Posts Tagged ‘Banned’

Instead of soft music, PIA to now welcome passengers with Qaseeda Burda Sharif

The Pakistan Internat­ional Airlines (PIA) has decided to welcome passengers on board with the Qaseeda Burda Sharif playing in the background, instead of soft music.

A rendition of the ,Qaseeda Burda Sharif,, a popular Islamic hymn, will be played while passengers board PIA airplanes for all domestic and international flights, PIA spokesperson Mashood Tajwar told Dawn.com on Wednesday.

The hymn will also be played during taxiing — but only on flights heading to the Saudi cities of Jeddah and Madina.

The PIA spokesperson denied reports that the national flag-carrier had banned all sorts of music on its flights, saying passengers will have access to the inflight entertainment system available on the aircraft.

PIA flights traditionally also commence with a recitation of the Islamic prayer said at the start of a journey.

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Suspected mastermind of Orakzai terror attack killed in Hangu

Four suspected terrorists, including the alleged mastermind of a deadly suicide attack ,last year in Orakzai,, were killed in an ‘encounter’ with security forces in Hangu on Wednesday.

A local police official, Muhammad Khalid, confirmed to the Associated Press that security forces had conducted a raid in Hangu. A security source told DawnNewsTV that the raid was carried out after a tip-off was received that the house was serving as a militant hideout.

The suspected terrorists opened fire on security forces during the raid, the source said, adding that four ‘terrorists’ were killed in the ensuing encounter.

A civilian was also accidentally killed in the shootout, AP reported.

Khalid identified one of the militants killed as Muhammad Islam and said that he was responsible for orchestrating the ,Nov 23 suicide attack near an imambargah, in lower Orakzai’s Kalaya Bazaar that left at least 32 people dead and 31 injured.

The security source told DawnNewsTV that Islam had ties to the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.

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Valentine’s Day now Sisters’ Day: Faisalabad varsity to ‘promote Islamic traditions’ on Feb 14

The University of Agriculture Faisalabad has announced it will celebrate Sisters’ Day on February 14 to “promote Islamic traditions”, according to Vice Chancellor Zafar Iqbal Randhawa.

Female students on campus can be gifted scarves and abayahs as gifts during the celebration as decided by the vice chancellor and other decision makers at the varsity.

The vice chancellor, while speaking to DawnNewsTV said he wasn’t sure if his suggestion to celebrate Sisters’ Day “would click or not”, but he believed it was compatible with Pakistan’s culture and Islam.

Randhawa said that although some Muslims have turned Valentine’s Day into a threat, “My thinking is that if there is a threat, convert it into an opportunity.”

The VC said that Muslim women face certain conditions related to their attire which dictate that their body should not be revealed. “Women are at a very high rank for us,” he added.

“Today the era of gender empowerment is here, Western thinking is being promoted,” he complained. “But the best gender empowerment and division of work is in our religion and culture.”

He claimed that celebrating Sisters’ Day would allow “a soft image to develop”, and that people will realise that this is how much sisters are loved in Pakistan.

“Is there a love greater than that between brother and sister?” he asked. “On Sisters’ Day, it is greater than the love between husband and wife.”

February 14 — traditionally celebrated as Valentine’s day all over the world — has been a subject of controversy in Pakistan for years, drawing a mixed response from citizens, with some celebrating and supporting it but others protesting against it.

In major cities, various restaurants, delivery services, bakeries and businesses cash in on the celebrations by pushing Valentine’s Day promotions. However, anti-Valentine’s Day campaigns also surface in the form of banners strung up on streets throughout the country and on university campuses.

The Islamabad High Court had in 2017 and 2018 ,”banned” all valentines day celebrations,, and print and electronic media were warned to “stop all Valentine’s Day promotions immediately”.

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) had also been ordered to monitor all mediums and send out notifications banning any related promotions.

In 2016, then president Mamnoon Hussain had urged Pakistanis to forego celebrating Valentine’s Day, saying that it was not a part of Muslim tradition, but a Western innovation.

“Valentine’s Day has no connection with our culture and it should be avoided,” he had said.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - January 13, 2019 at 5:25 pm

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Five ‘BLA men’ remanded for keeping explosives, unlicensed weapons

KARACHI: The administrative judge of the antiterrorism courts on Saturday remanded five suspects, said to be involved in an attack on the Chinese consulate general in Karachi last year, in police custody in explosives and illicit weapons cases.

The investigating officer, Nusrat Shaikh, produced the suspects — Ahmed Hussain, Nadir Khan alias Baladi, Ali Ahmed alias Hashim, Abdul Latif and Mohammad Aslam — before the judge and submitted that they were arrested during a raid in Sadiq Baloch Goth, Taiser Town, and explosive substances as well as unlicensed weapons were found in their possession.

