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PAKISTAN: News Briefs

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Police responsible for Rawalpindi Ashura violence, says fact-finding committee report: The fact-finding committee constituted to probe the November 15, 2013, Rawalpindi incident that killed eight people in an attack on Ashura procession on November 25 presented its report to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif which held the Police responsible for the tragedy. The report said the Police had failed to take necessary and timely action which could have prevented the tragedy from occurring and that coordination among institutions was almost non-existent. Dawn, November 26, 2013.

PTI-led Peshawar drone protesters block NATO supply route: Thousands of people led by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) protesting United States (US) drone strikes blocked a road in Peshawar (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) on November 23 used to truck NATO troop supplies and equipment in and out of Afghanistan. On November 21, PTI chief Imran Khan while condemning the drone attacks said that his party would stage a huge protest demonstration in Peshawar on November 23, 2013 to block NATO supplies in Pakistan forever.

Meanwhile, on November 22, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid said that the announcement made by PTI Chief Imran Khan to block NATO supplies in protest against drone attacks is an appreciable step. "Imran Khan has taken a welcome step," TTP spokesperson said while talking to reporters from an undisclosed location. "No there is no question of ceasefire," he said responding to a query regarding any chance of respite for peace. Daily Times; Tribune; The News, November 22-25 2013.

'No double standards on drone strikes, says Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on November 22 that his Government did not believe in double standards on drone strikes and he had raised the issue with United States (US) President Barack Obama and asked him to stop them. He said that drone attacks were totally unacceptable and counterproductive. Daily Times; Hindu, November 21-23, 2013.

Doctor Shakeel Afridi who helped CIA find Osama bin Laden charged with murder case: Doctor Shakeel Afridi, who helped the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) find al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has been charged with murder in a case related to a teenage boy who died after the doctor performed surgery on him for appendicitis in 2006, his lawyer Samiullah Afridi said on November 22. Laden was killed on May 1-2, 2011. Times of India, November 23, 2013.

At least 10 persons killed and over 78 others injured in sectarian clashes in Rawalpindi: At least 10 persons were killed and over 78 others were injured in sectarian clashes that erupted during a Muharram (the mourning period observed by the Shias, commemorating the tragedy of Karbala) procession near Fawara Chowk in Rawalpindi of Punjab on November 15. The incident occurred as mob turned against the Police personnel deputed in the area for security. Tribune, November 16, 2013.

'Chief financier' of Haqqani Network killed in Islamabad, says Afghan Taliban: The 'chief fundraiser' of the Haqqani Network, Nasiruddin Haqqani, was shot dead by unidentified militants in Islamabad, the Afghan Taliban said on November 11. "I can confirm that Nasiruddin Haqqani, 36, was shot dead in Islamabad's Bhara Kahu area on Sunday night. At least four gunmen opened fire on him," an unnamed senior Afghan Taliban source from the Haqqani Network said.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on November 15 ordered a probe into the killing of Nasiruddin Haqqani. Daily Times, November 12, 2013; The News, November 16, 2013.

Pakistan would continue to support the separatist cause in Jammu and Kashmir, says National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz: National Security Advisor (NSA) Sartaj Aziz during his meeting with separatists in the State, led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, chairman of the on All Parties Hurriyat Conference-Geelani (APHC-G), on November 10 said that Pakistan would continue to support the separatist cause in the State. Aziz's response was in reaction to Geelani conveying to Sartaj Aziz that the 'Musharraf formula' on Kashmir was unacceptable to Kashmiris and that Pakistan should instead stress on the UN resolution "pending since 1947" over the issue. Musharraf's four points included demilitarization, maximum autonomy, making border irrelevant and joint management of the area. Times of India, November 14, 2013.

29 civilians and 27 militants among 57 persons killed during the week in Sindh: Eight persons including seven gangsters killed in gang-war in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, on November 10.

Seven people were killed in separate incidents of violence across the Karachi on November 9.

Four persons killed in separate incidents of violence and target killing in Karachi on November 8.

At least eight persons, including six gangsters, were shot dead in Lyari Town on November 7.

Seven people were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi on November 6.

Four cadres and two supporters of the Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jama'at (ASWJ) were shot dead on November 5 in tit-for-tat killings a day after four Shia community members were shot dead on November 4 in Karachi.

