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0712 flag pakistanSectarian violence in Karachi is just another chapter in Pakistan’s long history of violence against minorities, has afflicted Pakistan virtually from its moment of birth...


U.S. allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, smiling through their teeth, are feverishly hoping that Washington will maintain its security commitments. The Russians are ... . . ..   


A US revaluation of its Af-Pak policy appears likely under Trump... It is, however, unlikely that US AfPak policy under Trump will be ‘more of the same’. Crucially, Pakistan’s role in supporting terrorism in Afghanistan . . .


Escalation of hostility may become a thermonuclear WWIII.


Non-Muslims in violent conflict areas to enhance the security...


With approval of power plants, conflicts have arisen ...


Growing support for suicide terrorism


PAKISTAN: News Briefs

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Any threat to Saudi Arabia will evoke strong response from Pakistan, says CoAS General Raheel Sharif: Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) General Raheel Sharif during his visit to the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) in Pabbi area of Gujrat District (Punjab) on October 30 said that any threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia will evoke a strong response from Pakistan. "Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy strong and brotherly relations which have a long history of deep rooted cooperation," quoted the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement. Tribune, October 31, 2015.

Punjab Government enhances security of 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Muhammad Saeed after 'threat alert': Punjab Government has enhanced the security of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder and Jama'at-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who is accused of masterminding the November 2008, Mumbai terror attack (also known as 26/11), following a Home Department alert that a "foreign intelligence agency" may make an attempt on his chief's life. "We have enhanced the security of Hafiz Saeed in accordance with the directive of the home department," an official of the Punjab Government said on October 27. Times of India, October 30, 2015.

Ensure that no one is forced to endure an investigation or trial on the basis of false blasphemy allegations, Supreme Court tells the Government: Issuing a written order on the dismissal of Malik Mumtaz Qadri's appeal against his death sentence, the Supreme Court on October 27 urged the state to ensure that no one is forced to endure an investigation or trial on the basis of false blasphemy allegations. On October 6, 2015, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, had scrapped a plea seeking revocation of Qadri's death sentence for assassinating former Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer on January 4, 2011. Daily Times, October 29, 2015.

India commits 400 LoC violations, killing 36 Pakistanis, says Ministry of Foreign Affairs: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on October 27 provided information to National Assembly (NA) standing committee that India intends to limit the dialogue with Pakistan to terrorism while Pakistan wants unqualified dialogue on all issues, which is proving to be a deadlock in talks between the two countries. Rana Afzal presided over the committee's meeting attended by not only its members, but also experts on foreign affairs and defence policy. It was told that India had committed 400 violations of the LoC and Working Boundary this year, killing 36 people and injuring 122 others. The News, October 28, 2015.

23 civilians and five SFs among 33 persons killed during the week in Balochistan: Ten people were killed while several others received injuries when a blast ripped through an Imambargah (Shia place of worship) in Bhaag area of Bolan District in Balochistan on October 22.

At least 11 people, including two children, were killed and more than 20 were injured in a bomb blast that occurred inside a local city bus at Dukani Baba Chowk area on Sariab Road in provincial capital Quetta on October 19.

Three Baloch Republican Army (BRA) militants were killed in an exchange of fire with the Frontier Corps during a search operation together in Tasp area of Panjgur District on October 19. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today;Pakistan Observer, October 20-26, 2015.

At least 22 persons killed in suicide blast in Sindh: At least 22 persons including eight children were killed in a suicide blast targetting a 9th Muharram (Shia mourning period) procession near a park in the Lashari area of Jacobabad District in Sindh in the evening of October 23. Police confirmed 40 others including several children, have been injured in the attack. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Zafar Malik said, "It appears from the evidence collected that it was a suicide attack." He added that a pistol has also been found from the site of the blast. The News, October 24, 2015.

All issues including Kashmir to be resolved by India, Pakistan, says US State Department: A United States (US) State Department official on October 23 said that all issues including Kashmir have to be resolved between India and Pakistan. He added that the US can only facilitate and not provide mediation between both countries to come to some terms. The official further said that any civil-nuclear deal was not discussed during the visit of the Pakistani leadership. He also said that good or bad will have to be decided by the Taliban, whether they are for violence or if they want peace in Afghanistan. The News, October 24, 2015.