The IO submitted that the suspects were required for questioning as the police had to arrest their absconding accomplices and trace their criminal record since they were also involved in some other cases.

Police filed an ‘A-class’ report last month stating that suspects in Chinese CG case are not traceable

The administrative judge handed over the suspects to the police on five-day physical remand and directed the IO to produce them again on the next date along with a progress report.

A main case was registered against the suspects under Sections 4/5 of Explosive Substances Act, 1908 read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 at the Gulshan-i-Maymar police station. They were also booked in four connected cases under Section 21(i)(a) of Sindh Arms Act, 2013.

The remand papers were silent about their alleged involvement in the Chinese CG attack and their affiliation with any banned militant outfit.

It was mentioned in the FIRs that police conducted a raid on a tip-off that the accomplices of the militants who attacked the Chinese CG were planning to carry out more attacks.

However, the Karachi police chief had told a press conference on Friday that the held suspects facilitated the militants who stormed the Chinese mission in Karachi and were associated with the banned Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA).

Three heavily armed militants carried out the gun-and-grenade attack on the consulate in a high-security zone of Clifton on Nov 23, 2018 in which two policemen and two visa applicants (father and son) were killed before the suspects were gunned down. One private security guard of the foreign mission sustained injuries.

Last month, police had filed an A-class report in the consulate attack case stating that the suspects were not traceable.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2019

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Indian officials try to create problems for Pakistani team at FATF meeting

ISLAMABAD: While the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has ,expressed satisfaction over, Pakistan’s efforts as well as plans against money laundering, India continues to raise questions about terror financing.

“The proceedings went well and almost all the FATF members appreciated measures taken by Pakistan and actions planned by it,” sources told Dawn after the conclusion of a three-day conference in Sydney, Australia.

The sources said that India kept asking questions about the measures Pakistan had taken against Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and other such organisations. It dem­anded that the steps be made public.

The Pakistani delegation explained that all the actions recommended by the FATF had been taken and a compliance report submitted to its headquarters.

The delegation also made it clear that it would be the Pakistan government’s decision whether or not to publicise actions taken against banned organisations and would not succumb to desires of any specific member.

Most other members seem satisfied with Islamabad’s efforts against money laundering, terror financing

Pakistani officials also made it clear that they would not respond to verbal questions from adversaries but would be ready to provide comprehensive responses if written queries were submitted.

The sources said the Indian delegates then filed a total of 28 questions with the FATF, which were shared with the Pakistani delegation.

Pakistan assured the FATF that responses to the questions would be provided in the next review meeting scheduled to be held in Paris on Feb 17-18. All the questions raised by the Indian delegates pertained to actions taken to block terror financing.

The sources said that Pakistan also told the FATF that there was no need for amendments to anti-money laundering laws and the Paris-based financial watchdog accepted Pakistan’s view.

While the action plan presented by Pakistan was accepted by the FATF as reasonable, the country would now follow up with implementation through strengthening of agencies and processes to combat money laundering and terror financing under international obligations.

The Pakistani delegation was led by Finance Secretary Arif Ahmed Khan and comprised representatives of the State Bank of Pakistan, National Counter Terrorism Authority, Federal Investigation Agency, Federal Board of Revenue and Financial Monitoring Unit.

An official claimed that the FATF had highlighted a few matters that were doable by May this year, but progress would need to be registered by February this year. A broader examination of the full compliance with international commitments will take place at another meeting in May, possibly in Sri Lanka or Australia.

Officials said the FATF had gone through the report dispatched by Pakistan last week before the review meetings with the Pakistani delegation involving questions and answers about the performance so far and the way forward. They said the FATF team appeared convinced over the steps and measures taken by the authorities to combat terror financing and money laundering in line with the UN resolutions.

The Pakistani delegation explained the implementation status of plans for various government agencies. Its report identified Pak-Afghan and Pak-Iran borders as key routes for terror financing and money laundering and reported that a total of 4,643 suspected transactions had been identified and blocked since 2015, including 3,677 suspected transaction reports and 966 financial intelligence reports.

A total of 1,167 transactions were seized last year alone, including 975 STRs and 210 financial intelligence reports.

Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2019

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‘Attack on Chinese consulate in Karachi planned in Afghanistan with support of Indian agency’

Karachi Police Chief Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh during a media briefing on Friday said that ,the attack on the Chinese consulate, in Karachi was planned in Afghanistan and carried out with the assistance of Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

In November last year, three heavily armed militants attempted to enter the Chinese consulate in the ‘high security zone’ of Clifton’s Block-4 but ,were shot dead in an encounter with law enforcers,. The gun-and-grenade assault also claimed the lives of two police officials and two visa applicants, and injured a private guard of the foreign mission. The banned Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) had claimed credit for the attack.

