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The Times of India
US must cut funding to Pak if it doesn't act on terror: Think tank
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 10:24:37 GMT
IPL live score: Knight Riders v Delhi Daredevils
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 09:33:36 GMT
Get all the live updates of Match 32 of the IPL 2017 between Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils. more...
Won't talk to those who demand 'azaadi': Centre 
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 09:10:31 GMT
The Centre told the Supreme Court today that it won't hold talks on resolving the unrest in Kashmir with separatist leaders or those people who demand 'azaadi'. The Centre made this statement while the top court was hearing a petition filed by the Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association. more...
Eman's sister gives her water to sip, triggers panic
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 03:44:56 GMT
The complaint filed at VP Road police station states that Shaimaa gave her sister Eman water to sip without informing the doctors; Eman cannot swallow and is fed through a tube. Shaimaa reacted by saying her sister was thirsty while the hospital called the police. more...
Woman shot, 6 arrested in counter-terror op in UK
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:45:10 GMT
British police on Friday said that officers had shot at a woman at a London address, arrested six others as part of counter-terrorism operations and averted an active terror plot. A 16-year-old boy, a man and woman, both aged 20, were arrested during the operation in Willesden area of north London. more...
HC stays bail granted to Gayatri Prajapati
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:30:47 GMT
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court on Friday issued a stay order on the bail granted to former UP minister Gayatri Prajapati, who is accused in a rape case. Prajapati and two other accomplices had been given bail by a POCSO court earlier this week. more...
No Darr: SRK nails TED with stirring talk
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 07:37:10 GMT
Calling him a ''renaissance man,'' as host Chris Anderson did, might be stretching it a bit, but King Khan showed that he's no mug with words as he delivered TED's customary 18-minute talk with panache, laced with self-deprecating humor and thoughtful musings on TED2017's theme -- The Future You. more...
Review of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 08:51:21 GMT
Sajjan Jindal meets Sharif, sparks speculation
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 03:40:12 GMT
NEW DELHI: Steel tycoon Naveen Jindal's brother Sajjan "secretly" met with Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday, reported Pakistani media, adding that in meeting at Murree, the Indian violated the terms of his Pakistani visa. more...
'Shouldn't have asked for surgical strikes' proof'
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 07:53:03 GMT
Phoning while driving's dangerous, we still do it
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 09:37:20 GMT
The study reveals that 34 per cent of all respondents tend to apply sudden brakes when talking on the phone while driving, while 20 per cent of respondents admit to having had near-miss situations or having experienced road crash due to using mobile phones while driving. more...
Model convicted for plotting to kill Bhandarkar
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 08:17:51 GMT
A sessions court on Friday convicted aspiring actor Preeti Jain for conspiring with two others to kill national award-winning director Madhur Bhandarkar in 2005. Jain had earlier alleged that Bhandarkar had raped her, a case, the Supreme Court quashed in 2012. more...
5 companies selling most smartphones in India 
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 08:05:53 GMT
Man held for posting classmates' pics to escort site
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:05:24 GMT
Aam Aadmi Party heading for split in Punjab?
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 02:59:54 GMT
Ever since results for the Punjab elections were announced on March 11, the two Delhi-appointed observers had been in the eye of a storm with some AAP Punjab leaders blaming Delhi leaders in general and Singh and Pathak in particular for the debacle in the recently concluded assembly elections. more...
The Dawn News - Home
Supreme Judicial Council to consider reference seeking removal of NAB chairman
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 13:46:18 +0500
The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) has called a meeting on May 16 to examine a reference filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry proposing the ouster of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry. The reference proposes the deposition of Chaudhry, whose capacity to head the national accountability watchdog was questioned quite critically during the Panamagate hearings.The decision to file the reference under Article 209 was first announced on Friday.Explore: Supreme Court gives reprieve to Sharif, but no clean chit“That the SJC has called a meeting on May 16 is a victory for PTI,” said Fawad Chaudhry. The Panamagate verdict of April 20 directed that a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) be set up to probe the controversial financial dealings of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his sons.Yesterday, the Supreme Court (SC) had received proposed names for the six officials who will eventually constitute the JIT. The JIT has been tasked to submit its findings from the probe within two months. The JIT will include a member each from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), NAB, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI).The PTI, however, vehemently opposes the idea of NAB's Qamar Zaman Chaudhry being a part of the investigation, citing that the Panamagate verdict itself mentioned him as somebody who had failed to carry out his responsibilities as NAB chairman with due efficiency.The NAB chairman first incurred the wrath of SC judge Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, when, during a hearing of the Panama case on February 21, Khosa remarked; “You could have looked into the Panamangate matter but you didn’t.”The NAB Chairman had reportedly stuck to his stance: that he did not find the need to re-open the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case, despite the fact that a Lahore High Court Judge had earlier expressed the need to do so. The Panamagate verdict too pointed out that NAB and FIA had been less than competent in fulfilling their institutional obligations, necessitating the need for a JIT.It remains to be seen if the SJC meeting will be as decisive as the PTI would hope for it to be, however, it is likely to give the NAB chairman reason enough to worry about his job. more...
