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PAKISTAN: News Briefs

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Armed wings of political parties behind Karachi unrest, Sindh Rangers' DG tells Supreme Court: Sindh Rangers Director General (DG) Rizwan Akhtar told the Supreme Court (SC) on August 28 that armed wings of political parties were behind the unrest in Karachi. Akhtar told the court that the Rangers had limited powers. They could arrest criminals, but not investigate the crimes properly. He added that those arrested were soon bailed out of prison. Daily Times, August 29, 2013

51 civilians and three militants among 56 persons killed during the week in Sindh: At least eight persons were killed in separate incidents in Karachi (Karachi District), the provincial capital of Sindh, on August 25.

At least 11 persons were killed in separate incidents in Karachi (Karachi District) on August 24.

At least eight persons were killed in separate incidents in Karachi (Karachi District) on August 23.

At least 13 persons were killed in separate incidents in Karachi (Karachi District) on August 21.

At least nine persons were killed in separate incidents in Karachi (Karachi District) on August 20.

At least five persons were killed in separate incidents in Karachi (Karachi District) on August 19. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, August 20-26, 2013.

11 persons killed in sectarian clash in Punjab: A clash between Ahl-e-Sunnat-Wal-Jama'at (ASWJ) and members of Shia community killed 11 people in the Kotla Jam area of Bhakkar District on August 23. Police official Abdullah Khan said people were killed on both sides. Daily Times, August 24, 2013.

We welcome the offer of talks by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, says TTP Punjab Chapter 'chief' Ismatullah Muawiya: Punjab Chapter of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on August 22 welcomed a call for dialogue by Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif with extremists. "We welcome the offer of talks by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The Prime Minister has shown maturity with his talks offer and he has also strengthened the desire for peace by staying executions," TTP Punjab 'chief' Ismatullah Muawiya said. PM Nawaz Sharif made the offer to extremists on August 19, 2013. The News, August 23, 2013.

Criminal gangs work in tandem with terrorists, Police officers tell Senate Standing Committee on Interior: Police officers of the four provinces and Gilgit Baltistan told the Senate Standing Committee on Interior on August 21 that the crime was becoming organised as various criminal groups had associated themselves with terrorist organisations like the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Baloch Liberation Army (BLA). "We are heading for a situation like Mexico where drug lords and street criminals are operating like a corporate firm," said a senior official of the National Police Bureau. "The more serious problem in Pakistan is that terrorists and anti-state elements are getting aligned with all kinds of criminals." Dawn, August 22, 2013.

US Treasury imposes economic sanctions on madrassa in Peshawar for acting as training and recruiting base for al Qaeda, Taliban and LeT: The United States (US) Treasury on August 20 set economic sanctions on a madrassa (seminary) in Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, for acting as training and recruiting base for al Qaeda, Taliban and the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT)). The Treasury said that the Taleem-ul Quran Ganj Madrassa in Peshawar was being used as training and recruiting base by these militant groups. Tribune, August 21, 2013.

Former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf indicted in former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto murder case: Rawalpindi Special Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Judge Chaudhry Habibur Rahman while hearing the December 2007 murder case of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on August 20 indicted the former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf. "He was charged with murder, criminal conspiracy for murder and facilitation for murder," said public prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar. However, Pervez Musharraf denied the charges. The News; Times of India, August 20, 2013.

Kashmir is a "national issue and the jugular vein of Pakistan", says Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on August 19 said that Kashmir is a "national issue and the jugular vein of Pakistan". He said its resolution is as dear to him as other Pakistanis. Referring to his desire to forge good relations with India, Sharif said both countries should realise that "instead of wasting their energies and resources on wars, they should wage war against poverty, ignorance and disease". Times of India, August 20, 2013.

TTP Punjab chapter warns of reprisal if PML-N Government hangs under-trial militants: The Punjab chapter of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on August 12 warned the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Government of dire consequences if it carries on with its plan of executing some convicts on death row. In a pamphlet distributed in Southern Punjab and South and North Waziristan Agencies of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), the TTP said that the Government will be considered at war with them if it goes on to execute their colleagues currently serving jail terms and are on death row. Dawn, August 13, 2013.

Political parties to decide whether we should hold talks with militants, use force against them or adopt a mix of tact and might, says Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan: The Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on August 13 said that the Government will leave it to the political parties to decide whether we should hold talks with militants, use force against them or adopt a mix of tact and might. He, however, said the Government is ready for both talks and 'all-out war' with militants. Dawn, August 13, 2013.

41 civilians and 24 SFs among 76 persons killed during the week in Balochistan: Security Forces (SFs) on August 11 shot dead eight militants in the Machh area of Bolan District.

At least 10 persons were killed and 15 others injured when unidentified militants attacked the Jamia Masjid Farooqia in Quetta (Quetta District), the provincial capital of Balochistan, on August 9.

Thirty eight persons, including 21 Police officials, were killed and 40 others were injured in a suicide blast at a funeral in the Police Lines area of Quetta on August 8.

At least 14 persons, including three SF personnel, were killed on August 6 in an attack by Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) militants on five passenger buses in the Machh area of Bolan District. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, August 6-12, 2013.

Bajaur Agency militant-free, claims Lieutenant General Khalid Rabbani: Peshawar Corps Commander Lieutenant General Khalid Rabbani on August 8 announced that Security Forces (SFs), along with the help of tribesmen, had eliminated militants from Bajaur Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and that the region's borders have now been secured. Rabbani thanked the soldiers and the locals for restoring the Government's writ, adding that the residents of the agency were the "most loyal" and "peace loving" of the country. Central Asia Online, August 11, 2013.

Seventeen militants and 16 SFs among 36 persons killed during the week in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Eight militants and two Security Force (SF) personnel were killed during clashes between militants and the SFs in the Darra Adamkhel area of Kohat District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on July 30.

24 persons, including 12 Policeman, five militants, four prisoners, and three civilians, were killed in the attack and the counter attack by the Security Forces when TTP militants stormed the Central Prison at Dera Ismail Khan (Dera Ismail Khan District) in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Province on July 29. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, July 30-August 5, 2013.

Sixteen civilians and eight SFs among 26 persons killed during the week in Sindh: At least four Policemen, identified as Zulfiqar, Afza and Ghulam Shabbir and Sarwar, were shot dead by unidentified militants near a bridge located at Bagh-e-Korangi area in the Shah Faisal Town of Karachi District, the provincial capital of Sindh, on August 2.

Seven persons were killed in different incidents of violence throughout Karachi (Karachi District) on August 1.

Eight persons were killed in different incidents of violence throughout Karachi (Karachi District) on July 30.

Six persons were killed in different incidents of violence throughout Karachi (Karachi District) on July 29. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, July 30-August 5, 2013.

No timetable to end drone strikes against 'terrorists', says US State Department: The United States (US) State Department on August 2 said that no timeline could be provided to end drone attacks. State Department spokeswoman, Marie Harf, said that Secretary of State John Kerry has reinforced the changes that US expects to take place in the programme over time, but there is no exact timeline to provide. Daily Times, August 3, 2013.

President Asif Ali Zardari asks US to prepare 'Marshall Plan' for Pakistan: President Asif Ali Zardari on August 1 called upon the international community, especially the United States (US), to step forward and prepare a 'Marshall Plan' for Pakistan for strategic economic stability and advancement of the country's development agenda. The President said this during his one-on-one and delegation-level meetings with US Secretary of State John Kerry at the Presidency. Daily Times, August 2, 2013.

 [Source: SATP]

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