The additional inspector general of police disclosed that at least five facilitators have been arrested so far from Karachi, Hub and Quetta during the probe.

He said that based on the police’s investigation, the attack was aimed at sabotaging the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and meant to create trouble between Pakistan and China. “They wanted China to believe that Karachi is not [a] safe [city].”

Sharing the details of the attack, he said that the trained terrorists had been observing the consulate and particularly its visa section for almost four months. “They used to sit in the visa section of the consulate to observe when the gates open and other details.”

“They transported weapons in a boat engine from Quetta to Karachi through train service,” he said, adding that the weapons and other material were dumped at a house in Baldia Town area of Karachi.

“The terrorists used fake computerised national identity cards,” he said. “We are writing to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Pakistan Railways to upgrade their security mechanism so that the facilities of the railways and the National Database & Registration Authority (Nadra) are not abused by terrorists.”

He shared several photographs “recovered from the cell phones of the terrorists”. One of the facilitators was a cousin of ,Aslam alias Acho — the alleged mastermind of the attack, — while another was the brother-in-law of another high-profile terrorist, who is considered to be the second to Acho, said Shaikh.

Shaikh added that there were reports that Acho and some other high-profile terrorists had been killed in an attack in Afghanistan but he refused to believe the news until and unless he “sees the bodies or any solid proof”.

It is an old tactic of terrorists to get themselves declared ‘killed’ to divert the attention of law enforcement agencies, he added.

Consulate’s reconnaissance

Earlier, sources familiar with the proceedings of the investigation ,had told Dawn, that one of the killed militants, Abdul Raziq, resident of Kharan, with his accomplice Abdul Latif, hailing from Khuzdar in Balochistan, had visited Karachi on Aug 6 also. They had both stayed at hotels in Lyari and Saddar and conducted reconnaissance of the consulate.

With the help of technology, it was also discovered that the killed militants had also stayed in Sindh’s two cities, Shahdadpur and Sukkur, before going back to Quetta. They returned to Karachi via Hub, Balochistan, on the night of Nov 23 and stayed for a while in the Shershah area of Karachi before launching the gun-and-grenade attack.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - January 11, 2019 at 9:25 pm

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PIA warns cabin crew of strict action if found intoxicated on the job

Days after a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) steward was ,offloaded from a flight, for consuming alcohol, the national flag carrier warned its pilots and cabin crew of stern action against officials found intoxicated while on duty, the airline’s spokesman Mashhood Tajwar confirmed on Friday.

Tajwar said that officials found violating the national flag carrier’s strict rules against alcohol consumption can face suspension or termination of employment.

“It is totally banned and whoever caught will be dealt with in accordance with corporation rules and regulations, which include termination as a maximum punishment,” he explained.

According to a Jan 9 internal safety bulletin issued by PIA, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has recommended alcohol testing of cabin crew during ramp inspections as per the UAE Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft (SAFA) Programme.

The GCAA has established the means to “test any flight crew operating a foreign aircraft subject to the UAE SAFA Programme” following the promulgation of requirements prohibiting the use of psychoactive substances including alcohol, the bulletin stated.

The bulletin also laid out mandatory requirements that flight operators must adhere to, including:
– That crew members are aware of and adhere to the operators’ regulations as they pertain to psychoactive substances.
– That crew members submit to testing as and when required by the GCAA without obstruction or complication.
– That crew members will be understood to be on duty when they are observed by the GCAA inspector “performing aviation safety activities” or their name appears on the declaration of the intended flight.
– That crew members understand the GCAA will report violations to the relevant authorities.
– That effective remedial actions are taken to prevent recurrence of any hazards reported by the GCAA.

The bulletin stated that “strict compliance is required”.

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Will not allow Indian content as ‘it damages our culture’: CJP

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Wednesday made it clear that the Supreme Court will not allow Indian content to be shown on Pakistani TV channels as it “damages our culture”.

A three-member SC bench, under the chief justice’s stewardship, was hearing an appeal filed by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) against high courts’ decision to ban the broadcast of Indian content on TV channels in Pakistan.

Pemra’s counsel Zafar Iqbal Kalanauri apprised the SC bench that foreign content had been banned on court orders before a high court issued a stay order against it.

Pemra Chairman Saleem Baig told the court that 65 per cent of the content shown on Filmazia channel is foreign and that the number at times goes as high as 80 per cent.