Opposition lawmakers raise questions on Jindal's visit in NA committee meeting
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:33:19 +0500
Moving away from the meeting's agenda, members of the opposition present during a session of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs on Friday questioned why the government had remained silent regarding the visit of Indian business tycoon Sajjan Jindal.An unannounced meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and a visiting Indian business tycoon at the hill resort town of Murree a few days earlier had triggered intense speculation in the country.Several politicians and analysts suggested that the meeting could be a precursor to a possible meeting between the premier and his Indian counterpart in the near future.During Friday's committee meeting, held at the Foreign Office, members raised questions about Jindal's arrival in Pakistan.“Why is the government quiet in regards to the visit of Jindal?" asked PPP's Nafeesa Shah.Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf's (PTI) chief whip Shireen Mazari questioned how the tycoon visited Murree when he only had a visa for two cities — Lahore and Islamabad."If he [Jindal] has come on a private visit, why did we receive reports regarding his welcome through the Foreign Office?" Mazari additionally asked.Defending the government and attempting to redirect attention back to the meeting's agenda, committee chairman Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari said Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb had given a clear statement regarding the Indian tycoon's visit.The businessman is known for being close to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also has a friendly relationship with PM Nawaz. Some seasoned analysts said Jindal’s visit could be part of some backchannel contact to improve relations between the two countries.Informed sources also pointed out that it’s not possible for Jindal to visit Pakistan without prior knowledge of the country’s civilian and military intelligence services.PTI seeks government's response PTI later submitted an adjournment motion to the National Assembly secretariat seeking postponement of the agenda set for the next session of the National Assembly.The motion, filed by MNA Murad Saeed, asked the House to seek a response from the government regarding Jindal's visit.“Jindal’s secret visit to Pakistan after [Indian spy] Kulbhashan Yadhav has been awarded the death sentence is significant,” Saeed wrote in the motion.He also questioned why the prime minister’s staff and the Foreign Office had kept information regarding the two men who accompanied the Indian businessman 'hidden'.“The prime minister welcomed Jindal into Pakistan keeping the country’s law aside,” it was alleged in the motion.Modi’s conduit? Jindal heads the JSW Group, which specialises in steel, energy and infrastructure projects. His younger brother, former Congress party lawmaker Naveen Jindal, is chairman of the umbrella Jindal Group.Jindal’s relationship with the Sharifs is no secret: he was an honoured guest at the wedding of the prime minister’s granddaughter in December 2015, the same occasion where Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also a guest.In her book, This Unquiet Land, Indian journalist Barkha Dutt describes Mr Jindal as “the unexpected conduit [between PMs Sharif and Modi] with movie-star looks”.“When Sharif was in Delhi, Jindal hosted a tea party for the Pakistani premier right after his meeting with Modi. It attracted little attention in the Indian media but in Pakistan, Sharif drew flak for finding time for Jindal and not for Kashmiri separatists,” she wrote. more...
JF-17B fighter jet takes maiden test flight
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:43:00 +0500
A dual-seat variant of the JF-17 Thunder fighter jet co-developed by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and China took its maiden test flight in Chengdu on Friday, the PAF said in a press release. The JF-17B "is currently entering the testing phase", the PAF said, terming the development of the dual-seater "a major milestone towards self-reliance". Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman was chief guest at the test event today hosted by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China Executive Vice President Li Yuhai. The JF-17B is slated to boost the operational and training capabilities of the PAF, the press release said. "It will further enhance the advanced combat training of PAF fighter pilots on this indigenous war fighting machine."Production of the first JF-17B was initiated by Pakistan and China during a joint ceremony at Chengdu Aerospace Corporation last year.The JF-17 Thunder's operational history The JF-17 Thunder, a single-engine multi-role fighter jet, and was jointly developed by China and Pakistan. Development on the aircraft started in 1999, and the maiden flight was conducted in 2003.The initial Block 1 JF-17s were received in 2007, with production of the upgraded Block 2 JF-17s started in 2013. The upgraded models have upgraded avionics, air-to-air refuelling capability, data link, enhanced electronic warfare capability and enhanced load carrying ability.The JF-17 can be equipped with air-to-air and air-to-ground ordinance. The aircraft mounts both short-range infra-red air to air missiles along with longer ranged radar-guided BVR missiles, an essential capability for a frontline interceptor.Read: Pakistan's tool of war: PAF's rolling thunderThe aircraft can carry 8,000lbs of ordinance on seven external hardpoints, which is an adequate amount of ordinance for any mission profile. The JF-17 enhances the much needed capability of the air force in beyond visual range (BVR) engagements.The JF-17 is a capable platform, and is on its way to form the backbone of the PAF. It was reported that between 250 and 300 aircraft will be inducted into the air force in order to phase out the ageing fleet of some other aircraft models that are still in operation.For the Pakistan Air Force, the JF-17 fills the gap that had arisen due to an ageing inventory, which was further impacted by sanctions placed on the country following the nuclear tests in 1998. more...
Metro bus runs over medical student in Rawalpindi
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:11:25 +0500
A medical student was killed when a Metro bus she was travelling on ran her over in Rawalpindi Friday, police said.Sameera, a 19-year-old student of the Shifa College of Medicine, was travelling to Islamabad when the driver pulled the emergency brakes near the Rehmanabad bus station, apparently due to ongoing construction work in the area.Due to the impact, the bus hit a pole and the door of the metro bus flung open, throwing Sameera out of the vehicle and onto the road. The student then was run over by the same bus, eyewitnesses and police said. She died on the spot.A police team from Sadiqabad Police Station reached the scene after the accident and shifted the girl's body to District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ).Station House Officer (SHO) Sadiqabad Raja Tahir said the driver of the bus had fled after the accident. A First-Information Report (FIR) has been registered against him and the cause of the accident is being ascertained, he said.After the incident, students of Shifa College of Medicine staged a demonstration outside DHQ Hospital and demanded that the driver of the bus be arrested immediately. They threatened to shut down the Metro bus service if the driver is not apprehended at the earliest. According to police, the deceased girl hailed from Rahim Yar Khan and was living at Sir Syed Chowk in Rawalpindi. Her body would be handed over to her father, who was travelling to Rawalpindi.Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice of the tragedy and ordered an inquiry into the accident. more...
Afridi declines Najam Sethi's farewell offer
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 12:28:49 +0500
Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi on Friday declined an offer by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Executive Committee Chairman Najam Sethi to give him a farewell upon his retirement from international cricket.The seasoned all-rounder took to Twitter to thank Sethi for meeting him last Sunday and offering to arrange a "fitting farewell" for him.Afridi, however, declined to accept the farewell offer citing his 'commitments' and said his earlier desire for a farewell was just to "set a new trend".He said he was "very happy" that Test skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and master batsman Younis Khan — the veteran duo who announced retirement from international cricket this year — are being given proper farewells."I hope this trend will continue in the future," the former skipper said. Afridi had asked PCB in September last year to give him a farewell match so that he could exit the international arena in a befitting manner. “A farewell match is my right,” he had said.Sethi and Afridi met in Dubai last week to discuss ideas to give a befitting farewell to the outgoing cricketer as well as plans about his future contributions to the sport in the country.The legendary all-rounder announced his retirement from international cricket in February this year, ending an illustrious ─ and sometimes controversial ─ 21-year career. The 36-year-old star had already quit Tests in 2010 and ODI cricket after the 2015 World Cup but still skippered the Pakistan Twenty20 team at the 2016 world championships in India.He stepped down as captain after the tournament although he retained slender hopes of continuing his career in the sport's shortest format as a player.Afridi said he will now focus on playing in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) for the next two years."I am playing for my fans and will continue to play this league for another two years but it is goodbye from international cricket," he had said when the second season of PSL was underway."Now my foundation [the Shahid Afridi Foundation] is important for me. I have played with seriousness and in a professional way for my country." more...
