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PAKISTAN: News Briefs

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JuD offers funeral prayer for Afghan Taliban Chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour in Peshawar: The Jama’at-ud-Dawa (JuD), the frontal organisation of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), on May 27 held funeral prayers in absentia for the deceased Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour in Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. JuD provincial ‘spokesperson’ Ghazi Inamullah said that the funeral prayers in absentia were offered at Jamia Masjid Khyber Markaz in Peshawar and attended by hundreds of JuD activists and general public. Dawn, May 28, 2016.

Banned outfits still recruiting Jihadis, reveals NAP official report: The National Action Plan (NAP) informed the security intuitions that banned outfits are still recruiting jihadis who have become a serious internal security threat to Pakistan. “Major banned outfits are still recruiting the students of madrassas to wage Jihad in the Indian-Held Kashmir and Afghanistan. Such non-state actors have become very dangerous for Pakistan,” senior security officials dealing with counter-terrorism warned the Government in a confidential document titled “Proscribed/Jihadi Organizations”. The News, May 28, 2016.

US urges Pakistan to cooperate with India to fully investigate 26/11 terror attacks: The United States (US) State Department deputy spokesperson Mark Toner on May 26 urged Pakistan to cooperate with the Indian authorities to fully investigate Mumbai 2008 (also known as 26/11) terror attacks. He said, “Mumbai attacks were terrible tragedy. We continue to urge the Pakistani government to cooperate with the Indian authorities to fully investigate these attacks. US wants to see justice done and we continue to urge Pakistani cooperation.” The News, May 27, 2016.

‘There would be no return to peace talks with the Afghanistan Government’, vows new Afghan Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada: Afghan Taliban’s newly appointed leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, in an audio recording on May 25 vowed that there would be no return to peace talks with the Government. “No, no we will not come to any type of peace talks,” Akhundzada said in the recording. However, the Afghan Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid denied issuing the audio message. Two Taliban ‘commanders’ had provided the audio to reporters, saying it was an official statement. Tribune, May 26, 2016.

US designates two Pakistan-based terror groups as "Specially Designated Global Terrorists": The United States (US) on May 25 designated two Pakistan-based and Taliban linked groups, Tariq Gidar Group (TGG) and the Jama’at-ul-Dawa al-Quran (JDQ), as “Specially Designated Global Terrorists”. US citizens are forbidden from associating with the TGG and the JDQ. Any assets owned by the groups in places under US jurisdiction will be frozen, and US law enforcement will be authorised to investigate their activity. Tribune, May 26, 2016.

Pakistan needs to do more to root out terrorists, says US: The United States (US) on May 24 said that it had conveyed to Pakistan that they need to pursue actively terrorist organizations that are using their soil, their territory to find refuge. In a media briefing, Mark Toner, Deputy Spokesman for the US State Department, said, “We have conveyed to the Pakistani government and authorities before that they need to pursue actively terrorist organizations that are using their soil, their territory to find refuge.” The News, May 25, 2016.

US forces will go after threats in Pakistan, says US President Barrack Obama: US President Barack Obama on May 23 confirmed the death of Afghan Taliban leader Mulla Akhtar Mansour in a US air strike and said American forces would continue to go after threats in Pakistan. “We have removed the leader of an organisation that has continued to plot against and unleash attacks on American and coalition forces, to wage war against the Afghan people, and align itself with extremist groups like Al-Qaeda,” the US president said in a statement issued by the White House. The News, May 24, 2016.

Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour killed in US drone strike in Balochistan: Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in a United States (US) drone strike in the Kuchaki area of Naushki District, over 200 kilometers off Quetta, on May 21. According to sources, Mansour entered Pakistan from Iran at Zero Point in Taftan, a town in Chagai District, which shares border with Iran, and hit by US drone while traveling in a rented car to take him to Quetta. The crime scene is identified as Kuchaki in Nushki District. Meanwhile, Afghan Government Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah confirmed the incident, saying, "Taliban leader Akhtar Mansour was killed in a drone strike in Quetta, Pakistan, at 04:30 pm yesterday. His car was attacked in Dahl Bandin." Afghanistan's main intelligence service, the National Directorate for Security (NDS) also confirmed Mansour's death. US President Barack Obama also confirmed on May 23 that Mansour was killed. Tribune, May 22, 2016. Reuters, May 23, 2016.

US asks Pakistan to stop militants from using its soil, says report: The United States (US) State Department on May 6 urged Pakistan to take military action against Taliban leaders who allegedly used its territory for cross-border attacks, besides continuing to encourage them to resume peace talks with Kabul. "This is the commitment that Pakistan has made to its partners, and we expect it to take steps necessary to promote dialogue, reduce violence in Afghanistan, and encourage the Taliban to engage in meaningful negotiations," an unnamed US official said. Earlier on May 3, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had said in Islamabad that Pakistan could not accept the Afghan demand to abandon its peace efforts and take immediate military action against the Taliban leaders. Dawn, May 7, 2016.

12 persons including 10 militants killed in Punjab: The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) killed at least eight suspected militants in an exchange of gunfire at Sharaqpur Road in Sheikhupura city of Punjab on May 4. Four of their accomplices escaped. Huge quantity of weapons including four Kalashnikovs, as many pistols and six kilograms of explosives were recovered from their possession.

Meanwhile, two men and a woman belonging to a banned sectarian organisation and one personnel of a law enforcement agency were killed in a clash in Pind Ghakhara village, about 6 kilometers from Taxila town, in Rawalpindi District on May 4. The slain suspects were identified as - Javaid, his wife Naheeda Bibi and son Ahmed. Another suspect Mohammed Usman was taken into custody. The News; Dawn, May 5, 2016.

[Source: SATP]

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