At this, the chief justice remarked that “we will not allow Indian content to be aired on [Pakistani] channels”.

Pemra counsel explained to the chief justice that “Filmazia is not a news channel but is an entertainment channel; it does not do any propaganda.”

“It is, however, damaging our culture,” the top judge countered.

The chief justice observed that the Pakistan Broadcasters Association’s counsel, Faisal Siddiqui was not in attendance. “We cannot pass a judgement without hearing him,” he said.

Subsequently, the hearing was adjourned till the first week of February.

In 2016, Pemra had ,imposed, a complete ban on airing Indian content on local television and FM radio channels.

The decision was largely seen as a tit-for-tat move after similar actions were taken by some channels and the entertainment industry in India against Pakistani content and artists.

In 2017, the Lahore High Court had lifted the Pemra-imposed ban, declaring it null and void as the federal government had no objections regarding the same.

In October 2018, the Supreme Court had ,reinstated, the ban on the transmission of Indian content on local television channels, setting aside the LHC orders.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - January 10, 2019 at 1:25 am

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Five bills introduced in NA amid noisy protest by opposition

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Tuesday carried out some legislative business on a messy private members day as legislators managed to introduce five bills, including two constitution amendment bills, amid noisy proceedings due to inability of Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri to maintain order in the house.

The movers remained confused about the status of their bills after presenting them before the house and on two occasions, the deputy speaker rejected the bills on a voice vote and did not order a headcount despite repeated requests and challenge by the movers.

The introduced bills, however, will remain in the cold storage as Speaker Asad Qaiser has not been able to constitute the house committees due to a stand-off between the government and the opposition over the issue of chairmanship of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Bills will remain in the cold storage in absence of house committees that minister says will be constituted within a week

The deputy speaker kept on announcing that the bills stood introduced without referring them to the yet-to-be-formed committees, while Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan claimed that the committees would be constituted within a week or so.

At the outset, a non-serious opposition, while protesting over the refusal by the chair to give them the floor to speak on points of order, kept on opposing each and every bill introduced by the treasury members. And while doing so, they even did not allow Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) member Kishwer Zehra to introduce a bill seeking allocation of seats in parliament for the disabled persons which had been supported by all the parties, including those in the opposition.

Puzzled by the deputy speaker’s decision of not granting her leave to introduce the bill, the MQM lawmaker kept on shouting and protesting, informing the house that the bill had been signed by 18 members representing all parties in the house.

Ms Zehra even announced that she was withdrawing all her bills on the agenda as a mark of protest, but later changed her decision when the deputy speaker said it would be brought to the agenda on the next private members day after Ali Mohammad Khan and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) lawmaker Syed Naveed Qamar admitted that they had rejected the bill by mistake.

Earlier, Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, a lawmaker from minority community belonging to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), protested against the deputy speaker’s decision of not ordering a headcount when the opposition members voted against his bill seeking amendment to the Constitution for repealing of an article that allowed sale and purchase of liquor on religious occasions of non-Muslim minority communities. Some treasury members also opposed the bill despite the fact that the parliamentary secretary for law and justice Maleeka Bukhari had not opposed the bill.

Dr Vankwani was surprised over the deputy speaker’s act of ignoring his challenge to his ruling, as earlier he had been allowed to introduce a constitution amendment bill seeking changes in five articles of the Constitution after which the house gave 89-86 vote in his favour. He asked the chair to allow a headcount so that the nation could see the members who were against the ban on the sale of liquor in the country. He said Article 37 was “discriminatory” to the minority members as all the religions, including Hinduism and Sikhism, had banned use of liquor.

Walkout

The PTI lawmaker said despite the fact that Pakistan was an Islamic republic, liquor was being sold in the country round the year in the name of religious minorities. His remarks that “if Pakistan is an Islamic country then the members should unanimously approve his bill” angered the opposition, especially those belonging to the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F), who were of the opinion that the lawmaker from the religious minority should not have used the word “if” and he should know that Pakistan was an Islamic country. The opposition members also staged a token walkout over it.

Besides the two constitution amendment bills, the NA witnessed introduction of the Pakistan Psychological Council Bill 2018 by Riaz Fatyana, the Elections (Amendment) Bill 2018 by Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali and the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils (Amendment) Bill 2018 by Alia Kamran.

Through the first constitution (amendment) bill introduced by Dr Vankwani, the mover sought setting up of women universities in all cities having a population of 500,000 or more. Through the same bill, the mover also sought increase in the reserved seats for minorities in the national and provincial assemblies, besides seeking right of dual votes for them.

Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali, through the other constitution (amendment) bill, sought an increase in the number of seats of Chitral in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.

