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PAKISTAN: News Briefs

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Air strikes kill 34 militants in FATA: Air strikes killed at least 20 militants in the areas close to Pak-Afghan border in the Shawal Valley area of North Waziristan Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on June 28. The deeply forested ravines are a smuggling route between Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan, and are dotted with terrorist bases used as launch pads for attacks on Pakistani forces. Further on the same day, 14 more militants were killed in the air strikes in the areas on the side of Khyber Agency. Daily Times, June 29, 2015.

General Amnesty plan unveiled for all home-based Baloch insurgents: Authorities in Balochistan during a meeting of the provincial apex committee, headed by Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, on June 26 announced a general amnesty plan for all home-based Baloch militants who are willing to renounce violence and lay down their arms. According to an official handout, the apex committee meeting analysed in detail the need for maintaining law and order in the province. Tribune, June 27, 2015.

Military court trials in democratic era amount to dictatorship, asserts Supreme Court: As the 17-member full bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, resumed hearing in the case filed by different bar associations of the country against the 18th and 21st constitutional amendments on June 23 it observed that bringing certain matters within the purview of military courts during a democratic dispensation was also dictatorship and the court would not allow it. Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja remarked, "If the Government can call the army in its aid under Article 245 of the Constitution for fear of a revolution then it could also be done now and there was no need for formation of military courts." Dawn, June 24, 2015.

45 militants killed during the week in FATA: At least 20 militants, including key 'commanders', were killed and 18 others were wounded when Pakistani jet fighters pounded the hideouts of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) militants in Kukikhel area of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency of Federally Administered Areas (FATA) on June 19.

As many as 25 militants including three key commanders were killed in clashes with Security Forces (SFs) in the Shawal tehsil area of North Waziristan Agency on June 17. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today;Pakistan Observer, June 16-22, 2015.

Pakistan 'two-timing on terrorism', highlights US Country Terrorism Reports 2014: Acknowledging that the Pakistani military undertook operations against groups that conducted attacks within Pakistan, such as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), US Country Terrorism Reports 2014 released on June 19 stated that Pakistan "did not take action against other groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, which continued to operate, train, rally, propagandize, and fundraise in Pakistan." "Lashkar e-Taiba (LeT) and its alias organizations continued to operate freely in Pakistan, and there were no indications that Pakistan took significant enforcement actions against the group," the report said. Times of India, June 19, 2015.

Supreme Court wants to examine trial of 'terrorists' by military courts: The Supreme Court on June 16 directed Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt to submit record pertaining to the trials of five convicts awarded death sentences by the military courts in order to see whether the principle of fair trial was followed or not. A 17-member full bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, was hearing petitions against the 18th and 21st constitutional amendments. Daily Times, June 17, 2015.

91 militants and seven SFs among 100 persons killed during the week in FATA: 20 unidentified militants were killed in airstrikes conducted at a place near Dattakhel area in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) near Pakistan-Afghanistan border on June 13.

At least 25 militants, including their key 'commander', were killed in an exchange of fire with Security Forces (SFs) after a check post attack in the Shawal area of NWA on June 12.

At least 10 militants were killed during a search operation by SFs in Dattakhel area of NWA on June 11.

A wanted terrorist by the name of Haji Ilyas Gul was killed on June 10 during an intelligence based operation in the Spin Khawra area of NWA.

At least 12 suspected militants were killed during airstrikes in Khyber Agency on June 9.

At least 19 militants, including five 'commanders', were killed in an encounter when SFs chased them after they attacked a checkpoint of the forces and killed seven soldiers in Dattakhel area of NWA on June 8. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today;Pakistan Observer,  June 9-15, 2015.

Don't push us, we didn't make nukes for celebration, warns former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf: Slamming India for 'destablising' Pakistan, former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf on June 12 said that the country's nuclear weapons are for defence purposes and not for "celebratory" occasions. Musharraf claimed that India is planning a strategy to ultimately de-nuclearise Pakistan. "We do not want to use nuclear capability but if our existence comes under threat, who do we have these nuclear weapons for? If I say in Chaudhary Shujaat's style, do we have nukes saved to be used on Shab-e-Baraat?" he said. Tribune, June 13, 2015.

Islamabad rejects EU concerns over death penalty: Pakistan on June 12 rejected the European Union (EU) demand, seeking an immediate end to executions in the country. Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah defended the revocation of a moratorium on the death penalty, saying the punishment was well within the parameters of international law. Referring to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Khalilullah said Article 6 of the covenant states that every human being has inherent right to life. Tribune, June 13, 2015.

Over PKR 230 billion illegally collected annually and distributed among gang-war factions in Karachi, informs DG-Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar to Sindh Apex Committee: Director General (DG) Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar during a briefing to the Sindh Apex Committee regarding the current Karachi situation on June 11 said that over PKR 230 billion is collected illegally in Karachi annually and those millions of rupees are distributed amongst gang-war factions. He further revealed that this money is used for the purchase of arms and ammunition. Daily Times, June 12, 2015.

India should not mistake Pakistan for Myanmar, says Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar: Pakistan on June 10 said that India should not mistake Pakistan for Myanmar as the armed forces of Pakistan could give a befitting reply to any Indian act of aggression. Responding to a statement issued by Indian Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar said that Pakistan wanted peace in the region yet its friendly overtures should not be confused as a sign of weakness. The News, June 11, 2015.

Group involved in cops killing identified, says Sindh IG Ghulam Haider Jamali: The Inspector General (IG) of Sindh Police, Ghulam Haider Jamali on June 10 claimed that the group involved in the killings of Police officials in Malir and West Districts of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, has been identified. Addressing a ceremony organized to distribute cheques among the families of Police martyrs, the IG Sindh said culprits involved in the killings of Policemen will be brought to justice, claiming that Karachi city has witnessed a decline in target killings in 2015 compared to 2014. The News, June 11, 2015.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif urges UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to resolve Kashmir issue: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his meeting with United Nations (US) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the International Conference on the Implementation of the International Decade for Action Water for Life (2005-15) on June 9 urged him to play a proactive role in promoting peace in the region, adding that it was incumbent on the UN Security Council (UNSC) to ensure early implementation of its commitment as reflected in the resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir. Dawn, June 10, 2015.

Sindh Government to initiate crackdown of 48 madrassas involved in suspicious activities: Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon on June 4 said that 48 madrassas (seminaries) have been found involved in 'suspicious activities'. He said that the meeting of the Apex Committee held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah in Karachi decided to initiate a crackdown on 48 seminaries which have been found to be promoting terrorism in the country in general and in the province in particular. The News, June 5, 2015.

[Source: SATP]

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