US says 'major conflict' with North Korea possible, China warns of danger of escalation
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:20:10 +0500
US President Donald Trump said a “major, major conflict” with North Korea was possible over its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, while China said the situation on the Korean peninsula could escalate or slip out of control.Trump, speaking to Reuters on Thursday, said he wanted to resolve the crisis peacefully, possibly through the use of new economic sanctions, although a military option was not off the table.“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea,” Trump said in an interview at the Oval Office.“We'd love to solve things diplomatically but it's very difficult,” he said, describing North Korea as his biggest global challenge.Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said there was a danger that the situation on the Korean peninsula could escalate or slip out of control, China's foreign ministry said.Wang made the comments in a meeting with a Russian diplomat on Thursday at the United Nations, the ministry said in a statement.China, the only major ally of North Korea, has been increasingly uncomfortable in recent months about its neighbour's pursuit of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles in violation on UN resolutions. The United States has called on China to do more to rein in Pyongyang and Trump lavished praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping for his efforts, calling him “a good man”.“I believe he is trying very hard. I know he would like to be able to do something. Perhaps it's possible that he can't. But I think he'd like to be able to do something,” Trump said.US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Thursday that China had asked North Korea not to conduct any more nuclear tests. Beijing had warned Pyongyang it would impose unilateral sanctions if it went ahead, he added.“We were told by the Chinese that they informed the regime that if they did conduct further nuclear tests, China would be taking sanctions actions on their own,” Tillerson said on Fox News, without specifying what sanctions he was referring to.Tillerson did not say when China made the threat and there was no immediate confirmation from Beijing. He is due to chair a meeting with UN Security Council foreign ministers on Friday, where he said he would stress the need for members to fully implement existing sanctions as well as possible next steps.China banned imports of North Korean coal in February, cutting off its most important export, and Chinese media this month raised the possibility of restricting oil shipments to the North if it unleashed more provocations.Missile defence, carrier group In a show of force, the United States is sending the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group to waters off the Korean peninsula, where it will join the USS Michigan, a nuclear submarine that docked in South Korea on Tuesday. South Korea's navy has said it will hold drills with the US strike group.Admiral Harry Harris, the top US commander in the Pacific, said on Wednesday the carrier was in the Philippine Sea, within two hours' striking distance of North Korea if need be.Harris also said a US missile defence system being deployed in South Korea to ward off any possible North Korean attack would be operational in coming days.However, Beijing has been angered by the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence, or THAAD, missile defence system, complaining that its radar can see deep into China and undermines its security.Trump said in the interview he wants South Korea to pay the cost of the THAAD, which he estimated at $1 billion. South Korea, one of Washington's most crucial allies in the region, said the US would have to bear the cost, pointing to possible friction ahead.The spokesman for Moon Jae-in, the frontrunner in South Korea's May 9 presidential election, said on Friday that deployment of THAAD should be “immediately suspended” ahead of a decision by the next government.Trump has vowed to prevent North Korea from being able to hit the US with a nuclear missile, a capability experts say Pyongyang could have some time after 2020.North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests and numerous missile tests, including one this month, a day before a summit meeting between Trump and Xi in Florida.Any direct US military action would run the risk of massive North Korean retaliation and huge casualties in Japan and South Korea and among US forces in both countries.Trump, asked if he considered North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to be rational, said he was operating from the assumption that he is rational. He noted that Kim had taken over his country at an early age.“As to whether or not he's rational, I have no opinion on it. I hope he's rational,” he said.In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin and visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on North Korea and other countries on Thursday to avoid behaviour or rhetoric that could increase tensions around Pyongyang's nuclear programme.North Korea, technically still at war with the South after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a treaty, regularly threatens to destroy the US and says it will pursue its nuclear and missile programmes to counter perceived US aggression. more...
PML-N threatens Imran Khan with lawsuit over bribery allegation
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:59:40 +0500
Punjab Government spokesperson Malik Ahmed Khan on Thursday warned Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan with a lawsuit, giving him three days to reveal the identity of the person who allegedly offered Khan a Rs10 billion bribe to keep mum on the Panama papers scandal.In a video leaked to social media websites earlier this week, PTI chairman Imran Khan could be heard alleging that the large offer was made through a 'middle-man' who he refused to name.Explore: Imran’s bribery allegation stirs up a hornet’s nest"Just imagine how much money he offered me to be silent. Rs10 billion. If he can offer me this much money, just imagine how much he would offer to others. That is why if we don't maintain public pressure on this issue, then after two months it will be dragged to next year," Khan appears to be saying in the video.Maryam Nawaz Sharif was quick to discredit Khan's claims in a one-word tweet, calling him a "liar".Today's decision by the Punjab government indicates a shift in the ruling party's approach to dealing with Khan's slanderous claims.“If Imran Khan does not provide the name in three days, we will file a defamation notice and a claim in a court of competent jurisdiction,” the Punjab government spokesman warned. Speculation has been rife over the identity of the man who is said to have made the Rs10bn offer, or if there was one at all, with some commentators demanding that it is squarely in the public's interest to know who the person offering the bribe was and whether there is any merit to Khan's claims at all. Surprisingly, PPP leader Nabil Gabol claims to 'know' who the person is. Talking to a private news channel, PTI's Asad Umar said Khan should never have spoken about the offer without having consulted the person who made it beforehand. However, he too said he 'knows' who the person in question is. This is not the first time Imran Khan has been threatened with a lawsuit. In October 2016, Punjab Chief Minsiter Shahbaz Sharif filed a Rs26bn defamation lawsuit against Imran Khan. more...
Full-day report: PSX ends week in red
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:53:40 +0500
The Pakistan Stock Exchange ended the week on a negative note, with the benchmark KSE-100 index losing 180.80 points, or 0.37 per cent, by the close of the trading session to reach 49,300.90. Volumes were led by engineering and commercial banks stocks as the benchmark index continued on the bearish trend which kicked off at the start of this week.112.5 million shares had changed hands by the end of the session, with a total worth of nearly Rs11.3 billion. Stocks of 373 companies were traded, of which 151 gained in value, 210 declined and 12 remained unchanged. Volumes were led by: Aisha Steel Mill: 29m shares traded [-2.80pc]; Engro Polymer: 21.7m shares traded [-0.86pc]; TRG Pak Ltd: 15.7m shares traded [-1.85pc]; K-Electric: 15.2m shares traded [+0.25pc]; and, Dewan Cement: 12.8m shares traded [-2.63pc]. more...