Published in Dawn, December 12th, 2018

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Stone crushing a major threat to Jhelum bed, Mangla Dam: DC

GUJRAT: The Jhelum deputy commissioner (DC) has declared the functioning of stone crushing machines a major threat to the Jhelum river bed as well as Mangla Dam since the machines operate below the level of the river bed.

DC Saif Anwar Jappa said this during a visit to the stone crushing sites mainly located in Dina tehsil. He vowed to write to the mines and Water and Power Development Authority secretaries to take notice of the crushing machines.

Eight stone crushing machines have been functional in Jhelum district that, according to the DC, were causing damage to the environment and natural resources. Due to these machines, the flow in Jhelum river as well as in the Mangla Dam could be hampered.

The DC claimed that standard operating procedures were being flouted by the operators of the crushing machines. He constituted a special committee to monitor the issue and punish those who violated the safety features of the Mangla Dam. He said he would recommend immediate closure of the crushing units to the higher authorities to save the environment and natural resources of the area.

PETROL SALE: The local administration has banned the sale of petrol to underage drivers and those who do not wear helmets from Dec 6.

The ban has been imposed by the Jhelum DC who conveyed the policy during a meeting with the owners and management of petrol pumps of the district. The meeting was attended by Additional Deputy Commissioner (General) Bilal Feroze Joiya, assistant commissioners of Dina, Sohawa and the Road Transport Authority secretary.

According to the administration officials, only the motorcyclists and rickshaw drivers aged above 18 years as well as those wearing helmets would be sold petrol. They added that the sale of petrol in plastic bottles was also prohibited.

The petrol pump managements have been asked to display the orders on their premises.

Meanwhile, petrol station owners have also been warned that the pumps operating without a No-Objection Certificate would be dealt with sternly, as there were reports that some petrol pumps were working without fulfilling requirements and possessing relevant documents.

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2018

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Investigators claim ‘breakthrough’ in probe into attack on Chinese consulate

KARACHI: Investigators have achieved a “breakthrough” in their probe into the attack on the Chinese consulate as it has emerged that one of the killed militants had stayed in Karachi and carried out a prolonged reconnaissance while more than a dozen suspects and their abettors have been detained for interrogation, it emerged on Saturday.

Three heavily armed militants were shot dead in a shoot-out with police and Rangers during a gun-and-grenade attack on the Chinese consulate. Two police officials and two visa applicants, a father and son, were also killed in the Nov 23 assault.

The banned Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) claimed credit for the attack.

Consulate’s reconnaissance

Sources familiar with the proceedings of the investigation told Dawn on Saturday that it emerged during the probe that one of the killed militants, Abdul Raziq, resident of Kharan, with his accomplice Abdul Latif, hailing from Khuzdar in Balochistan, had visited Karachi on Aug 6 also. They both stayed at hotels in Lyari and Saddar and conducted reconnaissance of the consulate.

More than 15 suspects and abettors detained for questioning

With the help of technology, it has also been discovered that the killed militants had also stayed in Sindh’s two cities, Shahdadpur and Sukkur, before going back to Quetta. They returned to Karachi via Hub, Balochistan, on the night of Nov 23 and stayed for a while in the Shershah area of Karachi before launching the gun-and-grenade attack.

Sources told Dawn that a system launched by the Sindh police with the help of the National Database and Registration Authority a few days before the attack on the foreign mission was providing much help to the investigators.

Biometric authentication

The Sindh police on Nov 17 formally launched the biometric verification services at the Central Police Office in Karachi, which would help access record of criminals and identify unclaimed bodies with Nadra’s help.

The police now have access to data of at least one million criminals across the country, said the sources. A software has been provided to all hotels in the city and with the writing of a name and the computerised identity card number in a register the data will be transferred to the police’s control room “within 30 seconds”.

The sources said that this software helped the investigators ascertain that the killed militant Raziq and his accomplice Latif had stayed at two hotels in the city. It appeared that Raziq was commanding the attack on the consulate.

They said the technology was helping the investigators in intensifying the search for the suspects and their abetters.

At least 15 suspects and their accomplices have been detained for questioning, added the sources.

They revealed that the investigators had learned that the BLA separatists had been planning a deadly attack on the Chinese consulate for the last eight to 10 months.

Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2018

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Govt still hopeful New Delhi’s response will change after elections, PM tells Indian media

Prime Minister Imran Khan, in an interaction with the representatives of Indian media at PM Office on Thursday, said he had tried to reach out to New Delhi since the day he assumed office but received a “bad response” after which he “decided to wait until after the Indian election for a gesture from their side”, The Hindu ,reported,.

