MIRAMSHAH: The security forces defused two roadside remote controlled bombs as the administration imposed indefinite curfew in the agency headquarters of North Waziristan Agency on Saturday. Sources said that security forces defused two remote controlled bombs planted by suspected militants near Tableeghi Markaz on Miramshah-Dattakhel road and Karamkot on Miramshah-Mir Ali road during the curfew. The educational institutions, government offices and business centres remained closed owing to imposition of curfew at 7am for indefinite period. Hundreds of vehicles including trucks and pick-ups loaded with fruits and vegetables were seen queued on Bannu-Miramshah road. The bundles of various newspapers could not be dispatched to their destinations owing to imposition of curfew. Dawn.
KALAYA/BARA: At least 30 militants were killed and 20 others sustained injuries when jetfighters bombed suspected positions of militants in Orakzai Agency and Khyber Agency on Saturday, official and tribal sources said. The sources said that in Orakzai Agency jetfighters blitzed the hideouts of militants in Neka Ziarat, Botakhel Killay, Sama Bazaar, Adokhel and Jandari in the Taliban-controlled Mamozai area. They said the shelling, which started at 1:00 pm, continued for two hours on the fifth consecutive day. “Eighteen militants were killed and 14 others injured in the shelling while eight hideouts were also destroyed,” the sources said. The sources said the locals shifted the injured militants to a private clinic in Arghanjo. However, some reports claimed that the militants did not allow civilians into the area. Twelve militants were killed and six others injured when the security force shelled the ‘bunkers’ of the banned Lashkar-e-Islam in the Naribaba area of Tirah valley in Khyber Agency, the sources said. The News, The Nation.
PEHAWAR: The federal government has decided to replace Barrister Masood Kausar as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor, and Federal Minister for State and Frontier Regions (Safron) Engineer Shaukatullah Khan will take oath as new governor today (Sunday). The federal government has cited no apparent reason for the removal of Masood Kausar. However, Pakistan People’s Party sources told The News on Saturday that President Asif Ali Zardari took the decision to replace Masood Kausar after the outgoing governor had a telephonic conversation over some matter with MNA and president PPP Women Wing Faryal Talpur some two days ago. They said the government had decided in principle to replace Masood Kausar with Shaukatullah Khan, a staunch tribal supporter of the ruling PPP, two days ago but he (Masood) was not informed of the decision. A PPP leader, who requested not to be named, told this scribe that he had a meeting with the outgoing governor just two hours ahead of the news of his removal was conveyed to him, but the governor had no idea of it at the time of the meeting. The News, Dawn, Daily Times, The Nation.
BANNU: The elders of Mambati Barakzai Union Council have accused the officials of the education department and contractor of blowing up a school to avoid an inquiry into the use of substandard material in its construction. Unknown persons had blown up the Government Girls Primary School in Mambati Barakzai Union Council on Thursday. Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, former nazim of Mambati Barakzai Union Council Malik Salimur Rehman, president of Bannu Chamber of Commerce Shah Wazir Khan and other elders said that a local had donated 10 kanals of land for the school and the construction work was started in 2006-07. They alleged that the contractor had used substandard material in the Rs14 million project. The News.
PESHAWAR: Four persons were killed and their bodies thrown in Budo Samarbagh area here on Saturday. The police said the locals informed about four bodies that were dumped in a local graveyard. All were shot with multiple bullets. The dead were later identified as Shah Nawaz, Mansoor, Misri Khan and Ashfaq of the Budo and Samarbagh villages. The motive of the murders could not be ascertained.
Reports said eight suspects were arrested during raids at different places in connection with the killings.
Those arrested were identified as Mamoor, Amir, Usman, Miskeen, Ghulam Rasool, Saeed Ahmad, Samandar and Nasir. The complainant in the case Fazal Maula said the accused had clashed with his slain brother and other deceased over some issue the other day. The News, Dawn.
NOWSHERA: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has gone to Qatar to hold talks with the Taliban, revealed Hafiz Hussain Ahmed, a leader of the party and general secretary of the Milli Yakjehti Council, on Saturday. Speaking at a condolence reference for Jamaat-i-Islami leader Qazi Hussain Ahmad here, he urged the government and the army to take the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan’s talks offer seriously and initiate a dialogue to ensure a peaceful atmosphere during the general election. But contrary to the statement by Hafiz Hussain Ahmed, a spokesman for JUI-F, Abdul Jalil Jan, told Dawn in Peshawar that Maulana Fazl had gone abroad on a private visit. According to the western media, the US is in contact with the Taliban in Qatar to persuade the militant group to initiate negotiations with the Afghan government as Washington prepares for the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan in 2014. Hafiz Hussain did not disclose on whose behalf Mr Rehman had gone to Doha. Dawn, Daily Times.
ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik asked the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan on Saturday to nominate their ‘real’ representatives for talks if they were serious about holding negotiations with the government. Talking to journalists here, the minister said that Taliban’s decision indicated they were not serious in talks because they had nominated Adnan Rashid, a murder accused and proclaimed offender, as their representative for dialogue. He said the Taliban factions should form a joint team for negotiations. Mr Malik said starting the dialogue process with the Taliban before the elections would be a welcome development. He again urged the militants to give up violence in order to start the talks. “If they believe in Pakistan’s sovereignty, they must stop killing innocent people.” Dawn.
LAHORE: Former finance minister Dr Mubashir Hasan wants PML-N President Nawaz Sharif to take steps to facilitate talks between the Taliban and the government. “If he can take the Jamaat-i-Isalmi and Maulana Fazal with him in taking such an initiative the better it would be. On its own the government at Islamabad is not likely to take the kind of initiative Nawaz Sharif has advised it to take,” he said in a statement here on Saturday. According to him, loss of face of the government, American advice and other obstacles stood in the way. “After all the Taliban have killed military officers and men and destroyed property on a very large scale. Apparently the government is doing what it considers is the right thing to do and is not seeking peace.” Dawn.
NAWAF KHAN, SHARAFAT ALI CHAUDHARY