnoon Hussain signs Protection of Pakistan Bill into law: President Mamnoon Hussain on July 11 (today) signed the Protection of Pakistan Bill 2014 into a law. The new law, which Human Rights Watch (HRW) says violates Pakistan's international legal obligations, is tough on terror and doubles the maximum sentence for terror offences to 20 years. It also allows security forces to hold suspects for up to 60 days without disclosing their whereabouts or allegations against them. The PPB will be applicable for the next two years. The National Assembly passed the bill on July 2, two days after it was unanimously passed in the Senate. Tribune, July 11, 2014.

Terrorists are on the run, says DG ISPR Major General Asim Bajwa: On July 9, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director Major General Asim Bajwa and Operation Commander Major General Zafar Khan said that the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb has forced locals and militants to flee, leaving the town and one of the major bases for the militants, deserted. He said that as many as 400 terrorists have been killed while 130 have been injured in the operation so far. Over 2,000 IEDs were found from the 11 IED factories discovered by the military. Major General Bajwa said they had also discovered the underground tunnels that the militants had constructed in the area. Tribune, July 10, 2014.

Country to be peaceful after Operation Zarb-e-Azb, says Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif: Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif on July 9 said that on the completion of the Operation Zarb-e-Azb, there will be peace in the country. Talking to the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif, who called on the PM, Nawaz Sharif said: "Insha'Allah, this operation will be instrumental in bringing peace and security to Pakistan." General Raheel Sharif briefed the PM about the operation and told him that the operation was being carried out successfully according to stated objective plans. Raheel Sharif further stated that the Pakistan armed forces will achieve objectives of the operation as per the direction of the PM. The News, July 10, 2014.

40 percent area in Miranshah cleared from militants, claims military: About 40 percent area of Miranshah, the main town of the North Waziristan Agency (NWA) in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), has been cleared from terrorists during the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb. A military official told that 40 percent area had been cleared in Miranshah. However, he did not give any deadline for the completion of the ground operation in the area. The Army is facing some firing incidents, rocket attacks and explosives, but so far it has not faced any major resistance during the operation. The News, July 4, 2014.

National Assembly empowers Police to shoot down terror suspects under the Protection of Pakistan Bill 2014: The National Assembly (NA) on July 2 passed the Protection of Pakistan Bill 2014, which allows the Police to shoot down a suspect, arrest them without warrant or keep them in custody for 60 days. The Bill was earlier passed by the Senate on June 30. The majority approved it in the NA. However, the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) opposed the legislation while the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) abstained from voting. The Bill would become an Act of Parliament once it is signed by the President. It will remain in force for two years after it comes into force. The News, July 4, 2014.

Either extradite or eliminate TTP 'chief' Mullah Fazlullah, Pakistan asks Afghanistan: Pakistan on July 1 asked the Afghanistan Government to either eliminate Pakistan Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) 'chief' Mullah Fazlullah or extradite him to Pakistan. Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DG) Major General Asim Bajwa said that the Army will eliminate Fazlullah whenever he comes to Pakistan. Bajwa urged Afghanistan to do more to track down Fazlullah, who took over the TTP leadership in 2013 after previous 'chief' Hakimullah Mehsud was killed by a US drone. Daily Times, July 2, 2014.

Extortionists and target killers operating freely in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, according to report: The bombing of houses, rocket attacks, extortion calls and the target killings are taking place all over the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, particularly in the provincial capital of Peshawar in the absence of proactive policing. Peshawar has been under attack from extortionists, target killers and kidnappers for the last many months. Robbers and street criminals are taking advantage of the situation as the Police force seems to be struggling hard against extortionists and militants, mostly carrying out attacks from the tribal areas or the adjacent settled towns. The News, July 2, 2014.

Government will enforce its writ in FATA, says Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif: Assigning political ownership to the ongoing military Operation Zarb-e-Azb in the North Waziristan Agency (NWA), Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on July 1 stated that Pakistan will enforce its writ in the tribal areas. He stated that the decision pertaining to the Operation was taken after careful deliberations and weighing all options. He further said that all the foreign fighters and local terrorists would be wiped out without any exception and no sanctuary would be spared by the Armed Forces. The News, July 2, 2014

[Source: SATP]

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