Pakistan, US want Afghan Taliban come to the table: The United States (US) and Pakistan on October 22 called upon the Afghan Taliban leaders to enter direct talks with Kabul and work towards a sustainable peace settlement. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Barack Obama discussed the importance of continued cooperation against terrorists and violent extremist groups. President Obama affirmed Pakistan's role as a key counter-terrorism partner and recognized the sacrifices that Pakistani civilians, military, and law enforcement personnel have made over the years as they confront terrorism and militant groups. Daily Times, October 23, 2015.

Indigenously-made 'Burraq' drone kills 21 militants, destroys hideouts in FATA: As many as 21 terrorists were killed when Indigenously-made 'Burraq' drone carried out an operation in North Waziristan Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on October 22. According to the ISPR, the 'Burraq' drone fired missiles and destroyed several militant hideouts as well. Sources added that it was the first night strike by Burraq with pinpoint accuracy. The military successfully tested 'Burraq' (flying horse) and test-fired its laser-guided missile 'Barq' (lightning) in March. The News, October 22, 2015.

Pakistan could be fifth largest nuclear power by 2025, says Nuclear Notebook Report: According to the Nuclear Notebook Report by Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Pakistan now has a stockpile of 110-130 warheads, compared with 90-110 in 2011, and at this rate, it could emerge as the fifth largest nuclear power by 2025. The Nuclear Notebook, one of the most authoritative sources of information on Pakistan's nuclear capabilities, also said that Pakistan continues to expand its nuclear arsenal and production of fissile material. Times of India, October 22, 2015.

Islamabad with 'tactical nukes' ready to counter Indian aggression, says Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry: Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry while speaking on a television channel on October 20 said that Pakistan is fully capable of answering any aggression from India as it has developed 'short-range tactical nuclear weapons'. He said that Pakistan was ready for a nuclear weapon race with its South Asian rival and ruled out any deal or compromise on the country's nuclear program. Chaudhry said Pakistan knew how to show India the right path as it has developed small tactical nukes to convert any 'adventure into misadventure'. The News, October 21, 2015.

Uighur militants eliminated from Pakistan's territory, says Federal Minister for Defense Khwaja Asif: Pakistan has eliminated all members of the Uighur militant group the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) from its territory, but must remain vigilant to ensure they don't return, claimed Federal Minister for Defense Khawaja Asif on the sidelines of a security forum in Beijing. "We believe they're all eliminated," Khawaja Asif said. "I think there (were) a small number in tribal areas, they're all gone or eliminated. There are no more there," he added. The News, October 19, 2015.

US downplays civilian drone deaths, reveal secret files: United States (US) President Barack Obama's administration has underrepresented the true number of civilians killed in drone strikes. The Intercept unveiled documents leaked by a whistleblower about America´s use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to kill terrorist targets in the Middle East and Central Asia. According to the report, Obama, after taking office in 2009, has vastly expanded the drone program, authorising many more strikes than his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush. In classified slides, the US military describes fatalities from targeted strikes as "enemy killed in action," even if their identity is unknown or they were not the intended targets. The News, October 16, 2015.

India supporting TTP to destabilise Pakistan, accuses FO spokesman Qazi Khaliullah: Pakistan warned India to refrain from using its soil for hatching conspiracies against Pakistan while supporting the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). "It is pertinent to mention here that majority of the terrorist incidents staged by the Indian side on its soil to implicate and malign Pakistan have proved to be fake. I wish to underscore that in the case of India, the international community is aware that state actors have been involved in destabilising and fomenting terrorism in neighbouring countries, including Pakistan," said Foreign Office (FO) spokesman Qazi Khaliullah. The News, October 15, 2015.

Daesh network exists in Sindh, reveals Counter Terrorism Department: The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) has prepared a list of 53 terrorists who they claimed are affiliated with Daesh, commonly known as Islamic State (IS). According to CTD sources, Abdullah Yousuf alias Abdul Aziz, alias Saqib, is the amir (chief) of Daesh while another terrorist has been identified as Shahid Khokhar, who belongs to Hyderabad District. The CTD sources further said that a third terrorist, Bilal is also affiliated with Daesh and hails from Mirpurkhas District. The News, October 15, 2015.

Meanwhile, Sindh Inspector General of Police Ghulam Hyder Jamali while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Interior said that the IS was active in the Province and it had links with the sectarian militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). The Sindh Police chief shared details of the arrested suspectsand said, "They [the suspects] wanted to set up a self-styled caliphate in Pakistan." He said investigations into the May 13, 2015, Safoora carnage revealed that Abdul Aziz, the kingpin of the group, had escaped to Syria and was involved in almost all the recent terror attacks along with his lieutenant Azhar Minhas. Tribune, October 14, 2015.

