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PAKISTAN: News Briefs

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Sixteen militants and four SF Personnel among 21 persons killed during the week in FATA: At least twelve militants were killed during operation by the Security Forces (SFs) in Mamoonzai area of Orakzai Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), on March 29.

Security Forces (SFs) on March 26 killed four Afghan-based militants as the troops repulsed a cross border attack on a security check-point in Nawagal tehsil (revenue unit) of Bajaur Agency. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, March 26-April 1, 2013.

I am proud of Kargil operation, says former President of Pakistan General Musharraf: Former President of Pakistan, General (retired) Pervez Musharraf on March 27 said that he was proud of the Kargil (Kargil District of Jammu and Kashmir) operation and blamed political class for squandering away a military victory. At a press conference in Karachi (provincial capital of Sindh), after his return, he asserted, "A military victory was turned into a political defeat." The Hindu, March 29, 2013.

Sixteen militants and four SF Personnel among 21 persons killed during the week in FATA: At least twelve militants were killed during operation by the Security Forces (SFs) in Mamoonzai area of Orakzai Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), on March 29.

Terrorism death toll in Pakistan reaches 49,000: Militants have killed more than 49,000 of their countrymen since 9/11, the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan learned on March 26. Militants at one point held 24% of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and 37% of Swat (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), but effective military operations restored the Government's writ, Raja Irshad, a lawyer for the Security Forces, told a three-member SC bench. The bench was hearing a petition challenging the Actions (in Aid of Civil Power) Regulation, 2011. Central Asia Online, March 28, 2013.

Militants determined to sabotage elections, says Federal Ministry of Interior report: The Federal Ministry of Interior, on March 27, warned of a massive terrorist threat in the coming elections. A presentation made during a meeting between officials of the Ministry and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to discuss security issues revealed that the Jundallah, in coordination with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was planning to carry out large-scale terrorist attacks in Balochistan, with Nushki and Quetta as their particular targets. Dawn, March 28, 2013.

No one held responsible for Lal Masjid operation, says commission report: Nobody was held responsible for the operation of Lal Masjid as the commission submitted its report to the Supreme Court on March 27. Over 200 people recorded their statements before the Lal Masjid Commission. The report recommended paying compensation to the heirs of martyrs. However, no statement was recorded on behalf of any Army officer regarding the operation. The commission did not hold anybody responsible for the Lal Masjid operation. The News, March 28, 2013.

Pakistan remains a threat to UK's national security, says the head of Britain's counter-terrorism strategy Charles Farr: Terror threat emanating from Pakistan remains a danger to Britain's national security, the head of Britain's counter-terrorism strategy Charles Farr said in an interview to The News on March 27. In an exclusive interview, Charles Farr, Director General of the Office of Security and Counter-Terrorism, said that the threat from Pakistan mainly comes from the tribal areas along the Afghan border. He said that although al Qaida is weakened and depleted in numbers and capability, it continues to operate from this region and still has the capability to conduct terrorist attacks in the UK and other countries. The News, March 28, 2013.

633 missing persons yet to be traced, says report submitted in the Supreme Court: As many as 633 missing persons, including 279 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, remain to be traced, according to a report submitted in the Supreme Court. Of the remaining missing persons, 148 are from Punjab, while 100 are from Sindh, 48 from Balochistan, 26 from FATA, 20 from Islamabad Capital Territory, 11 from Azad Kashmir and one from Gilgit Baltistan. Tribune, March 28, 2013.

23 civilians and two SFs among 26 persons killed during the week in KP: At least 17 persons were killed and 34 others injured in a car bomb explosion in the Jalozai camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nowshera District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on March 21.

A Policeman and three civilians were killed and 49 persons, including a woman additional district and session's judge, were injured in a suicide attack in a judicial complex in Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP, on March 18. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, March 19-25, 2013.

60 militants and 17 Security Force Personnel among 78 persons killed during the week in FATA: A suicide bomber rammed a water tanker bomb at a military check post, killing 17 Security Forces (SFs) and one civilian while injuring 20 others near Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan Agency, in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on March 23.

At least four militants were killed early on March 22 when US drone fired two missiles on a house in Dattakhel tehsil (revenue unit) of North Waziristan Agency.