Tayyaba torture case: child maid's parents decline to pursue case in court
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:18:15 +0500
The parents of Tayyaba, a 10-year-old child maid allegedly tortured by her employers, told the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday that they do not wish to pursue the case against Additional District and Sessions Judge Raja Khurram Ali Khan and his wife. A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar had taken suo motu notice of the case of alleged abuse and torture of the child after images of the girl began circulating on social media. Tayyaba had been employed as domestic help in Khurram's home in Islamabad's I-8/1 for a couple of years. Since January this year, Tayyaba has been residing in Pakistan Sweet Homes, an orphanage managed by the Pakistan Baitul Mal.Muhammad Azam and Nusrat Bibi, the parents of the young girl, submitted a request for reconciliation in the IHC today and said that false allegations had been levelled against Raja Khurram Ali Khan and his wife."He (Raja) and his wife have nothing to do with Tayyaba's torture," the parents explained. "We do not want to pursue the case further."The court, upon hearing the statement, issued a notice seeking a response from the police by May 5.Justice Mohsin Akhtar sought an affidavit from Tayyaba's parents regarding the matter. The copy of the affidavit, available with DawnNews, read, "Due to poverty and financial constraints we placed Tayyaba in the custody of former additional sessions judge Raja Khurram Ali's household.""She disappeared from their residence on December 27, after which Raja Khurram called me and informed me of her disappearance and that a missing person report was filed in I-9 police station.""The case against former additional judge Khurram Ali Khan was filed as a conspiracy against him," the affidavit read. "Raja Khurram Ali and his wife, Maheen Zafar, are innocent."On Feb 10, during a hearing in the IHC, Tayyaba's father had submitted an affidavit to a local court claiming her employers did not torture her, bringing the case back to where it was at the start of the year.A few days later on Feb 20, Maheen Zafar had submitted a written request to the interior ministry stating that the leader of a "mafia" is conspiring against her and her husband. "The mafia maligned Raja Khurram Ali Khan with fabricated stories," the request stated, adding that negative propaganda was created via social media reports of Tayyaba's torture. more...
German officer disguised himself as refugee for terrorist attack, investigators say
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:14:37 +0500
Berlin police on Wednesday arrested a German lieutenant suspected of posing as a Syrian refugee to carry out an attack that would be blamed on migrants, The Washington Post reported.The 28-year-old officer, whose name has not been disclosed, is facing charges of plotting a terrorist attack, fraud and violation of gun laws after being arrested while undergoing training in Germany, the daily said.A 24-year-old student suspected of being the officer's accomplice was also arrested after police raids in Germany, France and Austria.A "variety of weapons" found in the 24-year-old's house have also been recovered by the police, the Post said.The discovery of weapons in the student's home and the officer's assumed identity as a Syrian refugee have led authorities to believe that the two men were planning an attack to fuel resentment against asylum seekers, the daily said.The publication quoted Nadja Niesen, spokeswoman of the Frankfurt prosecutor's office, as saying that the lieutenant and the 24-year-old had exchanged phone messages revealing “a xenophobic attitude."According to the Post, the main suspect had registered as a Syrian refugee in 2015 and subsequently applied for registration in Bavaria.The lietenant was given a place in a refugee shelter in Bavaria and was receiving benefits as well, the Post added, quoting prosecutors in Frankfurt who are in charge of the investigation.Earlier this year, the suspect was temporarily held by authorities in Austria when he attempted to retrieve a loaded gun he had hidden in a restroom at Vienna airport.The daily quoted Niesen as saying that the suspect did not appear to have any Arabic language skills."Why this went unnoticed, I'm unable to say," Niesen added.The officer had been stationed in France, however: "it does not mean that he was there every day. He could move freely in his spare time," a spokeswoman of Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office explained. more...
Iran lodges protest with Pakistan over killing of border guards
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 13:43:16 +0500
Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Bahram Qasemi on Friday summoned Ambassador to Iran Asif Ali Khan Durrani to lodge a protest over the killing of ten Iranian border guards in a militant attack on the Pakistan-Iran border earlier this week, IRNA reported.Ten border guards of Mirjaveh county in Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan province were killed in an ambush by terrorists along the Pakistani border’s zero-point on Wednesday.After the attack, Iranian police said the guards were killed by long-range guns and “the Pakistani government bears the ultimate responsibility of the attack”.Iran-based militant group Jaish al Adl, or the Army of Justice, had claimed responsibility for the attack.During Friday's meeting in Tehran, the spokesperson urged Pakistan to adopt strict measures to ensure that no such incident takes place again, the daily said."We strongly expect the Pakistan government to adopt serious measures for the arrest and punishment of terrorists," the Iranian publication quoted the spokesperson as saying.“Unfortunately, Pakistani side of Iran’s borders are the most insecure ones and we expect Islamabad to honour its previous promises and prevent a repetition of such attacks,” the spokesperson told Durrani.Durrani had offered condolences over the loss of life in the militant attack, IRNA said. more...
‘PIA has incurred more than Rs341bn in liabilities’
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 01:37:46 +0500
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has incurred more than Rs341 billion foreign and local liabilities as of June 30, 2016, the airline’s finance manager told the National Assembly Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat on Thursday.PIA Finance Manager Omar Bin Sadat told parliamentarians foreign liabilities stood at Rs71 billion and local liabilities are over 270 billion.The committee met to ask the airline’s officials about the Federal Investigation Authority’s enquiries into alleged practices of corruption, discuss problems with dry and wet leases of aircrafts and the commercial restructuring of the national flag carrier.However, senior officials from the PIA could not give satisfactory answers to the questions asked by members. Annoyed, the chairman of the committee, PML-N MNA Rana Mohammad Hayat Khan repeatedly raised his voice at the PIA officials for coming to the meeting unprepared.“I have complained to the prime minister that the PIA is nothing more than a carrier of drugs,” MNA Khan said and asked why PIA officials did not have answers to the questions they were being asked.He directed the secretary of the committee to lodge another complaint on behalf of the committee with the prime minister regarding the officials’ poor performance and not taking the meeting seriously.PTI MNA Asad Omar was disappointed to learn no progress had been made during the last 12 months regarding the commercial restructuring of the PIA. “I have more information from last year on the restructuring of the PIA than the officials have now,” he said.In his briefing, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Director General retired Air Marshal Asim Suleman said five international companies had expressed interest in operating PIA airports.“These companies have extensive experience in operating both international and domestic airports. The CAA will keep regulatory control of the airports,” Mr Suleman said.According to him, the National Aviation Policy 2015 provided an opportunity for the outsourcing of airports to world class airport operators of international standing through a transparent and competitive process. He maintained that the objective was to achieve better operability and enhanced efficiency at major airports.He told the committee that the offer of the highest revenue share percentage will be considered.“The CAA intends to hand over airport operations by June 2017,” he said. Published in Dawn, April 28th, 2017 more...