The “bad response” referred to here is when a meeting scheduled between the foreign ministers of the two countries along the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) was called off by New Delhi citing ,”unclean intentions”,.

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On the day the PTI government completed 100 days in power, the premier stressed on the country’s commitment to and desire for peace, saying it was not in Pakistan’s interest to let its soil be used for terrorism, according to ,The Indian Express,.

“It is not in our interest to allow the use of Pakistan’s territory for terror outside. People in Pakistan want peace with India. The mindset of people here has changed,” the publication reported Prime Minister Khan as saying.

His remarks come just a day following Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj’s refusal to come to the table for dialogue between the two countries at the Saarc platform.

She had brushed off any possibility of improvement in relations between India and Pakistan, despite the opening of the Kartarpur crossing. “Until and unless Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India, there will be no dialogue and ,we will not participate in Saarc, [conference],” Swaraj had asserted.

To a question put forth by ,India Today TV, on what actions his government was taking with respect to the chief of the ,banned Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) outfit,, Hafiz Saeed, considered by India to be the mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, the premier reminded them that there was a legal case against him in Pakistan.

According to ,NDTV,, he said: “There are UN sanctions against Hafiz Saeed. There is already a clampdown on the Jamaatud Dawa chief. These are the issues we have inherited”. Khan mentioned that his government “cannot be held responsible for the past”.

When asked whether there would be a “grand gesture” by Pakistan in dealing with Hafiz Saeed or gangster Dawood Ibrahim, Prime Minister Khan said that such gestures can be made “only up to a certain point” following which reciprocity must be demonstrated.

“India must reciprocate… we understand till your elections in 6 months but after that, we need a response,” India Today TV quoted him as having asserted.

The premier had made a strong case for the two countries to make tangible efforts to improve relations following the Kartarpur foundation stone laying ceremony held a day earlier.

“I am saying today, that our political leaders, our army, and all other institutions are all on one page. We wish to move forward, we want a civilised relationship. We have just one problem, Kashmir. If a man can walk on the moon, what problems are there that we cannot resolve?” he asked.

“If India takes one step forward, Pakistan will take two steps forward in friendship,” Khan had promised.

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Banned literature case: ATC grants journalist Nasarullah Khan bail

An antiterrorism court (ATC) on Wednesday accepted the bail of journalist Nasarullah Khan Chaudhry who has been in police custody for allegedly possessing banned literature.

According to the Counter-terrorism Department (CTD), it arrested Chaudhry, a journalist associated with Urdu-language daily Nai Baat, in Karachi’s Garden area on Nov 11. The agency alleged that the journalist was carrying some journals and booklets about Afghan Jihad and the Punjabi Taliban which contained material intended to sow discord on sectarian grounds as well as to motivate people to take part in “Jihad”.

In today’s hearing, the journalist’s lawyer, Advocate Muhammad Farooq, argued that the CTD did not have any proof against his client.

The court ordered the journalist to submit Rs100,000 as a bail bond.

Chaudhry was first remanded into police custody on November 12.

The CTD booked the journalist under Section 11-F (i) of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 (a person is guilty of an offence if he belongs, or professes to belong, to a proscribed organisation), Section 11-W(i) (printing, publishing or disseminating any material to incite hatred or giving projection to any person convicted for a terrorist act or any proscribed organisation or an organisation placed under observation or anyone concerned in terrorism) and Section 7.

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Brothers of man involved in consulate attack held in Quetta

QUETTA: Law enforcement agencies arrested two brothers of Abdul Razzaq Baloch, who had been killed with two other militants of the banned Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) during Friday’s attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi, in Kharan on Saturday.

The investigation agencies found that one of the slain militants — Razzaq Baloch — belonged to Kharan. Sources said that law enforcement agencies conducted raids in different areas of Kharan on Saturday and took two of his bothers — Mohammad Aslam and Khosti — in custody. They were handed over to the authorities for interrogation.

Meanwhile, Balochistan Home Minister Mir Saleem Ahmad Khosa said that the name of Razzaq Baloch had been put on the missing persons’ list over the past two years. He said that a large number of people mentioned in the list had gone aboard for terrorism training.

The minister said that BLA commander Aslam alias Acho had been injured in a gun battle with security forces last year, but he managed to escape and later went to India where he was provided medical treatment.

He said that many BLA commanders had been killed in that operation conducted by security forces. The minister said that India was directly involved in the worsening situation in Baloch­istan.

However, he added, the designs of the enemy would be foiled as had been done during the attack on Chinese consulate in Karachi. He termed the botched attack an attempt to harm the growing relations between China and Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2018

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Baloch separatist leader Harbiyar Marri among 13 booked for Chinese consulate attack

As the investigation into ,Friday’s attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi, made headway on Saturday, police officials suspected Harbiyar Marri, the exiled leader of the banned Balochistan Liberation (BLA), of being the mastermind of the deadly assault that left two policemen and as many civilians dead.