Seven persons including five Shias killed in sectarian attacks in Karachi on November 4. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer,, November 4-10, 2013.

TTP announces wave of revenge attacks: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) announced on November 8 that they would orchestrate a wave of revenge attacks against the Government. "We will target security forces, government installations, political leaders and police," said Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani, the interim chief of the TTP. He said the TTP's main target included army and government installations in Punjab. "We have a plan. But I want to make one thing clear. We will not target civilians, bazaars or public places. People do not need to be afraid," Shaheen added. "Pakistan has full information about drone attacks," said Shaheen. "Pakistan is a slave of America. It is an American colony." Daily Times, November 9, 2013.

Karachi operation to continue indefinitely, says Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on November 8 said that the operation to purge Karachi of criminals will continue 'indefinitely', reports The Express Tribune. "We will neither call off the operation nor reduce its intensity…the action will continue until the last criminal is netted," he said. He dispelled impressions that the ongoing operation is aimed at any political party. He added that high-profile suspects detained by Police and Rangers would be moved to other Provinces so that they could be tried without any fear. Tribune, November 9, 2013.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says Government wants to hold talks with militants: Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif on November 8 said that the Government wanted to resolve issues with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) through talks. Speaking to traders at the Governor House, he said a Government delegation was to hold talks with the TTP but now there was a hurdle, an apparent reference to the killing of TTP 'chief' Hakimullah Mehsud in a US drone strike on November 1. He said, "We don't want further bloodshed and killing of our brothers and sisters. This matter should have been resolved earlier but now it is incumbent upon us to address this issue". The News, November 9, 2013.

Former President General Pervez Musharraf freed from jail: Former President General Pervez Musharraf was formally released on November 6 from his sub-jail. Pervez Musharraf was imprisoned in his Chak Shehzad farmhouse near Islamabad which was declared a sub-jail, reports Daily Times. He was released from the sub-jail after he submitted two surety bonds of Rs 100,000 two days after being granted bail in the murder case of Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Rasheed Ghazi. Ahmed Raza Kasuri, counsel for the former military dictator, said that Musharraf's release was not part of any deal and the ex-president would address a "historic press conference" after his release from the sub-jail. He claimed that fake cases were instituted against his client. Daily Times, November 8, 2013.

Mullah Fazlullah named new TTP 'chief': The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) ruled out the possibility of peace talks with Pakistan as Mullah Fazlullah, the leader of the Swat Taliban, was named the new chief on November 7. Fazlullah was elected by the supreme shura (supreme council) a week after Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a US drone strike on November 1. Sheikh Khalid Haqqani was chosen as his deputy. The TTP leaders from as far afield as Kurram Agency, Orakzai Agency, Bajaur Agency, Tank and South Waziristan participated in the meeting. Fazlullah is the first TTP chief who is not from Waziristan. His deputy, Khalid Haqqani, hails from Swabi. It is for the first time that the TTP leadership comprises men from urban areas and not from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Tribune, November 8, 2013.

First phase of Karachi operation complete with 9,000 arrests, claims Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan: Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on November 7 informed the Senate that the first phase of the targeted operation in Karachi had been completed during which 9,000 criminals were arrested. In reply to a question, the Minister said a time frame for the operation could not be disclosed, adding that several objectives had been met and this was evident with the decrease in target killings and extortion. "The second phase of the operation is underway and the third phase will be severe," he added. The News, November 8, 2013.

TTP 'chief' Hakimullah Mehsud killed in US drone attack in FATA: Hakimullah Mehsud, the 'chief' of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was killed in a US drone strike in the Dandy Darpakhel area, five kilometers north of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan Agency (NWA), in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on November 1. Intelligence officials said Hakimullah was leaving from a meeting at a mosque in Dandy Darpakhel area when the drone targeted their vehicle. Five militants, including Abdullah Bahar Mehsud and Tariq Mehsud, both key militant 'commanders' and close aides of the TTP chief, were also killed in the attack. Dawn, November 2, 2013.

Government directly supporting militant groups, writes former Pakistan ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani: Pakistan's former ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani accused the Pakistan Government of directly supporting militant groups in his latest book "Magnificent Delusions". Daily Times, November 1, 2013.

[Source: SATP]

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