Pakistan refuses ADB loan for railway as China becomes sole financier
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:34:39 +0500
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has refused part financing from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the $8 billion Karachi-Peshawar Railway Line (ML-1) after China said it wanted to fund the project single-handedly.“China strongly argued that two-sourced financing would create problems and the project would suffer,” Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal told a news conference on Thursday.The minister said he would not comment whether the Ministry of Railways has resisted the Chinese request for fears of monopoly, but said the entire financing would now come from China. The project was originally planned to be partly funded by the Manila-based ADB. Minister claims Planning Commission saved Rs560bn in four years He said the ADB would be accommodated in some other projects, such as those under the Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation programme.Under the original plan, the ADB had to provide $3.5bn for the 1,700-kilometre-long line considered the backbone of the country’s logistics connecting two major ports with the rest of the country for transporting goods and passengers.The minister said the Chinese government therefore wanted that the project financing should be kept single-sourced. Pakistan and China are expected to sign a formal agreement in this regard next month.Mr Iqbal said the Planning Commission was making efforts to maximise allocation of funds for the next year’s development programme as it would be the final year of the current government. Therefore, the government would like to complete maximum number of projects during this period so as to support the growth momentum.He said it was also important to have larger development portfolio for the next year because it would trigger activity in the construction industry on which a number of other growth-oriented industries were dependent because of its potential to create jobs.“But we also have to balance ways and means,” he said, adding that the Planning Commission demanded Rs1 trillion for the of next year’s public sector development programme (PSDP), but the finance ministry has put a ceiling of Rs700bn.He said the finance minister and the prime minister would be requested to increase development allocations. The minister said the annual plan coordination committee would meet on May 17 to finalise next year’s development programme. And for a formal approval, the Planning Commission has proposed a meeting of the National Economic Council on May 21 or 22, depending on prime minister’s availability.Mr Iqbal said that since the current government came to power in 2013, the commission has saved Rs560bn by cutting project costs, transparency and scrutiny.This included $1.6bn saving in highway projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Rs70bn in Jamshoro Coal Power Project. He said another $1bn saving has been secured from three liquefied natural gas–based power projects through competitive bidding by the executing agencies.He said the increased development portfolio has exposed the capacity of the various ministries and executing agencies to process a massive workload. Also, these agencies have formulated their project papers on the basis of feasibility studies prepared by international consultants.Mr Iqbal said the government has decided not to include any major project in the PSDP without completion of technical designs and financial closures. Previous governments included thousands of projects through “token allocations” without protecting major ongoing projects, he added.He said it was observed that 70pc of cost overruns were resulting because of inadequate financing in the PSDP. For example, the Bolan Medical College was started by former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto at an estimated cost of Rs7.5 million, but it was finally completed at a cost of Rs130m due to inadequate funding.This also inflates projects’ cost, delays implementation, and results in hundreds of white elephants like Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project, which was started at cost of Rs80bn but ended up costing more than Rs500bn because the project’s design kept changing as the implementation progressed.He said the government also revived some of the dead projects which had already consumed a lot of funds. Some of these included Quetta-Gwadar Highway (N-85) that was under suspension and was revived by the current government and made a connection under the western route of the CPEC.Lowari Tunnel, Islamabad International Airport, Katchhi Canal and Chitral Hydropower Project were some other important projects that became a subject of neglect, corruption and mismanagement, but they have been revived and would be completed during the current fiscal year, he said.Responding to a question, the minister said the current development portfolio involved 752 projects of Rs7.3tr.Published in Dawn, April 28th, 2017 more...
Mashal Khan murder case: five more suspects arrested
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:08:19 +0500
Mardan police on Friday arrested five more suspects in the Mashal Khan murder case, police officials told DawnNews.District Police Officer (DPO) Mardan Dr Mian Saeed said the latest arrests, which include three students and two employees of the university, were made from different districts.The DPO Mardan noted that out of the 49 identified suspects, 47 had been arrested so far. the two suspects who remain at large are believed to be hiding in tribal areas, he added.Investigation teams have been formed for their arrests, while the coordination of political agents in tribal areas has also been sought, Saeed said.The arrests come a day after Mardan's Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Mohammad Alam Shinwari announced the arrest of a member of the lynch mob who had shot Mashal Khan.The DIG said the man arrested was Mashal's classfellow and a student in the university's journalism department. He added that the pistol with which Imran shot Mashal had also been recovered and the suspected had "accepted his crime" during investigation and interrogation. Mashal, 23, a student of Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan (AWKUM) was shot and beaten to death by a violent mob on university premises on April 13.Police officials said that he had been accused of running Facebook pages "which allegedly published blasphemous content".Read more: Mardan university student lynched by mob over alleged blasphemy: police more...