At least 46 militants, including an Uzbek 'commander', were killed in twin suicide attacks on the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the headquarters of the Ansarul Islam (AI) in Bagh area of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency on March 19.

At least ten militants were killed and six others injured when jetfighters pounded their hideouts in Chappar area of Mamozai tehsil in Orakzai Agency on March 18. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, March 19-25, 2013.

TTP threaten to assassinate former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has set up a special death squad to target former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf upon his arrival, who is expected to land in Karachi on March 24, says a militant video released on March 23. The TTP has also called upon the Baloch insurgents to join hands with the militant outfit to wage a joint-war for implementing Shariah laws in the country. In about a six-minute long video received by Dawn, the TTP has threatened to use suicide bombers, snipers and combat teams to kill Musharraf. Dawn, March 23, 2013.

Pakistan prosecutors seeks voice samples of 26/11 accused: Pakistani prosecutors on March 22 approached a court seeking voice samples of seven men, including Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT)) commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, charged with involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Special prosecutor, Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) filed an application that was admitted for regular hearing by the Islamabad High Court on March 21. Indian Express, March 23, 2013.

TTP postpones peace talks with Government: Citing what they believe to be the non-serious attitude of the Security Forces (SFs) and Government, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) announced on March 18 that it was postponing the peace talks. In an eight minute video released by the TTP from an undisclosed location, its 'spokesperson' Ehsanullah Ehsan claimed that the SFs and Government are not serious about the peace dialogue, which is why the TTP have decided to postpone the peace talks. Tribune, March 23, 2013.

Six Army officers involved in abductions, says DIG CID Balochistan: Submitting a progress report regarding the missing persons, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Balochistan on March 20 told the Supreme Court that six Army officers are involved in the abduction of missing persons in Balochistan. According to the report submitted by DIG CID Feroze Shah, 10 military personnel are accused of abducting the missing persons. Daily Times, March 21, 2013.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa sets up high-tech body to counter terrorism: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has become the first province in the country to set up a Strategy and Analysis Wing (SAW) with an aim to coordinate efforts at combating crime and terrorism, analysing data and making use of digital and internet data to achieve its objectives. Headed by the Home and Tribal Affairs Secretary, Azam Khan, the SAW hierarchy includes a media analyst, a prosecution analyst, crime analyst, GIS specialist, a database supervisor and data friskers. Dawn, March 19, 2013.

36 militants and three Security Forces among 39 persons killed during the week in FATA: At least 20 militants were killed and another 20 were injured as fighting between the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Ansarul Islam (AI) outfit continued on March 14 in the Qambarkhel area of Tirah Valley in Bara tehsil (revenue unit) of Khyber Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

At least 16 militants were killed and 12 others injured in clashes between TTP and AI in Maidan area of Tirah valley, tribal sources said on March 13.

At least three soldiers, including an officer, were killed in a roadside blast in Dogar area of Kurram Agency on March 11. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, March 12-18, 2013.

Three British Muslims including a convert to Islam pleaded guilty in the court of London: Three British Muslims, including a convert to Islam pleaded guilty in court on March 15 to travelling to Pakistan for terror training. The charges said that they travelled to Pakistan for terror training, travelled abroad to commit acts of terrorism and provided information about travel to Pakistan, terrorism training and operational security while there. The three men were arrested in July 2011. Daily Times, March 16, 2013.

National Assembly passes resolution against Afzal Guru's hanging: The National Assembly on March 14 unanimously passed a resolution against the February 9, 2013, hanging of Afzal Guru (in New Delhi's Tihar Jail), convicted in December 13, 2001, attack on Indian Parliament and called upon the United Nations (UN) and the international community to 'help' Kashmiris and get their right to 'self-determination'. The resolution was moved by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief and chairman Kashmir Committee Maulana Fazlur Rehman at the end of his farewell speech in the National Assembly. Dawn, March 15, 2013.

Punjabi TTP 'chief' Asmatullah Muawiya warns of terror attacks in India: The 'chief' 'operational commander' of the al Qaeda linked Punjabi Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Asmatullah Muawiya, on March 11 warned that India is set to become a major target of terrorist attacks once again, especially after the Allied Forces withdraw from Afghanistan. Muawiya's statement has been released on an al-Qaeda and TTP-linked jehadi website - Jamia Hafsa Urdu Forum. KashmirWatch, March 12, 2013.