588 persons become victims of 821 terrorism incidents in eight months, says report: The first eight months of the current year (2015) has witnessed 821 incidents of terrorism in the country, in which 588 people lost their lives while 1,007 people got injured. The report revealed that in 124 incidents of terrorism during month of January, 122 people were killed and 174 were injured. Similarly, in 10 terrorism related incidents during February, 9 people were killed and 49 injured, in March 86 terrorism related incidents occurred in which 45 people were killed and 141 injured and in 113 incidents during month of April, 59 lost their lives and 110 got injured. The data further revealed that the month of May witnessed 121 unfortunate incidents of terrorism with killing of 137 people and injuries to 162 people. In June, there were 70 such incidents in which 50 got killed and 55 got injured, the month of July saw 116 such incidents in which 65 were killed and 131 injured while in August 2015, 61 people became victims of 82 terrorism related incidents while 77 got injured. Dawn, October 12, 2015.

Fighting for an independent Balochistan, says Baloch separatist leader Hyrbyair Marri: Baloch separatist leader Hyrbyair Marri in an interview on October 9 said that he was fighting for an independent Balochistan, a report published on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Urdu website said. He, however, said that neither he nor his associates have any affiliation with the proscribed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) militant group. He also added that the Baloch people are not in favour of seeking help from India to gain freedom. Dawn, October 11, 2015.

Situation for journalists unlikely to improve in Pakistan, says CPJ Impunity Index Report: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on October 8 in its recently released Impunity Index Report, "Getting Away with Murder", for 2015 stated that Pakistan's position remains unchanged at number 9. However, its rating has improved by 0.004 points from 0.123 in 2014 to 0.119 in the latest report. The report looks at unsolved murders of journalists - in countries where attacks on journalists mostly go unpunished - as a percentage of the country's population. The News, October 9, 2015.

Over 6,000 death-row convicts in jails, Government informs Senate: Minister of State for Interior Baleeghur Rahman informed the Senate on October 6 that there were a total of 6,016 death row convicts imprisoned in various jails across the country. During the question hour, he said that the process for execution of the convicts who had availed of all legal options and whose mercy petitions had also been rejected continued as per law since December 17, 2014. The last such prisoner, Mohammad Aslam, was executed in the Bahawalpur jail in September. Dawn, October 7, 2015.

Military operation to continue, says Islamabad's Defense attache Brigadier Sarfraz Ali Chaudhary: The current military operation against militants will continue until the writ of the state is restored, said, Pakistan's Defence Attaché Brigadier Sarfraz Ali Chaudhary while addressing a convention of Pakistani-Americans in Washington on October 5. He said that the operation had four major goals, eliminating extremists from North Waziristan, their sleeper cells elsewhere in the country, restoring the writ of the state, and ensuring that only the state had monopoly on the use of legitimate physical force within its jurisdiction. Dawn, October 6, 2015.

Criticizing blasphemy laws not blasphemous, Says Supreme Court Judge: Justice Asif Saeed Khosa of the Supreme Court of Pakistan on October 5 while hearing an appeal filed by Mumtaz Qadri, the killer of former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, against his death penalty, said that criticism of the blasphemy law did not amount to blasphemy. During the hearing on October 5, the bench observed that the entire argument of Qadri's counsel would be rendered irrelevant if it is not established that then governor Salman Taseer had committed blasphemy. Daily Times, October 6, 2015.

LEAs' strength raised by 27 per cent in Balochistan over last four years: According to some unnamed senior officials, the government has sought to beef the strength of Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in Balochistan by as much as 27 per cent in addition to improving their training and equipment. Some security organizations in the province could see further recruitment in the coming years. "The massive recruitment process will continue till 2018-it's part of the action plan against insurgents," a senior official in Balochistan Home Department said. Tribune, October 5, 2015.

Peace between Indian and Pakistan linked to Kashmir settlement, says CoAS General Raheel Sharif: Terming the Kashmir issue an unfinished agenda of partition of the Subcontinent, Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) General Raheel Sharif while speaking at the Royal United Services Institute in London on October 2 said that the world community must come forward to help resolve the longstanding issue if it wants genuine peace in the region. He said the dispute between Pakistan and India "resides in the Kashmir issue". Dawn, October 3, 2015.

[Source: SATP]

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