ECP deprives PTI of its election symbol ‘bat’
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 03:23:09 +0500
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan has formally sent written directives to all the four provincial election commissions not to allot ‘bat’ as election symbol to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf candidates in any future by-elections because of its failure to hold intra-party elections. According to the letter, a copy of which is available with Dawn, the election authorities in the provinces have been informed about the ECP decision that “symbol bat” could not be allotted to the PTI in future elections “till the completion of intra-party elections and fulfillment of legal requirements by the party”. After these directives, any ticket holder of the PTI can contest an upcoming by-election on any seat of the National Assembly, provincial assembly or in any local government election as an independent candidate, but not on the party’s election symbol ‘bat’. Under Section 12 of the Political Parties Order 2002, a party is not eligible to get an election symbol for any election if it fails to hold intra-party elections in accordance with its constitution. Party’s new commissioner to announce election schedule soon In a recent by-election on a provincial assembly seat in Chakwal, the ECP had stopped the PTI candidate from contesting the election on symbol of “bat”, but the party managed to get a decision in its favour through the Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court at the eleventh hour. The PTI had accused the ECP of singling out the party. The commission dismissed the allegation as “ridiculous”. Under Section 11 of the Political Parties Order, the leader and other office-bearers of every political party at the federal, provincial and local levels are required to be elected periodically in accordance with its constitution through secret ballot based on a democratic and transparent system. Section 12 of the order reads: “The party leader of each political party shall, within seven days of completion of the intra-party elections, submit a certificate under his signatures to the Election Commission to the effect that the elections were held in accordance with the constitution of the party and this Order to elect the party leader and other office-bearers at the federal, provincial and local levels, wherever applicable.” The certificate should contain information regarding the date of the last party elections, names, designations and addresses of the party leader and all other office-bearers elected at various levels. The election results, including the total number of votes cast and the number of votes secured by each contestant for all of its party offices, and a copy of the party’s notifications declaring the results of the election, are supposed to be submitted as well. The PTI’s last intra-party elections were held on March 23, 2013, and according to its own constitution, it was supposed to conduct the exercise by March 23, 2017, which it did not. The PTI has been unable to hold the elections after a number of its members alleged rigging in the last elections. PTI chairman Imran Khan had constituted a tribunal under retired Justice Wajihuddin to investigate the matter. The tribunal had not only confirmed the rigging but also recommended action against those responsible for it and even called for removal of some key party office-bearers, including secretary general Jahangir Tareen. But instead of implementing the tribunal’s recommendations, Mr Khan dissolved the tribunal that created a rift between Mr Khan and Justice Wajihuddin, which ultimately led to the ouster of the latter from the party. Mr Khan then nominated Tasneem Noorani as new election commissioner, but he also resigned from the post in March last year after developing differences with the party chairman over the mode of election and other technical issues. When contacted, PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry told Dawn that the party had recently appointed Senator Azam Swati as new election commissioner to hold elections. He said Mr Swati would soon announce the election schedule.Published in Dawn, April 28th, 2017 more...
Female Muslim clerics in Indonesia issue rare fatwas
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 20:12:49 +0500
Female Islamic clerics in Indonesia declared a series of fatwas Thursday, including one to tackle child marriage, a rare example of women taking a leading religious role in the Muslim-majority country.The fatwas were issued at the end of a three-day congress of female clerics in the country with the world's biggest Muslim population.The meeting in Cirebon on Java island, billed as the world's first major gathering of female Muslim clerics, attracted hundreds of participants. Most were Indonesian but there were also clerics from Pakistan, India and Saudi Arabia.They issued a series of fatwas at the end of the gathering, the most eye-catching of which was aimed at tackling child marriage. It urged the government to raise the minimum legal age for women to marry to 18 from the current age of 16.The United Nations childrens' agency UNICEF defines child marriage as a formal marriage or informal union before age 18, and says women are most affected.The problem is widespread in Indonesia, with one in four women marrying before 18, according to the agency.Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, who attended the meeting, suggested authorities would examine the proposal: “I will take this recommendation to the government.” He also praised the gathering: “This congress succeeded in fighting for justice in the relationship between men and women.” Among the other fatwas issued was one against women being sexually abused; and one against environmental destruction, in a country that struggles every year with huge fires that are started illegally and devastate vast swathes of rainforest.While the Ulema Council has issued rulings on environmental protection in the past, it tends to focus on religious topics such as edicts against blasphemy. It has rarely dealt with any issues affecting women.About 90 per cent of Indonesia's population of 255 million people are Muslim. more...
Minister of Inter-Provincial Coordination Riaz Pirzada resigns
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 10:42:04 +0500
Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Riaz Pirzada resigned from his post on Friday, citing reservations against the suspension of Director General Pakistan Sports Board Dr Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera as the reason behind his decision, DawnNews reported.The federal government on Wednesday suspended DG PSB for three months, though no charge was mentioned against the DG in the notification of suspension.Ganjera enjoys support from Pirzada, who has decided to take up the matter with the Prime Minister."I have been disrespected enough by the prime minister's principle secretary," Pirzada said. "I will not be disrespected more and will not retract my resignation." In his resignation to the prime minister, a copy of which is available with DawnNews, Pirzada said:"There has been a continued interference in my ministry and affiliated departments by your principal secretary. This suggests either a lack of confidence in my abilities or a loss of faith and trust. This has not only distressed me but also clipped my powers. As said — clip the wings of the bird and ask it to fly." Pirzada, while visiting the Sports Board in Islamabad, announced that he had officially handed in his resignation.According to DawnNews, Pirzada alleged that there is high-level corruption in all parts of the government, adding, "I will not say anything about the prime minister's situation at the moment." more...
Sharif mulls over strategy to deal with Imran’s fresh allegation
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 03:22:28 +0500
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has started mulling over a strategy to deal with a fresh allegation levelled against his family by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan that the Sharif brothers offered him Rs10 billion for not taking up the Panama Papers issue. Mr Sharif chaired a meeting at the Prime Minister House here on Thursday during which he consulted with his closed aides and legal team about the fresh allegation and considered the option of going to court against Mr Khan. “The meeting considered different options, including taking Mr Khan to court, so that people could know about the facts,” Adviser to the PM on Legal Affairs Barrister Zafarullah told Dawn. He said the prime minister was briefed on the fresh allegation and the legal team reviewed different angles of it. Although there was no official announcement by the PM House on the meeting, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb while talking to Dawn confirmed that a PM-led meeting was held. However, she said she did not know about the content of the meeting. The PTI chief’s new allegation has triggered a debate in the political circles of the country. According to media reports, during the meeting the prime minister categorically rejected the fresh allegation of Mr Khan against his family. The participants of the meeting were of the opinion that if the PTI chief was taken to court he could be disqualified for telling a lie under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution. Some participants of the meeting were of the view that by levelling the fresh allegation Mr Khan was trying to get political mileage. They called for him to disclose the name of the person who, according to him, had offered him money on behalf of the Sharif brothers. Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah has urged Mr Khan to disclose the name of the person who has offered him the money on behalf of the Sharif brothers. He expressed the fear that if the PTI chief failed to do so his political career would be at stake. In a statement, Mr Shah said it could be one of the biggest scandals in the country and it must be investigated at the appropriate forum. The opposition leader said Mr Khan would be the most irresponsible political leader of the country if he failed to prove his claim. He said it was quite easy to discuss such type of things with friends, but when such statements were made publicly they had serious impact on politics. Mr Shah said offering bribe was one of the biggest crimes in democratic set-ups. “Offering bribe is a bigger crime than compromising on morality,” he said. Published in Dawn, April 28th, 2017 more...