Police officials say the attack, carried out with the assistance of Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), was an attempt to strike against the growing diplomatic and economic relations between China and Pakistan.

In a case registered by the Sindh police’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) against Marri and 12 of his aides, including BLA commander Aslam ‘Acchu’ alias Miraq Baloch, investigators said their initial findings had shown that the attack was “a failed and shameful attempt to harm the Pakistan-China relationship”.

Editorial: ,Friday’s Karachi, Orakzai attacks bloodily underline that Pakistan is still facing complex militant threats,

According to the first information report (FIR) registered by CTD police on behalf of the state through Boat Basin Station House Officer under charges of murder and terrorism, etc., “BLA accepted the responsibility for the attack and identified three slain militants along with their pictures as Azal Khan Baloch, Razik Baloch and Rais Baloch.”

“The BLA is supported by Indian agency RAW,” reads the application written by SHO Boat Basin with the FIR.

The 13 masterminds and facilitators of the attack as listed in the FIR include Harbiyar Marri, Aslam alias ‘Acchu’, Bashir Zeb, Noor Bux Mengal, Karim Marri, Capt Rehman Gul, Nisar, Gaindi, Sheikhu, Sharif, Hamal, Munshi and Agha Sherdil.

According to the FIR, the militants involved in the attack remained in continuous touch with the said persons during the assault.

Apart from explosive material, arms and ammunition, a BLA flag was also recovered from the possession of the three killed militants.

Investigators revisit crime scene

CTD investigators on Saturday revisited the crime scene at the Chinese consulate.

Raja Umar Khattab, a CTD officer who is supervising the probe told Dawn that the purpose of the visit today was to assess as to how the attackers reached the consulate, who put up resistance and why several vehicles were burnt or damaged.

Khattab said after ASI Ashraf Dawood and constable Mohammed Amir were martyred at the first check-post by the attackers, all security personnel posted at the foreign mission became alert.

One police constable identified as Akram took position and opened fire on the militants, as a result of which one of the attackers sustained a critical bullet wound on his abdomen. The militant then took shelter at a wall of a nearby bungalow where he died due to excessive bleeding.

Two of his accomplices resorted to heavy firing and threw hand grenades as they managed to enter the reception room of the visa facility, where at least nine people, including a woman, were present. The woman immediately shut the door of the visa section and went inside while a guard locked the main armoured gate.

In an attempt to break open the armoured gate, the militants resorted to heavy firing, leaving two visa applicants Niaz Muhammad, 55, and his son, Zahir Shah, 25, dead.

They also tried to open the armoured gate with help of C-4 explosives but did not succeed, the CTD official said. The two militants were then gunned down by security personnel.

The heavy firing and hand grenades thrown by the two attackers, ostensibly in a state of panic, damaged two police vehicles, one armoured personnel carrier (APC) and six other cars parked outside the consulate. Three of the cars caught fire due to the grenade blasts.

Officer Khattab told Dawn “some arrests” have also been made in the case but that it would not be appropriate to share details with the media at the moment.

He said one slain militant, Razik, had been identified through fingerprints while the fingerprints of the other two attackers had not matched with National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) records, indicating that they had not had their CNICs made.

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Father, son who lost lives in attack on Chinese consulate laid to rest in Quetta

Niaz Muhammad and his son Zahir Shah — who lost their lives on Friday ,when gunmen tried to storm the Chinese consulate in Karachi, — were laid to rest in Quetta on Saturday.

Yesterday, three heavily armed militants were shot dead in an encounter with law enforcers during a gun-and-grenade attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi. The attack also claimed the lives of two police officials.

,According to preliminary investigation,, the three armed men came out of a white Suzuki Liana car around 9:30am after parking it near the consulate. As they proceeded towards the consulate with Kalashnikov in their hands, two policemen posted at a checkpoint opened fire on them. CCTV footage showed that the attackers became panicky and resorted to a grenade attack.

Two of the attackers then moved towards the visa facility near the reception area of the consulate. A private guard immediately shut the main gate while a female official of the consulate closed the door of the visa facility area. In an attempt to break open the armoured gate, the militants resorted to heavy firing, leaving the two visa applicants — Niaz Muhammad, 55, and his son, Zahir Shah, 25 — dead.

