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...

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AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN-USA

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PAKISTAN: News Briefs

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Army steps in to revive Government's talks with protesters: Army on August 29 stepped into the political crisis by talking to two protesting organizations but delivered a snub to the beleaguered Government which had claimed that it had not sought military's mediation. Army Chief General Raheel Sharif talked to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan and cleric Tahir-ul- Qadri of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) in the presence of Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar. Times of India, August 30, 2014.

Pakistan continues to be a safe haven for terrorists, says Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby: The Pentagon has said Pakistan continues to be a safe haven for terrorists. "Extremists and the safe haven pose a challenge and the sanctuary that they continue to enjoy in Pakistan," Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said. He, however, added that "the Pakistani military has taken action against some of those extremist threats inside their own country. They've conducted operations not too long ago, just this summer." The Hindu, August 27, 2014.

TTP 'commanders' form new splinter group TTP-Jama'at-ul-Ahrar: Key 'commanders' belonging to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on August 26 announced the formation of a new group by the name of TTP-Jama'at-ul-Ahrar, with Maulana Qasim Khurasani as the new ameer (chief) and also comprising of other 'commanders'. Former TTP 'spokesperson' Ehsanullah Ehsan, who has been nominated as the 'spokesman' for the splinter group, mostly comprising cadres from the Mohmand Agency of TTP Chapter said that the new group was not willing to take sides in the current political tussle in Islamabad as they only wanted the Shari'ah (Islamic Law) system to prevail in the country. Dawn, August 27, 2014.

54 militants and 10 civilians among 64 persons killed during the week in FATA: Five militants were killed and three others were injured in a clash with a tribal militia in Dana Khola area of Lower Orakzai Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on August 23.

At least 48 suspected militants were killed, seven hideouts, nine vehicles and several motorcycles were destroyed in fresh air strikes carried out by fighter jets and Cobra gunship helicopters in the Khyber and North Waziristan Agencies of FATA on August 19.

Six persons were killed on August 19 when a remote-controlled explosive device went off in the Tangi area of Salarzai tehsil (revenue unit) in Bajaur Agency. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, August 18-24, 2013.

Seven persons, including a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) official, were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi on August 22.

Three Policemen among four persons were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi on August 19. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, August 18-24, 2013.

16 militants killed in Balochistan: Frontier Corps (FC) claimed to have killed 16 militants during an operation in the Dasht area of Turbat District on August 22. Khan Wasey, the spokesman for FC said that Security Forces (SFs) launched an operation against miscreants in Dasht, adding, "At least 12 militants were killed in armed clashes." Later, four more suspected militants were killed in the exchange of fire. Dawn, August 23, 2014.

US offers USD 30 million in search for Haqqani Network leaders: The United States (US) on August 21 offered a total USD 30 million in return for information on key leaders of the Haqqani Network that is blamed for numerous attacks in Afghanistan. "The Department has authorised rewards of up to USD 5 million each for information leading to the location of Aziz Haqqani, Khalil al-Rahman Haqqani, Yahya Haqqani, and Abdul Rauf Zakir," the State Department said in a statement. Tribune, August 22, 2014.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa security improves, claims IGP Nasir Khan Durrani: Operational and administrative measures implemented by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Police have improved the province's security situation, KP Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nasir Khan Durrani claimed on August 19. KP has been mostly 'peaceful' for the last few months. Central Asia Online, August 20, 2014.

Terrorists won't find space to hide, say COAS General Raheel Sharif: The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif on August 15 said Security Forces (SFs) should continue to remain vigilant and soon they would eliminate the scourge of terrorism from the country forever. The COAS praised the valour of SFs, who successfully foiled terrorist bid to attack PAF and Army Aviation Base in Quetta. General Raheel Sharif said that after Operation Zarb-e-Azb, terrorists were on the run and making desperate attempts to cause damage to Pakistan. Daily Times, August 16, 2014.

45 militants and two SFs among 48 persons killed during the week in FATA: At least six suspected militants were killed and two others were injured when a drone fired two missiles in a house in a village in Dattakhel area of North Waziristan Agency (NWA) in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on August 6, 2014.

Three persons, including two Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) militants and one Tauheed-ul-Islam (TI) militia member, were killed as the two group clashed in Zakhakhel area of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency on August 6.

At least 30 militants were killed in airstrikes carried out by fighter jets in Dattakhel, Marsikhel and Kamsham areas of NWA on August 5.

Seven Uzbek militants and two soldiers were killed during the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb in Data Khel area of NWA on August 4. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, August 5-12, 2014.

Security tightened in Punjab: Four companies of Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) were deployed at vital security points of the city on August 8 after the Provincial Government requisitioned it to cope with law and order situation in the provincial capital Lahore. A Police source said that up to four companies comprising 160 personnel took their positions at sensitive government buildings and establishments. He said the Rangers had been put at the disposal of Lahore Police for future line of action. Dawn, August 9, 2014.

TTP declares 'war on media' in a message sent to media groups across the world: Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in a message titled, "The global war of ideologies and the behaviour of media", sent to media advocacy groups across the world, including to the "heads and members of organisations working for the rights of media members around the world," warned the Pakistani media that if they did not stop criticising the mujahedeen (holy warriors), they will be attacked and "no crying and sobbing" will prevent the holy warriors from punishing journalists. Dawn, August 6, 2014.

[Source: SATP]

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