Mardan police announce arrest of shooter in Mashal lynching case
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 16:53:42 +0500
Mardan's Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Mohammad Alam Shinwari on Thursday announced that the young man who shot Mashal Khan in the Mardan lynching incident had been arrested.Mashal, 23, a student of Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan (AWKUM) was shot and beaten to death by a violent mob on university premises on April 13. Police officials said that he had been accused of running Facebook pages "which allegedly published blasphemous content". Read more: Mardan university student lynched by mob over alleged blasphemy: policeAddressing the press, the DIG said police had acquired CCTV footage of the incident.He added that after conducting investigations, police had today arrested a man identified as Imran, who is suspected of having shot the 23-year-old student.The DIG said the man arrested was Mashal's class fellow and a student in the university's journalism department.He added that the pistol with which Imran shot Mashal had also been recovered."During the initial investigation and interrogation that we conducted, he [Imran] accepted his crime," Shinwari added.The DIG said the police are "investigating the case from every aspect," adding that members of the Supreme Court-ordered Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the incident had visited the university campus and met with administrative staff there.Members of the JIT had also interviewed those accused in the case, Shinwari added.Earlier today, Additional Advocate General (AAG) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Waqar Ahmed had told the Supreme Court that the shooter in the case had been identified but remained at large.A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar was informed by the AAG KP that the person who shot at Mashal thrice has yet to be arrested. Police found three bullet casings from the scene of the crime, he added. The lawyer submitted a report detailing that a total of 36 accused, including nine university staffers, had been arrested in connection with the case, six of whom have confessed to involvement in Mashal's murder before a magistrate under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The main accused in the case, Bilal Baksh, a security in-charge at Abdul Wali Khan University, had been taken into custody earlier this week.The lawyer told the bench that as per the court's instructions, a Joint Investigation Team including representatives from Inter-Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence and Federal Investigation Agency had been set up to probe the lynching. more...
Suspected US drone strike kills seven 'militants' in North Waziristan
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 18:29:18 +0500
A suspected US drone strike killed several Taliban militants in North Waziristan close to the Afghanistan border, one militant commander and intelligence sources said on Thursday, in a rare strike on Pakistani soil.If confirmed, the air strike, which happened on Wednesday, would only be the second drone attack inside the nation since US President Donald Trump took office in January.Explore: Trump gives CIA authority to conduct drone strikes: WSJAbdullah Wazirstani, spokesman for the North Waziristan Taliban, a group linked to the Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP) Pakistan, said the strike killed three civilian 'labourers' and seven militants from the TTP.Malik Waheedullah, a local tribal leader, told Reuters he saw two missiles strike a mountain home which caught fire. "I drove away as fast as I could," he said.Reuters quoted one Pakistani intelligence official and government source who said they believed the strike to be a US drone attack.US officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.North Waziristan was a Taliban stronghold until 2014, when the Army launched a major offensive against the group and pushed many of its fighters across the border into Afghanistan.Sources from the TTP identified one of the dead militants as Abdur Rahman, a senior commander of the group.US drone attacks inside Pakistan have become rare over the past few years. In its last high-profile attack inside Pakistan, the United States last May killed Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour in the southwestern province of Baluchistan. more...
Top-level Pak Army delegation meets Afghan officials
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 17:01:01 +0500
A high-level Pakistan Army delegation headed by Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Bilal Akbar in a visit to Afghanistan offered free medical treatment to Afghans injured in an attack on a military base in Mazar-i-Sharif last week. The delegation, on the direction of Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, met Afghanistan's acting Defence Minister Tariq Shah Bahramee and the Afghan Army Chief Gen Muhammad Sharif Yaftali, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement. The top-level delegation held talks with Afghan officials over bilateral border coordination measures, and conveyed condolences on behalf of Gen Bajwa over the loss of lives in the Mazar-i-Sharif attack, and expressed solidarity with the Afghan forces and people. Afghan authorities during the meeting were assured that the Pakistan Army has control over all areas on the Pakistan side of the border and would not allow its soil to be used against Afghanistan, ISPR said. "Terrorists are a common threat and shall be defeated," the statement read. The meeting was held a day after the Army released a 'confessional' video showing former Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and Jamaatul Ahrar spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan, in which the militant claimed that the TTP and JA have been coordinating with Indian and Afghan security agencies to move freely in Afghanistan and have been guided by the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India's apex spy agency, in infiltrating into Pakistan. Ehsan said that militants had fled to Afghanistan after Pakistan Army kicked off an operation in North Waziristan. In Afghanistan, they established and developed contacts with the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan's intelligence service, and India's RAW. The army had also announced a day before the meeting that several militants attempting to enter Khyber Agency from Afghanistan's Nangarhar province had been killed in targeted air strikes in the Sattar Kalay and Narai Nau areas of Rajgal Valley. more...
Pemra bans airing of terrorists' interviews
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 15:59:40 +0500
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Thursday placed a ban on the broadcast of interviews of terrorists, a notification shared on the regulatory authority's Twitter page stated. Geo News was slated to air an interview with former Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan on Thursday night at 11pm. According to the notification, a terrorist cannot be allowed to use any channel's platform to give an interview as it would undermine the efforts of Pakistan Army soldiers who have fought against militant elements and laid down their lives for the country. It further said that airing an interview 'of a known militant' would be 'heart-wrenching and deeply disturbing' for the colleagues, family, and friends who have lost their loved ones in acts of terrorism in the country. more...