Niaz Muhammad (right) and his son Zahir Shah (left) were laid to rest in Quetta on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV

Niaz Muhammad (right) and his son Zahir Shah (left) were laid to rest in Quetta on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV

The father and son were applying for Chinese visas for business purposes. The two, who were from Quetta’s Pashtun Abad area, had been doing business in clothing with China for over a decade.

The funeral prayers for the duo were offered in Quetta’s Eastern bypass area on Saturday. A large number of people participated in the prayers.

Muhammad leaves behind his wife, seven daughters and three sons.

“Since morning, there has been mourning in our house,” a visibly emotional Habibur Rehman, Muhammad’s younger brother, told DawnNewsTV.

Rehman criticised the Sindh government for not cooperating with them. He said that the government had not provided any ambulance services and they had brought the bodies of their loved ones to Quetta themselves.

Rehman also complained that no one from the the Balochistan government had contacted them “to extend any support”.

No MPA or official from the Balochistan government or Sindh government had attended the funeral prayers of the father and son, Rehman said.

When contacted, central leader of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Noor Muhammad Dumar, expressed “deep sorrow over the loss of precious human lives in Karachi”.

He admitted that officials had failed to participate in the funeral prayers of the victims.

Dumar said that very soon an official delegation from the Balochistan government will meet the bereaved family to offer condolences.

Shortly after Friday’s attack, Prime Minister Imran Khan ,had strongly condemned the incident, and said: “Such incidents will never be able to undermine Pak-China relationship that is mightier than Himalaya and deeper than Arabian sea”.

Other political leaders, including Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif, had also condemned the attack.

‘Suicide mission’

CTD officer Raja Umar Khattab, who is investigating the case, said the militants did not wear ‘suicide jackets’ though it appeared they were on a ‘suicide mission’ as they intended to kill and die. Timely action of the police and other law enforcers ‘foiled’ their bid to enter the consulate, he believed.

“If they had succeeded in entering the consulate, they might have caused more damage,” apprehended the official.

Khattab believed that the banned insurgent group Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) was involved in the attack, who claimed responsibility before the operation was even over.

According to him, the assault bears resemblance to an attack on the Chinese nationals in Balochistan some months ago when the suspects had used an explosive-laden vehicle to target their vehicle but missed it.

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Cabinet settles on deadline for illegally imported phones

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Friday set the deadline of Dec 31 for blocking all new mobile phones being brought into the country through illegal means.

The forum also decided that Prime Minister Imran Khan will open the Pakistan-India Kartarpur border in a ceremony to be held on Nov 28.

The cabinet meeting, presided over by the prime minister, strongly condemned Friday’s terrorist attacks in the country — one outside the Chinese consulate in Karachi and the second near Hangu.

Information minister says PM will open Kartarpur border crossing on 28th

“The cabinet decided to impose a ban on new mobile phones to be smuggled into the country after Dec 31,” Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said in a press conference. He exp­lain­ed that mobile phones that have already been brought into the country before the deadline, even through illegal means, can be used, but after Dec 31 no such sets will be allowed to be operational. The minister said the cabinet has also decided to promote the local mobile phone industry and therefore a ban could be imposed on even the import of mobile phones in the next phase.

According to Mr Chaudhry, as per the government’s record around 82 million mobile phones were imported through legal channels every year and 2.5 billion mobile phones were smuggled into the country per year. “We have to control this trend,” he explained, adding that the sale of second-hand mobile phones was completely banned in the country but the sale-purchase of used mobile phones was being carried out freely. “The federal cabinet has decided to take strict action against this business,” he reiterated.

Kartarpur border

The information minister said that PM Khan will, in a grand ceremony, formally open the Kartarpur (at Narowal) border crossing between Pakistan and India on Nov 28.

He explained that the border crossing was being opened on the demand of Sikh pilgrims who visit Pakistan every year in large numbers to perform religious rituals in Kartarpur and other parts of the country. “Following the opening of the border, there will be free entry for Sikh pilgrims,” he promised, adding that besides former Indian cricket star Navjot Singh Sidhu, a group of Indian journalists would also be coming to attend the border-opening ceremony.

The minister maintained that the border crossing was being opened under a peace initiative taken by PM Khan. “It will be a permanent opening, and further details [in this regard] are being finalised,” he said.

The minister said that the government believed that once sour relations between Pakistan and India were normalised, this would benefit Pakistan because the country is located between two international markets and could obtain economic adva­ntages. He qualified, however, that in the absence of a settlement on the Kashmir issue, relations between the two sides would remain tense. “We cannot forget the Kashmir issue because it is an important part of our policies,” he explained.

Responding to a question regarding the regularisation of PM Khan’s house at Banigala, the minister said the house was constructed 30 years ago under the then laws, and therefore there was no need for any regularisation.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2018

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