JANUARY 2017

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- Suresh Jaura
Publisher and Managing Editor

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

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NUCLEAR WWWIII

Escalation of hostility may become a thermonuclear WWIII.

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

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SUICIDE TERRORISM

Growing support for suicide terrorism

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PAKISTAN: News Briefs

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Senior Afghan Taliban 'commander' killed in Balochistan: A senior Afghan Taliban 'commander', Noorullah Hotak, was shot dead by unidentified assailants near Nawey Adda in Quetta on December 26 and was buried in Afghanistan on December 27. Hotak was reportedly a senior 'commander' under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Though no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, the Taliban has blamed Afghan intelligence for assassination. Tribune, December 28, 2013.

NATO supply routes would remain suspended till drone strikes are halted, says PTI Chairman Imran Khan keen: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on December 26 made it clear that NATO supply routes would remain suspended till the drone strikes are halted. He also blamed the US for sabotaging a possible peace initiative with the Taliban. Tribune, December 27, 2013.

34 militants and nine civilians among 48 persons killed during the week in FATA: Troops on December 19 mounted helicopter and mortar attacks on militants in North Waziristan Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), where officials said that at least 33 militants and three civilians have been killed.

At least five soldiers were killed and 34 others were wounded when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a military checkpoint in the Mir Ali tehsil (revenue unit) of Miranshah in North Waziristan Agency. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune, December 17-23, 2013

US Defense Authorisation Bill links Pakistan aid to NATO supply routes:
The USD 552 billion Defense Authorisation Bill for 2014 passed by the Congress on December 20 links Pakistan aid to NATO supply routes to Afghanistan. The bill which provides USD 1.5 billion for reimbursements to Pakistan in 2014 calls for stopping reimbursements to Pakistan if ground supply routes to Afghanistan are interrupted. The bill includes a one-year extension for reimbursing Pakistan for supporting the US-led war against terrorists but it reduces the amount available for reimbursing Pakistan from USD 1.65 billion in 2013 to USD 1.5 billion in 2014. The bill seeks a certification from the US defense secretary that Pakistan is taking demonstrable actions against al Qaeda and other militant groups active along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The bill also requires Pakistan to disrupt the conduct of cross-border attacks against US, coalition and Afghan Security Forces in Afghanistan, counter the threat of IEDs and not to persecute religious and ethnic minorities. The bill is now at the White House for President Barack Obama to sign it into law. The White House has already indicated that the President will sign the bill. Dawn, December 21, 2013.

Federal Government seeks death penalty or life imprisonment for former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf in high treason case: The Federal Government leveling five charges against former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf prayed to the Special Court to award the military ruler death penalty or life imprisonment in high treason case. Meanwhile, lawyers for Pervez Musharraf said on December 20 that a treason charge leveled against him was politically motivated and that he would face a "show trial", urging the United Nations (UN) to intervene. The News; Tribune, December 20, 2013.

TTP dismisses the concept of peace talks and vows retaliation against planned military operation: Dismissing the concept of peace talks immediately after Pakistan Government's announcement of using force as a last resort, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on December 17 said they have information that plans are already under way for a military operation, adding that they were ready for battle. "Like previous Governments this one is a puppet of the United States (US). It's powerless and dollar-hungry," said TTP 'spokesman' Shahidullah Shahid. "They should happily launch a military operation against us. We have seen their military operations in the past and would like them to start this long-awaited operation," he said defiantly. Dawn, December 18, 2013.

22 civilians and 16 militants among 38 persons killed during the week in Sindh: At least three Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jama'at (ASWJ) cadres, identified as two brothers Talib Ahmed and Kashif Ahmed, and third identified as Shahid, were killed and one injured when unidentified armed assailants opened fire at an eatery near Maskan chowrangi in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal area of Gulshan Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh on December 6.

At least five alleged Lyari gangsters, identified as Noor Mohammad Baloch, Khalid Baloch and Wajid Baloch, associated with Uzair Baloch group, and Saddam and Mushtaq Baloch, associated with Baba Ladla group, were killed during two encounters with law enforcers in Rangi Wara, Singu Lane and Ali Hotel areas of Lyari Town on December 4. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune, December 3-December 9, 2013.

MQM Chief Altaf Hussain links Jama'at-i-Islami to Taliban and al Qaeda: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on December 3 linked Jama'at-e-Islami (JeI) to Taliban and al Qaeda militants and claimed several activists of the JeI have been killed in US drone strikes. "Several active workers of JeI and its student wing, Islami Jama'at Tulaba (IJT) have been killed in drone attacks in Waziristan," he stated. Altaf Hussain also revealed that a large number of Taliban and al Qaeda operatives have relocated to upscale areas of Karachi. Dawn, December 4, 2013.

US military halts ground shipments of cargo leaving Afghanistan via Pakistan supply route: The United States (US) military has halted ground shipments of cargo leaving Afghanistan via Pakistan supply route to ensure the safety of drivers following protests in Pakistan over American drone strikes, Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright said on December 3. "We are aware protests have affected one of the primary commercial transit routes between Pakistan and Afghanistan. We have voluntarily halted US shipments of retrograde cargo...to ensure the safety of the drivers contracted to move our equipment," he stated. Daily Times, December 4, 2013.

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is 'fanning anti-India sentiment', reveals intelligence assessment by the Indian Mission in Pakistan: The Indian Mission in Pakistan in an intelligence assessment sent to New Delhi has revealed that Jama'at-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief and the founder of Laskar-e-Toiba (LeT) Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, with the backing of Nawaz Sharif's Government, has intensified his anti-India propaganda and operations to influence Islamabad's policy towards India. The memo says that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) "listens" to Saeed and "follows his diktats". Since the ISI is the cutting edge of Pakistan's India policy, and Saeed has, thus, manoeuvred himself into a position from where he can leave his ideological imprint on it. Daily Mail, December 3, 2013.

Maulana Fazlullah is back in tribal areas of Pakistan, says TTP 'spokesman' Shahidullah Shahid: Maulana Fazlullah alias Mullah Radio, who has recently been 'made' chief of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) after the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud, has returned to the country's tribal areas, TTP 'spokesman' Shahidullah Shahid said on December 3. TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said Fazlullah was now "commanding the Taliban movement at an unknown location in the tribal areas". Fazlullah has been based mainly in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan since 2009, when a military operation ended his followers' brutal two-year rule of Swat valley. Daily Times, December 3, 2013.

[Source: SATP]

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