Two US troops killed fighting IS in Afghanistan
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:24:25 +0500
Two US troops were killed and one was wounded while fighting the militant Islamic State group in Afghanistan, the US military said Thursday, near where Washington this month dropped the “Mother of All Bombs”. US Forces-Afghanistan said the troops “came under attack during a raid against insurgents in Nangarhar province” late Wednesday.The troops were working with partnered Afghan soldiers in the raid against IS Khorasan, a local offshoot of the militant group based in Iraq and Syria.“The fight against ISIS-K is important for the world, but sadly, it is not without sacrifice,” said US Forces-Afghanistan chief General John Nicholson, using the military's name for IS Khorasan.In mid-April, the US military earlier dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb it has ever used in combat, hitting IS positions in Nangarhar.The deployment of the so-called Mother Of All Bombs (MOAB) killed at least 95 militants, according to the Afghan defence ministry, but fighting in the area has continued.“Last night US forces along with some Afghan forces, conducted a night time operation in a village next to Assadkhail village (site of the MOAB),” the governor of Achin district, where the fighting took place, Ismail Shinwari, told AFP.“They used helicopters to deploy forces and the sound of heavy fighting could be heard from the site. We don't know anything about possible American casualties, but as per our information, up to 40 IS fighters were killed in the operation,” he added.On Thursday evening IS claimed on its website to have repelled an attack conducted by American and Afghan forces and to have caused US casualties.US Forces-Afghanistan did not immediately provide additional information ahead of notification of the dead troops' next of kin.An American special forces soldier was killed while conducting operations against IS in Nangarhar on April 8.America has about 8,400 troops in Afghanistan. Most are part of a NATO mission to train and advise Afghan partner forces.But about 2,150 of these troops work in a counterterrorism role and are more likely to be engaged in actual combat.IS, notorious for its reign of terror in Syria and Iraq, has made inroads into Afghanistan in recent years, attracting disaffected members of the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban as well as Uzbek militants.But the group has steadily lost ground in the face of heavy pressure both from US air strikes and a ground offensive led by Afghan forces.This week Afghan authorities arrested 35 soldiers who served on an army base in northern Afghanistan where the Taliban staged a deadly attack last week as fears grew they had inside help.The brutal assault in which 135 recruits were killed is believed to be the deadliest-ever Taliban attack on a military installation.Afghan forces, already beset by killings and desertions, have been struggling to beat back insurgents since US-led NATO troops ended their combat mission in December 2014. more...
Pakistan expresses grief over death of Iranian border guards
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 20:30:27 +0500
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday expressed grief over the deaths of at least eight Iranian border guards who died in an exchange of fire with a militant group on the Pakistan-Iran border, said a statement released by the ministry.The message was conveyed by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi to the Iranian ambassador. “Pakistan reaffirmed its full cooperation with the government of Iran for strengthening coordination and security along the border,” said the statement. The ministry statement added that the relevant authorities of the two countries are also in contact with each other in this regard. Pakistan also conveyed its sincere condolences to the government and people of Iran. The Iranian border guards were killed in clashes with armed rebels Wednesday on the border with Pakistan.Iranian media said the clashes broke out in the Mirjaveh region of Sistan-Baluchistan province. more...
Raddul Fasaad: 5 killed, 11 arrested in operations across Pakistan, says ISPR
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 19:21:38 +0500
Five terrorists were killed and 11 apprehended during search and intelligence-based operations carried out in different parts of the country during the last 24 hours, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement released today. ISPR, the military’s media wing, stated that security forces conducted 29 cordon and search operations and 12 intelligence-based operations in parts of Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Fata. During an intelligence-based operation in the Gawak area of Mand, Balochistan, five terrorists belonging to proscribed organisations were killed. Two FC men were also injured in the operation, which was jointly conducted by the Frontier Corps and intelligence agencies. In KP, a terrorist plot was foiled by the Frontier Constabulary, which carried out an intelligence-based operation in Bar Qambar Khel, Bara in Khyber agency. During the operation, two terrorists, Shahid and Abdul Raziq, who were planning a major terrorist attack based on foreign directives, were apprehended, the ISPR revealed. A large quantity of explosives was also recovered from the terrorists.In a separate search operation conducted in Giga Khel, South Waziristan, security forces claimed to have recovered a large amount of explosives. 29 cordon and search operations were also conducted in Punjab during the last 24-hours. Nine terrorists were apprehended during these operations, which were conducted in Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Lodhran, Pakpattan, Bahawalnagar and other parts of Punjab, the ISPR statement said. more...
Confessions of former TTP spokesman, Indian spy have 'unveiled India's nefarious designs,' says FO
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 13:52:21 +0500
Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria on Thursday said revelations made in the confessional statements of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav and former Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan have "unveiled India's nefarious designs" in Pakistan."The confessions have proven that India has been involved in supporting terrorist activities in Pakistan," the spokesperson said at the FO's weekly briefing.A day earlier, the Army had released the 'confessional statement' of Liaquat Ali, infamously known as Ehsanullah Ehsan, who served as a spokesperson for the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) and had reportedly surrendered to the Army last week.In his confessional statement, Ehsan claimed that the TTP and JuA have been coordinating with Indian and Afghan security agencies to move freely in Afghanistan and have been guided by the Research and Analysis Wing, India's apex spy agency, when infiltrating into Pakistan."It has also been revealed that [Jamaat-ul-Ahrar Leader] Omar Khalid Khorasani received medical treatment in India," Zakariya added in today's briefing.The spokesperson further said that the "killing of 13 Indians in Afghanistan" in the United States' bombing of Nangarhar province in Afghanistan earlier this month shows that the Taliban are being supported by India.Earlier this month, the US had dropped the 'mother of all bombs' on a suspected base of the militant Islamic State of Khorasan group, which draws most of its fighters from the TTP. Media reports said that at least 13 Indians had been killed in the attack."Afghani and Indian spy agencies are involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan," Zakaria repeated as he called on the international community to take notice of India’s interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs and pay heed to Ehsan's confessional statement.The spokesperson said that the matter would be raised at all international platforms. more...
5 'miscreants' killed in Balochistan near Pak-Iran border
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 16:16:27 +0500
The bodies of five 'militants' believed to be involved in recent attacks on the Frontier Crops (FC) were found in Balochistan's Kech district on Thursday morning.Levies sources revealed the bodies were found in the Gwak area of Mand near the Pak-Iran border. A father and son were among the dead, they said. Deputy Commissioner Kech Sirmad Ali Khan said the five men were killed in an operation by security forces. The 'miscreants' were involved in a series of terrorist activities in the area, he claimed. Baloch militants surrendering to the Government of Pakistan on April 21, 2017.— Asmatullah Kakar Meanwhile, a security official who declined to be named told Dawn.com that along with the five dead, two FC personnel were also injured during the raid. He confirmed that the dead miscreants were involved in a recent attack on the FC force operating in the area.Just last week, 431 rebels believed to be from Balochistan's separatist outfits surrendered themselves to security forces in a ceremony attended by government and army officials. more...

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