55 militants and five civilians among 60 persons killed during the week in FATA: At least 20 militants and a volunteer of peace lashkar were killed in a joint operation carried out by Security Forces (SFs) and Zakhakhel tribal lashkar against the banned Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) in various areas of the Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on March 8. In another incident, at least five militants of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and three from Ansarul Islam (AI) were killed in clashes in Khwajalee Tambu area of Tirah valley. Also, at least three persons were shot dead and another was injured by unidentified assailants in Garigal village of Mamond tehsil (revenue unit) in Bajaur Agency.

At least 12 militants were killed and several others were injured during an operation by the SFs in different areas of Orakzai Agency on March 7. Also, at least four militants were killed and six others were injured in renewed clashes between TTP and AI in Theerak Sangar and Zeerhak Kandaw areas of Tirah valley in Khyber Agency.

At least nine militants were killed in a clash with SFs in Mondan area of Mamozai in upper Orakzai Agency on March 6. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, March 5-11, 2013.

NA passes NCTA Bill 2013 to set up anti-terror authority: The National Assembly on March 8 passed the National Counter-Terrorism Authority Bill 2013 (NCTA Bill 2013) to integrate and synergies the anti-terrorism and counter-extremism efforts in the country. The Bill notes that the establishment of this authority is necessary in view of nature and magnitude of terrorists' threat, and it would present strategic policy options to the Government for consideration and implementation by the stakeholders after scientifically studying the phenomenon of extremism and terrorism in historic and professional perspective. Daily Times, March 9, 2013.

Blacklist ISI as a terrorist entity, demands Afghan National Security Council: The Afghan National Security Council (ANSC) on March 3 strongly demanded that Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) should be declared a terrorist entity. Rehmatullah Nabil, Afghanistan's Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA) declared, in a direct reference to the ISI, "The interesting question is why is a terrorist blacklisted but the person who issues the Fatwa for them [to act] or who provides havens to them not blacklisted? Against these people, organisations at a global scale should unite." Times of India, March 7, 2013.

78 civilians and five militants among 86 persons killed during the week in Sindh: At least 45 persons were killed and another 70 were injured in a huge explosion that ripped through a Shia-majority neighbourhood in Karachi (Karachi District), the provincial capital of Sindh, on March 3.

At least 12 persons, including activists of the Majli-e-Wehdat-e-Musleeman (MWM) and the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), were killed in separate incidents in Karachi on March 2.

At least four persons, including activists of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), were killed in separate incidents in Karachi on March 1.

At least six persons, including a cousin of a Former Prime Minister (PM) Mir Zafar Ullah Khan Jamali, were killed in separate incidents in Karachi on February 27.

At least four persons were killed in separate incidents in Karachi on February 26.

At least eight persons were killed in separate incidents in Karachi on February 25. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, February 26-March 4, 2013.

32 militants and three civilians among 36 persons killed during the week in FATA: Ten militants were killed in an operation by Security Forces (SFs) at Lando Qamar, Arghanjoo and Adamkhel areas of the Orakzai Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on March 3. Two hideouts of the militants were also destroyed.

Separately, seven militants, a 'commander' among them, were killed when PAF jets targeted their hideouts in Sandana and Speen Dhand areas of Sipah area in Tirah valley in Bara tehsil (revenue unit) of Khyber Agency.

At least eight militants were killed and 12 suffered injuries as jet fighters pounded militant hideouts in Jendri and Shah Wali villages of Mamozai tehsil in Orakzai Agency on February 28.

At least seven Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists were killed when Security Forces (SFs) pounded Kukikhel area of Tirah Valley on February 25. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, February 26-March 4, 2013.

Pakistan issues list of 109 'most wanted' terrorists: Pakistani authorities on March 1 issued a list of 109 "most wanted" terrorists, including Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) militant Mati-ur-Rehman, who was accused of involvement in a suicide attack on former premier Shaukat Aziz. The list, made public on the website of Punjab Police, includes 28 members of the banned LeJ, which claimed responsibility for two recent attacks on Shias in Quetta city (Quetta District) that killed nearly 200 people, and 34 members of various factions of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). India Today, March 2, 2013.

[Source: SATP]

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